Awesome Poster Abstraction
If you’ve spent much time looking for poster inspiration on social media, you’ve likely run into some beautifully coloured abstract posters done by Baugasm™, or Vasjen Katro. He uses different design programs to create highly unique and spectacular looking poster designs and he also happens to teach how to do them on Skillshare.
Baugasm™ has exactly ten classes on Skillshare, all teaching students how to recreate a specific types of poster design. I figured it would be a good idea to add some more abstract poster making skills to my repertoire, so I decided to take every class. Unfortunately, some of the classes use Cinema 4D, and at the moment that’s a little beyond my skill set, so I’m going to stick to watching and reviewing the ones that use Adobe programs only. Here goes.
Series #1 – Experimental Gradients
Class Length: 33 minutes in 6 video lessons
The first of the Baugasm poster classes shows students how to create a very simple poster using basic shapes and the mesh tool in Illustrator. We’re shown how to apply different coloured areas to a shape using the mesh tool and colour swatches, then how to manipulate the individual colour points within the shape. Next, we bring what we’ve done so far into Photoshop.
In Photoshop, we paste our coloured shape, then mask it with a circle. Next, we warp the shape until we’re happy with it. Once students are happy with how their design looks, we’re shown how to add some noise, some more spots of colour, and to add some brush details over top the main design. That’s pretty much it.
This is a very simple tutorial that’s easy to follow and new designers would probably get a lot out of it. It’s also a lot of fun to follow along with the class and see what you create. This is my final design.
Series #3 – Gradient Shapes
Class Length: 43 minutes in 5 video lessons
Like in the first class, for this next poster design, we’re starting in Illustrator then moving to Photoshop afterwards. To start designing, students are shown how to use the default Illustrator brushes to make some very cool looking shapes. After creating a number of them, we apply a gradient to the shapes, either all together, or with a few shapes using different gradients. Next, we bring it into Photoshop, add noise, edit any colours, and add some text and a large circle underneath.
To add some more detail to the poster, I did go into Affinity Designer to make the confetti shapes, simply because I knew I had the brush I wanted to use there. It worked pretty well I think. After that, I added a bit more colour under all the shapes for an effect similar to a drop shadow, but with multiple colours. To finish the poster, I made sure all the large elements had the same noise effect added, then just made some final adjustments. I’m liking the final look.
Series #5 – 3D Shapes
Class Length: 48 minutes in 6 video lessons
As before, the first bit of stuff students are taught to do is in Illustrator. This time we’re shown to draw a simple circle, then use the 3D revolve tool to turn it into doughnuts and quarter-doughnuts. Is it doughnuts or donuts by the way?
Anyway, once we’ve created a few shapes we like, at different 3D angles, we bring them into Photoshop to adjust any colours, add some noise, add a few small details and some blots of colour that dissolve into the background. I really like how this one looks, especially with the added noise.
Series #6 – Abstract Gradient Shapes
Class Length: 39 minutes in 7 video lessons
This is the first Baugasm class done only using Photoshop. Judging by the student projects showcased on the page, it also seems to be the least structured. The objective here is to create three posters using similar techniques and the same colour palatte. The posters created are extremely minimalist and actually very simple to create. The main tool used here is the brush tool and clipping masks, but the main class objective was really to just explore those tools and techniques from the class and see what you could come up with.
Series #7 – Liquid Effect
Class Length: 43 minutes in 6 video lessons
The students projects in this class are pretty fantastic so I was excited to learn how to create them myself. This class uses both Illustrator and Photoshop to make a poster that shows a very cool liquid effect; though you can use either Illustrator or Photoshop to get the desired effect. Students were taught to mainly use the warp and liquify tools to generate this effect. I ended up creating half a dozen posters I really liked but narrowed my options down to this one because I liked the colours best.
Series #9 – 3 Abstract Poster
Class Length: 1 hour and 13 minutes in 11 video lessons
In this class students are shown how to create three different, yet similar posters using Illustrator and Photoshop. We’re shown how to start in Illustrator creating basic shapes, then using the blend tool to blend two shapes together. From there, we warp the shapes to create some amazing effects.
This class actually took me a long time because I kept experimenting with the different shapes I could make in Illustrator and how I wanted them to look in Photoshop. In the end, I was super happy with the posters I created and love how they all were so different but made using the same processes.
Series #10 – Displace Tool
Class Length: 45 minutes in 8 video lessons
The last class in the Baugasm poster series focuses on using the displace tool in Photoshop. It’s used by going Distort > Displace, then selecting a Photoshop file we want to use as a displacement map/texture.
This is a really cool tool to use and this was the first time I’ve ever actually used it. This tool lets you distort a layer to match the texture in your selected Photoshop file. We used this technique for every poster, in multiple places. The three posters I ended up creating have a very unique look because of the displacement texture file I was using, which was an ocean.
Creating A Baugasm Poster – In Summary
Overall, these were really awesome classes to take on Skillshare. I learned a ton of new things in Illustrator and Photoshop, got to create some fantastic looking posters, and had fun experimenting with what I could create. I highly recommend these classes to anyone wanting to take their design skills to the next level.
Each class was at an simple enough level to understand the steps, while each consisted of techniques that many seasoned designers might not be familiar with. Lastly, I love the ability to be able to share my class work on Skillshare.