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Build advanced composites Create surreal effects Build fantasy landscapes Construct stunning graphics Discover digital painting

Enhance portraits
Master the art of Adobe
®
Photoshop
®
PREMIUM COLLECTION
Volume 8
NEW FOR CC
Over 500
professional
Photoshop tips
Welcome to
It’s an exciting time to be a digital artist, and a detailed knowledge of Adobe
Photoshop is now a valuable asset. With that in mind, this book compiles the best
content from the last 12 months of Advanced Photoshop magazine, consisting of
immersive features and top tutorials to help you develop expert Photoshop skills.
With sections covering photomanipulation, digital painting, photo editing, typography
and graphics, all the essential techniques are accounted for. Follow the guidance of
experts and creative industry professionals, who have drawn on a wealth of
knowledge to bring you in-depth example projects incorporating a wide range of
tricks, secrets and shortcuts. In addition, this book comes supplied with a free disc
containing asset files to use alongside many of the tutorials, plus free fonts worth
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Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 8 © 2014 Imagine Publishing Ltd
ISBN 978 1909 758 612
Contents
PHOTOMANIPULATION
DIGITAL PAINTING
22 Creative retouching
32 Create dynamic lighting
38 Master layer masks
44 Advanced compositing
50 Apply liquid paint effects
54 Expert blending
62 Expert matte painting
70 Paint a fantasy
snowscape
76 Create a cyborg
82 Produce fantasy lighting
88 Character design
and illustration
94 Paint a steampunk-
inspired portrait
44
PAGE
6 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
Great art is most often
reached through a
patient use of your
basic tools
8
PAGE
76
PAGE
TYPOGRAPHY
GRAPHICS
PHOTO EDITING
100 Photo-editing techniques
108 Retouching in Photoshop CC
114 Stylise architectural images
120 Expert automotive
retouching
126 Cra atmospheric
landscapes
134 20 type secrets
142 Design illustrative type
146 Design 3D Type
152 Create stylish
vintage type
156 3D type projects
164 15 ways to master
infographics
172 Master portrait
illustration
178 Blend graphics and type
182 Master polygons
188 Metro-style websites
156
PAGE
108
PAGE
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 7
Both illustrative and
collage type are a
growing trend in
digital art
146
PAGE
182
PAGE
T
here are various ways to use Photoshop
successfully, and it is likely that many of
you will already have a set routine for
creating great effects quickly and
efficiently. But a little help can’t hurt, right? In this
mammoth tips feature, you’ll find everything you
need to know to use Photoshop to its full potential
across a plethora of themes and subjects. We’ve
got 75 tips from some of the creative arena’s
biggest and best digital artists, covering tools,
graphics, photography, painting, new media and
Photoshop CC, all ready for you to put into practice.
We’ve also provided you with some of the most
essential shortcuts to help you speed up your
workflow even further.
Over the next few pages you’ll find great advice
on creating inspiring effects, mastering specific
tool techniques and improving your productivity.
We’ve gone into detail with an array of relevant
topics, including commercial lighting effects, ways
to tackle 3D with Photoshop, professional
retouching tricks and more. We pore over
Photoshop tools old and new, from the latest CC
options to wielding the always-reliable Pen tool.
You can put these tips into action in the tutorials
throughout this book.
Photoshop CC is explored in particular on page
11, providing you with creative tidbits you may not
even know about. So read on, grab a tip and get
creating now!
75 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
8 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
Industry experts let you in on their essential tips for illustrating, designing, retouching and more
When working with 3D, it’s best to
render multiple passes and composite them in
Photoshop. This offers you more flexibility when
colour correcting the final image. Once you have
rendered your passes, there’s an easy way to bring
them all into Photoshop quickly by selecting
File>Scripts>Load>Files to Stack. Browse to the
folder containing the passes and select the ones
you want to work with. Everything will be brought
into one document as layers. From here on in you
can tint the shadow pass blue or reduce the
ambient occlusion pass by 50 per cent without
having to re-render.
J. R. SCHMIDT
www.cargocollective.com/jrschmidt
USE SCRIPTS
Photoshop CC now includes a very quick and easy
method for correcting vertical and horizontal
distortions in photographs. It’s well hidden within
the Camera Raw dialog box, which can now be
applied through the Filter menu. Switch to the Lens
Correction area and open the Manual tab. There is
now a series of icons under the heading of Upright
that makes quick work of distorted perspectives.
It’s perfect for those challenging city shots where
the building appears to be curving in towards the
vanishing point.
AUTO UPRIGHT
Before
Aer
Start by adding a Black & White
adjustment layer as a clipping mask to your image,
then set the layer’s blending mode to Multiply. You
will then need to invert the attached mask and
apply a 25px soft brush to this, which will create
deeper shadows. Add another new clipped Black &
White adjustment layer, set the blending mode to
Screen and add the same brush in the same way,
this time adding light.
ADAM SPIZAK
www.spizak.com
EDIT LIGHT 002 003
001 © Jeffrey R. Schmidt
© Adam Spizak
© Kirk Nelson
© Kirk Nelson
75 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 9
TOP TEN PHOTOSHOP TOOLS
Discover little-known ways to apply the most essential tools
This is used a lot by
retouchers looking to
remove elements like
tattoos. Many of you will
work solely in Source mode.
However, when working
with skin, use this mode to
clean and Destination mode
to rebuild skin areas.
The Clone Stamp is great for
editing images, but the Spot
Healing brush is more
intuitive, especially when
editing out very fine elements.
Set its mode to Darken, paint
over stray hairs with a
similar-sized brush and
they’ll disappear.
04. PATCH TOOL 08. HEALING BRUSH
Dodge and Burn are used by
creative retouchers and
photographers to stylise
photo-based images. When
working with them, always
have Protect Tones active.
It’s good at preventing
problems with haloing and
washed out colours.
This adjustment can be used
to nicely equalise shadows
and highlights in your
photos. Simply add a Black
& White adjustment to the
top of your layer stack and
apply a Luminosity blending
mode. Now tweak sliders to
get the best effects.
05. DODGE & BURN 07. B&W ADJUST
Accurate selections are the
name of the game with this
tool. Set this to Paths and
always activate the Rubber
Band setting for the most
accurate application. To
instantly change a path to a
selection, hit Cmd/
Ctrl+Enter.
With this tool, always make
sure that Smart Radius is
active; this will evaluate the
radius for hard or soft edges
separately. This generally
provides a better selection
than when it’s turned off,
which treats the entire
border uniformly.
06. PEN TOOL
11. REFINE EDGE
Layer styles can create
exciting effects and change
the appearance of layers, but
sometimes when sharing
across Smart Objects the
settings update to all
duplicate layers. Resolve this
by selecting Layer>Layer
Style>Create Layers.
To make accurate
selections, duplicate a
channel, then apply a Curves
or Levels adjustment to
increase the contrast. Use
the Dodge and Burn
brushes to paint in areas,
then hold down Cmd/Ctrl
while clicking the copy.
10. LAYER STYLES
13. CHANNELS
Don’t ignore these. The right
one can really enhance the
outcome of painted effects,
especially with lighting.
Screen and Color Dodge will
ensure that specular
highlights shine. Multiply
and Color Burn really
saturate shadow areas.
12. BLEND MODES
004 005
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011
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012
008
013
75 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
10 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
009
Many Photoshop artists will
use a layer mask to paint
out detail. However, you can
invert it (Cmd/Ctrl+I) or add
an inverted mask (Alt/
Opt-click>Add Layer Mask)
to paint elements in. You can
even affect your masks
using filters.
09. LAYER MASKS
TOP TIPS IN PHOTOSHOP CC
Discover new ways to add the latest tools and options, with advice from Kirk Nelson
Photoshop’s Brush engine has seen
many improvements over the last several version
releases. From the Mixer Brush tool to the Natural
Media Bristle tips, the painting capabilities in
Photoshop continue to expand. However, one
feature frequently overlooked is brush rotation. This
is a huge help to digital painters who regularly use
custom brushes in Photoshop.
Previously, to adjust the rotation of a brush tip
you would have to have the Brush panel open then
focus on the Brush Tip Shape section. This was
cumbersome because the Brush panel is fairly
large and consumed a good deal of screen real
estate. Now in Photoshop CC, the same brush
rotation widget is available through the context-
sensitive Brush menu, activated by Ctrl/right-
clicking on it. Adjust the rotation then hit Enter/
Return, or just click back on the canvas to hide the
menu away again. This will really speed things up.
The beloved Liquify filter has seen some dramatic
improvements. In CS6, Liquify became much faster
and responsive due to the increased performance
of the Mercury Graphics Engine. In the Creative
Cloud version of CS6, Liquify was even supported
by Smart Objects. Now in Photoshop CC there’s
another reason to love Liquify: it has a new Smooth
tool. This tool is related to the Reconstruct tool, but
instead of scaling back or removing a warp it
actually smoothes the effect.
This tip is really trivial, but is one of those tiny
details that just makes life a little bit easier for
anybody attempting to illustrate in Photoshop. The
spacebar has long been a favoured hot key
associated with moving control elements. It lets you
scroll along a project and reposition a selection,
even while you are drawing it out. Now in
Photoshop CC, the spacebar allows you to move a
path control point before you’ve even finished the
path. While using the Pen tool to draw out a path,
hold it down to reposition the last point.
Ever since Adobe took a brave step into 3D with
Photoshop CS3 Extended, every subsequent
version has pushed its capabilities a little bit further.
One of the most recent capabilities was the ability to
LIQUIFY SMOOTH TOOL
PEN AND SPACEBAR
IMAGE BASED LIGHTING
light a scene by using a high dynamic range image.
This was used to control light sources and
variations in ways that would be nearly impossible
to accomplish when setting up lighting rigs in the
3D space.
This is known as Image Based Lighting (IBL).
Renders using IBL are more realistic and
convincing because lighting and shadows better
mimic a real-world environment. In Photoshop CC,
IBLs are the default setup for 3D environments.
This alone improves the quality of 3D renders many
times over previous default lighting setups. Use it
as the starting point for any 3D scene, then add
lights to further develop the appearance you want.
Adobe even offers additional IBL images to freely
download and use on its website, available at www.
photoshop.com/products/photoshop/3d#.
KIRK NELSON
http://thepixelpro.com/
BRUSH ROTATION
Automatic enlarge
Let the new Image Resize command
do the hard work for you. Always make sure
it’s set to resize fast by hitting Opt/Alt+1.
018
Affect multiple shapes
Photoshop CS6 supplied us with
completely new Stroke and Fill shape options.
Now you can add these to a number of layers
at once by activating layers simultaneously.
019
Path Isolation mode
Double-click on any path with the Path
Selection tool to isolate that path for easy
editing. Turn off the isolation mode with the
switch at the top-right of the Layers panel.
020
3D object management
In the 3D workspace, Ctrl/right-click
on a mesh in the 3D panel to add, delete,
group or duplicate objects within the 3D scene.
It’s now even easier with the upgrades to CC.
021
Instance 3D objects
Create instances of 3D objects that
can be moved independently, but will reflect
edits made to the source. Links to the original
can be broken by freezing the instance.
022
PHOTOSHOP CC
SHORTCUTS
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015
016
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© Kirk Nelson
© Kirk Nelson
75 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 11
DIGITAL GRAPHICS TECHNIQUES
Quick and exciting ways to perform image effects and create stunning illustrations
I always find it best to colour my
images digitally using a drawing tablet and a hard
brush. Applying strokes with this brush creates a
solid contour. After this initial pass you can start to
alternate your tool size and style. Try to combine
solid colour with detailed areas to create a more
visually appealing piece of art.
Once you are satisfied with the results, you can
play around with various texture brushes and paint
effects. Splatters, rust, watercolour or ink will
suffice they blend to create bold colours enhanced
through texture. Practically anything goes at this
stage, as long as it’s barely visible and just enough
for the image to become more intense. Play around
with different blending modes and layer opacity too.
A lot can be achieved when
you are shading graphics using
the Gradient tool (G). Make a whole
selection of the graphic then use a
Linear or Radial gradient set to
‘Foreground to transparent’. Try out
different opacities and blending modes.
Here, a red to transparent gradient was
used to accentuate the mystery behind
the character.
GRADIENT IMPACT
GRZEGORZ
DOMARADZKI
http://iamgabz.com/
KRZYSZTOF DOMARADZKI
www.studiokxx.com
DIGITAL COLOUR
DKNG STUDIOS
www.dkngstudios.com
POSTER ART
Photoshop contains an essential final
step for converting smooth vector graphics into
clean halftones, while avoiding moiré patterns. This
is great when creating final print separations for
screen printed posters. The trick is to make sure
that each halftone separation is at the correct
halftone screen angle.
In order to give you the best chance of avoiding
moirés in the printing process, make sure each
separation’s screen angle is 30 degrees apart from
the previous screen, beginning with an angle of 22.5
degrees for the first screen.
For example, a four-colour poster would have
screen angles of 22.5 degrees, 52.5 degrees, 82.5
degrees and 112.5 degrees respectively. The
pattern that these complementary 30-degree
angles create is called a rosette and is considered
the pattern most pleasing to the eye.
025
PRO TIP
There’s one easy way to distress an
image and make it more interesting while keeping
control of the elements. Start by making a flattened
copy of the whole image by clicking Cmd/
Ctrl+Shift+Opt/Alt+E. Activate your Lasso tool (L)
and draw out a selection of your liking. Now copy
this selection to a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J).
Experiment by moving the layer around until it
fits your composition. Repeat this process where
necessary, using smaller selections to break the
image up in a more subtle way. You can refine this
technique by changing the layer blending mode or
by using a layer mask to keep what works best.
RAPHAËL VICENZI
www.mydeadpony.com
USE SELECTIONS
PRO TIP
GORDON REID
www.middleboop.com
INNER SHADOW
A good tip for using Inner
Shadow is to add a small distance, around 15%
choke and 45px size, which will give you a
fantastic shadowed effect. To add a worn effect
to your piece as a finishing touch, use
Filter>Noise>Add Noise and set it to Gaussian,
check Monochromatic and keep the amount
between 20% and 40%.
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024
026
027
© Whooc Publishing Ltd
© Grzegorz Domaradzki
© DKNG Studios
12 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
75 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
DIGITAL GRAPHICS SHORTCUTS
Group layers
This way is a lot
quicker than using the
Layers panel fly-out menu.
Simply select the layers you
want to bring together then
hit Cmd/Ctrl+G, for instant
layer grouping.
033
Paragraph Text
Use Paragraph Text
to fit type to a design space
without distortion. Ctrl/
right-click your text layer
then select Convert to
Paragraph Text. Continue
typing before resizing points.
034
Editable boundary
Create a shape path
then add your Type tool in
this, mapping text to the
shape boundary. Now you
can use the Anchor Point
tools to edit the path and
how text interacts with this.
035
Select all layers
This is especially
useful when looking to
merge all to create a group
from all existing layers.
Simply hit Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/
Alt+A. All layers will become
active simultaneously.
036
Reselect layer
This Adobe
Photoshop shortcut saves
any designer from
performing accidental clicks
away from a section. Just
press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+D to
reselect your layer.
037
MIKE HARRISON
www.destill.net
Add depth
Build up depth in your
background by using a mix of
textures. Start with a base image
and use adjustment layers to
darken or lighten, then add
Watercolour texture on a new
layer set to Multiply mode.
A sense of movement
Using a custom brush,
target an area or element to
accentuate. Add the brush to that
area on a new layer then add a
mask to the layer and mask out
parts, leaving only a trail of paint
that gives a sense of movement.
Varied detail
Use Particle brushes, or
make your own on a new layer.
Duplicate this multiple times, then
resize, rotate, reposition and
re-colour each one. This will help
to avoid repetition of detail.
Creative masking
Add in a Watercolour
texture then add a layer mask to
it. Use a few Watercolour brushes
to mask out parts of that texture,
creating an entirely new one that
works better in your composition.
Organise adjustments
Create a folder above all
other layers. Now add adjustment
layers to this, such as Levels and
Gradient Map. Play around with
them to try out different colour
options that can dramatically
change the mood of your image.
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© Nike
75 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 13
GREAT WAYS TO PAINT DIGITALLY
Master Photoshop brushes, blend modes and more to paint light, colour and form
Designing appealing characters can
be a challenge, especially when there are many
aspects to be aware of. A crucial thing is to avoid
too much repetition. You will only limit your actual
capabilities if you draw the same type of characters
over and over again. Try to think outside of the box
and challenge yourself with new techniques to
come up with your initial character sketches.
It’s very useful to explore new characters by
putting yourself in the character’s position. In that
way you can ask yourself questions that eventually
can reveal more of the character’s personality and
look. Let these thoughts guide you to an expression
that reveals a certain emotion and attitude, or an
interesting pose that holds a story to make it more
believable. All of which should appeal to you.
Although matte painting works with
photos, many of the special effects you see are
actually painted by hand, much like in this example.
Fire at night stock was gathered from the internet
and placed into the scene, in the right positions with
the proper scale. These layers blending modes
were then set to Screen in order to hide all the black
parts in the photograph. However, this still wasn’t
enough and painting techniques were needed.
A new solid layer filled with black was created a set
to a Color Dodge blending mode. A soft yellow
brush with airbrush options enabled was then
painted to the layer above the fire stock at a low
Add in radiating streaks moving outward from the
pupil, using several colours for a realistic effect.
Including random dots of colour will also add some
variety and uniqueness. For the lashes, use a small
brush and paint each one beginning at the eyelid
then curve your stroke slightly. Finish by applying
small, light-coloured specks, with the brush mode
set to Vivid Light, creating eye reflection. Also add
this brush around the tissue and bottom eyelid.
TOMMY KINNERUP
www.tommykinnerup.com
FRANCESCO CORVINO
www.francescocorvino.com
SARA BIDDLE
www.salizabeth.net
CHARACTERS
PAINTED GLOWS
REALISTIC EYES
PRO TIP
I sketch the line drawing on a canvas
smaller than A5. This way you can
experiment with different designs, and you don’t
have to worry about getting stuck with detailing
too early. It’s also helpful because the file won’t
get too heavy. Also, try to have as few layers as
possible when you draw. Keep things rough and
loose when you start. Go nuts.
040
brush opacity. This created a realistic yellow glow.
Smoke effects were also painted in, using smoke
texture brushes also at a low opacity. If you need to
add believable fire or smoke to your scene, this
technique is useful as well as quick.
In order to create a traditional effect with digital
software, you need to use textured brushes. These
let you create an expressionist style in your base
image using several brushes strokes. Another way
to create this effect is to paint onto a new layer and
then emulate brush strokes by erasing with a
textured eraser. This will show and combine the
layer below.
Creating custom Photoshop brushes can be a great
way to add extra interest and yield unexpected
results. Paint with these brushes while adjusting
brush settings, such as transparency, spacing and
angle jitter. If you experiment with blending modes
you can quickly achieve impressive depth and
colour in your images.
MARTA NAEL
www.martanael.daportfolio.com
JEFF LANGEVIN
www.jefflangevin.com
TRADITIONAL EFFECTS
PLAY WITH SETTINGS
START SMALL
ANDREA FEMERSTRAND
http://noukah.com
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© Tommy Kinnerup
© Francesco Corvino
© Andrea Femerstrand
© Sara Biddle
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75 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
FLIP HORIZONTALLY
Flipping your canvas makes you
look at the painting with fresh eyes, and you
can see any proportions or compositions that
may be a bit off. Create an action that flips it
when pressing a specific key, perhaps F2.
047
SAMPLE COLOUR
Quickly sample a colour with one
of the Pencil, Paintbrush, Colour Replacement,
Gradient or Paint Bucket tools activated by
holding down Opt/Alt, switching to the
eyedropper tool.
052
HUD COLOR PICKER
Activate the HUD Color Picker by
holding down Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt when the Color
Picker is selected. Swap between wheel and
strip views by going to Photoshop>
Preferences>General menu.
051
SWAP BRUSHES
Dial through the brush styles in
your brush panel more easily using these
shortcuts. Hit < on the keyboard to jump to the
next brush in the list or hit > to go to the
previous brush on the list.
050
044
045
046
PAINT ATMOSPHERE
Custom brushes are a handy alternative to
the standard Photoshop airbrush, depending on the
kind of atmosphere you’re looking for. Using
smoke textures in your brushes is a great way to
quickly add movement and volume to image
atmospherics without too much hassle.
ESSENTIAL BACKLIGHTING
If you’re hoping to create a darkened,
moody scene, backlighting is the key to achieving
this atmosphere. For authentic effects, electively
add illuminated haze behind the objects in your
scene to accentuate silhouettes and call attention to
focal points.
USE THE LASSO TOOL
Use Photoshop’s Lasso tool to isolate
objects you wish to backlight. Not only does this
allow you to paint illuminated haze only where you
want it, but it also keeps your backlit edges as crisp
as possible. This is especially effective in higher
image resolutions.
044 045 046
MICHAEL PEDRO
http://mpedro.com/
Painting atmosphere
ALTER HARDNESS
Changing the brush settings with
sliders makes your workflow slower. Hold
down Shift and hit the bracket keys to decrease
or increase the brush hardness in 25%
increments instead.
049
RESIZE BRUSH
There’s no need to fire up the brush
panel and use the Size slider to select a style.
Instead, just hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/Opt and drag left
and right to change the size, and up and down
to adjust the softness.
048
DIGITAL PAINT SHORTCUTS
© Michael Pedro
75 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 15
GREAT PHOTO EFFECTS
Master effects using adjustments, layering techniques and masks
There is a wide variety of techniques
available to you when trying to create realistic
robotic looks. One way is to draw and paint using
brushes until you reach a point where you obtain
the same realism as a photograph. However, you
can work smarter and do 50 percent less work but
Creating a successful hyper-real look
in your image hangs on how you choose to apply
Dodge and Burn techniques. Start by creating a
blank layer above the image and change the
blending mode to Soft Light. It’s this blank layer that
you’ll be painting to, using black and white brushes
set to 20% Opacity. White makes things brighter
and shinier, with black making things darker and
the colour richer.
OLIVER WETTER
http://fantasio.info/
JOSH ROSSI
http://joshrossi.com/
WORK WITH BLUR
HYPERREALISM
To create your hyper-real look, start by applying
your black brush. Follow the contours of an object,
making them darker and bolder. Now with your
white brush, add some shine to the light areas by
decreasing the brush size with each stroke. Apply
three or four strokes. The shine will start to appear.
still achieve credible results just by using the right
filter. For example, when adding synthetic tubes,
apply the Field Blur filter that can be found in
Photoshop from version CS6 onwards under
Filter>Blur. The example supplied here shows
where the blur is being applied. Similar to a rotary
knob, you can perfectly assign the amount of blur
desired on a specific part of the canvas. The goal is
to make the whole image look artificial with a
strong blur and solve the problem of an unfinished
look in the painted tubes all at once.
053
054
© Josh Rossi Photography
You can do 50 percent
less work but still achieve
credible results by
using the right filter
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75 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
With the majority of my photo collage
illustrations, I like to be able to separate the light
and dark tones of a photograph into separate
layers. This offers the versatility to use these areas
in a number of creative ways. Desaturate the image
to black and white and using Levels to boost the
contrast, getting the most dramatic light and shade.
Use Color Range to select the black or white areas
and lift them onto a new layer to use as you wish.
Fill with a vivid pop-art colour, paste texture in or
reselect areas from the original photo.
ANDY POTTS
www.andy-potts.com
SEPARATE TONE
Shadows
A good way to add shadows is to take
a small to medium sized brush with Hardness set
at 80% and Opacity at 50%. By Opt/Alt-clicking
you can find the desired colour for your shadow
right in the dark areas of your image.
057
Gradient haze
A mystical aura can be added using the
Gradient tool. Use a Foreground to Transparent
style, applied from the bottom to the top of the
image. Fog and haze have a higher density at
ground level, getting clearer as they near the sky.
058
Frontal light
An easy but effective method of adding
details is to go with silhouettes. Pick a dark colour
befitting your haze and paint outlines with a small
hard brush. Fill with the same colour afterwards
and go for minor detailing.
059
Soft edges
It’s important to soften the edges of
your layers when working with stock images. To
do this, make a selection of your layer, set Select>
Modify>Contract at 2px then Select>Modify>
Feather at 2px. Invert the selection and hit Delete.
060
Monochrome noise
To add some monochrome noise,
create a new layer, fill it with solid black and place
it on top of all the other layers. Go to Filter>
Noise>Add Noise set at 50% with Gaussian and
Monochromatic active. Change the layer’s
blending mode to Soft Light and Opacity to 15%.
061
EDMOND YANG
www.yangmedia.com
LIGHT WRAP
Make it easier to composite a
subject into a background with a light wrap.
Adding a low opacity inner glow, using the
background colour is one way. But for more
control, duplicate your background and add a
Gaussian blur to it. Add an inverted layer mask,
hiding all, then use a soft white brush to paint
edges back in around the subject. Change this
layer’s blending mode to Soft Light.
PRO TIP
055
056
© Tobias Roetsch
© Edmond Yang
© Andy Potts
75 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 17
COMBINE 3D AND CREATE WEB ASSETS
See how Photoshop helps you to enhance your new media workflow
Cinema 4D (C4D) and Photoshop
were combined to create the 3D shatter shapes you
see in this image. The model sequence was shot in
a studio environment using strobes and a fill light.
Each shot of the sequence was then isolated from
the background using Photoshop masking tools.
The sequence was then set up in one Photoshop
file with each shot on a separate layer. The majority
of the scene was modelled in C4D. After adding a
plane to the scene, texture it using a shot of the
person in the sequence then select the alpha
channel from the Photoshop file. This process is
repeated for each shot in the sequence.
Now you’re able to place your planes in a true 3D
space behind the desk and have them interact with
the lights in a very realistic way. They will cast
shadows across any cubicle elements in a true 3D
space and this helps quite a bit when finally
compositing back in Photoshop.
The great thing about using CGI is
that as the artwork evolves, you can create more
stock imagery to meet your exact requirements.
This image started out with solid curved 3D models,
using them to build the main structure. But they
were too flat and uninteresting alone, so the 3D
frameworks and lighthouse model were produced
to create more details. Photoshop’s adjustment
layers along with Dodge and Burn can then be used
BARTON DAMER
www.alreadybeenchewed.tv
MARC GOODMAN
www.behance.net/elnombre
C4D STYLES
MERGE STOCK
Illustration for HTML5 is so easy to
make in Photoshop, even when starting from a
sketch. Spend your time organising the major
shapes into separate layer groups. This is essential
as most of these images are eventually animated.
On top of this, CS6’s ability to clip layers onto groups
makes adding detail amazingly easy. Before CS6 it
was a pain to build your image up like this.
ZEE DURRANI
http://creative9.com/
HTML5 DESIGN
PRO TIP
MATEUSZ SYPIEN
www.digi-mental.com
EXPORT LAYERS
Prepare your work in a way that
lets you modify particular elements without
touching other parts of your composition. Simply
break your 3D scene into objects, textures and
lights. Render them separately and combine
everything back in Photoshop. This will give you
every possibility to experiment with blending
modes and apply different effects, and save time.
to blend those elements together, with more
traditional photographic stocks.
Creating atmosphere is much easier
in Photoshop than in a 3D space. Once I’ve exported
my rendered type unit to Photoshop, I bring in a
number of textures with consistent patterning, like
concrete, smoke, clouds and mountains. I
desaturate these then apply different blending
modes, such as Screen and Soft Light, to add extra
tactility to a layer. Using an image of a snowy
mountain range is great for adding depth because
of the exposure range between light and dark.
LUKE CHOICE
www.velvetspectrum.com
ADD TEXTURE
Blend 3D renders into a composition
with ease using these few basic steps. Firstly, try
and match the lighting as closely as possible in your
3D application, which will reduce the amount of
relighting work needed in Photoshop. Exporting
your renders with an alpha channel will prevent
having to trace around it. Matching colours can
require an array of Photoshop’s adjustment tools.
Start off with a custom Gradient Map based on the
area you are trying to blend.
NIK AINLEY
www.shinybinary.com
BLEND 3D FAST
062
063
064
065
066
067
© Nik Ainley
© Zee Durrani
© Digimental Studio
© Marc Goodman
18 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
75 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
Puppet Warp on the toe
Using Puppet Warp instead of the
usual Transform Warp feature allows the
user much more accuracy when distorting
the object. Play with the density and mode of
the mesh to give the desired effect.
068
Specular Pass
You can add authenticity to 3D
elements just be ensuring that you apply
light effectively. Using the Specular Pass
from the CGI renders on a Screen blending
mode adds the extra highlights that bring the
metal to life.
069
High Pass filter
Adding a High Pass over the top of the
whole image on Soft Light gives it extra
punch. The amount you need depends on the
size and sharpness of the image. We used a
High Pass of 5 on 50% Opacity for this image.
070
DIGITAL GRAPHICS SHORTCUTS
Flexible guides
When laying out
web design, guides become
essential. You can set
specific measurements by
selecting View>New Guide
and input Position, which is
easier than eyeing it in.
071
Layer cloning
So you’ve applied
several layer styles to your
web elements and want to
add them to other layers in
your design. To do this, hold
Opt/Alt and drag the fx icon
to another layer.
072
Tracking
This works great
with your type logos being
designed in Photoshop. Hold
down Opt/Alt and press the
< key to start decreasing the
type’s tracking, or > to
increase it.
073
Drag selection
You can keep your
selection live after moving it.
Make a selection with the
Marquee tool and hold the
spacebar to move. Once
released, you can continue
to edit your selection.
074
Fold all groups
When working with
web you can have many
layer groups open at one
time. Close them all at once
by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/
Alt and click the triangle
icon. Repeat to open all.
075
TAYLOR JAMES
www.taylorjames.com
WORK WITH CG
This Spring/Summer collection
image for the popular Mizuno sportswear
brand is a complete Taylor James production,
including an eclectic mix of CGI, photography
and that added vibrancy in retouching. The
campaign for the new Mizuno range,
developed by agency Thinking Juice, highlights
the broad functionality of their trainers.
75 PROFESSIONAL PHOTOSHOP TIPS
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 19
Discover the world
of photomanipulation;
learn from
Photoshop experts
and get started with
advanced image
transformation
Photomanipulat
22 Creative retouching
Discover the tricks behind creating
stunning and other-worldy effects
32 Create dynamic
lighting
Achieve surreal lighting effects with
compositing and blending tools
38 Master layer masks
Paint with layer masks and develop
an imaginative colour scheme
44 Advanced
compositing
Combine 3D and photographic
elements to create an action scene
50 Apply liquid
paint effects
Use photomanipulation tools to
transform a model with paint stock
54 Expert blending
Build a sci-fi floating city by
combining multiple techniques
54
PAGE
Digital artists are
now turning
to 3D
software in
the pursuit of
enhanced believability
20 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
tion
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 21
32
PAGE
44
PAGE
50
PAGE
PHOTOMANIPULATION
22 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
TECHNIQUES XXXXXXXXXX
James Lucas and Tom Rose
www.limehousecreative.com
kadoslav Zlllosky
www.radoxist.com
|dvlo luzlokcvlco
www.edvin.lv
WE REVEAL HOW DIGITAL ARTISTS COMBINE CG SOFTWARE
AND PHOTOSHOP TO ACHIEVE EFFECTS OTHERWISE
IMPOSSIBLE IN REALWORLD SHOOTS
PHOTOMANIPULATION
22 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
C
reative retouching is all about the viewer’s
suspension of disbelief. Global advertisers
are increasingly turning to digital artists to
produce effects that wouldn’t be possible in
any real-world photo shoot, but that look wholly
credible due to creative retouching.
As creatives, it’s our mission to ensure precise
colour, sharpness, believable textures and a sprinkling
of magic are achieved in our results – supplied through
a highly technical skillset. Understandably, many digital
artists are turning to 3D software to aid in this pursuit
of enhanced believability. This is a technique
commonly known as CG photography.
In this feature we take a look at all the key stages of
production. We’ve gathered an impressive host of
professionals who share their advice and show you
how to achieve expert composition, photorealism and
special effects. First though, we start with the
ever-essential concept stage.
Every creative retouch project starts with either a
sketch or a photo mockup, with the latter often
following the sketch and using it as a blueprint. When
piecing together a draft, the reference images used
must contain sound aesthetic qualities. These include
defined lights and shadows, as well as a high image
resolution, so all the details are visible and pliable in the
following phases. Factors such as these are crucial to
the success of the final outcome.
Working with larger resolutions offers the ability to
scrutinise a composite more thoroughly. Creative
retoucher Radoslav Žilinský, (www.radoxist.com)
reveals how he ensures maximum quality in this
preliminary stage: “I often work [with an image] with a
resolution that’s at least 30 per cent larger than it
needs to be. When you paint something into the image,
or cut elements out, you can often miss leftover edges
or image artefacts [when working with low-res stock].”
However, you won’t when working at higher
resolutions, which are likely to look just perfect.
MEET THE EXPERTS
CREATIVE
RETOUCHING
CREATIVE RETOUCHING
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 23
Jonathon Eadie and Bruce Bigelow
www.electricart.com.au
Gordon McBryde
www.featherwax.com
© Limehouse Creative 2012
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 23
CREATIVE RETOUCHING
PHOTOMANIPULATION
24 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
EXPERT SELECTIONS
Building a plausible fantastical scene will also
depend on the selections you make. Working at
larger sizes enables retouchers to navigate issues
faster, but if you know the best ways to cut out, you
can avoid these problems entirely.
Creative retoucher and art director Edvin
Puzinkevich (www.edvin.lv) uses three separate
methods to detach his elements from the original
backdrop. “Generally I use the Polygonal Lasso with
Smooth and Feather settings active,” he reveals. “I
use the Pen tool to target curved edges in
automotive, human and industrial objects. I apply
separation and outline hair, plants or other highly
detailed shapes and particles using Channels.”
Often a creative retoucher must combine several
techniques to get the perfect edge. Žilinský agrees:
“When cutting out a model, it’s good to separate
tricky parts, such as hair or a transparent dress, into
individual layers. [It’s best to] work on these using a
combination of the Refine Edge tool and edit by
applying Levels to the attached layer mask(s).”
Once all the elements are prepared, a retoucher
has to then fit them together in a realistic and
effective way. This means presenting believable
depth-of-field effects (DOF), but isn’t always a case
of simply eyeing everything into place. Instead,
professionals will use Photoshop’s tools to devise
ways to create authentic results.
BELIEVABLE PERSPECTIVE
Many artists, including Puzinkevich, will turn to
Photoshop’s grid-based options. He explains: “To
HOW TO SHOOT FOR A CREATIVE RETOUCH
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01
SKETCH IT OUT
The more accurate the sketch, the more
likely it will be accepted by the client and the shoot
phase is likely to be more stable. Here establishing
colour, shape and image tones was key.
04
TIME TO RETOUCH
Always try to capture the most natural
aesthetic and maintain advertising qualities such
as clear contrast, plasticity and nice colours –
especially when retouching for fashion.
03
SHOOT RESULTS
Here the main light source wasn’t
enough, so we added extra lighting behind our
models to mimic light pouring through large
windows, which would be added later.
06
FINAL COLOUR GRADING
Colour grading makes the final result. Apply a Brightness/Contrast adjustment in combination
with Hue/Saturation, because when the contrast is increased, tones will become oversaturated. Continue by
adding a Color Balance adjustment, then finish with a Gradient Map set to Color or Hue blend modes.
02
PREP THE SHOOT
A simple 3D scene was prepared, so we
knew the exact camera placement, lighting
conditions and perspective necessary. From this, we
knew we’d need to shoot with a 35mm camera lens.
05
A LITTLE 3D
Though we did go and apply 3D elements
to the background in this image, be aware that this
actually doesn’t always have to look super-
realistic. Sometimes the smaller details and
irregularities are much easier to add in Photoshop.
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CREATIVE RETOUCHING
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 25
The models in the base image had to be removed
and the interior space was rebuilt by Puzinkevich.
“I duplicated usable pieces of the window frame,
using Free Transform to scale these layers down
to the new window width, then skewing and
distorting to match the perspective,” he explains. “I
also added 1% Noise to imitate a light grain.”
The floor was restored by cloning from its
cleaner parts, however, the light reflected on this
wasn’t even. Puzinkevich added two inverted
Curves adjustment layers and painted to these
with a soft white brush to match light and shadow.
The ladder was comped in and the Polygonal
Lasso tool was applied, set with a low Feather
amount. “I made multiple selections of the top of
the ladder, then painted these with a light-grey
brush to achieve correct lighting,” explains
Puzinkevich. “I painted the parts of ladder affected
by the light from the window with a darker grey.”
All models were separated from their
respective backgrounds in two steps. “The guy
with the laptop’s head was replaced. The new
element was separated using a duplicate Red
channel with increased contrast and the
Brightness/Contrast tool,” explains Puzinkevich. “I
used the Polygonal Lasso tool again to cut out the
original model’s body. I applied a low Feather
amount (around 0.5) to this selection to achieve
more-believable edges.”
The Pen tool played its own part and was used
to create and place the separate paper sheets in
the image. “Holding the Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt keys
when applying this tool enables us to adjust paths
perfectly,” Puzinkevich concludes.
build geometrical perspective I specifically use
shapes and guides. First I use the Line tool to find
the correct horizon line in my start image, then mark
this with a Photoshop Guide. I continue to apply the
Line tool to mark other directions and map out the
scene. I also draw out perspective grids using the
very useful Vanishing Point filter.” Once this tool is
mastered, retouchers can map out guides for
straight, perpendicular and rounded perspectives,
using corresponding Angle values.
However, depth of field isn’t just a matter of
varying the size and position of elements, as
Photoshop also offers the means to tweak colour
and light to boost realism. An advanced colour-
correction and matching process can then gradually
be applied to build a believable environment in what
is an otherwise incredible scene.
It’s also vital that photo elements react to any light
source in the image, as this will also determine
colour casts and where any shadows will be placed.
Photoshop’s Black & White adjustment layer can be
applied first, to simplify the perception of existing
highlight and shadow areas. A Curves layer can then
be added to achieve a perfect contrast and integrate
elements seamlessly.
COLOUR GRADING
For this stage Puzinkevich uses three tools to
correct tones. “I add a Hue/Saturation adjustment
layer to saturate and desaturate objects and make
big colour moves,” he explains. “Selective Color
adjustment layers are also used to make precious
tonal changes, then there’s the Gradient Map tool.
This is awesome as it enables me to add
comprehensive tones across the entire image and
bind all the objects.”
Žilinský also applies the Gradient Map tool, but
more specifically to colour-grade water elements.
“An aquamarine tone resides in water’s darker areas
and cyan is in its brighter ones,” he explains. “I’ll
apply a Gradient Map on top of my water layer,
setting the adjustment’s blending mode to Color.
COMPOSITING YOUR
IMAGE ELEMENTS
EDVIN PUZINKEVICH REVEALS HOW HE USED
SIMPLE PHOTOSHOP TECHNIQUES TO PIECE
TOGETHER THIS CREATIVE RETOUCH FOR
BAHRAINI CREATIVE AGENCY, UNISONO
© Unisono
EDVIN PUZINKEVICH / WWW.EDVIN.LV
Selective Color
adjustment layers are
used to make
precious tonal
adjustments, then
there’s the Gradient
Map tool. This is awesome as it
enables me to add
comprehensive tones across the
entire image, binding all objects
PHOTOMANIPULATION
26 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 26 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
“I work with greyscale (desaturated) photos
beneath,” Puzinkevich continues. “This way I can be
absolutely sure that there are no colour shifts in the
final water composite.”
WORK WITH CG
It’s clear that a large amount of a retoucher’s time
will be spent endlessly chasing photorealism.
However, working with photo stock alone can
quickly become an arduous task. Also, with time in
short supply, retouching studios are turning to 3D
software and what this has to offer.
Taylor James (www.taylorjames.com) is a studio
that’s leading the way in promoting the use of CG
assets. President and founder Glen Taylor explains
why working this way is such an advantage to the
workflow. “CG provides the flexibility and creative
license to make the unbelievable believable, in
instances when we couldn’t achieve it with
photography alone,” he explains. “It enables us to
realise the most imaginative or simply logistically
impossible concepts.”
The beauty of working with CGI is that it lets us
achieve any look or feel we want and there will be a
few instances where photorealism isn’t a
requirement. However, it’s often the basis for
commercial projects – creating images people can
relate to without questioning what they see
Taylor James embarks on a rigorous modelling,
lighting, shading and texturing process to achieve
such believability. This ensures that all CG assets
hit a high level of detail early on. “Our retouchers
are experts at compositing many passes, such as
shadows and Alpha channels, which CG can output
accurately to get all the details,” Taylor tells us.
CG AND PHOTOSHOP
3ds Max is primarily used and supplemented with
V-Ray for rendering images. “Often there are
requirements to use specific software, such as
ZBrush, to virtually sculpt organic forms,” adds
Taylor. Photoshop is used to texture and retouch.
Channels are added to enhance and control the
lighting in the scene, with tried and trusted
Displacement maps also being utilised to wrap
textures and add imperfections.
When bringing CGI elements into a photographic
background, a creative retoucher must once again
seamlessly integrate these into a scene. “We need
to be aware of where the light source is coming
from, then use adjustment layers and Channels
to play with light, shadows and colour,” reveals
Taylor. “We often use customised brushes,
adjustment layers and different blur techniques to
integrate these.”
Photoshop blending modes also come in handy,
especially when working with CGI render passes.
PHOTOMANIPULATION
26 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
CREATIVE RETOUCHING
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 27
■ CONCEPT
The agency supplied us with a 2D concept and a
quick mockup. This gave us a basic idea of what they
wanted. We imported this into a 3D space, where
detailed parts were created and camera and lighting
angles were positioned.
■ CGI TALK
A chalk material was applied to the modelled scene,
which enhanced the details, ensuring that the correct
angles, shadows and light intensity were presented
clearly. This enabled the actual materials, lighting
and textures to be applied.
■ DETAILING THE SCENE
The details in soil, grass and water were created
separately then combined in the scene. This meant
each component could be viewed in greater detail to
ensure a photorealistic effect. Materials and textures
were added to each part to enhance the realism.
■ LAYERING ON THE TEXTURES
At this stage the CGI car was rendered out and
supplied for retouching. This shot shows all straight
RGB render parts created, combined in a full scene
before applying any other passes or colour work.
■ FINISHING TOUCHES
Here you can see the render passes created in CGI,
separated so that colour work could be applied and
aligned. Keeping them separate enabled more
control over stylised lights, reflections and shadows.
CGI PHOTOGRAPHY WORKFLOW
TAYLOR JAMES EXPLAINS HOW CG SOFTWARE AND PHOTOSHOP WERE COMBINED TO CREATE THIS IMAGE
COMMISSIONED BY DDB CANADA, FOR SUBARU CANADA
Agency DDB Canada. Client: Subaru. © Taylor James
GLEN TAYLOR / WWW.TAYLORJAMES.COM
CREATIVE RETOUCHING
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 27
CG gives us flexibility and creative
license to make the unbelievable
believable, in instances when
we couldn’t achieve it with
photography alone
PHOTOMANIPULATION
28 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
“These enable us to bring all the elements
together in terms of lighting, texturing and depth of
field,” says Taylor. “Blending modes also mean we
can put the CG passes back together in a way that is
mathematically correct.”
Even in the few instances where photorealism isn’t
overly required, believability is still in the back of a
creative retoucher’s mind. The beauty of working with
CGI and Photoshop is that we can achieve any look or
feel we want. However, when applying special effects,
a creative retoucher must always enhance the
message of a client’s ad campaign first and foremost.
APPLYING SPECIAL EFFECTS
The end results can be either more stylised or surreal,
depending on a client’s needs, but attention to quality
must be assured. This is a reaction to the print
medium that retouch work is presented in. “There is
far less flexibility than in other mediums, such as
animation and film,” explains Jonathon Eadie,
managing director at Electric Art (www.electricart.
com.au). “In print the tiniest details can be scrutinised
close-up over time and the tiniest detail can shatter
the illusion for the viewer. Detail in lighting and colour
are extremely important.”
Nowhere is this more evident than when making
essential relighting edits to certain parts of an image.
Even when the overall treatment is more intense, if
the underlying basics are correct, the viewer won’t
question what they perceive. This means that special
effects become the most challenging phase in a
creative retoucher’s process. Gordon McBryde,
director at Featherwax (http://featherwax.com)
concurs: “We try to [achieve] the visually impossible
while retaining a realistic edge. If special effects went
purely for realism alone, there would be some pretty
tame adverts out there.”
FANTASTICAL ATMOSPHERE
The application of effects can be very tailored, with
each instance producing very different outcomes.
McBryde elaborates: “Special effects in post-
production are very much bespoke. While similar
techniques are often used, every project and image is
a new challenge that requires a fresh approach.”
Bruce Bigelow, creative director at Electric Art (www.
electricart.com.au) adds: “Each job is individual,
however we do have a group of effects that can be
used time and again, with slightly different outcomes.
Using Channels, we can create brushes or layer
masks for colour to add atmospherics. This way
we’re using the existing lighting to enhance the
overall image.”
Photoshop is a very flexible program that can
enable an image’s atmosphere to be enhanced in a
number of ways. Retouchers tend to use several
layers to build effects in what must become a
three-dimensional workspace. “This tends to start
with stripping in a new sky,” explains McBryde. “If
CREATE A DYNAMIC CAMPAIGN IMAGE
ELECTRIC ART REVEALS HOW PHOTOSHOP WAS USED TO CREATE THESE SURREAL EFFECTS
01
BASE IMAGE
By combining photographic and 3D
elements we created a desolate, almost lunar
terrain for the hawk to sit in. One of the biggest
challenges here was creating the correct scale for
the shrubs and rocky outcrops. The other
challenge was to ensure there was enough sense
of distance in a restricted frame for all the action to
take place. Adding atmosphere helped to create
the illusion of depth.
02
BUILD VOLUME WITH CHANNELS
The 3D render of the hawk was gradually
replaced with photographic material of dust,
combining voluminous dust clouds with wispy
trails. We applied this through a combination of
layer styles, Channel masks and opacity tweaks. A
selection was made using the Channel that gave
the best definition between the dust and the
background. This selection was used to increase
or decrease detail contrast where applicable.
03
DUST EFFECTS
Blending modes were either left at
Normal or set to Screen to enhance contrast. Once
we had the main form, it came down to detailing
the eyes, claws and beak. We created our own
brushes, using specific areas from a Channel
mask to create trailing dust. Once all the elements
were in place, we added extra grit and flying dirt,
applying a final overall colour grade to bring the
entire image together.
Creative Directors Ben Coulson and Chris Northam, Art Director Paul Meates. © Agency GPY&R Melbourne, Photography Andreas Smetana
CREATIVE RETOUCHING
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 29
GORDON MCBRYDE / HTTP://FEATHERWAX.COM
CREATIVE RETOUCHING
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 29
We try to [achieve] the visually impossible
while retaining a realistic edge. If special
effects went purely for realism alone,
there would be some pretty tame
adverts out there
PHOTOMANIPULATION
30 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
TECHNIQUES XXXXXXXXXX
we’re creating a dramatic image, we use Curves
and the Black & White tools to make this new sky
suitably moody. We then layer different effects such
as ice, rain and particles in the wind. These tend to
be achieved by applying Screen or Multiply blend
modes or clipped using a Channel mask.”
It’s very important to ensure the colour and focus
levels in these atmospheric details are matched to
their surroundings, as nothing makes an image
scream “Photoshop” more than a rain texture that’s
too sharp or background clouds that are too green.
“Broad adjustments to contrast and colour using
adjustment layers help here,” Eadie explains.
“Selective adjustments can be localised. Often
it’s the sum of many small details and colour
treatments that are most effective when it comes
to enhancing atmosphere.”
Sharpness is the final piece in creating hyperreal
looks and the High Pass filter is greatly endorsed by
our professionals, as McBryde adds: “Many people
will use a destructive sharpening process by
merging the layer stack then using either the
normal Sharpen tool or the Unsharp mask.
ADVANCED SHARPENING
“This sharpening technique can be useful at times,
especially if the layer is duplicated a few times, with
an Unsharp mask applied,” McBryde continues.
“One blend mode is set to Lighten the other to
Darken. However, the preferred method of
sharpening in creative retouching is to apply the
High Pass filter to a duplicate layer set to Soft Light.
This method is non -destructive, as the filter sits at
the top of the stack, affecting the work below.”
The Unsharp mask doesn’t need to be avoided
entirely. In fact, this tool is capable of producing an
interesting selective contrast treatment, when set
with a low amount and a high pixel radius. “We
used this technique on a job for Olympus Tough
cameras (seen at our website),” McBryde explains.
“An alternative to this is of course the High Pass
filter. We apply this in combination with different
layer blending modes, which provides very
interesting and unique results. Each image is
certainly unique and experimenting with various
techniques is important to find the best results.”
It almost goes without saying that over-
sharpening must be avoided, as this can end with
obvious fringing in high-contrast areas. It can also
lead to an increase in image noise, beyond
acceptable levels. Of course this is all determined
by a factor already discussed – the quality of your
CG and photographic assets. “We have worked with
RAW files from large-format hasselblad and the
tonal range available really determines how much
flexibility we have in retouching believable looks,”
McBryde explains.
Retouch Diego Angarita and Gordon McBryde. © Discovery Channel
PHOTOMANIPULATION
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CREATIVE RETOUCHING
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01
THREE DIMENSIONAL SPACE
We always work on a file in a three-dimensional space. So the
first step is always building the background. This has been achieved
here by blending several photographs, such as the sky and water.
02
PAINT WITH CURVES
The hero talent is composited, so we focused on lighting the
elements. If each element is in its own folder with a mask, it’s simply
a matter of using Curves adjustments to paint areas of light and dark.
03
CREATIVE LIGHTING
Dynamic contrast really adds something special. This is
achieved by increasing the contrast Curves adjustments, set to a
Luminosity blending mode and painting in selective areas. A straight
curve set to Soft Light at 50% Opacity is a nice final tweak.
04
POST EFFECTS
A Black & White adjustment layer at 20% Opacity is added to
mute the colours. A High Pass set to Soft Light adds overall
sharpness. A second finer High Pass can be added and selective
details, such as water splashes, can be sharpened with a layer mask.
CREATE DYNAMIC LIGHTING
GORDON MCBRYDE EXPLAINS HOW TO CREATE EXCITING LIGHTING IN YOUR CREATIVE RETOUCH IMAGES
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 31
PHOTOMANIPULATION
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PHOTOMANIPULATION
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CREATE DYNAMIC LIGHTING
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CREATE DYNAMIC
LIGHTING
COMBINE PHOTO STOCK, TEXTURES AND BLENDING
MODES TO PRODUCE A SURREAL IMAGE
S
urrealism is the name of the game in this
tutorial, as we take you through a
Photoshop process that will help you
achieve high-end, photoreal, and surreal
effects, using an array of comped resources. Lighting
effects feature heavily, as we show you how to apply
contrast, highlights and shadows to tie all your
elements together in a believable fashion.
You’ll need to be familiar with basic Photoshop
functions as we tackle ways to cut out images using
the Pen Path tool. We’ll also look at how to enhance
manually applied lighting, using both brushes and
Blend Modes. These lighting effects will bind our
image elements together, creating realism in an
otherwise unbelievable image.
We’ll start with a model image that forms the
foundation of the artwork. Once you have completed
this tutorial, you will be able to light and construct a
photoreal, surreal image and reapply many of the
techniques across other light-inspired images.
01
RESIZE YOUR DOCUMENT
Open a new document at 3,800 x 4,900px,
then open the ‘Girl.jpg’ and place it in the centre of
your workspace. Once you’re happy with your
placement, begin removing the subject from the
background. We’ll use the Pen Path tool to make a
selection and then cut the model out.
02
REFINE THE HAIR DETAIL
Soften the edges of your model so they’re
not overly sharp. Do the same with the hair using
the ‘Painted Hair Brushes’ supplied, painting to a
separate layer so we can use the Transform tools
to manipulate our elements later. Now merge the
hair layer with the model layer.
03
MAKE A BASIC RETOUCH
For this particular image we need to remove the model’s freckles, so we’ll edit using basic
retouching techniques by applying the Spot Healing brush. This is the best tool to clear up blemishes fast, but
we’ll also use the Patch tool for some of the obstinate areas.
DARKNESS TO LIGHT
Step 19: Refine lighting
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 7: Arrange elements
Step 1: Pick a subject
Kode is an artist from Melbourne,
Australia, setting his sights on New York.
As a self-made graphic artist he
continues to learn and apply new skills.
KODE ABDO
www.facebook.com/BossLogicInc
OUR EXPERT
All the images and brushes used to
create this image, including the model,
photo stock, textures and rendered
images, are supplied. Ready-made PSD
files also feature.
SOURCE FILES
BRING THE COMPOSITION TOGETHER
ARRANGE ALL ELEMENTS BEFORE YOUR LIGHTING PROCESS BEGINS
PHOTOMANIPULATION
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04
CREATE YOUR BACKGROUND
We don’t want to make an overly complex
backdrop, so instead we’ll add a new layer titled
‘background’. Next, activate a brush with a soft edge,
increase the size to around 4,000px and apply once
behind the subject using a shade of blue on its own
layer. Now we’ll drop the layer’s Opacity to 80%,
which is especially useful in the cases when the
paint leaves areas far too strong and overpowering
for this project. Remember, we’re attempting to
complement the piece, not overwhelm it.
07
BLEND IN THE LIQUID
Using either your Eraser tool, set with a soft edge, or a layer mask, erase from the bottom of the
subject, specifically the feet. The look we’re trying to achieve is one where the model’s feet are submerged in
the water. This doesn’t have to be too deep, just up to the ankle so her hand can still be seen over the water
level later in the tutorial. Also, make the water look seamless with the rest of the background by erasing the
hard edges of the water layer, using a soft Eraser tool or a layer mask.
05
INSERT TEXTURE TO BACKGROUND
Import the supplied ‘waterdrops 3.jpg’ file,
place it on top of the blue-brushed layer and set the
blending mode to Soft Light. Desaturate the image to
make it completely black and white. To improve the
contrast in the monochrome layer, apply Brightness/
Contrast and amend the settings until the right effect
is achieved. If it still feels weak, duplicate this layer
and set its blending mode to Overlay. Merge the
background, blue-brushed and ‘waterdrops 3’ layers
together and apply a light Gaussian Blur.
06
APPLY WATER ELEMENTS
Open and import the supplied ‘waterdrops
2.jpg’ file and transform it using the Free Transform
tool. Grab the top-middle anchor point and compress
it to give the illusion that the ripple is flat on the
ground. This method is all about getting the right
perspective. The Transform tool is powerful enough
to achieve this, so once you’re happy with your
outcome, desaturate your ‘waterdrops 2’ layer
(Cmd/Ctrl+U) so it’s a little less vibrant and matches
the image’s overall atmosphere.
08
PLACE A SOUSAPHONE
Open the supplied ‘Sousaphone.psd’ then
select, cut, copy and paste it into sections. You can
duplicate and place these in your scene as you see
fit. Place your sousaphone layers closely around
the subject and consider these elements as part of
a giant metallic snake moving in and out of the
water and around the composition. Feel free to
experiment with your own placement to create the
movement you want in the piece.
QUICK TIP
To make lighting pop out of the
image, blending mode layers are
your best friends. Experiment with
modes like Soft Light and Overlay
to intensify exposures. You can
tweak the strength of effects using
the Opacity slider, or duplicate the
layers to boost brightness.
CREATE DYNAMIC LIGHTING
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11
DUPLICATE THE RIPPLES
Using the ‘waterdrops 2’ layer we applied in
Step 6, select the ripple area of the image and
duplicate this. Slightly manipulate it to look different
from the main ripple using Transform tools and
place it on the surface of the water under the
instruments to create entry points for the
sousaphone. Erase the excess areas of the
sousaphone to make them seem like they are
submerged underwater. Darken the tips of the
sousaphones closest to the water so they blend in.
12
TWEAK THE BACKLIGHTING
Select a soft brush and then create a new
layer behind the model and the sousaphone. On this
layer we’ll create an outer glow to make the centre
of the image stand out. With a light shade of blue,
brush some lighting strokes behind the model and
the instruments. Make sure you apply just beneath
the edges, because we’re using a soft brush that will
automatically spread beyond the edges. To finish this
step, duplicate the layer and set the new layer’s
blending mode to Soft Light.
13
TEXTURE THE SOUSAPHONE
Apply the supplied ‘cracks 05.jpg’ and
‘cracks 06.jpg’ files to texture the sousaphone layers
and give them a rusty look. Take your time when
placing these textures to produce the greatest
impact and realism. Apply an Overlay blending mode
to these texture layers to obtain a stronger effect. If
this becomes too strong for you, try dropping the
Opacity slider to around 80% or a little lower. You can
experiment and set this layer to Soft Light if that’s an
effect you’re aiming for.
10
PLACE THE BODY TEXTURE
Now we’ll add texture over certain parts of
the model’s body. Open the supplied ‘Crack Texture’
folder to access seven texture images that will help
us achieve the look we want. We’ve placed a ‘cracks
04.jpg’ file over the model’s left shoulder and just
over her elbow. Both are blended using a Multiply
blending mode. Apply the same effect to the
model’s thighs, but using the ‘crack 03.jpg’ file.
Finally, change the tonality to match the water.
09
ADJUST YOUR TONES
First, tone the sousaphone to fit the image using Hue/Saturation>Colorize settings (Cmd/Ctrl+U)
and apply a slightly desaturated dark-blue tone. Here we’ve also added a gradient map to our model using a
blue-to-light-blue style. Set this gradient map layer’s blending mode to Soft Light and adjust the Opacity until
you’re happy with the outcome.
001
Cut out the model, add her hair back in, then
merge the layers
002
Add the background behind the model, paint
with the soft brush, texture and merge
003
Cut up and place the sousaphone where you
want it to create a snake-like appearance
001 002 003
UNIFY YOUR SCENE
USE HUE/SATURATION AND OTHER ADJUSTMENTS TO SET THE TONE OF THE COMPOSITION
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14
ÞkLÞAkL JßL ßAk0-LlJ L00L8
Duplicate the model layer and brighten this
by applying Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast.
Create a look that seems a little overexposed, but not
too harsh, because we still want to see details in the
lit areas. Use a soft-edged Eraser and remove from
the centre as in our example. This is done to create
more dynamic lighting, which means we have
something to work with later in the lit edges.
15
Ll0ßJ JßL ßAlk
Make a selection of your model layer by
Ctrl-clicking the layer thumbnail. With your selection
active, create a new layer and use a soft bright-blue
brush, set to Soft Light, to highlight the edges of the
hairline. Create another new layer on top of this and
repeat the technique using a lighter shade of blue
and setting your blending mode to Overlay. Repeat
this method on the sousaphone layers.
16
kLÞLl0AJL M0Jl0h
To enhance the sense of motion, open the
supplied ‘Music Notes’ folder where you’ll find a host
of PSD files that we can combine to create the effects
we’re looking for. Place these new layers under the
sousaphone layer, making it seem as though these
elements are being blown out. Change the size of
each of these layers to create a sense of perspective
and to enhance the detail in the image.
18
A0ßlLvL Llq0l0 Ll0ßJlh0
Repeat the techniques from Step 15 to
insert lighting in your liquid areas, but this time we
want these to be a little brighter as they are
reflecting from the glow emitting from the model
image. To get this effect we’ll add an extra layer, set
to Soft Light blending mode. Next, apply a Gaussian
Blur filter to this layer, which will result in brighter
surroundings, then add motion blur to some of the
liquid to inject more movement.
17
A00 LlhßL0 LLLMLhJ8
We’ll simulate motion in the piece further by applying images from the supplied Black Ink folder.
We’ll apply them around the sousaphone and exiting the water, to create a splash effect. You can also mix
your ink layers with the music notes, adding in the previous set, to evoke a chaotic look. Remember to apply
Hue/Saturation>Colorize, which will let you add a shade of purple, matching the tones in the water.
BRING FOCUS TO YOUR IMAGE
BLEND LIGHTING LAYERS AND BRING FOCUS BACK TO THE CENTRE
QUICK TIP
Use the liquid images supplied to create your own
splashes and abstract elements in the image. Don’t be
scared to play around with the Motion B option to produce
a sense of movement. Strive to make effects your own
and let your imagination take over.
BELIEVE THE
UNBELIEVABLE
The key to achieving a believable
image, even when creating surreal
elements, is correct placement. Use
the Transform tools to achieve the best
angles and perspective. Make sure the
image doesn’t get too cluttered, give
elements room to breath and display a
strong sense of depth. Understanding
focal lengths and blur is a core skill to
have. Using the right amount of blur
will help create an accurate sense
of background and foreground. This
is more diffused in the backdrop,
harder and brighter in the foreground,
especially in this image. These
dynamic effects are what augment the
realism in an unreal scene.
CREATE DYNAMIC LIGHTING
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19
INCREASE THE SURREALISM
Open and import layers from the files in the
supplied Hands folder. Using the techniques of the
previous steps, tone the arms to match the colour of
the water using Hue/Saturation>Colorize settings
(Cmd/Ctrl+U). Add texture to the arms just like in
Step 10, duplicate the ripple layers as in Step 11 and
continue to mask your arm layers so they look like
they are reaching up from the water.
20
FOCUS ON EXTRA DETAIL
Repeat Step 10, but add effects to the
model’s right leg that sits in the background. Use the
Pen Path tool to make a selection around this leg,
then duplicate and create a new leg layer. Tone this
so the colour matches that of the water and the two
arms. Apply crack textures to the knee and use the
Eraser to work out some of the coloured leg layer, so
it looks like the knee is visible through the cracks.
23
REPLICATE A RADIANT LIGHT EFFECT
Referring back to what we’ve learnt in Step
15, we can now use similar techniques to add
highlights under our model’s legs, creating the
illusion of light emitting from the water. Doing this
will draw the viewer’s eye to the centre of the
composition once more. First use the Pen Path tool
to target the areas you want to highlight. Also create
a new layer set to Color Dodge blending mode
before painting in your lights using a light-blue soft
brush set to 80% Opacity.
24
USE A SMOKE TEXTURE
Import the ‘smoke.psd’ supplied and place
it around the image at a very low opacity. This adds
that fine detail in the image and brings a dark, misty
atmosphere. Feel free to use the smoke.psd to add
extra detail to the lighting layers, by blending it using
an applied Soft Light or Overlay blending mode and
setting a low layer opacity. This will add texture to
your lighting. Place similar effects in the lighting
under the model, to evoke a sense of movement.
21
LIGHT ELEMENTS INDIVIDUALLY
Now we’ll repeat the same method used in
Step 15 to add highlights to the hand layers. Some of
the hands in the image are set some distance from
the main light source, so when you do apply light,
make sure you use separate effects to individual
hand layers. This will enable you to have maximum
control over the brightness and means you can alter
the intensity of light correctly for each element.
22
INSERT SHADOWS
We’ll now add some directional shadows behind the two arms on the right of the image. This is to
enhance the direction and realism of the light, by casting shadows away from our main light source. Create a
new layer and with a soft brush paint two black lines away from the direction of the light, making sure these
are on top of the arm layers in the corner. After you’re happy with the angle of the brushed lines, drop the
layer Opacity to 80% to produce a transparent look.
QUICK TIP
Adding new colours to the image’s lighting and mixing
tonality can create interesting looks. We’ve added a
new layer and applied a soft brush over the already
vibrant areas of our image. This brush is set to Soft Light
blending mode and we’ve inserted pink tones, which
produce an eye-catching look.
PHOTOMANIPULATION
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JONO HISLOP AKA KIVEX
www.somethingfresh.co.nz
OUR EXPERT
Kivex is a New Zealand-born
illustrator living in London. Most of
his work is created for colleagues in
the music industry and their
associate record labels, including
Atlantic, Warner, Sony and Tikidub.
SOURCE FILES
On the disc you will find a model
image that you can use to duplicate
this tutorial (‘Heroine_stock.jpg’).
PHOTOMANIPULATION
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MASTER LAYER MASKS
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MASTER LAYER
MASKS
USE BRUSHES, LAYER MASKS AND LIGHTING TECHNIQUES
TO CREATE SURREAL LANDSCAPES WITH PHOTOGRAPHY
G
reat art is rarely the product of a complex
chain of elaborate techniques. In truth, it is
a destination most often reached through
a sound understanding and patient use of
your basic tools. A great eye for detail develops
through perseverance.
The following tutorial will teach you how to use
simple Photoshop tools in advanced ways, and in
doing so perhaps you will come to see them in a
new light. In particular, this tutorial focuses on
painting with layer masks and developing a colour
scheme with adjustment layers and gradient maps.
Perspective and the idea that ‘less is more’ will
guide you through the tutorial as a concept that will
be continually revisited. You should walk away not
just with a new art piece, but a set of skills that will
stick with you throughout your career, assisting you
in getting ideas onto your Photoshop canvas with
less technical frustration.
This particular photomanipulation was inspired
by a piece of music that has a spacious, ‘lost at sea’
feel. Music that stimulates your imagination and
creates a sense of location can help your creative
flow and encourage originality.
MASTER LAYER MASKS
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PHOTOMANIPULATION
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03
BRING IN PHOTOS
You’re going to build the top half of the canvas first. Drag and drop in photos of skylines that you like the look
and feel of. Try to keep the colours similar by choosing photos that were taken around the same time of day. There’s no
need to be exact, though, as you can make adjustments later. For every image you bring into your piece, add a layer
mask. With the layer selected, at the bottom-right of your screen click on the rectangle with the circle inside it. Layer
masks allow us to paint in and out parts of the photo without being destructive.
02
CREATE PERSPECTIVE
Now you need the sunray perspective, which is essential in establishing focal direction. Make a new
layer and draw a white line across the canvas, starting from the sun. Cmd/right-click the layer and select
Duplicate Layer. With the new line, press Cmd/Ctrl+T and move the anchor point to the centre position of the
sun. Rotate 15 degrees by holding Shift and repeat the process of duplicating and rotating the line until you
have a rising sun type perspective grid.
01
SET UP THE CANVAS
Open a new document with dimensions
2,560 x 1,440 and a black background. Press Cmd/
Ctrl+K to open Preferences. Click on Guides, Grid &
Slices from the list on the left and change the
settings for Grid Section to Gridline every 100 per
cent, Subdivisions 3. Pressing Cmd/Ctrl+’ will bring
up your new rule of thirds grid, which sets the guide
for the sun and the boat. Vertically pull down a ruler
(Cmd/Ctrl+R), locking in the middle of the canvas.
