Free Zombie and Horror Photoshop Styles

Turn any meek and unassuming typeface into a decayed mess of Zombie flesh. Guaranteed to putrify even the most decorative fonts. Perfect for Halloween, horror movie titles and scary posters.
Zombie PSD Style

I know that the crypt keeper is probably rolling in his grave but I couldn't wait to share this lovely interpretation of a dead person's abode. Nice vine covered crypt style for a ghoulish font or creepy shape. Great for backgrounds too! Put some fiendishness into your design and use the Crypt.
Crypt PSD Style

Bone style that emulates bone matter. Texture, coloring and shading make certain "bone" fonts stand out.

Bone PSD Style

A big social thank-you

I wanted to do a quick blog post and thank those that have given me the most support.  As you can see from my blogger analytics report certain sites have referred more traffic than anyone else.  Aside from Google organic search (that's my penchant for using the correct keywords) - these people are primarily responsible for my blog getting noticed.  I cannot say thank you enough and trust me I have supported your sites as well. Beyond the occasional tweet I often forward your .com address to other people I know because you are a great resource.

Top Supporters for Suztv blogspot are:
deviantart community
and the cgsociety forums.

Thanks so much for making me feel important!

What other artists can take away from this article is that certain venues help artists and they should be subscribing/joining those sites.  If you make tutorials, resources or write articles that deal with any aspect of the design community then the sites I've listed are your best friends outside of using proper SEO.

Photoshop digital painting: satin or silk tutorial

Photoshop 3D parchment scroll - Freebie

Photoshop 3D scroll object

I've created a new freebie download for all of you parchment/scoll fans.  There are two files included in the freebie for you to use.  One is a layered Photoshop file with 3 separate 3D renderings of the parchment scroll I created for my Medieval Armor Styles ad and the other is an actual 3D Photoshop file of the parchment scroll.  The Photoshop 3D file is awesome because you can use it in a variety of ways - turn it, flip it, change the texture, change the color etc.  I think that you'll probably find lots of uses.

Photoshop layered file - scrolls
All that I request in return for this fabulous download is that you share to download.  Not a big ask - and really very painless.  Remember though that although these are free to use for your designs commercially and personal use - you aren't allowed to redistribute.  What that means is you cannot host the files or give them away via other means (copy onto a drive, create a bit torrent) without my permission.

Click here to tweet and download the awesome parchment file:

Here's a video that I created that will give you a few tips and tricks so that you'll know how to manipulate the scroll for your designs:

Don't miss out on some of the other great layer styles and brushes available on my blog:

Top 24 Fireworks and Pyrotechnic resources

Fireworks (the explosive kind not the software) are a tradition in many culture but some of the most extravagant displays are in the United States on the 4th of July.  Obviously Americans have an affinity for blowing things up but the pyrotechnics are supposed to represent the battles that took place when we fought for our right for independence from England, so every year we party by blowing things up in spectacular displays.  Of course as a designer - you have to partake in the festivities by creating some awesome graphics for your Facebook page or your blog or even your party invite.

Below I've listed some excellent resources that you can use in Photoshop, AfterEffects, 3DS Max, Cinema 4D and Blender.  Why keep things static - I'd say that if you have access to the software you should try out some of the MoGraph and 3D tutorials.  Making fire in digital land is way less messy and the best part is that you won't loose a finger or an eye.  Plus your mom won't freak out because one of those twirly firecrackers just went under her car.

Hopefully you'll take a moment to create your own great images but if you're pressed for time there are some excellent presets, brushes and photos available too!

Photoshop Brushes:

Photoshop Actions:

After Effects No Plug-ins:

After Effects with Trapcode Particular:

Red Giant Preset:

3DS Max:

Cinema 4D:



Random stuff:

Crouching Spider, Hidden Butterfly: Or how to make and rig a spider in 3D -Part One

Originally I was going to post something on how to rig a spider or a collection of Spider rigging and animation tutorials.  And yes, you'll still get that but I wanted to show you how to incorporate lessons, tutorials etc into your workflow - even if the tutorial is on anther piece of software.

First off, let me begin by saying that I have been obsessed with rigging a spider for sometime.  One of my portfolio pieces was a spider jumping on a "weboline".  Unfortunately because the file is older and on a CD "somewhere" I don't have a copy available to post - I'll do that once I've gone through all of my piles of plastic media to locate it.  I'm so glad most of my stuff is on a cloud drive now - but alas stuff from the 90's may fall victim to my procrastination paradigm.

Obviously this was in the early days of 3DS Max and the version I used was R1 - the first iteration of 3DS Max.  3DS Max has come a long way since then - but it is still basically the same program.  I've been using it almost as long as I have Photoshop and I doubt that I'll stop any time soon.  Anyway...  For this article I created a simple spider via ZBrush.  Why ZBrush?  Well because I wanted to and because I wanted the flexibility of being able to use the model later on with a more complex normal map but since I wanted to test out the rigging a low-poly version would be used from ZBrush to rig.  Basically I just wanted to see if I could do it.

Here's the rudimentary model I created from ZBrush (you are welcome to use this in your projects for personal or commercial use - but no redistribution):

Here are some links if you are curious as to how this was done:

Once it has been brought into 3DS Max with bones etc applied (I'm using R7 here same copyright as the ZTool version - free for personal or commercial use; do not redistribute):

Ok so I have a spider - now what?  

Well I went on a hunt for a spider rigging tutorial.  To my surprise there weren't as many out there as I would have thought but still quite a few and more than enough to gain some knowledge about rigging spiders.  My favorite was "Spider Walk" by lotsofrobots.

