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ISSUE 43
Abstract creation | Fashion retouching | Expert illustration techniques | Interview: Darren Hopes

CREATE THIS COVER FROM A PHOTO

ABSTRACT
CREATION
Nik Ainley manipulates a photo with
actions and the Twirl and Wave filters

BUILD UP
TEXTURE
Illustrate with painted
and drawn textures

MAS

RETOU
TER T
HE ART O
F

£5.99
43
CHING w
ISSN 1748-7277
ISSUE 43

771748 727009
9
www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk

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.CO

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OP
VANCEDPHOTOSH

OUR VER

pages of professional DESIGN COLLECTIVES


CO

tips & essential step- We investigate how art groups are


.AD

by-step tutorials
WW

a source of inspiration and advice


W

Blue Magic by Miranda Adria

001_AVP43_AbstractNikNewBlu.indd1 1 2/4/08 16:48:35


Cover

Cover image
We’re big fans of Nik’s work here at Advanced
Photoshop, so it is with our pleasure that his
fantastic tutorial image is on the cover. Nik is a UK- Imageer:
based designer who taught himself Photoshop in his NIK AINLEY
spare time while gaining a degree in Physics at
Imperial College London before moving full-time
into the design world. This is the second of two great
tutorials that Nik has written for us, unveiling the
NIK’S FANTASTIC
secrets of his inspirational style.
/
TUTORIAL IMAGE IS ON
THE COVER
www.shinybinary.com

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Keeping an eye on the latest trends in contemporary photography, art
and design, Insight sets out to snapshot innovation in the making

GALLERIES (ABOVE): Images can be


stored in Galleries, which can then be
organised in the Library. A short bio can
also be added, reminiscent of community
art sites
POP COLOR (LEFT): There are a number
of special effects available to give your
images a bit of punch. Here you can choose
to ‘pop’ a certain colour within an image

Adobe launches Photoshop Express


Adobe has launched a new generation of image-editing options include tools for touching up images, improving
software in the form of Photoshop Express. The public beta of exposure and adding special effects. Once edited, the code
this free online application is available now, but presently it is can be embedded in sites like Facebook, or on an online blog,
US-only, English-only. enhancing the community aspect of the program that Adobe
Photoshop Express is described as a Rich Internet is keen to push as a key benefit.
Application and uses the popularity of social-networking sites The benefits of being able to access the program from
such as Facebook to enable users to edit, share and organise anywhere at any time is a massive boon. “Photoshop Express is
digital images on the web. It also enables integration with a convenient, single destination where you can store, edit and
these social-networking services, as well as blog sites, for share photos whether you’re at home, school or on the road,”
displaying photographs. concurs Doug Mack, vice president of Consumer and Hosted
Photoshop Express has the same easy-to-use and intuitive Solutions at Adobe. This benefit is enhanced by the fact that it
interface that we have come to expect from the product family. will work on any web browser and any operating system. As it
Users register for an account, which is free, then they can is in public beta, Adobe is encouraging Photoshop Express
upload their images, store them in Galleries, organise them in a users to provide feedback on the features and functionality
Library and rate them for easy searching. Those familiar with before the official product launches, with future plans
Lightroom will see the familiarity in aesthetics, with the Library including availability in other languages and countries. Users
information listed in a black panel to the left and images outside of the US can access the beta, but as this is not the
previewed in the right-hand window. intended audience at the present time, these visitors may
Editing tools appear basic, but they are sophisticated and experience slow performance.
consumerised versions of tools found in CS3, but without the
additional manual parameters for making further adjustments.
www.photoshop.com/express
While not competing with Photoshop or even Photoshop
Elements for high-end image editing, the results are good and

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insight
OnOne announces FocalPoint
OnOne Software has announced its latest
Photoshop plug-in, FocalPoint. Aimed at THE INTERFACE: As with all of OnOne Software’s
plugins, the tools are easy to access and utilise
professional photographers, this plug-in is

DIARY
designed for help with selective focus and
vignetting, so will prove popular with those
specialising in portraits.

DATES
The plug-in will create a soft, defocused
finish, usually created in-camera using
specially designed lenses and promises to
be quicker and easier to use than
producing the effects with Photoshop’s
own tools. It will help to create realistic
depth of field, plane of focus and selective
LAST OF THE focus effects. This is achieved using the
DICTIONARY MEN FocusBug control which enables you to
choose a ‘sweet spot’ of focus, then adjust
Until 5 May the level of blur applied. FocusBug can be
www.balticmill.com tilted in 3D to simulate using a tilt-shift
BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, lens. Settings can be saved as a preset and
Gateshead, UK then incorporated into a Photoshop Action
for batch processing.
PIXEL PERFECT: THE The plugin is available for $159.95
DIGITAL FINE ART (approximately £80 at the time of writing).

EXHIBITION
www.ononesoftware.com
Until 8 May
www.agora-gallery.com
The Agora Gallery, New York, USA

ZHUGAN, SHARIY,
ZORKO: 20TH
Datacolor launches new Spyder 3 solutions
The popular colour-management solution Spyder has
CENTURY ART FROM been enhanced with the launch of two new products.
Moving up the calibration ladder, Spyder3Print
SOVIET UKRAINE Up first, the Spyder3Pro (£104.90 / $169) presents an
(£314.72 / $499) works alongside the Spyder3Pro in a
fully color-managed workflow, offering intuitive printer
Until 9 May entry-level monitor calibration solution, which builds
profiling. The latest addition to this product family has
www.thechambersgallery.co.uk upon the Spyder2 offering a smaller form factor and
an updated Datacolor 1005 spectrocolorimeter and
The Chambers Gallery, London, UK speedier calibration. The Spyder3Pro comes with a
colour calibration tile for more accurate readings. As
desktop cradle and suction cup and counterweight
with most of the Spyder products, on-screen wizards
URBAN ENCOUNTERS: mounting options to suit your desktop setup. Datacolor
lead you through the calibration process and you can
PHOTOGRAPHY, claims that monitor calibration time is cut by 29 per cent
create new profiles in minutes.
ETHNOGRAPHY AND over its predecessor, offering first-time calibration in five
minutes, and re-calibration in just two-and-a-half
These two product s join the Spyder3Elite for studio
THE CITY minutes. Additionally, its colorimeter is the only seven-
calibrati on and the Spyder3Studio for complete

(CONFERENCE) detector colour engine on the market, leading to a greater


16-17 May screen sampling area and a 400 per cent increase in light www.datacolor.eu
www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/experts sensitivity. It also comes with SpyderProof, a proofing
Goldsmiths, University of London, control for checking the calibration results through a
London, UK before and after selection.
colour manage ment.

STUART WHIPPS:
MING JUE
Until 1 June
http://artatwalsall.org.uk
New Art Gallery, Walsall, UK

NU VISUAL LANGUAGE
7 May – 15 July
www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/
museum_gfx_en/AM47839.html
Bargate Monument Gallery,
Southampton, UK

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insight
CAPTAIN’S QUARTERS: “This
image was created by pencil
sketch first, then scanned and
coloured in Photoshop”

PIRATE’S KEY: “This image


was a mixed-media piece that
was created using sculpture,
photography, Photoshop and
Corel Painter. I sculpted one
tentacle and one skull. I
photographed the skull and
tentacle under a yellow light
against a black background. I
twisted and turned the tentacle
under the same light so it looked
like different tentacles. I brought
all the photos into Photoshop
and assembled the piece. I then
painted over the entire image to
create all the suckers on the
tentacles in Corel Painter and
then went back to Photoshop
and overlayed textures”

Douglas A. Sirois
Douglas Sirois is a freelance illustrator who focuses on narrative illustration for books,
concept art for online games and film, and is a finishing illustrator for CD and DVD
covers. He started out in the clothing industry: “I designed t-shirts, biker artwork,
textile patterns, and everything related to the design and look of a clothing line, such
as catalogues, advertisements and website artwork. I learned so much about
Photoshop and Illustrator in five years of working in that industry”. However, his first
piece of commercial work was in an entirely different area: “My first commissions were
done for a real estate company. Hundreds of traditional watercolour portraits of
houses given to people as gifts when they bought a new house. I had a friend doing
these and was asked if I wanted to give it a try. I ended up taking on as many as I could
handle in two-and-a-half years.”
Following the education route, Sirois has a BFA in Illustration from The Art Institute
of Boston in Massachusetts, where he was raised. A year later he moved to California,
and after five years of freelancing he decided to get his MFA in Illustration from
California State University, Fullerton, which he is currently halfway through.
At the moment, Sirois is working on an illustrated novel based on a fantasy story
about the Greenman. “It’s quite an undertaking for me because I am writing and
illustrating the book. It should take me a year or so to complete.”
He has had plenty of big projects in his time as a freelance illustrator: “Nowadays I
work for a design studio, Menagerie Creative, on a lot of DVD covers for the major
movie studios such as Paramount, MGM, FOX and United Artists. I did some
illustrations for the 20th anniversary of The Princess Bride that are found inside the
booklet. I worked on the re-releases of old John Ford classics like The Grapes of Wrath
and I on some Bob Hope portraits.”
His methods are very precise and many of his images go through the same
workflow process: “First, I create a variety of thumbnails to get a composition that I
like. Then I redraw the sketch to a finished drawing. I scan the drawing into
Photoshop, where I will use the Smudge tool to turn a line drawing into a value study.
Once I brush over the entire drawing in Photoshop I use a new layer with the blending
mode on Multiply. This keeps all the darks of the image and adds colour to the
midtones. I paint over the image and let the image come through either in Photoshop
or Corel Painter. I use a new layer and leave the Opacity on 100% at Normal blending
mode and paint in highlights. I then use adjustment layers to unify all the colours in
the image. After hundreds of tweaks and adjustments and bouncing back and forth, I
finish it up.”
/ www.dougsirois.com

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05.08

THE NORTH WO
ODS:
“This image was cre
ated by
pencil sketch first,
scanned and AMONGST FRIENDS: “This image was
coloured in Photosho
p, then created by pencil sketch first, scanned and
painted over to ad
d texture coloured in Photoshop, then painted over
effects in Corel Pai
nter” to add texture effects in Corel Painter”

NIGHTMARE
KINKADE’S
O U SE : “T hi s image
H ch
as crea te d by pencil sket
w
and coloured
first, scanned
in Photoshop”

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insight

DIGITALISM: “This image


VE: was made for Evoke’s art
EONE IN LO e very
LIKE SOM m ad e in th pack Revolution. After I
e w as
“This piec started composed all the major
when I just e thing I
beginning at io ns. Th elements together and did
us tr n
creating ill about this illustratio some adjustments, I finished
ost
love the m , I love to play around it with some small details,
es
is the textur which gave me this result”
es”
with textur

DREAM IS MY
REALITY: “I found
this image with a
statue on it, cut it
into pieces and hung
it on wires. I created
the checkerboard
myself and blended
it into a texture
of water”

JESUS: “I blend
ed
the textures toge
ther
and experimen
ted
with the blending
option. To creat
e the
image of Jesus
in
the middle I took
some time to fin
d
some interesting
photos and ble
nded
them together”

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016-017_AVP_43_Insight.indd 16 3/4/08 12:10:33


Eric Oosterhof
Eric Oosterhof showed a canny interest for the arts from a young age, Salvador Dali’s
work in particular. However, his fervour for digital design is only a recent interest,
05.08
spawning from experimentation for the web. Oosterhof explains: “I started using
Photoshop two-and-a-half years ago. I mainly used the program for web design but later
on discovered an interest in digital illustrations, which caused me to use Photoshop
more. After a lot of trial and error I learned new techniques and methods to express my
way in graphic design/digital illustration.”
It is this experimentation that has led to his aesthetically pleasing style. However,
Oosterhof backed his creative knowledge by taking the traditional route of creative
education. “I finished my four-year college course in Graphic Design in Enschede,
Netherlands, in 2005,” he says, adding: “After that I studied two more years at the
Academy of Fine Arts & Technology, also located in Enschede.” It wasn’t long before he
was hot on the freelance trail, doing commissions for friends and clientele: “I got my first
commission after they noticed my work featured on the net. They contacted me and
invited me over to discuss the project, which was the company’s showcase. I helped them
by doing the graphics for the website.”
However, with all his success as a freelancer, he is one of the few that looks for the
security of an in-house job. He explains: “At this moment I’m doing some freelance jobs,
which I love to do, but I’m still looking for a company to work for. I hope to reach my
personal goals, having a full-time job in graphic or multimedia design and to get the best
out of myself. I will keep motivated to reach the highest level. I’ve said that in the past
and I will achieve it.” Such ambition to better himself has served Oosterhof well within
his composition, appealing through its fantastical and contemporary approach. It is this
need to evolve that has also seen him muse whether he has an attachment to a
consistent style, saying: “I think design is a never-ending process. But at this moment I
really enjoy creating surreal illustrations with a lot of influence from Dali’s work. So at this
moment I will label it as surrealism. Since design is my life, and my life is still young, you
surely will see some fresh work in the future!”
We’re certain Oosterhof will stick to his word.
/ www.ontwerpje.net

THE MORE I SEE: “This piece is abou


t
: “This revolution. It was made out of different
THE STRUGGLE WITHIN and a lot of photos. I did some routin
layers
urite. It’s a e blending
image is my personal favo and adjustments to get this final result
blending,
perfect example of great ”
took me
composing and quality. It
result”
ten hours to get the final

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insight

DRESSCODE:
TOXIC: This is one
Graziano worked as
FIREWATER 08: both art director
of a series of crazy
An evolution from and illustrator on
and contemporary
o7, Graziano this project for Dress
illustrations for
participated again Code, a distinct
Toxic.fm radio
in the art direction streetwear brand
of promotional
flyers and posters
for Firewater events
2007-2008

18
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018-019_AVP_43_Insight.indd 18 3/4/08 12:32:46


Nazario Graziano
Nazario Graziano has always been preoccupied with a wild and fruitful imagination. Whittling
away the school hours, you’d without doubt find his primary exercise book filled with all kinds of
05.08
robots, shapes, clouds, type letters and strange puppets.
“After this I discovered the magical world of Commodore 64 videogames,” explains Graziano.
“The final step in my digital progression was my first PC, where I experimented with graphic
design.” This led to Graziano’s exploration of Photoshop.
“I use Photoshop 80 per cent of the time with a great deal of sketched and scanned material. I
research and locate most of my images from old and peculiar books. I’ve a nice library with rare
and very old illustration books.” He explains: “Illustrator is a good ally for my artwork.”
It’s apparent that Graziano is an artist who likes to think outside the box. So, unsurprisingly, his
route into a freelance capacity was anything but conventional: “I went through the back door
when learning my design skills. I’ve studied from books, web portals, magazines and art
communities. I think in this kind of work it’s very important to examine the graphic styles and
moods in the world at 360 degrees everyday. It’s like taking good medicine!”
Graziano’s imagination is matched by his memory as he recalls his first commission: “My first
commission was assigned by a family member, my cousin, to design a logotype for a launderette
called Splash! After more than ten years the logo is still on the launderette door and still looks
funny and smart!” From such humble beginnings he has gone on to expand an impressive
portfolio of clients including MTV, Chicago magazine, Vodafone magazine Cilichili, CD cover art
for Indie-rock band Munroe Effect and more.
Matching this impressive list is an inspiring portfolio of distinctive design. So much so that
Graziano finds it hard to make a definite association to style. His work seems so personal to him:
“It’s difficult to explain so let’s go with ‘file under: collage - digital – handmade – ironic –
colourful – funny – childhood’.”
Presently he is expanding his breadth of entertaining illustration. “I’m doing a new illustration
for Chicago magazine, a special music book for Entertainment Weekly and a series of illustrations
for a Swiss indie radio station. Probably in the next month I’ll start a new art direction with a
streetwear brand.” Somehow we think he’ll manage with imagination to spare.
/ www.ngdesign.it

CAB: This composition was


FIREWATER 07: On again used for promotional
thi
Nazario participated s project purposes for the Snob/
in the art Firewater New Year’s Eve party
direction of promo EQUILIBRIO VERTICALE:
tional flyers in the city of Rome. This time
and posters for Fire Revisiting familiar work
water events the design was fashioned
2006-2007 practices, this illustrative piece
entirely from digital media was produced for the
FOURILOUGO 07 exhibition

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Letters

Mailbox
Do you have a question or opinion about the
magazine. E-mail your thoughts to
advancedpshop@imagine-publishing.co.uk
or visit www.advancedphotoshop/forum
If there is anything in particular you would like
to see more of, do please let us know.

SUBJECT: Course concerns


FROM: Ovais Khan
I am a graphic designer, so I bought Advanced
Photoshop magazine. I realised that I have
been missing out, because when I was at
university I studied Graphic Design to be able
to become a general designer using Photoshop,
Illustrator, Quark XPress, etc. I want to now look
for a college course to build on the creative side
more. I’d love to learn more about Photoshop
to make my work more exciting, but I can’t
seem to find a course. Do you have any idea
where I can find an intermediate Photoshop
course? I already know the basics. I live in
Isleworth (Middlesex), so are there any courses uk/ell/cfa/computing/computing_design/
TUTORIALS: Are there any improvements we could around in London? intro_photoshop.html. Your best bet is to use a
implement to make our tutorials easier to follow?
Let us know… search engine like Google, and type in
Editor replies: There are plenty of courses in ‘Photoshop courses in London’; you will see
SUBJECT: Hollywood effects and around London tailored for whatever hundreds of courses, one of which is sure to
FROM: Vincent de Vries your skill level, and whatever time you can meet your needs.
I tried, full of enthusiasm, to do the workshop dedicate to this. For a start, you could take a
on ‘Hollywood effects at home’ by Adam Smith. I look at www.ubiq.co.uk/courses/photoshop_ SUBJECT: Graduate showcase
got completely lost concerning the different training_courses.htm, which has a variety FROM: Simon Lee
layers, their order and titles, which is a shame. I of one- and two-day courses for advanced I am about to graduate from my Digital Design
am not a newbie in Photoshop, but got totally Photoshop techniques geared towards specific course and that made me think about getting
off track. I experienced something like this end uses, such as for the web. There are also my work seen by those ‘in the know’. I have seen
before in an earlier workshop. Would it be courses available in London through www. that you used to run a Graduate Showcase in the
possible to be more clear in that department for photofusion.org/education/ past, but I haven’t seen anything about it yet this
the highly respected tutors? coursesworkshops/photoshop.htm. year. Can I submit my images for possible
Thanks so much and I am extremely happy If it’s not a short course that you are after, inclusion in this year’s Graduate Showcase? How
this issue is again photographic related, rather then some courses run over a series of weeks, do I go about it?
than illustration! Keep up the good work. such as this one that we found: www.city.ac.
Editor replies: You’ve beaten us to it Simon!
Editor replies: We’re sorry that you had trouble PHOTOFUSION We have just announced the call for entries
PHOTOSHOP
with this particular tutorial. We ensure that our COURSE: There are for this year’s Student Showcase. As long as
tutorials are thoroughly checked to ensure that plenty of you are graduating this year from a UK course
Photoshop
they are easy to follow, and we apologise for and your work uses Photoshop, then you are
courses across the
any confusion caused here. We will endeavour country; just do a eligible to enter. You can enter your work for
to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. Google search to consideration by going to our forum and
see how many!
Thank you for your kind comments. We do try uploading images in the ‘Showcase’ section.
and cover all aspects of Photoshop work, and a You can also email entries to:
big part of that is using photography, both in advancedpshop@imagine-publishing.co.uk,
post-production and for importing into including a link to your website, a PDF
photomontage projects such as this. portfolio or low-res version of your work.