This is where the sea and the sky will meet.
It’s good to get into the
habit of non-destructive
editing. Try avoiding
the Eraser tool at
all times
COLLAGE TO PAINTING
Step 19: Lighting effects
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 7: Add focal elements
Step 1: Build a backdrop
MASTER LAYER MASKS
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07
CREATE THE SUNSET
Bring in an image of the sun. Using a layer mask and soft brush, paint out the sky around it. Leave a
light glow around the outer circumference with a 25% opaque brush. Align with the rule of thirds grid, and
using the marquee tool (M), cut off the bottom of the sun and align with the horizon. Make a new layer and
using a 200px or larger brush, paint on some blues and pinks with a 10% opaque brush and set the layer to
Overlay to bring in some beautiful hues.
08
MIRROR THE IMAGE
Merge the image with Layer>Merge
Visible. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+A and copy the merged
canvas. Track back with Edit>Step backwards until
your layers return. Paste in the image, and using
Transform, flip the layer vertically. Align the image
with the centre of the canvas and erase anything
that cuts into the top half of the canvas. Use a
Motion Blur at 0 degrees and a Distance of 25%.
Follow it up with Filter> Distort>Ripple (66%,
medium size) on your newly created ocean to add a
touch of realism.
06
USE ADJUSTMENT LAYERS
When you bring in colours that don’t fit,
use an adjustment layer! This is another non-
destructive technique. With the layer selected, click
on the half circle next to the layer mask and choose
Curves. Change RGB to your choice of red/green/
blue to play with individual colour spectrums, and
click to create a point. Boost up or down to add
intensity or pull out the required colours. In this
case, some of the clouds are too blue, so we have
boosted the red to match the sunset’s warmth.
05
MERGE TECHNIQUES
When using the Brush tool, there are two
shortcuts that greatly speed up your workflow: X on
your keyboard switches between black and white.
The square brackets vary the size of your brush.
With each new image you drop onto the canvas,
experiment with merging them by playing with
layer styles. Use Screen and Lighten next. These are
good for merging bright elements, while Multiply
and Overlay/Soft Light are useful for creating
vibrancy and intensity.
04
MERGE PHOTOS
See that white square that has appeared
next to your layer? With it selected, your colour
palette resets to black and white. Painting with a
black brush will act as an eraser, while painting in
white will do the opposite. It’s good to get in the
habit of non-destructive editing. Try avoiding the
Eraser tool at all times. Bring in another layer of the
sky. Using a soft brush, set the Opacity to 25% and
remove parts of the photo until you have a
seamless merge with other images on the canvas.
QUICK TIP
Establish your focal points early on when imagining your art. In the case of this image, the sun’s brightness captures the
viewer’s attention first, leading you to the heroine and finally to the islands, sweeping your eyes from left to right across
the canvas. Try to avoid cluttered backdrops that can dismantle the flow of the piece.
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QUICK TIP
If your finished piece is too dark, put a Brightness/
Contrast adjustment layer at the top of the layer chain
with +15 Brightness at +5 Contrast. Is the image lacking
depth? Use a Levels adjustment, slightly moving the
middle slider (midtones) to affect the colours inside the
vignette and around the sun.
10
FIT THE HEROINE
For the highlights, make a new layer and
Opt/Alt-drag over the heroine’s layer mask to make
a copy. With the layer selected, set it to Overlay and
paint white highlights on areas of the heroine facing
the horizon. For the shading, use a black brush and
paint parts facing away from the sun. Leave the layer
style on Normal. Mix in her shading layer at 80%
Opacity. Using Curves, boost the reds and blues.
09
VIGNETTES AND OBJECTS
Creat a new layer, paint black around the edges of the canvas and set it to Multiply. Create another
new layer and paint with a dark-blue brush (#00192a) on the edges of the vignette towards the centre and set
to Color Burn. Mix this layer in at 40-50% Opacity to accentuate the outer colours. Drop in a photo of a boat
from dreamstime.com and align and transform it to match your perspective grid. Drop in the female
adventurer (available on the disc) and use a layer mask to paint out the background.
12
LIGHTING
With a new layer set to either Overlay or
Soft Light, paint white streaks from the sun going
outwards, following the perspective grid to create
sunrays. Add a soft glow by creating a layer set to
Lighten at 80% Opacity. Paint a mix of yellows and
oranges around the sun with a large soft brush.
Now create a Soft Light layer at 17% Opacity. Fill the
canvas with blue #0319f0. Using a layer mask,
erase out the centre so you’re only affecting the
outer rims of the horizon and the vignette.
11
FIT THE BOAT
Repeat Step 10 with the front and back of the boat, shading at 50% Opacity. With Curves, pull down
the reds and greens and boost the blues. Using a Levels adjustment layer, boost the contrast by inserting the
following numbers into the three boxes: 57, 0.63, 250. On a new layer with 40% Opacity, paint the girl’s casting
shadow inside the boat, following the perspective grid. Paint some ripples into the water around and behind
the boat. For realism, add Filter>Distort>ZigZag, with Settings at 2 and 14 and Pond Ripples selected.
Stock image
MASTER LAYER MASKS
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13
NIGHT SKY
Find a free NASA photo of a star-filled sky
and drop it in. Set the blending mode to Screen to
remove the black backdrop. It will almost certainly
leave light artefacts, so use Levels (Cmd/Ctrl+L),
bringing the far-left slider up a few numbers until
black is at #000000, thus becoming 100 per cent
transparent. With a layer mask, paint out the stars
that have landed in awkward places. Use the
Marquee tool (M) to move stars around if needed.
15
THE FINISHING TOUCH
To add polish to any finished piece, duplicate a merged version of all your layers and use
Filter>Other>High Pass with a low setting (1-2px). This exaggerates the edges. Set the layer to Overlay to
sharpen the quality of your art. Areas that don’t require focal attention or sharpness such as the sun and the
ocean can be painted out with a layer mask, making the heroine and the stars around her crisper.
14
TYING THE IMAGE TOGETHER
Add a Curves adjustment layer. Select blue and raise the ‘output’ +2, to tie the black vignette into the
ocean with a subtle dark blue hue. Add a gradient map with these settings from left to right: #ffe89a, #c38f7b,
#324a59 and #060c14. At 100% Opacity, the gradient map desaturates and ties the colour scheme together.
Bring the opacity down if you want to retain some of the original vibrancy, but don’t oversaturate your work.
PHOTOMANIPULATION
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BLEND MULTIPLE ITEMS TO CREATE THIS HIGHENERGY SCENE
ADVANCED
COMPOSITING
T
his tutorial will show you how to create a complex action scene by combining 3D and photographic elements in
Photoshop. We’ve always wanted to flip the story of James Bond on its head – where the woman is the one
saving the day. Hence why Jane Bond was born! We sketched out an idea of the villain in his escape car being
pursued by Jane Bond and her Bond boy.
With all the moving parts we were imagining, Photoshop was the only way to convincingly bring it all
together. We enlisted the help of uber-nerds Isaiah Mustafa, Alison Haislip, and Zachary Levi to get just
the right casting and look for the piece. Photography was handled via Hasselblad H4D-50 to get
super high-resolution assets to pull from for our photomanipulation. After a quick shoot, it
was back to the post-production studio to whip out our Cintiq 22HD and get chopping.
This image is one in a series of nine images that tell the story of how Jane Bond
foiled an international jewel thief from stealing the crown diamond.
PHOTOMANIPULATION
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ADVANCED COMPOSITING
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SOURCE FILES
Textures, particles, 3D renders, as
well as the RAW camera files are
available for your use on this
project. Download them at blog.
advancedphotoshop.co.uk/
tutorial-files under Issue 117.
WIL WELLS
www.elevendy.com
OUR EXPERT
Wil Wells is the creative director
and lead artist at Elevendy, a
creative support studio based in
California. His work has been
used on numerous videogames,
including Splinter Cell: Blacklist.
ADVANCED COMPOSITING
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PHOTOMANIPULATION
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04
ADD MOTION BLUR
Click OK to apply the Vanishing Point Clone to your composition. You now need to add motion blur
to the background to give the feeling of speed. Since this is a dynamic scene with a car moving towards the
viewer, the standard motion blur filter will not give the look you want. This can be done better using
Filter>Blur>Radial Blur. Set the Blur Method to Zoom and position its source at the far end of the street. Set
the Amount to 5 and click OK.
03
CLONE WITH THE PERSPECTIVE STAMP
You now have a mesh that will keep your
background cloning in perspective. Click the mid-
right handle of the mesh and expand it to the edges
of the composition. Still within the Vanishing Point
window, you can now select the Vanishing Point
Stamp tool. Sample the bottom-right of the plain
selection with Opt/Alt-click. From here, Ctrl/right-
click to stamp in new buildings cloned in perspective
from the original building. Make sure that the
different lines of the building align with each other.
02
EXPAND THE BACKGROUND
To get that long, dramatic look down the
road, you need to expand the background by cloning
the building. To do this and not lose the vanishing
point perspective, use the Vanishing Point tool
found under Filter>Vanishing Point. Once inside the
Vanishing Point window, the default tool should be
set to Create Grid Plane. Select the four corners of
the building on the right and make sure that the
lines stay with the perspective of the scene. Ensure
that the vanishing point clone is successful.
01
SET THE STAGE
For the first step, you will create a scene
that’s very dynamic with a lot of great lines. Create a
new document and size it to 5,000px wide and
3,000px high with a DPI of 300. A city street with the
road coming towards the camera is a perfect stage
to place the chase. You can download this base
image from blog.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/
tutorial-files. This shot is perfect since it has a wide
camera angle, and will place the car racing right at
the viewer for maximum drama.
You need to add a motion
blur to the background
layer to give the
artwork a feeling
of speed
FROM CAMERA TO ACTION
Step 19: Colour and grain
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 7: Place the elements
Step 1: Set the scene
ADVANCED COMPOSITING
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 47
08
BEAT UP THE CAR
It’s always great to collect textures. In this case, you’ll be using scratched metal textures, available in
the tutorial files. To keep the textures organised and make sure they adhere to the constraints of the car body,
drop them into the masked group that you created for the car. Set these textures to assorted blend modes
such as Overlay, Hard Light and Darker Color. It’s better to experiment with different blending modes to find
the best match, but we’ve also provided the modes in the file names of the scratched metal images.
09
ADD THE TYRES
We’ve rendered out 3D versions of the
tyres to get the lighting right (tire.png). You’ll be
using the same tyre for both the front-left and
back-left, and a rear-facing tyre for the right-hand
side. Before dropping the tyres into your
composition, go to Filters>Blur>Radial Blur. Set the
amount to 6.0, the Blur Method to Spin, and pinpoint
the Blur Center to the wheel’s centre, then click OK.
Apply this method to both tyres and move them into
the composition under the car body group.
07
CREATE A CAR GROUP
Select both car layers by selecting one
then Opt/Alt-clicking on the other. With both layers
now selected, press Cmd/Ctrl+G to put the two
layers into a group. Next, expand the group to see
the two layers and Cmd/Ctrl-click the layer preview
icon of a car layer. This should create a selection
around the layer. Finally, select the top group layer
and click Add Layer Mask in the bottom of the
Layers tab to adhere the selection to a mask that
constrains the layers of the group.
06
ADD REALISM TO THE CAR
The render directly out of CINEMA 4D
doesn’t look like a very convincing part of the
scene. Using some tricks in Photoshop, you can
get it looking real in no time. The first step will be
to duplicate the car layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and then set
the top car copy’s blending mode to Overlay. Then
go to Filters>Other>High Pass and set the pixel
radius to 10.0. This will add some fine detail and
contrast to the look of the render, to help it
integrate into the scene better.
05
INSERT THE CAR
It’s now time to add the car to the scene.
We prefer using 3D elements in scenes like this
because you can choose any combination of
camera and lighting angles, as opposed to the
limitations of shooting a real car. There are plenty of
places to pick up fantastic 3D car models online if
you want to add your own getaway car. If not, we’ve
modelled, rendered and lit one using CINEMA 4D.
This image is supplied in the download pack (‘car.
png’). Note we have not yet included the tyres.
QUICK TIP
Blur methods are a tricky thing to master, especially when you need to account for objects going in different directions. With
its different blurs, Photoshop can handle nearly anything. However, when working in 3D, most applications have the ability
to add motion blur. This can increase the quality of the final image exponentially.
PHOTOMANIPULATION
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15
HAIR DETAILS
On the hair layer, press Cmd/Ctrl+L to do a
Levels adjustment. Bring your low input level to 93
– this will make the darker coloured background
disappear and the brighter hair shine through. To
make sure the hair and body layers come together
naturally, feather the body layer’s mask where it
meets the hair using the Paint tool. To account for
the light source of the flare, create a new layer and
paint a faint orange colour above the flare and hero.
14
JANE BOND MASKING
Use the Pen tool to cut out and mask the
hero (Hero 1.fff), but don’t cut her hair out on your
mask. Drop your masked hero into the composition,
size and place her on top of the car. To create a clean
mask of her hair, first copy the photo, remove the
existing mask and create a new one. With the icon
for the new hero copy’s mask selected, press Cmd/
Ctrl+I. This will invert the mask. Set the blending
style to Screen and paint in the hair.
12
PLACE THE VILLAIN IN THE SCENE
Drop and size the villain into the composition. Like you did with the car’s body, create a group folder
by selecting the layer and pressing Cmd/Ctrl+G. To add more detail to the photo, duplicate the villain layer and
set the blend mode to Overlay. Navigate to Filters>Other>High Pass and set the pixel radius to 5.0. On the top
layer of the group, add a new mask to account for the dash. Paint in black along the outline of the dash.
10
ADD SHADOWS
Next, add shadow below the car body and
tyres. Set the colour to black and select the Brush
tool. We like to work with a bigger brush size to
better ensure a smooth shadow. Set the Hardness
to 0 to make sure you don’t have hard edges within
the shadow. Start directly under the car, painting
outwards with smooth, even strokes. Ensure that
the darkest shadow is where tyre meets road.
11
OPEN THE VILLAIN PHOTO
Download ‘Villain.fff’ from the tutorial files
and open the image in Photoshop for masking. We
prefer to mask using the Pen tool due to its ability
to create perfect lines and curves. Note that you
only need to mask the upper torso since the car
dash will obscure the lower body, and you’ll use a
different hand. After you’ve done the outline, select
the path and create the villain’s mask.
13
THE GUNSHOT
Download ‘gun-hand.jpg’, mask the hand
and gun, then drop it into the scene and size it
accordingly. To get a realistic muzzle flash, first
insert the ‘MuzzleFlash.jpg’ file and size it to the top
of the gun. Set the blending mode to Screen then
duplicate it, moving the new copy to the roof of the
car where the bullet is exiting. Take the ‘Particles.
png’ file and place it at the bullet exit to get the look
of paint and metal breaking off the car.
QUICK TIP
Sometimes you get lucky and can use contrast to make a perfect hair mask. We were able to use the Screen blend
mode because our hero’s hair contrasted the darker background. The same method can be used on dark hair with a light
background by using the Multiply blend mode.
ADVANCED COMPOSITING
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 49
19
LITTLE DETAILS
Now that all of the elements are in place, it’s time to add some smaller details. Place the ‘Smoke.jpg’
file at the base of the tyres and set the blending mode to Lighter Color. Again, use the ‘Particles.png’ file to
create small bits of gravel being thrown by the tires. You can also use the particle file behind the car to show
the path of debris caused by the collision with the brick wall. Finish off by adding a little more orange to the
cabin of the car from the flare.
20
COLOUR AND GRAIN
Lastly, it’s time to tie everything together
using colour and grain. Create a Curves adjustment
layer at the top of the composition. Adjust the
darker levels on the blue, green and red channels,
creating a consistent black level on all elements of
the composition. This really comes in handy when
all of your assets come from different sources. On
top of the Curves layer, wrap up the composition by
placing a grain layer, giving consistent grain to
every part of your finished photo.
18
HITTING BRICKS
Download the ‘bricks.jpg’ file, place it into
the scene and create a new mask. Using the Brush
tool, feather the dust cloud to remove the edges of
the photo while still maintaining the solidity of the
bricks. To add more energy, use ‘Particles.jpg’ to
cover the bricks, some of the car, as well as a little
on the hero to tie the elements together. Then take
‘windshield.jpg’, size it to the windshield and set the
blending mode to Screen to account for the brick
hitting the glass.
17
SHADOWS AND SPARKS
Follow the path of the Bond boy’s body,
painting in black just to the right of it. Remember
that the closer his arm is to the car, the closer the
shadow will be to his arm. Paint all the way down
the door to the ground, accounting for the shadow
of his leg and gun on the ground. Reuse the
‘MuzzleFlash.jpg’ file that you downloaded earlier to
create the spark made by the gun hitting the
ground. Composite it into the scene and set the
blending mode to Screen.
16
ADD THE BOND BOY
You can now mask and add the Bond boy
to the composition. Download ‘Hero 2.fff’ from the
Advanced Photoshop website and open it in
Photoshop. Since there’s some lens distortion on
the hand, duplicate the layer. On the top layer, mask
out the hand to the sleeve, and on the bottom layer,
leave only the hand to bring it down the size. Now
create a new layer under the Bond boy and select
the Paint tool in black. Create a shadow on the car
by painting black to the right of his body.
Create a consistent black
level on all the elements.
This really comes in
handy when your
assets are from
different sources
PHOTOMANIPULATION
50 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
PHOTOMANIPULATION
50 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
For those interested in
applying the exact stock
images used here, make
sure you head over to
dreamstime.com. Below
are the image IDs so you
can search for them:
27702508
14257226
14257319
15233790
17285721
SOURCE FILES
APPLY LIQUID PAINT EFFECTS
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 51
01
PREP OUR IMAGE
Create a Photoshop image document,
then open our starting stock photograph by
dragging it into the new canvas. Transform it
(Cmd/Ctrl+T) so that it fits nicely into our new
canvas. Before adding effects, we’ll need to cut the
model out. Zoom in and use the Pen tool to do this.
02
ISOLATE THE MODEL
We’ll use the Pen tool to isolate the
model from the background. Pick a start point,
where her hands meet her dress, and then begin
drawing a path around her. The Opt/Alt key will
help you to be more accurate with the path, and
also when zooming in and out with the mouse.
03
CONTINUE TO CUT OUT
Don’t worry about the hair for now. Make
a rough selection and we can fix next. We can be
rough around the dress area too, as both these will
be replaced with paint. Close the path, then Ctrl/
right-click and choose Make Selection. Duplicate
the model layer then activate Quick Mask.
This is a fun tutorial that we can get very creative with. It
does offer more than just entertainment, though,
because we’ll discover core techniques that can
then be easily be applied to any future
photomanipulation projects
DISCOVER HOW YOU CAN MANIPULATE PAINT STOCK AND CREATE ENERGY
USING LAYER MASKS, SELECTION AND TRANSFORMATION TOOLS
APPLY LIQUID
PAINT EFFECTS
SCRUBBING UP THE FACE
USE THE CLONE STAMP TOOL TO REMOVE BLEMISHES
P
aint splash effects can be used in many
different ways. One that’s very popular is to
replace clothing by using photo stock.
That’s what we set out to achieve here,
showing how we create our own photomanipulation
of a model with paint splash fashion. Once finished
we’ll have created enough depth and movement
that our effects will look realistic. The Pen tool will
be essential for selecting and cutting out our model.
We’ll reveal how to retouch and mask her out,
replacing her dress with paint alone. We also
explain how the Transform tools can be used to
directly paint layers and fit them in place.
You will find that isolating and changing the
colour and appearance of your paint stock layers
will be very easy when you start using the colour
adjustment tools and further masking techniques.
We use these so that our layers fit seamlessly
together in our composition. We are also going to
tackle different blend modes and show how these
react with our image in order to create specific
lighting effects.
All in all, this is a fun tutorial that we can get very
creative with. It does offer more than just
entertainment, though, because we’ll discover core
techniques that can then be easily be applied to any
future photomanipulation projects.
PHOTOMANIPULATION
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04
BACKGROUND WORK
We can now work on the background. We’ll want to
make it lighter, so create a new layer behind our masked model
and fill it with a 50% grey. Apply Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All
and apply a soft brush at 11% Flow to paint in some of the
original background detail. Press X to switch between black and
white brushes and alternate masked areas and effects.
05
FIX THE MODEL
Click on the model
layer and zoom in. Fix areas
of the mask that don’t look
right, especially around the
hair. Select a black flat brush
to paint around the black
areas of the hair and the
parts to hide from our model
layer. Lower the brush’s Flow
to 12%. If you make a
mistake, hit X then paint
areas back in with a white
brush. Fix areas around the
outline that may have been
missed during the Pen
tool selection.
06
RETOUCH PHASE
Duplicate our masked model layer
and hide the original. Create a new layer and
merge that with the model layer (Cmd/
Ctrl+E). Continue to fix our model’s hair using
the Smudge tool and a small flat brush. Apply
a Brightness/Contrast adjustment, setting
Brightness at 10 and Contrast at 40. Duplicate
this layer and hide it, so we have a backup if
needed. Also use the Burn tool at 18%
Exposure and the Dodge tool at 14%
Exposure, both set to Midtones, to increase
the contrast in certain areas.
07
CHANGE COLOUR
Make a new black layer beneath our
model. Choose Select>Color Range and click on a
white part of the dress, setting Fuzziness to 200,
then use the plus and minus pickers to select tones
in the dress. With our selection active, hold Opt/Alt
and use the Lasso to remove areas of the dress.
Copy Merged then paste into a new layer. Add a
Hue/Saturation adjustment, activate Colorize then
change Hue to a blue colour and increase
Saturation. Rename this layer Dress, duplicate it
and delete the black layer.
08
MORE DRESS WORK
With the duplicate active, select
Layer>Layer Styles>Color Overlay. Make it blue.
Move the original dress layer above this duplicate
and set it to Overlay. This brings out the dress
highlights. We can change the Color Overlay of the
duplicate layer and the Hue/Saturation of the
original dress to get the perfect natural look. Bring
some of the white and light back in by setting a
Reveal All layer mask on our dress copy layer,
using a black soft brush set at 20% Flow to mask
into areas we want highlighted.
REMOVING OBSTRUCTIONS FROM SCENIC SHOTS
CLONE OUT OBJECTS WITHOUT BEING DETECTED
QUICK TIP
When adding the
Smudge tool to hair,
use a combination of
different sized brush
strokes with different
Flow amounts. Use
different colours and
parts of the hair for
variation. Apply strokes
outwards for spiky hair
strands, and then curve
these to modify the hair
and tidy edges.
This option comes in handy when isolating areas of
colour. In simple cases we can just use the Magic
Wand to select solid colours, but when working with
paint images like those in this tutorial, or ones with
existing lighting, Color Range becomes a must. Make
the most of the black and white preview to see what
you’ve selected, and use the plus and minus droppers to
specify detailed areas. Once you’ve clicked OK, you can
easily remove parts of the selection by holding down
Opt/Alt or Shift and then applying the Lasso to add or
remove active areas and match selected edges.
USE COLOR RANGE
When working with paint
images or ones with
existing lighting,
Color Range
becomes a must
APPLY LIQUID PAINT EFFECTS
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 53
10
ARRANGE LAYERS
Once you’ve brought in and processed all
the paint splash layers, you’ll need to arrange
these in a way that makes each seem to be a part
of our model’s dress. For the ones placed higher
up, near the torso, use light blue-coloured layers
on top and dark blue layers beneath. Use the
original model dress layer as a reference. Also
erase parts of the dress that get in the way and sit
behind our paint splat layers.
12
CREATE DEPTH
Bring the highlights of the original paint
back in and add darker tones to certain areas,
producing greater contrast. Duplicate one of the
top paint layers, then set the copy to Overlay.
Adjust the hue of the original layer to make it
deeper. Repeat this with the other paint layers.
13
ALTER BRIGHTNESS
Some bottom dress layers would be in
shadow. Repeat the previous step, but decrease
Lightness in a Hue/Saturation adjustment. You
could duplicate a layer, apply these settings and
add an inverted layer mask. Edit using this mask
and a white soft brush to paint in areas of light.
REMOVING OBSTRUCTIONS FROM SCENIC SHOTS
CLONE OUT OBJECTS WITHOUT BEING DETECTED
09
APPLY PAINT SPLASHES
Build effects using stock and basic adjustments
11
MORE PLAY WITH PAINT
Select and cut parts off the paint layers to
make them fit. Cut some off and add them to the
top half of the dress. Make the dress feel like it
ruffles using different paint splats and hues. Apply
a soft round black brush to attached layer masks
and blend areas of the paint realistically. Use
Edit>Transform>Warp to enhance the flow.
14
MANUAL EFFECTS
Add paint stock to the floor. Add light to
areas using a soft white brush and darken others
using this brush, with a deep blue colour and set to
Overlay. Dodge and Burn, and fix the lighting on the
right. Add more paint to the upper dress; blend
with the bodice using previous techniques.
001
Open a paint stock image in Photoshop
and choose Select>Color Range. Use the
dropper tool to select a red colour, set
Fuzziness at 200 and use the plus dropper
to select a deeper red, so we get all the
red tones. Pull Fuzziness back a bit, so the
background in the preview is black again
rather than grey
002
Arrange the layers that we’ve introduced
over the top of the model’s dress,
and then select one of them. Apply
Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation.
Make the selected paint splash blue to
match the woman’s dress. This can just be
a rough adjustment before merging the
model with both dress layers
003
Copy and paste the paint layer into our
main image. Put it into a new folder called
Paint, set at the top of our layer stack.
Repeat this process with all the stock
images, placing each onto the canvas.
Solid colour backgrounds can be removed
by using the Magic Wand tool to select
them and then hitting X to delete
001 002 003
PHOTOMANIPULATION
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FITTING THE ELEMENTS
RETOUCH ALL IMAGES BEFORE GETTING STARTED
02
08L 00hJLhJ-AwAkL 80ALL
The seascape on the canvas will act as a
background for your sci-fi image. Select part of the
sky with the Lasso tool (L). Ctrl/right-click on it and
select Layer Via Copy. After this, go to Edit>
Content-Aware Scale (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+C) to
stretch the sky up to the top. You can also use the
Gradient tool (G) if you prefer.
01
0kLAJL JßL
0A0ß0k00h0
The first step is to create a file 5000
x 7000px at 300dpi. Go to www.
shutterstock.com and download
image ID 109899800, which is a
photo of a seascape with land on
the horizon. Copy and paste it into
the blank file and use the Free
Transform tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T), press
Shift and fit it to the bottom,
interpolating around 190%.
03
A00 A LLh8 |LAkL
Download ‘sky.jpg’ from the Advanced
Photoshop website. Select all of these layers, flatten
them, then apply a Gaussian Blur at 9.0px. Create a
new layer, colour it black and go to Filter>Render>
Lens Flare. Add a flare at 100% Brightness and
50-300mm Zoom on the right-hand side to create a
point of light. Set this layer to Screen at 100%.
LEARN HOW TO COMBINE MULTIPLE ASSETS IN
PHOTOSHOP TO BUILD THIS UNIQUE SCIFI IMAGE
P
hotomanipulation is one step beyond
simple image retouching. The two have
various techniques in common but for a
photomanipulation to have life, it is also
necessary to master its lighting, composition and
depth of field. This can sometimes feel like piecing
together a huge puzzle, but if you are an advanced
user of Photoshop, it shouldn’t be a problem.
In this tutorial you will learn how to build a
surreal scene based on normal photographs. The
idea here is to create a utopian floating city, with its
composition involving aspects of entertainment,
technology, beauty and all the structure that a city
needs to have. The Warp, Free Transform,
Content-Aware Scale and Clone tools will be widely
used, along with blending modes and clipping
masks. It is necessary to cut out and balance each
photo before you start bringing them together. Only
Photoshop is needed!
Fit the elements together to give the scene a
harmonious and commercial character. Links to the
stock imagery used in the image you see here are
provided, but you can create your own or add and
remove elements as you wish. The real aim of this
tutorial is to teach you about composition, lighting
and how to make images as close to the real – or
surreal – as possible. Be as creative as you can.
Let’s get started!
EXPERT BLENDING
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 55
EXPERT BLENDING
Elton Fernandes lives in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil. He has worked with Photoshop
since 2007 and loves to transform
simple photographs into impressive
surreal images.
LLJ0h |LkhAh0L8
www.eltonfernandes.com
OUR EXPERT
Files are available online at blog.
advancedphotoshop.co.uk/tutorial-files
under Issue 115.
SOURCE FILES
TRANSFORMING THE REAL
INTO THE SURREAL
Step 14: Colour changes
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 7: Placement
Step 1: Compile everything
08
INSERT A ROLLER COASTER
Add more interest to your city by pasting
in an image of a roller coaster, available from
Shutterstock. Image ID 55522621 works well in this
case. You will need to cut out around every detail of
the roller coaster for a professional and convincing
result. You can use the Eraser tool (E), Polygonal
Lasso tool (L) with a layer mask or the Pen tool to
do this. Whatever your choice of technique, you
need to have patience. Every detail is important in
ensuring that the final image is of a high standard.
06
CORRECT DISTORTION
Download image 77785429 from
Shutterstock and cut out the buildings in the same
way that you cut out the island. In the stock image,
they have a wide-angle distortion that you will need
to fix. Use the Free Transform tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T) to
correct the distortion by placing them in line with
the straight angle. Download image 74919148 from
Shutterstock and place it into the canvas to
compose the full set. Lift up the fourth building to
help balance the image.
05
CREATE A CLIPPING MASK
Now you will need to create a new blank layer with a Soft Light blending mode. Ctrl/right-click on
the layer and select Create Clipping Mask. With a white brush, start to paint in highlights on the left of the
island, and then repeat for the right side in the dark areas. This will help to acclimate the lighting. It is
important that you follow the direction of the light source. You can do this using the Gradient tool with black
and white colours, but this will be more generic.
07
FIT THE MONORAIL
Now it’s time to fit the monorail into the
composition. Download image ID 46658332 from
the Shutterstock website and fit it into the image so
that it snakes around the buildings. You will need to
extend the columns for a better result. You can use
the Clone Stamp tool (S) to do this, or use the
Rectangular Marquee tool (M), Ctrl/right-click and
select Layer Via Copy. Extend the columns until
they disappear behind the green plants. You can
then flatten all of these layers.
04
FLIP THE LAYER
Once you have prepared the background,
you can begin to add in the individual elements that
will make up your floating city. First, you will need
to download image ID 59083051 from Shutterstock,
which is an image of a rocky island. You need to use
the Pen tool (P) to make a precise cutout of it.
Select Free Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T), Ctrl/right-click
and choose Flip Vertical to turn the island upside
down. You now have a base to work your floating
city onto. You can modify the image of the island
and add new rocks if you wish.
PHOTOMANIPULATION
56 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
Whatever your choice of
technique, you need to
have patience.
Every detail is
important in
ensuring that the
image is of a high standard
09
DISGUISE WITH TREES
Cover the missing areas of the roller
coaster with trees. Go to www.stockfresh.com and
download image ID 1494530. Isolate the trees using
Select>Color Range with a Fuzziness of 50 and
create a mask. Select it and go to Filter>Blur to
improve the edges. Create a layer with a clipping
mask and use the Clone Stamp tool (S) to fix the
areas where Color Range doesn’t work. The trees
are great disguises, so use them! You could even
get creative and add some fruit to the trees.
12
APPLY TEXTURES
Now you are going to apply some texture. Go back to the island layer. Open and apply
the image of ‘earth_texture.jpg’ (available to download from the Advanced Photoshop website)
onto the rocks. Hold down the Cmd/Ctrl button and click on the layer of the cliffs to make the
selection. Apply this selection in the texture layer and set the blending mode to Overlay at 100%.
Note that the shadows and colours are improved with Overlay blending. You can use this
method in other parts if you wish.
10
PLACE THE SATELLITE
Now download an image of a satellite
(Shutterstock ID 101799472). Cut it out and place it
in a harmonious position on the right-hand side of
the city. Always pay attention to the direction of the
light source. In this case, you will need to select the
layer using the Free Transform tool and apply the
Flip Horizontal option. Arrange the satellite
according to the lighting of the buildings and rocks.
Coherent lighting is essential. Use the Dodge and
Burn Tool (O) to correct this.
11
FIT WITH WARP
With Step 10 completed, you will now need
to download image ID 100612153 from Shutterstock
and use the brick edge to better integrate the city
with the island rock. Paste it onto your canvas and fit
it using the Free Transform tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T), Ctrl/
right-click on it and choose Warp. Pick up the edges
and fit it in as best a way possible. Adjust using the
Dodge and Burn tool (O) to create shadows and add
light effects. Erase the parts that are not needed, for
example the pavement.
QUICK TIP
Always try to use high-quality images from the same
viewpoint and with similar, identical or generic illumination.
This way, the photo stock will blend together nicely. To
improve the lighting you can (and should) use the Dodge and
Burn tool (O) to harmonise the different elements within
your photomanipulation.
