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Tutorial: Skills Radar Chart

10th March 2016
Final Image

In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a sleek radar chart in Adobe Photoshop. For starters you will learn how to setup a simple grid and how to create a set of concentric hexagons using basic tool and vector shape building techniques. Moving on, you will learn how to create smart objects, how to take full advantage of layer styles and how to use blending modes. Finally, you will find out how to save and use a simple pattern and how to create a blurry background.

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Photoshop CC
  • Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate
  • Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Step 1

Open Photoshop and hit Control + N to create a new document. Set the width to 680 px and the height to 800 px, enter the rest of the attributes shown below and then click the OK button.

Enable the Grid (View > Show > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap To > Grid). For starters you will need a grid every 10 px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and focus on the Grid section. Enter 10 in the Gridline Every box and 1 in the Subdivision box and then set the grid color to #828282. Once you set all these properties click the OK button. Try not to get discouraged by all that grid - it will ease your work and keep in mind that you can easily enable or disable it using the Control + " keyboard shortcut.

You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shape/selection.

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Step 2

For this step you can disable the grid if you feel that it bothers you (View > Show > Grid).

Go to the Layers panel (Window > Layers), unlock the existing layer and make sure that it stays selected. Move to your Toolbar, replace the existing foreground color with #4c415d and pick the Paint Bucket Tool. Move to your canvas and simply click on it to replace the existing fill color with the color set a few moments ago.

Return to the Layers panel and rename the existing layers "Background".

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Step 3

Make sure that the grid is enabled, return to your Toolbar and replace the existing foreground color with #ffb400.

Pick the Rectangle Tool, create a 380 x 220 px shape and place it exactly as shown in the following image. The grid and the Snap to Grid feature will ease your work.

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Step 4

Make sure that your yellow rectangle is selected, pick the Add Anchor Point Tool and use the click button to easily add two, new anchor points as shown in the following image.

Switch to the Convert Point Tool and simply click on the newly added anchor points to turn them into corner points.

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Step 5

Keep focusing on the two anchor points added to your yellow rectangle and pick the Direct Selection Tool.

Select the top anchor point and drag it 110 px up and then select the bottom one and drag it 110 px down. In the end this should turn your yellow rectangle into a trapezoid as shown in the second image.

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Step 6

Duplicate your yellow trapezoid (Control + J), select this copy and replace the existing fill color with #ff1b20.

Next, you need to resize this red trapezoid. Make sure that it's selected and hit Control + T. Move to the options bar and focus on the Width and Height section. Be sure that the Maintain Aspect Ratio button is checked and then decrease the existing Width value with 40 px, from 380 px to 340 px. If the existing measurement unit used to indicate the width attribute is not set to pixels simply right click it and select pixels from that list.

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Step 7

Duplicate your red trapezoid (Control + J) and select this copy. Replace the existing fill color with that same yellow, hit Control + T to resize it and then cut 40 px from the existing Width value.

Keep repeating the duplicate and resize technique mentioned in the previous paragraph and stop when you get to a 20 px wide trapezoid. Remember that with every copy you have to cut 40 px from the existing Width value. Use the same yellow and red for the fill colors and in the end things should look like in the following image.

Focus on the Layers panel, select all ten trapezoids and duplicate them (Control + J). Select these copies, Group them (Control + G) and then turn off the visibility of this group. You'll need these shapes later, but for the moment it's better to keep them hidden.

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Step 8

Duplicate your tiniest trapezoid (Control + J) and select the copy. Replace the existing fill color with #00bff3, hit Control + T to resize it and then cut only 10 px from the existing Width value. In the end your blue trapezoid should look like in the following image. Drag it aside, in the corners of the canvas because you will need it later.

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Step 9

Select your largest trapezoid, replace the existing fill color with black and focus on the top side of the Layers panel. Change the Blending Mode to Soft Light and lower the Opacity to 20%. Keep focusing on the Layers panel and simply double click the selected shape to open the Layer Style window.

Activate the existing Drop Shadow effect and enter the attributes shown in the second image. Use the plus button that lies next you your Drop Shadow effect to add a second, similar effect. Select the new Drop Shadow effect and enter the attributes shown in the third image.

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Step 10

Focus on the Layers panel, select your largest, red trapezoid and duplicate it (Control + J). Select this copy, replace its fill color with black (#000000) and then drag it in the bottom of the Layers panel, right above that "Background" layer.

Make sure that your black trapezoid stays selected and keep focusing on the Layers panel. Change its Blending Mode to Overlay, lower the Fill to 0% and then open the Layer Style window. Activate the existing Drop Shadow effect and enter the properties shown in the following image.