Although he doesn't get into the step by step of rigging he does provide the files and scripts for you to use in your animation.  I think a lot of people would have loved a more thorough explanation of the process but if you open the file and take a look a lot can be gained.

The next tutorials I took a look at were located on YouTube called Spider 8 Rigging Animation low res:



Pretty decent tutorials and they give a guide as to how to rig your spider up for animation.  The thing I found lacking was an explanation of how the spider is supposed to move.  Do the legs move first or the body?  Both move at the same time?  Several experiments later I ended up with a really weird walking spider.  But I won't give up and I'm not ripping the script from lots of robots (not yet anyway).

Here's another rigging tutorial on YouTube:

This tutorial I liked.  I could use and most of all it gave me the information I needed.  However I really liked the script provided by Lots of Robots.  Hmmm what to use it for?  Oh! I know - a bunch of spiders coming out of a jack-o-lantern and then covering up the screen.  Totally creepy!  Or another idea that wouldn't use the script - a spider that is spinning it's web and then catches a butterfly.  Both are really complex ideas.  Perhaps more than I can chew.  I don't care.  I'm gonna try them.  We'll see how well I'm able to implement the actual functionality and execute the idea.

Here's a better explanation of the spider walk movement (this tutorial is for Maya but you get the gist of it):

Here's a project overview on a mech-tech or steampunk spider on 3D Total: 

Steampunk AND spider, you can't go wrong with that!

Here's an interesting tutorial/overview on spider/modeling/rigging in Modo:

Feel free to comment and add to this repository of Spider goodness.  Also please do tweet or like this blogpost.

Please come back for updates and part two of this series...

Photoshop Brush Showdown: Stamp vs. Dynamic

While perusing my reader and looking at Photoshop Brush sites I thought about the types of brushes out there.  Generally speaking the types of brushes available are probably 90% photo-stamp brushes.

Think about that.  Photo-stamp - an image or drawing that has been placed into the brush library and is now black and white (pretty much what you would get by copying the image on a copier).  There is no flexibility - the person who created the brush just selected that image and never added variety.  You can edit the brush and create a dynamic brush out of the image - but that would take more time on your end and without knowing how large the image is, whether or not the image is copyrighted etc.

Also there's no reason to even open the brushes palette other than to rename the brush.  I honestly do not think a majority of these type of brushes are useful.  Granted there are some that really do help with design or can be considered valuable.  But at the same time I find that I can do the same exact thing with an image (open image in Photoshop, select all, edit, create new brush).

As for the line drawings - if it ain't vector it ain't helping me.  Don't be smitten by the The scroll-work, pretty frames, shapes and other "vector" like brushes that are out there.  These really are not helpful if you want to use it for Print (300 dpi), Motion Graphics (1080p) or enlarge it later.  The actual brush size limits the size of the object and you can only have it as large as the brush was made which just makes for more work in the end.  I don't know about you but I hate having to rip apart a design because the asset I used was lower resolution than what I needed.

So here's a few tips (for those of you who download brushes with abandon):

  • Only download dynamic, hard to find or unusual brushes.  (There's no reason to have thousands of grunge brushes - if you really only use 3 of them). 
  • Really take a look at the brush content - you need to analyze whether or not the brush is actually a rip-off of a dingbat, or vector drawing. 
  • How useful will the brush be in your design(s)?  If you design websites that are clean and have sleek lines - then why in the world would you download a brush that is hand drawn flowers?  I've made this mistake and had to go through my library - test each brush-set out one by one and ask these questions.  If I can't say that I'd use it for work or for personal projects then I should just delete it out of my library. 

Sometimes using a stamp brush and converting it into a dynamic brush helps create a whole new workflow, so do keep that in mind.  But don't forget to experiment and above all don't forget what your objective is - an improved workflow or a very unique design/piece of work.

Dynamic Brushes are a different story.  These are meant for uniqueness and no two strokes are ever the same (look up the word dynamic - it means ever changing and not the same twice).  They create texture based on the color, brush mode, layer mode and artist movement.  It isn't a stamp - it isn't meant to be.  These brushes will help retain the artists vision without borrowing or outright stealing another artists work.  Don't get me wrong - that type of design work is done all of the time and it is acceptable, but if you want to the work to be entirely yours then actually creating the image from the ground up will make you feel tons better.

Taking those brushes and making something unique and having to work-over the drawing - well then we're talking artistry.  It's even more impressive if you actually create the entire scene and scape using your imagination.

If you are just "Designing" then Photo-stamp brushes are probably the way to go, however the brush has to be unique and something that is useful in your designs.  If you are painting and creating then dynamic brushes are what you need - either make them, purchase them or find them via artists.

Here's a list of some of my favorite spots to get brushes:

Photostamp Brushes:

Obsidian Dawn

Dynamic Brushes:


Skin Brushes:  
Skin Texture Photoshop Brushes and Tutorials from Best Design Options

Deviant Art


Chris Wahl

Mark S. Johnson Photograhy: watercolor brushes

Brush Tutorials:

3D Total


Ah Design



Paul Lasaine

3d Total


Zbrush alphas make awesome Photoshop brushes - of course with some manipulation:
(you will need to register to download)

I think that those links should keep you busy for quite some time - if not, remember the internet is a vast cornucopia of tutorials, how-tos and downloads.

All you need to do is ask the all knowing Genie:  Google

Don't forget to try out some of the samples and freebies I have on my site for all sorts of Photoshop brush goodness:


Arctic Gale:

Freebie Sample: 


Freebie Sample:  

Artists Tools:

Freebie Sample: