Merry Christmas tree design

November 6th, 2008 by ART-D Posted in Adobe Photoshop, Designing

   

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use custom shapes and Pen Tool in Photoshop CS3 to create Christmas illustration with stars in a few simple steps. Read on to learn more.

Final Image Preview

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Start working by creating a new document (Ctrl+N) in Adobe Photoshop CS3 with the size 1280px by 1024px (RGB color mode) at a resolution of 72 pixels/inch. Use the Paint Bucket Tool (G) to fill with black color the new background layer.
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Take now the Rectangle Tool (U) and draw a rectangle on the whole canvas. Click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Gradient Overlay.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
Click in the color bar to open the Gradient Editor and set the color stops as shown. Click OK to close the Gradient Editor dialog box.
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
We’ve got the next background:
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Duplicate this layer and change the Opacity to 0% for copy.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Go to Layer Style and change the Gradient Overlay settings as shown.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
Click in the color bar to open the Gradient Editor and set the color stops as shown. Click OK to close the Gradient Editor dialog box.
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
We’ve got the next result:
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Now take the Ellipse Tool (U) and draw the next ellipse, set Opacity to 0% for this layer.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Gradient Overlay.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
Click in the color bar to open the Gradient Editor and set the color stops as shown. Click OK to close the Gradient Editor dialog box.
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

It’s the result you must get on this stage:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Select now the Pen Tool (P) and try to represent the contours of a fir tree, like on the next picture:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Select the Custom Shape Tool (U) in the Tools bar, in the Options bar click the Shape to open the selection menu. Find 5 Point Star at the bottom of the menu, and then double-click a shape thumbnail to select it.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Fill the whole fir tree’s inside space with selected shape, changing also their sizes using Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

One star should be situated on the fir tree’s top, click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Outer Glow.
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

This is the result you should get now:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Next we’ll select three types of snowflakes from Custom Shape Tool (U) like those from below:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Draw and place the snowflakes in an arbitrary way on our canvas, we may change their Opacity value on the Layers panel: Fill: 10%, 20%, 40%.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Choose again the Custom Shape Tool (U) in the Tools bar, in the Options bar click the Shape to open the selection menu. Find Registration Target 2 at the bottom of the menu, and then double-click a shape thumbnail to select it.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Draw and place this shape under the layer containing the top star, the same way situated below: Fill – 0% on this layer:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Gradient Overlay.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
Click in the color bar to open the Gradient Editor and set the color stops as shown. Click OK to close the Gradient Editor dialog box.
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
We’ve got the next result:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
Choose the Pen Tool (P), set the drawing mode on Shape Layers in Options bar and draw the next shape as shown on the fir tree, choosing the next colors:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
We’ve got the next result:
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

The final result!

View full size here.

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  • Josee

    12/10/2009

    well,I am new at photoshop and I find that it is a bit hard to fallow the instruction.Maybe I should start with something a bit easier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    any suggestion

  • Liz

    16/11/2009

    You mention giving the layer an opacity of 0%, then highlight the fill area at 0%? Would be better if you could have a shot of how many layers used to complete this tutorial

  • Matt

    17/11/2009

    Nice tutorial, easier then it looks!

  • Kasto

    17/11/2009

    Ok, that thing with Elipse and Gradient tool just doesn’t work for me :( Maybe I am missing a point, but I think it’d be much better to write it more closely.. I can’t get over that step and I am really sad about it..

  • davulcu

    18/11/2009

    Lack of information ! Totally useles, waste of time

  • lijuan

    19/11/2009

    Good, very good tutorial, but my English not very good, it seems too hard to learn the future….

  • renelli

    22/11/2009

    thanks for sharing this. I love your designs. =)
    it seems that some people got frustrated, probably because they just don’t know how to follow instructions…oh well…very common.

  • Buffy23

    22/11/2009

    Great tutorial! It sure helped a lot!
    Thanks. =)

    View my christmas tree:
    http://buffy23.deviantart.com/art/The-Red-Tree-144385699

  • Bianca

    23/11/2009

    Hi I just want to ask permission if I can use the photo, the green christmas tree used as an example :)

  • sara

    28/11/2009

    HellU! Great that you do this. But could you please be more spessific! Like, you don’t tell how to get the gradient editor up,etc. :S

  • sara

    28/11/2009

    Hellu, I’m getting crazy cus I WANT TO DO THIS :O But the tutorial isn’t good enough explained. :/ I don’t understand anyway… HOW DID YOU DO/FILL THE STARS!?

  • Sebastian

    30/11/2009

    Hi could anyone please help me on the big with the circle and the bars?
    Mine just does not want to fade away at the edges!

    If anyone could please, please help me with this contact me on sebstrug@hotmail.com

  • Thyaga

    05/12/2009

    Hi,
    This is too good and simple. I tried it out. Everything came good but the shape of the tree using pen tool only little problem.

    Anyway thanks for sharing this.

  • Peter

    16/12/2009

    It just requires a bit of patience while working on the steps although it would have been easier if the layers were also indicated!

