I showed off random team sets earlier this year when several of them hit at once (S1, GQ, etc). Now that the summer has drawn to a close we can take a look at what the past few months had to offer.
I’m calling it. I have completed it. Honestly, I thought I had it completed two years ago, but Topps has this lovely habit of extending parallels into infinity and not really mentioning it anywhere. If you’re wondering what the hell I’m talking about and why am I not just posting pictures of cards, let me catch you up.
I was fortunate to get my hands on a free box of 2016 Stadium Club thanks to the awesome folks over at the MLBPA and their twitter contests. I hadn’t busted any hobby boxes this year, that sort of thing just isn’t in my budget, so when I was notified that I won I was pretty excited. Stadium Club has always been about the amazing photography and, as a photographer, I’m deeply envious of every photographer who gets to do this sort of thing as a day job. It’s, literally, my dream job. I couldn’t imagine anything more awesome than combining two of my favorite things on the planet.
Now that we’re finally deep enough into card season that releases are coming out every few weeks, I can catch up on my team sets. I know it’s not glamorous, a little boring, whatever you want to call it, but team sets are still my primary collecting goal. Not hits, not rookies, not individual players, but team sets themselves make up the bulk of my collecting. I also cheat and buy them rather than bust packs for them. A) I’ve never, in the history of ever, pulled all the cards I need for a set. Not once. I’m always chasing loose ends. B) It’s significantly cheaper. Buying a $12 team set and getting the exact 10, 15, 20 cards I need is considerably more economical than buying a $20 blaster and getting 2, or an $80 box and getting all but 3 (and then paying $3 each for those missing ones).
I’m sure most folks in the card blogging community have read that Sam, aka The Daily Dimwit, is taking a break from collecting. While many have left kind regards and well wishes to him on his blog (as well you should), I actually know Sam in real life, and can do that in person. Our wives have known each other since grade school and I met Sam, through that connection, after moving to Texas years ago. I credit him with my eventual return to the hobby. We try and meet up when we can, catch up, and usually exchange cardboard. He was in town a little while ago and, although we weren’t able to meet up this time, he left me quite the card package on my door-step. We’ll have to work out schedules and properly plan a time to hang out soon. So until I can thank him in person, a blog post in gratitude will have to suffice.
I should start this off by saying the easier way to do this is to take a scan of a card and simply cut out the “corner” design elements and paste them onto a photo. If you’re more inclined to do that, I’d recommend reading the first part of the tutorial and ignoring the later 2/3rds. However, if you’d like to know how to recreate the 2016 Topps design, vaguely accurately, read on.
Prerequisites: In order to complete this tutorial you’re going to need a few things…
- Basic to moderate Photoshop knowledge.
- Photoshop CS6 or CC (for the lens blur effects and stacking layer styles)
- Several “grunge” and/or “water color” Photoshop brushes. Some free examples here, here and here.
- Various metal textures and patterns, examples here.
- A “metal hole” texture or pattern, good example here.
- Team logo of your choice (good resolution)
- A high-res photo of your favorite baseball player. Try Google, image search, “more options”, “larger than 4mb”.
Let’s do this!