In this tutorial we will show you how to quickly add photorealistic perspective to your graphics using Pixelmator tools.
One of the crucial elements of great graphic design is being able to show perspective and make your designs look professional and truly jump off the page.
So let’s get started.
The final image
Here is what we will create by the end of this tutorial.
First step is to create a new document, we chose 1024 x 768 px.
We also coloured in the canvas white to show off our graphic, but there is no need to do this. Next add your content to this canvas – we chose one of our vintage logos we created previously in our exclusive tutorial. You can choose whatever you want, use graphics or just text, it doesn’t really matter here.
Next, use enable the free transform tool (cmd + f), right click over the graphic, and select Perspective. Note, if you are using a shape, ideally you have coloured in your shapes, and converted it to pixels before you distort the perspective. You can also experiment with the Skew and Distort to get some cool 3d effects. Ensure your perspective is larger in the foreground and smaller towards the background to create real depth. We also chose to angle our graphic at a sharper angle to get the following.
Once you are happy with the perspective you have chosen, create a New Layer for the background, and move it below your graphic. We are going to use a Radial Gradient to create even more depth. Select a colour that will be light in the centre and will darken the edges of your canvas, but also complements your existing colour. We went with a yellow gradient that is available as standard in Pixelmator. Click and drag the gradient from the centre of the canvas to one of the edges.
Now, select your graphic layer, and change the blending option to Multiply to allow your graphic to show through the colours of your gradient.
The effect is already starting to look great. Now to add some realism, we are going to add some Noise to the gradient layer to give it a grainy effect. Ensure monochrome is ticked.
Because of the Multiply blend option, the graininess should also filter through into your graphic. To take the edge off the graininess, use a Gaussian Blur from the Effects panel, set to a small setting – we used 0.5% but you can use whatever your image needs.
Now for the photorealistic magic, to make your image really pop off the page. Select the layer with your graphic, open the Effects panel, and choose the Miniaturise Blur effect, with type set to Elliptical, Blur set to 100%, and Transition set to 85%. Drag the centre of the Miniaturise effect handle towards the back of your graphic, and adjust the size of the ellipse using the handles to cover roughly a quarter of your graphic. The below picture shows you where we chose to place the miniaturise effect (Note: we hid the gradient to show you what the effect does to your graphic).
Depending on your graphic, again experiment with the placement of the effect, the size, and the transition to get an optimal setting. And voila, you have just added some ninja worthy photorealistic perspective to your graphic in Pixelmator. Enjoy!
(click image for high res version)