  • Hannah

    18/12/2009

    Hi, I just had a few questions about the step where you put the ellipse and gradient. First is that my version of Photoshop doesn’t have the “Hard Mix” Blend Mode, so I just used “Color Dodge” instead. I guess that would work the equally well…? And second was that the outline of the circle didn’t go away after this. How do I make the line disappear? Thanks =]

  • MOHSEN FASSI

    20/12/2009

    i wish you merry cristmas and a happy new year to all people who use this page.happy new 2010………………………………..
    beatifull tree of dreams…..from morroco with love for all…….

  • Slava

    26/12/2009

    Best. This is too good and simple.

  • Annette

    06/01/2010

    Good points, I think I will definitely subscribe! :) . I’ll go and read some more!

  • DIPEN SINGH GOUTAM

    02/02/2010

    THANKS YOUR DESIGN Owl OF YOU
    and i want to say something about you
    you are as good as your thing

  • Tony

    15/02/2010

    Oh, very-very nice

  • Zam

    14/07/2010

    Tutorial not very comprehensive. very hard to follow.

  • Nancy

    13/08/2010

    thankss for such a nice tutorial, its really nice. :-)

  • Meg

    18/08/2010

    This is the absolute worst tutorial I have ever read. You need to learn to speak proper English and make your steps understandable. Fill does NOT equal opacity! This is horrible! D:

  • Carri

    01/11/2010

    If you cannot follow this tutorial then give up Phototshop. Use the concepts and techniques and then design your own thing…..! Thanks for the great ideas.

  • Sevrin

    22/11/2010

    Hey Guys,

    You guys are just being too cruel to the new guys. Seriously, there is a lot of things that an experience photoshopper had to follow. Also … just to be clear on a step, did you manually stamp each star into the tree?

  • ِيثم

    27/11/2010

    very nice And thanks

  • jain

    01/12/2010

    it’s really very nice n helpful

  • jain

    01/12/2010

    it’s really very nice n helpful 4 learners
    thnx

  • Java Bee

    02/12/2010

    Awesome… i tried it… its great… i spiced it up with some other tricks u forgot to mention

  • Mateo

    06/12/2010

    when I download this ? J need them ..

  • hwang

    07/12/2010

    wow…. a Christmas tree glowing with many colored lights…

  • statquo112

    11/12/2010

    it might be better if the tutorial could include some tips on how to use the pen tool, especially the last step how do you make the shape roll around the stars

  • noname

    14/12/2010

    this tutorial is really good :) and phuck the haters, you did really good job. im making a christmas card as part of some competition and your tut really helped to get a start. i still have some things to add to it, so i will elevate the tree and everything and add some christmas midgets or some cute stuff

    this is what i’ve done so far
    only thing i couldnt do is those stipes that go around the tree, i got ancient photoshop, lol
    http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/6014/contestcopy.jpg

  • Rachel

    16/12/2010

    Well, I am not new to Photoshop and I even find this tutorial HARD to follow!! The instructions aren’t thorough at all!

  • Meowzers

    16/12/2010

    Just change to fill instead of the opacity?

  • Justin

    16/12/2010

    for those who are having trouble with the big circle around the star, try increasing the gradient scale. Also I agree with most of you guys, this tut is not very well explained. and those who say it’s simple are either PS professionals or big time liars…!

  • Parasuniversal

    16/12/2010

    I used your style and give you props for posting it but the explanation was hard to understand and I found easier methods to do most of the stuff but props anyway… check out my website as I’ll be using it for my header.

  • Rose

    22/12/2010

    thanks! I will try…

  • antoni

    24/12/2010

    wow great job.. thanks friend

  • Tania

    26/12/2010

    its really very nice..thanks! happy new year 2011 to all people who use this page!

  • mirai

    26/09/2011

    Well I got it to work fine… perhaps too complex for newbies, but generally this isn’t that hard. Just plonking custom set shapes on a canvas and messing with fill, opacity and gradient. Pen tool is a nightmare at first though. you can skip that part :)

  • Donnell

    20/10/2011

    Wow! This one is even better than the last Christmas tree tutorial. I’m sold on this one.

  • Valet

    21/11/2011

    Im sorry, but I think your tutorials are very badly explained. Sometimes I couldn’t follow it at all, and Ive been using photoshop for 8 years now.

  • Hector Matias

    28/11/2011

    Megustaria tener ese Tuturiales

  • Sinisa

    05/12/2011

    how did you get white stars? :D

  • renee

    10/12/2011

    Where did you get that many custom shapes? I have about nine in my Photoshop, and none of them are stars or snowflakes…

  • Atataya

    13/12/2011

    Great tutorial psd Thank you.

  • Akhil

    15/12/2011

    Its helps many freshers in ps like me..great site…

  • Sam

    23/12/2012

    This looks great. Too bad it doesn’t come with actual instructions.
    It’s not easy to write tutorials. You probably think you did a great job explaining it, but it’s really bad. There are too many steps that are not explained that without, you cannot do this.
    And why don’t you offer the project file for download so people can open it in Photoshop and see how it’s done.
    Without proper instructions, this tutorial is not only useless, but also irritating for those who want to make it happen.

  • Radha Krushna Nath

    09/02/2013

    Good, student can get enough knowledge from psd tutorial.

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