Graphic Breakdown – LENSES


I received a few comments on the above graphic, which is the main “banner” of LENSES, and I thought I would do a breakdown on how exactly I created it. Click here to check out the actual Project page itself.

To start with, the only tool I used to create this was Adobe Photoshop CS6.

The intention of the art was to fit with the game’s theme itself; the primary theme being that the game is experienced through the lenses of cameras through-out the facility, rather than being either first-person or a third-person camera which would follow the player. This is similar to classic Resident Evil titles but with an increased immersive value. I decided that imitating that sort of style would be a good fit and tell a person SOMETHING about the game with just a glance.


Step 1

The start was very simple. I chose a decent sized canvas to begin work on, filled it with a plain black and then added a small amount of Noise. The noise is a slight disruption to the black which will offer a bit more depth and will help in succeeding the goal of creating an image which looks like security footage.


Step 2

I found this image online and ensured that it was usable, and put the blending mode to Luminosity. This made it go black & white with a slight boost due to the black noise layer that had been previously made.


Step 3

I then re-applied the image on top of the previous one as an Overlay, tweaking the brightness, contrast and exposure of the images until it began to look like what you see above. The distorted view and heavily contrasted lighting makes it look as if the camera was damaged, and then I applied the same black noise layer on top. As you can see, the image features that noise and already looks like its on the way.


Step 4

On top of this, I then added the text and boxes. The text is added in just using the Text Editor, with the boxes drawn in using the Polygon tool. It’s always better to use that tool than to use a Selection tool and then fill it, so try to avoid doing that.

The text was left relatively un-touched and simply re-sized to be correct. The boxes were put into dual-layers with an overlay opacity at 50%. This made them still visibly apparent, but they blend into the background image a little more dynamic than if I had simply reduced opacity.


Step 5

The next step was to duplicate all of the text layers, leaving an un-edited backup, rasterize the duplicated copies and simply using the square selection tool to distort the text slightly. I made thin selections of the text and then holding shift to ensure they only moved across one axis, I just chipped away at them until they look relatively distorted.

After this, I turned the text layers again into Overlay and layered about 4 additional duplicated layers on top of these. As you can see the text continues to be readable and clear, but the main “LENSES” text interacts with the background shades slightly and gives it just a little more flavour.


Step 6

This is one of the main steps, which is creating the RGB distortion that you would see when taking a photograph of a computer screen. I created a small RGB pattern by making a 3×3 canvas and making the squares as you see there. I then converted those into a pattern, created a brand new layer on top of all the others and applied the pattern overlay to it.

I also added a vingette-style inner shadow. This gives a lot of additional depth, despite it being very slight and not massively noticeable at a first glance.


Step 7

I then lowered the opacity of that layer to around 65%. As you can see, however, it’s too clear and the image below just can’t be seen as well.


Step 8

This final step was done by hiding the RGB layer and then re-applying the entire image. Edit > Apply Image > Merged, which will put the entire image into a new layer. This layer was then placed above the RGB layer and was dual-layered in overlay once again.

You can see now that the image is beginning to take shape. The graphics are clear, and the distortion effect is noticeable.

Once this was done I applied the image once again, to create a new layer, and then used the Distort effect to make it seem less flat, as if you were looking at the image at a slight angle. A very slight gaussian blur was also added.


Step 9

After that, on this new layer, I used Render > Lighting Effects in order to add light to the image. The actual direction and strength of the light were tweaked until it was clear and looked nice, but a few options importantly were at certain values.

The gloss value was turned to 100%. This gives it the shine that a monitor would have, and Metallic was turned to -100%. This should give the lighting a “shiny” look, as if it is being cast onto a more reflective object. This goes a long way in giving the image a lot of depth.


And this is how the image looked after all of that. It’s slowly starting to come together, but still needs just a slight few additions in order to make it look perfect.


I duplicated the original RBG layer, distorted them similarly to how the original applied image had been, and then dual-layered them in overlay. I turned the opacity of both down just enough not to over-power the image, but to increase the screen distortion effect.


And finally I re-applied the image again, excluding the distortion layers. This ensures that the image is very clear and very readable, which it needs to be, and yet it does look distorted and very similar to how an image would look had it been photographed from a computer screen.

Additional work could be done on top of this, such as creating reflections on the screen, but I didn’t wish to overly clutter the art.

And that’s the breakdown of the graphic!

I hope you enjoyed this.