22
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STUDENT SHOWOFFS: Graduating students show us
what they can do each year in our special showcase
JUST FOR FUN: If you
want a graphics
tablet, but don’t have
money to burn, then
the Bamboo Fun from
Wacom is the perfect
starter tablet
On the
forum
SUBJECT: History panel, Illustrator CS3
FROM: UnXpected
A newbie question, but I’m new with
SUBJECT: Web wonder Illustrator and I can’t find the History panel.
FROM: Mr Bob Thornton Where is it?
I can’t help but notice that there are a lot of
adverts in your magazine regarding web FROM: revjessecuster
services: domain names, web hosting, etc. I have Personally I’ve never used Illustrator so I
been a traditional artist all my life, and now I am have no idea. I’ve been looking at pixel2life
retired I have been teaching myself the new art and Google and I can’t find anything! In
of digital, combining Photoshop and Painter Photoshop you can get the palettes by
software. I would love to be able to put my going to the Windows menu – not sure if it’s
images on the internet, so that others, especially the same as Illustrator?
my family and friends, can see what I have been
up to. I was wondering if you had thought FROM: BrilliantBoy
about doing a feature on getting online – I’d If you look under the Window menu in
rather do this myself than have a page on a Illustrator, you’ll notice that there’s no
gallery site, no matter how much simpler that History listing. That’s because Illustrator
might be. doesn’t have one. Unlike Photoshop where
learning, so I think this is a pipe dream for now. the files tend to get huge and hog up RAM,
Editor replies: Thanks for writing in. Web I do have one question though. A number of the Illustrator uses vectors, which tend to be
services are a big part of a designer’s life these tutorials in the past few issues have used a fairly small in file size. Therefore, the
days if you want to publicise your work whether graphics tablet, or recommended the use of number of ‘Undos’ is practically limitless.
for professional gain or personal appreciation. one. I don’t yet have a tablet and have found it So if you want to backtrack in the file
You raise a very good point and we will hard to get the accurate results that I want to you’re working on, just keep Undoing. It’s a
certainly have a look at doing some web-based achieve. As a beginner and a student, I don’t pain in the butt, I know, but the alternative
coverage in the near future. This month we take have cash to splash, but are there any cost- is to have a History palette that can
a step in the right direction with a feature effective tablets that you would recommend? potentially be hundreds of items long.
looking at new media and the part that Moral of the story: save often and name
Photoshop, and other digital applications, have Editor replies: Thanks for writing in Lauren. different versions!
to play in its evolution. Plus, we look at creating We’d love to see your work – why not upload
artwork for use as desktop wallpaper, the first in to our gallery website and show us what you
a series of new media projects. can do? Or, even better, if you are still learning,
post your images on the forum and get
SUBJECT: Praise to AP essential feedback from the friendly
FROM: Lauren Fairway community over there. When it comes to
First, I must tell you how much I love the tablets, Wacom really does have the market
magazine! I find it inspiring, and while I cannot covered and it is our brand of choice. You can
yet do all of the tutorials, it gives me find some great deals on second-hand models,
something to aim for. The features are or you can invest in its new Bamboo range,
insightful, well-written and beautifully laid out, which is aimed at amateurs and enthusiasts.
making me want to read everything from cover You can get the Bamboo Fun, which scored a
to cover. It is my dream that one day I can be respectable 4/5 in our review back in issue 38, Join the debate at
featured in some capacity, but I am still for around £70 for the small size. www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/forum

“WHEN IT COMES TO TABLETS,


WACOM REALLY DOES HAVE
THE MARKET COVERED”
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Letters

On the web
www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk
Our website and readers’ forum is perfect for
showing off Photoshop creations. We present
the best images on the site this month. Log on
and upload to get your images here next issue!
SEASONS END
ARTIST: Fiona Hooley
EMAIL: chix0r@deviantart.com
WEB: www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/user/chix0
“The image shown here, Seasons End, was
Readers’ challenge
inspired by a Marillion track of the same THE RESULTS – MARCH
name. In creating the image, I blended
multiple layers of texturing on top of the We’re pleased to announce the winner of our Easter-themed
original stock image, and continued to forum challenge, Matt Bryson, aka ‘kameleon’. “This
build the atmosphere with additional layers illustration was created to show the death and resurrection of
of brushwork.” Jesus Christ. Much of the texture was scanned in, as well as lots
of painting in Photoshop (thanks to AP for so many great
brushes); the rest was photo manipulation.”
www.myspace.com/orbittheearthmedia
BLUE MAGIC
ARTIST: Miranda Adria
COSTUME: Mira Bachvarova
EMAIL: neugotisch@hotmail.com
WEB: www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/user/
bitchinblack
“Blue Magic is the first part of a five-part series
inspired by the card game Magic The Gathering,
which has five prominent colours: blue, red,
green, black and white. I knew that I wanted to
do something a little different with this concept,
so I looked for stock images with body painting
or interesting tattoos that fit with the theme for
each colour. In this piece, the body painting in
the original stock photo was perfect for the idea I
had: to turn her into a creature of the sea. Many
thanks to the photographer, Bryan Crump (www.

N E W!
bryancrump.com) and the model Andra Ohman.”

PROJECT BARBRA
Web challenge
ARTIST: George Patsouras As of this month, we are streamlining our various challenges
EMAIL: cgaddict@live.com into one, monthly contest.
WEB: www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/user/cgaddict Navigate to our website at www.advancedphotoshop.co.
“I’m currently working as a freelance artist. Project uk, hit the Peer Pressure button in the bottom right of the
Barbra was done for one of my favourite online home page, download the source photos provided and use
forums, Pixel Brush. For reference, I used a stock them to create a Photoshop work of art. Anything goes as long
photo that I found over at deviantART; I really liked
as you use at least one of the images provided. Each challenge
the cocky look of the model and it was something
will run for a month.
I tried to emulate in this piece. I really wanted to
push the colours in this one – I wanted to mix The winner and two runners up will be printed in the
both warm and cool at the same time for dynamic magazine the following month, and the winner will also
results. Overall, I’m quite satisfied with this piece receive our top prize for that month. So check out our website
and consider it my best work to date.” now to see what you can win!

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Inter
view

DARREN HOPES
Darren Hopes is an artist in love
with storytelling. Here he
narrates his own creative journey
and tells how he has perfected
two striking signature styles

D
arren Hopes is a bit two-faced. We industry’s top contributors. And so, as an artist DARREN CIA: “I also create a lot of custom brushes
for my illustration work, from hand-rendered marks made
mean that in a purely positive and known for his love of storytelling, he was only from painting and drawing, which I then scan and make
creative sense, of course, as an artist too happy to share his own story. Photoshop brushes from”
with over ten years of successful experience
under his belt. Moving forward
You see, he’s both Darren Hopes the digital After finding out just what jobs he didn’t want
illustrator (www.darrenhopes.com), and Darren to do by doing them, Hopes became highly
Hopes, the brainchild behind Spiral Studio motivated about what he cherished and to that
(www.athomeinspace.com), producing end returned to education at a slightly later age
tantalising graphics across a breadth of top than some. “I studied on a broad base at first,
clientele including Harper Collins, the Sci Fi and decided after my Art Foundation course
Channel, Fortean Times and Playstation. These that I wanted to take Illustration to degree level.
styles provide two varying and distinctive visual After a diagnostic first year, I was lured to
languages, yet both tell a similar story of a specialise in photography, as I started to
dedicated artist who has achieved his own understand the illustrative possibilities of the
individuality in a sometimes predictable arena. composite image,” explains Hopes. “I’ve always
Hopes is also much unlike his namesake, approached photography from a painterly and
unless you consider the high expectation that illustrative point of view, and I think this worked
fans have for his vivid and eccentric designs. well for me. My style was based in traditional
Basically, he is an artist of action rather than darkroom and illustrative methods, as JAMAICA INN (RIGHT):
“The digitally manipulated
anticipation, a man of motivation. Hopes had computers were really only starting to seep into image is challenging conceptions
once lost his way, unable to see the creative the course, which was a positive. All of my later of photography, but in reality this
is not a new development. We
wood for the trees, but eventually having his Photoshop knowledge was self-taught from a have manipulated photography
own happy ending by becoming one of the base of traditional photographic practice.” from the second it was born”

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Darren Hopes

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Inter
view

FINAL LEAF PART 2: “I love it when


people put their own slant on what one
of my images is about. I almost force
them to do it by not explaining what the
elements mean to me”

FINAL LEAF PART 1 (ABOVE): “Apart from

EXPERIMENTATION IS A HEAVY a nod towards the occasional trend in my illustration,


I am inspired by nature, eroticism, storytelling, animals,
science, life and the need to communicate how I

FEATURE WITHIN HOPES’ PROCESS see things”


CUTLER STAG (TOP): “My degree was a huge

AND EVOLUTION AS AN ARTIST inspiration and I worked very hard. I managed to get a
First and that was inspiring because it proved that hard
work and passion for a subject can get you a long way”

Experimentation and exploration are heavy needed to make my life around some sort of get to use my brain as well as my technical skill,
features within Hopes’ process and his evolution creative outlet or become very dissatisfied. It but that seems to have naturally happened in
as an artist. With an early passion for sequential could have been art or writing, but art won my career.”
art, and the works of Simon Bisley in particular, through in the end.” It seems that Hopes has realised most artists’
with the ‘wow’ factor of the apparent applied dream of the ‘open brief’, where your own style
colour, his tastes later matured: “I started to get a Continued inspirations is allowed to breathe and the artist is in sole
grasp of art history and pre-education. I was Glad of that we are, as the past decade has seen control of the design without prejudice or
inspired by artists such as Egon Schile, Francis Hopes share his fruitful compositions with ruling, out of pure appreciation from clientele.
Bacon and Frida Kahlo. I have never lost that enthusiasts across the globe. With a However, an artist can’t reach this point without
love of expressive mark making. But university transgressive style, working across most creative perspective and drive, so how does Hopes
saw a whole new work of photography open up fields in the industry, Hopes has learnt many a continue to be inspired after so many years on
alongside my love of painting. The Starn Twins lesson on what it is to be a success. top? “I was just born someone who had to
were a great inspiration at the time and any “I think the biggest lesson I have learned create. I have an overriding urge to produce
tampering with photography fascinated me.” personally is to find a good path through with a ‘things’: words, music and art. I think any one
However, ultimately his decision to become flexible style. One that inspires clients and is would have worked for me, but art was always
an illustrator rather than a ‘bona fide’ commercial enough to be viable, but also the one I loved the most, so hunger comes from
photographer stemmed from his apparent makes me happy as an artist,” explains Hopes. the genes perhaps and persistence is from just
adoration for the narrative process: “I used to “It took me a while to balance these things, not wanting to settle for anything else.”
write a lot and narrative plays an important part but I feel that it is right now. I would push for Hopes explains further: “I am deeply self-
in my art – illustration seemed a perfect vehicle less prescriptive briefs these days too. I have critical. I think I produce very little personal work
for that. It’s a cliché, but I really would have learnt that my best work is produced when I that I am truly happy with. This only makes

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Darren Hopes

Abduction (above): “I am not sure I have a specific job or project that crows: This image is an
was my favourite. I always enjoy bookcover work when the author/publisher example of Hopes’ illustrative
comes back to me for the next book. You get quite attached to the series” style, which can be found on his
personal website
Mrs Robinson (below): “Although my photography is quite different
to my illustration in technical approach, they both rely on narrative”

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Inter
view

THE DRESSMAKER
(ABOVE): “My favourite me strive to do better, think harder and it easier to stay content with my commercial
personal project must be constantly aim for personal perfection. Like folio because I get good feedback from my
the ‘Muse’ series by Spiral.
many artists I will probably never attain that, but clients. The trick there is to finely balance my
It is certainly my most
personal work” the journey should throw up some interesting personal visual language with a viable
WICKED LOVELY things. I do have periods where I feel quite commercial style.”
(ABOVE RIGHT): “I dissatisfied with my personal work and I find I This is easier said than done in Hopes’ case, as
think the Spiral images will become very prolific and produce many images, he has the problem of having two preferred
continue to be photographic,
but will embrace the heart of perhaps in an attempt to create something that styles. Photographer by trade, illustrator at
the digital medium and will remedies my dissatisfaction. It is quite often heart.; he is in love with both mediums. “My
see some very manipulated during these periods that I take a step forward, original method was a 50/50 amalgamation of
elements and will probably
head in an ever-more but I don’t usually see that until later. The nice photography and painting, but as my illustrative
surreal direction” thing is that now I do recognise these periods of style developed and the flatter, more painterly
unrest and I don’t get so down about them.” elements won over, I found myself missing a
Fundamentally, Hopes is in constant analysis very photographic aesthetic.”
of his commercial portfolio, which seems to be This factor is one of a few that led to Hopes
something every thriving professional should creating Spiral Studio as an alter ego where he
adhere to. “This is fed by my personal work. I find could explore a quite different method.
So how does he go about creating these two

THE TRICK IS TO FINELY diverse works? “The method for the illustrative
‘Darren’ style is to sketch, shoot, produce a few

BALANCE MY PERSONAL VISUAL digital roughs and go to final. The work is truly
an amalgamation of hand-rendered painting

LANGUAGE WITH A VIABLE and photographic elements that are brought


together in Photoshop. I also create a lot of

COMMERCIAL STYLE custom brushes for my illustration work, from


hand-rendered marks made from painting and

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Darren Hopes

STILL LIFE: An example of the more photographic


drawing, which I then scan and make what inspirations have really taken hold of style of the work that Hopes produces under his alter ego
Photoshop brushes from. The method for my Hopes and his techniques over his many years of Spiral Studio. He uses his photographic knowledge to
build up the surreal compositions
Spiral style comes more from my photographic as a professional. He replies: “I think a root basis
training. While I do sketch, I don’t produce a very of both of my styles is narrative. Although my culture and a hint of future culture every now
finished sketch because it is more about the photography is quite different to my illustration and then; extrapolation of the now to imagine
shoot. I tend to come up with a concept, which I in technical approach, they both rely on what might become. In the ‘Muse’ series I try to
sketch elements of.” narrative. In the illustration that might be more create a distorted nostalgia by putting
readily understood, while in the photography I together things of now and of time gone by to
Epilogue am purposely surreal and ambiguous so that the make the viewer feel a nostalgia for the
Hopes continues, talking about the process he viewer can fill narrative holes. I love it when moment in which they live.”
goes through for each image that he creates: “In people put their own slant on what one of my With no doubt another ten years of
the personal work it is a very long-winded Spiral images is about. I almost force them to do production to come, Hopes’ own story seems far
process, as I source every last object myself. it by not explaining what the elements mean to from over. With the ability to adapt, he sees only
Then I shoot each object, shoot the model and me. So my style is narrative, surreal and, well, more advancement: “My work is in constant
then go out and about to shoot the landscape evolving – hopefully!” development, always moving and evolving. The
or room elements. All of the photography in the Hopes continues: “General experience has illustration work might see more drawn
personal work has to be done bespoke; it is very certainly had an influence on my ‘Darren’ elements. Some people like to have defined
important to the method. I dropped any use of illustrative style. I have been an illustrator for categories and they don’t like it when they can’t
texture in my Spiral work quite early on because about ten years and so I have come across many have them. For me, I love that blur and I like
I wanted it to retain a very photographic feel, different types of job and my endeavour has being an illustrator with the eye of a
which I hoped would play nicely off the been to make my illustrative language a very photographer, and I like being a photographer
unrealistic nature of the situations and flexible one. with the heart of a painter. It’s a bit of a no man’s
characters in the work.” “Culture, I think, is very important in my land to inhabit, but I like it there.”
With such comprehension of both styles, Spiral pieces as they draw reference from the No doubt it will be his ability to read between
numerous different modes of expression and things that were left behind, forgotten, the lines that will see him tell his fans even more
many interests, we were very intrigued to know sometimes juxtaposed with contemporary creative chronicles.

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MASTERCLASS

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Photoshop abstracts
Take one stock image and manipulate it into an unrecognisable abstract design
BY NIK AINLEY

T
his tutorial explains some methods for producing abstract images from photos using Photoshop’s
ON THE DISC
various distortion tools. Photoshop is a great way to distort objects beyond all recognition and produce new
This tutorial starts with a stock image from and interesting shapes out of the most unlikely sources.
www.istockphoto.com, image number Photoshop actions are generally used to quickly automate a series of commands that you regularly perform. However,
‘4591038’. You will find a low-res version of
this image on the cover disc. they can also be used to repeatedly replicate and distort objects to produce whole new structures. This way of making
images is a sort of fractal-photo method where the original photo simply becomes the smallest element in a much
OUR EXPERT Nik Ainley larger structure. By the end of the process you might have an object comprising thousands of distorted versions of
Nik Ainley is a freelance illustrator and designer based in the your photo which would have taken huge amounts of time to do by hand.
UK. He has worked for many clients including Adobe, MTV and Performing many repeated commands or duplications can be hard on a computer. A fast processor and a lot of
British Airways, but still finds time for personal artwork.
memory are hugely helpful here. Photoshop CS2 or newer is recommended for some of the extra functions they provide.

1 Choose a photo
The first step in creating an abstract picture from
a photo is one of the hardest and most difficult to
2 The right image
It is extremely important that whatever object you
start with you have a high-resolution source for. We are
3 Extraction
Once you have your photo or render, we need to
isolate the relevant part. Use whatever extraction
explain. We are looking for something in a photo or going to be distorting this object beyond all method you favour for this. With a smooth object like
render that has a certain amount of structure and recognition, which will lead to degradation of image we have, tracing around it with the Pen tool is an
contrast, as well as some detail. We have chosen the quality. By using a high-resolution source we can negate efficient way. Once you have a path of its shape, convert
cone-shaped object in this photo as it has all of these. this by keeping this small. this to mask to separate the right bit.

“SOMETIMES THE QUICKEST


AND MOST EFFECTIVE WAY
TO PRODUCE INTERESTING
SHAPES CAN BE DONE THROUGH
PHOTO TEXTURES”
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MASTERCLASS
4 Clean up
Before starting to use this object you will want to
clean up any unwanted marks, noise or colour problems.
5 Action stations
This is where we
are going to start having
6 Duplicate
The first thing to
always do in an action like
Luckily, in this case there are very few changes to be fun with Photoshop’s this is to duplicate your
made. We simply brought some of the shadows out a actions. First, make sure object. Cmd/Ctrl+J will
bit using a Shadows/Highlights adjustment and made it you have a backed-up duplicate the current layer
slightly narrower. copy of your object in a you have selected. This
separate layer as we will duplication, as you will
be using it multiple times. see, is the basis for all the
Create a new action in effects we want to create.
the Actions palette –
from this moment
Photoshop is recording
what we do.

“CREATE A NEW ACTION – FROM


THIS MOMENT PHOTOSHOP IS
RECORDING WHAT WE DO”
7 8
Distort and repeat
What we want to do now is to make a small
change to this duplicated layer. What change you make
Transformers
Enter Transformation mode (Cmd/Ctrl+T) and try
rotating your object slightly, maybe rescale it slightly or
is really where you get to experiment and there are use the Distort function. Make sure that whatever
many different techniques, some of which we will change you make is quite subtle and your new object
discuss throughout the next few steps. A simple one to isn’t overly different from your initial object. Press the
Recording start with is a transformation. stop button on the Actions palette to stop recording.

mistakes
When you are recording a Photoshop action you
should be aware that Photoshop does not record
absolutely everything that you do. The most
common mistakes made are down to the fact
that an Undo command is not recorded,
therefore you have to employ a different
technique to backtrack.
If you do make a mistake while recording and
want to remove a command or commands you
first need to stop the recording. Then, select the
command(s) in the Actions palette you don’t
want to be part of the action and drag them into
the bin icon. Press the record button and you can
start recording again without having to
completely restart.

