Making-Of series: Heads up!

Want to know how I made this?


If so, read on!

In this making-of, I’ll be showing you how I made the animated header at the top of my page. For this tutorial, I’ll be using Adobe Photoshop and its animation (also known as timeline in some versions of Photoshop) feature. This tutorial will be split into two parts, so make sure you read part two to find out how to animate your header!

Getting started

The first thing I did was open up a new Photoshop file using the dimensions w:960 h:250 pixels and set the resolution to 72 pixels/inch. I did this by pressing ‘File > New’ and filling in the sections of the pop-up box and pressing ‘OK’ when done.


Changing the name of your file is optional, but will save you time when you come to save the file later on!

Choosing a colour scheme

Choosing a colour scheme for me was easy – I am a huge fan of pastel colours, so instantly started searching for pastel colours that worked well together. From this search I found the powdery blue (#bad8f2) and white (#ffffff) combination and added in the black (#000000) as drop shadows for a dark and direct contrast.

Colour palette.png

Getting to work

After I’d opened my workspace and chosen a colour palette, I firstly coloured in the background using the ‘Paint bucket tool‘ and the powdery blue colour. This can be found on the left of the screen, but can only be found by right-clicking on the gradient tool (see below).


Here is my workspace after I’d filled in the background:


The next thing I did was add my large text. This was also an easy step so I won’t go into too much detail! The font I used was ‘Bebas‘ (which I downloaded from this website for free) at size 85.12 pt with the anti-aliasing method set to sharp. By using the ‘Character‘ toolbox on the right of the page (beside the adjustments toolbox), I changed the vertical scale to 87%, the tracking to 21 and the horizontal scale to 94%.


After I had done this, I added a drop shadow by double clicking on my text layer and choosing the options which I thought looked the best. Because the theme was ‘pastel’, I chose not to make the drop shadow too dark or too opaque.


The next piece of text beneath my main text was also done in a similar way. I used the font ‘Rage‘ which came pre-installed with my computer, changed the colour to black and the size to 40.11 pt. Using the same Characters toolbox, I changed the vertical scale 90% and the tracking to -30. The drop shadow was done in the exact same way as the first piece of text with the exact same settings – the only different part about this piece of text was that I added a stroke around the text – I did this again by double clicking on the layer, selecting the stroke checkbox and inputting these settings:


Adding fine details

After I had added the text, I decided to add some details to make it look less plain. Keeping in theme with the pastel idea, I decided to add a white line going behind the text to make it look like it was ‘flowing’. Instead of using the line tool on its own or the brush tool with a mouse, I actually drew the line with the brush tool but using my digital drawing tablet (Wacom Intuos Draw) with the layer opacity set at 85%, the brush size set at 2 px and the colour at white.

I also put a spark symbol above the I of my text. I found this on the Creative Commons by searching ‘Spark vector’. Because this was black when I first found it, I inverted the image by pressing ‘Image > Adjustments > Invert’ and then added the same drop shadow that I added to my text. To make it fit above the I properly, I used the polygonal lasso tool located on the left of the screen at the top of the main toolbox.

As an added extra, I placed different sized circles along the line in a new layer also on 85% opacity. The end result of adding the extra details was this:


There is the final image! To learn how to animate your image, click here!

Nicole Austin, Leeds Trinity University

Contact me here!

Find me on Twitter here!







One thought on “Making-Of series: Heads up!

  1. Pingback: Making-Of series: Heads up! (Part Two) | N. AUSTIN MEDIA

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