EXPERT BLENDING
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 57
PAY ATTENTION TO THE AESTHETICS
COLOURS, DEPTH OF FIELD AND SHARPNESS
14
FIX DETAILS
Download an image of recycling bins from
Shutterstock (image ID 96735547) and use the
Clone Stamp tool (S) to remove the words and
create highlights and shadows, then add it to the
park. While you’re cloning, go back to the second
building in from the left. Remove the reflection with
the Clone Stamp tool (S). Be patient! Download
‘fence.png’ from the Advanced Photoshop website
and place it in the left-hand corner if you feel
necessary. This will help to harmonise the image
and give more detail to the photomontage.
15
THE COMPOSITION CONTINUES
Now add in the flag of your favourite country. In this case, we placed the Brazilian flag at the top of
the first building on the left. Download image 28260301 from Shutterstock and desaturate just the white parts
of the plane. We scaled it down to make it quite small in the image, but you can use it as you wish! To
improve the composition of the scene, download an image of birds from Shutterstock (19079998) and place
them around the cliffs. You can also cut small pieces from the cliffs and simulate earth and rock falling
from them.
PHOTOMANIPULATION
58 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
To improve the
composition, you can
cut small pieces
from the cliffs
and simulate
earth and
rock falling from them
13
ISOLATE WITH COLOR RANGE
It’s time to add some roots.
Download the bonsai tree image 28329367
from Shutterstock. You can isolate the roots
from the tree using Select> Color Range.
Place the roots so that they appear to be
coming out of the rocks. Cut pieces of
texture (you will find a wide selection at
http://cgtextures.com) and apply it between
the edge of the city and the rock, creating
volume with the Dodge and Burn tool (O).
That way you’ll be able to give more volume
and detail to the rock. In this part you can
include your own personal touch!
16
LIGHTS AND COLOURS
Create a Brightness adjustment layer set to -18. Create another with Color Balance. In the Tone
drop-down menu, choose Shadows and set Red to +1 and Blue to +5, then choose Midtones and set Green to
+5, Red to +2 and Yellow to -27, then choose Highlights and set Cyan to -16 and Blue to +1. Create a new
layer, paint it black using the Paint Bucket tool (G) and create a flare, but this time on the right-hand side. Use
a mask with the Gradient tool (G) to minimise the entry of light in front of the city. Set this layer to Screen at
100% as in the third step.
18
HIGH PASS AND NOISE
Apply an Unsharp Mask with an Amount
of 20% and a Radius of 50%, then apply a 70%
Fade. Duplicate the last layer and create a mask set
to Overlay. Only paint the areas where you can
improve the colour and contrast. Duplicate the last
two layers and flatten them again. Add a High Pass
filter with a 2.0px Radius. Desaturate it and apply an
Overlay blending mode at 100% to that layer. To
finish, select all the layers from the first flat layer,
duplicate and create the last layer. Apply the Add
Noise filter at 1%.
17
DEPTH OF FIELD
You should now have a complete composition, so let’s get to work with adding some details! Select
all the layers, duplicate and flatten them. Duplicate this flattened layer again. Apply 1.0px of Gaussian Blur.
Create a mask, Invert it (Cmd/Ctrl+I) and paint only the parts you want to be blurred. These parts should be
the buildings at the back, the plane, some roots of the rocks and the birds. Finally, select the last two layers
and apply Flatten again.
BLURRING TO
GIVE REALITY
Depth of field is one of the most
important features of photography.
Putting it into practice in
photomanipulations is extremely
welcome. Besides the Gaussian
Blur suggested in this tutorial, you
could also create this effect using
the Blur tool, blurring the edges,
part or all of the element. Make
sure you apply these effects to
images aer they have been cut
out! When you have applied the blur,
flatten everything and apply the Add
Noise filter. This makes the image
look more natural.
EXPERT BLENDING
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 59
Compose stunning portraits and lavish
fantasy landscapes with just a swipe of
your digital brush
Digital painting
62 Expert matte
painting
Learn about the techniques experts
use to construct amazing worlds
70 Paint a fantasy
snowscape
Create a digital illustration of a
dramatic frozen bay
76 Create a cyborg
Work from a simple photograph to
build a futuristic cyborg with
blending modes and compositing
82 Produce fantasy
lighting
Sketch, paint and blend to develop
advanced fantasy artwork
88 Character design
and illustration
Develop a character from the
conceptual stage to completion
94 Paint a steampunk-
inspired portrait
Construct a compelling portrait
with a variety of digital painting
60 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
70
PAGE
88
PAGE
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 017
One of the key elements of digital painting is realism.
When creating these imaginary extensions into
worlds unknown, the audience must be
convinced of their reality; otherwise the illusion
– and the viewer’s immersion – is shattered
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 61
94
PAGE
82
PAGE
76
PAGE
62 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
DIGITAL PAINTING
INDUSTRY EXPERTS OFFER THEIR TOP TIPS AND TRICKS TO
HELP YOU CREATE DRAMATIC AND REALISTIC SCENES
F
rom the famous closing shot of Raiders Of
The Lost Ark to the fantastical kingdoms
of The Hobbit’s Middle-earth, we have a lot
to thank matte painting artists for. Since
the early part of the 20th Century, the extremely
talented work of incredible illustrators has
transported us to amazing worlds that couldn’t
otherwise exist.
In recent years, however, the discipline of matte
painting has changed a great deal, with the
growing utilisation of 3D and digital tools
changing the approach to the craft. “It’s amazing
that 15 years ago traditional matte paintings were
still being created, but in this short time the craft
has evolved into a technique that involves many
other disciplines,” says Jaime Jasso, senior
digital matte artist at Industrial Light & Magic.
“There’s the use of 3D, fast photomanipulation
techniques, dynamic effects, compositing; the
digital era broke all boundaries for matte painting.
There’s no shot or environment that cannot
be achieved.”
Due to camera moves in film becoming more
complex, elaborate and ambitious, 3D software
now plays a larger part in the process, says
Anthony Eftekhari, matte painter at videogame
developer Blizzard Entertainment: “Directors are
demanding more from their camera moves for
matte painting shots. It’s no longer just a push in
or a pan; the camera now moves in and out of the
environment in an incredibly fluid way. To create a
matte painting shot for this kind of camera move
requires all of the elements in the shot to be 3D.”
As such, 3CG programs such as CINEMA 4D,
Maya, 3ds Max and the 3D texturing tool MARI are
now heavily used in the DMP process. “It would
DIGITAL PAINTING
EXPERT MATTE
PAINTING
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 63
EXPERT MATTE PAINTING
029
be impossible to accomplish all of the visual
effects shots that a modern movie requires
without them,” says Francesco Corvino, matte
painter at RODEO FX. “There are specific tasks and
challenges that Photoshop alone cannot
accomplish, and although it’s great software, it
needs help from a 3D package.”
Frederic St-Arnaud, a DMP artist with 16 years
of experience, agrees. “Photoshop is an important
part of the process, but it shouldn’t be your only
strength,” he says. “You need to be able to create
photorealistic environments, but you should also
be able to project and composite the images in
software like NUKE.”
This isn’t to say that Photoshop doesn’t remain
an incredibly important part of the DMP pipeline.
Indeed, an expert knowledge of Photoshop, along
with a deep understanding of artistic
fundamentals, remain two key elements in the
DMP artist’s arsenal.
“Nothing beats learning about the foundations
first as an artist before going into being a DMP
artist,” says David Luong, senior cinematic artist
at Blizzard Entertainment. “Strong painting and
drawing skills, perspective, colour theory, art
history, light/shadow studies, photography and
real-world exposure understanding are all
important. On top of this, knowing how to paint
digitally in Photoshop, texturing, hard-surface
modelling for landscapes and cityscapes, lighting,
rendering and compositing are all important.”
A sound knowledge of Photoshop is now an
industry standard, and if you want to get into the
challenging world of DMP, it really is key. Read on
to find out how to use it to move forward with
your work.
David Luong
www.davidluong.net
A senior cinematic artist
at Blizzard
Entertainment, Luong
also co-wrote the
fabulous book d’artiste:
Matte Painting 3.
Francesco Corvino
www.francescocorvino.com
Corvino is a concept
designer and digital matte
painter who has recently
worked on such feature
films as World War Z and
The Hangover Part III.
Tim Matney
www.timmatney.com
Matney began his career
as a 3D generalist in
games before transitioning
to feature films, where
he discovered digital
matte painting.
Frederic St-Arnaud
www.starno.net
St-Arnaud is a visual
effects art director, with
film credits including
Indiana Jones and the
Crystal Skull, Sin City,
Silent Hill and more.
Harry Wormald
www.harrywormald.com
Wormald studied 2D
animation at The Arts
Institute in Bournemouth
and has worked at The
Mill, LipSync Post
and Framestore.
Jaime Jasso
www.jjassodigitalworks.com
Lead digital matte painter
at Industrial Light &
Magic, Jasso has worked
on films including Avatar,
Iron Man 2, Transformers,
and The Avengers.
Anthony Eftekhari
www.artofae.com
Currently working in the
videogame industry,
Eftekhari creates
artwork as well as digital
matte paintings for
Blizzard Entertainment.
DMP TODAY
DMP ARTIST TIM MATNEY DISCUSSES
THE CHALLENGES HE FACES
“Modern matte painters must be able
to work with and within 3D software, as
well as have good compositing skills.
An understanding of cameras and
lighting sure doesn’t hurt either. Also,
being able to work and communicate
with other people in the production
pipeline is very important. You need to
be able to work in many Photoshop
layers and break your matte paintings
out under specific Alpha masks. That
way they can be reassembled and
manipulated again by others later on.”
© starno.net
© timmatney.com
EXPERT MATTE PAINTING
64 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
DIGITAL PAINTING
Sometimes, when time is of the essence,
using photos is the best way to tackle DMP.
“If you need to create a realistic artwork in a
quick amount of time, you have no choice
but to use photos!” says Frederic St-Arnaud.
“If you don’t have your own camera or can’t
find the reference you need, I would search
for some on the internet, or if you really
have to, buy some stock photography,” says
David Luong.
Corvino agrees: “Having accounts with
stock photo websites can definitely be
useful. Also, Google Images offers a gigantic
library full of great photographs if you know
how to properly search for them. With time,
building your own library of images
becomes an extremely useful tool.”
Wormald has been building up his own
personal photo library for several years now.
“I try to shoot my own reference whenever
possible. That way I can go out and shoot at
the right time of day and the angles that I
need,” he tells us. “However, there are
instances when you can’t physically go out
to a certain location and shoot, so that’s
when photo stock comes in handy.”
Although 3D has grown to play a large part in DMP, Corvino
still believes that 2D work – including the use of photo stock
– remains an essential element of the craft. “Utilising
photographs to make a photoreal image is definitely the
backbone of every DMP piece,” he tells us. “Without the
constant and extensive use of photographs, it would be
impossible to deliver high-level photoreal images, at least
not with the short deadlines of the modern VFX industry.”
“I’ve often described DMP as ‘advanced photo collage’,”
adds Tim Matney, a digital matte painter with experience
spanning films, television and videogames. “DMP artists
often work from photographs, manipulating them,
combining them, and painting over and between them. The
overly painted look is not really desired in VFX as
photorealism is often our goal.”
Eftekhari agrees: “I use photography as often as I can,
because no matter how good a painter you are, you can’t
beat real life. To use photography in your paintings, you need
to have an understanding of colour correction to match your
plate or other reference images you’ve used, and alpha
extraction to cut out the parts of the reference image you
need for your painting.”
Although Google offers a gigantic repository of images,
and photo stock websites can certainly be useful, Luong
believes that using your own camera is usually the best
approach. “As I’m travelling, I’m snapping away pictures of
buildings in all sorts of angles and lighting scenarios. You can
shoot trees, roads, cars, walls; anything that you can use as a
texture later that is photoreal already. You can then colour
correct, transform and paint on top of it to make it work in
your matte painting. It’s essential to know how to manipulate
the photo for texture use, as well as know how its
perspective, camera lens, lighting and scale would fit into
your image. This is about as essential as knowing how to use
3D in DMP these days.”
Harry Wormald, digital matte painter at VFX studio
Framestore, is often provided with the studio’s desired source
imagery, or plates from the shot sequence to work with. “I
also personally have a large library of photographs that I
keep as reference, but I never use them outright. I only use
parts as a base, and change them to extremes. My own
personal work is almost entirely based from photographs,
which may seem like cheating to some, but hey, even
Vermeer used a camera obscura!”
For Jaime Jasso, use of photo stock is an integral part of
the DMP process, but it doesn’t necessarily make for an
easier approach. “I use a lot of photo stock even from the
concept art stage. It’s just more efficient to me,” he explains.
“However, blending images together is not easy at all. It’s not
a case of simply throwing the images together; you need to
visualise dozens, sometimes hundreds of images from
different sources as one single image.
“There’s no software that can tell you if you’re doing a good
or bad integration. Your trained eye will be the best judge, but
your eye will only know what your experience has taught it.
The more you practise and the more you study other artists’
work, the better you will be.”
© davidluong.net
© starno.net
CAPTURING REALITY
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PHOTOS INTO DMP
BUILDING YOUR COLLECTION
OUR PANEL OF EXPERTS DISCUSS THE IMPORTANCE OF A
LARGE LIBRARY OF REFERENCE PHOTOS
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 65
EXPERT MATTE PAINTING
001 BUILD A LIBRARY
Even if I can rely on my personal photographic library, sometimes I
have to do specific research to find a large number of elements with
a very specific lighting or perspective. In this case, I spent quite some
time gathering photos of clouds fitting my composition.
002 PLACE PHOTOS ON THE CANVAS
Next, I started to rotoscope and carefully place the photos I gathered
on the canvas. The challenge here is choosing similar clouds that blend
together, and building a sky with coherent lighting and perspective.
Before this, you can paint a rough sketch of the sky to guide you.
003 INTEGRATE PHOTOGRAPHIC ELEMENTS
When all the main photographic elements were in place, I started
calibrating the contrast and colours of each image to reach a seamless
integration. I like to use the Curves tool to achieve this. A lens flare
placed over the sun was a nice touch to finalise the composition.
CREATE A STUNNING SKY
FRANCESCO CORVINO REVEALS HOW HE BUILT THIS COMPLEX
SKY FOR THE AARON SIMS TETHERED ISLANDS SERIES
EXPERT MATTE PAINTING
66 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
DIGITAL PAINTING
“If, during the day, the sun is casting dark shadows on
the ground, at night all of those shadows must
disappear or be significantly diminished, and be
replaced, for example, by the bluish and diffuse lighting
of the nocturnal sky dome and by the silver light of the
moon. This isn’t to mention that many times some sort
of artificial lighting is involved, such as lamps, each one
generating light and casting shadows.
“The best lighting to start with is definitely the one of
an overcast sky that’s casting very soft and diffuse
shadows. At that point the transformation to night-time
lighting can actually be quite simple, even for complex
environments. A quick colour correction of the whole
scene can be easily achieved in Photoshop.”
One of the key elements of DMP is realism. When
creating these imaginary extensions into worlds
unknown, the audience must be convinced of their
reality; otherwise the illusion – and the viewer’s
immersion – is shattered.
“Lighting is definitely one of the most relevant
and fundamental features in creating a great DMP
image. It’s what makes an environment believable
and deep,” says Corvino. Wormald agrees: “Lighting
in a matte painting is key to achieving realism.
Before starting any work on a matte painting, it’s
important to have a clear idea of where the main
light source is in the environment. Also consider
whether the light is clear and strong, or whether it’s
slightly softened by clouds or something else. Think
about how this will affect both the shadows and
the highlights.”
For Luong, realistic lighting demands a delicate
balance of light and dark. “Lighting is a very
powerful way to lead the eye in an image,” he
explains. “Show too much and your environment or
object will become flat, boring and unfocused. If you
light too little then it doesn’t showcase what needs
to be shown. If you’re going for an ambient
approach, highlighting some areas with soft light,
and then hitting one or two spots with a hard light
and cast shadow, could make for nice, contrasting
interest. Remember: shadow quality plays a strong
role just as much as light does. They work hand
in hand.”
When it comes to Photoshop techniques, Matney
cites “non-destructive manipulation” as his mantra.
“I use many adjustment layers, creating highs and
lows with Curves layers, painting within the mask.
The Gradient tool can be your best friend here!” He
also follows principal photography concepts to
ensure he is integrating light into the scene
properly: “Understanding such terms as directional,
bound, rim or ambient, among others, can be
highly empowering.”
Eftekhari asserts that good reference is vital to a
quality image. “The most important thing is the
ability to look at reference images and understand
what the light is doing and what the elements are
that make it look real,” he says. “You have to
consider the intensity and colour of the light, the fill
light from the sky, the amount of atmosphere in the
air and so on. These essential lighting cues will
bring up other elements such as contrasts of light
and dark, and the amount of detail and information
we see through atmospheric perspective.
“With night scenes, I see a lot of images that are
really dark, but in reality when we go outside at
night and look around we can see quite a bit,”
continues Eftekhari. “This usually causes the viewer
to question the believability of the lighting.”
© starno.net
© harrywormald.com
© The Aaron Sims Company
LIGHT FOR REALISM
HOW TO ACHIEVE
BELIEVABLE LIGHTING
It’s important to have an idea
of where the main light
source is. Also consider
whether the light is
clear and strong or
slightly softened
MASTER NOCTURNAL LIGHTING
FRANCESCO CORVINO OFFERS SOME TIPS AND TECHNIQUES FOR THE
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Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 67
EXPERT MATTE PAINTING
001 ADJUST CURVES
Create a Curves adjustment layer above the daytime Florence
photograph, and then adjust all four curves: first, RGB for brightness,
drastically dropping the highlights, then lifting the midtones and
shadows. Next, adjust the R, G and B curves individually to make the
image more blue and saturated.
002 CREATE LAYER MASKS
Duplicate the Florence layer, desaturate it, and then with Levels crush
it to hard black and white forms. Duplicate your Florence layer again,
group it and add a mask to the group. Copy your black and white
crushed city into the mask, discarding the black and white layer. Adjust
as in Step 1.
003 ADD LIGHT WITH SOLID COLOURS
Create two yellow Solid Color adjustment layers, one for window
lights and another for the streets. Paint your desired lighting within
the masks, using a Color Dodge blending mode for the streets. Where
needed, mask certain areas with the Lasso tool, and use a Radial
Gradient to create glow.
CHANGING DAY TO NIGHT
!|v vk!N|1 U8|8 N0N-0|8!kUt!|v| lu0!0vkN|lUlk!|0N !|tuN|µU|8 !0 !UkN
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EXPERT MATTE PAINTING
68 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
DIGITAL PAINTING
Matte painting requires a diverse range of skills,
thanks to the incredibly varied locations and
environments that modern-day films and
videogames require. From verdant forest worlds
to the towering spires of sci-fi cities, the DMP artist
must be capable across a variety of disciplines.
For Wormald, even creating a standard city can
vary greatly within itself. “If the city is far off in the
distance, it can be a relatively simple exercise,” he
explains. “If you have buildings in the footage
already in the distance, you can use these as a
guide for the black levels and colours of shadows
and highlights. However, if a city is closer to the
foreground, and with no reference in the plate, this
can be much more of a lengthy task,” he
continues. “In this situation, I would lay out the
basic structure in simple 3D geometry to get the
correct perspective. Then it’s a matter of working
photos and textures into this structure so they
follow the perspective, grading each element so it
fits and applying correct shadows and lit faces to
match the lighting of the scene.”
Jasso warns of creating too much chaos in
urban environments. For him, a sense of order is
key: “It’s important to set the architectural style
and correct mood,” he explains. “A nice balance
and visual composition is key in huge cityscapes.
If you don’t have order, you end up with a cluttered
image with tons of visual detail but no flow.”
In Corvino’s experience, the type of city can
drastically alter the pipeline used to tackle it.
“When I’m dealing with the destruction of an
existing city, my approach is significantly more
photograph-orientated. I grab photos of
demolished or damaged buildings and other types
of debris and I integrate them into the original city
plate. Many Photoshop tools are ideal for this. For
example, using the Curves tool, you can control
the contrast, brightness and colours of your
photographs and achieve seamless results.”
When working on natural environments such
as countryside scenes or areas of forest,
Wormald feels like he has more scope to be
artistic, but there’s still a challenge involved.
“Getting a good key from a tree against a sky can
be tricky around the edges,” he says. “This often
involves a fair amount of clean-up work in the
mask. I’ve been using the new Color
Decontaminate tool under Layer>Matting, which
is helpful for reducing the spill of the sky onto the
edges of the tree. This is also under the Refine
Mask tool, which has some other useful options
for work with edges.”
In addition, Matney believes that resolution
must be carefully considered when working with
scenes of this nature. “There’s a lot of overlapping
fine detail in natural environments, and it’s a great
deal of work separating and cleanly masking
them. One technique I use is to work at twice the
output resolution. Once scaled back down to the
output size, a lot of small details or loose areas
will condense and tighten up. So, if the matte
painting was for a TV show at HD 1080p (1920 x
1080), I would work at 3840 x 2160.”
From verdant forest worlds
to the towering spires of
sci-fi cities, the digital
matte artist must be
capable across a
variety of disciplines
STORY SETTINGS
MASTERING ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 69
EXPERT MATTE PAINTING
© starno.net
“When working on space scenes, I look at NASA
imagery for inspiration,” says Luong. “They have
tons of high-resolution photos that are free to
the public. You can also take stills from sci-fi
movies. Use them to build out some of the
planets using reference, as well as painting it to
enhance the texture, and then spherise that into
a planet shape using Photoshop.”
“Be aware of where the light from your sun is,
and the scale of the planet’s elements,” adds
Matney. “Adding clouds, oceans, mountains or
craters at the right size can set your overall scale
and tell your brain how big the thing is.”
For Corvino, it’s all about creating a sense of
depth in your image. “Place your camera inside a
nebula, where space is not just emptiness. Here,
gases and other elements create atmospheric
effects, some indirect illumination and significant
transition in values.
SKYLINE EXTENSION
DAVID LUONG REVEALS HOW TO USE THE VANISHING POINT TOOL TO CLONE
TEXTURES WITHIN YOUR DMP
01
AREA TO EXTEND
Here, I wanted to fill in
the top, unconstructed parts of
the middle buildings in the
original plate using a similar
texture from the bottom of the
buildings. This is a perfect case of
using the Vanishing Point tool in
Photoshop to clone textures.
02
THE VANISHING POINT
To use this tool , you will
need to go to File Menu>
Filter>Vanishing Point. On the far
left-hand side there’s an icon with a
+ sign and a grid next to it. That’s the
Create Plane tool. Use it to draw out
your perspective lines of the area
you want to clone the texture from
and follow the guides.
03
START CLONE PAINTING
From here, you can extend
the guide to the length of the areas
that you want to clone and start to
clone paint upwards. Hit OK once
you’re done and you’ll have a nicely
cloned painted patch in the right
perspective. You can use this
technique to help add photos of other
buildings to your scene.
THE FINAL FRONTIER
DAVID LUONG, FRANCESCO CORVINO AND TIM MATNEY TALK US
!uk0U0u !u||k kllk0ktu !0 8lkt|-8k8|0 vk!!| lk|N!|N08
© The Aaron Sims Company
70 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
DIGITAL PAINTING
70 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
DIGITAL PAINTING
Lopez is a profesional matte painter
and art director working at Epics FX
Studios in Mexico City. He now has two
European movies under his belt, plus
several TV shows.
EDUARDO LOPEZ
MUSTAROS
OUR EXPERT
On the disc you will find a screencapture
video of the entire design process from
start to finish, plus all of the stock images
and the original PSD file. The brushes used
in the tutorial are also included.
SOURCE FILES
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 71
PAINT A FANTASY SNOWSCAPE
PAINT A FANTASY
SNOWSCAPE
CREATE A DIGITAL MATTE PAINTING OF A FROZEN BAY
IN A STRIKING FANTASY ENVIRONMENT
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 71
PAINT A FANTASY SNOWSCAPE
L
et us transport you to the furthest, coldest places with this fantastic matte painting tutorial, which
shows you how to create a digital illustration of a frozen bay in a surreal landscape. Manipulate
images over a base render to build up your scene using painting techniques, and then use a graphics
tablet to paint in the detail on the ice. You will use masks and adjustment layers extensively to blend
the different images and achieve photoreal, dramatic results. Different elements will create a foreground
presence, which you can then use as a composition tool to build up and add to the base image. You will also
learn to detail your piece and refine your painted sections to minute detail.
We recommend that you watch the video on the free disc beforehand to catch the action and details as
they happen and get a better understanding of what is being done, to clear out any doubts you might have
before starting. On the disc you’ll also find stock images, brushes and the original PSD file. You need a
strong knowledge of Photoshop in order to complete this tutorial to the standard seen here, but don’t be
afraid to try out the techniques whatever your level.
72 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
DIGITAL PAINTING
04
BLENDING MODES
The use of blending modes, in this case the
Overlay mode, allows you to paint in simple layer
highlights or shadows as needed, taking you one
step further to merging the different pieces with the
base plate. Simply sample colour from the highlights
in the plate and apply them where needed, to
increase the brightness of a surface and make the
light direction more apparent in the selected region.
This is also a non-destructive process that can be
fine-tuned or reduced in opacity as needed.
01
BUILD UP THE FOREGROUND
First find all the images needed for the
scene – we’ve taken care of this for you by
supplying them on the disc. These include the
mountain JPEGs and ‘bay.jpg’. Extract the sections
you need and start placing them roughly on the
base image provided to find a good composition.
Make sure the different sections are placed in a
realistic manner and you don’t have weird
mountainsides going nowhere.
03
LAYER MASKS
A brilliant tool at your disposal is the use
of layer masks to quickly cut out sections and
make them sit on the image, to give you a sense of
the look and composition quickly. However, as
these masks are non-destructive, you can edit and
refine them as much as you need without worrying
about having to go back and extract the same
image again, or about little mistakes in the
extraction process. Instead, be creative and use the
masks without fear of messing anything up.
02
ADJUSTMENT AND BLENDING
A very important step that you need to
start doing right away is to blend the images to the
environment, both through colour and shading. This
allows you to get a good feel of how the different
sections are sitting on your image and which areas
could do with filling in. This also helps to avoid any
distracting inconsistencies. Once you have adjusted
each section at least roughly to the plate, it’s much
easier to go ahead and find a good composition and
keep the creativity flowing.
BASE IMAGE TO RENDER
Step 14: Create reflections
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 5: Screen the lights
Step 1: Extract images
A brilliant tool at your
disposal is the use of
the layer masks
to quickly cut
out sections
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PAINT A FANTASY SNOWSCAPE
07
EXTEND THE TOWN
Now you want to extend the town beyond what you have already placed, so do this with the help of
the Clone tool and a small brush. You can also use the Clone tool to choose interesting, varied sections of the
lights and eliminate those that are not very interesting; just be sure to set your Clone tool to Current Layer in
the top settings bar. Then clone all around the bay to extend the town out from the main area and into the
surrounding land.
08
LIGHT LEVELS
You should now have your city dispersed
around the edges of the bay. At this point you can
adjust the light levels of the town by using a Levels
layer clipped to the main lights. Adjust the Levels to
increase the contrast and bring out the highlights,
yet at the same time increase the blacks. As you
have this layer in Screen mode, it means that the
blacks are hidden even further and the bright lights
get boosted even more, consistently giving a better
look for your town.
06
SCREEN AND MASK
Set the layer mode for your lights to
Screen so that all the black is quickly discarded, and
then create another layer mask to get rid of what
you don’t need, effectively placing your lights across
the bay. Make sure there are no lights where it
would seem unlikely for a structure to be built, such
as on steep hillsides. Mask away until you have all
the light following the coast and placed on the land
for the base of your town.
05
TOWN LIGHTS
Once you have the base of your landscape laid out, you will now use an image of a night city scene to
quickly build up the appearance of a town on your bay. Copy the image ‘night_town.jpg’ from the disc into
your Photoshop document and then scale it down. You will need to rotate it a bit so that it matches the angle
of the surface below. Also make sure that the size of the town corresponds to the image’s perspective.
QUICK TIP
A non-destructive workflow allows you to create your artwork freely without having to worry if the next step will be a
problem further down the line. It also means that you can decide later if you need to adjust or readjust any aspect of your
image, rather than having to make decisions on the spot. With non-destructive editing, creativity and experimentation are
always welcome.
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10
ICE BASE
You can now start painting the base for the
ice covering the bay. Create a new layer and sample
a light blue-white from the image ‘snow.jpg’ on the
disc, then start painting in the base structure for
what you envision to be the ice covering the bay,
painting in the smaller sections that break off as the
ice sits further into the water. There is no need to
worry about the small details just yet.
09
LIGHT HUE
To fine-tune the city’s lights even further, you can now apply yet another adjustment layer. This time
go with the Hue/Saturation adjustment, and reduce the Saturation slightly to get rid of the orange and red
excess. You can then use a small amount of blue tint to make the lights appear somewhat colder in order to
match the rest of your scene, yet once again keeping control of the non-destructive workflow. This means
that you can go back and adjust the lights at any time.
12
ADD TEXTURE
Use the ice image on the disc to add extra
texture to the frozen bay. Copy ‘ice.jpg’ onto a new
layer and scale and distort it into place and
perspective over the ice. You can duplicate or clone
it several times to cover the entire bay, and use a
dirtier texture for the shaded areas. Then just clip it
over the ice layer and reduce the Opacity to about
68%. After that you can spend a bit of time refining
all of the other layer masks and making sure the
edges are clean.
11
INCREASED ICE DETAIL
Once you have the base, you can go in with an increasingly smaller brush to start adding detail,
getting rid of all the obvious paint strokes, refining the shapes and making them more solid as you go. You
can also start sampling darker shades to add shadow over the ice, taking into consideration where the light is
coming from. Add another level of detail to the ice surface by refining what the base has provided for you,
eliminating the rough strokes or following them if needed.
QUICK TIP
Solid colour layers in different overlay modes are a great
way to add drama and contrast to a scene, giving you
the freedom to mask and reduce the opacity as needed,
and even combine them to get interesting results. Don’t
hesitate to experiment with them.
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13
MOUNTAIN HIGHLIGHT AND BOAT
You will now use the technique you used
earlier to paint some highlights onto the
background mountain. Make sure they are in
keeping with the direction of the scene’s light
source and do them on a layer in Overlay mode.
Then extract the image of the boat from ‘boat.jpg’ to
add a bit of action to the middle of the bay, and
again use a couple of adjustment layers to shade it
and adjust the tone to match the image.
15
FINAL LOOK
To finish the matte painting off, add several colour and toning layers on top to add more drama into
your image. Cool off the shadows and increase the warmth from the sun so you have a nice contrast of
colours and shades to frame your scene. On each layer, use a soft brush and masks so the effect is applied
only where you need it. Be sure to take a look at your PSD file and study each layer setting.
14
MOUNTAIN REFLECTION
You now need to duplicate all the layers for the background mountains and then flatten those layers
to use them as a reflection in the water. Once you have done this, flip it upside down and place it as a mirror
image below the mountain range; then when it is in position, once again use a mask to get rid of everything
that is not over the water. Reduce the opacity of the layer, and adjust the Color Balance so it has a colder hue.
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CREATE A CYBORG
DEVELOP AN INSPIRING IMAGE USING LITTLE MORE THAN A SINGLE
PHOTOGRAPH, PHOTOMANIPULATION AND DIGITAL PAINTING TECHNIQUES
CREATE A CYBORG
C
yborg effects are increasingly popular, but
don’t always have to be utterly frustrating.
Photoshop makes this type of project far
more accessible by coupling photo editing
tools and digital painting equipment under one roof.
Mastering Photoshop brushes offers us a head
start in all instances. Our goal is to create the
ultimate female cyborg, which is achieved by using a
single standard brush, a drawing table, core digital
painting and photomanipulation techniques. You are
supplied with specific Brush Preset settings which
will help us to create the shapes and detail needed.
We also explore ways to layer our image, utilise a
host of blending modes and composite external
assets to create special effects. Experience of
painting digitally, or at least a strong enthusiasm to
learn, is recommended to get the most out of this
tutorial. The inspiration for this artwork comes from
several contemporary sources, including the Mass
Effect videogame series and the iconic movie Blade
Runner, whose visual language shaped a timeless
idea of science fiction.
A video tutorial that goes into further detail about
painting techniques is supplied on the disc.
03
CROP OUR IMAGE
Before proceeding, get
the best out of the composition
through cropping. When pressing
C in Photoshop CS6, the default
view in the context menu of the
cropping tool is Rule-of-thirds,
but this must change to the
Golden Spiral. You will notice the
spiral that appears when the
image is moved in cropping
mode. Then place the model’s
nose in the centre of the golden
point as seen in the screenshot.
01
CUT OUT OUR MODEL
First, remove the background. Use the
Polygon Lasso tool to make a rough selection
around the model. It’s not necessary to refine this, as
the silhouette of the model will change throughout
our process and hair will be painted later. Fill the
background layer with a grey colour (#45434e).
02
PAINT NEW SKIN
Create a new layer. Centralise the model,
then define the missing side of her back using the
Polygon Lasso tool. Choose a large round brush set
at 70% Opacity. Pick existing skin colours with the
Eyedropper tool, then paint in rough blocks of colour
to define an area to match the existing skin closely.
