How the winners of the SevenStyles competition created their entries

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Recently we challenged our community to make the most amazing things they could using Photoshop plugin, “Flex” by GraphicRiver’s SevenStyles. Now, we’ve asked the Authors of some of our winning entries how they came up with their creations.

Nippur (Argentina) - Grand Prize Winner

"Actions are not my strongest skill..."

My name is Matias Sesti (aka Nippur), and I’m a freelance motion designer from Buenos Aires. I became an Envato Author about 4 years ago because it gave me the possibility to make some profit from the different experiments I did while learning different styles of animation.

Actions are not my strongest skill so I thought it could be a good way to test them. I ended-up submitting 14 entries! It was a kind of compulsion!

How I made my winning entry

While I was watching FLEX running a few times, it reminded me of the textures and movements of this title sequence:

So I wondered if applying the action to a frame sequence could have a similar result.

My first try was on “the walking loop”:

Walking Loop by Nippur

I had many issues as the frame was just 1000x1000 and the result was not very interesting as the walking figure has no detail or gradients. I also realized that the bright edges generated the blue geometrical shapes.

I chose an old version of a logo sting I had previously made with the shatter effect as it had many pieces with contrast and it was quite short. The shatter effect has an alpha channel (I didn´t use a background image) so I rendered a Photoshop Document (PSD) sequence with an alpha channel:

Flex process by Nippur

The next step was quite time intensive and quite boring to be honest! I had to create a layer brush from the alpha channel for each PSD and then run the action separately. I strongly suggest that if you are going to follow these steps, work on a 2K frame that is slightly bigger than full HD to avoid any potential bugs running Flex.

Once I had finished all the frames, I imported them into a new PSD so all the frames generated a final animated GIF.

Perhaps it’s not somewhat different from the “Pillars of the Earth” effect, but it does have a unique and interesting result of its own!

Check out more of Mat/Nippur's work on VideoHive and Behance!

Stockware (Russia) - Runner Up

"A few clicks and you've got an oil painting, a pixel effect, or a watercolor photo. I think it's magic!"
My name is Adel. I'm a designer from Russia. I was awarded second place in the SevenStyles Photoshop Action competition. I would also like to thank the Envato Team, SevenStyles, and Pixabay and Unsplash for images.

I have used Photoshop Actions before, but SevenStyles took things to a whole new level. SevenStyles creates really cool and useful Photoshop actions - perhaps the highest quality Photoshop actions I have ever used. A few clicks and you’ve got an oil painting, a pixel effect, or a watercolor photo. I think it’s magic!

How I made my winning entry

Look at the following beautiful image by xusenru that became the main part of my first entry:


I then took the following “Hubble Telescope” image by Andrew-Art:


After this, I found a background with cool dark clouds from the official Unsplash account on Pixabay:


Cut out elements, united these images. Now i’ve got an awesome collage. Next, I used the Flex action by SevenStyles, fine-tuned it, and then added some particles and lighting effects:


It was my first entry, so I posted it on the official contest forum thread, but I thought it was too easy, so I decided to add my image on a photo with a monitor and a tablet. I guess it turned out to be a cool idea! After exploring Unsplash I found the pic that I was needing.


I placed my first image on this photo, added lighting, effects, particles, color correction and the Flex action.

And this is how I made a piece of work that took home second place! I also got $500! I’d like to congratulate Nippur on his first place wining entry, congratulations, great job! My recommendation to anyone reading is, don’t forget about Envato Contests - it’s really fun!

Check out Stockware on ThemeForest!

GraphicGrape (Palestine)


My name is Abdelrahman S. Abushanab from Palestine State and, I was born in 1990 in Gaza. I'm now married and have one son. I graduated from the information technology faculty at the Islamic university in 2013 and after that I work with United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) for 15 months. More recently, I worked as a graphic designer at Haweya within the I.T. industry and I'm also a GraphicRiver author under the account name “GraphicGrape”.
"Sometimes I have to go to my friends house or elsewhere to find electricity or internet access."
I count Envato Market as a gateway to the world because all Gazans suffer from blocked and electricity problems. Sometimes I have to go to my friends house or elsewhere to find electricity or internet access.

Before I entered the contest, I had some prior experience with Photoshop actions as I had created my own pencil drawing Photoshop action. After entering however, I got a lot more new information and experience.

Part of the reason for entering the contest was to get some new and better experience using Photoshop actions as well as the opportunity to win a prize and get a new community badge of course!


Check out more of Abdelrahman's work on GraphicRiver and Behance!

Xiox (Germany)

"I use Photoshop professionally, yet actions like Flex still blow my mind."
My name is Devin Hansen, originally from Canada, but currently living in Berlin, Germany working as a graphic designer for the company Aeria Games. I'm also an Envato Author.