9 Repeat, repeat, repeat


This is where we use the power of your computer
and your action to produce an effect that would take a
long time to do by hand. First, make sure you have
selected your action and not any of its component
parts. Now hit the Play button on the Actions palette
repeatedly. Do this as many times as you need to
produce an interesting-looking shape like this one to
your left.

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10 All together now
We could keep all these
duplicated objects as separate layers,
11 Keep it clean
Repeated distortions of your object will most likely have had a detrimental effect. Blurred, pixelated or too
sharp are the most common effects that can spoil an image. It’s a good idea to shrink your new layer down a bit to
but having hundreds of layers will minimise these defects.
make things difficult. It’s best to
merge your copies into one. Hold
down Shift and click on the first and
last layers in your Layers palette and
merge them with Cmd/Ctrl+E.

12 Let’s do it again
Hopefully your first action produced an
interesting object and we can save that for later.
13 Mix it up
You should be building up a nice set of
shapes now and be getting used to how actions can
14 Colour as you go
Alter the colours and brightness of your new
objects as you go. This is a particularly useful way of
However, let’s produce another one using a different help. There is a lot more we can do than just use the adding more variety to your image. As you can see with
action. Try this again and again and record new ones Transform tool. Try recording an Action with a small the image below, we have darkened the colours and
using different transformations to see what interesting Wave filter distortion built in. Adding a small move of also moved them around as the result of a Wave filter
shapes you get. If you don’t like what you see, just chuck your object after the filter is a good idea to stop them all action. It is now almost completely unrecognisable to
it away and start again. just stacking up on each other. the original photo.

“REPEATED DISTORTIONS WILL MOST LIKELY HAVE


HAD A DETRIMENTAL EFFECT. BLURRED, PIXELATED
OR TOO SHARP ARE THE MOST COMMON EFFECTS”
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MASTERCLASS
“THE NUMBER OF DIFFERENT EFFECTS YOU CAN
PUT INTO YOUR ACTIONS IS ENDLESS AND TOTALLY
UP TO YOUR OWN EXPERIMENTATION. TRY THE
TWIRL FILTER OR A LIQUIFY TOOL DISTORTION”
15 16 Endless possibilities
The number of different effects you can put
into your actions is endless and totally up to your own
The next level
Once you have a good selection of objects,
it’s time to start combining them. This is another part
experimentation. Try the Twirl filter or a small Liquify tool where experimentation is key. Start moving your
distortion. You can add a small colour or lightness objects around, transforming and distorting them as
change or an invert to get a contrasting object. Try you like and see how they can fit together. As you do
moving the duplicated layer behind your original one to this you will slowly see how you can build up more
have them duplicating backwards. interesting shapes.

17 Stamp and
repeat
Now there’s no reason
18 Duplicate some more
Putting your new complex objects through
your actions again can produce some really complex
19 Evolution of shapes
As you build up a more complex shape you
will reach a point where putting it through one of your
not to put your new structures. We are reaching the limit of how many times actions will be pointless. You have enough complexity
creations into your we want to duplicate before our shapes descend into and can add to this just by using the shapes you
actions again and see noise, but repeating the process once or twice is okay. produced earlier.
what comes out. A
good way to do this
quickly without risking
losing your initial object
is the Stamp Layers
command. Make sure
the various layers you
want to put through an
action are selected and
stamp them using
Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+E. This
merges them on to a
new layer while leaving
the initial layers intact.

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20 Splashes of colour
It can be a good idea to recolour some of
your shapes as you combine them with the others here
21 Twirly bird
Once you have finished composing your
shape a good way to add some more interesting details
22 Careful selection
As we duplicated our object we have two
identical layers; we want to work on the one behind.
if you are lacking in colour. These can be areas of interest is by selective use of the twirl filter. Stamp your object’s Select an area around the edge of your object with the
that will lift the picture as a whole and provide a bit component layers so you have it on one layer and then Elliptical Marquee tool and run a Twirl filter with fairly
more detail. duplicate this layer. high settings.

23 Smooth those edges


Twirling complex objects with such high
settings can produce some jaggedness. If you need to,
24 Getting there
How much or little you do now is entirely up
to you. Add more objects, change colours, more twirls
run over these with the Smudge tool to smooth them or whatever takes your fancy. Hopefully you should be
out a bit. Be careful though as you don’t want to push getting something you like the look of now and have
the pixels around, just soften them slightly. added your own personal touch.
Final
touches
You don’t have to stop at the last step of the
tutorial. To copy our cover design, take a visit to
http://r0man.de/kostenlose_brushes_
photoshop.htm to download some great, free
brushes. Create a new layer and apply your
chosen brush using white. Double-click the layer
thumbnail to open the Layer Effects window and
add the following effects. Drop Shadow: 100%
Opacity, Overlay, 70% Cyan and 40% Yellow, Size
= 95. Outer Glow: 75% Opacity, Overlay, 8% Cyan
and 31% Magenta, Size = 5. Inner Glow: 100%
Opacity, Normal Blend, White, Size = 16. Stroke:
Size = 1, Inside, Normal Blend, 23% Cyan and 5%
Yellow. Creating an effects layer like this means
you can quickly apply the brushes and get good

25
effects using the minimum amount of layers.
Finish off
What finishing details you want to add are
up to you. We added some background atmosphere by
brushing colours above the background. We selectively
blurred around the edges, fiddled with the colours and
overall layout and decided that was enough. There really
is no limit to how far you can take things though.

“ADD MORE OBJECTS, CHANGE


COLOURS, MORE TWIRLS OR
WHATEVER TAKES YOUR FANCY”
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Feature

© Olly Howe, ClickforArt.com

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Collective strength

Collective
strength
We take an in-depth look
T
he art form known as ‘collaboration’ has
been steadily growing in influence within
at online design the digital creative arena. It has gone some
way to diminishing the myth of the solitary,
collectives and how they introspective artist. Yet, most importantly, it is pushing
the boundaries of design, creating new genres that can
can provide creative only come from mixing two or more strong styles. It is

resources, collaboration this growing love of collaboration among artists that


has led to the influx of new design collectives offering

opportunities and these opportunities globally.


The word ‘collaboration’ in strict definition means “a
essential expert advice structured, recursive process where two or more people
work together toward a common goal, typically
BY Adam Smith intellectual and creative in nature.” Creative collaboration
neglects anything structured or repetitive and embraces
the part that the process requires no leadership, which
brings better results between participating individuals.
Although there are clear benefits that can be
gained from collaboration, like greater recognition
and additional resources, there is still a slight

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Feature

Alternative collectives
More places to go for inspiration and advice

KDU
www.thekdu.com
Membership: Invitation and internship.
The privately held Keystone Design Union is a creative
global collective with a healthy 500 members. These
artists work across the breadth of creative disciplines,
providing the KDU with its own dynamic publications
and brand experiences. The members function as one
organic global unit helping to feed projects valuable
information, share press, retail accounts – basically
anything that is needed to accelerate and advance
KDU related projects. Although seemingly elite in
approach, the KDU does offer opportunities for
internships across the globe, in numerous design
studios. Such prospects should not be missed, yet
entrants should become familiar with the KDU first.
This is not a typical agency or firm, believing that the
collision of design, art and business results in the
cultivation of culture.

Konvulse
www.konvulse.com
Membership: By invitation; non-members can register
with the site to access the helpful forum.
This multi-cultural, multi-style, international, digital
art, photography and design group presents much
remarkable design in its artpack releases. Members
constantly update these every 4-8 weeks, so there is
always fresh inspiration for all no matter what your
style. From photography to digital art, audio
composition, skins for computer software and
anything else deemed worthy to be released, packs
are themed yet concepts are liberal. Participating © Collaboration, Guilherme Damasceno and Elie Doray, Evokeone
members can look forward to the incentive of front-
page publicity and interview when demonstrating
exemplary talent. With a steady increase in instantly unwillingness by some artists to embrace this method.
COLOUR (ABOVE): “The artists in the Beatles were
accessible tutorials available, non-members can Perhaps it is due to the stigma of losing individuality excellent on their own but even better together. How
benefit from expert tuition and increase their own and identity in their work or the misconception that is it any different for digital artists?” says Elie Doray
creative capacities.
participation somehow reflects the individual’s artistic TEA TIME (RIGHT): “Working in a collective that
SlashTHREE talents as moderate, there are reservations. As a way to consists of people with the ‘same’ vision makes it
easier to communicate,” says Bart van Leeuwen
www.slashthree.com combat this, design collectives have evolved, bringing
Membership: Register and apply. great artists together to produce stunning artwork.
Recently celebrating its first anniversary, SlashTHREE has Collectives have always gathered around central
just presented its newest Art Pack 6: ODYSSEY, adding to
its previous inspirational projects. SlashTHREE offers
Home sweet home resources and so, with the emergence of the global
opportunities to participate in the creative influx The collective community offers a warm family playground that is the internet and the occurrence of
produced by the art pack experience and creates atmosphere, vigorously promoting collaborative efforts. digital media, the online collective seems a natural and
fervour through fun competitions, also offering a Much like any collective, those participating are perhaps essential progression.
community forum to immerse in critiques, techniques
motivated by a common interest and here it’s the pure Evoke (www.evokeone.com) is a prime example of
and other advice between peers. Right now the group
is pushing towards an invite-based collective, but delight of art creation with members working together this ever-growing web-based society. With more than
are not yet exclusively invitation-only, realising to achieve a common objective, be it collaborative or 30 active members at one time from around the world,
there is tons of fresh talent all over the internet individually, adding to the collective’s projects. totalling a membership of around 100 artists, it is a
from all arenas. Therefore, if you feel you have what With reference to art history, the collective is not an proverbial melting pot of cultural and individual
it takes, an application system for anyone interested
entirely new concept, reaching as far back as the French expressions and ideas. Founder, Toeman ‘Ted’ Yavazkurt,
is available.
Revolution when the Louvre was occupied as such. explains: “It is not so much the online communities but
the technology that bridges the gap. The online
communities are merely a unit that takes advantage of

“Artists can completely modify


the technology. The new technology allows another
artist to completely modify the original vision (of their

the original image, resulting in an


peer), resulting in an entirely new hybrid work that
neither artist could have created.” This modification

entirely new hybrid work that


would be nothing, however, without communication. A
mutual respect and, at times, fondness promotes a
sense of kindred. While this might sound a little corny,

neither artist could have created” the members themselves wholeheartedly agree. Amy
Neal, Evoke staff member, explains: “I love my fellow

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038-043_AVP_43_Feature.indd 40 4/4/08 12:35:32


Collective strength

SECOND LIFE (LEFT): “I feel collective work


can nurture many positive things; one high
note is collaboration,” says Saad Ali Moosajee
SKULL TWINS (BELOW): Perttu Murto
advises: “Just say if you don’t like what the
other guy is doing with the pieces”

© Saad Ali Moosajee, Evoke

© Bart van Leeuwen, depthCORE © Perttu Murto

Evokers. It’s a supportive group of other artists who will rigorous because the level of expectation with the huge benefit, and is one of the main reasons I enjoy
be brutally honest with you when no one else will. I find group is very high along with the standard of artwork. collective work so much.”
it easier working with my peers in real life and in the Entry into the art group can only be attained through Igor Scekic, recently completing his first year at Evoke,
online world my fellow members are my peers. It’s like a invite. We often have discussions about potential new agrees, saying: “First I was frustrated but now it just
family and thus [we] are very open to working on artists we can introduce into the group”. Bart van shows me how much more work needs to be better. It’s
projects together.” Leeuwen, depthCORE senior and creative with ten years’ a bigger challenge if I know there’s the possibility my
Like all good families there are no secrets either, as experience, agrees: “There is a prevailing standard in work won’t be accepted. I try harder to make it better.”
Yavazkurt reveals: “I have opportunities within the group terms of quality from which everybody starts to work.” Perhaps with the occasional flame war, animosity
to learn by outstanding example. Artists inside a However, such non-commercial collectives are doesn’t seem to feature in the collective experience, but
collective share secrets and techniques that they do not usually looking to expand and add extra additions for if it does those members rarely last. “Working in a group
show the outside world. We can learn from anything the good of the ‘family’ as a whole. Once an accepted brings a certain in-between competition that motivates,”
and everything. I’d highly recommend any artist to part of the desired collective, new arrivals are presented explains van Leeuwen. “Rejection stimulates; perfection
become part of a collective to advance their own skills.” with ways to advance skills and methods, yet are under only exists inside the scope of imperfection.” This tough
no allusion that works will always be well received. approach means that for non-members visiting the site,
Can’t choose your family? Rejection and critiques are commonplace, providing an the work on display is always technically right and
This can be easier said than done, however. What expansive view of the ways that an artist’s output can inspirational to boot.
enthusiasts may discover is that to be part of a collective be improved from many different minds. When concerned with collaborative endeavours,
you will have to display an accomplished portfolio and Saad Ali Moosajee, one of Evoke’s latest arrivals, mixed opinions are presented regarding the value of the
often be invited to join. This attitude is sometimes explains the benefits of such hard but fair treatment: critique. The majority of members questioned professed
deemed ‘elitist’, but it’s essential to preserve the “Over half the works I submitted to my collectives were the process as indispensable. Yavazkurt explains:
standards met by the designs on show and the skills denied. But that only shows me there is room for “Critique is critical to collaboration. At every stage of a
that can be shared. Jonathan Wong, member of both improvement. If something gets denied, it gives me work, artists critique each other, ultimately working
Evoke and depthCORE concurs: “Selection is very incentive to make it better. For me personally this a towards a common goal of a beautiful work.”

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Feature
© Collaboration: Pete Harrison and Jonathan Wong, depthCORE

REQUIEM (LEFT): “I
think you have to be an
artist open to change. If
you don’t appreciate the
ideas or direction of the
other artist, a collaboration
will never work,” explains
Jonathan Wong
DIVA (BELOW):
“Posting art to the forums
can get you noticed and
we offer helpful advice to
beginning artists who
aspire to make their
artwork better,” advises
Amy Neal

SLEEP IS DEATH REMIX


(LEFT): “Some people are great
artists, but they can’t collaborate
so easily,” says Igor Scekic
© Amy Neal, Evoke

However, van Leeuwen proposes that an organic Wong explains: “DepthCORE has a unique portal on
process is preferable: “Nobody should critique the one its main site where artists can create their very own
or the other when working in a collaboration process. profile. There is also a forum where they can ask for
© Collaboration: Ronald Ashburn and Igor Scekic, Evoke

This is to prevent the end result tending towards the advice. There is even a special gallery for getting critique
fashion of one of the artists. The end result should be on work. Members can post up work using very simple
totally unique”. Both opinions hold water, but again this forms that make it straightforward. Other artists then
just goes to show that the art of collaboration is can offer up critique and advice.” This is known as the
innovative in both fashion and function, offering the up Workshop section.
most in creative liberty. “We also like to have a little fun, getting to know the
The value of this for aspiring artists or non-members, future stars of design at the start of their artistic ventures,”
however, seems invaluable in the whole collective admits Evoke’s, Amy Neal. Elie Doray, another of Evoke’s
experience. Senior and other official members lead by flock, adds: “Through the forums, if you feel that you
example, like in any well-functioning family unit. Posting would work well with a certain artist, you can always ask
art to the forums can get you noticed and creative peers them of their interest. After that it’s easy to exchange
will offer helpful advice to amateur or aspiring artists Photoshop files, stocks and renders – you just post a link
who want to make their artwork better. This is in the forum dedicated to collaboration resources.”
particularly prevalent at the depthCORE community
(www.depthcore.com), which is probably the best- Time to collect
known of all the online collectives. But the collective experience can offer more distinct
incentives for creation, unlike most customary art
societies. Prime examples are the packaged Exhibitions

“Through the forums, if you feel


that serve as a central force in the Evoke collective.
Yavazkurt explains: “Without them, we would just be

that you would work well with a


working sporadically, and Evoke would be no different
from deviantART. By forcing art to a theme, we expand

certain artist, you can always ask


our abilities to express ideas artistically. This feeds back
into the collaborative nature of the group by allowing
multiple forms of expressing an idea to mould into one

them of their interest” piece of work. When we work on the same idea but seek
to express it in different ways, a special type of order

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038-043_AVP_43_Feature.indd 42 4/4/08 12:32:29


Collective strength

© Theo Aartsma, ClickforArt.com and depthCORE

INDUSTRIAL (ABOVE): “You know that people


of your artistic level or even higher will be highly
critical of your work. This makes you think twice
about things more often,” says Theo Aartsma
PEEPSHOW (RIGHT): Find out more about this
collective on its website © Peepshow Collective

emerges from the combination of ideas, resulting in


higher-quality works.” Exercising this ability to exhibit
by people all over the world. Being part of a collective
definitely keeps me on my toes and helps to drive
Words of wisdom
With over eight years at the helm of the Peepshow
harnesses the merits of the collection’s core intention, creativity in my work. This is especially true with Collective, Miles Donovan is an authority on the
greater recognition and resources. ClickforArt.com, as it is constantly marketing the site, collective experience. Heading a group of illustrators,
There are also those groups who have realised the making me want to always be at the top of my game designers and animators who promote their work
through a group website, exhibitions, projects,
profitable merits of the collective. A prime example is knowing that hundreds of people are seeing my work.”
presentations and printed material, working for
ClickforArt.com (www.clickforart.com), a collective in the Theo Aartsma belongs to both ClickforArt.com and international clients such as The Financial Times, Levi’s,
business of retailing high-quality art prints. Some may say depthCORE, so is well positioned to comment: “With Sony, Coca-Cola and many more, Donovan explains:
that this disrupts the aspects of nurturing and pure ClickforArt.com there is only a plus. It organises great “I’ve known the vast majority of Peepshow now for 13
years, so we know each other pretty well and how
creativity and perhaps this is true to an extent, but Darren exhibitions, sells and promotes your art. With
each other works and operates. We share a studio in
Riley, ClickforArt.com’s creative director, strongly depthCORE, it’s pure non-commercial. So no, it doesn’t East London, so the collaborative process is easy.”
disagrees: “We don’t infringe on the creative process of really disrupt the collective from my point of view.” When concerned with the negative perception of
the artist, whether solo or group, but we offer so many The collective space and collaborative process both the collective, he adds: “I think the word ‘collective’
benefits to the artist because we do work as a group.” cultivate and contradict one another. The collective has been tainted slightly by the number of groups
who actually don’t do much or are just a couple of
Representing 50 artists from around the globe, conforms to stability and elitism at times, while collaboration
people using the term ‘collective’ to pass themselves
ever searching for interesting styles, particularly lives by change and activism. But communication is the key off as something much more than they are.”
championing urban, digital and illustration art, these that holds them together; the fabric that allows both to work For those of you influenced by commercial
benefits include art production at a high standard at in an almost symbiotic manner. It is the foundation of the prospects, he advises: “Only get into a collective if
you can see the benefit of it, you’re interested in
affordable prices. Exhibition is very much prevalent too, collective that offers the fashion and fusion of the amazing
collaborating with others and you get along with
including independent and trade shows (namely Grand artwork produced. In turn this provides sustenance for the the others. You also need to be prepared to work
Designs Live and Birmingham Interiors last year). “These collective and the longevity of its identity. very hard to make a success of it.” He adds:
are the types of expensive events that individual artists However, most importantly: “Collectives like “Whether it’s working on projects, deciding on
are unlikely to be able to afford. Under ClickforArt.com’s ClickforArt.com and depthCORE are doing great things,” means of self-promotion or general decision
making, you can’t just please yourself. I guess
umbrella they get to be there,” explains Riley. says Aartsma. “To reach a large public we need to unite
that’s the biggest difference. It’s not always easy,
Supported artists concur that the financial factor and attack them with a big army of artists instead of big decisions are made by all members.” Although
does not deride artistic faculty. “Marketing yourself can individual artists trying to change the world. Display there are great benefits: “Peepshow had allowed me
be something that designers, especially freelancers, large amounts of new art that blows their minds. to work on projects I’d never of imagined I‘d get to
work on, and the fact that we share client lists has
hardly ever get time to do,” explains artist Olly Howe. Because that is what’s happening at the moment – a lot
benefited all involved. We also share the cost of self
“This is why being involved with ClickforArt.com is so of amazing new digital art.” Regardless of attitudes this is promotion, which can be expensive on your own.”
important to me. It gives me an opportunity to be seen fundamentally what artistic relations are all about.