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Step 10

Step 11

Select all red trapezoids, replace the red with white (#ffffff) and focus on the Layers panel. Change their Blending Mode to Overlay and lower the Fill to 10%.

Select all yellow trapezoids, replace the yellow with black (#000000) and focus on the Layers panel. Change their Blending Mode to Overlay and lower the Fill to 20%.

Step 11

Step 12

Focus on the Layers panel and turn on the visibility for the group of trapezoids made a few steps ago.

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Step 13

Select those ten trapezoids that lies inside your group, pick the Direct Selection Tool and focus on the options bar. Remove the color from the fill, set the stroke color to white, make it 1 pt wide and then click the Stroke Options button. Keep the default line style and then check the Align to Inside, Butt Cap and Miter Join settings. In the end things should look like in the following image.

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Step 14

Focus on the Layers panel, right click on your group of trapezoids and go to Covert to Smart Object. Make sure that this new smart object stays selected, lower its Fill to 0% and then open the Layers Style window and enter the attributes shown below.

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Step 15

Pick the Pen Tool, focus on the options bar and select Shape from that left drop-down menu.

Now, create a 440 px, vertical path and place it exactly as shown in the following image. Make sure that it stays selected and return to the options bar. Remove the color from the fill and set the stroke color to white. Make it 1 pt wide and then open the Stroke Options window and enter the attributes shown below.

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Step 16

Duplicate your vertical path (Control + J), select the copy and rotate it 60 degrees. Make a second copy of your vertical path and this time rotate it -60 degrees.

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Step 17

Reselect the three paths made in the last two steps and turn them into a smart object. Make sure that this new smart object stays selected and focus on the Layers panel. Lower the Fill to 0% and then open the Layer Style window and enter the attributes shown in the following images.

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Step 18

For the following step you will need a grid every 5 px, so simply go to to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and enter 5 in the Gridline Every box.

Multiply your blue trapezoid (Control + J) and spread the copies as shown in the following image. Make sure that you keep the original, blue trapezoid aside. You'll need it again later.

Step 18

Step 19

Select the six, blue trapezoids added in the previous step and focus on the Layers panel. Change the Blending Mode to Overlay, lower the Fill to 0% and then add the Layer Style attributes shown in the following images.

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Step 20

Pick the Horizontal Type Tool, simply click on your canvas and add the "100" piece of text. Make sure that it stays selected and focus on the Character panel (Window > Character).

Set the color to white, select the Rockwell font, make it Bold and set the size to 8 pt. Use the same tool and text attributes to add the other numbers shown in the following image.

Step 20

Step 21

Make sure that all those numbers are selected and group them (Control + G). Rotate this group 90 degrees and place it as shown in the following image.

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Step 22

Make sure that your group of numbers is still selected and focus on the Layers panel. Change the Blending Mode to Overlay and lower the Fill to 80%.

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Step 23

Using the Pen Tool, create a simple shape roughly as shown in the following image and fill it with #ffb400.

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Step 24

Using the Pen Tool, create a new shape roughly as shown in the following image and fill it with #f65d55.

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Step 25

Using the Pen Tool, create a new shape roughly as shown in the following image and fill it with #00aeef.

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Step 26

Select your yellow shape and focus on the Layers panel. Lower its Opacity to 70% and then open the Layer Style window and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

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Step 27

Select your red shape and focus on the Layers panel. Lower its Opacity to 70% and then open the Layer Style window and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

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Step 28

Select your blue shape and focus on the Layers panel. Lower its Opacity to 70% and then open the Layer Style window and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

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Step 29

Using the Rectangle Tool, create a 370 x 65 px shape, fill it with white and place it as shown in the following image.

Step 29

Step 30

Using the Pen Tool, create a 370 px, horizontal path and place it exactly as shown in the following image. Make sure that it stays selected and go to the options bar. Remove the color from the fill and set the stroke color to white. Make it 1 pt wide and then open the Stroke Options window and enter the attributes shown below.

Switch to the Rectangle Tool, create three, 95 x 25 px shape, fill these new rectangles with a random red and place them exactly as shown in the second image.

Step 30

Step 31

Select your white rectangle, lower its Fill to 0% and then open the Layer Style window and enter the attributes shown in the following images.

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Step 31

That yellow zero that lies above the lft gradient slider stands for Opacity percentage. It simply means that you have to select that gradient slider and drag the Opacity slider to 0%.

