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How to Create a
Halloween Desktop
Photoshop Training

Here it is halloween again. I looked over the site and discovered that I don't have even one single halloween tutorial. OK, I'll throw this one out. This is a fun cartoon style tutorial, so don't go crazy trying to get things perfect. Let some originality in the form of of imperfectness come through. We are just looking for fun character here.

Create a new document 1024 X 768 with a resolution of 72 pixels/inch. If your screen resolution is different, make it that size instead. Make a new layer by clicking Layer/New/Layer and click OK. I am going to use the Pen Tool to create a pumpkin. After each curve I like to Alt+Click on the last point. This will pick up the path you are creating and make it easier to keep your shape uniform.

Continue this until you have a shape that is similar to below. Don't worry about it being perfect, because a few little lumpy bumps will add to the character of your pumpkin.

With the Pen Tool still selected, right click in the shape and choose Make Selection with a feather radius of 0 pixels. You should now see the "dancing ants" indicating that you have made a selection. Go to your foreground color tile and choose a shade of orange. I have chosen the color FF9933. Then select Edit/Fill with foreground color. Hit Ctrl+D to deselect.

Duplicate this layer by selecting Layer/Duplicate Layer. Now choose Edit/Transform/Flip Horizontal. Grab the move tool, and move this piece over to the right.

Create a new layer, and using the Pen Tool, make the center. Fill in the middle part of the pumpkin with the same color of orange.

OK, that's looking good. A nice lumpy, bumpy pumpkin. Now we need to create a stem for the pumpkin. Make a new layer, and with the Pen Tool again create a stem. Change your foreground color tile to a dark brown or green and fill it with that. I am using the color 666633.

Now that we have our pumpkin, we need to combine all the layers together to make a single layer. This is a good time to reposition each layer if need be, before we do this. Turn off the background layer by clicking on the little eyeball on that layer. Hit Shift+Ctrl+E to merge all of the visible layers together as one. Rename this new layer "Pumpkin" You should now have a background layer, and the layer named "Pumpkin"

We will add a little shadow to our pumpkin using the Burn Tool. Once selected, paint in the bottom left side of the pumpkin. This will give it some depth. Use a larger soft 65 pixel brush for this.

You will probably need to resize your pumpkin for our desktop image. How much just depends on how big you made it originally. Mine is too big, so I will have to scale it down. Select Edit/Transform/Scale. While holding the Shift key, pull the handles in until you get something that will fit properly as shown below. Hit the enter key. Make sure the pumpkin layer is selected. Use the move tool to move it to the upper left hand corner.

With the pumpkin layer still selected choose, Edit/Transform/Rotate. Grab one of the handles and turn the pumpkin to the left.

Duplicate this layer. Rotate and move . Do this several times until you have something like this.

Once you have this, Hit Shift+Ctrl+E to combine all of these layers into one. Rename this layer "Pumpkin". Again you should have a background layer and a pumpkin layer.

Next we are going to add a bat for our delicious halloween desktop. Create a new layer. Using the Pen Tool, draw out the head of the bat. I will say again that we are not looking for perfection here. Whatever you create will be good. This is all just for fun! clearly my bat head is a bit lop-sided! Fill this with a shade of purple. I am using the color 9966CC.

Let's create some wings next. Add a new layer and draw out the left wing . Fill it with the same purple color.

Duplicate the wing layer. Select Edit/Transform/Flip Horizontal. Move the new right wing to the right.

Next make eyes and a mouth for our bat, each on separate layers. Fill each with a bright shade of green. I am using color 33FF33. Move and adjust to your liking.

With the mouth layer highlighted, select Layer/Layer Style/Blending Options. Check the "Inner Shadow" box.

Right click on the mouth layer in the layers palette, and choose "Copy Layer Style". Right click on each of the eye layers and choose "Paste Layer Style". You should end up with something like this.

Turn off the pumpkin layer and the background layer and merge all of the bat layers together. Name the new layer "Bat"

With the "Bat" layer selected, grab the Burn Tool again and add a little shadow like we did with the pumpkin.

Using the same Scale, Rotate, Move and Duplicate Layer functions as we did above, position your bats as shown.

Merge all of the bat layers together and name the layer "Bats".

Now let's make a text layer exclaiming "Happy Halloween". Choose the Horizontal Type tool, and make sure the "Center Text" icon is activated.

Using the font of your choice, type in the word "Happy". Hit enter and type in "Halloween". I am going to add some blending options, so a bolder font will work better. Depending on the font, you will have to readjust the font size to fit the image properly. I have used a font named "Snap ITC". I have also set the foreground color tile to the same color as the pumpkin (FF9933) which will make the text be that color when you type.

With the text layer selected choose Layer/Layer Style/Blending Options. In the Blending Options window check mark the Bevel and Emboss" box, and the "Stroke" box. I used the color 999999 for the stroke. Here are the settings for each.

You should have something like this.

Highlight the background layer and select Layer/New Layer. Now choose Edit/Fill with black. You should now have a black background.

If you want you can leave it just like that. Just for one extra spice, I am going to add a starry sky effect. With the black background highlighted, select Filter/Noise/Add Noise. Here are the settings I used.

Now select Image/Adjustments/Levels. Adjust the slider shown below to the right until you get the star effect that you like.

And here is the finished graphic. Have a Happy Halloween!