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038-043_AVP_43_Feature.indd 43 4/4/08 12:21:21


MASTERCLASS

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Advanced Photoshop

044-048_AVP_43_MallerMC.indd 44 4/4/08 09:58:33


Justin Maller treads the fine line between a refined work of new media art
and a mishmash of disparate components

Harmonising 3D and
photographic elements
B
lending illustration with photography is a real passion of ours. More and more digital artists seem to be
ON THE DISC
catching on to it as well, from garden-variety amateurs to professional designers. We can understand that,
This tutorial has been kindly provided by because we’ll be the first to tell you that it’s flipping good fun. Our only gripe is that so many people seem
our sister magazine Web Designer. Tutorial
files can be downloaded from its website:
content to do a slapdash job of it, and in our biased and not-so-humble opinion, little to nothing is sadder than a badly
www.webdesignermag.co.uk/tutorial_ blended composition.
files.html The main trick to pulling off an effective multimedia piece is not a trick at all; it is simply exercising the timeless virtues
Justin Maller of patience and attention to detail, while remembering that in many instances, less truly is more and that spending an
OUR EXPERT
Justin Maller is a graphic artist from Melbourne, Australia. He
extra five minutes here and there will reap huge rewards later. That said, there are definitely some handy methods and
is currently working as a full-time freelance graphic artist, techniques that will save us some time along the way, so let’s get started!
while also creatively directing the crew over at depthCORE. Try this out on your own photographs and elements and see what you can come up with - then share your creations
Check out his personal folio at http://superlover.com.au.
of the Advanced Photoshop website!

1 Get started
Start by opening up the wonderful shot entitled
On Ground by Holly Bynoe (http://hbynoe.com) from
2 Set base levels
The first thing we’ll do here is adjust the contrast
levels to suit our needs. We want to add a little drama to
3 Extraction
Zoom in to 300-400 per cent. We are going to
now extract the model from the background using
the files you have downloaded from the Web Designer this image, so let’s deepen the shadow and the mid- the Pen tool (P). Start tracing around her body, using as
site. This is a finished piece by itself, but there is still tones some. Open the Levels interface (Cmd/Ctrl+L) and many anchor points as possible. To get a curved result
plenty of room for us to play with. If you want to use slide the shadow marker to around +17 and the mid- in nonlinear areas, try dragging your mouse when
your own illustrations, sketch out some ideas now. tones to around +1. placing anchors.

“EXTRACT THE MODEL USING THE PEN TOOL (P). TO


GET A CURVED RESULT IN NONLINEAR AREAS, TRY
DRAGGING YOUR MOUSE WHEN PLACING ANCHORS”
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MASTERCLASS
4 Make your selection
When you have completed your trace, click on the original anchor point again to complete your work path.
Right-click in the centre, and select Make Selection. Ensure the Feather Radius is set to 0 and that the New Selection
5 Remove the sheen
Copy and paste your selection into a new layer
and entitle it ‘Model’. Feel free to move it around a bit to
radio button is checked. check the accuracy on your trace. When you are
satisfied, get out the Burn tool, set the mode to
Highlights and burn the edges around her necklace to
remove the flash sheen.

6 Construct a 3D object
Open up ‘objects.psd’ from the downloaded files. “USE LAYER
These are 3D renders created for this tutorial, having
sampled the grass and sky areas to get accurate MASKS TO
materials. Before we do anything else, Defringe both
layers (Matting>Defringe) by one pixel. Duplicate Object PROPERLY
One into the main composition.
INTEGRATE
OBJECTS WITH
THE ORIGINAL”
7 Adjust the levels
Position Object One behind the model layer. The
top should be just out of sight at the top of the
8 Keep it in perspective
Repeat the last step with the other two objects
present in the PSD (except for the Grass OBJ layer), and
9 Make it natural
Duplicate the original object and drag it down
so it stretches out below the Model layer. Use the
composition, with the lower portion concealed by position them below the others in the layer structure. Pen tool to shave weight from the central spire, so that
our figure. Adjust the levels so they match up with the Make sure that the combined object doesn’t dominate the resulting shape is flowing and sits naturally with
main composition; the biggest adjustment will be a the composition. Use layer masks to properly integrate the rest of the piece. Also experiment by using
Shadow tweak. these with the original. Calligraphic brushes.

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10 Magic Wand tool
Open up ‘trees.jpg’ from the downloaded
files. We’re going to use the trusty old Magic Wand tool
11 Get rid of the sky
Invert your selection and copy the results
into a new layer. Strip away the extraneous grass using
(W). First, set the Tolerance value to 40 and make sure simple Marquee selections. To ensure that no traces of
the Contiguous box is unchecked. Now simply hold sky remain, bring up Hue/Saturation (Cmd/Ctrl+U).
Shift, and click on the sky and cloud areas until you have Select the Blue channel, and reduce both Hue and
a comprehensive selection of the sky area. Saturation to 0. Repeat with Cyan. Channel
selection
The Channel Selection method makes selecting
even the most complex forms incredibly simple
in most images by creating an alpha mask.
Open up the ‘trees.jpg’ file and bring up the
Channels palette. Select the Blue channel on its
lonesome. You’ll notice that it nearly perfectly
extracts whites out the sky – adjust the Levels so
that it does that accurately. You can now use the
Select Color tool to precisely select the trees
from the background.
This technique can be used with almost any
photo; you may need to alternate Channels to
get the most effective result. After you apply the
Levels adjustment, you can also use standard
brushes to further refine the Channel Mask. This
technique is especially useful when trying to
select those finicky things like hairs or leaves.

12 Add the trees


Duplicate the trees into your main
composition. Name the layer ‘Central Trees’ and place it
in the middle of the composition, above your object
layers and beneath your model layer. Add a Layer Mask
and trim off any excess ground formations. Duplicate
the layer and relocate it to a complementary position
(ensure your duplicate is below the original in the Layers
palette). Repeat a few times, flipping horizontal from
time to time to create a more complex effect. PERFECT SELECTION: Accurate selections of detailed or
complex areas are the hallmark of a designer who pays
attention to detail

13 Integrating everything
Now we begin the process of integrating our
environment with our illustration. Start working trees in
14 Prominence process
Now, duplicate your Object One layer and
bring it up in the Layers palette so that it sits over all the
15 Up, up and away
Repeat this process further up the tree,
adding, distorting and resizing the tree elements as you
around the shape. Don’t worry about swamping it for tree forms. Add a layer mask from the options at the go. You can add a layer mask to the trees to work them
now, we’ll take steps to restore balance soon. Build up bottom of the Layers palette and fill with black. Select a into the illustration, or place the tree layer below the
along the lines of the shape, accentuating what is Calligraphic brush and carefully paint in the parts of the Object One duplicate layer and continue working in that
already there as you go. object that you wish to have sit over the trees. layer mask to integrate.

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MASTERCLASS
16 Fine details
Working in some finer details will help to
integrate your illustration with the rest of the
17 Grass objects
Return to the objects.psd and import the
Grass OBJ layer into your composition. Position it behind
18 Shadows
The lower metal object and model will
require some additional shadow. Ctrl-click/right-click the
composition. Duplicate your upper tree layer and drag it the trees so that it obscures any extraneous metal forms model layer to select it, and fill with black. In a new layer,
above the object highlights layer. Add a Layer Mask, fill and creates dense abstract grass; duplicate and distort Gaussian Blur by 20-30 pixels, and position below the
with black and add a small branch detail popping over as much as you feel is necessary, using Layer Masks to model, nudging down and to the right. Repeat with the
the top. work it in thoroughly. bottom OBJ layer.

“VISIT STOCK WEBSITES


AND START ADDING SMALL
DETAILS LIKE LADYBIRDS
AND BALLOONS”
19 Finalising
the forest
Let’s finalise the main object.
Duplicate it once more and
drag it above all layers except
for the model layer. We want to
link the upper object with the
lower portion, so very carefully
edit a Layer Mask to facilitate a
smooth transition; use the Pen
tool if necessary.

20 Behind the door


Open up ‘door.jpg’
from the downloaded files.
Zoom in close and trace around
it using the Pen tool. Copy and
paste the layer into your main
document, and carefully resize

21
it so that it sits harmoniously.
Create a new layer, and use the Finer details
Grass brush to add a touch or Now is a great time to start refining the
two to the corners to image. Visit stock exchange websites and start adding
accentuate realism. small details. We went with ladybirds and balloons as
our additions, but feel free to spice it up with whatever
you like. This is definitely the fun part, so take your time
to make something special!

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044-048_AVP_43_MallerMC.indd 48 4/4/08 10:00:20


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071_AVP_40_eMagAd.indd 1 14/1/08 17:19:37


Step-by-step
Workshop

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050-053_AVP_43_IllustrationWS.in50 50 3/4/08 17:37:58


MIXED-MEDIA
ON THE DISC
This tutorial relies on your own
inspiration to complete, but we
have included a selection of

ILLUSTRATION
textures on the disc to use
throughout the tutorial.

OUR EXPERT Si Clark


Si is a freelance illustrator/animator. Since graduating from
Bournemouth in 2005, he has been obsessively working on
numerous projects and not getting much sleep! See his

Combine sketches and Photoshop artistry into an work at www.si-clark.co.uk.

atmospheric and creative composition


Textures
T
he inspiration for this image is from The reason for this tutorial is to show how
the dire state of our environment, and these illustrations are created and how vital
This tutorial relies on you having a lot of textures to hand.
is about the planet’s ability to Photoshop is in doing this. The aim is to keep
It is worth building up a decent texture library for future
rejuvenate itself after we’ve destroyed everything looking like it has been handmade,
use, and if you don’t already have one, now’s the time to
ourselves, symbolised by the flower growing even though Photoshop is used a great deal to
start. There is a massive texture library on the free CD, as
amid all the pollution. A little bleak maybe, but achieve the final look and feel. Almost
well as some selected just for this project, but take a look
there is always some hope. You can come up everything is on separate layers, so you are able
at www.imageafter.com for more free options.
with your own inspirations for this. to edit every little detail with ease.

1 Line work
You need to create sketches of your
composition, drawing each element separately,
2 Painted backgrounds
The backgrounds are hand painted in
this style of work. They are painted with
3 Create the ground
Using different hand painted
backgrounds, place these under the line
then scan them into Photoshop. When you have watered-down, Chroma Colour paint, usually drawings of the foreground and midground
done this, unlock the Background layer, use just in black. There are some paint textures on areas and colour them in the same way as
Levels to up the contrast and get rid of any the CD. Using Hue/Saturation, colourise the described above. The excess areas are erased so
grey areas, then Select>Color Range to select painted area to an earthy hue. With the the painted areas fit perfectly.
all of the white (200 Fuzziness). Delete this, Lighting Effects filter, use an Omni white light
then use Levels again to darken the remaining (Intensity = 24) to give overall light and then
black lines. orange lights in the centre to create a golden sky.

“USING DIFFERENT HAND


PAINTED BACKGROUNDS,
PLACE THESE UNDER THE
LINE DRAWINGS”
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Step-by-step
Workshop
4 Create the sea
A new painted area is placed under the “TEXTURES WITH OBVIOUS BRUSH
line drawing of the sea, coloured blue with Hue/
Saturation and then numerous different
coloured Omni lights added in Lighting Effects.
STROKES GIVE THE LOOK OF BARK”
5 6
Add some blue, green and purple lights to give
the sea an interesting colour with a negative Trees More trees
light added at the bottom to create shadow. Another painted background is added to The same painted area is used again for
create the texture of the trees, this time with the texture of all of the other trees. Placed
obvious brush strokes to give the look of bark. behind the line drawing, and coloured using
Again, you can find some texture files on the Lighting Effects as described above, this time
disc if you don’t want to create your own. using only a few white Omni lights that conform
Edit>Transform>Warp to follow the shape of to the central light source. The Eraser tool is
the tree. used to get rid of all the excess painted area.

7 Water
Create a layer under the line drawing of
the water and then colour in each of the shapes.
8 Highlights
To give the trees shading and to create a
more three-dimensional look to them, create
9 Detail
Now comes the part of painting in all the
detail. Again, this is done using just the Brush
Using a Magic Wand on the line drawing layer two layers for each tree. The first is for the tool, but it does mean painting each tiny little
speeds things up. After selecting every shape go shading, using the Brush tool and a tablet pen stone one by one, which takes a while. The
to the newly created layer and using the to paint black in the relevant areas keeping to flower and leaves are painted with highly
Paintbucket tool colour each shape white. The the central light source. Change the Opacity to saturated colours to make them stand out from
Opacity of this layer is then changed to 65% so 50%. For the second layer, use a light yellow the bleak colours of the landscape. The pipes
the texture of the water is still slightly visible. colour to give the trees highlights and change are blue to balance the blue of the water and
the Opacity of the layer to 70%. the cans are red to balance out the flower.

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10 Shadows
On a new layer, paint in the
shadows for every object just using the Brush
tool and black paint, and change the Opacity
to about 40% in the Layers palette. Brighten
the midground outline layer using Hue/
Saturation by +10, the sea outline by +15 and
the city outline by +20 to help give the image
more depth.

11 Pencil smudges
To give the area around the edge of
the sky more shading, use a Stanley knife on a

12
soft pencil and smudge that onto some paper.
Scan this in and use Levels to up the contrast, More texture
moving the grey marker and the white marker To create a weathered look to the
until the correct level was found. Then select illustration, scan in some handmade paper. Take
and delete all the white as described before the saturation down and use Levels again,
and add lots of these smudges around the moving the white marker far to the left to get
edge of the sky, finally taking the Opacity of rid of most of the detail, and then moving the
these down to about 60%. grey marker right to darken what’s left.

13 Add the texture


Repeat the previous step on another
piece of bamboo paper. Then select all the
14 Sort out the texture
As the wood grain is a bit too
obscuring as it is, create a layer mask. Go into
white and delete it, leaving just the black. Next, the gradient editor, with black on the left going
invert this and place each layer onto the into white, moving the black checkered box to
illustration. The reason for this is because we the right. Select a Radial gradient and use the
love the grain of the wood and how it looks flower as the centre point, stretching the
almost like the illustration had been printed, gradient out to the top edge of the canvas. This
but there are areas where the ink hasn’t taken clears the centre of the image of the wood
to the paper or has been rubbed off. grain and just leaves it round the edges.

15 Final details
To add the finishing touches, draw
some very quick, thin lines on some paper and
scan this in. Get rid of all the white as described
before and layer these lines on top of
everything. Minor changes are made to the

“WE LOVE THE GRAIN OF THE opacity layers of all of the texture layers so they
aren’t so intrusive. Put a white Radial gradient

WOOD. IT LOOKS ALMOST LIKE THE (white fading out to transparent) behind the
flower to make it even more of a focal point. We

ILLUSTRATION HAD BEEN PRINTED” also changed the hue of the sky to a more
yellow hue.

53
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050-053_AVP_43_IllustrationWS.in53 53 3/4/08 17:38:59


Step-by-step
Workshop

054-057_AVP_43_RetouchWS.indd 54 3/4/08 12:53:28


FASHION AND BEAUTY
RETOUCHING
Pro retoucher John Deaville shows us his expert tips
ON THE DISC
We have included a layered file so
that you can experiment with the
final result. The original image is
from iStockphoto.com and can be
downloaded by searching for
image number ‘4732733’. We
recommend that you try this on

for turning a so-so portrait into a beauty masterpiece OUR EXPERT


your own portraits however.

John Deaville

Y
John started working in a photographic studio in 2000 and is
ou will learn that although To complete this tutorial, you will need to
now working freelance in fashion, beauty and product
Photoshop has increasingly become have an understanding of using adjustment retouching as well as pursuing his own interests in
more accessible and easier to use, at layers, drawing paths with the Pen tool, illustration, photography and design. See more of his work
at www.photofixer.co.uk.
its most advanced it is an incredibly complex blending modes and layer Opacity settings,
program and we cannot demonstrate a ‘one healing and cloning brushes and using the
size fits all’ approach to tackling any image. Brush tool.
Each image has to be assessed individually to
determine a strategy to retouch successfully, and
We also find that a graphics tablet, such as a
Wacom, is invaluable when it comes to using
Stay organised
what we have tried to do here is to demonstrate the healing/cloning tools and it also allows you
Your work may be passed through a hierarchy of clients
some of the techniques that are used frequently to create much more fluid strokes if you are
who may change their minds at the last minute. It pays to
to alter an image. trying to add the finishing touches, like hair.
organise work into layer folders and label each folder/layer
If you can understand what each step is All the work is carried out in Adobe RGB, 8-
according to what it does (ie, ‘Soften face’), so when you
attempting to do and apply these and similar bit colour and we occasionally convert to 16-bit
submit it to the agency or client, they can alter the opacity
techniques to other photographs, you will start when working with blurring and gradients as
of layers. Here, you can adjust the layers in the ‘Eye-
to develop your own approach towards tackling the additional colour information cuts down on
mascara’ folder to alter the colour of the make-up. This
an image and which techniques to use in banding problems, but other than that 16-bit is
allows you to identify which layers to edit at a later date.
which situations. not necessary and slows down the computer.

1 Starting image
Usually the client supplies a mock-up
with the areas that need to be addressed. We
2 Drawing paths
Using the Pen tool, draw around the
outline of the left arm (your right) and where
3 Cloning hair
Clean up the hair by selecting areas of the
original with a feathered (4px) Lasso. Copy,
have decided to look at cleaning the hair and you want the new hairline to go. Create a new paste and Transform>Distort to cover up the
hairline, move and clean the jawline, clean and layer, fill with a background colour and place in areas you want to clean up. Use this method to
even out skin and skintones, simplify the area a layer folder called ‘Background’. Apply a layer create straighter hair on the right-hand side. Try
under the arm, add some simple cosmetic mask to the folder and load the path to knock using the Healing tool and Clone Stamp tool (at
effects and finally add some special effects to out the foreground. Apply a Gaussian Blur of 20% Opacity) by first defining a similar area and
the background. 0.5-1 pixel to the mask to soften. then cloning this onto the unwanted areas.

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Step-by-step
Workshop
4 Using alternative pictures
The hair on the left is a real mess. Using a “THE METHOD YOU USE IS
suitable image obtained from a stock library
with nice straight hair, use a Soft Light blending EQUALLY AS IMPORTANT AS
mode to alter the colour to match the original.
Copy the picture onto the canvas – placed in a
folder called ‘Hair-lhs’ – and use Transform>
THE FINAL RESULT”
5 6
Distort to follow the contours of the original.
Add a Hide All layer mask and use a soft, white Distort jawline Clean jaw/cheek line
brush to paint the areas you want to cover up. Use the Rectangular Marquee to copy a Draw a smooth path around the jaw.
good portion of the image around the jaw. Copy an area of the neck using a feathered
Apply the Liquify filter and use a large Lasso and distort to cover the chin and use the
paintbrush to distort the jawline. Do this in path to knock out the excess, feathering/
several steps to create a smooth line. blurring the path as usual to ensure a good
blend. This will cover any imperfections from
Image from the previous distortion. Repeat the process for
iStockphoto.
com, image the cheek area (copying the hair).
number
‘5128371’

7 Clean and simplify underarm


Use the Rectangular Marquee tool to
draw a good portion under the arm. Use the
8 Cleaning skin
The Healing Brush tool is excellent for
this task. Using a smallish brush (50% Hard) Alt-
9 Cloning skin
Although the Healing Brush is great for
skin, it automatically determines what colours
Liquify filter to distort the dress so that you are click to define a clean area of skin and then and textures to use, which may not work if you
removing the creases and so it is less curved. paint over uneven areas in a crisscross motion, move to a differently coloured or textured area.
Finally, draw a path around the new dress and changing your definition point where For areas around the lips, eyes and eyebrows,
arm area, create a new layer and fill with your appropriate (otherwise it becomes obvious). use the Clone Stamp tool at 10-20% Opacity
background colour, using the path to load the The screenshot shows the before and after. and paint over the area until you are happy.
selection. We can now start to work on the skin,
which is key in any beauty retouching.

10 Even skintone
Again, there are many methods to do
this. We want to even out the highlights and
shadows, so what we have done is selected a
middle skintone, chosen a soft paintbrush and
painted onto separate layers, the cheek, the
face, the chest and the arm. Blur and
experiment with the blending modes and
Opacity, using either Normal, Darken or Lighten,
until you get the desired effect.

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11 Flattening and
lightening skin tones
This was a bit of an experiment. We created a
12 Cosmetics – eyes
Increase the contrast of the overall
eye area, create a Levels adjustment layer and
13 Cosmetics – mascara
Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment
layer inside a folder with a layer mask by
Levels adjustment layer and flattened the drag the black and white points in to increase selecting the option from the bottom of the
contrast by pulling the Output Levels towards the contrast. Fill with the black Paintbucket (so Layers palette. Erase using the black Paintbucket
each other (therefore getting rid of white and the layer disappears) and paint back in with a and paint back in using a soft, white brush. We
black values). We changed the blending mode soft white brush just in the area you want – the also included a 50% Gray area with an amount
to Overlay and faded the Opacity to about 50%. eyes, eyebrows and lashes. Repeat the process of Noise to create texture. This way the client
Finally, we used a black Brush tool to erase any for just the irises to give more of a sparkle, and can double-click the Hue/Saturation layer to
parts over the hair and dress. in the teeth area to whiten them. change the colour of the make-up.

14 Cosmetics – lips
Again we use adjustment layers
(Levels, Hue/Saturation) to alter the colour of
the lips, but because the edge is quite well
defined, you will need to draw a path using the
Pen tool, then use the path to create a masked
layer set as before (Add Layer Set>Hide
All>Load Path, white Paintbucket tool and blur
the edge a little) and experiment with
darkening and colour using adjustment layers.

15 Background effects
To reflect the sequin sparkles from
16 Finishing touches
The definition of the hairline is too
hard, so use a 2-pixel brush (20% Opacity) and
the dress, Lasso, copy and Transform a portion rub away small hairs in the mask for the
of the dress, playing with Opacity and blending background that we created in step 2. This will
modes to cover the top-right corner of the reveal some of the hairs from the original image
background. Use the original path to erase the and break up the hard edge. We have also
excess bits cutting into the model. We have added a highlight to the hair made from the
also drawn multiple soft circles to give the same colour as the background.
effect of out-of-focus reflections.

Practise makes perfect


Part of your role as a retoucher is to assess what the client
wants and if that is viable with the resources you have
been provided with – it is only with experience that you

“NAMING EACH LAYER WILL will know how best to tackle any given situation. There are

ALLOW YOU TO EASILY


many great resources available. Search Google and many
of them can be found for free. With experience, you will

IDENTIFY WHAT TO EDIT”


develop your own style of working, providing clients with
something that they can easily understand and utilise.

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Step-by-step
Workshop

INTERIOR DESIGNS ON THE DISC Create a realistic 3D interior in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

T
On the CD you will find four
Illustrator files, two for the door and here are many great 3D software has its own strengths. For example, reflecting,
two for the floor. You will use these packages on the market. But what if rotating and making paths in Illustrator is easier,
to build up a 3D interior scene in
you don’t want to spend too much while Photoshop has the advantage of very
Photoshop. You will also find the
final layered image so that you can money and you still want to create 3D strong filters.
see how the image was built up. rendering using 2D software? The secret of using these programs together
Bertrand Janssen
This workshop shows you how to create a lies in thinking logically and carefully to find
OUR EXPERT
luxury building entrance using just Photoshop step-by-step solutions to create what is in your
Bertrand is the Senior Manager at Mercedes-Benz Design,
based in Sindelfingen (Germany). He has been passionate (we used version 7) and Illustrator (we used head, because Photoshop has all the tools to
about automotive design for nearly three decades. One of version 9, but the files can also be found on the realise your fantasy. The objective with this
his hobbies is getting the maximum out of software
programs like Photoshop, Illustrator and Painter because CD if you don’t have Illustrator). workshop is not to create complex rendering,
he feels computers give you the ability to create your own The reason behind using both Illustrator and but instead shows some very easy-to-
fantasy world.
Photoshop lies in the fact that each program understand steps for creating a realistic render.

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1 Illustrator shapes
If you don’t have Illustrator, then skip to
step 9. Using your imagination, we will create a
2 Finish the floor
Use the middle point of your guidelines
to copy this shape by rotating 90 degrees and
3 Create a glass door
Still in Illustrator, find an example
of a picture of a door that you can paste into
graphic of a floor by using simple rectangles hitting Cmd/Ctrl+D. Repeat this twice to Illustrator and use as a reference layer to design
and circles in Adobe Illustrator. Don’t forget to complete the full circle. Finish this off with your own glass door. Make guidelines in the
create some guidelines so you can use the some circles, as shown in the screenshot, and middle of the door so that you can easily
middle point as a reference. Create one set of you can see you have created a perfect reflect and rotate the elements that you want
‘tulips’ in a quarter of the rectangle. symmetrical impression of the floor. to copy.

4 Line work over the door


Make a line drawing over the door
reference image, but be aware that we want to
5 Door colour
When you have finished your line
drawing, it is time to use colours and gradients.
fill in the picture with colour, so you have to You have made the line drawing in black, but to
work with closed paths and simple shapes. Just give a realistic impression change the lines to
open ‘Door01.ai’ from the disc. brown to take away the hardness.

“THIS EASY WAY OF 6 Gradients for glass


For the glass door we use a gradient of

WORKING GIVES A REALISTIC different colours to give the impression of shine.


When using gradients, it is important that you

IMPRESSION OF MARBLE” imagine a light source. In this picture the light


source is in the top left.

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Step-by-step
Workshop
7 Drop Shadow
At the moment our door is looking a little
flat and unrealistic, so we need to use an effect
8 Door design
To make your own impression on the
glass door, you can use the Rotate tool to copy
9 Move into Photoshop
Now we are going to move into
Photoshop to put all our illustrations together. If
to give it more depth. For the left column and one leaf over and over to create a 360-degree you don’t have Illustrator, you will find ‘Floor02.
the door handle, add a Drop Shadow to give it flower. You can do the same with the squares ai’ and ‘Door02.ai’ on the disc, which is the result
more depth. around the flower. of the first nine steps.

“PHOTOSHOP HAS ALL THE TOOLS


TO REALISE YOUR FANTASY”
10 Perspective lines
First we will create some reference
lines in good perspective. This is the difficult
11 Paint the wall and ceiling
Now block in the ceiling, wall and
floor with colour. You can easily make
part, because if this is not correct your rendering selections with the Polygonal Lasso tool. Use
won’t look realistic. If you have trouble getting the Gradient tool to create some depth and
the perspective right, then choose a picture use the Noise filter on the walls to create some
from the internet or a magazine of an interior texture, otherwise the end result starts to look
and use this as an underlay to create the right too clean. Finish off with a strip between the
perspective with lines. floor and the wall and the wall and the ceiling.

12 Insert the door


We now need to
bring in our image of the
door. Copy the door shape in
either Illustrator or
Photoshop, then paste it into
your new composition. It
won’t fit into your
perspective straight away, so
use Edit>Transform>Distort
to pull the anchor points in,
that way it fits into the
gridlines you have created.

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13 Reflections
We want to have a marble floor in
our lobby, so we have to create a reflection.
14 Bring in the floor
Repeat the last step for the other
door. We now need to create the marble floor.
15 Lighting design
Create a new Multiply layer and use
Filter>Render>Lighting Effects with the option
Duplicate the original door layer and Edit> Bring in the floor design as you did with the Five Lights Down. The tricky part is that you
Transform>Flip Vertical. Use Edit>Transform> door. Set the blending mode of the floor layer have to guess where you want to have your
Distort to get the bottom of the door’s to Multiply. Use a Fine Brush tool and draw spots in the ceiling. There is a big chance that
reflection in line with the door. Use a layer mask diagonal small stripes without thinking. This you have to repeat this several times to make it
(Layer>Add Layer Mask>Reveal All) and apply simple and easy way of working gives a very fit your perspective. Bring the Opacity of your
the Gradient tool to create this fading effect. realistic impression of marble. layer to 50%.

“CREATE SPOTLIGHTS USING


THE ELLIPTICAL MARQUEE”
16 Spotlight reflection
Because these spotlights will reflect
in the polished marble floor, you must locally
17 Create the lights
Now create the spotlights using the
Elliptical Marquee tool. Feather the edges by 10
Create ambience
erase the areas on the layer where the light will pixels and fill this selection with white. Copy
hit. It is helpful to create a separate layer with this for each spotlight. These spotlights will also You will notice that our final image is a lot warmer than
reference lines pointing to where you have to be reflected in the floor, so create a new layer how we left it in the last step. This is because we have
erase the areas on the floor (the red lines in and set its blending mode to Overlay. Use the added red to the image to create more ambience. This
our screenshot). Brush tool and create blurred spots. won’t work for every composition and scene, so think
about where your image is set. If you have created a
castle interior, for example, then a cold, blue glow will be
more effective.

18 Finishing touches
Now we have created the basic
entrance, you can make this picture complete
by adding in your own existing photos of
accessories and props. We have finished this
rendering here by placing a photograph of a
vase on the floor and lights on the ceiling.
These elements have been finished off with the
same procedure of creating reflections as with
the door and the spotlights to gel them into
the composition.

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Step-by-step
Workshop
DRESS UP YOUR DESKTOP
Create a fun custom wallpaper in Photoshop
ON THE DISC
This month’s CD contains
supporting files for the tutorial:
‘DarkBlueGlass.grd’ and
‘MetalText.asl’. You can also
find the final image so you can
see more closely how it was
put together.

OUR EXPERT Kirk Nelson


This month, regular contributor, Kirk Nelson shows how
even an abstract, reflective, metallic design can be easily
achieved within Photoshop as he creates a new computer
desktop wallpaper.

O
kay, so you’re reading a Photoshop
magazine, which means you
probably have Photoshop, which
means you probably have a computer where
you could put a custom-designed wallpaper.
Get rid of that landscape picture that came with
the machine and put up something original,
created by you.
One of the most common uses of Photoshop
today is to create desktop wallpaper that is
vibrant, eye catching and visually engaging.
Before we begin, take a look at your system
settings and figure out what resolution your
screen is. Common settings are somewhere
around 1,024 x 768 or 1,600 x 1.200.

1 Getting started
Create a new file to the same proportions
of your desktop. Fill the background with black
2 That looks familiar
Use the Text tool to place some large
and significant letters into the centre of your
3 Have some style!
Grab your Custom Shape tool but don’t
draw anything! Make sure your text shape is the
and a new layer with a nice gradient colour of canvas. We’ve gone for the Photoshop logo active layer and look at the Tool Options bar
your choice. Here we matched the blue colours style, but you could do pretty much anything along the top of your screen. Click on the Style
to the Photoshop icon. Drag guidelines to all at this stage. Go to Layer>Type>Convert to swatch to open the Style menu, then using the
four edges and then increase the canvas size Shape. By converting the text to a shape you little arrow on the right select Load Styles and
(Image>Canvas Size) by about 20%. This gives enable a few options in Photoshop that are load the ‘MetalText’ style from the CD. After it’s
you some elbow room for your designs. not available for a text layer, such as adjusting loaded, pick this style from the menu to apply
points with the Direct Selection tool. Use to your text. Feel free to open the Layer Style
this to get your letters to the exact shape options from the Layers palette to inspect
you need. exactly how we put this style together.

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4 Add depth
Create a new layer above your text layer,
select it and your text layer and press Ctrl/
5 Easy 3D letters
You won’t believe how simple it is to
create 3D letters with this trick. Hold down your
6 For our next trick…
…we’ll create a metallic ball within
Photoshop, which can be manipulated into
Cmd+E to merge the two together. This Ctrl/Cmd key and click on the text layer different shapes to form our design. Start with a
effectively rasterizes the layer style. Now go to thumbnail to create a selection around it. Now new file sized at 1,000 x 1,000 pixels. Fill the
Edit>Transform>Perspective and adjust your hold down your Alt/Opt key and use your right background with 50% Gray (Edit>Fill) and go to
text so it appears to be angled to the back right. arrow key to nudge the text to the right several Filter>Render>Lens Flare. Select the 105mm
Because you rasterized the layer style the styles times. When you get the text to a thickness you Prime lens type and move the flare just top left
scale in perspective along with the text. are happy with hit Ctrl/Cmd+D to deselect. of centre.

“BECAUSE YOU RASTERIZED THE


LAYER, THE STYLES SCALE IN
PERSPECTIVE”
7 Keep your eye on the ball
Go to Filter>Distort>Polar Coordinates
and select the Polar to Rectangular option.
8 Build a style
With your new shiny sphere selected open
the layer styles box and set the following. Inner
9 Drops of mercury
Press Ctrl/Cmd+J to duplicate the blue
sphere and move the duplicate. Use the
Then go to Image>Rotate Canvas>Flip Canvas Shadow: Blend Mode = Screen, Color = ‘e8e6d1’, transformation tools to scale, stretch and warp
Vertically. Repeat the polar coordinates filter, Opacity = 15%, uncheck Global Light, Angle = the ball to a more fluid shape. Continue to make
but this time choose the Rectangular to Polar -52, Distance and Size = 32px, Contour = Cone. copies and adjustments to fill your design with
option. At this point you should have a shiny Satin: Distance = 15, Size = 20, check Anti-alias, floating bubbles of blue metal. If you feel
orb in the middle of your canvas. Use the uncheck Invert. Gradient Overlay: Blend Mode = ambitious, you can use the Eraser tool or layer
Elliptical Marquee tool to create a round Color Burn, Angle = 127, Scale = 120. Open the masks to blend two bubbles together. Finish
selection, then copy and paste the ball into gradient selector and load the ‘DarkBlueglass’ this step by selecting all the blobs and grouping
your original design. gradient from the CD. them together with Layer>Group Layers.

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Step-by-step
Workshop
10 Stamp group
Select the group and press Ctrl/
Cmd+Alt/Opt+E to create a new layer that is a
11 More brilliant blue-ish blobs
You’ve created a layer of blobs for
the top of the design, now repeat the last step
12 Photoshop’s
blender
Create another stamp group and
merged copy of the group. Hide the group itself to create blob layers for the bottom and sides. move it below your text layer. Go
and then use the Perspective tool. Create a layer To give variation, try hiding or moving some of to Filter>Liquify. Select the Twirl
mask (Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All) then Ctrl/ the individual blobs before creating the stamp Clockwise tool and increase your
Cmd-click the ‘letters’ layer to form a selection. group. Also consider altering the colours brush size to over 300. Use the
Use a black brush on the mask to hide the blobs (Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation) slightly brush to ‘stir’ the blobs until they
you wish. Deselect when finished. for each group to add more visual interest. resemble a liquid that’s been spun.

13 Dangerous curves ahead


The new liquid swirls blend too
much with the blue blobs, so let’s darken them
14 Create reflections
Go to your top layer and press
Shift+Ctrl/Cmd+Alt/Opt+E. This will create a
a bit to be easier to distinguish. Go to new layer that is a merge of all visible layers. Go
Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves. Click to Filter>Distort>Spherize and set the Amount
the ‘Use previous layer to create clipping mask’ to 100%. Run this filter twice to get a good
box. Adjust the curve into a gentle ‘S’ shape spherical shape. Set this layer’s mode to Soft
that keeps the specular highlights, but deepens Light and reduce the Opacity to 50%. Scale and
the midtones. warp the layer to roughly match the shape of
one of the blue blobs. Move the layer down in
the layer order to just above the group with the
blob you matched. Hold Alt/Opt and click the
line between the layers to clip the reflection to
that group. Repeat this process for each blob
you wish to have a reflection.

15 Final touch
Fill in the background with more
copies of the blob groups and swirls. To really
pop the colours in the design create a new
layer on top of the layer stack. Set your
foreground to a pale yellow and background to
black. Go to Filter>Render>Clouds then
change the blend mode to Color Dodge and
lower the Opacity to 50%. Finally crop the
image down to your guidelines and save your
new desktop wallpaper.

“BY CONVERTING THE TEXT TO A SHAPE YOU


ENABLE A FEW OPTIONS IN PHOTOSHOP THAT ARE
NOT AVAILABLE FOR A TEXT LAYER”
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Step-by-step
Workshop

d e r’sp
Rea k s h
rages fromanced
oartists
wGreo the
at imn the Adv website
o op
osh tail
de
Phot lained in
exp

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CREATE A CREATURE
CONCEPT
ON THE DISC
You will find the final layered
image on the CD so that you can see
how the image was built up from
sketch to final concept, as well as the
starter sketch.

Fantasy creatures are everywhere, from games to OUR EXPERT Mack Sztaba

movies. Mack Sztaba will create a unique creature Mack is a freelance concept artist and he mainly
works in the gaming industry. He also works on side

design from sketches to final concept


projects in his spare time, ranging from logo and
tattoo design, to pen and paper illustrations.

F
rom this tutorial you will learn how to nature fights back against lumberjacks who cut
create concepts using a mix of
traditional and digital tools. However,
them down.
Photoshop is the perfect program for Background story
prior to starting you’ll need some tools such as a texturing and manipulation. In my opinion, no
pencil, paper, Photoshop and a graphics tablet. other program on the market gives you as many It helps to have a story in mind when composing your sketch.
We’re using a Wacom here. options when it comes to mixing traditional and Here, the wailing tree is a malicious and angry force of nature.
The tree consumes its victim by wrapping its branches around
The inspiration for this tutorial came from my digital mediums. I enjoy Photoshop because I
them at first, then its bark and trunk slowly encases them. The
interest in trees. I enjoy drawing trees, as I have can do things like painting digitally and
tree absorbs everything from the victim, including memories.
always been amazed by the different varieties all manipulating photos. The sheer amount of
The wailing trees are known to exact vengeance on the
over the world. This interest sparked the idea of options Photoshop has is simply amazing.
victim’s family. Though the victim is conscious, he has no
the relationship between humanity and nature. Another thing to note: layers will become some
control and all he experiences is agony, causing the tree to
I imagined that it would be interesting if the of your best friends in Photoshop, so get to wail from within.
tables were turned on destructive humans; know them well.

