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Guitar Design in Photoshop

I've received many questions about how I use Photoshop (PS) to design my guitars. I can't get much done in a hot shop so I decided to do a video series that shows my latest build design from start to finish. I couldn't get the YouTube videos to embed here in the post so I put together a simple web page that contains all 14 videos. More videos will follow as I explain how I made the neck and back of the body.

green_burst.jpg

mahog_back.jpg

It's for the PS beginner and covers tools and techniques but there should be some good info for the experienced user as well. The info should translate to other similar paint apps. They may have different labeling but the techniques are the same.

I edited these during my lunch hour this week so there may be some blown takes and line pickups that I missed but I think I got most of them.

Enjoy and I hope they're helpful. If I can figure out how to embed the videos, I'll post them here as well.

Peace,

Mark

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This is a great idea as I too use Photoshop to design everything before I ever by any wood. Its a skill that could facilitate the process for everyone on here. Shouldnt this be in the Tutorials section though?

edit: I cant see any videos on the link page...

Edited by MuffinPunch

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Shouldnt this be in the Tutorials section though?

edit: I cant see any videos on the link page...

Since most of the folks who know me and this project are here and I'm not really posting any content on the forum, I think it's fine here. Mods may see it differently. I'll yield to their call if need be.

It's loading fine here at home and at the office on several computers...could be a browser security issue since the items are embedded in an HTML page. Search for luvtexasblues on YouTube...that's my username there.

Or, here's the link to Part 1...the rest are there in the Videos button.

Peace,

Mark

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could be a browser security issue since the items are embedded in an HTML page.

You're right, Safari is giving me a problem, but it loads fine on Firefox.

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Mark, I can only tell you I've paid a lot for much less than what you've given here. I like to consider myself familiar with Photoshop, but as we all tend to use it differently, this is valuable stuff.

For those having issues, maybe view them straight from YouTube? That's what I'm doing and it's working ok.

Dave

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iv never used photoshop before but have always wanted to do pics like that. so i downloaded the trial and followed your videos.

its not as good as yours being a first time and all, but i think another go or two and i'll be pleased with it. thanks for the great tutorials!!

dessample.jpg

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Mark, I can only tell you I've paid a lot for much less than what you've given here. I like to consider myself familiar with Photoshop, but as we all tend to use it differently, this is valuable stuff.

Dave

Thanks Dave. That's a great point. I don't mean to imply that this is THE way to use Photoshop. There are many ways to accomplish the same results...especially in newer versions.

Peace,

Mark

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dessample.jpg

Awesome job for a first time user! That was exactly my hope in presenting these. To relieve people of the steep learning curve and get to designing much quicker.

I'm glad you found them useful...

Peace,

Mark

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i enjoyed watching those.

i think i am still too much paper and pencil, cut it out and see... but it has worked for me so far.

I think i may need to have a go at this :D

we should have a mockup of the month comp :D

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Looks good from what I've seen.

One question though, where do you guys get pictures of the pickups/ hardware etc?

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Looks good from what I've seen.

One question though, where do you guys get pictures of the pickups/ hardware etc?

Thanks!

If I use photos for the hardware and such, I try to find product or catalog shots that tend to be flat to the camera.

These items are also easily done in PS. I did these in about an hour usng most of the techniques in the tutorials. There are a couple of steps that aren't explained but I'll show them in upcoming videos. They're low res but you can see the effects that can be achieved.

hardware.jpg

Peace,

Mark

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iv been tweaking.

desireesampleblue.jpg

Looking good. I see you changed out the maple and tweaked a few things. One thing that catches my eye tough, is the curved shaded area left of the controls. Is that a hi or low area. It almost seems like the shadow should be on the other side of the carve there. Maybe it's a burst in which case it wouldn't matter.

Nice work!

Peace,

Mark

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i enjoyed watching those.

i think i am still too much paper and pencil, cut it out and see... but it has worked for me so far.

