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Create a Magical Book in Pixelmator

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Difficulty: Intermediate

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Books have captured the imaginations of their readers for years on end. The vast amount of stories and tales put in writing have supplied cheerful moments for generations of people. In this tutorial we create a magical book to reveal it’s wonders within.

The Brush Tool, Filters, Layer Masks, Gradient Tools and other features of Pixelmator are used in this tutorial.

create magical book pixelmator tutorial final

Resources

Step 1

Open Pixelmator and create a new document. The image size used in this tutorial is 900×650 pixels. First, use the Bucket Tool (N) to fill the Background Layer with gray color (#191919). Then, make the background a bit scruffy by adding a noise filter. Go to Filter > Stylize > Noise, set the Amount to 1% and click OK.

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Step 2

Next, let’s make the background a bit erratic. To do that create a new layer and name it Clouds. Then, go to Filter > Generator > Clouds and click OK. After that, set the new layer’s Blending to Soft Light and reduce it’s Opacity to 30%.

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Step 3

Now it’s time to add the floor. Create a new layer and name it Floor. Then, go to Filter > Generator > Checkerboard, set the Width to 60px and click OK. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the upper portion of the checkerboard pattern and delete it by pressing the Delete key on your keyboard. The end result should look similar to the image below:

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Step 4

To add some perspective to the floor go to Edit > Transform. Click the Action button in the Tool Options bar and choose Perspective in the drop-down menu. Then drag the upper right handle of the selection to the centre of the canvas. Use the image below as a reference. After that, click the Action button in the Tool Options bar and choose Free Transform. Make sure that Constrain proportions is deselected and increase the width of the checkerboard pattern until it fills the whole bottom part of the screen. Then change the layers blending mode to Overlay and set the opacity to 10%.

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Step 5

Next, let’s add a lighting effect to the floor. Create a new layer named Lighting and use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) to select the area covered by the floor. Then fill the selection with a radial gradient as it is shown in the example. If you have trouble creating the gradient used in this tutorial consult the tip below. Set the layers blending mode to Soft Light.

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Tip: To create a radial gradient used in this tutorial open the Gradients Palette (View > Show Gradients). Click the action button and choose New Gradient. Select Radial as the Gradient Type (If the Gradient Type is not visible in the Gradients Pallet, double-click your gradient preset). Now, click the right color stop and set it’s color to white in the Colors Palette. Then, click the left color stop, set it’s color to white and reduce the Opacity to 0%.

tip

Step 6

Let’s add a vignette effect as a finishing touch for the background. Create a new layer and name it Vignette. Use the Paint Bucket Tool (N) to fill the layer with black color. Then, use the Elliptical Marquee Tool (Y) to select the centre of the image. Go to Edit > Refine Selection, set the Feather to 60% and click OK. After that, delete the selected part of the image and reduce the layer’s Opacity to 50%.

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Step 7

Now let’s start working on the book. Copy and paste the stock photograph of the book and use the Polygonal Lasso Tool to select the books outline. After that, copy and paste the selection into a new layer and name it Book. Delete the original image as it will not be used anymore. After that, go to Edit > Transform, deselect the Constrain proportions option in the Tool Options bar and reduce the book’s width to 85% and the height to 55%.

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Step 8

To enhance the colors of the book go to Image > Levels, set the Gray to 70% and click OK. Then duplicate the layer Book and rename it to Shadow. Position the layer Shadow under the Book in the Layers Palette. After that, go to Image > Colorize and set the Lightness to -100%. This will create a black silhouette of a book. To convert the shape into a shadow go to Filter > Blur > Zoom, set the Radius to 5px and click OK. Use the image below as a reference:

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Step 9

Now copy and paste the stock image of space. Then go to Edit > transform and reduce the image’s size as in the example below:

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Comments

  • Sander Treur says:

    Brilliant!

  • JP says:

    Keep these up guys! I look forward to reading these every week. Would still love to see more web related stuff though, but none the less you guys rock!

    • Ashley Rich says:

      Thank you for the kind words JP. When you say web related stuff, what exactly would you like to see?

  • Guill says:

    Nice!
    I like your tutorials, learning a lot with them. This one is bit tough though, after step 11. I can’t get the Zoom Blur to spread in the top direction, it just spread everywhere around in my case. I can’t find an angle option for that. Is there something I’m missing? (I downloaded the source but doesn’t help).

    Also I think there’s a blending missing in step 5, I blend the floor to overlay, 20%. Seems alright.

  • Kathryn says:

    Thanks for a great tutorial….my first in Pixelmator….learned a lot! Thanks again!

  • Katka says:

    great, great, great ! I really love this tutorial and idea :)