The Twilight Saga

I  N  T  R  O  D  U  C  T  I  O  N

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Welcome to the banner effects class!

I'm Nikki and I will be your banner effects mentor this term.

I know I may not be the best mentor on the site, but I do my best =)

My overall goal is to show everyone the simple, yet fun ways to make your banners POP within your blending techniques and texture.

Now somethings I know you know. And other things you may THINK you know (xD, JK)

But maybe I do something differently whether that is technique or pressing a different button.

Again, I know I'm probably not who you were expecting for teaching such an AWESOME class, but hopefully I'll grow on you =)


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S  T  U  D  E  N  T  S

Well, I have a list of you below, and I will check your name off on the list regularly.

What I mean is, every time you complete an assignment or just respond to a tutorial, I put a check reminding me who has been "handing in" assignments. Every week will be a different colored check so that way you will be able to think: "Oh, I'm missing the red check. Let me do that assignment!"

Unlike school, there is no punishment for not turning in homework, I just recommend you do it so that it may help you in the future =)


Pupil List

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This is just where the links to tutorials are because it is just more convenient to post them here rather than you going through the whole discussion to find your assignments.

(Click banners to go to lessons. You may have to scroll up or down depending on when I posted the link)

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A  S  S  I  G  N  M  E  N  T  S

Okay, so I'll be posting all of your assignments here at the bottom of the discussion so it is the last thing you will look at and it sticks in your head.

I hope to have 1 to 3 assignments per week, depending on how long it takes to teach each tutorial.

I generally like posting assignments in Word Documents (it just looks neater to me)


This way, I can post them in a different format.


Now, your assignment(s):


Assignment: Complete the form I have posted as a comment to the discussion. Basically tell me what you know, and what you want to learn. =)

Assignment: Say what you think banner effects means. Include if you can find/download brushes.

Assignment: Complete the tutorial. Find an image that you can use your gradient on. Feel free to use layer modes if you know how to use them. If you cannot do the image thing for any reason, just post a screenshot of your gradient and I'll give you a check. I also ask, do you know how to use layer modes? Answer that question along with your image.

Assignment: Complete the artificial gradient tutorial and share your results. Preferably: Post a before/after product =)

Assignment: Do your best to complete this tutorial and share your results. IF and only IF you are a person who CANNOT download brushes, you are excused from this lesson. Just leave a little comment reminding me so that I can give you an orange check =).

Assignment: Okay, so I know Claire taught you Layer Modes with text, and I showed you gradients, and most of you knew what Layer Modes were already.

So, in this assignment, I want you to combine the two.

The twist? Your text can only be ONE SINGLE WORD.

This is a banner effects class, not text, right? Oh, and you must use at least one gradient. Excited?

Assignment: I want you all back in the habit of making textures. So, this will be an ongoing assignment. Once a week, I want you to make a texture and share it. At the end of the term, you'll get your yellow check even if you only did it once =) But, I'll give you guys something really cool if you do one a week til the term's end!!

Assignment: Create a "crack brush" effect with only ONE image.

I'll show you the two image one tomorrow.

Don't forget to make another texture going towards your yellow check assignment!!

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Replies to This Discussion

Thank You Nikki



Wow, wonderful job! The purple makes is 10x better!

wow cool

 Thanks Guys!


Tutorial attached in document format.


hey nikki is there a different way you can post the assignment? my laptop wont let me open it:/

Sure =) I'll post it as a comment =P


For Courtney:

Okay, when you think mask/block, you think “beginner”.

Or maybe you think “easy”. We put all these labels on mask/block because it is usually one of the first blending tips you learn, right?

Well, there are several ways to make mask blocking POP, and not look like a beginner.

Here’s how:

1. Okay, well, I’m making a banner, right? So you start with the background image. Now, when you are mask/blocking, you have to look for an empty space. In my image, here is my empty space:


2. So now I’m going to open a new layer, and I’m gonna call it Brush Layer.

You don’t have to do this; I’m just doing it for your eyes so that it isn’t confusing. Now I’m going to add a brush. In a dark background, use a light colored brush, and vise-versa.

If you don’t have mask/block brushes, don’t worry, just let me know, and I’ll give you some to download. If you can’t download brushes, just message me.

So make sure you are doing the brush on the new layer. You can erase some of the brush for blending purposes.

3. Now, right click your brush layer.

Go to: Layer>Transparency> Alpha to Selection.

Now, you’ll see a swirly line like when you add borders to text, that is PERFECT!

Now, insert your image. Align it so that it is in the swirly line.

Know that you can do the two parts of step 3 in a different order, I just did it this way for the tutorial.


4. Now on the image layer, right click, and do Select>Invert (in Juliee's tutorial this week, she has a visual of this) Now start erasing around the whole image. Now press Ctrl and A on your keyboard.

Now that is the simple way of doing mask block. Now I’m going to show you how to add borders to your IMAGES (it doesn’t work on some brushes, but feel free to try, I’m just doing it on my image because it works 99.9% of the time.)


1. Now, do everything from the first part of the tutorial. Now, on the IMAGE layer, duplicate it. On the top layer, right click and do the Alpha to Selection thingy.

Now, a lot of you take Claire’s text effects class right? Do the rest like you would do if you were adding borders to text!

Then, Ctrl A, and TA-DA!

Feel free to fade the border layer like I did.

Complete Orange Check Assignment!

My final product:

I really had a lot of fun doing this assignment:)


This looks nice! The blue and purple blend well =)

One thing I can suggest is that  you should put the darker color as your border on text because it comes out clearer to me. But Claire is the text effects teacher, so I'd ask her, but that is just my opinion.


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