Bringing Some Work Home

As some of you may know, by day I am a web designer for a sporting goods company putting together marketing emails, maintaining the look and feel of the website, and keeping an eye on the SEO initiatives we have going.

Coming up later this week we are launching a new sport line. We are mainly a wrestling and volleyball supply retailer, with some running, but we’re jumping into the realm of field sports (lacrosse, field hockey, and soccer) and it has been my job to compile product images, build pages and make sure the whole section is ready to go.

One of the things I’ve been working on is a series of rotating banner ads for the main landing page to highlight various products as well as a more generic ad for the home page of the site to drive visitors to the new section.

Lacrosse graphic I created for a rotating banner ad for my day job.

I borrowed an effect from Scott Kelby‘s Photoshop CS4 Down & Dirty Tricks book as the foundation of the image. Basically the effect was to make it look like there was a spotlight on an area of a sports field. What I did was place a stock photo of some grass (shot straight down) with a black background layer, transformed it as a Smart Object with perspective to make it look like it was at more of an angle. I then masked it off with black to transparent linear gradients to create the spotlight effect.

Next, I laid in the text in white with a very subtle reflected gradient overlay layer effect at slight angle to both offer some dimension as well as add to the lighting effect. I gave the text a slight white Outer Glow set to Color Dodge combined with a soft Drop Shadow set to Linear Burn to separate the words from the grass a bit. I use Linear Burn because it tends to provide a deeper color to the shadow instead of just a darker shadow.

Next, I added a new layer above the text and clipped it. On that layer I painted with a large soft brush around the left and right ends of the text to further enhance the spotlight effect.

To make it look like the text is sitting in the grass, I took the grass brush and played with the spacing and rotation to make it seem more random. I added a layer mask to each of the text layers and made sure that in the blending options I checked the box for “Layer Mask Hides Layer Effects” so the grass appeared to be in front of the words. Then, I just painted sporadically around the base of the text.

I then cut out a lacrosse stick handle as well as a stick head from our product shots provided by our vendors and assembled the final stick. And I also created the ball with a few layer styles applied to a circle and repeated the same concepts from before with the masks for the grass effect and a clipped layer to add some shadow for the lighting effect.

And there you have it! Just a quick look at how I spend part of my days.


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