One of the questions l get asked most frequently is how l create the arcade unit icons for one of my flash game sites. Well in this tutorial l will teach you step by step how these are created. It's an amazingly simple way to create great graphics that can be applied to many odd shapes. Before you begin, download and unzip the Arcade Tutorial Pack.
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The first thing you need to do is download the Arcade Tutorial Pack, unzip and open up both of the .psd files that are inside of it.
Next you'll need to find an image that you'll want to use for the arcade unit. In this example l've used an image of a model in some lingerie, because the arcade unit will be used for a game called "Cat Fight" which pits two scantily clad babes in a death match, mortal kombat style. I've included the image l'm going to use in the download pack. If you'd like to use your own image, that's fine. Or just go ahead and open up the "chick.jpg" image that's included in the download.
Go ahead and copy the image you're going to use to your clip board. Do this by pressing CNTRL + A to select all, then pressing CNTRL + C to copy it.
Minimize the image, as we'll need to use it again a couple more times. Now move over to the .psd file called "arcade.psd". This is where we'll set up most of our images.
Once the arcade.psd layer is active, create a new layer. And press CNTRL + V to paste your image onto the new layer.
Drop the opacity of this layer down to 30 Percent.
Using the move tool, position your image over top of piece of the arcade unit that will be the side.
Make sure that the image covers the entire area of the arcade unit's side piece. If you need to resize the image, press CNTRL + T to open up the transform tool, and drag one of the corner nodes while holding shift (this restrains the proportions so you don't distort your image.)
Once you're happy with the position press and hold CTRL and click on the layer that contains the side of the arcade unit (the layer named "layer 1" in the .psd file).
This will make a selection of arcade unit's side piece:
now go ahead and bring the opacity of the layer with our image on it back up to 100 percent. Go to "select->inverse" to invert the selection, and tap "delete" to delete everything that we won't need.
Now deselect by hitting CTRL + D, then select everything with CTRL + A and copy it to your clipboard, with CTRL + C.
Okay now we're going to jump over to the other .psd file, and apply the side of our arcade unit. So go ahead and maximize the "arcade_unit_blank.psd" file.Create a new
layer above the layer named "side panel"
Press CNTRL + V to paste in the image onto this layer.
Okay, now the magic begins. Press CTRL + T to open up the free transform tool.You'll notice that this makes a square around our image with nodes (little boxes) at the four corners.
Now hold down the CTRL key, and grab the node in the bottom left corner of the image and match it up as best you can with the back bottom corner of the arcade unit.
Do the same with the front bottom corner node. (While holding CTRL) click on the corner node, and match it up as best you can.
Next grab the top left node of our image, and do your best to match up the top.Use the Top right node to make adjustments as well. Just keep fooling with it, until you get it right on target.
Once you're happy with the position press ENTER/RETURN on your keyboard, to finalize the transformation. You'll notice the free transform box will disappear.
Okay this is a good spot to save your work....
Now open back up the image we're using (in my case it's the "chick.jpg" image), and copy it to the clip board again. (CTRL + A to select everything, and CTRL + C to copy it). Minimize this image again.
Back to the arcade.psd file (the one with all the flattened pieces of our arcade unit.) Create a new layer, and once again paste the image (CTRL + V) onto a new layer.
Drop the opacity down to 30 percent again, so we can see what we're doing.
And again just like before using the Move Tool (press V on the keyboard to select this tool) position the image over top of the front panel (where the coin slots will be).
Once you're happy with the position hold down the CTRL key and click on the layer with the front piece of the arcade (this will be the layer named "layer 2").
This will make a selection out of the front piece of our arcade unit.
Go to "select->inverse" to invert the selection and tap "delete" to delete everything that we won't need.
Now bring the opacity of this layer back up to 100 percent.