PREPARING OUR MODEL
RECONSTRUCT THE ORIGINAL STOCK USING PHOTOSHOP BRUSHES
Step 19: Introduce detail
HOW TO CREATE
A MACHINE
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 7: Blueprint sketch
Step 1: Extract the model
Oliver Wetter is a German digital artist.
He has a background in construction
equipment and makes a living as a
freelance illustrator and lecturer in
digital painting.
OLIVER WETTER
www.fantasio.info
OUR EXPERT
Supplied on this issue’s disc you will
find a low-resolution mechanical
sketch to work from, as well as a
video documenting our entire
conceptual development.
SOURCE FILES
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04
BRUSH SETTINGS
Activate the Brush Presets panel and
choose a hard mechanical round brush with a 13px
size. Also, set Roundness at 56%, Spacing at 20%
and Hardness at 65%. Activate Shape Dynamics,
setting Size Jitter control to Pen pressure. Activate
Shape dynamics, setting Angle Jitter to Initial
direction. Make sure both Noise and Smoothing are
checked. Set brush Opacity at 85%. Save this brush
as a preset. Practise with these brush settings and
your tablet device before proceeding.
07
BACK TO OUR ORIGINAL
Use the Move tool to drag our 72dpi sketch layer back into our original 300dpi image version. Adjust
the size of our pasted layer to fit the model, using the Transformation tool (T). Since you’re going to paint
details in there, interpolation is welcome. Set the mood for the following paint work by using the Color Lookup
feature in Photoshop CS6, which can be found in the Adjustments panel. Choose RedBlueYellow from the
Device Link menu to replicate the effect used in this tutorial.
08
MOOD LIGHTING
Since there is no photograph with a
different lighting setup to choose from, only make
limited changes. To relight the scene, create a new
layer and set its blending mode to Overlay. Then,
with the use of a drawing tablet, paint on this new
layer using the round brush that was created in
Step 4, at 50% Hardness and Size set between 50px
and 150px. Set brush Opacity at 90%. Pick the
#598ab7 colour from the TOYO 94 Color Finder
swatch that accompanies your Photoshop copy of
the installation.
05
THUMBNAIL VIEW
Clean the edges of the previously cut out
model with a soft Eraser tool, between 2px and 10px
in size. When finished, select Image>Duplicate,
Layers>Flatten, then change image DPI from 300 to
72 (Image>Image Size). The newly sized image acts
as a thumbnail sketch. Working at this size allows
you to decide many things, including whether the
stock photograph is worth purchasing. Basically, if
the initial ‘sketch’ looks promising in a smaller
version, chances are it will in full resolution.
06
BLUEPRINT SKETCH
If it is hard to draw mechanical parts at this
new size, cheat by using the draft supplied on the
disc. If you take on the challenge to draw a design by
yourselves, use a round black brush set to
approximately 80% Opacity to draw elements on a
new layer. Transparency creates welcome
overlapping of edges and allows the underground
colour to shine through. The latter is important, as it
allows us to pick up a variety of tonal values and
build an authentic design.
QUICK TIP
Experiment with different shapes in our design process
on new layers. However, creating the latter by hitting
Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+Alt+N is an ungainly keystroke. When
using a Wacom tablet, we can assign this shortcut to
one button only, which saves a lot of time.
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CREATE A CYBORG
Before
After
THE RIGHT SELECTION
On edges where the hair crosses the skin,
loosely use the Polygon Lasso tool to select
this area. Painting to this selection makes
sure we don’t overly paint unwanted parts of
a layer. Press Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+I to invert the
selection and paint to the edges, adding
shadow without painting over the hair.
ADDRESS OUR OUTLINE
This model invites us to play with the hair
outline. If this is done correctly, it gives the
viewer an easy shape to follow. Take a look
at the red marked outline for reference.
Although this is just a secondary
composition element, it’s useful to search
for such opportunities in existing imagery
and bring it to our attention.
MASTER OUR SCATTER BRUSH
Work with a standard round brush, between 3px and 10px.
Pick existing hair colours with the Eyedropper tool. Make
sure there is a realistic look after the first pass by setting our
round brush to around 83% Scattering at a size of 6px, and
painting over the existing hair. Additionally, draw in some
random strands – black again rather than grey.
PAINT HAIR
vk8!|k !uk||-0|v|N8|0Nkl t0l0Uk|0
08}|t!8 kN0 !u| |vlkt! 0| 0Uk |vk0|
09
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CREATE A CYBORG
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CREATE MECHANICAL PARTS
BUILD A SYNTHETIC LOOK USING LAYERING EFFECTS
10
KEEN OBSERVATION
Being tech-savvy is not a necessity, but
having a good understanding of all things technical
can be really useful when following the previous
steps. In the video recording on the CD, discover
how to paint the mechanical parts in real-time. The
design process from the thumbnail stage in Step 6
will now be worked into with greater detail, using an
80% black brush on a new layer. This is the most
time-consuming application, but one that decides
the image’s believability.
11
BUILD UP DETAIL
Still shaping the underlying mechanical
parts, there are accurate values to work with in the
Sketch layer. Add darker tones to create shadow and
brighter values for highlights using the HUD Color
Picker (Opt+Shift right click/Cmd+Alt). Study
construction equipment to help fashion looks. Books
and movies as a reference are also allowed. Start by
using big bold shapes, working towards smaller
ones, it will be much easier to show what’s under the
surface. Imagination is encouraged.
12
CONSTRUCT WITH LAYERS
The spine is the trickiest part. While it’s
painted exactly the way the other design elements
are – using a standard round brush – one applied
pattern can be repeated. Select one finished section
using the Lasso tool, copy and paste this, and place it
below the source. Click Edit>Transform>Warp to
transform it. Pick up existing colours with the
Eyedropper tool and paint with them, creating
variations into the copied part. Shape edges with the
Eraser tool, making sure they don’t look too similar.
13
FIX THE EYE AREA
The eyes are the most important part of
any portrait, so make sure they are worth looking
at. Do this by adding a new layer and painting dark
values with an 80% Opacity black brush. From there
paint the eyelid darker to create a smoky effect.
While we’re in this area, we can also paint over
some distracting strands of hair. It appears as if her
right eyebrow is missing, but fix this with a small
round brush too.
14
CREATE SYNTHETIC EYES
The pupil deserves special attention as our
model lacks direct eye contact. Draw the pupil again
using a small round brush, 4px in size. Use the
Stamp tool to clone texture from the left eye into the
right one, including the specular highlight. Now
duplicate the iris and pupil areas with a Lasso tool
selection. Copy and paste through all the layers. With
a bright blue-white colour, paint texture to make the
eyes appear brighter.
QUICK TIP
Since this tutorial is done using a standard brush, it’s
highly recommended that you familiarise yourself with
the brush settings dialog (F5) for the scattering of hair and
skin. Another great helper is the HUD-color Picker, which
allows you to choose colours on the fly.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
It isn’t possible to lay down a concrete sketch to
fill out. The challenge is that everything has to be
painted from imagination, from rough shapes
seen in a blurry sketch. Daily drawing practice will
help to get better at this. There are some great
schools, such as Feng Zhu, which specialises
in the training of concept and industrial design
(www.fengzhudesign.com/school.htm).
Besides mastering the technique, it’s vital
to train your imagination daily. Foster a habit of
spotting images in the clouds and trees. A great
site to help challenge our imagination is Alchemy
(www.al.chemy.org).
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15
BOKEH EFFECT
Turn off the visibility of all layers related to
the model. Select the existing background layer and
pick the colour TOYO 0469 from the TOYO 94 Color
Finder Swatch. Set brush Opacity to 80%, Flow to
40% and blending mode to Color Dodge. The
roundness of the brush should be set back to 100%.
Now add some random spots with the mouse,
ranging from 500px to 2900px size. On some
occasions it needs two or more clicks to show the
effect. This pseudo-bokeh effect should stay in the
background – less is more.
16
IMPROVE OUR BACKGROUND
For the synthetic, edgy-looking background
of the final version, use a stock image downloaded
for free from Media-Militia (www.mediamilitia.
com/3d-renders). Place the 4.PNG file exactly like it
is in the screenshot. Rotate it 90 degrees clockwise
to match the scene. Set this new layer’s blending
mode to Linear Dodge and set Fill to 80% to achieve
the same effect seen in the supplied screenshot. The
background with the pseudo-bokeh effect should
eventually sit with 100% visibility underneath this
stock image layer.
17
REVIEW THE PIXELS
Viewing the actual pixels up close will
show a number of visual discrepancies. These are
acceptable in a small, web-sized version of the
image, but will not work in a high-res version. We
discovered differences in the back, which had been
roughly painted in Step 2. We solved this issue by
creating a new layer, setting our brush to
Scattering at 1000%, then changed Size to 3px. By
picking up colours from the back with the
Eyedropper tool, it’s possible to apply a bumpy
skin texture by hand.
18
BOOST LIGHT
For the LED lights, we add a new layer
and paint with colour TOYO 0687 from the TOYO
Color Finder swatch. Using a round brush, we
depict spots that work as additional light sources.
To add values and glow, duplicate the finished
painted layer, apply a Gaussian blur set to 2.8px,
and apply a Color Dodge blending mode to the
resulting layer. Add another pass of Gaussian blur,
this time set at 8.5px, and a Screen blending mode
to a duplicate of the previous layer.
20
FINAL TOUCHES
Repositioning the model, add rim light to
the shoulder, play with colour adjustments and
clean up the image. Use the Clone Stamp tool and
our round brush to do this. Add strands of hair on
top when adding room to the composition with the
CS6 Crop tool. Change the colouring of the technical
parts to a greyer, colder tone. Do this with
Image>Adjustments>Replace Color options, by
picking up the midtone of the brownish area and
changing Saturation to around -15%.
19
SIDE EFFECTS
Create a lens-flare effect in one of our LEDs on the spine by using the 29.PNG from this Media Militia
pack (www.mediamilitia.com/custom-lens-flares-pack-50-free-high-resolution-transparent-images). Set
this introduced layer’s blending mode to Screen, Opacity at 85% and Fill at 75%. Position the centre of the lens
flare over the LED light. Improve synthetic looks by changing the tone of our composition with a Blue Photo
Filter set to 45%. For contrast, we add a Gradient Map set with a Platinum style from the Photographic Toning
collection in Photoshop CS6. Set this adjustment layer’s blending mode to Soft Light and Fill at 50%.
QUICK TIP
When revisiting a finished
piece, it proves useful to
have Layer Groups just for
effects such as Photo Filters.
Switch the visibility of these
groups off when working
on underlying layers, which
helps to structure our work.
If we work on top of these
effects, our work becomes
useless if we decide to
change the colouring of our
underlying layers.
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It’s wise to make sure you have
everything defined clearly
before moving on. A little
spontaneity will prove
handy, but not as handy
as a solid base
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PRODUCE FANTASY LIGHTING
02
A CLEAR COURSE OF ACTION
Begin tightening up your line work and
organise the shadows and lights. Eliminate
scribbled brush strokes, as a good, solid direction
early on will dictate the difficulty of a piece. It’s also
wise to make sure you have everything defined
clearly before moving on. A little spontaneity will
prove handy, but not as handy as a solid base.
01
START YOUR SKETCH
Begin sketching the figure very
loosely inside Photoshop on a new
layer. This is so that you can visualise
the proportions and composition you
need. A three-quarter view of an owl
moving towards the viewer has been
chosen here. This example is the best
design from a set of thumbnails, as it
made sure all of the needs of the piece
were met early on.
03
SEPARATE THE SKETCH
You’ll want to make sure that your bird is on a
separate layer without any loose or extra strokes. Check
for such artefacts by creating a layer beneath the sketch
layer and fill it with a pink colour. This reveals any stray
white and grey brush strokes in and around the sketch. If
there are any in your image, you will need to erase these.
F
antasy paintings are very popular, with many digital artists plying a profitable trade from a range of
different styles. With the right skill set and techniques, you too can create concepts for multiple parties
within the entertainment industry. This tutorial aims to give you a head start.
You’ll begin with the sketch phase, drawing out some rough ideas in Photoshop, then you’ll discover
essential ways to add colour, detail and cohesive lighting to your images. Special effects will breathe further life
into these designs, mainly through the use of dramatic lighting effects that enhance atmosphere.
Of course, this is all made possible using Photoshop tools and options. Custom brushes have been supplied so
that you can make the marks seen in this tutorial. You’ll also discover ways to layer these new brushes, using the
power of Photoshop’s blending modes to produce exciting lighting effects.
Brushes are used to paint texture and detail, with Lock Layer and clipping mask controls letting you shape your
final design exactly as you want it. Ways to introduce tonality and colour temperature, again enhancing
atmosphere, are also taught. By the end of it all, you’ll be able to tackle your very own distinctive fantasy paintings.
LEARN ESSENTIAL BRUSH TECHNIQUES TO CREATE DRAMATIC
LIGHTING AND VIBRANT COLOUR
PRODUCE FANTASY
LIGHTING
GETTING STARTED
SKETCH WITHIN PHOTOSHOP
FROM SKETCH TO RENDER
Step 18: Create lighting
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 17: Add background
Step 1: Rough sketch
Currently living in Chicago, concept artist
Marco Nelor spends his time listening to
music, drawing and painting. For updates
on his process, tips and tricks, be sure to
follow him on Twitter.
MARCO NELOR
marconelor.tumblr.com
OUR EXPERT
On the CD, you will find all the brushes
needed to replicate the effects learnt in this
tutorial. Simply upload the advanced
photoshop.abr file by double-clicking it.
SOURCE FILES
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08
PAINT FEATHERS
It’s time to start painting feathers. To do
this, select the brush labelled ‘700’, which closely
resembles the hackle you can find in owls. Take
care to not add strokes too wildly. Instead, apply in
a uniform manner, tracing the existing contour in
your owl’s form. This means you’ll create a more
authentic appearance. Studying a real-world
reference to get the right look isn’t cheating.
06
CREATE ATMOSPHERE
It was decided that the head would read
better if it were in front of the far wing, so you need
to add a little bit of atmosphere. Using the Marquee
tool once again, select an area outlining the owl’s
face and a portion of the wing behind it. Select a
rounded brush with soft edges and begin stroking in
the lighting from the top down, as your light will
likely be a top-down lighting.
04
ADD TEXTURE
Early on in a painting, it’s good to add a little texture to certain areas. Later, these earlier signs of
texture may show through and help to pick out subtle shapes, giving the painting a bit more life. Upload the
advanced photoshop.abr and select the brush labelled ‘20’. Paint texture near the light areas of the talon. Be
careful to not to paint too brightly this early on, however, as increasing the contrast too soon will make areas
seem overly bright or blown out later.
07
FORM SHADOW
Getting comfortable with the Selection
tool? Good, as you’re about to practise that same
technique here by carefully selecting the legs of your
owl. Now press Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+I to invert your
selection. This effectively lets you paint behind the
selected area. Use another soft brush in order to
paint in some shadow behind the legs. Again, take
care not to paint your marks too dark.
05
COPY AND PASTE
A useful trick when creating similar
features like the talons is to use a copy and paste.
Since the shapes will be painted over later, you
won’t run the risk of each talon looking too similar.
Select a talon with the Marquee tool (L), then press
and hold the Cmd/Ctrl key as you drag the selected
area to another location. Doing this creates a
duplicate of the selected item.
QUICK TIP
The secret to applying textured brushes successfully is
to build up gradual details using consistent strokes. Keep
your textures and textured brushes from getting too
messy, as they may begin to lay down too much texture
and overpower the entire effect.
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09
ADD BLACKS
Up until this point, the image will be rather
grey. But this is fine, as it has allowed you to make
sure that the focal point is yet to be decided.
Usually, you’ll want your focal point to be your
subject’s face. So it’s here that you’ll apply your first
solid black to create the owl’s eyes. Use a Selection
tool to draw out a good shape for these, then fill
your selection with a solid black. This makes the
eyes the darkest point, and point of focus.
12
RENDER FEATHERS
It’s a good idea to layer your painted feathers. Start with smaller feathers near the top of the wing
and paint three rows. Begin with the bottom row, painting in loose feathers. Add a layer on top and paint
values that create the shadow from the feathers that will be above that. Then paint those feathers in on a
new layer above your shadow layer. Working backwards in this way makes the feathers appear to be
casting shadows.
10
HIDE SELECTIONS
You’ll have made a few of these by now
and they can be distracting. With an area of your
painting selected, in this case the eyes, press Cmd/
Ctrl+H to hide your selection. Sometimes doing so
will help you see what you’re doing more clearly.
With your selections hidden, you can begin detailing
the eyes, which is done using a soft grey brush on
the outer area and a sharper white brush for the
reflective highlights.
11
BUILD FEATHER TEXTURES
Continue painting your bird and refining
your form and shapes. Uniformly paint the wings,
slowly building colour until you create solid-looking
results. Do this on a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/
Alt+Shift+N). The smoother you keep your forms
now, the cleaner your painting will be later. It’s not
until the very end, when bringing all your painting
marks together, that you start to fashion feathers
with your strokes.
13
PAINT LONG FEATHERS
Now that you’re done with the smaller
feathers, you need to paint a larger one. First, create
a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+N), then use the
Marquee tool (L) to create a long, feather-like
rectangular shape. Use a soft round brush to paint
one side dark and another side a bright grey,
manually creating a gradual gradient. This gives the
illusion of a single feather, which is longer and
thicker than the rest you’ve just added.
DETAILED BLUEPRINT
LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR FOCAL POINTS, TEXTURE AND FORM
Begin detailing the eyes,
which is done using a soft
grey brush on the
outer area and a
sharper white brush
for the reflective
highlights
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RENDER YOUR LOOK
CREATE DRAMATIC LIGHTING, CONTOUR AND DETAIL IN YOUR IMAGE
14
COPY AND PASTE FEATHERS
Using what you’ve learnt about the
Marquee tool and the duplicate technique, you now
implement a combination of the two. Remember
the long gradient feather you just painted in the last
step? Well, now you’re going to copy and paste this
into a new layer and slightly enlarge it. Place it so it
overlaps the original large feather layer. Continue to
copy, paste and place a few dozen times until you
have a long row of feathers.
15
BREAK UP REPETITION
Build upon the last steps by repeating their
processes, painting and placing feathers in the owl’s
opposite wing. Make sure you follow the right
direction for an authentic look. To break up the
monotony of some of these feathers, erase parts of
the edges in some of your layers. Also elongate
some of them slightly and skew the shape of others
a bit. This allows you to create the beginnings of a
very interesting wing pattern for your owl.
16
UNIFORM LIGHTING
Now that you’ve created your feathers, you
will need to add larger shadows. First, merge down
your owl layers, then make sure that this new layer
is locked by clicking on the Lock icon located at the
top of the layers tab. Now, apply a large, dark grey,
soft round brush and lightly add some shadow to the
rounded parts of the top of the wing. This makes
sure your wings are being lit by the same light
source as the rest of the image.
18
SECONDARY LIGHT
Since the plan is to have your main light
source closer to the viewer, a secondary light
source can be established – in this case, the moon.
On a separate layer, draw a circular selection with
the Elliptical Marquee tool. Set this layer’s blending
mode to Color Dodge and paint in the moon with a
few large strokes, using a neutral grey colour. This
gives the moon its glow effect. Also use the same
brush around the moon to give it a halo effect.
17
START THE BACKGROUND
Since your owl is on its own layer, you can
create a layer beneath and begin the background.
This image will eventually reveal a bright scene with
sparks and cinder flying from a fire. However, to
make these effects workable, you need a dark,
muted background full of dark purples, dark browns
and dark reds. While it seems dark now, adding your
effects later will help keep the focus on your owl,
rather than spreading the focus around haphazardly.
QUICK TIP
When painting to a Color Dodge blending mode layer,
using a grey colour will create a very natural and even
glow. Painting with a saturated colour gives a glow
similar to that colour.
MASTERING SPARKS
You’ll see that spark effects were added to the final
image. You can recreate this effect by using several
layers and a very easy technique. Create a new layer,
set its blending mode to Color Dodge and scatter
in some simple sparks with an orange-coloured
brush. Now duplicate this layer. Duplicating a Color
Dodge layer into itself will make the sparks glow even
brighter than before. Now you must copy, paste and
place your sparks around the image by selecting the
Move tool, holding Opt/Alt and dragging them to other
locations. Create depth of field effects, making some
seem close up, others further away.
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PRODUCE FANTASY LIGHTING
24
FINAL DETAILS
In the same way as you’ve done in
previous steps, create another layer and lock it to
the armour layer. Set the new layer’s blending mode
to Color Dodge and choose a saturated orange
colour. Paint this on the side of the armour that you
feel should receive the most light, with the brightest
parts nearest the crease. This gives you a balanced
exposure, and good shadow and light separation.
Repeat the same process for the trimming. Use the
Hair brush (brush 125) to zoom in and add more
detail to the face, working your way outward from
the focal point and detailing as you go.
21
BRING IT BACK
Since the layer below this new light layer
is a dark brown colour, it’s possible to bring back
shadows – just erase areas from the Color Dodge
light layer above. Create dramatic shadows in the
feathers by using the Marquee tool to make
selections like in the example shown, then delete
from these. This method is much better than
painting with more black because the darkest
colour has been established at this point.
23
ADD ARMOUR
Now that the hard part is over, you can
begin to make some armour that fits with your
image lighting. Use a solid colour that outlines the
entire shape of the armour on a new layer, then
lock it. This allows you to paint evenly over the
entire shape, rather than painting each piece
individually. Doing the latter has a higher chance of
throwing off the balance of the armour. Do the
same for the armour’s trimming.
20
REFLECTIVE LIGHTING
Using the same method outlined in the
last step, create another layer, except this time set
its blending mode to Color Dodge. Link the layer
again. Even though it appears to be linked to the
last layer, they’re both actually linked to the owl
layer. Use this layer to add both blue rims of light in
the edges of the wings and yellow lighting that
emulates reflection from the fire. You can also
erase lighting and reapply until you’re satisfied.
22
BACK AND FORTH
At this point in your painting, it’s important
that you start to flesh out your colouring and
continue to tweak your image lighting. You could
also add more subtle hints of colour, perhaps some
purple or pink hues. Always remember that if you
want to add more lighting, then you do this
specifically to your Color Dodge blending mode
layer. You can take this away by simply erasing it to
show the layer beneath.
19
CLIP LAYERS
Back with your owl and it’s time to add a
little colour. At this stage, it’s best to keep everything
simple – and in this case dark. Create another layer
above the owl layer and link the two by hovering
your mouse between the layers while holding Cmd/
Ctrl. Click and it links the layers. This will ensure that
anything painted on this layer will only affect the
layer below it, which will be your owl layer and not
the background.
QUICK TIP
Now that your major elements are completed, go over
everything you’ve done and detail your brush strokes
and lighting. Keep taking a step back to check your
progress. This will ultimately help push the piece to
final completion.
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DIGITAL PAINTING
CHARACTER DESIGN
AND ILLUSTRATION
DEVELOP A CHARACTER CONCEPT AND BRING IT TO LIFE USING
PHOTOSHOP’S DIGITAL PAINT TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
T
his tutorial will teach you how to create an
illustration suitable for a children’s
storybook. You will be guided through the
entire process, from the very first tiny
thumbnail sketches, all the way to the final image.
Learn how to handle composition, colour schemes,
overall readability, effective shortcuts, and other tips
and tricks. The main focus will lie in creating an
illustration that tells a tale.
The painting was made for a spread based on a
short story and was commissioned by a Swedish
youth magazine. Painting animals and creating
story-driven art that’s geared towards a younger
audience can be a lot of fun. Being able to paint cute,
expressive and appealing illustrations that really
reach out to the viewer has always been an
important goal for many artists.
If you have a Wacom tablet, we definitely
recommend using it from start to finish for more
control. The image was also partly painted using
some basic brushes, but we did use a few custom
brushes from a free brush set created by the talented
artist Shaddy Safadi. You can download his brushes
at www.shaddyconceptart.com/download.
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DIGITAL PAINTING
Andrea is a concept artist and illustrator
living and working in Sweden, who
specialises in character and
story-driven art. She works mainly
with games, film, storybooks and
editorial illustration.
ANDREA FEMERSTRAND
noukah.com
OUR EXPERT
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CHARACTER DESIGN AND ILLUSTATION
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CHARACTER DESIGN AND ILLUSTATION
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04
REFINE THE CHARACTERS
Now you will need to create another document to implement your final design. Feel free to make it even
larger this time and fill the background with a light-grey tone. Select the character sketch with the Lasso tool from
the rough sketch, copy the selection and paste it into your new document. After that, scale the characters so that
they fill out the whole canvas and lower the opacity of the layer, then create another empty one and start refining
the sketch further. To do this, use a brush with hard edges, and with the opacity settings activated.
03
CREATE A ROUGH SKETCH
Pick the thumbnails that are closest to
your idea and start arranging them on your canvas.
Lower the opacity of that layer and create a new
one on top of it. Keep sketching until the entire
image works, and keep experimenting. It’s great to
constantly ask yourself questions such as: What’s
the purpose with the image? How does the story
go? Which moment works best for this illustration?
What style should it have? Who’s the audience?
Does the composition direct the viewer properly?
02
THE VERY FIRST THUMBNAILS
Start by putting down a bunch of
thumbnails. Keep them small and pick a medium-
sized brush that you feel comfortable with. This is
the ‘sandbox’ phase, and any idea is allowed. Focus
on experimenting with pose, composition and
proportions. The position of the little thumbnails is
not that important, just make sure that you get every
idea out of your system. Stay very loose and feel free
to play around a lot before settling with your idea.
01
CREATE A NEW CANVAS
First, you’ll need a brand new canvas, by
going to File>New and create a canvas that is
210mm x 148mm, and at 300dpi. It’s better to keep
the canvas small at first so that you can pay
attention to the whole image. Fill the background
layer with a light-grey tone. It’s often better to work
on a darker canvas, since it’s more comfortable for
your eyes. Then create a new empty layer on top
– that’s the layer you’re going to sketch on next.
It’s often better to work
on a darker canvas, since
it’s more
comfortable for
your eyes
BRINGING IDEAS TO LIFE
Step 19: Final polish
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 8: Block in colour
Step 3: Rough sketch
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CHARACTER DESIGN AND ILLUSTATION
08
BLOCK IN THE BASE COLOURS
After settling on a nice colour scheme, it’s time to block everything in. This will make things so much
easier when starting to paint the illustration. The base layers can be created using the Pen tool. Start by
drawing the main shape to create a new path, then make that path a selection and fill it with a basic colour.
Proceed by creating basic shapes for the different background elements, the wolf and the girl. Lock the
transparency of each layer when done.
09
CREATE CLIPPING MASKS
This stage really is a true time-saver, and
it’s one of my favourite Photoshop shortcuts. Start
by creating new layers on top of each ‘blocked’ layer,
then press Opt/Alt and hover the cursor in-between
the two layers. The lower layer will become the
parent of the upper one, and it will then stay within
that shape, no matter how messy you paint. It also
means that you only need to block in the main parts
once. You can then focus on the fun part – the
painting itself!
07
COLOUR TEST
Before getting too serious with the
illustration, it’s a good idea to quickly flatten the
greyscale sketch and create and save a new version
that will serve as a colour palette later on. On the
new document, create a new empty layer and set
the layer blending mode to Color. Now you can start
painting some colours in without affecting the
tones. This one will work well with lots of greens as
the dominating hue, with a slight touch of brown,
yellow and red.
06
TRY IT OUT IN GREYSCALE
It’s time to play around a bit with the
values. Block everything in with flat tones just to
find some suitable values that will work well with
the composition and mood. Paint on a new empty
layer that’s created underneath the sketch layer. A
nice rule to go by is that if things work well in
greyscale, then it will definitely work out in colour
as well later on. In general, it’s also nice to have
several possibilities to choose from before you
start to colour a new piece.
05
LOWER THE OPACITY
When the characters are more refined
and you feel happy with them, copy the layer and
add it to the previous sketch document. Remove
the rough version of the characters and merge the
sketch layers together. The sketch should only
work as a vague guideline for the painting itself, so
lower the Opacity to about 30% and lock that layer.
Most of the other layers (except some adjustment
layers that affect the entire image) created for this
painting will stay underneath the line drawing.
QUICK TIP
This shortcut that can be created through Actions is very handy when painting digitally in Photoshop. Simply create an Action
that flips your canvas horizontally when pressing a specific key, perhaps F2. Flipping your canvas often makes you look at
the painting with fresh eyes, and you can immediately see and fix any proportions or compositions that may be a bit off.
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15
THIRD PAINTING PASS
The image is now ready for some slight
detailing and early polishing. Play around with
different textured brushes to get that traditional,
painterly feel. Safadi’s custom brushes will suit
perfectly for this phase. Vary the opacity of the
brushes to gain full control while you paint. Create
new empty layers on top of the parenting layers if
you feel unsure and want to redo, or remove
unnecessary changes as you paint.
14
ADD SOME LIGHT
It’s a bit dark here, isn’t it? To solve this,
create new layers for the background and the
characters, then connect them to the layers
underneath as clipping masks. Set the layer mode
to Color Dodge and pick an orange midtone to paint
with. Use a hard brush without any Opacity settings
and paint in highlights, ensuring they are in keeping
with the direction of the light. Let those layers stay
rough for now, as long as it looks good overall.
12
FLIP YOUR CANVAS REGULARLY
Go to Image>Image Rotation>Flip Horizontally on a regular basis to check the proportions, balance
and composition. When you flip the canvas, you’ll see immediately if the nose looks off, or if the position of the
eyes is awkward. It’s a lot easier to spot mistakes. The great news is that you get to make the changes in
time. If the image is working in both angles, then it’s probably balanced.
001
Decide on the direction of
your light source and paint
highlights accordingly. Feel
free to stay a bit loose
004
Start with slightly rendering
the form of the characters
and tree trunk, keeping the
direction of the light in mind
003
Take a step back and think
about which parts of the
characters need some extra
work, like the fur and eyes
002
Now that the image has
been flipped, you can
check that the composition
is still well balanced
001 002 003 004
10
0000LL-0ßL0ß lh 0kLY80ALL
When all the base colours are added to the
painting and you’re all set, it’s helpful to create a
Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Keep it on top of
the entire painting and adjust it so that the painting
gets completely desaturated. You can then turn this
layer on and off to keep checking the values when
painting. Is the painting readable in greyscale at this
stage? Good! Then it’s ready to get painted for real.
11
TIME TO PAINT!
Keep blocking in base colours with a large
brush. The basic brushes will work perfectly at this
stage. Use big, bold strokes in the beginning and
switch between hard-edge and soft-edge brushes,
keeping the Opacity at 20-50%. Stay loose and
always work on the entire painting. To get a better
overview, open the document in two separate
windows using Window>Arrange>New window.
13
SECOND PAINTING PASS
Keep fleshing out the illustration, working
on the entire painting and correcting smaller
mistakes that you encountered when mirroring the
image. Keep comparing the image in the smaller
window as you proceed and make sure that it looks
good and readable when it’s smaller as well.
Although it’s tempting, don’t dive into the smaller
details just yet; just keep painting with a slightly
lower opacity and render the forms.
QUICK TIP
It’s always a good idea to keep your light sources on a separate layer to your base image. This way, you can turn those
layers off when you need to, and you can then focus entirely on rendering form and putting down those basic values in
your painting.
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CHARACTER DESIGN AND ILLUSTATION
19
FINAL TOUCHES
Finally, you can add the smallest and finest details to the painting. These include the whiskers, hair
and sparkles in the eyes. Evaluate the entire painting by flipping the canvas horizontally as in Step 12, turning
the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer on to check values once again, and last but not least, make sure that it
reveals your story. You can also flatten the entire painting at this stage, so you don’t have to handle all the
different layers anymore.
20
PREPARE FOR DELIVERY
Since this was made for a magazine, it’s
good to make sure that all the settings and modes
are correct. To start with, check that the image is
scaled or cropped properly. Most publishers handle
their images in CMYK, so make sure that it’s
converted. You can also sharpen the image a bit. Go
to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask. Play with the
settings and make sure that the image looks nice
and crisp, and then you’re done! Hope you found this
tutorial helpful. Good luck!
18
FURTHER DETAILING
Keep adding in smaller details where they
are needed. Paint them all in while keeping a careful
eye on the entire illustration. Remember: less is
more. Another good thing to keep in mind is to
spend some extra time on characters’ eyes and
faces in general. These features are one of the first
things that the viewer looks at, so it’s important that
the eyes and expressions read well and show clear
emotions. Getting this part right definitely helps to
tell a story.
17
REFINE THE FUR
You can see that the wolf’s fur needs some
more details. Keep painting with a medium-sized
brush and render the forms a little bit more. After
that, pick a brush that feels more like a traditional
brush that slightly imitates hair or fur. Having photo
references is always a huge benefit; so don’t be
afraid to search for some nice photos that clearly
show what a wolf’s fur really looks like. References
will always be important, even if you paint in a rather
cartoon-like style.
16
0000LL-0ßL0ß lh 0kLY80ALL A0Alh
Turn on the Hue/Saturation adjustment
layer that you placed at the very top and check the
values. Is the illustration still readable? This part is
really crucial, and as mentioned earlier – if it’s
working in greyscale, then it will most likely work in
colour as well. So it’s a very good habit to just
double-check your illustration on a regular basis
while working with colours. We can’t encourage this
part enough. Is it still working? If it still reads well,
then it’s fine.
