How To Create a Cute Character with Felt Effects in Adobe Photoshop

How's it going everyone, this is Chris from Spoon Graphics bringing you another video tutorial for Adobe Photoshop Over on my Spoon Graphics website I recently shared a free resources kit for creating felt effects within your designs, so I thought I'd use that subject for today's video and show you how to use the tools to create cute craft inspired artwork

So what we'll be creating is a cute dinosaur character in Adobe Photoshop, that makes use of the Styles, Brushes and Patterns from my free Felt Craft Kit The tools make it easy to apply these textures to your artwork to give it a realistic fuzzy fabric appearance, with little details like stitches to complement the hand-made look Before we start in Photoshop you need to grab those free design resources Follow the link in the description, or via the on-screen clicky thing to Spoon Graphics and download the pack Subscribing to my mailing list isn't required when prompted, but it's an easy way to get all my free downloads in one go, and to keep up with all my content beyond YouTube

Unzip the package once it has downloaded and begin installing the tools In this tutorial I'll be using the Brushes, Patterns and Styles There's also an Action that adds some extra effects, and the original textures for you to create the effects manually Open up Adobe Photoshop and create a new document I'm going with a size of 3000x2000px

Begin by drawing the outline of your character with the Pen tool Alternatively you could use basic shapes, text, or even paint the shape with the brush tool Click and drag the points to create a rough outline first Anywhere you need to create a sharp corner, hold the ALT key and click the last point to remove the bezier handles Finish the path back at the starting point, then hold the CMD key (or CTRL key on Windows) to toggle to the Direct Selection tool to tweak the position of the points

Adjust the curves until you're happy with the overall outline Create a new layer, the right click and select Make Selection Add zero feather radius Use the shortcut ALT+Backspace to fill the selection with the black foreground colour on the new layer, then press CMD+D to Deselect Open up the Styles panel, which will be hidden under the Window menu if it's not visible in your work area

Choose one of the presets to have the felt effect applied to your shape The effect is made using a bunch of Layer Styles You can edit them by double clicking them in the Layers panel In my example the Scaling of the Pattern Overlay was defaulting to 417% for some reason, I think it could possibly be due to my document being 300ppi This made the texture look pixelated, so I restored that to 100%

The kit contains two different felt textures, one slightly fluffier than the other You can choose between them by selecting the appropriate one as the Pattern swatch Under the Color Overlay you can fine tune the hue if necessary The Bevel and Emboss depth determines how much of a stuffed look is applied to the effect Increasing this will give it more of a three dimensional, rather than flat appearance

Hold the CMD key and click the thumbnail of the layer to loads its selection Head to Select > Modify > Contract and enter a value of 20px Activate the Marquee tool from the toolbar, then right click and select Make Work Path Enter 1px Tolerance so the path closely resembles the selection outline Switch over to the Brush tool to begin setting up one of the Stitch brushes

I'm using Stitch Brush Straight from the list Use the left square bracket key to reduce the size of the brush to match the scaling of the artwork, then change the foreground colour to white Switch back to the Pen tool and right click on the path, choose Stroke Path from the menu and select Brush from the options Hit delete to remove the path to see the stitch outline effect running around the shape Double click the layer to add a Drop Shadow effect to enhance the stitches

Choose a low Size with 1px Distance and 100% black as the shadow colour, just to add some subtle shading Add a colour overlay effect and change the colour to a light beige, such as #F1EAAD Create a new layer and select the Brush tool again Change the brush tip back to a basic round brush with 100% hardness Switch the colour back to black, then alter the size to roughly the right proportion for a series of spines along the dinosaur's back Give the brush a click to make a circle, then press the right square bracket key once to notch up the size before clicking again

Follow the dinosaur's back, adding a larger spine each time, until you get to the mid-point, then begin decreasing the size again Click one of the felt Styles to apply the effect I'm using the blue preset Configure the Layer Style settings to fine tune the appearance, then drag the layer below the main body CMD+Click the layer to load the selection, then go to Select > Modify > Contract and enter 20px

Grab the marquee tool to right click and choose Make Work Path, then set up the stitch brush again at a small size, using a white foreground colour Select the Pen tool to right click the path and choose Stroke Path to have the stitches outline applied Right click the other stitch layer and copy the Layer Style, then choose paste Layer Style on this new stitch layer to apply the same shading Create another new layer and select the brush tool again This time reduce the Spacing to zero in the brush options

Begin painting a series of little spots on the dinosaur's back Click the yellow felt Style effect to have the texturing applied Configure the Layer Style settings if necessary You can continue layering up details just like you would when cutting and sticking real felt shapes Draw a circle for the eye and apply the White style

If the felt texture is too prominent, you can always reduce the opacity within the Pattern Overlay settings Add a black circle as the pupil and a tiny black oval as a nostril, both with the black felt effect to create a cute dinosaur face On another new layer, set up the small stitch brush with black These brushes are configured so they will follow the direction of your pen or mouse Try it out by painting a little smile

To finish off the artwork, add a new layer at the bottom of the layer stack, just above the background and fill it with white Apply one of the felt styles and change the colour to add a pale backdrop Zoom in to your artwork to see your felt textures in all their detail The Styles make it easy to create the effect with just a single click, while the craft look can be enhanced with the stitch brushes So I hope you have some fun crafting your own cute characters and scenes out of felt

If you picked up any tips in this video be sure to give it a like, and hit the subscribe button to stick around for more video tutorials Have a browse around my Spoon Graphics website for loads of other goodies, tutorials and design inspiration, otherwise thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one!

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