I believe I saw the contest announcement on my author dashboard. It’s nice to be able to do creative things purely for fun. If there’s a contest like this that I’m capable of doing, I enjoy taking part.

I use Photoshop professionally, yet actions like Flex still blow my mind.

I created about seven or eight images, but only chose to submit two of them.

I mainly take photos of animals and nature, so I thought it’d be interesting to see how they would look with a grungy sci-fi sort of look. I tried things like landscapes and plants, but using what are in my opinion, interesting animals, is what really stood out to me.

Before & After


The most difficult part is simply just not knowing exactly what you’re going to get in the end, but that’s also the beauty of it, happy accidents can and most likely will happen. Using an action itself is pretty easy, just brush and click and get something awesome, though with mine I did a little bit of editing. I adjusted the colours to get a warmer feel, and masked out bits that felt out of place. Before all that however, it took quite a few tries to figure out where exactly I should brush to get the best outcome.

While I enjoyed seeing it work with my own stuff, it’s actually pretty inspiring to see the work that others have done with it. Looking at some of them made me think, “Wow, I wish I’d thought of that!”

It was a fun contest, and a really great idea to get a top author involved in the process, along with basing it around an item within the marketplace.

Every action I’ve ever bought/downloaded has been from SevenStyles interestingly! That said, I mainly use them to play around with, similar to this contest. My Creative Director often mentions SevenStyles and his actions as something that we could benefit from in some of our projects, so I imagine that I will be using them more in the future.

See more of Devin's work on DeviantArt, GraphicRiver, and Behance!

Kapor (Transylvania)

"When I enter any contest, I always think about, what is the 1% difference that will make my work better than everyone else's submissions?"
My name is Kovács Apor, I'm currently living in Budapest, and I have a common company with my brother, Kovács Hunor László that we call the Hunap Studio. My occupation is product designer, and my brother is an architect, so we founded our studio where we produce graphic design, product design, and architecture projects.

My idea was to imagine an exhibition in a gallery full of common buildings from the world. So I tried to make some buildings, which stand close to my heart.

I started to make a picture with my homeland Transylvania, and after I uploaded it I thought, this action is so cool so I began making other images with the action too. I tried to make different common places from all around the world, so I began with my homeland, then Budapest, and I continued with Paris and finally Pisa. The image I was most please with was Paris which was the image selected as a finalist.

When I enter any contest, I always think about, what is the 1% difference that will make my work better than everyone else’s submissions? In this particular contest, the concept of buildings around the world was the 1% difference.

I specifically chose the Eiffel tower because I have two fond personal memories from Paris. The first time was when I attended an intensive design week in Paris, and the second occasion was the final ceremony of the Electrolux Design Lab, where I was ranked in the Top 6 in the world. So I always remember with pleasure both of those events.

Here’s Kapor’s Top 6 entry in the Electrolux Design Lab contest:

I’ve purchased actions in the past and I am sure that in the future I will buy again. One of my favorites is Sketch Generator by yogurt86. Since the contest ended, I’ve saved SevenStyles as one of my favorite Authors, and I am sure that I will purchase other items from him.

See more work by Kapor and Hunap Studio on Behance and GraphicRiver!

TannerBoyle (USA)


My name is Bob Brunner, originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have lived in and around Seattle, WA for 15 plus years. I enjoy evolving ideas into things we can hear, see and touch. I am an Envato customer with a few Envato Author projects in the works.

The free action from SevenStyles [for this contest] got my attention; he has some great actions on Envato Market and hey, a chance to earn some extra cash would certainly help upgrading some gear!

The flex action speaks, well, ….action. I was looking for a still photo that let the viewer finish the movement. With the Olympics this summer, the subject of a swimmer - particularly one swimming the breaststroke would do just that. It wasn’t a difficult task to create my entry but it certainly took some time. Overall it was a fun, fun contest!

Check out Bob/TannerBoyle at and on Twitter!

DupuisEtienne (Canada)

I am a Graphic Designer/ 2D Artist from Montreal, Qc, Canada

I always wanted to enter in a designer contest and it was my first time

I really wanted to create something simple but beautiful, using the essence of the SevenStyle action without any fireworks. The picture was very important for me because it was going to give all the charm and meaning to the image. So I selected the face of a woman, which to me inspired gentleness, beauty and simplicity.


The action really made me think about space/universe which is where I got the concept from. It was really hard not to add more to my image, I was really focusing on making something simple but good enough to create emotion.

As it was my first contest I am really thrilled that my creation was in the final list. I hadn’t previously used any Photoshop actions prior to the contest but will try more now for sure! I really like the idea and hope there will be more.

Find out more about DupuisEtienne at

To find out more about current contests and challenges, keep visiting the challenges section on our blog!

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