In this tutorial we will look into how to make a photoshop catalog mockup with smart layers to drag and drop your designs. A mockup is ideal to showcase your design whether to present it on your portfolio or for your clients. To make our catalog mock-up we will create the general shape, apply shadows and light effects, and insert smart layers as placeholder for your pages designs. You can download the final result of the catalog mockup here.
Open a new document in Photoshop using the settings in the screenshot below:
Starting with a simple shape we will make the diferent pages of the catalog. Let’s start by creating a new layer and selecting the tool “Rectangle”, in the top part where we find the tool options we create a fixed size rectangle with dimensions: 460px width and 300px height.
Next we need to give the shape a curved page form with the “Convert Point Tool” working on the vector points of the rectangle until getting a shape close to that of the screenshot below:
Once we have the desired shape, we make two layer copies of that shape and position them as below (you can create more shapes according to the number of pages and size of the mock-up you want to create)
Then, for each copied layer we are going to lighten the curved aspect and join each pages working on the anchor points with the tool Direct Selection Tool until getting a similar result as the image below:
Let’s organize our file and create the right part of the catalog. We make a copy of all the layers created and we flip all the copied layers horizontaly (Ctrl + T > Right click > Flip Horizontal), we then create two folders (LEFT PAGES and RIGHT PAGES) and name each layers according to its position in the design: Left Page 01; Left Page 02; Left Page 03 / Right Page 01; Right Page 02; Right Page 03; finally we place the diferent layers in each folders and position the left and right part of the catalog according to this image:
Now we need to give some perspective to our catalog. We select all the layers and use Ctrl + T > Right click> Distort moving the diferent anchor points until we achieve a perspective such as this one:
Now that we have the structure of our catalog, we are going to create some light and shadow effects to achieve depht and visual impact. First we will apply the colors below for each layers:
On layer "left page 01" we add sone layer styles : Drop Shadow and Gradient Overlay with the settings below:
We repeat the same layer styles on layer Right page 01 with the settings below:
Now we are going to work on the respective shadows of each pages, creating a new layer for each pages layer, we draw using the Pen Tool the shapes below, and filling each shape with black #000000:
Next we select the created shadow layers > Right click> Rasterize Layers. This way we can work individually on each shadows to achieve a more precise final result. We then move the new layers under their respective pages layers.
Using the Eraser Tool at 40px and opacity 25%, we are going to work on the shadows softly erasing the parts that are more open, and where more lights should enter (thus less shadow)
Next we select the Blur Tool to work on the shadow edges, thus blurring the more open parts and a bit less the more closed parts of the page shadow, doing this increase the contrast and perspective of the catalog design:
Once we applied the desired effects, we just repeat those steps for the other pages, creating a shadow, placing it under the page layer, erasing and blurring for contrast and this for each pages. IMPORTANT for the last page we will make another type of shadow that we will explain in the next step, so leave it be for the moment.
Now we are going to create the last shadow that will be applied for the whole design. To make this shadow we will draw the base shadow in the same way than before but with a shape similar as on the image below:
We rasterize the shape, and apply the contrast effects with the Eraser and Blur tools working as previously. To create a realistic contrast with the general background the layer mode needs to be Multiply. The final result should be as below:
Now we are going to make a new shadow shape on a new layer right under the first one we created, as such:
We apply the same effects we did on the previous layer and once we achieved the desired result we put the layer mode in Multiply with 25% opacity like this:
Now we make a copy of this layer placing it under the original layer changing the filter to Overlay, this allows the shadow to adapt itself to any background color creating a more exact cromatic mix between the background colors and the shadow, we will see the result of this technic when applying the background.
Now we are going to create our smart layer so that we can put our designs on our mock-up. Using the Rectangle Tool we create a shape such as this:
Once created Right click on the layer > Convert to Smart Object.
Using Ctrl +T > Distort we adjust the four anchor points to the catalog first page shape, and then with Right click> Warp to mimic the exact shape of the page like this:
We put the layer in Multiply and create a clipping mask> Right click on the layer > Create clipping mask on the layer Left Page 01
Now let’s apply the same steps for the right page of the catalog as such:
Make sure that your layers are sorted in order as the screenshot below:
Now we are going to select the layer Left Page 01 and copy it above all layers, we then rename the copy Overlay and apply new layers style such as those:
We then make another copy above all layers and name it Shadow, creating layer styles as those below:
Let’s do the same for the layer Right Page 01, copy this layer above all layers and create the layer styles as such:
Now let’s create a Background so that our catalog doesn’t rest on thin air, this way we will have much more visual impact when presenting our design. Once you found the texture you wish to apply (in this case a photo of a wooden floor) you need to apply the right perspective according to our design.
In our case we need to use the transform tool Distort until we get the right perspective, achieving a result like the screenshot below. TIP> To create more depth to your background texture you can apply the Filter> Render> Lens Flare to give more contrats with some lights effect.
We have now created our catalog photoshop mock-up with smart layers, now we just need to apply the designs that we made directly on the mock-up pages, thus we choose the layers PUT YOUR IMAGE HERE and double click on them, this way a new file automaticly shows up, that will display the content of the selected object (flat and not distorded), at first you will only see the blue page that we created on step 4. In this new file we will apply the design of the page that you want to showcase and save it with Ctrl + S.
When you get back to our original file, you will be able to see how the design adapted itself automaticly to the shape of the catalog mock-up page with the right perspective and layer styles (shadow and lights).
We do the same for the other page. The final result of this photoshop mock-up catalog tutorial will be displayed as such: