This tutorial will show you how to make an easy fractal line design and also how to use the box blur to make a drop shadow.
The first step is to turn on your grid by clicking view, then show grid. Once you see your grid go to grid options, set your grid size to 20 and click ok.
Although is seems difficult to see, you'll prolly get the main idea that this is supposed to be a grid :) The next step is to count your squares lengthwise, widthwise and determine dead center. Mark these on layer one. I may not need them necessarily for this tutorial, but they do come in handy so I try to do it every time.
zoom in a couple times. Mark in green a spot in your first layer At the bottom of the square that is 4 down and 4 to the right of your top left corner, and make a red mark at the top left of the first block, blue mark at the top the next block down in that column, then a yellow mark at the top of the block in the next in the column, and finally a purple at the top of the fourth. Make a mark at the junction of the 3rd and 4th square on the top rope and mark it with pink, this will be your anchor.
Add another layer and select your pencil tool with a size of 1, an opacity of 255 and use the bezier stroke (wigglie line maker) Start your line from the green spot and drag to the red spot. Pull your line until your pointer is centered on your pink anchor spot. Do this with the other three colors, starting with green and using the pink spot as your anchor.
Select your four lines, copy, paste flip horizontal and overlay over your original lines. Paste again, flip vertical this time, and overlay over your lines. Lastly, paste a third time, flip horizontal AND flip vertical and overlay over the rest. You should have a design somewhat like this.
If you'd like to add some color, the best place is along the edges. These spots will be mirrored and will become circles once we've laid all the designs down.
Merge all of your layers down to the second layer (make sure you don't merge all the way down, the 1st layer is completely opaque). It's easier to work this step without the grid, so you can go back to view, show grid and uncheck.
Select your square, copy and paste. You'll pretty much do the same thing you did last time. Flip horizontal, line up to the right of the original square. Paste again, flip vertical, place beneath the original square. Paste again, flip horizontal AND vertical and place in the existing corner. You should now have another design square.
The next step is easy. Merge your layers back down to layer 2, copy your design and just paste it repeatedly across your canvas. you don't need to flip it any direction beforehand.
Merge your layers back down to layer 2. Add a new layer, select your pencil with a size of 100, an opacity of 255, and select the color black. Make a black circle in the center of your canvas, then use a smaller brush to make smaller circles of increasing lightness as seen here.
Lock your alpha, blend, use darken and lighten to your likeness to add light and shadow to your ball.
Duplicate your ball layer, click the circle to make this layer invisible, select layer 3 and color your ball completely black.
Go to effects, box blur, set your blur amount to 20. Select your layer 3 copy back to visible and you should see just a little fuzzy shadow around it. Select layer 3, the layer move tool (looks like a cross) and move the shadow just slightly down and to the left (or away from your established light source)
Delete your layer 1, merge all visible layers, then add another layer. On this layer, use your line tool to edge your canvas with black. For mine, I used the pencil tool at full opacity, and size 14.
Finally, go to effects and box blur. Set your blur amount to 20 and blur the mess out of it. .. That's it. You're done :)
I hope this tutorial was less aggravating and more fun.