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Members Area Tutorial: Design a Super Creative Box Packaging Template

Today you can learn about professional packaging design techniques from a true expert in the field – Nacho Riesco.

This tutorial uses the example of a real-life project for a popular DJ’s promotional packaging.

You’ll learn how to layer up multiple textures and surfaces in a non-destructive way. You’ll also apply complex masks, patterns and create custom lighting.

Let’s get started!

Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:

Resources Used In This Tutorial

Step 1

This Tutorial will teach you how to render a retro toy box of a robo-mascot for a DJ producer.

Start by creating a 722 width x 984 high pixels (100dpi) document.

Download the ‘assets’ folder in the resources section for this tutorial. This will contain necessary elements you’ll need to create this piece.

Open the “Cardboard” image you will find on the assets, using the Rectangular Marquee Tool make a selection of the image, then Copy and Paste it on the new document, rename the layer “Box Front”. Go to Edit > Transform > Perspective and transform it as shown.
Next, using the Rectangular Marquee Tool again, make a selection of the lower part, Copy and Paste it on a new Layer “Box Profile” and transform it as shown, as we did before.

Step 2

Create a new layer “Lower Box Shadow”, set its Blending Mode to Multiply and 40% Opacity, make Ctrl + left Click on the “Box Profile” layer, to select its content, next, select black color and fill it on the new Layer.

Step 3

Now, open the “Robot” image from the asstes, and import it on a new Layer “Robot”, use the Guides to place it on the middle of the box.

Step 4

Using the Pen Tool, draw a Work Path for the window as shown, once finished create its selection.

With the selection active, Copy and Paste the piece of window from the “Box Front” Layer, to a new Layer, “Front Cover”.

Step 5

Now, make Ctrl + Left Click on the “Front Cover” Layer to select its content, then go to Selection > Transform Selection > Contract, and apply a 13 pixels transformation.

Create a new layer “Sticker 1″, select the #f5f3db code color on the Color Picker, and with the Paint Bucket Tool, fill the active selection.

Step 6

Apply the Bevel and Emboss Layer Style settings as shown, to get the following result.

Step 7

Grab the Erase Tool, and with a Hard Round Brush, erase some parts of the sticker to get an irregular contour as shown.

Step 8

Open the “Aged Paper” texture image from the assets, Copy and Paste it on a new Layer “Sticker 1 Texture” set its Blending Mode to Multiply and 60% Opacity. Go to Edit > Transform > Perspective and adjust its perspective. Next, make a selection of the “Sticker 1″ layer and apply a Layer Mask on the “Sticker 1 Texture” layer to hide the unnecessary areas.

Step 9

Create a new layer “Interior Shadow”, set its Blending Mode to Multiply and 40% Opacity, beneath of the “Robot” Layer. Grab the Gradient Tool and make a black gradient from top-right to left-down as shown.

Step 10

Next, create a new Layer “Robot Shadow” set its Blending Mode to Multiply and 100% Opacity. Make a selection of the “Robot” Layer and, with the Paint Bucket Tool, fill it with white color. Now apply a Drop Shadow Layer Style as shown.

Step 11

To reinforce the shadow, create a new layer “Interior Shadow 2″, set its Blending Mode to Normal and 40% Opacity. With the Polygonal Lasso Tool, make a selection as shown, and with the Paint Bucket Tool, fill it with black color. Next, go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a 25 pixels radius blur. To avoid that the shadow goes further than the box limits, apply a Layer Mask.

Step 12

To finish with the sticker 1, apply a Bevel and Emboss Layer Style with the following settings.

Step 13

Now let’s make the next stickers, create a new layer “Sticker 2″. Using the Polygonal Lasso Tool make the following shapes, and with the Paint Bucket Tool, fill them with the desired colors as shown.

Next, making Ctrl + Left Click on the “Sicker 1″ layer, select its content, then, apply a Layer Mask with that shape on the “Sticker 2″ layer.
To age the sticker a bit, grab the Erase Tool and selecting the brushes, 300, 400,0and 250 from the brush pack included on the assets, make some strokes on the Layer Mask, use different Opacity settings to achieve better results.

Step 14

Now, create a new layer “Name Sticker”, and import the “Logotype” image from the assets, resize as necessary (Ctrl + T) and locate it where shown. Repeat the same age technique we made on the previous step.

Step 15

Create a new layer “Equalizer Sticker”, import from the assets the “Equalizer” design, resized it (Ctrl + T), and place it on the box’s lower part as shown.
Now, select the logotype shape, Ctrl + Left Click on the layer, Go to Selection > Transform > Expand, and make a 8 pixels expansion. Use that selection to create a Layer Mask on the “Equalizer Sticker” with the following result.

Step 16

Select the equalizer’s shape, with the Color Picker, pick the darker blue, that we used un the previous stickers, and with the Paint Bucket Tool, fill that selection. Now set the layer’s Opacity to 80%.

Next, create a new layer “Dots Pattern”, set its Blending Mode to Multiply and 23% Opacity, and apply a Pattern Overlay Layer Style with the following settings. Select the pattern image from the assets “Dots Pattern”.

Step 17

Create a new document of 2000 x 2000 pixels, and fill it with the Paint Bucket Tool, and the pattern option active, select the “Harlequin Pattern” you will find on the assets. Now, returning to our design, import the harlequin pattern to a new layer, locate it where shown, set its Blending Mode to Normal an 75% Opacity. Use the “Front Box” layer to create the selection necessary for the Layer Mask, that will hide the unwanted areas outside of the box.

