THE SECRET TO HIGH-END REALISTIC MOCK-UPS – MADE EASY!
Let’s talk about how we can instantly make your opt-ins, blog posts and branding look super professional by using screen, smartphone and tablet mock-ups to preview your content.
Firstly, what is a mock-up?
Mock-ups span a variety of categories, but simply put:
A mock-up is a stock image with a certain, intended place for your design, screenshot or message to make it look like it was intentionally photographed that way.
Case in point, the image on the left is a mock-up, and the image on the right is the final result once I’ve inserted my screenshot.
What kind of mock-ups can you get?
Pretty much anything! Typically for online businesses, the most common ones tend to be:
Smartphone or tablets
Mugs and tote bags
Desktop monitors and laptop screens
Plain notepaper and business stationery
Invites and event stationery
But you can also get t-shirt mock-ups, product packaging mock-ups, even mock-ups for cars!
What are they used for?
You can use them for so many things, but a few examples include:
(insert a screenshot of your blog post into a smartphone mock-up for instance)
(showcase your opt-in landing page on a big computer screen)
(display your designs on mugs, bags, journals etc)
(show off your logo, moodboard or values on stationery mock-ups)
(showcase your wedding invites or calligraphy services on stationery mock-ups)
(show off your prints, quotes or headshots in frame mock-ups)
There’s seriously so many more uses for realistic mock-ups in your marketing, but you get the drift. If you need some more ideas, check out this post for 7 unique ways to use mock-ups.
In this post however, I’m talking about screen mock-ups – such as laptops, tablets monitors and smartphones, and how to overlay your design or screenshot in Canva so it looks realistic and high-end – and I promise, anyone can do this!
(Not got a Canva account? Why not? You can sign up with a free plan here)
pin for later!
INSERTING PREVIEWS INTO SCREEN MOCK-UPS
1: Let’s start with your intended template open and the mock-up image as the background. In this instance, I’m using an monitor mock-up from the Tide & Tree members library.
2: Now, lock this background image down by clicking the padlock in the top right corner.
3: Screenshot your landing page on a monitor (or a phone or tablet if that’s the mock-up you’re using) and upload it to Canva.
4: Click Elements on the left hand side and then choose the plain square grid. It should appear over your background image. Don’t worry – it hasn’t disappeared! Now, drag the handles at the side of the grid until it’s the right size for your screen. (Don’t forget with most screens, there is a small black border around the image)
5: Now that’s aligned nicely, go in to Uploads and locate your uploaded screenshot. Click, hold and drag it over the grid and it should automatically insert into the space. (You may need to double click inside the grid and move the image around a bit if it doesn’t fit the space exactly.)
Voila! Download your finished graphic from Canva and you’re ready to use it!
MAKING MOCK-UPS LOOK REALISTIC
Here are a few tips to make them look ‘real’!
Add a grey, semi-transparent overlay box to the screen area to replicate that ‘dullness’ that screens can have.
Decrease the brightness of the image for another similar ‘real’ effect.
Try and use a mock-up which picks up on a colour or tone in the image – or use a mock-up that’s very neutral and therefore won’t detract from the screen.
Make sure your mock-up screen is in focus. Sometimes for effect, an image may be out of focus (and therefore not intended to use as a mock-up) You can blur the screen insert to match, but often it’s best to stick to images with the screen already in focus.
FIXING DISTORTED FRAMES
Sometimes you may find you do all of the above and yet the screenshot still looks unrealistic and, ‘off’. This is often due to it looking angled on certain sides, and not on others. This is called distortion.
Case in point:
Check out this mock-up onto a smartphone at an angle:
Can you see how the black border isn’t even with the screenshot?
Usually this is because there was a slight distortion when photographing the image. For the photographer to correct this when editing, it could render the rest of the image looking weird. It’s such a small distortion you’d never spot it, until you overlay your screenshot that is.
Luckily, there’s a really simple solution for Canva and a couple of options for Adobe Photoshop! These tips will work on any screen; laptop, monitor, tablet or smartphone!
1: With your screenshot in place over the mock-up screen space; select a plain square shape from the Elements tab, colour it black and place it over your screenshot upload.
2: Size and angle the shape to be the exact same size as your uploaded screenshot. (It helps to lower the opacity of the shape so you can see the screenshot behind the shape)
3: Now slightly extend the size of each side of the shape ever so slightly so that it covers the black space intended for the screenshot, and therefore ‘hides’ the distortion. Make sure the shape has an even border around the screenshot upload.
4: Position the shape behind the screenshot (top right corner when the shape is selected) and bring the opacity back to 100%
Photoshop – option one
1: In the document with your mock-up and screenshot, right click on your screenshot layer and select Blending Options.
2: From there click and select ‘Stroke’, select a size that looks like a realistic border, pick black as the colour, and select ‘Outside’ as the position. Keep blending mode normal.
3: This adds a small rounded border to the image; you can now extend the size of the screenshot ever so slightly to overtake the black space of the mock-up screen. This effectively ‘covers up’ the distortion.
Photoshop – option two
1: In the document with your mock-up as a background layer, and your screenshot in a new layer – keep your screenshot straight and hit Ctrl/Command + T.
2: From there, rotate the screenshot to fit the intended space as best as possible, then before hitting enter, right click and hit ‘Skew’.
3: Then, click and hold each corner box and move it into place. This effectively allows you to ‘distort’ your screen and skew it into position. It’s a little trickier, but possibly the most realistic.
Using any the above techniques will help you get realistic mock-ups, keep any minimal distortion from being noticeable and make your branding, designs, quotes & screenshots look super professional!
Do you use mock-ups for your business? Share your tips in the comments!
pin for later!