Having photo references
is always a huge benefit,
even if you paint in
a rather cartoon-
like style
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DIGITAL PAINTING DIGITAL PAINTING
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PAINT A STEAMPUNKINSPIRED PORTRAIT
01
VISUALISE YOUR IMAGE
Before starting, visualise what you want to
accomplish. In this case, the goal is to paint a
Steampunk piece which integrates portraiture with
mechanical elements. It’s meant to be a dark,
atmospheric image with lush colours to invoke
mystery and interest. Remember to download the
resources before you start.
02
GATHER REFERENCE
Paintings should be unrecognisable from
reference unless the material belongs to you, so
take liberties in deviating from online sources. The
easiest way to obtain reference is to take photos
yourself, but be sure that all of your images have
the same light source or be prepared to paint them
differently to how they appear.
T
he following tutorial is for those who wish to learn the basics of digital painting and discover tips and
tricks to add texture, luminescence and mystery to illustrations with simple Photoshop methods.
Learn to sketch non-existent objects using basic perspective and visualise lighting so that you
can add any element to your painting regardless of reference. Discover the difference between form
shadow and cast shadow and how to effectively render both. Once you understand how light interacts with
your subject matter, the possibilities are limitless.
Learn how to pick compelling colours to establish mood, to paint different materials such as cloth, metal,
and skin, including how to apply textures and patterns realistically using filters. Finally, discover the secret to
creating glow effects and glares using various layer blending modes. From start to finish, you will learn how
to employ Photoshop effectively to create a compelling painting.
BACK TO BASICS
DECIDE THE AIM OF THE PIECE AND CHOOSE YOUR REFERENCE
03
START A NEW DOCUMENT
Begin by creating a new document (Cmd/
Ctrl+N). Set the image dimensions to 4800px by
6400px at 300ppi. Decide between RGB or CMYK for
your colour mode (RGB can achieve richer colours
while CMYK is useful for printing). Fill it with a warm
green tone in the middle-range of value (not too light
and not too dark).
USE LIGHT, SHADOW, COLOUR AND TEXTURE TO CREATE A CAPTIVATING
PORTRAIT BASED ON A STEAMPUNK CONCEPT
PAINT A STEAMPUNK
INSPIRED PORTRAIT
Once you understand how
light interacts with your
subject matter,
the possibilities
are limitless
Ashley Walters is an illustrator with a
love of all things fantasy and sci-fi. She
spends her spare time being a mum to
three kids and watching Doctor Who.
ASHLEY WALTERS
www.ashleywalters.net
OUR EXPERT
Included on the disc, you will find the
Photoshop file of the illustration as well
as corresponding texture and pattern
files to help you replicate the steps
listed in the tutorial.
SOURCE FILES
FROM START TO FINISH
Step 13: Add effects
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 9: Paint the image
Step 4: Sketch the outline
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08
CREATE THE BACKGROUND
Create the illusion of a light source just off
canvas using a hard round brush in a pale yellow
hue. Sweep the brush downward to emulate the
glowing effect of light on a wall. Picking a dark
green, sweep the same brush along the edges of
the canvas to push the corners into darkness.
Blend the colours with a soft round brush as
necessary. Note that the light will be brighter and
the change between values will be more drastic
near the top where the light is closest to the wall.
06
UNDERSTANDING LIGHT
Form shadow (or core shadow) creates
the illusion of form and gives objects depth. It
occurs when light fails to completely wrap around
the form of something and is a gradual transition
from light to shadow, with softer edges (like the
cheekbone, which at first catches the light and then
curves downward into shadow). Cast shadow
occurs when something (like the nose, for
example), blocks the light, throwing areas below
into darkness. It tends to have sharper edges.
04
SKETCH THE OUTLINE
Create a new layer named ‘Sketch’ (Layer>New>Layer). When sketching, think about the focal point
to keep the eye moving within the image. Use your reference as a rough guide as you freehand the sketch in a
dark burgundy colour. Keep in mind perspective as you draw objects without reference, like the dragon and
goggles. It helps to sometimes draw boxes in perspective with the rest of the piece and then chisel away at
the objects inside to create angular shapes before finally rounding off the details.
07
VISUALISE WHERE LIGHT FALLS
When creating an object without reference,
it is vital to be able to picture in your mind where the
shadow would fall if you could see it. Sometimes it
helps to picture the subject matter as if it were
made up of several small geometric polygons. Look
at each surface plane and ask yourself if the angle
would catch the light or not, then translate that into
your painting. Don’t forget to add in cast shadows of
made-up elements to ground the work and give it a
cohesive feel.
05
PICK COLOURS
Colour defines the mood of a piece. The
key to having lush colours is finding a balance
between rich and dull. Too bright and your image
looks contrived and over-the-top. Too dull and your
image looks washed out. Lighter colours should be
less saturated and darker colours more saturated.
On a new layer, pick a basic flesh colour, scribble
and repeat, increasing the saturation as you go
darker. To help the image pop, add subtle oranges
and warm pinks for the eyes and cheeks. Pale cyan
works as a highlight colour to contrast against
warm shadows.
QUICK TIP
Paint separate elements on their own layers so that
you can lock the transparency and paint each one
without going over the edges. To do this, choose the
corresponding layer in the Layers palette and click the
checkered square icon at the top next to the word ‘Lock’.
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 97
PAINT A STEAMPUNKINSPIRED PORTRAIT
DOWN TO DETAIL
APPLY PAINT, ADD TEXTURE AND CREATE ATMOSPHERIC EFFECTS
13
ADD ATMOSPHERIC EFFECTS
The last step is to add subtle atmospheric
effects. Create a glare on the highlight of the
goggles using a soft round brush in a pale yellow
colour on low opacity. For the blur on the dragon
wings, copy the wings onto a new layer underneath
and use the Motion Blur filter. Set the angle to 40
degrees and the distance to 200px. Use a smoke
brush for the dragon steam. To make it glow, on a
new layer use a soft green brush set to Hard Light.
12
ADD TEXTURE AND PATTERN
Texture and pattern add realism to your
work when done correctly. To create the illusion of
wallpaper, paste a damask pattern on a new layer
and set the layer Blend Mode to Overlay from the
drop-down menu on the Layers palette. Reduce the
opacity of the layer so that the pattern is not
overbearing but still present. You don’t want your
image to be too busy or distract viewers from the
figure in the foreground.
09
START PAINTING
On a layer beneath the sketch, paint the
skin using a default round brush. Keep your Opacity
and Flow at 100%, and rely on the sensitivity of your
tablet to blend the colours. Make a clear delineation
between light and shadow. As you continue to refine,
add the transitions between the two values using a
soft brush when needed. Use your highlights
sparingly for the greatest effect. Merge your Sketch
layer and your painting layer and gently paint out the
sketch until all the lines are gone.
10
SHINY VERSUS DULL
When painting matte surfaces like the
cotton vest, do not paint highlights. Only two values
are needed for these – mid-tone and shadow – with
gradual transitions between the two on occasion.
When painting reflective surfaces like silk or brass,
however, exaggerate the drastic change in value by
using sharp specular highlights in areas where the
light would logically fall and by using contrasting
strokes. Remember to incorporate surrounding
colours, as metal is highly reflective.
11
PAINTING SKIN AND HAIR
When painting skin, find a balance between
matte and shiny. The skin will have sharper and
brighter highlights if the face is wet (like around the
eyes) or where oils of the skin reflect light (like on
the nose and inner tear duct). If you haven’t already,
add these highlights to create luminescence. When
painting hair, start by putting in the darkest values
first, and then add the midtones using a chunky
round brush. Gradually reduce the size of the brush
until you are painting individual strands.

TRAIN YOUR TABLET SKILLS
AND SPEED PAINT
If you’re new to digital painting, this tutorial can be
challenging. Our tip is to try speed-painting exercises to
get better each day. There are great videos and schools
out there to learn that particular skill. We recommend
Advanced Photoshop contributor Feng Zhu’s website at
www.fengzhudesign.com. Also www.schoolism.com
from Bobby Chiu. There are also a lot of free tutorials on
YouTube regarding this method, so it’s definitely worth a
look. In the end there is no shortcut for making the tablet
do what you want it to. No stock images or filters will
unleash that potential.
Photo editing
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Improve ordinary
photos with a variety
of Photoshop
techniques, from
retouching to colour
adjustments and
compositing
100 Photo-editing
techniques
Learn about the disciplines used
by top professionals in their
photo-editing projects
108 Retouching in
Photoshop CC
Get to grips with CC’s host of
image-enhancement features
114 Stylise
architectural
images
Discover techniques used to edit
photos of buildings in a
commercial environment
120 Expert automotive
retouching
Edit vehicle images and add
excitement to RAW photos
126 Cra atmospheric
landscapes
Combine daylight and night-time
photography in this stunning
fantasy-style tutorial
126
PAGE
Photoshop has
forever
changed the
way we view
photography
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108
PAGE
120
PAGE
114
PAGE
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PHOTO EDITING
© Aitor Santome
© Katie Nattrass
© Photography rights © JD Sports fashion plc ltd
© Plankton Group
PHOTO EDITING
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PHOTOEDITING TECHNIQUES
TOP INDUSTRY EXPERTS OFFER THEIR VIEWS ON ADVANCED PHOTOEDITING DISCIPLINES
Tom Fairfax – @mrtomfairfax
www.tomfairfax.co.uk
Jordan Lloyd – @dynamichrome
http://dynamichrome.com/
Katie Nattrass – @katienattrass
http://katienattrass.com/
Jonny Allen – @NeoscapeInc
www.neoscape.com
Plankton Group
www.planktongroup.com
CONTRIBUTORS
P
hotoshop has forever changed the way
we view photography. Whether you
consider retouched images false
advertising, or beautifully manipulated
photos a work of art, few could deny the impact
that Photoshop has had on our culture.
Monica Chamorro (www.monicachamorro.
com) is a high-end beauty retoucher who has
worked for the likes of Vogue, Dior and Marie
Claire. “For me, retouching people is all about
enhancing their natural beauty and bringing the
skin and colours as close to perfection as
possible without looking fake,” she tells us. “It’s
very important to do all of this in a non-
destructive way, always making sure you can
undo or modify anything you’ve done.”
“The Healing Brush is a great tool to remove
blemishes, as it gives you more control with the
texture,” she continues. “Curves and masks
along with the Brush to dodge and burn are
important, and the Clone Stamp is also good
when working on tasks like filling in hair. When
using the Brush or Clone Stamp, it’s important
to adjust the Size and Hardness to match what
you’re trying to replicate so that it blends in
well. Liquify is also useful, but needs to be used
in moderation. I would recommend always
saving the Liquify mesh so that you can redo or
modify it if needed.”
Freelance retoucher Katie Nattrass (www.
katienattrass.com), meanwhile, suggests: “If
you know where the final artwork will be getting
sent, contact the printer and check what print
profile they use. It’s worth your time to learn
about colour profiling and ink density. I always
create a simple document in InDesign and drop
my final JPEGs in with the Ink Density panel
open and set to 280% (300% is the usual ink
density for all printers). This way I can make
sure my blacks are not too dense.”
PROFESSIONAL
RETOUCHING
© Plankton Group
Monica Chamorro
www.monicachamorro.com
PHOTOEDITING
TECHNIQUES
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PHOTO EDITING
When it comes to photo editing, two of the most
important elements are lighting and colour. “Most of
the time we will respect and maybe enhance the
original lighting, unless the photographer specifically
wants us to change it, or it is very obvious that there
is an unwanted shadow or flash reflection,” says
Chamorro of the lighting process. “If we’re adding
volumes or elements onto the image, we need to
make sure that they follow the original light. I usually
start with a RAW file, so I can already correct
exposure or colour balance there.
“However, if the image has not been lit properly,
sometimes we will have image areas that will be
very bright or very dark (or both), to the point that the
photo loses detail in those areas. In that case, I
develop the image with different exposures, so I will
have all the texture and details in those areas if I
need them later. Alternatively, if the light correction
required is very subtle, we could also use adjustment
brushes just to correct those areas in the RAW
converter of our choice.”
Graphic designer Tom Fairfax (www.tomfairfax.
co.uk) also believes that when it comes to working
with faces in particular, light manipulation should be
kept to a minimum. “Exaggerating or enhancing
lighting characteristics, such as exposure and so
forth, is of course fine and dandy, but trying to adjust
primary lighting directions will usually lead to
problems,” he says. “Light defines form, and human
beings are wonderfully predisposed to be ultra-
sensitive to the tiniest changes in others’ faces.
“If you’re retouching an image in its own setting or
creating one, work with the lighting you have. If you
start doing more, photorealistic compromise will
almost certainly creep in. If you’re compositing from
different sources, make sure the images you
combine share the same or very similar lighting
directions. Inanimate objects are thankfully far more
forgiving. You might confidently flatten and relight a
tin of beans, but doing the same to someone’s face is
a completely different proposition.”
When it comes to colour grading, Chamorro sees
it as a way of bringing an extra element of emotion
to an image. “A simple way of doing this would be
adding some tones into the shadows, midtones and
highlights,” she says. “There are many ways in
Photoshop to achieve that; one of them would be
using the Selective Color adjustment layer where
you select the blacks and bring the yellows down just
a little bit if you want a faint blue in the shadows.”
Fairfax believes that colours should remain
natural throughout the process, with intense colour
grading only playing a part in the process at the end.
“Don’t use colour grading as a crutch or a shortcut
when compositing images. I choose the primary
elements in my pictures and bring the colours of all
the other elements to match their natural tones and
saturation,” he explains. “Only when everything has
been brought together do I start thinking about the
tones of the final image overall. It’s tempting to think
that because you might end up with an image that
has a distinct and narrow palette, it’s easier to do
colour grading as you go, but I firmly believe that
sticking to what’s natural until the last moment
leaves you far more options and protects tonal
nuances that are all too easy to loose. Retaining the
freedom to take the colour in any direction follows
the same logic that has us using masks, adjustment
layers and Smart Objects. Working yourself into a
corner is never good.”
Plankton Group: Sometimes we are asked to
place a rendered building onto a photograph. In
this case, RAW photography is very useful.
When opening with Camera Raw, we try to
take out as much contrast as possible from the
original photo. We bring the highlights down,
take the shadows up and take out some
saturation from the colours that we don’t want
to stand out. This flat look allows us to apply
contrast selectively where needed.
Katie Nattrass: I always work with RAW
images. If a client or photographer can’t supply
me with them, I will add a disclaimer in there
and then. The benefits of working with RAW
images are that you have more shoot
information to use; details in the highlights and
shadows can be utilised and pushed forth from
the RAW shot. Many top photographers will
shoot feathers using programs like Capture
and Phocus. I have both of these, so when I
have images supplied as file libraries, it means
I have all the information from the shoot.
Jordan Lloyd: Something I came up with
when colourising photos that is really handy is
using RAW to compensate for different film
stocks and how they affect colours in the
original monochrome plate. In order to do this,
you would need to add colour to the image
first, before doing last minute global luminance
channel corrections in RAW. So, the second to
last step of my process is to open up the
flattened colourised image in RAW, and head
over to the HSL/Greyscale option. I will then
make the channel corrections using the
Luminance sliders.
© Aitor Santome Images © Katie Nattrass
© Katie Nattrass
COLOUR GRADING AND LIGHTING
OUR PANEL OF EXPERT ARTISTS DISCUSS THE BEST APPROACHES TO COLOUR
GRADING AND LIGHTING WHEN WORKING WITH PHOTOGRAPHY
WORKING IN RAW
OUR INDUSTRY PANEL
DISCUSS THEIR TOP TIPS FOR
WORKING IN RAW
PHOTO EDITING
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PHOTOEDITING TECHNIQUES
■ 1 The render: For this conceptual project, the client wanted to
show the volume of the building in the nearest surrounding. We
were only told that it would be a glass office tower. We had creative
freedom when choosing the mood of the image.
■ 4 Colour grading: We wanted to achieve a dark,
warm and dramatic look. To achieve the overall
colour, we used a Hue/Saturation layer in Colorize
mode on Overlay blend mode. We also used some
Curves layers to add contrast and a glow layer on
Screen blend mode.
■ 2 Cleaning up: Since almost all of the surrounding buildings
were originally covered with giant ad posters, we had to re-create
almost all of them in a clean version. Some of the textures were
taken from the original photo and stamped in using Photoshop.
■ 3 Matching textures: Once the mood of the image was decided
upon, we started to simulate the sunlight on all the textured
buildings using warm, yellowish colours with the Color Dodge
blend mode.
All images © Plankton Group
COMPOSITING TIPS
PLANKTON SHOWCASES ITS WORKFLOW FOR
COMPOSITING A CONCEPT TOWER INTO A PHOTO
PHOTOEDITING TECHNIQUES
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PHOTO EDITING
PHOTO COLOURISATION
EXPERT JORDAN LLOYD ON
INJECTING LIFE
One element of photo editing that has received a
larger degree of attention as of late is that of
restoration and colourisation – the process of
taking historical black and white photos and
returning them to the vibrant hues that they would
have displayed at the time.
Jordan Lloyd is something of an expert in the
field, rising to prominence on the subreddit
ColorizedHistory and offering his talents via high
fidelity restoration service Dynamichrome (www.
dynamichrome.com). “The most basic common
process for a good result involves layering a
number of Solid Color layers using the Color blend
mode. A face, for example, may contain as many
as 14 separate colour fills or more. Using a layer
mask and a soft brush, you simply paint in the
areas you want to have colour. The reason why
Color blend mode is used is so that the luminosity
(the black and white information) isn’t affected by
the application of colour. The difference between
an average and an excellent colourised piece is
determined by the number of layers you use to
build depth.
“I start from the bottom layer – an underlying
red layer set at 15% Opacity – and keep adding
from there: the main skin tone, hair, eyes, rouging,
blood vessels, fat, veins carrying deoxygenated
blood and so on. If it doesn’t look right, I can
double-click on the Solid Color Fill and simply pick
a different colour. I tend to do solid skin layers at
50-57% Opacity (Brush Opacity 100%) then bring it
right down to 5% Brush Opacity when doing the
rouging and blood vessels. The goal is a realistic
finish, not Pennywise the Dancing Clown.”
When it comes to colour grading, Lloyd
considers the process an aesthetic choice once
you’ve moved beyond adjusting temperature for
white balance. “Colour grading can be used
effectively to emulate old colour film stock, like
Kodachrome K12, for example,” he tells us. “At this
point I’m going to plug the master Dan Margulis.
His understanding of the Lab Color mode is
extraordinary. When I’m working on colour
grading, I do a merged copy of the entire image,
then bring that it into Lab Color space.
“A simple way to add stunning saturation to
your image, which gives you a lot more control and
less aberrations than the Hue/Saturation slider in
RGB, is to steepen the A and B channels in a
Curves adjustment layer. Take the flattened Lab
saturated version back into your original RGB
document, and then blend it in using something
like an Apply Image on Darken (50%). The whole
thing gives you a realistic saturation boost to which
you can apply any colour grades you wish.”
“I’m a huge fan of the Spot Healing brush and
Clone Stamp as my main tools, along with a
lot of patience. Depending on the image,
sometimes I’ll deploy a Content Aware Fill,
but really the idea is to restore physical
damage like scratches or burns, rather than
replace whole areas.
“When there is a large plate to process, I
also find it helpful to divide the image into
squares. For this, I set Photoshop’s Crop tool
to Grid view and use the crop grid to then set
out where I’m putting my guidelines. I then
cancel the Crop tool and tackle one square at
a time. It’s a great way of helping you break
down an image into chunks.”
© Plankton Group
All other images © Jordan Lloyd
RESTORATION TOOLS
JORDAN LLOYD DISCUSSES THE
BEST TOOLS FOR RESTORING
DAMAGED PHOTOGRAPHS
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PHOTOEDITING TECHNIQUES
The Great Depression:
Old Gold Country Store,
1939: Lloyd often finds
that obtaining good
colour references is the
hardest part of the
process. Here he tried to
find originals of every
single sign, where
possible, from auction
sites, collectibles, and in
one case a specialist soda
pop retailer.
Civil Rights Movement:
The March, Washington,
1963: Lloyd believes that
large outdoor crowd
shots often present the
most difficult challenges
for any colouriser.
■ Skin base layers : This restored image has two base layers:
a red Solid Fill layer is set at 15%, painted in using a layer mask
applied with a soft brush at 100% Opacity, followed by a main
flesh layer at 70%. Set the layer blend mode to Color.
■ Blend with the atmosphere : Colour physics plays a role in
achieving a realistic result, so be sure to blend in things like the
sky and lighting. Global changes can be achieved in post-
processing or by opening the image in RAW.
BASIC COLOURISING
LLOYD GIVES HIS TIPS ON
BUILDING LAYERS TO OFFER THE
ILLUSION OF REALITY
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PHOTO EDITING
The Plankton Group (www.planktongroup.com) is a
visualisation firm based in Poland, with a great deal
of experience when it comes to editing images of
architecture. “The main goal is very simple: to make
the building look good,” says the company. “We
always try to work in a non-destructive manner,
using a lot of adjustment layers with various
blending modes. There is a serious amount of
experimentation involved in the process. The first
result that we achieve usually isn’t the best. If that
happens, we take a snapshot and try again. When
reviewing snapshots, we try to compare different
parts of the image, which is a great way of deciding
on the final outcome.”
When working with architectural imagery, Jonny
Allen of creative studio Neoscape (www.neoscape.
com) operates using a very similar workflow to that
described by the Plankton Group. “When lighting
architectural imagery, I usually approach lighting
with the Curves adjustment layer and use masks,”
he explains. “I then punch the lighting where it’s
needed, or tone it down. One of my favourite
techniques is to use Curves with gradients on large,
flat surfaces to make them more dynamic. This
allows me to add more depth to otherwise flat parts
of the image, while also guiding the viewer’s eye
towards the focal points.”
When it comes to colour grading and creating a
sensation of mood, Color Balance and Gradient Map
adjustment layers come in most useful for Allen. “I
believe one of the most underrated tools for colour
grading is the Gradient Map adjustment layer used
with different blending modes (usually Soft Light or
Overlay). Curves is another of the most vital and
versatile tools. Once you wrap your head around
using the individual RGB controls, then start using
blend modes with it, you can really work at the speed
of thought.”
For Plankton, the team tries not to separate colour
grading too greatly from the lighting process. “Colour
grading is in our opinion the most important part of
editing an image, and usually the most fun. There are
endless options, so we don’t usually decide on the
colour grade straight away. First, we consider the
mood that we want to achieve. Cold and warm tones
evoke different feelings. We prefer cold, dark moods,
so usually there is some discussion required when a
client is looking for something sunnier and happier.”
Architectural photo editing often also involves the
composition of CG elements into a real-life scene – a
complicated task made much easier if you take
things one step at a time, according to Allen. “I
generally like to get the values correct first, then
move onto colour,” he tells us. “I do this by adding a
Hue/Saturation adjustment layer with 0 Saturation
to the top and use Curves/Levels on the CG subject
to make sure they fit the value of the image. If you
want to get hardcore about the colour correction, you
can drop a grey layer on top and set it to Luminosity,
and all you will get is the colour of the image. From
there you can adjust as needed with individual RGB
control in a Curves adjustment layer. It gets pretty
easy with experience.”
For Plankton, the first and most important factor
in CG compositing is lighting. “We look at things such
as highlights, shadows and the colour of lights. It is
crucial that we match the CG lighting as closely as
possible to the photo we’re compositing the object
into. The more time we spend in the 3D environment,
the less time we spend figuring out how to
composite the CG image into a photo background.
The process takes time, but it’s worth being patient.
Of course, there are some things that you can only
do in post-production, such as matching the noise
and grain of the original image, softening the edges
and applying the final colour grade.”
© Tom Fairfax © Aitor Santome
© Plankton Group
© Neoscape
© Neoscape
EDITING ARCHITECTURAL IMAGERY
VISUALISATION FIRMS NEOSCAPE AND PLANKTON DISCUSS THEIR
APPROACHES TO ARCHITECTURAL IMAGE EDITING AND COMPOSITING CG
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PHOTO EDITING
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PHOTOEDITING TECHNIQUES
“The real secret to seamless compositing is to use the right sources.
The sources have to share the same or very similar light sources of
course, but also be of a suitable quality. I believe that generally
speaking, the more you have to work on an element to integrate it, the
lower in quality the achievable result gets.
“The greatest position to be in is to be able to produce your own
sources and control the lighting conditions, but failing that, it’s well
worth being open-minded with a creative approach to sources. For
example: if I want a WWI British soldier’s helmet lying upside down on
the floor – maybe I can’t find a helmet lit that way. However, a food
colander is a similar shape and material, and usually photographed the
way up I need. It’s no bother to heal out a few holes and manipulate
more of a rim – almost certainly less effort than completely reworking
the lighting on an actual helmet in a satisfactory way.”
■ 2 Increase reflectivity:
One of the problems with fake
translucency materials is that
they detract from the
reflection layer. Vegetation is
naturally very reflective, so we
need to add that back in. Here,
I’ve taken the reflection and
specular render passes and
screened them on top of the
grass, painting the mask with
large strokes to really punch it
into the foreground.
■ 3 Enhance the lighting:
As vegetation is translucent,
when light hits it, it tends to be
very bright in photos. Punch
the lighting hard, but keep it in
a pleasing value and colour
range. For this image, I used a
mask so only the vegetation
was affected and set the Raw
Total Lighting pass to 100%
Soft Light. I also desaturated
the pass entirely so that the
colour did not get blown out.
■ 4 Adjust colour:
One of my favourite methods
of adjusting natural colour is
to use the Gradient Map
adjustment layer with blend
modes like Soft Light, Overlay
and Linear Dodge. Here, I’ve
taken the stock Purple to
Orange gradient and set it to
15% Linear Dodge on the
vegetation. This adds warmth
to the highlights and subtle
warmth to the dark areas.
© Tom Fairfax
■ 1 Set up your CG grass:
Buildings look so much more
appealing when they are
surrounded by lush, green
grass. To add your own, start
by finding yourself some
decent-looking 3D grass.
Make sure you have a nice,
translucent-feeling material.
Then apply some interesting
variation to the grass, and add
extra things to it like clovers
and weeds.
All images © Plankton Group
©Neoscape
COMPOSITING TIPS
GRAPHIC DESIGNER TOM FAIRFAX OFFERS
HIS TIPS FOR COMPOSITING IMAGERY AND
SELECTING SOURCES THAT WORK
ENHANCING 3D VEGETATION
JONNY ALLEN OF NEOSCAPE REVEALS HOW TO GIVE CG
VEGETATION A PHOTOGRAPHIC LOOK
START IMAGE
PHOTO EDITING
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SMARTER IMAGE EDITING IN PHOTOSHOP CC
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02
WHITE BALANCE
The model is decently lit against the solid
white backdrop, but there is still some room for
improvement. There’s a slightly warm colour cast to
the photo that can be removed using the White
Balance Tool. It’s a grey-filled eyedropper found in
the top tool bar. Use it to sample a mid-grey area of
her dress.
01
CAMERA RAW 8.0
Photoshop CC is paired
with Adobe Camera Raw 8.0,
which boasts several useful new
features. Begin by opening the
supplied disc file DSC_5385.NEF.
This is a RAW file that cannot be
opened directly in Photoshop.
Opening it will launch Camera
RAW 8.0 instead.
03
COLOUR CORRECTION
Use the sliders in the Basic tab of the RAW
interface to adjust colour and exposure, making
these look how you want them to in the image.
Alleviate shadow areas by adjusting the Shadows
and the Blacks sliders, then increasing the Clarity
and the Vibrance settings, which helps to enhance
the image’s tone and detail.
Step 7: Smart Sharpen
LEARN HOW TO USE THE NEW FEATURES IN PHOTOSHOP
CC TO EDIT PORTRAIT AND FASHION PHOTOS
RETOUCHING IN
PHOTOSHOP CC
A
long with enhanced performance gains,
Adobe’s latest version of Photoshop
presents several exciting new options to
users in every field. These range from
groundbreaking technology, like the new Camera
Shake Reduction filter, to subtle improvements,
such as the now-accessible brush rotation widget.
This tutorial will focus on a handful that will be of
particular interest to photographers and retouchers.
Working from a starting portrait, we will put into
action some of the latest features found in Adobe
Camera Raw 8.0, including the new Spot Removal
brush capabilities. Moving into Photoshop CC, the
tutorial will highlight a few major improvements
and use them to further fix the image. The Smart
Sharpen filter and the Preserve Details option are
also explored, demonstrating how these are
combined to perfect photo enlargement.
In addition to the updated tools, the tutorial will
touch on a long-awaited feature for working with
paths and rounded rectangles. Follow these steps
to see what Photoshop CC really has in store.
RETOUCHING IN PHOTOSHOP CC
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 109
Our friendly neighbourhood graphic
geek is an Adobe Certified Expert
and has over 15 years of experience
in Graphic Design. Nelson is a
frequent contributor to Advanced
Photoshop magazine.
KIRK NELSON
www.thepixelpro.com
OUR EXPERT
The portrait used and edited in this
Photoshop CC-based tutorial is available
on the disc. Experiment with this file while
using Photoshop CC’s latest tool sets.
SOURCE FILES
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PHOTOSHOP CC
Step 12: Radial filter
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 4: Spot Removal
04
NEW SPOT REMOVAL TOOL
The Spot Removal tool is a well-loved feature from previous versions of Camera RAW. The
significant change in ACR 8.0 and Photoshop CC is that you no longer need to apply it through circular areas.
Now you can stroke over areas, creating irregular shapes that are then healed by the program as it finds
similar pixels to merge with the selected area. This is done non-destructively, as source and target pins can
be moved and readjusted to define fixes. The new Visualize Spots slider uses a black-and-white translation to
assist in finding irregularities in the image that are candidates for healing.
05
SPOT REMOVAL OPACITY
The Spot Removal tool increases its usefulness by providing an Opacity slider to fade the healing
effect into the original pixels. Use the Spot Healing Brush to outline the pronounced tendon in the model’s
neck. The default operation of the tool completely replaces the area with smooth skin. A more natural
correction isn’t to remove the tendon entirely, but to make it less pronounced. By decreasing the Opacity slider
to a value of around 55, we can still apply and show through some original pixels, but blend it in with the
smooth skin.
06
BACKGROUND CLEANUP
Click Open Image to apply the Camera
RAW adjustments and send the file to Photoshop
CC. Notice the area near her waist where there’s
visible damage to the background material. Select
a small portion of the damaged area using one of
the Marquee tools, then use Edit>Fill>Content
Aware Fill to remove the imperfections. If the
Content Aware Fill pulls pixel information from the
dress instead of the background, use the Spot
Healing brush tool or a tighter selection.
PHOTO EDITING
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You can stroke over
areas, creating irregular
shapes that
are healed by
the program
QUICK TIP
The new Spot Removal tool in
Camera RAW 8.0 is a great way
to deal with dust spots from the
camera lens. Brush strokes and
settings are saved as part of the
Develop Settings. Use Adobe
Bridge to apply those settings to
multiple photos all at once.
PRESERVE DETAILS
One of the long-standing rules with
photomanipulation is to avoid resampling
upwards. If an image is enlarged too much, the
pixel information breaks down and detail is lost.
Photoshop CC reduces this restriction with a
new Preserve Details option when resampling.
Go to Image>Image Size, check the Resample
box and choose Preserve Details from the
drop-down menu.
SNUB NOSE
Sharpen the model’s nose by switching
to the Pucker Tool, and apply in a similar
way to the eyes. Set the brush size
slightly larger than the tip of her nose, at
a value of around 150. Gently click until it
shrinks slightly. Be sure to use single,
controlled clicks, otherwise it’s easy to
get carried away. EYE POPPING
A very common beauty retouching
technique is to increase eye size and
shape. To do this, select the Bloat tool
and increase the brush size to completely
cover the whites of the eyes. Carefully
click directly on the pupil, making the
eyes wider.
PHOTOSHOP CC INTEGRATES CS6’S
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FULLER FIGURE
Switch back to the Bloat Tool and reduce the brush size to
around 70. Then give the lower lip area a bit more volume with
just a few clicks, but be careful not to distort the teeth. Increase
the brush size to around 450 and add some fullness to other
body areas.
RETOUCHING IN PHOTOSHOP CC
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MORE FLEXIBLE WORKFLOW
PHOTOSHOP CC’S SUPPORT FOR SMART FILTERS ALLOWS GREATER FLEXIBILITY AND CREATIVITY WHEN RETOUCHING
09
SMART SKIN SMOOTHING
Double-click the Smart Object to edit
contents. Notice that these are in their pre-Liquify
form. Duplicate the image layer and invert, pressing
Ctrl/Cmd+I. Set this new layer’s blending mode to
Vivid Light. Select Filter>Other>High Pass and set a
radius of 2. Then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur
and use a radius of 5. The result should be a
smooth skin layer. Hold Opt/Alt and add an inverted
layer mask. Use a white soft brush at 40% Opacity
to apply the softening effect to the skin alone.
10
COLOUR BOOST
Use a Vibrance Adjustment layer, with
Vibrance set to +36 to boost the colour of the dress.