Step 31

Step 32

Select your horizontal path, lower its Fill to 30%, change the Blending Mode to Overlay and then open the Layer Style window and enter the attributes shown in the following images.

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Step 32

Step 33

Select those red rectangles, replace the red with white and then focus on the Layers panel. Change the Blending Mode to Overlay and lower the Fill to 10%.

Step 33

Step 34

Using the Horizontal Type Tool, add the new, white piece of text shown below. Use the same font, don't forget to make it Bold and set the size to 10 pt. Open the Layer Style window for this text and enter the attributes shown in the following image.

Step 34
Step 34

Step 35

Make another three copies of that blue trapezoid (Control + J) and place them as shown in the following image.

Focus on the left shape, replace the existing fill color with #f65d55 and then open the Layer Style window and enter the attributes shown in the following images.

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Step 31

Make sure that your red trapezoid is selected, focus on the Layers panel, right click it and go to Copy Layer Style. Focus on the remaining, blue ttrapezoids. Select the left one and replace the blue with #ffb400 and then select the other one and replace the blue with #00aeef. Now, make sure that both shapes are selected, right click on one of these shapes and go to Paste Style.

Step 31

Step 32

Using the Horizontal Type Tool, add the three, white piece of text shown in the following image. Use that same Rockwell font, don't forget to make it Bold and set the size to 9 pt. Copy the Layer Style attributes used for the top piece of text and paste them unto these new pieces of text.

Step 32
Step 32

Step 33

Focus on the top side of your concentric trapezoids. Using the Rectangle Tool, create an 80 x 25 px shape, place it as shown in the following image and set the fill color to white.

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Step 34

Make sure that your white rectangle is still selected, lower its Fill to 10% and then open the Layer Style window and enter the attributes shown below.

Step 34
Step 34

Step 35

Make three copies of that white rectangle (Control + J) and place them as shown in the following image.

Step 35

Step 36

Make another three copies of that white rectangle (Control + J) and place them as shown in the following image. Open the Layer Style window for these fresh copies and simply inverse the angle used for the existing Inner Shadow effect.

Step 36

Step 37

Multiply (Control + J) the colored, tiny trapezoids and place the copies as shown in the following image. These shapes simp,y highlight the person that scored the highest score in that category.

Step 37

Step 38

Using the Horizontal Type Tool, add the white piece of text shown in the following image. Again, use the Rockwell font, don't forget to make it Bold and set the size to 10 pt. Also, add the subtle Drop Shadow effects used for the text from the legend.

Step 38

Step 39

Adjust the lenght of the rectangles that lie behind the piece of text added in the previous step.

Step 39

Step 40

Now, you need to create your own simple pattern. First, hit Control + N to create a new document. Enter 4 in the width and height boxes and click OK.

Make sure that the grid and the Snap to Grid feature are enabled. For this document you need a grid every 1 px. Go to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and enter 1 in the Gridline Every box. Once you set all these properties move to the Layers panel and delete that "Background" layer.

Set the foreground color to black and grab the Rectangle Tool. Create a two, 2 px squares and place them as shown in the following image. Finally, simply go to Edit > Define Pattern. Pick a name for your pattern, click OK and you got your pattern. Close this document and return to your radar chart design.

Step 40

Step 41

Download this pack of hi-res images: Hi-Res Photo Set Vol.1. Drag image #4 inside your document and place it in the bottom of the Layers panel, right above that "Background" layer. Resize your image and position it roughly as shown in the following image.

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Step 42

Make sure that your image is still selected and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 75 px Radius and then click the OK button.

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Step 43

Make sure that your image is still selected and go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation. Check the Use Previous Layer... box and then click the OK button to open the Properties panel. Drag the Hue, Saturation and Lightness sliders as shown below and then feel free to close this panel.

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Step 44

Duplicate your "Background" layer (Control + J), select the copy and drag it right above the image.

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Step 45

Make sure that the copy of your "Background" layer is still selected, lower its Fill to 0% and then open the Layer Style window. Activate the Pattern Overlay section, add the pattern saved a few steps ago and don't forget to enter the rest of the attributes shown below before you click OK.

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Step 46

Finally, feel free to replace the existing image with a different one. Use image #3 from this pack: Hi-Res Photo Set Vol.2 if you want you final design to look as shown in the following image.

Step 46

And We're Done!

I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects. You can download ready-made source file here.

Final Image
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Author: Andrei Marius
Andrei Marius is a self taught vector artist who is trying to make a living doing something that he likes. He spends most of his time working in Adobe Illustrator, trying to avoid the Pen Tool. You can find most of his vector experiments at this little website VforVectors.
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