Select the robot’s shape, go to Selection > Transform > Expand, and expand the resulting selection 15 pixels. Placed on the Layer Mask, use the Paint Bucket Tool, to fill that selection with black color.

Finally apply the Bevel and Emboss and Drop Shadow Layer Styles, with the following settings, to get the final result.

Step 18

To create the robot’s visor, create a new layer “Visor” set its Blending Mode to Multiply and 100% Opacity. Grab the Rounded Rectangular Path Tool, select the Shape Tool Mode and white color, then, draw a rectangular shape as shown on the robot’s face. Now, apply a Bevel and Emboss Layer Style settings as shown.

To texturize the visor, create a new layer “Visor Pattern”, set its Blending Mode to Soft Light and 25% Opacity. Using the previous layer, make a selection of the visor’s shape, and apply a Layer Mask. Now apply a Pattern Overlay Layer Style with the following settings. You will find the dots pattern on the assets.

Finally, go to Filters > Invert, to get the right effect.

Step 19

Following with the visor, create a new layer “Robot Eq.”, set its Blending Mode to Soft Light and 100% Opacity. Use the equalizer that we used before for the box’s sticker, resize (Ctrl + T) It to fit the visor, deleting the unnecessary squares.

Create a new layer “Robot Eyes”, set its Blending Mode to Soft Light and % Opacity, and use the Magic Wand Tool to select the squares where we want the eyes will be, keep Ctrl key pressed while you are selecting each. Finally, with the Paint Bucket Tool, fill them with black color.

Step 20

To add some depth to the visor, create a new layer “Visor Shadow”, set its Blending Mode to Soft Light and 40% Opacity. First, select the visor’s shape, Ctrl + Left Click on the visor’s layer, next, use the Gradient Tool to make the shown gradient.

Step 21

Create a new layer, “Window Lights 1″, set its Blending Mode to Soft Light and 100% Opacity. Using the Magic Wand Tool, select the window area, next, go to Selection > Transform > Contract and make a 12 pixels contraction. With that selection apply a Layer Mask to the new layer. Using the Gradient Tool, and white color , make two gradients as shown. Notice that the right one has a hard edge, use the Erase Tool, with low Opacity, to achieve it.

Step 22

To emphasize more the window’s reflectivity, create a new layer “Windows Light 2″, set its Blending Mode to Normal and 100% Opacity. Grab the Brush tool, and with a Soft Round tip, paint the lines that you can see on the next picture.

Step 23

To add texture to the window, we will use the “Crumpled Plastic” texture image that you will find on the assets. Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, make a selection of the image, Copy it. Create a new layer “Window Texture”, set its Blending Mode to Soft Light and 60% Opacity, Paste the previous selection on it. To hide the unwanted areas create a Layer Mask with the window shape.

Step 24

Going down on the layer’s tree, create a new layer over the “Interior Pattern” layer, set its Blending Mode to Soft Light and 60% Opacity. Use the “Metal Bare” texture image from the assets, copy a portion of it and paste it on the new layer, resized if necessary (Ctrl + T). Now copy the Layer Mask we already made on the “Interior Pattern” layer, to hide the unwanted areas. Interior has a aged finishing now.

Step 25

Finally, to add the buttons color, create a new layer “Buttons Color”, set its Blending Mode to Multiply and 75% Opacity. Using the Elliptical Marquee Tool, make a selection of the button cover, next with the Paint Bucket Tool fill each one with its color, use the Color Picker to select the blue and magenta from the box stickers.

Step 26

Now, let’s add the background, create a new layer “Wood Texture”, set its Blending Mode to Normal and 100% Opacity. Open the “Wood Table” texture image from the assets, copy it and paste it on the new layer, resize it to fit the document size (Ctrl + T), then go to Edit > Transform > Perspective, to match the scene’s perspective, take the wood grain lines as reference.

Step 27

For cast the shadow projected on the surface, create a new layer “Box Shadow”, over the previous one. Make a selection of the box’s contour, and fill it with black color. Now, move the layer’s content a bit left-downwards, then go to Edit > Transform > Size, and transform it as shown, using the corner points, keep pressed the Ctrl key while you move them, to apply the desired deformation. Finally go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and apply the following blur quantity.

Step 28

To create the depth of field effect, go to the Channels Tab, and create a new one, Alpha 1 by default. On the new channel, use the Gradient Tool to make a white gradient as shown. Select the RGB Channel and come back to the Layers Tab, select the “Wood Table” layer. Now go to Filters > Blur > Lens Blur and apply following settings, check out that the new Alpha 1 channel is selected on the Depth Map Source selector.

Step 29

The image now is completely built, select all the layers and duplicate them (Ctrl + J), next, merge them together (Ctrl + E). You can keep the document more organized, placing all the individual layers within the same Group Folder, getting the following result.

Step 30

To have a global illumination that influences on the whole scene, create two layers, first one “Ambient Light”, set its Blending Mode to Soft Light and 30% Opacity. Grab the Gradient Tool, and make the following white gradient. Next, create the second layer “Ambient Shadow”, set its Blending Mode to Luminosity and 20% Opacity, then make the following black gradient.

Step 31

To add some vignetting to the image, go to Filters > Lens Correction, and apply following settings.

Step 32

Finally, to add some noise to the image, create a new layer “Noise”, set its Blending Mode to Multiply and 100% Opacity and fill it with white color. Then, go to Filters > Noise > Add Noise, and apply the following amount.

And We’re Done!

You can view the final outcome below. I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and would love to hear your feedback on the techniques and outcome.

Member File Download

Download the original .psd file for this tutorial here:

DOWNLOAD .PSD FILE

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