Then add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer set to
Colorize. Set Hue at 229, Saturation at 26, and
Lightness at +7, enhancing the eye colour. Apply a
layer mask to target the effect to the irises. Use
another Hue/Saturation Colorize adjustment layer to
add tint to the lips, setting Hue at 0, Saturation at 34
and Lightness at -17. Change the layer blending
mode to Soft Light, reducing Opacity to 59%.
11
SMARTER BLUR GALLERY
One of the most celebrated features from
CS6, the Blur Gallery, just got even better in
Photoshop CC. Now it can be applied as a Smart
Object. The actual menu item is shuffled slightly,
but can be found under Filter>Blur>Iris Blur. Rotate
the on-screen widget to match the angle of the
model’s head, then position the focal point directly
over her face. Be sure the falloff markers sit well
outside of her head so that her face isn’t blurred. Set
blur Amount to 15px.
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PHOTO EDITING
08
CS6 CC UPDATE FEATURES
Adobe has integrated a handful of features that were previously only available to Creative Cloud
subscribers into Photoshop CC. Among them is Smart Object support for filters, which before was restricted
to standard layers. The new Blur Gallery filters are included, as well as the Liquify filter. A favourite of pro
retouchers everywhere, this is now available non-destructively as a Smart Filter. Convert the layer to a Smart
Object with the Image>Smart Object menu before adding these.
07
SMART SHARPEN
Another welcome improvement in
Photoshop CC is the revamped Smart Sharpen
filter. This now does an extremely impressive job of
recovering details from fuzzy images. One of the
best new aspects of this filter is the way the
Amount can be boosted to extreme levels without
the image suffering from edge halos, as in previous
versions. For the image here, set the Amount to
266%, Radius to 1.5px and the Reduce Noise slider
to 81% to get the necessary detail.
13
NEW SHAPE CONTROLS
Draw out a frame using the Rounded
Rectangular Tool. Set the Fill to white and the
Opacity to 58%. Open the Properties Panel and use
the icons along the bottom to set the shape to
Subtract. Enter 216 into one of the corner
definitions, and all the corners should adjust
accordingly. Transform the shape to the size you
want for the frame, and the corners will retain their
curve settings. To control the corners separately,
unlock the central chain link first.
12
BACK TO CAMERA RAW
Camera RAW can also be applied as a
Smart Filter. Go to Filter>Camera RAW Filter and
launch the application. Select the new Radial Filter
from the tool bar, which is the last icon in the menu.
Drag out an ellipse and pull the exposure setting
down to -1.35, and reduce the saturation to -6 and
the clarity to -35. This new Radial Filter tool lets you
specify a type of custom vignette to direct focal
points in the image.
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Be prepared to warm up
your tablet, fasten your
seat belts and
get the creative
juices flowing
USE COLOR RANGE
This option comes in handy when isolating areas of
colour. In simple cases, we can just use the Magic Wand
to select solid colours, but when working with paint
images like those in this tutorial, or ones with existing
lighting, Color Range becomes a must. Make the most
of the black-and-white preview to see what you’ve
selected and use the plus and minus droppers to specify
detailed areas. Once you’ve clicked OK, you can easily
remove parts of the selection by holding down Opt/Alt
or Shi and then applying the Lasso to add or remove
active areas and match selected edges.
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A
rchitectural retouching is an art of precision, and you will need to blow the socks off a client if you want
to meet their expectations. For this tutorial, we’ve imagined a client who is trying to sell apartments in
a high-rise block of flats.
They want a dynamic evening shot, showcasing their building, emphasising a central location and
‘selling the dream’ through our retouched image. We begin perfecting our image by opening it in Camera RAW
and bringing out all the hidden detail, and then move into Photoshop, where the hard graft really begins. We’ll
clone, heal, colour correct, colour balance, create masks, correct lens distortion and use almost every tool in
between in order to achieve an inspirational image.
The Vanishing Point filter will become integral to our compositing process, and breathe new life into a tool
that normally gets overlooked and forgotten. We’ll also discover how channel calculations can help create great
mask selections. Filters, however, can only do so much, and there are no quick fixes for professional effects.
Patience, hard work and copious amounts of cloning are the key to commercial-looking architecture.
FIND OUT HOW TO EDIT IMAGES OF BUILDINGS USING
COMMERCIAL TECHNIQUES IN RAW AND PHOTOSHOP
STYLISE
ARCHITECTURAL
IMAGES
01
WORKING IN RAW
Open ‘Original.CR2’ from your resources in
Camera RAW. Increase Contrast to 18, Shadows to
61, Clarity to 32 and Vibrance to 24. Save this image
as a PSD file. Next, create exposure emphasising
the orange glow of the building’s lights, saving as
another PSD file. Finally, increase the contrast of the
street’s lights and save as a third PSD.
02
CREATE A ROAD MAP
Open the three PSD files and layer them
above one another in Photoshop. Duplicate your
base image and place it at the top, renaming it
‘Roadmap’. With the Brush tool and a bright colour,
mark everything that needs to change; sections to
get rid of, areas to enhance and elements to include.
This will be our constant reference.
03
COMPOSITING THE CONVERSIONS
Opt/Alt-click the ‘Add layer mask’ icon,
adding an inverted layer mask to each layer above
your base image. On your building lights layer, paint
to the layer mask over balconies and windows. This
lets glow effects show. On the street lights layer,
apply a soft brush and the drop layer’s Opacity until
you like the result. Flatten your image.
BUILD BASE EFFECTS
ESTABLISH EXPOSURE IN RAW AND PERSPECTIVE IN PHOTOSHOP
FROM DULL TO
INSPIRATIONAL
Step 13: Refine the mask
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 4: Lens correction
Step 1: RAW conversion
Nicholas Edmonds has worked in the
industry as a retoucher for over five
years. He first started out working in
fashion before he moved on to creative
projects and subsequently, architecture.
NICHOLAS EDMONDS
www.nickedmonds.com
OUR EXPERT
On the disc you will find all the images
that were used to create the effects seen
here. These include the start image,
skyline stock and a light effects image.
SOURCE FILES
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START IMAGE
STYLISE ARCHITECTURAL IMAGES
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04
LENS CORRECTION
Due to the size of the building and the angle
at which the shot was taken, it looks wider at the
base than it does at the top. Let’s rectify this
perspective by selecting Filter>Lens Correction. You
can amend by eye, but be aware that if you get this
wrong now then cloning later will become very
complicated. Use the grid feature to highlight
distortion instead. We want the upright edges of the
building to be parallel with the grid lines, so increase
Vertical Perspective to 29 and click OK.
07
CLONED PERSPECTIVE
In the Vanishing Point filter, activate the Stamp tool by hitting S. Now we need to remove the
marketing banners at the top of the building. Choose a sampling point by holding down Opt/Alt and then
clicking just a few balconies down, at a corresponding position somewhere just below the banners. Once
you’ve hit that sweet spot, you can start cloning up. You will find that the top balcony cannot be cloned
because it is different to the rest of them, so stop there.
05
ADD THE VANISHING POINT
The Vanishing Point tool is an architectural
retoucher’s best friend. It lets you clone in
perspective. Select Filter>Vanishing Point, zoom in to
the top of the building and press C to select the
Create Plane tool. Click on a pointed edge of a
balcony, then move down a few balconies and click
to create a straight line. Follow the line of the balcony
along to where it begins and click again. Move up to
the balcony you started with and find a corresponding
place to click and complete the plane.
06
EXTEND PERSPECTIVE PLANE
Now that we have our perspective plane,
we must extend it downwards, covering the whole
right side of the building. Refine the points by
zooming in and adjusting their positions, mapping
the building’s edges. Press C then click and drag the
middle control point on the left of the perspective
plane, creating a new perspective plane for the
building’s left-hand side. Let go and refine the control
points. Extend this perspective plane like the other
one, so the entire building is covered in a 3D plane.
08
TURNING ON THE LIGHTS
Still inside the Vanishing Point filter, we
need to turn on all of the lights in the building.
Choose a sample point (Opt/Alt-click) and clone the
lights in; try to find an illuminated window of the
same style and as close as possible to your cloning
location, as this will improve results. Keep the brush
size relatively small and be precise when applying.
Once all of your cloning is complete, click Done. Add
a layer mask to your cloned layer and paint out what
you don’t want to keep.
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STYLISE ARCHITECTURAL IMAGES
09
CLONE SOME MORE
The balcony doors disrupt perspective noticeably. They are too flat, so activate Vanishing Point and
create a new perspective plane for them. Replace all the lights that are switched off with ones that are turned
on, using Vanishing Point filter cloning and by copying and pasting balconies with the lights on over the top of
those with the lights off.
VANISHING POINT
Use a perspective plane to clone light balconies over
dark ones in the Vanishing Point filter, then a white
brush on an inverted layer mask to show them.
CUT OUT AND DISTORT
The Lasso tool can help you cut out well-lit
balconies. Copy and paste over a balcony with no
light and then apply Edit>Transform>Distort to fit it.
FLIP AND MASK
You can even copy and flip balconies, if you really
need to. Following that, add an inverted layer mask
and then just paint in only what you need.
DETAILED CLONING
WORK CLOSE UP AND APPLY THOROUGH TECHNIQUES
STYLISE ARCHITECTURAL IMAGES
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10
CLEAN THE PILLARS
As you can see, the balcony pillars are
covered in some kind of see-through material, which
we don’t want. Use the Pen tool to draw around a
clean pillar. Open your Path palette and Ctrl/right-
click your path to create a selection. Now hit Select>
Modify>Feather and add a 0.5 pixel radius. Copy and
paste the selected pillar, placing it over a textured
pillar, and use Free Transform to map the shape of
the covered pillar. Repeat this technique for every
pillar and then merge all of these layers together.
11
CLONE UNDER THE PILLARS
Create a new layer underneath the pillars
layer. We need to clone out the remaining see-
through material from the rest of the balcony. Having
the pillars on a separate layer above means we don’t
have to be as precise with our cloning. Sample an
area close to where you are cloning, preserving the
tonality. Follow the lines of the existing structure. Be
careful when cloning not to create repeating patterns,
as these are tell-tale signs of poor retouching. Merge
all layers to the top of your stack.
12
PREPARING FOR A NEW SKY
We are going to use channel calculations
to help us create a great mask of our sky. This
allows us to blend channels together using blend
modes. Select Image>Calculations and then set
Source 1 and Source 2 to the blue channel; this one
has the highest contrast between the sky and the
foreground. Set Result to New Channel and click
OK. Press Cmd/Ctrl+L to activate and adjust Levels,
and then exaggerate this contrast further by moving
the black and white sliders towards the middle.
13
IMPROVE THE MASK
Paint in black over all the
foreground areas that were not
blackened during the Levels and
channel calculations. Select the Magic
Wand tool and click anywhere in the
black area. Press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I to
invert the selection then paint the sky
white. Use the Pen tool to draw around
balcony windows that are currently
white. Make a selection from your
paths, like we did in step 10, and paint
to it with a 50% black brush. Press
Cmd/Ctrl+D to deselect and then press
Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the channel mask.
Be careful when
you are cloning not
to create
repeating
patterns, as
these are
tell-tale signs of
poor retouching
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14
ADD A NEW SKY
Cmd/Ctrl-click the Alpha 1 channel to load
your mask selection. Click on your image in the
Layers palette and add a layer mask. Import the
supplied ‘Sunset1.psd’ and place this beneath your
masked layer. Resize it and move it behind the
building, then use a Curves layer to darken the image
slightly, changing its Opacity to 65%. Import the
supplied ‘Sunset 2.psd’, place it above this layer and
move the sunset behind the building. Change this
layer’s blend mode to Hard Light.
17
EMBELLISHMENTS
Merge all layers to the top (Cmd/Ctrl +Opt/
Alt+Shift+E). Using the techniques you’ve learned,
remove anything that catches your eye and distracts
from the scene. We removed and cleaned walls,
cloned out cracks in tarmac, cloned in paving and
cloned out road signs. This is where your image
starts to shine. We also added embellishments, like
a lit-up street lamp. We applied Motion Blur to blur
out pedestrians and used a soft yellow brush set to
Hard Light to add a flare above the trees.
18
SHARPEN FOR OUTPUT
Merge all your layers to the top as in step
17. Duplicate this layer twice, leaving you with three
layers. Choose the middle layer and select Filter>
Gaussian Blur, setting a value of 5. Click OK, activate
the top layer and select Image>Apply Image. From
the Layer drop-down options, set your middle layer.
Under blending, choose Subtract. Set Scale at 2,
Offset at 128 and then click OK. Finally, delete the
middle blurred layer then change the blend mode of
the top layer to Linear Light, setting Opacity to 35%.
15
COLOUR CORRECTION
Add a Color Balance adjustment layer and
clip this to the foreground layer. Set Tone to
Highlights, then set Red at 0, Green at -13 and Blue
at -25. For Midtones, Red: 29, Green: 0, Blue: -26.
Shadows are last with Red: -12, Green: -8, Blue: -2.
Make a new layer above and using a bright yellow
brush (colour pick from the sunset), paint where the
sky meets the foreground. Select Filter>Blur>
Gaussian Blur and set it to 80. Change the blend
mode to Soft Light and drop Opacity to 30%.
16
SIMULATE TRAFFIC
Open ‘BlurredCarLights.psd’ and draw
around the red strobe lights. Copy and paste these
into our image. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T then select the
Warp tool. Use the controls to adjust the lights so
that they follow the curve of the road. Use Levels to
enhance highlights and shadows, tweaking the
options sliders until you get the right look. We set the
Shadow slider at 60 and Highlight at 197. Change this
layer’s blend mode to Screen. Add a mask and paint
with black, leaving only the light streaks on the road.
CREATING LENS FLARE
We can make a convincing lens flare of ‘Sunset2.psd’.
Import and place it so the sun is just above the trees
and over the building to the right of the high-rise. Apply
Motion Blur with Distance: 250 and Angle: 0, and then
Gaussian Blur with a value of 20. Change this layer’s
blend mode to Hard Light to see the effect take place.
Add an inverted layer mask (Opt/Alt-click on ‘New layer
mask’) and paint in the effect above and to the side of the
trees, leaking over the side of the high-rise.
SPECIAL EFFECTS
ADD NEW LIGHT SOURCES AND A SKYLINE TO ADD BEAUTY
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ENHANCE A COMMERCIAL PHOTO USING CREATIVE AND
TECHNICAL TIPS FROM A PROFESSIONAL
EXPERT AUTOMOTIVE
RETOUCHING
W
hen retouching you’ll find yourself in a
much better place if you have
multiple files to pull from, especially
when each and every one combines
into one final image. Everything from camera angle
and height to the direction of the light needs to be
consistent if we’re to achieve realistic results in
our retouching.
Unfortunately this isn’t the case most of the time.
Whether there are constraints while shooting, or the
retouching of a specific image turns out to be an
afterthought, we can find ourselves at the mercy of
one lonely file. This means we could be left with
having to make a whole lot of something from a
whole lot of nothing.
Here we’ll be exploring the creative and technical
possibilities of retouching a photograph of a vehicle,
starting from a single RAW base file, then wielding
Photoshop to finalise the results.
From the foreground to the background we’ll go
over everything you need to complete the retouch,
including the processing of the RAW file, digitally
painting the cars and creating a dust-kicking
burnout effect. All this will be completed in
Photoshop without any additional applications or
plug-ins.
START WITH THE BASICS
BREAK DOWN THE IMAGE INTO MULTIPLE SECTIONS
TO GIVE YOURSELF THE UTMOST CONTROL
01
PROCESS THE RAW FILE
Start with a RAW file or files that offer the
most flexibility for retouching. Utilising the Dynamic
Range option is key, because if you’re stuck with
only one file you can process it multiple times for
various elements. It’s fortunate we have soft, even
lighting in this image, so we only need to process
once to get a good starting file.
03
ADDITION BY SUBTRACTION
The saying ‘work before play’ holds a lot of
weight here. In general it’s a good idea to start off by
doing the bulk of any retouching before moving into
the creative work. This is where we’d want to
complete any obvious work with the Clone Stamp or
Healing Brush tools, which usually means the
removal of all distracting artefacts.
02
BREAK DOWN THE IMAGE
It’s always best to divide your elements,
then package each in a Group folder. Make a
selection of the elements in each folder then apply
a layer mask to the folder itself. This enables you to
include effects but isolate them to individual areas.
Here a good starting point for us is the background,
the Dodge Viper and the Mercedes SLS.
Scott is a commercial and editorial
photographer born, raised and living
in Los Angeles, California. His client
list includes Lexus, Scion, Toyota,
Harley Davidson, Vitamin Water,
Automobile Magazine, Playboy and
RIDES Magazine.
SCOTT DUKES
www.dukesphotography.com
OUR EXPERT
RETOUCHING FROM RAW
FILE TO SHARP RESULT
Step 13: Burnout smoke
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 7: New background
Step 1: Open your shot
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START IMAGE
EXPERT AUTOMOTIVE RETOUCHING
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04
SET THE TONE
With the layer masks in place and the bulk of the work on the pixels done, we
can move to the fun stuff. Starting with overall adjustments, we create a Global folder
to keep everything in place. To avoid committing to anything, it’s best to work in a
non-destructive manner by using adjustment layers. By applying Selective Color, for
example, we can increase the contrast in the sky by adding blacks to cyans and blues
but removing them from whites.
07
REPLACE THE SKY
As we started off with only one RAW file, this is where having a library of random images, such as
skies, comes in handy. Picking a specific sky image will minimise any distractions, as well as alleviate the
tension from the horizon line cutting through the roof of the SLS. This new sky works great, as the direction of
the light is close enough and the mountains nicely frame the cars. We can integrate the skyline by applying to
a layer mask manually. Plant the back plate farther into the distance by applying a slight Motion Blur filter to it.
05
EMPHASISE THE SUBJECT
To pull more texture and contrast out of the road, we can use a
Channel Mixer adjustment layer – with Monochrome checked and a Blue
Channel – set to either an Overlay or Soft Light blending mode. To add a
quick vignette, make a heavily feathered selection where the vignette will
be and apply a Levels adjustment layer to control the effect. While
enhancing the feel of the road surface, we can also help direct more
attention to our subjects.
06
ADD LAYER MASKS
As we’re breaking down the image more
and more, we’ll come across situations where
certain tools work better than others. As we
isolate the rest of the background from the road
surface, the Polygonal Lasso tool works best. As
there isn’t a clear-cut line in the pixels, we can
quickly add a feathered selection along the outside
of the road then apply the mask. This can be
controlled manually using soft-edged black and
white brushes.
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EXPERT AUTOMOTIVE RETOUCHING
09
TIE UP THE LOOSE ENDS
Starting with the background enables us to set the stage first, then clean things up as we move
forward. Not much work is needed for the Mercedes SLS at this point, so with a few global and specific
adjustment layers we’re able to fine-tune the overall tonality of the vehicle to match the rest of the image.
10
APPLY WINDOW REFLECTIONS
With the basic retouching finished, we can
now sit back and survey the creative potential of the
image. At a quick glance the windows of both
vehicles could use a little more detail. Use the Pen
tool to apply precise selections of the windows, then
create duplicate layers for each so as not to affect the
pixels below. Cmd/Ctrl-click the layer thumbnail,
make a selection of your copy layer and apply the
Gradient tool to this window layer. Set a white-to-
transparent Gradient Style at 60% Opacity to achieve
a reflective effect.
08
APPLY SELECTIVE COLOR
With the background set for now, we can
move our focus towards the cars. As the Dodge
Viper has three dominant colours in its paint, the
Selective Color tool can provide great control when
we start to dial in the colour and tonality. The CMYK
sliders for every tone enable us to adjust contrast,
saturation, hue, colour balance and more in the
whites, blacks and reds of the car.
START WITH THE BASICS
USE FOCUSED EFFECTS TO ACHIEVE A DYNAMIC RESULT
001
Completing colour and tonal work with the
background first helps direct us where to go
with the vehicles
002
Using various Selection tools for layer
masking, we are able to independently work
on elements of the image
003
We’ll create various realistic-looking lighting
and motion effects to enhance the overall
dynamics of the image
001 002 003
QUICK TIP
Use adjustment layers such
as Levels, Curves and Hue/
Saturation, as they offer endless
flexibility. Everything is non-
committal and non-destructive
to pixels. As with any other layer,
these can be toggled on and off
as needed and can be set to any
desired blending mode.
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BOOST THE ENVIRONMENTAL LIGHTING
USE LARGE BRUSHSTROKES AND THE FREE TRANSFORM TOOL
14
BLEED THE LIGHT
Now that we’ve created the dusty smoke
trail coming from the vehicles, we can add some
more light play towards the front of the image to
bring balance. Revisiting the background folder,
create a new layer at the top of the Group layer stack
to ensure your light will only affect the background
elements. Using a large soft-edged brush, apply a
single white brushstroke. We can adjust the light
flare as needed with the Free Transform tool.
11
ADD HEADLIGHT REFLECTIONS
Make a feathered selection of the headlights and add a Hue/Saturation
layer. Activate the Colorize option, set Saturation at 40 and Lightness at 20. The
Hue settings depend on the vehicle. From here you can double-click the layer to
open the Layer Styles options. Applying both Outer and Inner Glow, we can create
the desired radiance with the slider options. To create the flare, apply with a
star-shaped brush and apply a slight Blur filter to soften the edges.
12
THE DIGITAL PAINT BOOTH
As the SLS’s paint is a silver we can easily change it. First we need to
create a new selection with the paint isolated. Use the correct Group mask to
make your selection and edit out anything that isn’t going to change colour –
namely the windscreen and lights. Add a layer and fill it with the new colour, in
this case a sample of the factory red. Change this layer’s blending mode to
Color and apply any adjustments needed to alter the settings.
13
REPLICATE BURNOUT DUST
Looking to add a bit more action to the image, we can create
the effect of burnout dust in a few quick steps. This is where our second
additional file comes into play. With a photo of smoke against a black
background, drag the file into the correct position and change the
blending mode to Screen to leave only the smoke. Apply a mask to the
layer and manually brush out any unnecessary smoke to achieve the
desired look.
QUICK TIP
When using layer masks, look
at the surrounding pixels to help
decide which tools to use. The
precision of the Pen tool is great
for clipping things out such as a
car, while a large soft-edged brush
or heavily feathered selection is
perfect for creating vignettes.
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15
LIGHT THE VEHICLE EDGES
With the light flare added, we now have to create the bleeding-light
effect on both the vehicles to tie things together. We’ll create two new layers for
painting in each car group, again ensuring we only affect specific layers. Using a
soft-edged white brush, we’ll apply along the edges of both vehicles to create the
effect. We can transform and warp the paint, then tweak the opacity or change
the blending mode to either Overlay or Soft Light for increased contrast.
16
ADD LENS FLARES
Lens flaring will often occur when light bleeds into a lens directly from a
light source. With the added light flare in the upper-right of the image, we can
easily use the Lens Flare filter to add this effect. Making a Group at the top of
everything, add a new layer filled with 50% grey (Shift+F5) and change the
blending mode to Overlay. This gives us an invisible layer that we can apply the
Lens Filter to without altering any pixels below.
18
SHARPEN THE RESULT
To finish we want to sharpen the flattened and cropped image before saving. In addition to the
Unsharp Mask filter, we can run a High Pass filter. Duplicate the final flattened layer and go to
Filter>Other>High Pass. The Radius used is relative to the file size, or simply the desired effect. Change this
layer’s blending mode to either Soft Light, Hard Light, or Vivid Light. All three slightly vary, so test them out
to see which suits best. We can also reduce the opacity of the layer to soften the image if necessary.
17
MAKE GLOBAL ADJUSTMENTS
Now we’ve come full circle and will once
again complete a round of global adjustments. As
we’re looking to finish the entire image, ensure
these are made on top of all the other layers and
groups. We can use Selective Color to complete the
bulk of the work. Add contrast in the sky by
applying black to the blues and cyans. Removing
black from white is a good method for pulling out
textures, such as the road surface or clouds.
PHOTO EDITING
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CREATE A DREAMY LANDSCAPE USING A SELECTION OF
HIGHRES IMAGES AND CUSTOM BRUSHES
CRAFT ATMOSPHERIC
LANDSCAPES
I
n this tutorial we are going to learn to seamlessly
combine night-time photography with day-time
photography in order to create a dream-like
fantasy photo. We will be using Photoshop’s
powerful techniques and tool presets, such as layer
masks and styles, custom brushes and adjustments.
Using layers and masks will enable us to work in
a non-destructive manner, in turn giving us flexibility
and more ways to edit the image without losing the
original data. We also will create a brush preset from
the base image to help match the elements together,
and use one of Photoshop CS6’s new adjustment
layers – Color Lookup – to edit the overall contrast,
lightness and different colours with a simple step.
Finally, we will use the rule of thirds to help us.
These are guidelines proposing that an image
should be imagined as being divided into nine equal
parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two
equally-spaced vertical lines – like in noughts and
crosses – and that important compositional
elements should be placed along these lines or their
intersections. This technique creates more tension,
energy and interest in a composition than simply
centring the subject in the image.
CREATE A SIMPLE BACKGROUND
ADD ADJUSTMENT LAYERS TO BEGIN CLEANING THE BACKGROUND IMAGE
01
CLEAN THE BACKGROUND
Open ‘background.jpg’ and duplicate it.
Add a Curves adjustment to darken the image, then
add a Hue/Saturation layer and set Saturation to 0.
Use the Patch tool on the duplicate to remove
grass. Add another layer and use the Clone Stamp,
set to Current & Below with 20% Opacity and a big
soft brush, to smooth the Patch’s transitions.
02
REMOVE THE PIER
Hide the Curves and Hue/Saturation layers.
Create a Stamp Visible layer by hitting Cmd/Ctrl+
Opt/Alt+Shift+E. Use Cmd/Ctrl+T to Free Transform
the layer and flip it horizontally. Add an inverted
mask by Opt/Alt-clicking the ‘Add layer mask’ icon.
Brush with soft white to reveal the background until
we have a smooth transition and the pier is hidden.
03
EXTRACT ELEMENTS
Select the background and
then use the Rectangular Marquee to
select the person and their reflection.
Hit Cmd/Ctrl+J to copy that to a new
layer and move it into a new group.
Now select and cut the reflection, then
use Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+V to paste as a
new layer. Create a path in the Paths
menu and, with the Pen tool, draw a
path around the person.
BUILDING THE DREAM
Step 18: Final adjustments
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 8: Brush clouds
Step 1: Remove distractions
Mikko Lagerstedt is a fine art photographer
hailing from Finland. He makes it his
artistic mission to create atmospheric
photography, and he continues to refine his
artwork in Photoshop.
MIKKO LAGERSTEDT
mikkolagerstedt.com
OUR EXPERT
If you load up the free CD then you will find
all of the images necessary to follow this
tutorial as well as some custom brushes
created by Mikko Lagerstedt.
SOURCE FILES
CRAFT ATMOSPHERIC LANDSCAPES
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04
MASK
Select the path then Ctrl/right-click on it. Choose Make Selection, setting Feather Radius to 0,2
pixels. Add a mask to the person layer and invert it with Cmd/Ctrl+I. Select the reflection layer and add a layer
mask to it. Start masking the reflection using a medium-sized standard black brush, with a Hardness of 60%,
to hide the reflection. Once it’s completely hidden, hit Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the mask and your reflection should
now be visible. Use Free Transform to straighten the reflection and set the blend mode to Multiply.
07
IMPORT NIGHT SKY
Open ‘stars.jpg’ and place it into the
Background group. Add another group, named Sky.
Create a new layer above the Stars layer and add a
clipping mask by Opt/Alt-clicking between them.
Use the Brush tool with Size: 540 px and Hardness:
0%, and sample a colour from the bottom of the
Stars image – paint with 10% Opacity until the
brightest stars are slightly visible in the bottom half
of the Stars layer. Add a Curves layer with Input: 43
and Output: 117, and a clipping mask attached.
05
NEW DOCUMENT
Put the background layers together into a
new group by using the shortcut Cmd/Ctrl+G. Set
the group’s name to Background. Now group the
person and their reflection together too and name
that one Person. Save the file as ‘water.psd’. Create
a new document by hitting Cmd/Ctrl+N and name it
Dream. Apply Width: 235 mm and Height: 302 mm,
with Resolution: 72. Set the Color Profile to Adobe
RGB and Background Contents to Transparent, and
then click OK to open the new canvas.
08
ADD CLOUDS
Create a new layer. Grab the Brush and
select one of the cloud/fog presets, giving it a
relatively large size. Start brushing by first sampling
the background fog layer with Opt/Alt. Brush with a
Flow of 20% and resample the colours to create
variation within the layer. Brush until you have
covered the point where the Stars layer and the
Background image collide. Use a layer mask to
mask out if you have gone too far, and also to
smooth the transition from the fog into the sky.
06
PLACING THE ELEMENTS
Select the Water file by tabbing with Cmd/
Ctrl+Tab, then Ctrl/right-click on the Background
group and select Duplicate Group. Set the
Destination to Dream and click OK. Repeat the step
with the Person group. We can now finally close the
Water file. Now select the Crop tool with View: Rule
of Thirds and create guides according to the lines,
then press the Escape key. Select both of the
groups and reposition them so that the person and
the reflection are near the lower third.
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QUICK TIP
By using one of the provided cloud/fog brush
presets, or one of your own, with Opacity: 100% and
Flow: 25% you can mask out certain areas to create
more variations in the transition layer, and when
you’re smoothing the edges use a big soft brush
with 10% Opacity and 100% Flow.
PHOTO EDITING
129
12
DETAIL ADJUSTMENTS
Select the boat reflection layer and give it a layer mask. Use a 50% Soft small-sized brush and paint
in black onto the layer mask where the reflection is. Invert the mask with Cmd/Ctrl+I. Now select the Water
brush that we just created. Brush with 40% black around the sides of the reflection layer to hide some of the
boat’s reflection with ripples. Double-click the layer to open the Layer Style dialog. Adjust Underlying Layer
from white to 204/255 by holding Opt/Alt and sliding the right-hand pointer to the left.
10
MAKE A CUSTOM BRUSH
On the background layer, select part of the
pier’s reflection with the Polygonal Lasso. Copy it to
the clipboard and make another document, naming
it Water, then paste the reflection into it. Hit Cmd/
Ctrl+L to bring up a Levels adjustment and apply
Input Levels: 91, 042 and 177. Duplicate the layer
and flip it horizontally, then use a big soft Eraser to
remove and smooth the left side of the new layer.
Flatten the image and remove the colours with
Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+U. Go to Edit>Define Brush Preset
and name it Water.
11
ADDING THE BOAT
Open the boat picture and import it to a
new group. Name the group Boat. Resize the
picture, lower the Opacity to 62% and use Free
Transform to match its size with the underlying
person. Copy the reflection to another layer by
selecting it with a Lasso then using Cmd/Ctrl+X and
Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+V. Now select the boat layer –
create a new path around it and make a selection
with the setting Feather Radius: 0,2 pixels. Add a
layer mask to the layer and hit Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert.
09
CLOUD TRANSITION ADJUSTMENTS
Import the cloud image and place it in the middle of the frame. Add a layer mask to it and start
masking out with the cloud/fog brush preset. Use 100% Opacity and 25% Flow to start revealing the
background with black, using the X key to switch between black and white to reveal and mask out.
001
Double-click on the cloud layer from
inside the Layer palette to open up the
Layer Style dialog
002
Select Inner Glow, then set Opacity to
64%, Color to #ECFCFF, Elements Size to
111 px and Quality Range to 44%
003
Create a duplicate layer with Cmd/Ctrl+J.
Disable the Layer Style and smooth the
transition with a big soft black brush
TRANSITION EFFECTS
USE LAYER STYLES TO HELP CREATE LIGHT EFFECTS
001 002 003
CRAFT ATMOSPHERIC LANDSCAPES
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Add a Color Lookup
adjustment layer to
balance the
lightness of
the image
130
14
COLOUR CORRECTIONS
Create a new group above all the others
and name it Reflection & Colour. Add a new Curves
adjustment layer and name it Colour. Select the
Blue channel from the drop-down menu. Adjust the
curve upwards slightly and then move to the Green
channel and pull the middle down slightly, then do
the same with the Red channel. Go back to RGB
mode and pull the midtones down. Now use the
Gradient tool with a grey colour on the mask so as
to not affect the night sky too much.
15
REFLECTION
Create a Stamp Visible layer with Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+E, then hit Cmd/Ctrl+T to Free Transform.
Flip it vertically and move it down so that the edge of the cloud is hitting the bottom of the image. Add an
inverted mask by Opt/Alt-clicking on the ‘Add layer’ icon. Set the blend mode to Multiply and the Opacity to
86%. Reveal the mask from the bottom. Double-click the layer and, in the Blend If options, hold down Opt/Alt
and drag the Underlying Layers’ black pointer right to 0/85.
FINAL ADJUSTMENTS
CREATE COLOUR CORRECTIONS WITH CURVES ADJUSTMENT LAYERS
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QUICK TIP
When using the Blend adjustments
in the Layer Style dialog, you can
easily choose to either show or
not show whether the underlying
layer is darker or lighter. This is
a quick and easy way to hide any
unnecessary elements, shadows
or lights in your image.
13
BALANCING LIGHT
In the Background group,
above the Sky and Water groups,
add a Color Lookup adjustment
layer to balance the lightness of the
image. Select the FoggyNight.3DL
preset from the 3DLUT menu and
then set Layer Opacity to 64%. Use
the Gradient tool on the layer mask
with a grey colour to adjust the
visibility of the effect. After that,
select the person layer in the Person
group and add a Curves adjustment
to darken it, using a clipping mask to
restrict the effect to just that layer.
