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THREADLESS TEETORIALS: DIGITIZING MIXED MEDIA

Teetorials are tips and tricks for adding those special touches to your designs. They’re brought to you by our very own Threadless staffers. Since we’re currently running a mixed media challenge, Jen and Jillian created a tutorial about bringing real world objects into your computer.

1.) Come up with an idea. This idea developed pretty organically for us but it may be more calculated for you. Protip: have a drawer full of toys and dig through it.

2.) Set it up. Again, this will vary by situation and what you’re making (maybe you’re scanning something rather than photographing it) but since we’re photographing this one, we want it to look as realistic as possible and reduce the amount of editing later.

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3.) Photograph it! You have to get the image on the computer somehow, right? If you’re doing something flat, maybe scan it. If you can think of another way to get your work into the computer without either of these methods, please post it in the comments and collect your Nobel Prize in Holy Shit How Did You Do That.

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4.) Edit your image. The idea here is to get the background as white as possible so you can either cut it out and place it on a colored shirt template, or have it sit nicely on a white tee. That’s what we’re doing.

Here, Jen breaks down her steps for quickly cleaning up the image:

Mixed Media from Threadless.com on Vimeo.


If you have a fancy camera, take photos in the RAW format.

The RAW format will open in photoshop with the option to change the temperature/exposure/contrast, etc. In this window, click the white balance eyedropper and click in the whitest part of the screen, click OPEN IMAGE.

If you don’t have a fancy camera, just take a photo with any camera that you have and open it in Photoshop. We promise, you DON’T need a fancy camera to do this.

Open a curves level, click the white eyedropper and click in the white background, this is an easy way to create a pure white background and keep the natural shadow.

Combine the curves layer and your image and click the brush tool. Color it in white around your image and shadows using a soft brush tool. 

5.) Mix your media. Draw on top of your image, photoshop other stuff in, scan in a painting you made and throw that in there. Whatever your idea is, make it happen and mix it up. Our idea involves digitally drawing on top of the photo: 

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6.) Mock it up on a tee, submit it, and wait ever so patiently for Jeffrey G to approve it.

For all of our Teetorials, click here.