Adobe After Effects – Make a Cool Animated Poster!

For anyone that has never used After Effects before, don’t worry. This tutorial from Adobe is EASY as pie to follow (even if you have to go over certain steps several times as I did). I haven’t had much exposure to After Effects and I would call myself a “dabbler” at best so if I can create this animation, so you can you!

The best part about this tutorial is the .PSD file is ready to pop into After Effects (that’s probably the hardest part of creating a poster done already). The animation is secondary to creating the graphics first. Thanks to Graphic Designer Matthew Fowler, we can focus on the animation.

This tutorial can be found here on Adobe’s Create website.

This is what you’ll be making (I formatted the original .mp4 I created with this tutorial into a GIF to make it easier):

Website: Adobe Create

Source files provided? Yes, and you can find it here.

Time: 30 minutes

Level: Beginner Level

Video or Text Instructions? Both video and text instructions provided

Comments: There are step-by-step instructions on creating the checkerboard sphere and then how to animate it inside the image. Instructions are clear and extremely easy to follow – anyone could do this with a bit of patience and time.

The tutorial also comes with a completed. PSD source file which you can use in Adobe After Effects to create the poster animation.

Rating: 10/10

The Graphic Designer responsible for this amazing media is Matthew Fowler, and you can find his IG here.

If you’re new to my blog, thanks for stopping by! Stay safe out there friends, and I’ll catch you in tomorrow’s post!

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What is the Best Way to Make a GIF?

I was thinking of something interesting to blog about today and came across PiXimperfect’s “how to make a GIF” video on YouTube. I’ve blogged about PiXimperfect before because the guy is fantastic. If there was ever a time to use the cliche “guru” it is now – he really is a Photoshop guru. And I think that if your main goal is to learn, why not learn from the absolute best, right? So I choose his videos because he is very straightforward, entertaining and incredibly comprehensive in his teaching style.

And when I started watching his clip, I realised that he is taking his students out of Photoshop and into, which is a tool I have been using for many years! This surprised me a lot because his channel focuses solely on Adobe software, but he was trying to demonstrate when it’s practical not to use Photoshop to create a GIF. There are many tools on the internet that can work just as well as Photoshop if all you need is a simple GIF.

Now EzGIF dot com is a great website, and you can do so many things there. But personally, I have never used it to make an actual GIF. I use it for other things such as converting files into different file types for social media. I also use it to optimise the GIFs I create so they can be used on sites like Tumblr.

But Unmesh is right about the practical side of things, especially if you need something done really quickly. It doesn’t pay to load up Photoshop to make a GIF for social media when you can do it in half the time using an online website. I have used various websites for my creations, including Canva and Crello, to name a couple.

Image Source

Unmesh makes another excellent point in his video – it doesn’t matter what you use as long as it works for you. If you’re better off using Photoshop because you enjoy it, keep using Photoshop. But some people find Photoshop a little intimidating, and I totally get that. Which is why so many other websites have flooded the market with “GIF” making tools you can use without having a “degree” in Photoshop.

And this got me thinking a lot more about the practicality of using other websites when someone is not familiar with Photoshop. So I will make some tutorial reviews for some of the other online websites I use to make my creations. So watch this space for future posts about that.

But for now, here is a speedy and easy way to use EzGIF dot com to make a GIF as demonstrated by Unmesh on PiXimperfect:


You can visit Unmesh’s incredible YouTube channel right here, and if you want to check out EzGIF dot com, the website is here.

Let me know how you get on – did you try out EzGIF dot com? Was it easier to use than Photoshop? Or maybe you have a different process and method for creating GIFs? Hit me up in the comments!

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Pick Me Up Fridays is Here!

I’ve been thinking about content for this blog (I am forever thinking of ways to improve the content) and thought about having a day purely for self-improvement. I think self-care and self-improvement go hand-in-hand and you can never have enough posts on how to feel good or happier about life.

The best way I know how to do that is through art and creativity, so I figured why not have a day that focuses on happiness and self-improvement. And now I have “Pick Me Up” Fridays!

So I will post about how to stay happy and focused and how to put yourself first. While that may sound selfish, it is just as important to look after yourself as it is to look after others. I have been looking after a disabled parent since I was a teenager so I can relate to this on so many levels. Putting others before yourself is a beautiful thing to do but every now and then, you must take care of you!

So on this day, I might feature a graphic or art that relates to self-care or I might make my own and post it here for everyone to share/use. Either way, it will always be art-related and with writing to accompany it.

I saw this graphic while I was looking through my email this morning and I liked it a lot and wanted to use it here.

Let me know how things have been going in these trying times. Please reach out if you need to as I am only a comment away 🙂

And as always, stay safe, wear your masks and remember to take everything at your own pace – the world will still be there tomorrow 🙂

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Turn That Frown Upside Down in Adobe Photoshop!

So when I had five whole hours to spare during my internet outage, I decided to put that time to good use and focused on creating something. I was inspired by this image on Pinterest:

Via Pinterest

I went into Photoshop and just started with a blank image then remembered that there were some beautiful watercolour images in Photoshop. They come free with the software so I decided to use one of them and came up with this:

Made by Darkside Creative

And of course, me being me, I wanted it to be all pretty and colourful so made this GIF to go along with it:

Made by Darkside Creative

Please feel free to spread the positivity on social media or anywhere you like – I’ve watermarked the images so hopefully, that’ll deter people from “stealing” it.

It’s a simple graphic with an important message – Believe in Yourself! And always Be You! I came up with another idea as I was typing this for another graphic I might do tomorrow so watch this space!

Get into any creative projects yourself lately? Feel like sharing? Hit me up in the comments so we can chin-wag about art or anything you’d like!

Stay safe out there friends! And as always, I’ll catch you in tomorrow’s post or in the comments.

If you like my Photoshop posts, you can check out more of them right here.

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Adobe Adobe Photoshop

Magic Atmosphere in the Sky Photoshop Tutorial Review

It has been a wee while since I’ve actually sat down and worked through a more difficult tutorial than the Adobe beginner’s course and 30 Days of Photoshop. So I thought I’d do another one of these since it was time.

This tutorial is from the website Photoshop Tutorials and I’ve done a couple of tutorials from this site. Their tutorials are mostly consistent and easy to follow and this tutorial was no different apart from a few issues.

The tutorial offers the resources at the beginning which is awesome apart from the list missing several key components to create the final image. This is a pet-peeve of mine and I’ve had to stop working on several tutorials as a result of missing resources. So my final image looks very different to the tutor’s image as a result.

Here is what you’ll be making:

Milos Karanovic

If you are going to offer a tutorial online, please make sure you include links to every asset you use in your art. There is very little point of having a tutorial for someone to work through as a step-by-step guide unless you provide all the steps correctly.

So that was my major issue with this tutorial. The secondary minor issue was that there are so many layers in this tutorial and there is no advice on how to keep your layers grouped. I learned this technique from doing a lot of tutorials online and it’s just so much easier to manage your art when everything is grouped together in an orderly fashion. Of course, there is nothing stopping you from grouping your own layers and assets. But we should assume that anyone trying to learn these tutorials is a novice and therefore may not be aware of how to group their layers.

I also jumped a few steps because I didn’t want to add balloons into my image. But you can totally add them if you think they make a good addition to the overall look of your art. One of the most important things to remember when working through someone else’s tutorial is to add your own “flavour” to your art. Sometimes that means removing steps from the final image or even changing some of the steps as you go.

Final Summary:


COMPLETED PSD (if you need to check your work against the tutor’s)

Tutor: Milos Karanovic

Time: Give this one an hour if you’ve got that time and if not, you could probably do it in 30 minutes. Work at the pace that suits you best.

Level: Beginner to intermediate is my guess, it doesn’t actually say on the tutorial page. You need to be good with blending images, copying and pasting images into your scene and then transforming them, using adjustment layers, using layer masks and general photo manipulation knowledge. If you haven’t done a photo manipulation tutorial before, this might be a stretch for you.

There are 42 steps included in this tutorial to work through and no video provided.

Rating: The steps were fairly easy to follow but missing assets is really a biggie and impacts the overall experience as well as the look of the final image – 6/10

And my final image:

Made by Darkside Creative

Thanks for reading and please let me know how you get on if you decide to do any of the tutorials I’ve reviewed on my blog.

Stay safe out there, keep creating and I’ll catch you in tomorrow’s post

If you like my Photoshop posts, you can check out more of them right here.

And while you’re there, why not consider following me which you can do here.

Thanks for your support!