1 Rough sketch
Open a new 8.5 x 11-inch page at 300dpi
and begin doodling quick ideas using a
2 Print and trace
Once the rough looks good, print it and
trace it onto 9 x 12-inch Bristol Paper. Using a
3 Scan work and open Photoshop
Once the work is scanned and opened in
Photoshop, change the drawing to Grayscale.
graphics tablet (a Wacom was used here). Next, HB pencil, render the line art. Sometimes a Go to Image and click on Curves, then play with
refine the thumbnail to see what does and smudge stick helps to get a smooth blend. the Curves to make the drawing dark enough to
doesn’t work. Open a new document and go to During the process, scan the image back into see clearly.
Windows in the option bar, pick Arrange and the computer and flip it horizontally to see any
New Window. Zoom to 12% and put it in the mistakes in the art.
corner. I work in the larger window, using the
smaller one to view the image from a distance,
to ensure the silhouette looks good.

“LAYERS WILL BECOME YOUR BEST


FRIENDS IN PHOTOSHOP, SO GET
TO KNOW THEM WELL”
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Step-by-step
Workshop
4 Clean up
Clean up the background with a hard “MOST OF THE TEXTURES
brush using white and then put the art on a
separate layer. ARE OF MY OWN CREATION,
HOWEVER THERE ARE A
FEW GOOD WEBSITES THAT
OFFER FREE TEXTURES,
SUCH AS IMAGE AFTER”
5 6
Greyscale values
Use a soft brush ranging in opacity and
do touch-ups to the drawing, then lay in
Textures
Open a few textures from your texture
library or the texture archive on the CD. Most of
shadows and highlights. For concept work, do the textures are of my own creation, however
simple lighting from above or slightly from the there are a few good websites that offer free
left or right. textures, such as Image * After. Put the textures
on one page and experiment – I used stained
paper and set it to Multiply, lowering the
Opacity to 63% and flattened the image.

7 Textures and final art


Put the prepared texture above the art on
Multiply mode. Next, use the Eraser tool to erase
8 Highlights and shadows
With the texture layers, the values of the
art can be thrown off. Continue to use the Burn
9 Final touch-ups
Finally, to help attract viewers’ eyes, put a
few highlights in certain spots. Create a new
the edges of the texture to create a ripped and Dodge tools for shadows and highlights. layer and use a hard, round brush with white for
appearance. Also, use the Burn and Dodge tools Also make the image Grayscale once in a while the highlights. The end result should look
on the it. to make sure the values look right. something like this.

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Insider
Info

Master photo filters


With the introduction of increasingly realistic digital filters, photographers are
fast discovering the benefits of ditching the glass variety in favour of a more
flexible option. Inject some atmosphere, warm up a dull day or plunge your
subject underwater using the Photo Filter feature in Photoshop

T
raditionally, many photographers use a range of filters, either of the
screw-in glass variety or the plastic rectangular filter-plus-holder
combo. These filters fit onto the end of your lens and can produce a huge
range of effects, from introducing gradients (Neutral Density Graduated filters)
and stopping down your exposure (Neutral Density filters) to saturating colours
and cutting down reflections on water and glass (Circular Polarisers, for
example). There are filters that soften your image, for a flattering, ‘glowing’
effect, filters that create a starburst effect and coloured filters that are great for
shooting high-contrast black-and-white photos… the list goes on.

The alternative density of the filter to produce the


Photoshop’s latest software releases final effect. This is a crude method of
offer an attractive option that can adjusting the colour balance of your
help photographers and digital photograph, but it’s a useful means of
artists simulate the effects generated learning about the effect of using
by some of the tangible filters on the filters in your photography. While the
market with the Photo Filter feature. dialog does look incredibly simple,
Although it’s not enough to make there are ways of adjusting it to meet
us want to ditch our much-loved set your needs.
of filters, the Photo Filter feature does
bear some relation to the way in Get creative
which physical filters are used to Conventionally, tangible filters were
modify the properties of the image of great importance in film
recorded by the photographer. photography, in order to correct for
Accessed via the Image> colour casts caused by the varying
Adjustments menu or by selecting colour temperatures of different light HOT AND COLD: Using filters can change the ‘temperature’ of an image. On the left a warming
filter has been applied and on the right a cooling filter
Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Photo sources. With the invention of digital
Filter, the Photo Filter option offers photography, this is no longer When creating a digital masterpiece, digital artists it’s not always about
you the choice of selecting a filter necessary, as colour casts can be you often have an image in your mind realism, and you can use this over
type and colour, then adjusting the corrected for in-camera, using your that you want to create. Say you want photomanipulation projects to give
camera’s white balance presets, or to generate a moody portrait of a atmosphere and effect.
OUR EXPERT Josie Reavely
they can be removed digitally post- brooding artist, but your image
Josie’s passion for photography was sparked during a
month-long trek across Ecuador. She went on to shoot if necessary. straight out of the camera was shot Using Lab values
complete a BA (Hons) Media and Communication Photoshop’s Photo Filter options under tungsten lighting and it looks far For greater control over the final look
degree, specialising in photography as her practical
represent a method of not only too warm and optimistic. Simply add a of your image, you can create your
skill and has since written for several technical
magazines, including Digital Photographer, Digital quickly removing colour casts, but Photo Filter adjustment layer. Click own photo filters using Lab values in
Camera Buyer, Computing Made Easy, Advanced intentionally introducing them to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Photo Photoshop. Open an image with a
Photoshop, Photoshop Creative and iCreate.
create a particular effect. Filter, then in the dialog box, select a colour cast that you want to correct
Cooling Filter and experiment with the and click Image>Mode>Lab Color.

Colour temperature Density slider until you’ve introduced


enough blue into your shot to emulate
Select the Eyedropper tool, hold
down Shift and click on an area where
the atmosphere you had in mind to there should be a neutral tone. Note
Colour temperature refers to the standard that measures the colour and begin with. the a and b values down, then add a
quality of a light source. Expressed in degrees Kelvin, a colour temperature For more surreal effects, new Photo Filter adjustment layer.
scale reveals the ‘temperature’ of the light being produced: lower values (eg, experiment with the other colours Use the Color Picker to select the
1,800K – a candle) denote a warmer, more yellow light source, while higher available, adding red, green or point you clicked on before,
values (eg, 7,500K – outdoor shade) denote cooler or bluer light. emerald casts to your images. For displaying the Lab values for that

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INSIDER

es
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LAB CORRECTION METHOD LAB CORRECTION METHOD
BEFORE: A little too warm. Set image mode to AFTER: When you have applied the Photo
Lab, hold down Shift and use the Eyedropper tool Filter, adjust the Density slider to achieve the
to select where there should be neutral colour desired result

COLOUR CORRECTED: The Photo Filter


has been applied as an adjustment layer to cool
down the tones present

CALIBRATION: It is important to ensure


that your monitor is fully calibrated in order for
you to be able to see the subtle tones of an
image before you adjust it

Calibrate your monitor


When working with images, it’s essential to calibrate your monitor in order to
ensure you’re looking at an accurate representation of your final image. If
you’re working on a monitor that hasn’t been calibrated, then any colour
corrections you make are unlikely to be accurate. Use Adobe Gamma as a
starting point, but it’s advisable to invest in a specialised calibrator like the
DataColor Spyder 3 Elite to optimise results.

colour. Invert the a and b values, digital filters available, called Dfx. Color to black, leaving your
adding a minus in front of a positive
value and vice versa, before clicking
Available from www.tiffen.com, Dfx
offers a range of filters that expand
Background Color white. Next, select
the Gradient tool, picking the Linear
Layers
OK. Increase the Density in the Photo the capabilities offered by Gradient setting from the toolbar. Set
When making any changes to your
Filter dialog box until your colour cast Photoshop’s Photo Filters. The digital the Foreground to Transparent and
original image, it’s wise to work on
is neutralised. If the effect needs to filters included in the Dfx software drag the Gradient tool from the top a duplicate layer, by clicking
be intensified, simply duplicate your simulate the effects of optical glass of the sky in your image to the Layer>Duplicate Layer. A quicker
adjustment layer and adjust the filters, matching the Kodak Wratten horizon. Finally, experiment with the way is just to drag the layer
Density slider until you achieve the industry standard, making Dfx not Opacity slider until you’re happy with thumbnail to the ‘Create a new
desired result. only a versatile creative tool, but a the final effect. layer’ icon at the bottom of the
learning resource too. Learning how to use filters Layers palette to create a duplicate.
Third-party digital filters If you’re feeling particularly effectively can make a huge Working on a copy means that
Photoshop’s Photo Filters offer adventurous, have a go at creating difference to your photography, so you have greater control over the
final result of your adjustments,
enough options to get you started, your own ‘filters’ in Photoshop. To it’s worth experimenting with them.
with the ability to adjust the
but there’s a whole host of third party simulate the effect of a Neutral Next time a colour shift is called for
opacity and blending mode of the
plug-ins out there that can increase Density Graduated filter (ND Grad), in your photos, use the Photo Filters layer with the filter effect applied
the creative possibilities even further. enhancing the sky for example, in Photoshop to take control of the in the Layers palette. If you don’t
Tiffen – one of the leading simply add a gradient to your image. look and feel of your images, and like the result, you can simply
manufacturers in optical Add a new adjustment layer to your create the photograph you originally delete that layer, and revert back to
photographic filters – has a set of image, and set your Foreground had in mind. your original image.

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Helpdesk
This month, we solve photographic problems using some of
Photoshop’s expert options and techniques BY ADAM SMITH
COLOUR CONUNDRUM pairings: Red and Cyan, Magenta and Green, Blue © Hillary Gracier aka
I’m having a few problems with my colour and Yellow. You can create the appropriate cast by stop2pray, www.sxc.hu
photography and wondered whether you exaggerating the opposing colour in an image. Once
could help. I’m putting together a portfolio of chosen, start adjusting the amount of shadow and
scenic photography, which is dependent on highlights that are clipped and then alter your Input/
colour, however in some instances, especially Output layers for best effects.
when taken indoors, there is a muddy and dull
cast. Can this be fixed?
Thomas Nell, County Durham THAT’S A NICE ACCENT
I have recently started exploring the potential
The problem you’re experiencing is known as colour of fashion and model photography and have
casting. This is where exaggerated or unwanted colour completed a series of facial shots.
is embedded in your image, perhaps due to interfering Unfortunately, my lighting wasn’t sufficient
light sources, such as fluorescent lights, or an incorrect and the facial highlights aren’t that great and a
white balance setting on the camera. little flat in shadow. I’m sure you can think of a
Photoshop CS provides simple tool functions neat Photoshop trick to solve my problem?
to combat this problem. Open the desired image Joan Fazackerley, Cardiff
for correction, then select Image>Adjustment DIFFUSE
Layers>Auto Color. Next select Layer>New Adjustment There is a subtle and simple way, as always with GLOW: The
Diffuse Glow
Layer, choosing either Levels or Curves and clicking Photoshop, to help resolve your photographic filter uses
the Option button. Here you can select the Find Dark & dilemma Joan. First you must select the lighter areas background
colour to
Light option under your Algorithms in the Auto Color of the model’s features. You can do this by using the produce the
effect. So, the
Correction Options dialog box. Magic Wand or Color Range command, using the lighter the tone
Now select the Snap Neutral Midtones option and Marquee Selection tools to clean up areas. Next select the better
the contrast
open the Color Picker for the Midtones. Once you’ve Filter>Distort>Diffuse Glow. Once in the dialog box,
done so, be mindful that all colour reproduction is drop the Graininess value to 0 and increase the Glow
dependent on six colours broken into three opposite and Clear amounts for best effects. Once you are

ALTER EFFECTS: You can alter effects using preferred blending modes and opacities. Experimentation is key

CAST YOUR MIND BACK: For those working on earlier


versions of Photoshop you can get the same effects selecting
Enhance>Adjust Colors>Remove Color Cast

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GOING SOFT
In the past, Advanced Photoshop has provided
some problem solvers for photographers, from High
Pass sharpening to infrared effects in the Helpdesk
so I thought I’d add one more. My problem is simple:
I’m looking for a non-destructive way to create a soft
focus in my image. I’ve tried the Blur filters like many
others, but find it not exactly helpful for getting a
professional-looking effect. I’ve played with filter
effects and layer masks, but it’s time consuming
when I have deadlines to reach. Any ideas or will I
just have to be more motivated?
Tanya Reid, Hampshire

Well Tanya, an artist’s life can be a busy one that’s


for sure, so we don’t mind easing your burden.
There is, in fact, a practical and straightforward way
to achieve a soft-focus effect. It’s funny you should
mention the High Pass function, as it provides this
effect as well as sharpening. Simply open your
image and duplicate it, select Filter>Other>High
Pass. Apply a Radius of 10 and then Cmd/Ctrl+I to
invert the High Pass layer. All that’s left to do is set a
WHERE TO FIND: Interpolation settings can be applied by selecting from Photoshop>Preferences>General (Mac) or
Edit>Preferences>General (PC) Soft Light blending mode. You can drop Opacity to
vary the effect to suit your needs.
satisfied with your filter application, deactivate your BLOWN UP
selection and then try applying a Levels or Curves I am having myself a bit of a problem, which I © Marinka van Holten aka Mrinkk, www.sxc.hu
Adjustment layer to exaggerate all effects. If the edges hope you can help me with. Please, please,
of your effect are too harsh then before applying please can you tell me how to resolve my issue!
Diffuse Glow, choose Select>Modify>Feather at a 20- I’m trying to rescale some of my preferred
pixel Radius to soften. photographs so that I can sell them? However, I
have noticed that although they are a good dpi
ratio, my images still seem to slightly degrade.
DAMAGE LIMITATION Any ideas how to stop this?
I like to create a lot of heightened exposure in Irina Demidov
my photo-manipulation and traditional works,
and the adjustment layers such as Levels and Well Irina, it sounds like there’s a straightforward
Curves are a real must, offering great effects. way for you to stop this slight interference and that
However, they don’t always resolve the finer is through understanding ‘interpolation’. Photoshop
details in my model’s features. I’ve used the itself provides five methods of interpolation to achieve
Burn and Dodge tools to good effect, but I’m such effects, which is set up in your Preferences. The
fed up with having to retrace many steps when Interpolation settings can be applied by selecting
all doesn’t turn out so well. Is there a more from Photoshop>Preferences>General (Mac) or
controlled way to do it? Edit>Preferences>General (PC). For best results
Stephen Phillips, Burn Bridge, Harrogate with contemporary digital imagery and professional
photography, only three of the five options in the
There is a way Stephen that will offer you maximum
control. This is a function that is in plain sight for most
Interpolation drop-down really apply, all belonging to
the Bicubic set of values.
HELPDESK
users, but is a mystery to others. Once you have opened First, there is Bicubic, which takes pixel data CALL FOR QUESTIONS
your image and got to the point where you want from all the surrounding pixels, including the
controlled application, hold Alt and click the ‘Create a diagonal axis, to calculate new pixel values. Want help with Photoshop?
new layer’ icon at the foot of the Layers palette. Next, Bicubic Smoother works on the same Send your emails to us at:
In the New Layer dialog box, set your Mode to premise, but is geared towards increasing advancedpshop@imagine-publishing.co.uk
Overlay and activate the Fill with Overlay-neutral color sizes substantially. Finally, there is Bicubic
(50% Gray) option before pressing OK. Place the newly Sharper, which is geared to the dramatic
or post a message on our forum board at
created layer above all others. decrease in size of imagery, perhaps www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/forum.
This layer works like Dodge and Burn using your suitable for web presentation. Remember to specify whether you’re using
brushes, black to add shadow, white to highlight. Make sure that your Photoshop a PC or Mac and the version number of
Select a soft brush, set to 10% Opacity for best results, Preferences are set to the right
but you can always increase/decrease Opacity to alter Interpolation setting and you should find
your edition of Photoshop.
the effect. that your photos are less degraded.

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Our pick of the best reader submissions
sent to us this month

P
eer Pressure has once again been inundated with a volume of great
artworks. The chosen entries this month offer an array of insights into the
creative mind, sharing and revealing individual approaches and skills. We
always include your email and web address, so interested parties can get in touch.
All you have to do is send us high-quality TIFFs or JPEGs (RGB or CMYK) at 300dpi,
which can be printed at a minimum size of 15 x 15cm. Send us low-res versions to
advancedpshop@imagine-publishing.co.uk – we’ll get back to you for higher-
resolution work if needed. Alternatively, log on to our forum at www.
advancedphotoshop.co.uk/forum. We can’t provide individual image assessment here.
Each issue we select one image to be ‘Best in Show’, and that lucky person will
win a fantastic prize, courtesy of The Illustration Source (www.illustration-source.
com), which is a great way to get your work seen. So, what are you waiting for?

Bright illustration
BEST
NAME: Alexander Shelley
EMAIL: Aalexamy@aol.com

Alex Shelley is currently a graphic designer for a printing IN SHOW


and design company in Montrose, Colorado, USA, which is
something that is helping to enhance his skills as an artist.
“I’ve never enjoyed a job more,” he says, “but my ambitions
truly lie in the field of illustration. To that end, I have
undertaken several freelance projects and one pet project of
my own, from which these images derive.”
He uses a number of resources to advance his illustration work.
He is also a reader of Advanced Photoshop and from this very
magazine he has picked up some tips and tricks from the tutorials,
including the processes used in the images seen here: “The first
image, entitled Approach (which you can see below), makes use of a
technique I learned from issue 26 of your magazine.”
Both of the images seen here are part of a series that Shelley has
been working on: “The second image, entitled Control, actually
appears before Approach in the storyline.” We hope to see more of
his work in this series before long!

CONTROL (ABOVE): “I made extensive use of both Adobe


Illustrator and Google’s free 3D utility Sketchup in creating the
character and background elements, but Photoshop’s Clone
Stamp tool proved the most effective means of filling in the
garden foliage”

APPROACH (LEFT): “I knew I wanted the environment to feel


romantic and troubled. Gaussian Blur gave my clouds that
effect. Also, the specular bloom of the sun was achieved with
different settings of the same filter”

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Unique designs
NAME: Olga Dąbrowska
EMAIL: D.Olga@aster.pl
WEB: http://nakatoni.deviantart.com

“I was born in 1978 in Poland. I enjoyed drawing and painting as a


child, but it was just a hobby and I never thought that I could actually
draw. Soon I started to practise more and more, and got really into
digital art after getting Photoshop. But the real adventure began when
I bought my tablet and it was then I knew I wanted to make my art
something serious, something I could live on. Never having formal art
education or drawing classes, I was educated the hard way – through
the process of trial and error. Everything I know I taught myself or I
gained from artists I spoke to. I use references for poses, but the more
I paint, the more I change them and in the end it’s hard sometimes to
recognise the reference used. Using references taught me how to
create my own characters, based purely on my imagination and
dreams. I mainly sketch directly in Photoshop, although when making
first concepts for a painting I use pencils. Usually I start with a limited
colour palette, building up the variety of it during painting. For
practice in Photoshop, I often make quick paintings, with different
compositions and colours.
“For creating these images I used Photoshop 7 with a Genius tablet,
and a little help from Corel Painter in Time To Wake Up.”

