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Create Sweet XBOX 360 Game Art – Air Jordan

This photoshop tutorial is awesome! It gives you the down and dirty tricks professional graphic designers use to Photoshop those sweet Xbox game covers we always see. This one brings Michael Jordan out of retirement in NBA LIVE 10.

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Here is the final image we will be creating:

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Pretty sweet huh?  Here are the elements that will be used to create them: You can download all of them here

Picture 57Disclaimer: this is a prettttty long tutorial so stick with us and by the end you’ll be glad you did!

The first thing we’re going to do is open the Michael Jordan image that you downloaded above.  We’re going to immediately unlock the layer by double clicking it in the layers palette and pressing Return or Enter after seeing this dialog box:

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This is something that is done a lot when opening photos.  This allows us to manipulate them.  The next thing we’re going to do is duplicate the Michael Jordan Picture layer by right clicking the layer in the layers palette and selecting “Duplicate Layer.” Name this new layer “MJmultiply” and set the blending mode to “multiply.”

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The Layer palette should now look like this:

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Select the MJMultiply layer and then select Filter > Blur > Gaussion Blur. Then set the blur level to 9.3 pixels.

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With this layer being set to multiply, it will create a nice soft effect of MJ flying through the air.

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Now we’re going to do a few things:

  • Group the two layers and name the group “MJ Photo”
  • Duplicate that group by selecting the group in the layers palette and in the menu bar selecting “Layer > Duplicate Group”
  • Hide the “MJ Photo” group by un-selecting the “eye” image that is next to it in the layers palette
  • Flatten the “MJ Photo Copy” by selecting it and selecting Layer > Merge Group in the menu at the top of Photoshop

Because we flattened the “MJ Photo Copy” group we are able to cut it out using the pen tool.  Outline only Michael Jordan in the picture with the pen tool

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After MJ has been outlined with the pen tool go to the Paths palette and name the path “Jordan”

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Now, Command + Left Mouse Click on the “Jordan” thumbnail (the grey rectangle) to activate the selection

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Now, go back to the layers palette.  Make sure to select the “MJ Photo Copy layer” we flattened earlier simply by left mouse clicking on it and then go to Select > Modify > Feather in the main menu bar and select a feather radius of 1 pixel:

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Now, we’re going to cut Michael out of the background.  Select the Marquee Tool (M) and also make sure the “MJ Photo Copy layer” is selected in the layers palette and right click and select Layer Via Cut in the dialog box that comes up.

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We’ve now cut Michael out of the background!  Now, delete the background that we cut him out of.  Instead of using the old background we just deleted, we’re now going to drag in a picture of the stadium to be used behind him.  So in the upper menu select File > Place and open the “Cox_Arena_interior_2006-02-08.JPG” file and press Enter to place it.

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Now we’re going to add a gradient map by selecting the stadium layer, flattening it, and selecting Image > Adjustments > Gradient Map.

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I just chose a maroon/crimson red faded to white for the gradient map.

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