Mockups and the Blueprint & Play technique

Lea la version en español: Los Mockups y la técnica del Blueprint & Play

A method that make easiest the customization process of the mockups for Photoshop

Over recent years the use of mockups for Photoshop have become in a very coveted resource for designers that are looking to improve the presentation of their projects. Day by day they are requesting different types of Mockups and increasingly complex, but despite that the customization method remains the same, which consists in update the contents of each Smart Object of the scene resulting in many cases in a total waste of time.

Original Mockups believes that this must change, we want to show a method we have been using with good results and we named “Blueprint & Play” which will give to the users the following advantages:

  1. Display the designs onto the mockups in the blink of an eye.
  2. Perform design corrections and display it again almost in real-time (we’ll work hard to make this not an “almost”).
  3. Show cutting lines, bleeding guides, folding guides and all measures of the objects that conforms the scene.
  4. Take advantage of existing designs made in other applications such as Illustrator or InDesign so you can avoid having to adapt your usual workflow, you no longer need to paste pieces of your desing in each Smart Object
  5. Provide a “common customization pattern” on all items and prevent users from having to learn from scratch how they should customize each new mockup.
  6. Access easily to the key Smart Objects and not get lost in a bunch of layer sets looking for the objects which must be edited.

How this works?

The technique involves adding of a special layer that is basically a 2D plan or template containing the measures and the necessary guidelines for the user to put their finished designs there. Then, by using a pre-installed Photoshop Action it automatically will copy the necessary design segments within each Smart Objects that conform the scene.

That is to say, the user places their own design within a 2D plan (Blueprint) and the Action does the hard work for him, so we name it as “Blueprint & Play”

In practice

To explain it better let’s take as an example the Shopping Bag Mockup 06 by Ktyellow where it’s possible to demonstrate the advantages of this technique.

This item is built from a total of 8 Smart Objects: 6 for the outside of the bag and 2 more for the inner side.

Smart Objects count. Red for the outside and blue for the inner side and its corresponding layers.

By using the “traditional technique” the user would have to change the content of each object manually, this could be a complete headache especially when corrections are made to the design. Instead, two new Smart Objects are added at the beginning, one of them contains the 2D plane to the outside of the paper bag and the other one the inner side.

The Smart Objects marked in blue contains the blueprints

Within there are very clear guidelines of where should be placed the design, their sizes and directions, even if it is necessary it could have a vectorized attached file for Illustrator for which can be useful for users who don’t have a design yet.

Bleed guides, folding guides and sizes, Here is where the user must place their designs

After the placement of the designs, you must save and close, but unlike the traditional method, nothing will happen in the mockup until the corresponding action is triggered, this is what makes the magic and gives meaning to this technique.

Users will not have to worry about putting each segment of their designs in the Smart Objects, the action will automagically loop through each one placing the corresponding design segment in the right place.

Finally, you will appreciate your design onto the final resulting mockup. Watch the video below:

Where are the actions?

While this technique seeks to make easiest the customization process for users, the authors of mockups will have additional tasks, they must provide the actions and instructions needed to make them work.

Original Mockups have a repository of Actions, users download them from their downloads page and every file that uses this technique has an additional layer with help that tells you what is the action you need to run.

Instructions are present in the most of the premium files of Original Mockups

Downsides

The downsides are mostly in the author side, but if you are looking for customer satisfaction will be worth it.

  • The authors of mockups will be forced to create the blueprints and tell their users which actions should run.
  • Users should keep updated these actions. We are working hard to make this an automatic process in a near future.
  • For very simple Mockups or with few Smart Objects not make sense to use this technique, unless you want to provide guides and sizes additionally.

If you have used any item of Original Mockups or are on the way to becoming an author of mockups, we strongly recommend that you have this in mind, although it may seem difficult to carry out, the result will be satisfactory for us the authors, but mostly for the clients.

We would love to know what do you think, leave us a comment.

By Alexander Ruiz @fenixkim, CO Founder & CTO at Original Mockups, Colombia.