ANGEL-DEMON (LEFT): “A character from my TIME TO WAKE UP (BELOW): “I was


unfinished novel. He’s a Guard Angel in heaven, thinking of forest nymphs and decided to
God’s Chancellor, the only one to predict the paint one of them, but stopped halfway
consequences of God’s sudden disappearing. To through. When I came back to it a month
keep status quo, and to defend heaven from later, it was almost painting itself and I
enemies, he has to ally himself to Lucifer and completed it in two days, working 10-12
slowly he transforms into a demon” hours a day”

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Discover the thinking behind the art

Perfect paintings
NAME: Lisa Herron
EMAIL: llherron11@yahoo.com
WEB: http://quicksilverfury.deviantart.com/

“I was teaching basic technology classes Word,


Excel, PowerPoint, etc, when I was presented with
an opportunity to participate in Photoshop classes
at our local college as part of an experimental
teaching study. The environment was based on a
discovery method atmosphere with very little
instruction and where students were encouraged
to explore the program and see what they could
learn on their own. We learned and shared as a
class and our knowledge and applications of the
program grew from there.
“I’m relatively new to the art field, having a
more firm grip on teaching and technology, so it
was a big step taking the plunge into digital
media expression.
“I loved to draw and paint when I was very
young – my mother’s and grandmother’s walls
and kitchen floor can attest to that! But the most
wonderful thing about painting with Photoshop is
that you don’t have to clean your brush off every
time you want to change colours, and you don’t
have to put your canvas, brushes and easel away!
“I’ve been doing freelance work for various
logotypes for extreme sports, such as paintball
ANGEL OF DEATH (ABOVE):
and motocross, and doing web graphics, and I “I used the Brush tool for the skull
have done several Gothic tattoo commissions and and crossbones. The phantom
pool cue designs. I hope to someday do more flames are made with the Smudge
digital fantasy art for book covers and illustration.” tool with a 32-pixel width, soft
brush and Smudge Strength set at
72 per cent”

BLOOD RITUAL (ABOVE): “This piece was


created by the desaturation of different photo
images. The central image was created in Poser 7
and is from CB-Stock; the other photos in the piece
came from RO-Stock accounts on deviantART”
FOREVER BRONZE (LEFT): “This started as a
sketch and then was scanned into Photoshop and
coloured. I used an 80-pixel diameter, soft brush to
lay down the base colour and the Smudge tool. I
added highlights and shadows using the Smudge
and Dodge tools”

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best in
show
Sponsored by…
Not only is Alexander Shelley this
month’s Best in Show, she has also
won a year’s full Option 3
membership to The Illustration
Source, worth £150 and Featured
Artist slot for May. The Illustration
Source Ltd is the newest source of
original art, freelance illustrators,
photographers, artists and
Alter ego designers on the net. Visit www.
illustration-source.com for more
NAME: Enis Maksutovski information. If you’d like to stand a
EMAIL: hello@ym-germany.de chance of winning an Illustration
WEB: www.ym-germany.de/ Source portfolio, send your images
to advancedpshop@imagine-
Enis Maksutovski is a 21-year-old German graphic publishing.co.uk.
designer based in Ratingen, Germany. He is focusing
on Static Design, Illustration, Motion Graphics and
Image requirements
You’ll stand a better chance of
Photography. Vin Heyden is the new alter ego of Enis’s seeing your work in print if you
works, a new way of observing. Currently he is working adhere to the following criteria:
for Parasol Island, a film, animation and design studio, Make sure that your images are
based in Duesseldorf. high-quality TIFFs or JPEGs (RGB or
CMYK), 300dpi minimum, and can
be printed at 15 x 15cm minimum.
Don’t forget to include a small text
file detailing how you created your
work as well.

Terms and conditions


By submitting images to Advanced
Photoshop’s Peer Pressure, you
hereby grant Imagine Publishing
and, if relevant, clients to whom the
relevant work has been provided,
an irrevocable, perpetual, royalty-
free licence to use such intellectual
property in relation to work similar
or equivalent to the work. This
includes the right to showcase work
on multimedia formats. By
submitting work you also confirm
that your images do not infringe
any copyright regulations should
they be published.

VIN HEYDEN 1: Image created with THE PRIZE: Check out The Illustration
digital photography, Photoshop, Source’s website to see the portfolios of
Illustrator and retouching work previous winners of Best in Show

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Discover the thinking behind the art

Conceptual
manipulations
NAME: Michael Brunsfeld
EMAIL: brunsfeldo@comcast.net
WEB: http://homepage.mac.com/michaelbrunsfeld

“I presently teach Photoshop at the Academy


of Art in San Francisco. I am also a
freelance designer, retoucher and have
illustrated nearly 60 book covers for the
Uncle John’s series of humour/reference
books. For eight years, I worked at Industrial
Light & Magic as a Visual Effects Art
Director on commercials and feature films
(War of the Worlds, Peter Pan, Minority P_E_A_C_E HOLIDAY CARD: “The shapes were designed
Report, Gangs of New York, Star Wars in Illustrator. I took the file to a copy facility and printed it to
Episode 2 and The Mummy). Before ILM, I about eight-feet long. Each of the letters were transferred,
cut out as large foam core shapes and wrapped in satin. I
was a Commercial Animation Director at bought a bunch of Curly Willow, formed them into braids
Colossal Pictures, where I designed and like rope and painstakingly wired them onto the foam. All
directed commercials for Chevy, sApple, pieces were photographed and composed in Photoshop”
Microsoft, Perrier, Coke, Lowenbrau, CONCEPT ART FOR COMMERCIAL (PAPERLESS
Nickelodeon, Disney and MTV. I also WORK ENVIRONMENT): “I began with a stock image of
designed typography for a number of a forest, agreed upon by the client. After compositing most
feature film title sequences, including of the pieces, it was suggested that all the bits of paper
should have printed text on it, to suggest it was all used
Copolla’s Peggy Sue Got Married and Jack, paper, so I scanned random paper text and mapped that
as well as designing the California Raisins.” onto much of the paper leaves and branches”

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Feature

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the future’s
bright;
the future’s
hotoshop
the future’s bright; the future’s Photoshop

the future’s
bright;
the future’s
Photoshop
From video podcasts and online virals, to mobile content and
advergames, Photoshop has an important role to play in new
media content, as Nick Spence discovers

F
or the budding designer, learning one Today a typical design project might involve creating
application well enough to prosper can be an and adapting work to suit various platforms, from huge
achievement in itself. Increasingly, however, the billboards to diminutive mobile phone content. Now
demands of clients and potential employers require that more than ever is the time to develop old skills, learn
your skills base covers a range of creative software new ones and adapt established skills to meet new
programs. Print used to preoccupy designers’ minds, but media needs.
now a vast array of platforms and media is available to If the thought of being a master of many applications
deliver content to the consumer. fills you with dread, fear not: Adobe has come a long
The web has revolutionised our lives and plays a vital way in recent years to tighten integration between
part in keeping people both informed and entertained. once-competing software tools. Adobe acquired main
Mobile and wireless communications, fuelled by rival Macromedia in 2005 and a number of popular
advanced semiconductor technology and next- applications, including Dreamweaver, Flash and
generation networks, promise a world at our fingertips, Fireworks, joined an already impressive lineup. Along
all while on the move. Interactive television, or iTV, with greater compatibility, many Adobe products now
online streaming, video podcasts, virals, widgets, share similar workspace and tools so it’s easier to work
applications for social networking sites, instant your way around a range of programs, particularly with
messaging, advergames and online and mobile gaming CS3. “The excellent integration in the Creative Suite
are all areas for potential growth in the coming years. means that you can work fairly seamlessly,” explains

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Feature
© Ashby Design © Ashby Design
ART OF VERSIONS: Neil
Ashby and Matthew Curry
created this Flash-rich
website that explains and
illustrates their artwork for
the Thievery Corporation
album Versions

© Ashby Design

Richard Harrington, a member of the National


Association of Photoshop Professionals, Dream Team
instructor and president of visual communications
company RHED Pixel (www.rhedpixel.com). “I think, as it
gets easier to move a project across software tools,
people will experiment in new ways. This makes me
more likely to use tools like Illustrator and Flash, as they
are so much easier to integrate with Photoshop and
After Effects. Integration means less thought and many
know that thought is often a barrier to experimentation.”

Creative Q&A
Photoshop For Video “As applications, tools and resources become
A certified instructor for Adobe, Apple and Avid, adapted for mobile devices and touch
Richard Harrington is a practiced expert in motion
interfaces, we’ll see some new and exciting
design opportunities arise” Alec East, Do Tank
graphic design and digital video. An internationally
published author, including Photoshop For Video
(www.photoshopforvideo.com), Harrington
explains Photoshop’s often-overlooked capabilities.
Other elements have helped designers to both East points out that when you watch a film at the
Q. Most people might be surprised
multitask and prepare work across a range of platforms. cinema it is different to when you watch it on television
Photoshop has video capabilities, why?
A. Photoshop is often thought of as a digital Adobe Version Cue offers users a way to centrally and different again when viewed on DVD, your
photography program, which is odd since its origins manage shared project files and better track jobs computer or mobile device. The film is essentially the
really pre-date digital photography. It started out destined for different media such as print and web. It’s same but you are different; your expectations, focus and
with firm roots in the film and television industry. meant studios can play to their strengths with staff best perception of your environment all contribute to how
Photoshop has long been used to design broadcast suited to a task working on individual elements, while you engage with that experience. “Visual design helps
graphics, DVD menus, film titles and more. It is the still very much part of a team effort. users engage with content. When designing for
most flexible image editor, painting program and Adobe Bridge adds the ability to organise, browse different devices, especially mobile, it’s important to
type tool for creating raster-based graphics, which
and locate files, applications and settings from one understand the user’s mindset. When, where and why
is what the video industry needs.
convenient intuitive interface. Adobe Lightroom, they will be using the content you are designing.”
Q. What has CS3 Extended added,
officially launched last year, has attracted many admirers
particularly for those working with video?
A. First and foremost is the ability to use video files for its ability to view, edit and manage large numbers of New media compatibility
as layers. This opens up new options for repairing digital photographs on the fly. While Photoshop has had Creating context-sensitive content is one consideration,
footage as well as stylisation and design. There are tools for web content creation and animation for some another is getting to grips with the sometimes-
many other options though, such as Smart Filters time, Photoshop CS3 Extended introduced a range of conflicting industry standards competing for legitimacy
and improved After Effects integration that just new features to extend functionality further. Tools for 3D and acceptance in new media areas. “The mobile web is
makes it a joy to work with. compositing, texture editing and motion graphics, with still bogged down with manufacturers and service
Q. And do you generally need to use the ability to paint, add text and clone over multiple providers vying for dominance, not just for their
Photoshop along with something like frames of an imported video sequence, has moved platform or format but for screen sizes and the way we
Adobe After Effects for creating content?
Photoshop into new creative realms. deliver and integrate content to mobile devices,” stresses
A. Photoshop and After Effects go hand in hand. I
For all the integration, additions and enhancements, East. Designers may have to compromise their design to
can create plenty of content just in Photoshop,
especially if it is going to a non-linear editing tools alone won’t necessarily make you a better a lowest common denominator or risk building several
system like Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro, but it is a designer or give you the skills to multitask across different versions of a mobile site or application he
natural extension as you can design very fast in platforms effectively. “Let’s get something straight here; warns: “This is slowly changing and there are a lot of
Photoshop then send things to After Effects. having a copy of CS3 won’t make you a great designer mobile standards, including CSS support in some cases,
Everything from layer styles to type comes across any more than having a set of Jamie Oliver saucepans but it’s a long way from reaching the level of
and it’s an easy exchange. I would say that 35 per will make you a chef,” insists Alec East of digital creative compatibility we expect online. Photoshop is the daddy,
cent of my video graphics work ends in Photoshop agency Do Tank (www.do-tank.co.uk). “What CS3’s we all know this, and it is currently your best friend for
but 95 per cent of my After Effects work starts in
improved integration does is increase your ability to be creating images that work across platforms but it is still
Photoshop. The two work well and a strong
creative by keeping your documents and design in the middle of a compatibility battle.”
Photoshop user will find After Effects exciting.
decisions flexible. Empathy and understanding of a Understanding new media opportunities still clearly
Photoshop for Video is published by
Focal Press (www.focalpress.com) user’s mindset at any given moment will serve you has some way to go, both among users and content
better than any new software release.” providers. An increasing number of Do Tank’s clients ‘get

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the future’s bright; the future’s Photoshop
© Matmi

SPORT RELIEF VIRAL: Matmi was appointed


exclusive viral marketing partner for Sport Relief 2008, © Matmi
creating this addictive game Animal Athletics, whose
sprites, backgrounds and menus were made in PS

it’, but there are still many that need educating, explains
East. “In 2007 we saw a mad ‘me too’ clamber for bits and
pieces of beyond-the-browser content, but 2008 is
going to see social media, widgets, mobile apps used
more strategically and coherently across brand
extension, content dissemination and customer
engagement.” Popping a video on your website isn’t
going to cut it any more and with this in mind it’s
important to get as much coherence, if not consistency,
as possible across media and platforms, stresses East: “A
company’s widget needs to be coherent with its
Facebook app and email newsletter; people will be
engaging with a brand, using it in ways that traditional
brand specialists have never considered.”
Despite concerns over size, context and competing
mobile standards, East still sees a bright future ahead for gained from bashing consumers’ faces with flashing MATMI: Matmi covers a wide range of new media
mobile content. “Mobile, in the adjective sense of the images and low prices,” says Coghlan. “Corporations applications and services, including advergames, as
shown above. The company makes use of multiple cross-
word, is definitely where it’s going to be happening over need to get quirky in order to engage with a more
application tools, and utilises Photoshop as part of its
the next few years. As more applications, tools and cynical consumer force. Web games offer the workflow system
resources become adapted for mobile devices and, opportunity to provide an enjoyable experience for
perhaps, touch interfaces, we’ll see some new and users while subtly strengthening the brand awareness.”
exciting design opportunities arise.” While Matmi offers a range of new media services,
including website content, advergames, mobile games,
All in the game screensavers, viral marketing and ringtones, Photoshop
As well as mobile content, the potential for online still has a vital role to play. “We make great use of
gaming and particularly advergaming, the practice of multiple cross-application tools within our
using videogames to advertise a product, organisation
or viewpoint looks certain to thrive in the future. Jeff “Photoshop is great crossover point which
Coghlan, director of Matmi (www.matmi.com), a
allows the designer to easily manipulate their
design over various platforms, allowing them
company that covers both traditional and new media,
clearly sees the possibilities for creativity. “The next five
years offer a lot of exciting possibilities for the new
to meet the brief while providing a strong,
standardised visual theme” Jeff Coghlan, Matmi
media sector. With a lot of big players coming on board
and realising that there is little brand loyalty to be

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Feature
© Ralph BLUE PETER ONLINE
GAME: Do Tank
recently completed an
online game for the
BBC’s Blue Peter, in
collaboration with
animation studio Pesky,
to highlight a popular
cooking competition
© Do Tank

Creative Q&A © Do Tank


Ralph
Digital creative agency Ralph (www.ralphandco. advergames, from Photoshop to sound editing Coghlan continues: “It’s now much easier, for
com) has built an impressive portfolio of clients, applications and almost everywhere in between.” Matmi instance, to cut a vector image from Illustrator, tab over
including McDonald’s, Sony, Virgin Media and the recently completed a brief which required it to use to Photoshop, paste and edit using the ‘brilliant’ Smart
Kaiser Chiefs, providing a rich array of digital Photoshop to clean up and optimise pre-rendered Objects layer. Similarly, in order to keep poster artwork
services from websites to viral videos and
animations of ‘googly-eyed recycling bins’ from Cinema portable, rather than popping the printers a huge TIFF
mobile content.
4D. It then imported and manipulated them further in or JPEG, you can copy them from Photoshop to
Essentially Ralph offers brand-new digital
opportunities to engage and entertain audiences at
Flash to create a classic coconut-shy-style shooting Illustrator and trace the outlines on artwork, break
a time when an increasing amount of marketing is gallery game for a major supermarket chain to promote sections off and use thresholds to your advantage,
spent online. Design director Iain Barrington-Light its green side. “Photoshop allowed us the flexibility to giving a neat, cartoon cut-out effect.”
explains how Ralph faces new client demands as really get picky over file size and canvas waste. Excess Flash, the interactive content creation tool, is another
new creative opportunities and platforms develop pixels add pounds you know, so the final game could central component to the development of new media
in the future. preload and run as quickly as possible,” explains platforms, especially in providing increasingly rich
Q. Do you think designers increasingly Coghlan. “Photoshop is a great crossover point which internet applications. Flash CS3 Professional includes the
require the ability to multitask and allows the designer to easily manipulate their design ability to import and edit Photoshop and Illustrator files
combine skills, new and old, to meet
over various platforms, allowing them to meet the brief while preserving layers and structure, a move that has
client and industry demands?
while providing a strong, standardised visual theme.” been welcomed by designers. “It is always a definite
A. It really depends on how the agency works. Here
challenge to be able to create new, vibrant content for
at Ralph we believe that design is always driven by
the concept. Sometimes designers need to use anti- Mix and match Flash applications. Luckily, with the advent of ActionScript
design to dupe the user into thinking they are Although Photoshop offers an increasingly mixed set of 3 Flash scripting and improved CS3 integration, you can
visiting a local news site or yodelling website. We creative tools, few designers work with one application beat a path away from the almost hackneyed simple
expect designers to use any resource or style alone. Adobe CS3 has helped companies like Matmi vector games and involve a lot more detailed images.”
possible to create the look we want. This means provide a varied range of solutions to meet every This has allowed the designer to breathe a little
they flit from illustration, arts and crafts, puppet conceivable client need and project challenge. “As our texture into the flatness of vector explains Coghlan: “For
design, graphic design, animation and 3D design, industry changes, agencies like Matmi have evolved, we example, in our recent success with Sport Relief’s
to name just a few disciplines.
are a new type of agency, a digital engagement Animal Athletics, we used Photoshop to create the
We also like to keep design and development
specialist, therefore we can produce anything digital effect of torn paper cut-outs, blotchy ink titles and an
separate here. People stick to what they are good
at. There is slight crossover, eg designers get
that is required in house,” stresses Coghlan. “In a way, overall artsy-crafty look and feel which we then
involved a little in CSS and Flash and vice versa, but designers have always needed to combine skills in exported out as a PNG file and used to shuffle around to
it’s mainly a specialised affair. multiple applications. Now, however, we have more much humorous effect.”
Q. And has improved integration chances to pass file types between apps to achieve For many, providing new media content has meant
across the Adobe CS3 Suite helped more engaging results.” anticipating new trends rather than following them,
achieve multitasking?
A. The improved integration between Fireworks and
Flash has been a godsend. Designers no longer “It’s great that programs like those in CS3
have to go into Flash and recreate effects on text
are starting to play better together because it
helps them get out of our way and us get back
and objects. It is all nicely copied across. It saves so
much time we get an extra 20 minutes on Guitar
Hero on the PlayStation!
to work” Neal Ashby, Ashby Design
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the future’s bright; the future’s Photoshop
WALLPAPER 1: This
artwork was created for
Desktopography by Gabor
Tomasi, whose personal site
you can find at www.
careaboutart.net

WALLPAPER 2: This image is available as a wallpaper


from Desktopography and was created by Jordy Roelofs.
You can see more of his work on his personal website at
www.sysmatic.net