I think i may need to have a go at this :D

we should have a mockup of the month comp :D

Thanks Wez. I used traditional methods too until I discovered digital art. Give PS a try. I think you'll see a whole new level of possibilities open up.

Peace,

Mark

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I haven't checked out the vids yet, but thanks SO much in advance, I have PS but am almost illiterate in using it, and I have long wanted to know how you guys do 'what you do' in PS, so again, Thanks So Much, you Rock for doing this for us. :D

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Looking good. I see you changed out the maple and tweaked a few things. One thing that catches my eye tough, is the curved shaded area left of the controls. Is that a hi or low area. It almost seems like the shadow should be on the other side of the carve there. Maybe it's a burst in which case it wouldn't matter.

Nice work!

Peace,

Mark

there is a burst there, but also the recurve follows up to that point as well, so its a bit of a dip there too. im having fun. im gonna do all my models and stick them on my site - much better than the outlines that are on it now. and now when someone asks me what a certain model will look like with 'this' wood or 'this' colour and hardware, i'll be able to show them. yay to you!

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I haven't checked out the vids yet, but thanks SO much in advance, I have PS but am almost illiterate in using it, and I have long wanted to know how you guys do 'what you do' in PS, so again, Thanks So Much, you Rock for doing this for us. :D

I'm happy to share. I hope they're of good use to you. Let us see some of your progress when you can.

Peace,

Maerk

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there is a burst there, but also the recurve follows up to that point as well, so its a bit of a dip there too. im having fun. im gonna do all my models and stick them on my site - much better than the outlines that are on it now. and now when someone asks me what a certain model will look like with 'this' wood or 'this' colour and hardware, i'll be able to show them. yay to you!

I checked your site. Some interesting designs there. They'll all look spectacular once fully modeled.

Good luck!

Peace,

Mark

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I was going to have a few good hours in the workshop today and now I noticed this. Shame on you! :D

I have only looked through the first clip but I know that I will be sitting here watching your videos and playing around with Photo shop pretty much most of the day. Thanks for some great tutorials. And I really think that it should be moved, and pinned in the tutorial section. Thanks a lot Guitarnut, great stuff

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Good stuff guitarnut. The Photoshop super comps look good.

I've recently created a Photoshop comp for the Slurpee Guitars. I created them for 2 reasons: 1) they used the image in their marketing materials before the guitars were built. 2) I used a photographic print to do the graphics and flavors on the Slurpee bodies.

I will tell you that while I have the ability to create a super comp, I prefer to stay off the computer and work more with my hands, a lot of rulers, erasers, napkin drawings and ... well you get the picture.

slurpeeguitar_small.jpg

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This a fantastic video guide. Thanks so much! It's exactly what I've always wanted to know.

The guitar in the tutorial has very defined carve contours so it's a little easier to create the illusion of a carved top using lighting. Any tips on how to create a 3d effect on a more subtle carve such as on a Les Paul? From the photos I've looked at online, it seems that the reflections tend to be concentrated more towards the centre of the guitar, away from the edges and following the curves. Like this:

http://blog.muchmusic.com/wp-content/uploa...-new-cities.jpg

There also seem to be some more subtle shadows and shiny bits, like so:

http://i270.photobucket.com/albums/jj91/mk...pg?t=1260174528

I assume to create this effect you'd use more blurring and a gradient with lesser variation in brightness?

Thanks again!

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Any tips on how to create a 3d effect on a more subtle carve such as on a Les Paul?

I only had a few minute to do these so they're not all that accurate but they show a few different looks. This pic shows a Wolfgang that I've been working on. The first shot has just the reflection on the whammy bar giving the look of a flat top.

wolf_flat.jpg

This one adds a highlight like you're referring to on a Les Paul...creating a subtle carve. This is done with the same techniques as the tutorials. Just vary the shape and position of the reflections.

wolf_ref01.jpg

This one is the same carve but more random reflections. Again, same techniques...just random placement.

wolf_ref02.jpg

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