© Gabor Tomasi, Desktopography © Jordy Roelofs, Desktopography

“Designers flit from illustration, arts and Creative Q&A


Desktopography
crafts, puppet design, graphic design, At their best, desktop wallpapers bring animation

animation and 3D design to name just a few to often lifeless computer screens, reflecting the

disciplines” Iain Barrington-Light, Ralph


personality of the user and acting as a calling card
for your creative talents. With thousands of free
downloadable themes available online they clearly
developing new ways of working and looking towards a us get back to work. We fare better in quick and efficient have an audience.
global convergence. “At this point we’re in a state of workflow environments.” While clients will increasingly For the designer, creating wallpapers is a great
convergence where new media is being created based demand several solutions and formats suitable for way to perfect your craft and create images
specifically for different environments from
on the combination of established mediums and different platforms, not all content needs to be created
desktops and laptops to mobile phones and MP3
cutting edge technology,” offers Neal Ashby, principal of from scratch. “Similar to the programs we use to create
players. London-based freelance designer, Pete
design studio Ashby Design (www.ashbydesign.com). such material, there’s a generous amount of overlap
Harrison (www.aeiko.net) currently curates
“In five years most likely we’re going to be facing even within the content. Widgets, for example, are just pared Desktopography (http://pixel.customize.org), a
more decisions in terms of our delivery options and down web pages and web pages can be formatted showcase for some of the most evocative, free
available mediums, however we’ll undoubtedly have effectively for mobile distribution and all of these desktop wallpapers available on the internet.
better tools at our disposal. It will be interesting to see components can constitute a marketing campaign.” Q. Can you explain how the
how designers and educators evolve to face the While size is the most obvious concern when Desktopography project started?
challenges of working within the rapidly changing developing for new media devices, the real issue, suggests A. The Desktopography project arrived in 2005 as a
landscape of new media.” As the role of the designer is Ashby, is making your content the most effective. Devices place to download nature and topological themed
wallpapers with edits from selected designers.
constantly evolving, for Ashby the name of the game is like Apple’s iPhone have served to revolutionise how
What we see everyday can affect our mood and
to stay ahead of the curve both aesthetically speaking content can be delivered but it’s also highlighted the fact
state of mind. Designers spend about 90 per cent of
and technologically. “As designers we’re tasked with that certain mediums fail to translate effectively when
their waking life in front of a computer so the most
being able to anticipate what’s required for a given viewed in miniature. “Probably 99 per cent of what appealing genre for a wallpaper would be one that
project and to deliver it based on a myriad of cultural comprises the web renders terribly on the iPhone has a beautiful design mixed with the all important
influences, past, present and future. Ultimately, that compared to the native and web apps built specifically for aspect of being outdoors and bringing tranquillity
requires skill sets that can work in tandem and provide the device. Mobile devices have given us a new canvas and to your desktop.
the ability for us to work quicker and more efficiently.” targeting them requires re-evaluating current content to Q. You also have an exhibition each year?
Advances across the CS Suite has certainly helped work better within their bounds,” explains Ashby. “In A. Basically we have an exhibition every year, I
designers like Ashby keep up with the industry, contrast with print, where the hurdles are mostly invite some of the best designers around the world
to individually or collaboratively create a nature
changing client demands. “The convergence and the concentrated within the production segment, new media
themed wallpaper – it can be their own
communication between programs like Photoshop, designers are tasked with anticipating variables
photography or a stock image – and they have to
Illustrator and even Flash have helped to reduce the throughout the process. Design-wise the sky is the limit,
edit it in some way. The whole project is non-
number of steps we need to take in order to get from however, how can we reach the most number of people profitable and just intends to share these beautiful
point A to point B,” enthuses Ashby. “It’s great that within a given project’s demographic effectively while wallpapers with anyone in the world. Most of the
programs like those in CS3 are starting to play better addressing these variables? That’s the challenge we face in designers use Photoshop to realise their idea and
together because it helps them get out of our way and the push and pull of developing projects for new media.” it’s an important part of the design process.

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resources

Apple Aperture 2
Apple updates its popular image-management and editing software

A
pple’s Aperture has made quite an We were lucky enough to see Aperture at
impression among professional the Focus On Imaging show in February, and
photographers. The first version saw how nippy the whole program is, but we
had a few small problems to iron out and it still had our reservations as to whether the
wasn’t quite enough to get us away from using speed could be maintained on a more modest
the super-simple iPhoto or the bundled-with- system than the Apple representative used for
Photoshop Bridge for image organisation. his demonstration. Installation takes its time,
But then Aperture 2 comes along with but this is because it installs Sample Projects
improved speed, a lower price and the promise alongside the main program, which is great
of better integration with all the programs for getting to grips with the software, but you
already on our Macs, and we started to get could skip this.
excited about how this could help to maintain When you first open Aperture, you are
our massive image libraries. asked whether you want to import images
The first thing that should be noted is that from a digital camera, your iPhoto library or
at £129/$199 for the full package (and cheaper another folder on your disc. From this initial
if you’re upgrading), this software is now splash screen you can also view the tutorials,
affordable for non-professional which is a great way of learning the program
photographers, and perfectly suited to those fast. Importing your files does take time, and
of us who keep thousands of images for use certainly longer on our Macs than the super-
as textures and for manipulation projects. fast system on show at Focus. Still, you can
There are enhanced editing tools too, which explore the program during the import
means that you can make quick adjustments process, which continues in the background.
to your images within Aperture, knowing that When your images are imported, you can
Price is right: Aperture has been reduced in price with
this release to £129/$199 , making it more affordable for they are stored ready to come straight into begin sorting them into Projects, using the
anyone who needs to manage large collections of images Photoshop for projects. main panel on the left of the screen. Those of

“Aperture 2 comes along with improved speed, a lower


price and better integration with mac programs”
you who have used the first incarnation of
Aperture, will now notice that Metadata and
Adjustment tabs sit alongside the Projects tab,
meaning that you can access them all with a
swift click of the button, rather than having
just one of the three services open at a time.
You can rate your images using stars and add
useful captions and keywords, meaning that
you can find exactly the image you need for
extra fast editing. The Search options have
been vastly improved in this version of the
software, and you can filter by the
adjustments made (for example, you could
see just the images that have been converted
to black and white), or date added, etc.
To make browsing faster, you can hit Quick
Preview, which means that a preview is loaded
into the viewer rather than the full-sized
image. You can’t edit when using the preview
mode, but you can quickly look for images.
The Loupe is present and correct as before,
which displays a section of your image as you
Loupe tool: The Loupe enables you to check the quality
of certain areas of an image so you can see how sharp they pass the magnifying glass over it at 100 per
are, or whether your adjustments have been effective cent. This is a useful tool for checking the

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resources
Similar products
Adobe Photoshop
Lightroom
Manufacturer: Adobe
Web: www.adobe.co.uk
Price: £205.62 / $299
Req: Intel Pentium 4 processor;
PowerPC G4, G5 or Intel-based
Mac
Windows XP with SP 2 or Vista;
Mac OS X v.10.4
768MB of RAM (1GB
recommended) and 1GB of
available hard-disk space
1,024 x 768 screen resolution
This is Adobe’s equivalent to Aperture,
offering image organisation and editing from
within one package, again targeted towards
professional photographers. This product has
better integration with Photoshop, which is a
real bonus, but it is significantly more
expensive. If you’re looking at buying
Photoshop CS3 and are interested in
Lightroom, then you can save money by
purchasing the two together. It is not quite as
intuitive, but we’re sure that there will be a
response to Aperture’s update soon enough,
so don’t discount it yet! One big advantage of
this software is that PC and Mac users can
quality of images, as well as making take advantage.
subtle adjustments. Rating: 4/5
There are over 100 new features in
this version of Aperture, and we
MAC ONLY: Aperture is a Mac-specific program and
certainly don’t have the room to go
through all of them here. One of the biggest
as such has excellent integration with other Mac
programs, including the iLife suite
Picasa
things that we love is the integration with Manufacturer: Google
other Apple products. (This is a Mac-only Web: http://picasa.google.com/

Specifications
application, so apologies to PC users.) You can Price: Free
hit Email in the main screen to automatically Req: 300MHz Pentium processor and
open Mail and have the selected image MMX technology
Manufacturer: Apple
attached ready to send. You can browse 64MB RAM (128MB
Web: www.apple.com/uk
recommended) and 50MB
images in iPhoto, and chose to import them Price: £129 / $199 (£65 / $99 upgrade) available hard disk space
into Aperture, and also view an iPhoto Req: Works with Mac Pro, MacBook (100MB recommended)
browser from within Aperture. You can create Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, Mac 800 x 600 pixel, 16-bit colour
web galleries and publish them in seconds mini with an Intel Core Solo or monitor
Duo processor; iMac with a
with your .Mac account. Windows 2000 or XP
1.8GHz or faster PowerPC G5 or
The other bonus is that it’s faster, even on Intel Core Duo processor; Power Internet Explorer 5.01 or better
our older Macs and even on the new Mac Air. Mac G5 with a 1.6GHz or faster (6.0 recommended)
You still get the ticking clock while an image is PowerPC G5 processor; 15- or 17- Microsoft DirectX 7.0 or higher
loading, but there is a definite improvement. inch PowerBook G4 with a (8.1 ships with XP, 9.0b
1.25GHz or faster PowerPC G4 recommended)
Timesaving keyboard shortcuts mean that you processor This is a free application for organising your
can work your way through images without 1GB of RAM (2GB for Mac Pro) images and making simple adjustments. It is
using your mouse. and 5GB of hard drive space for nowhere near as powerful as Aperture or
This product is still tailored for professional the application and sample
projects Lightroom, and it is PC only, but it does have
photographers in some areas, and as this is an
Full list of graphics cards some advantages. First and foremost is the
area that many Photoshop users specialise in,
compatible with Aperture on fact that it is free, which is great if you want to
we have to mention the ability to enjoy
website organise a smaller collection of images and
tethered shooting. Images are captured
Mac OS X v10.4.11 Tiger or Mac don’t need all the power of the pay-for
directly into a project in Aperture and they are OS X v10.5.2 Leopard applications. Second, it is incredibly simple to
there ready to work on in moments. If you
Summary: The ultimate tool for image use, and relies on non-destructive editing as
need to keep track of a shoot, then this is a
organisation. As digital artists, we collect with the other two programs. You can rate
great way of going about it.
photos more and more for use in our and organise images quickly and simply, and
All in all, Aperture is a professional tool at
projects and this is great for keeping tabs on you can sort through them in the effective
an accessible price and works brilliantly as
what images we have and where. manner you would expect from Google.
part of an organised workflow for dealing with
5/5 Rating: 3/5
digital images. 5 Rating:

89
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resources

Specifications
Manufacturer: Plustek
Web: www.plustek.com
Price: £223 (excl VAT) / $400
Spec: 7,200 x 7,200dpi hardware
resolution
36.8 x 25.4mm maximum
scanning area for negatives
Dimensions: 272 x 120 x 119mm
Weight: 1.6kg
Holds up to four mounted slides
and six frames on a filmstrip
Windows 2000, XP, Vista;
Pentium III or faster
Mac OS X 10.3.9 or higher;
PPC G4, PPC G5 or Intel
512MB free RAM;
500MB HDD space
Padded carry bag included
Small form factor:
Summary: Fast and accurate scanning in a The 7500i is a tiny scanner
compact device, this package is let down measuring just 272 x 120 x 119mm, but
you do need to leave 40cm on either side for
only by the software that is included. Use the film holder to move through the device
Photoshop or third-party scanning software
instead, and you get good-quality scans for
importing into projects or for archiving.
Rating: 4/5

Plustek OpticFilm 7500i SE


Plustek launches a new dedicated negative and slide scanner for
archiving your old image collections or importing new textures

T
he OpticFilm 7500i is one of two new First impressions of the scanner are good. It is front of the scanner. QuickScan can be
releases from Plustek, which also tiny, so it won’t take up much room on your configured from the Windows System Tray if you
includes the 7300, and is a dedicated workstation. It’s also incredibly easy to set up, are using a PC (the scanner can be used on Macs,
negative and slide scanner. While this is with a Quick Start guide walking you through the too) to adjust the automatic scanning options
targeted at professional photographers, there are correct order of connection and installation. It and to enable/disable the preview function.
many designers who also have a large collection takes a few minutes to install all the available When you hit QuickScan, the software will
of 35mm films with images that could be software, but it is worth the effort to make the automatically save the imported file to the album
translated into new digital projects. Many most of the options available. NewSoftPresto! and send them directly to PageManager for
scanners now offer a negative-scanning function, PageManager 7.10 and ImageFolio 4.5 are there organising. IntelliScan launches SilverFast for
but the quality has always left a lot to be desired to mange your images and process them more advanced scanning options such as Multi-
in these combi products. respectively, while the real star of the show is Exposure, Auto Adjust, USM, SilverFast Basic,
There are two versions of this scanner – the SilverFastSEPlus 6.5 iSRD ME, which expands your NegaFix, Selective Color Correction, iSRD and
7500i SE and the 7500i AI – both of which feature scanning options and works as a Photoshop more. You can also use SilverFast from within
a multi-exposure function and a multi-sampling plug-in or standalone product. Photoshop by going to File>Import>SilverFast.
feature for reducing noise. The AI model comes Scanning is super-simple, too. You insert your Previews are again available before scanning so
with a SilverFast 35mm IT8 Target calibration to negative into the film holder (or slide into the you can see how your image will look.
generate ICC profiles, which weighs in at £395 slide holder) and pop the holder into the slot on All very well in theory, but what about in
(excluding VAT). We looked at the SE version, the side of the scanner. You then have two practice? We tried the QuickScan option first,
which will be more suited to those who want to scanning options to choose from: QuickScan and hitting the button on the front of the device. It
just scan and go, priced at £223 (excluding VAT). IntelliScan, both selected from buttons on the scanned our 35mm colour negative in seconds

“Silverfast expands your scanning options


and can work as a Photoshop plug-in”
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resources
Scan software
Hamrick VueScan
Manufacturer: Hamrick Software
Web: www.hamrick.com
Price: Standard $39.95 (approx £20);
Professional $79.95 (approx £40)
Spec: Available for Mac OS X,
Windows and Linux
Includes options for scanning
faded slides and prints, and
automatically adjusting images
to optimum colour balance
Built-in IT8 colour calibration
of scanners
Batch scanning and PDF
output features
While all scanners, including the Plustek 7500i,
come with their own scanning software
packages, there are plenty of third-party
options available as well that promise to give
you better results and speedier processing. We
took a look at the latest version of Hamrick’s
START SCREEN (ABOVE): Installing SilverFast VueScan, which is compatible with a huge
means that you also get QuickTime movies and PDF number of popular scanners (around 750)
help files to get you started with the program
including the Plustek, with a full list online.
START SCREEN (LEFT): You can bypass the
SilverFast software and go straight to QuickScan The latest version of the software (version
8.4.62) was released in February and gives
added compatibility with scanners, including
support for variable exposure of the new
Plustek models. A free trial is available from the
website (images are watermarked), and it costs
just under $40 (£20) to buy the standard
package, working on both Windows and Mac.
Installation of the program takes only a
few minutes and the program automatically
launches. The main window is incredibly easy
to get to grips with, working in a step-by-step
format to scanning in your images, negatives
or slides.
To get started, pop your media in the scanner,
make sure that your scanner is selected in the
SILVERFAST OPTIONS: There are a number of Source drop-down (our scanner was recognised
palettes in SilverFast, which are used to adjust your
scan settings and use the more advanced functions immediately) and hit Preview. When this is done,
you can use the Crop, Filter, Color and Output
before launching PageManager with our scanned documentation or watching the QuickTime options to enhance and restore your image.
image already open. Double-clicking on the videos, as there are a lot of parameters and it is When you hit Scan, the image is imported and
image enables you to work on it further. The hard to get good results if you rush straight in. then any adjustments you made are applied.
options in Page Manager are very limited and rely The software is not as intuitive as it first looks and It is extremely easy to get good results, and
on automatic adjustments that can be hit and you can sometimes get your image looking we found it to be more intuitive than many
miss. We tried scanning the same image with the perfect on the Prescan preview, but the final generic packages included with scanners
Plustek scanner, but using Hamrick’s VueScan image is then completely different. as standard.
software (see the side panel) and got much As we tried scanning using both the Rating: 4/5
better results. included software and third-party software, we
Next we tried the IntelliScan option, again by found that the image quality from the hardware
pressing the button on the front of the model, is excellent, but you need the right software to
but we could have chosen to open it through get the best results in post-production. You are
Photoshop. When the software opens, hit generally better off scanning, saving, reopening
Prescan to get a preview of the file that you wish in Photoshop and using the tools there to
to scan in. Make sure that under General you have enhance and adjust the images. Doing this we
Positive or Negative selected, or you will get found that our scans looked much better than
some very odd results (as we found out when we any other film scanner we have tried, so cannot
MAIN SCREEN: VueScan has an easy-to-use
scanned our negative with the Positive setting fault the scanner itself in terms of quality and interface, leading you through the scanning process
on!). We definitely recommend reading the ease of use. 5

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resources

Grids: Creative Solutions For Graphic Designers


An essential resource for layout designers in need of inspiration
Manufacturer: Rotovision nature. It’s not a book to flick through at leisure either, waiting
Web: www.rotovision.com for something to catch your eye, as the images are mostly plain
Price: £20 / $30 and crisp, rather than bright and creative.
Spec: Introduction by Lucienne Roberts The information provided on each grid is thorough, so if you
CD including InDesign and Quark layouts are looking to emulate the design of a particular project, you
Design grids and layouts for a wide range will have a very in-depth understanding of what you can
of media types achieve and how. For us, though, the most exciting part of the
book is the Introduction, which explains the history of layout

G rids is a very specific book aimed at those who need


precise layouts to inspire their target audience. It is
essentially a showcase of the best designs for a variety of
design, proportions, layout and mathematics, giving an
overview of a complex subject. 5

different media: books, magazines, newspapers, catalogues, Summary: The information contained
posters, websites and flyers. The book presents these designs in inside is highly useful, especially with
their original forms, with the layout grids overlaid so you can the included CD, but it is very specialist
and won’t appeal to those with no
easily see how they were put together. Detailed captions are
interest in layout.
used to explain the technical specifications of each project, as
well as the creative inspiration behind the designs.
Rating: 3/5
To supplement the book is a CD full of templates that relate
to the designs shown in the book. It is easy to find the grid that
you are interested in as the file names match the page number
of where the grid appears in the book. There are also some
helpful tutorials available online at www.rotovision.com/
INSIDE VIEW: While a
gridstutorials. little lacklustre in the design
The design of the book itself is very technical rather than stakes, this is perfect for
those with a passion and
inspirational due to the serious nature of its contents, and as interest in layout theory.
such it is likely to be passed over on the shelf with other design Definitely one for the
books unless you are looking for something of this exact technically minded

The Creative Digital Darkroom


This tome is not just for photographers, packed with essential Photoshop advice
Manufacturer: O’Reilly Essential tips and techniques to try are pulled out in
Web: www.oreilly.com coloured boxes, which means that this is a volume that you can
Price: £30.99 / $49.99 dip in and out of with ease. It is written in an authoritative
Spec: Katrin Eismann and Seán Duggan manner, but uses numbered bullet points to ensure that even
Forward by Stephen Johnson those new to digital post-production can work through the
advice. This doesn’t mean that more advanced users won’t find

T his chunky book is aimed at photographers first


and foremost, but there are plenty of tips and tricks
for anyone who works with photographs on a daily
plenty of information, and designers are not isolated either,
with sections such as Creating Textures For Use In Photoshop.
Overall, this is a good read, with enough content to keep you at
basis. It works through logically, covering everything from your computer for months. 5
advanced digital darkroom techniques and beginners’ guides
to digital toolsets.
There are ten in-depth and colourful chapters in total, DIGITAL DARKROOM: An in-depth volume
that explores the photographic resources built
ranging from Silver to Silicon, which covers the basics of taking
into Photoshop
images and preparing them for post-production, through to
Enhancing Focus, a look at making your images more impactful
by removing backgrounds, adding noise and removing
unwanted distractions. Each chapter looks at Photoshop tools
and techniques using screenshots to help make the point. It is a Summary: An excellent resource that is
essential for all digital artists that use
very practical read, so you can flick through while sat at your
photography in any way, shape or form.
computer and try out the tips mentioned. The images used are
Rating: 4/5
of good quality thanks to the pedigree of the two authors.

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