Make the same adjustments to the
reflection layer.
PHOTO EDITING
17
ADD FOG
Create a group called Final Adjustments
and then make another new layer. Start by using
your cloud/fog brush to select light areas of the
clouds and then brush on top of the clouds, birds
and person. Set the layer’s Opacity to 30% and bring
up the Layer Style dialog. Under the Blend If
section, drag the Underlying Layer’s white pointer
to 111/255 using the Opt/Alt key. Now create
a Hue/Saturation layer. Set the Saturation to 15
and then brush with a mask in the cloud part of
the image.
18
FINAL ADJUSTMENTS
Add a Hue/Saturation layer with Saturation:
12. Hold Opt/Alt and drag the first layer mask onto
the second, then invert. Create a Levels adjustment,
set to 8,0,97,253. Lighten the image with a Curves
layer, pulling the Blue highlights up. Add another
Curves layer to lighten the image and invert the
mask to reveal dark parts of the clouds. Add a new
blank layer by holding Opt/Alt, set it to Overlay at
60% Opacity and check the Fill with Overlay box.
Apply Filter>Noise>Add Noise with Amount: 1,8%
and set to Gaussian, monochromatic to finish.
16
ADD BIRDS
Open the birds image and import it to a
new group called Birds, setting the blend mode to
Multiply. Use Cmd/Ctrl+T to control the angle and
size of the flock. Duplicate the layer with Cmd/
Ctrl+J and, again, hit Cmd/Ctrl+T to Free Transform.
Flip the flock vertically then Ctrl/right-click the
transform box and select Warp. Warp the bottom
bird up slightly and hit Return. Now add a layer
mask and use the Water brush to hide some of the
reflected birds, setting the layer’s Opacity to 59%.
CRAFT ATMOSPHERIC LANDSCAPES
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FINAL ADJUSTMENTS FOR
PHOTOMANIPULATION
When you’re using layers and blur effects in
manipulations, it’s important to add noise/grain at
the final stages of the piece. Adjusting as necessary
according to the base images’ grain and detail,
create a new layer filled with 50% grey then set it
to Overlay and apply the Add Noise filter. Set the
amount in a preview mode, so you can see how
much is really needed to match all the elements.
This helps you to blend the blurred elements
together with the base image to make it look much
more authentic.
Add a Color Lookup
adjustment layer to
balance the
lightness of
the image
Incorporate typography into your
Photoshop projects
Typography
134 20 type secrets
Discover a host of inspiring type
projects and the secrets behind
their creation
142 Design illustrative
type
Learn to build your own typeface
using stock imagery
146 Design 3D Type
Combine multiple tools and
software to produce exciting
3D type
152 Create stylish
vintage type
Replicate retro type styles using
Photoshop and Illustrator
156 3D type projects
Create a futuristic cityscape by
merging urban photo textures
and typography
132 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
146
PAGE
Typography is a
fundamental part
of day-to-day life.
It’s everywhere
we look
142
PAGE
152
PAGE
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 133
156
PAGE
WE BRING YOU AN INSPIRING COLLECTION OF TYPE PROJECTS ALONG WITH
INSIDE INFO AND PRACTICAL TIPS FROM THE ARTISTS WHO CREATED THEM
JORDAN METCALF
www.jordan-metcalf.com
To create a toolkit for Boston
Magazine, artist Jordan Metcalf
decided to go for a clean bespoke
type that he refined and completed
in Photoshop.
1. VINTAGE SHADOWS
■ The brief I was tasked with
building a visually striking
typographic treatment that would
work across a contents page, DPS
and various sub-section headers of
the magazine.
■ The inspiration The style is a
play on vintage signage that pays
tribute to the rich history of the city.
It was important that this wouldn’t
be specific to one place in Boston
or preferential to any particular
sub-section of the feature.
■ Custom type All the type was
completely drawn from scratch
and no fonts were used.
■ Creating shadows The
shadows cast by the lettering were
all done in vector with a
combination of a few techniques.
■ Getting grainy Photoshop was
used for the final grain and
highlight effects on the type.
■ Gradient Map I used a Gradient
Map adjustment layer in
Photoshop to get the subtle muted
colours consistent throughout the
entire toolkit.
© Jordan Metcalf
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TYPOGRAPHY
TYPE
SECRETS 20
TODD FOOSHEE
www.toddfooshee.com
With a bold font from the Avant
Garde family as a base, Todd
Fooshee set about building up a graphic type by
adding hundreds of very small birds to his project.
“The font is clean, easily readable and has a really
thick, sturdy look to it [that’s perfect for rebuilding]
the forms with birds. I did some adjusting to the
kerning and from there began to place birds all
around the letters. [I kept] balance in mind, but really
just placed them at random to build the words. In
terms of the specific tools for this project, I used a
pen and paper, a scanner and some basic features
inside Photoshop. Without the Invert adjustment I
would have probably had to go a different route… The
layer groups were what really helped me out the
most, just to stay organised and keep things in
order… After I finished the letters, it came down to
building a background texture, which I did by
combining a few images using different blending
modes then erasing [areas] and using some texture
brushes. I applied some of the bristle brushes with
my Wacom tablet to add the slight vignetting around
the top edges and then toned it down a bit with some
blending modes. There is also a lot of copy-and-
pasting work at the heart of this piece.”
2. BUILDING LETTERS
HERE DESIGN
www.heredesign.co.uk
The multi-disciplinary team at Here Design decided
to let their type do the talking when creating the
packaging for the Hairy Bikers crisps brand. Coming
up with a concept to sell snacks on behalf of two
unorthodox TV chefs was a unique challenge. The
team started by developing copy lines for each
unusual flavour and sensation, as director Caz
Hildebrand explains: “Once we started looking at
using just type, it quickly became obvious that this
would work well and help the packs stand out
against the competition. We were inspired by the sort
of graphic style associated with packaging that has
to travel, like cardboard boxes containing fragile
items reading ‘This Way Up’ or food packaging date
stamps that read ‘Best Before’ and so on.
The colours were derived from the flavours, for
example the Keralan King Prawns pack is pink both
for the colour of the prawns and the Indian feel. The
logo for the Hairy Bikers combines a spanner, a
pepper pot and a fork inside a wheel to evoke both
the motorbikes and the cooking of the duo. Each
pack has relevant language for the flavour as well as
Si and Dave’s seal of approval and signatures. We
used Photoshop to create the impression… of old
letterpress-printed type that’s a bit battered and care-
worn… We mixed some of the Effects Gallery styles
with scanned textures we found to create a unique
set of textures to be used with the type.”
3. COMMERCIAL PACKAGING
MARCELO SCHULTZ
www.behance.net/marceloschultz
When he was commissioned to create a T-shirt
design for Nike that would fuse trainers with a
slogan, Marcelo Schultz immediately reached
for the textures.
4. LEATHER AND TREAD
■ Create a mask to apply the texture you're
using. Select the type that you would like to
apply the texture to by holding Cmd/Ctrl and
clicking over the tiny image of the shape on the
Layers panel. Keeping the selection active,
create a layer folder and select Add Layer Mask,
located at the bottom of the Layers panel.
■ Next place the texture inside the mask, which
should fit to the exact shape. Inside that mask
you can add some shadows and create a 3D
depth effect, as you can see marked in green, to
achieve the final effect.
■ This image uses different textures, such as
leather and tread. Textures can improve and
lend a realistic effect to your artwork, as long as
they are of a good quality.
© Todd Fooshee
© Here Design
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20 TYPE SECRETS
NIK AINLEY
www.shinybinary.com
Drinks giant Diageo enlisted Nik
Ainley to give a typographic
treatment to promote a line of cocktail drinks. “They
wanted something with plenty of abstract and
photographic items related to each drink and centred
around 3D typography. The final design went through
many iterations, almost 40 for the first image I seem
to remember. The smooth flow from the pump to the
glass was an important part of the concept and
helped to give each illustration a shape. The first
elements to frame each piece were the pumps and
drinks, which came from specially taken photos.
After this I discussed with the art director what sort
of typography would work. From experience I knew
that a fairly simple font was needed, as when you
extrude a font you introduce a lot of new surfaces
that can confuse the eye. In the middle of complex
illustrations like these you need to keep things as
legible as possible. Using a simple chunky font
minimises the confusing effect, so that’s what I went for. The 3D letters were then built in 3ds Max and
positioned. An excellent 3D artist and friend, Marcelo Jr, was involved heavily in this part of the process. Even
after the 3D elements were brought into Photoshop, the piece consisted of many layers that enabled me to
continue tweaking it as I went. From there it was a case of creating all the other aspects that consisted of
stock photos, images captured for the project, decorative 3D elements and sections built in Photoshop. I
brought all of these together with a heavy dose of retouching and editing.”
7. FLOWING EFFECTS
ANTHONY GIACOMINO
www.agiaco.net
Anthony Giacomino teamed up with Richard
Roberts (www.richardroberts.com) to create an
other-worldly type project for the Intrinsic
Nature art collective. Bold 3D lettering takes
centre-stage, enhanced by light effects and
futuristic elements, as the team explains: “For
this piece we started with a base in CINEMA 4D
to make the 3D type, lighting and also an
assortment of geometric shapes. After
importing this into Photoshop, we added more
atmosphere and light emitting from the top, in
addition to some light effects.
“The piece needed some more colour, so we
sampled pinks and oranges to complement the
cool blue and navy tones. For the final details we
added a few other points of interest, such as the
figure on the right and some foreground shapes
to add depth and dimension. We utilised
blending modes such as Screen and Overlay
when playing with stocks and other elements to
create some unique effects.”
5. 3D TYPE
© Anthony Giacomino and Richard Roberts
MARCUS BYRNE
www.behance.net/mobdesign
Marcus Byrne created this striking lighting typography for Cricket Australia/George
Patterson Y&R in Melbourne. The illuminated fluorescent design includes detailed light
effects and bright colours and was reproduced in all hues across the colour palette. The type was used in
extensive applications across the range of marketing materials for T20 cricket. Here you can see some of the
stages in Byrne’s process.
6. ILLIUMINATE IT
© Nik Ainley
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TYPOGRAPHY
LUKE LUCAS
www.lukelucas.com
The team at Esquire magazine required an innovative
and stylish headline treatment for a grooming
section of the publication. Here Luke Lucas runs
through how he approached this task.
8. GRAPHICAL HAIR
EUGENE LVOVSKY
www.eugenelvovsky.com
If you’ve ever thought that standard type options are incredibly boring – and if you’re
reading this I bet you have – try looking at them through Eugene Lvovsky’s eyes.
Instead of seeing letters, he sees shapes, and has used this approach to create his
series of ‘Type Is’ posters. You can see the full series here www.eugenelvovsky.com/
typeis. “The inspiration for the series is the immense beauty of typographic forms.
Simply spotting a beautiful descender on a typographic character could easily grow
into the question, ‘Can I make this into a flower?’ I take this step further by creating a
visually pleasing
relationship between every
single character, respecting
and being true to its unique
shape. Everything is
thoughtfully interconnected,
every character, every
shoulder, stem and serif.
There are no letters
accidentally placed together
in my images and the
accessibility of Photoshop
helps enormously when
working on made-to-order
prints. Everything from a
Gradient Map to Hue/
Saturation adjustment
layers save time when I’m
perfecting a bespoke colour
combination for a client.”
9. USE A NEW PERSPECTIVE
ANDRÉ BEATO
www.andrebeato.com
André Beato created a playful type for easyJet, merging bold letters
with different elements. “The brief behind this project was to create a
main type header for an article called ‘The Next Big Thing’. The idea was
to play (bastardise, overlap or italicise) with the header title text,
combining the four stories related to the article, namely Northern
Lights, Cycle like the Pros, Ice Climbing and Sleep-Inducing Machines. I
started the illustration process in the vector program FreeHand MX and
tried to find the best
way to combine the
text block – I used
the magazine
house font called
Benton – then drew
the elements to
adapt and join them
with the text. I
always try to create
something legible
but appealing at the
same time. The
process concluded
in Photoshop,
where I added all
the little details like
shadows, glows,
brush-star effects
and colour
adjustments.”
10. PLAY WITH TYPE
■ Initial brief I was asked to create a type
illustration and some hairy graphical elements.
■ Base text The client wanted to evolve the
illustration from their standard condensed sans
serif, into something that was more dynamic and
relative to the theme.
■ Creating hair I next built up all the hair elements
using very fine strokes drawn with the Pen Path tool
in Illustrator.
■ Making hair brushes I created several hair
brushes and applied them to paths in the shapes that
I felt would work the best on the different letters. I
then made some slight distortions using the Mesh
Warp tool.
■ Copy layers I added in some hair highlight layers
using fine paths. I then copied both the base hair and
highlights into Photoshop in separate layers.
■ Add highlights I hid and made a selection of the
highlight layers and brushed them within the
selected shape on a separate layer. This brought
more variation to overall design.
© Luke Lucas
© Eugene Lvovsky
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20 TYPE SECRETS
©

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e

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LINZIE HUNTER
www.linziehunter.co.uk
Skinny Cow and JWT New York were in need of a fresh interpretation of
their campaign copy, so they got illustrator Linzie Hunter to apply her
unique style. “Sometimes I’ll create my lettering on paper, while other
times I play about with colours and styles directly in Photoshop. For this
series of ads I worked fully in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet and pen.
I concentrated on creating lettering that looked and felt hand-rendered
and more in-keeping with my personal style. I like to mix and match
typefaces with upper- and lower-case characters, as I feel this lends
energy to my work and I prefer everything to not feel too neat or perfect.
Sometimes it’s obvious which words need greater emphasis, but for me
it’s usually just more of a hunch when it comes to developing or picking
lettering styles… I used a variety of custom brushes in order to achieve
a more painterly or hand-rendered effect and also used my own
textures, either scanned, photographed or hand-drawn. I also tend to
have a lot of layers set to Multiply or Overlay in order to create textural
effects and backgrounds. Sometimes with these hand-lettering
assignments, the arrangement of words and letters just don’t fit the
space you’ve got in the way you’d like.”
12. DIGITAL HAND LETTERING
© Linda Zacks
All images © Lizzie Hunter/JWT New York
LINDA ZACKS
www.extra-oomph.com
Linda Zacks usually originates her elements with
real-world media, but here shares her tips on how to
marry these perfectly in Photoshop. “RPA in Santa
Monica asked me to create an artful interpretation of
the Newport Beach Film Festival name. This
typographic collage was born from a stack of city
shots taken while zooming around at night… I went
through heaps of photos, picking out awesome
shapes and colours. In Photoshop I had a zillion
windows open simultaneously and pasted stuff into
a giant master file with a billion layers. Slowly but
surely the letters came to life from several bits and
pieces of photos as I sized, resized and transformed
them. I also added some watercolour textures over
the top that I had scanned in one rainy day. Nothing
originated in Photoshop, but I used it as a virtual
gluestick. For this project I used lots of layer
functions as well as Multiply, Screen and Overlay
blending modes. To finish I punched up the colour to
add the last burst of zing.”
11. REALWORLD ELEMENTS
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TYPOGRAPHY
STEVE GOODIN
www.behance.net/demen1
Steve Goodin gave a funky yet classy edge to this
piece of marketing material for a Reno electronic
music event. “The initial idea stemmed from the title
of the event. I was given creative control over the
theme and style of the poster so I really wanted to
set the tone and the vibe based on that title. This
poster was created using some 3D type elements as
well as some other stock photography and
illustrated graphics. For example, the lightbulb
images and vintage flowery wallpaper pattern came
from a deviantART member.”
14. VINTAGE 3D
© Luke Lucas
LUKE LUCAS
www.lukelucas.com
Freelance creative Luke Lucas
was asked to design this sweet
and savoury graphic for the dining section of The
New York Times, using Poplar as a secondary
typeface. “This illustration began with defining
the main glass shape and the stylised wine
pouring inside it in loose vector shapes. The
main type was then created using Vector
Paths in Illustrator, while the secondary
type was set in the Poplar typeface and
distorted to fit using the Mesh Warp
tool. In terms of the creative process,
the wine shapes were brought into
Photoshop as separate objects and
colour, highlights and shadows were
applied to enhance the depth of tone.
The main type was then filled with
colour and the shadow details within
the letters were masked and brushed
to define overlapping elements. The
warped secondary type objects were
overlayed using layer effects, then it
came to building the glass. The
background of the image was to be
white, so in order to define highlights
on a white background I first
needed to add a slight grey tint
to the whole glass shape.
This was placed on the
bottom layer so as not to tint
the actual wine itself. Next I
brushed in the highlights and
shadows in separate layers
above the wine and type
shape layers. Some faint
reflection shapes were also masked and brushed in.
Once the main type and glass objects were rendered
to a fairly polished level I placed all of the wine and
type elements into a layer group. To finish, I
duplicated and applied masks to the groups,
separating the objects between those inside and
those outside the glass.”
13. POPLAR IN A GLASS
■ Main idea
The brief was to incorporate various
flavours and descriptors associated
with wine in an artistic way.
■ Two typefaces
Lucas mixed two typefaces, placing one
centre-stage as Sweet and Savoury and
the other to spell out associated words in
the glass.
■ Refracted effect
By separating and shifting
elements in the glass, Lucas
could imitate a slightly refracted
distortion to create a realistic finish.
■ Highlights and Shadows
Painted highlights and shadows gave
definition to the type and the wine
background, adding depth and interest.
All images © Steve Goodin
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20 TYPE SECRETS
JOEY CAMACHO
www.joeycamacho.com
Inspired by a period of his life when he wanted to slow down and appreciate the simpler
things, Joey Camacho created a typographic poster series to echo his ideas. “My process
with this project, as with all my typographic work, started with word-pairing or putting
together the concept for a series of images. I used Burgues Script for this as it has
thousands of glyphs and alternative characters. Balancing out the words and using the
flourishes sparingly was important. Some people don’t spend the time required to
understand the entire font, which I think is really important. When I get the images into
Photoshop I use the Alpha channels and layer masks to tweak the colours, enhance the
lighting and give them a tactile feel. The textured background is made up of quite a few
different layers, reduced in opacity and overlaid. This often gives more depth than just one
texture layer. I use custom dust and scratch brushes, while also using the Dual Brush
feature to add some randomness and inconsistencies to the final result. I spend quite a bit
of time dodging and burning the reflections and shadows, which helps make them pop. I
also often use Color Balance and Curves adjustments to finesse the final product.”
17. EXPERIMENT WITH TONES
JURI ZAECH
www.juri-zaech.com
Starting with an initially rough sketch, Juri Zaech gave these quirky
personalised bicycles all their touching character using
Photoshop’s toolset.
15. FROM HANDDRAWN TO 3D
SI SCOTT
www.siscottstudio.com
Working to a brief for Nike, full-time artist, designer and creative consultant Si Scott built a
unique typography-lead image. The design fuses the kit of a well-known football team with
the words its fans sing at matches. “The brief was to make the footballers from famous
chants that the Paris Saint-Germain fans sing at their beloved team’s games. The piece
was used as three-storey-high banners on the side of the Nike store in Paris for the launch
of that season’s kit,” he says. The result
shows the famous kit, complete with Nike
swoosh, worn by a man built purely from
type. To create the image, Scott fused his
well-known style of hand-crafted work with
his Photoshop expertise. “The image was
drawn by hand in separate parts, scanned
into Photoshop and pieced together in the
program. The Magic Wand tool was used as
a selection tool to get rid of the negative
space. It was also helpful to remove marks
left on the paper from the drawing process,
which can’t be seen by the naked eye. From
there a mask layer was added to the type so
the colour could be added.”
16. TYPE FOR TALL BUILDINGS
■The ‘Write a Bike’ series started with my own wish to create a
personalised bicycle, so using the name of the owner seemed a
logical and interesting way to demonstrate this. The process
started with sketching up a rough shape of the bike and the name,
to see how tight the letters needed to be spaced to maintain a
somewhat natural proportion.
■ I drew the bike in Illustrator, starting with the basic elements and
the lettering of the chosen name. It took a lot of adjustments to get
to the even structure of the bike’s frame. Once all the vector work
was finished, I took the different elements to Photoshop to render
the 3D effect.
■ I mainly used simple Bevel and Emboss layer effects. It was
important to pay attention to the details like the colour of the
shades and obviously the amount of embossing. The reflection
elements needed to be blurred, have their opacity reduced and
other partial adjustments. The background, shadows, reflections
and textures were all finishing touches.
© Joey Camacho
© Nike/ Simon Scott
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TYPOGRAPHY
CHARLES WILLIAMS
www.madeup.org
The Church of London commissioned different artists to depict
various Olympic athletes for the cover of the Metro newspaper
during the games. The brief specified that only the portrait had to
be recognisable and include the athletes’ names. Charles Williams depicted Louis
Smith with a combination of hard-edged and soft flowing shapes, in reference to the
strength and graceful movement required of gymnasts. “Once I’d put together a rough
layout I started building the vector design in Illustrator, then added detail in Photoshop.
I based the type on the shapes I used to build the portrait – flowing organic shapes –
then gave it a bit of a circus feel, as this sat well with the gymnast figures above. I built
the type in Illustrator then added depth and a soft 3D feel in Photoshop using Bevel
and Emboss. To get this effect I set the Bevel and Emboss adjustment’s Highlight
Mode to Overlay and created individual layers for each letter’s bevel. This prevented
the bevels from bleeding into one another and distorting.”
19. TWIST VECTORS
BEN DOWNARD
www.cargocollective.com/downard
Ben Downard created a concrete type graphic to raise awareness of the events in Haiti. He
worked across CINEMA 4D, Illustrator and of course Photoshop to add texture and bring
together the final effect. The result is a solid graphic that portrays the destruction. “For the
aesthetic of the project I wanted something stark, sterile and in a duo tone to illustrate the
idea of devastation and its impact on a clean environment. For the concrete effect I used
two photographs: a macro shot of basic concrete for the texture and a macro shot of dry,
cracked, muddy earth. From that point on I applied with masks and lighting effects used as
layer styles. This achieved a painterly and illustrative effect for the remnants of a building
left standing after the earthquake.”
18. REPLICATE CRACKED CONCRETE
STEFAN CHINOF
www.behance.net/chin2off
Inspired by horror films and a love of candy, Stefan Chinof turned the
Helvetica typeface into a fun take on a terrifying texture. “I was inspired
by a poster for a horror movie that had a very organic, bloody and sort of
raw-meat-looking texture! Since I’m a big comedy junkie and not at all
a horror fan, I thought of how I could make this effect a bit more fun and
juicy. Helvetica isn’t a font that’s usually seen in such an abstraction, so
it was an interesting challenge on top of using the negative space
around the font. Using negative space always has great power but is
rarely used in this way. The tools I applied the most for this project were
the blending options as well as the Bevel and Emboss adjustment.
Shapes were quite useful too and a great addition, but drawing the idea
out to start was the base of it all.”
20. RETHINK HELVETICA
© Stefan Chinof
© Ben Downard
© Charles Williams
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20 TYPE SECRETS
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TYPOGRAPHY
DESIGN
ILLUSTRATIVE TYPE
DISCOVER HOW TO BUILD YOUR OWN TYPEFACE USING STOCK
IMAGERY AND PHOTOSHOP COLOUR ADJUSTMENTS
B
oth illustrative and collage type are a
growing trend among digital artists,
combating the saturation of 3D styles and
breathing life back into a stale genre. As
collage type is experimental, it provides a lure of
invention that sparks the imagination.
A solid sense of composition goes a long way
when producing a successful image like this,
enabling you to understand how one element
relates to others around it. As always patience is a
virtue, as it can take a long time to construct the
forms of all the various elements and ordering
them. By being meticulous you can appreciate the
joy of this style; all you need to do is play with your
elements and keep working until they strike you.
A bucket-load of stock imagery that corresponds
to your theme is essential. Arm yourself with as
many examples as possible that display numerous
positions, perspectives and orientations. These are
needed to match and signify your font shapes.
As always, Photoshop ties your designs
together, with colour adjustments letting you
control the vibrancy of your elements and Levels
paving the way to balanced lighting. Gradients can
boost colour and custom brushes will bring your
mixed-media and collage looks to life.
01
JUSTIFY YOUR TYPE
Start by creating a font sheet in Photoshop.
Apply as many styles as possible, considering the
correlation between these and your theme, which in
this case is tourist photography. A blocky typeface is
suited to such mechanical and structured forms, so
we’ve chosen Chaparral Pro as our base.
03
SPLIT UP VARIED BACKGROUNDS
Sadly, separating your elements from the
existing background won’t always be easy. For
less-routine backdrops, apply Selections using the
Pen Path tool, then perfect selection edges using the
Refine Edge object and apply a layer mask to isolate
your option. Layer masks will come in handy when
editing later in the workflow.
02
SEPARATE SOLID BACKGROUNDS
A large chunk of your time will be taken up
cutting out image elements from existing backdrops.
For a solid-colour background, simply apply the
Magic Wand at a Tolerance of 25, add a layer mask
and invert this before saving. Automate this
technique by saving it as an Action.
BUILD YOUR
COLLAGE TYPE
Step 12: Apply brushes
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 8: Amend colours
Step 5: Place your elements
Adam is an enthusiast ready to pit his design
skills against any style. Here he shows you
how to tackle type made from photo stock.
ADAM SMITH
www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk
OUR EXPERT
Numerous JPEG stock images have been
supplied, which you can use to experiment
with your own styles. Also supplied are sets
of mixed-media brushes, which will help you
to create the exact looks in this tutorial.
SOURCE FILES
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DESIGN ILLUSTRATIVE TYPE
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 143
DESIGN ILLUSTRATIVE TYPE
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TYPOGRAPHY
04
DRAG, DROP AND
CONVERT ELEMENTS
With all images removed from their
backgrounds, it’s time to drag and
drop them into your main image,
which also ensures your layer
masks stay attached. Convert all
your newly imported image layers
to Smart Objects, de-scale and
arrange them away from your type.
By making these Smart Objects you
will be able to alter the image size
without causing distortion and keep
options open when compositing.
Placing away from your text lets
you easily organise things.
07
EDIT THE LIGHTING
This can be a painstaking procedure, but
it’s essential to maintain uniformity in your
elements. You may find that some of them actually
have a similar level of exposure, but some may
seem darker or lighter. Target where these images
are, then apply Levels to correct the exposure. Also
use your new adjustment layer’s layer mask to
target lighting with a paintbrush. Make sure that
your Levels adjustment layer only affects the layer
in question by clipping this layer to it.
05
MAKE CAREFUL PLACEMENT
Now you can start to create the building
blocks for your letterforms using your Smart
Objects. It’s important that you scrutinise the
placement of your elements, so they initiate and
accentuate the shapes of your fonts. For example,
we’ve used the image of an arm holding a camera
to mimic the curvature of our letter S. We admit to
using the Transform>Warp tool to fit our element to
the typeface, which we get away with as we’re
using an organic image (a human arm).
08
ALTER THE COLOUR
Changing tones in the
scene isn’t always a concern, but
random splashes of colour from
various objects can really help
your final effect. However, there is
nothing wrong with boosting the
vibrancy of existing colours. While
this technique is relatively easy, it
will still require focus. Apply a
Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
and set appropriate values in your
Saturation and Brightness sliders
for the relevant colour options.
You can also use your attached
layer mask and a low-opacity
black soft brush to work original
colours back in where you feel
they are needed.
06
BUILD UP LETTERFORMS
Don’t be afraid to edit the images. That’s
why we have applied layer masks so you can work
out elements at any time. For example, try using an
angled camera lens to again re-create the curve in
your letter S. Continue to look for elements that will
fit a specific space in the letter, pay attention to the
layering and shapes of the images and also notice
the relation of their different sizes. As we have more
letters to create, we’ve increased the size of our
stock to combat any repetition.
QUICK TIP
Want to get rid of product
branding, logos and type? This is
easy using Content-Aware Fill.
Simply pick the affected area,
press Shift+F5 and select this
option, which will fill in the selected
area with surrounding tones.
More often than not this creates a
seamless fill.
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DESIGN ILLUSTRATIVE TYPE
09
THE IMAGE SO FAR
As we have used a lot of camera and lens stock, the image has been saturated with dark tones,
affecting the splashes of colour, which now seem minimal. We’ve combated this by increasing the vibrancy of
our image and applying gradient shapes.
10
ADD GRADIENT SHAPES
We’ve introduced more colours to our
image with the use of gradient shapes. They have
been added using the Elliptical Shape tool, applied
specifically to the camera lenses. This is a lot easier
with the new CS6 Shape tool Fill options. You can
layer your shapes, combining Screen, Overlay and
Vivid Light to affect detail. Make sure you do this
inside your Smart Objects, which will automatically
update effects in all duplicate layers and enable you
to resize non-destructively.
13
MAKE A BACKGROUND
We’ve completed our effect by creating
more painted layers throughout our layer stacks.
We’ve painted to a Screen blending mode layer
using a 50% grey soft brush. Make sure you clip
these new paint layers to stop noticeable
overlapping. We’ve also complemented our
background by scattering photo elements then
applying Gaussian Blur to simulate a depth-of-field
effect. Finally we’ve merged all our layers,
sharpened and applied Add Noise at 2%.
11
DODGE AND BURN CONTOUR
If you plan to resize your elements, dodge
and burn them separately by opening each Smart
Object and then Opt/Alt-clicking the Create New
Layer icon. In the New Layer dialog box we’ve set
Mode to Overlay and activated the Fill with the
Overlay-neutral colour option. This will create a
50% greyscale image that you can paint with
low-opacity brushes. White will add highlights and
black will create shadow. Add this to the top of your
layer stack if you aren’t resizing any letter layers.
12
MORE GRADIENTS
Bring better depth by adding black-to-
transparent gradients to our image elements that
fall behind others. Opacity, scale and positioning will
vary and we’ve also emphasised our collage effect
using mixed-media textures. You can do this by
loading ‘brushfx-paint-splatters-set-1’ brush set
supplied and applying black ink splats to a new layer
set behind all the image elements. Use different
styles, sizes and Brush Tip>Angles to vary effects,
matching the direction and edges of your layers.
ADDING SOME FLARE
The smallest details can really improve the whole feel of your collage
type. Here we’ve added a bit of surrealism by including camera flashes.
These have been created by making a black square and applying a
Filter>Render>105mm Prime Lens Flare. Pull your light streaks using
the Smudge tool and set a Screen blending mode to layer the effect.
Larger details are also important, as your backdrop must be suitable
and it must enable your type to jump off the page. Sometimes a solid
white or black will suffice. We’ve experimented with this expressive
style and alternatively applied a landscape photo that has then been
heavily blurred. This creates a so yet vibrant backdrop that lets your
detailed type shine.
001
We increased the
vibrancy of the
red, blue, yellow,
green and magenta
tones in our image
by targeting them
with the useful
Hue/Saturation
adjustment option
002
We’ve used CS6
Vector Shape
with Gradient Fill
settings to create
gradient lenses in
our cameras. These
have been modified
using various
blending modes
003
We will improve the
contours of our photo
elements by applying
dodging and burning
techniques. This
clearly defines form
and will improve your
texturing later on
001
002
003
ENHANCE YOUR PIECE
WIELD PHOTOSHOP ADJUSTMENT OPTIONS TO ENHANCE TONALITY AND LIGHTING
COMBINE CINEMA 4D, PHOTOSHOP AND ILLUSTRATOR TO
CREATE 3D GOLD TYPOGRAPHY
DESIGN 3D TYPE
I
n Greek mythology there’s a king called Midas
who, as the story goes, had the power to
turn anything that he touched into pure
gold. Inspired by that tale, we will turn
a simple vector line into a 3D,
minimalistic gold typography using
Illustrator, CINEMA 4D (C4D) and
Photoshop. Over the next few steps
you will learn how different tools
and software can come together
to produce a richly designed
artwork with killer execution.
The project will take, at
most, four or five hours to
create, including render
time. You will be spending that
time perfecting the curves in
Illustrator, as well as getting the
perfect lighting and shaders in
CINEMA 4D.
To complete the tutorial you will
need to use the V-Ray plug-in and the
GreyScaleGorilla HDRI Light Kit in
CINEMA 4D (http://tinyurl.com/
GorillaPlug). These are not strictly
necessary, but are recommended for
getting the best results. Once we’ve rendered
the objects in C4D we’ll move to Photoshop for
post work. You’ll learn how to adjust lights and
shadows by applying different adjustment layers
and filters. After completing this tutorial you will
have all the skills for creating 3D typography using
your own handwriting.
TYPOGRAPHY
Moe is a 20-year-old, self-taught
freelance digital artist and designer
from Yangon, Myanmar. He is currently
studying in New York at Parsons The
New School for Design.
MOE PIKE SOE
www.thebeaststudio.com
OUR EXPERT
On the disc you will find the material
shader, PSD file and wallpapers that
were used in this tutorial.
SOURCE FILES
146 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
01
SET UP YOUR DOCUMENT
Create a new document in Illustrator at the
size of 7 x 7 inches. Select the Pencil tool (N) and
make sure that the Stroke Size is 1pt. It’s very
important to write in cursive, because when we have
to transfer the vector into C4D, we will use the
overlapping of the strokes to create more depth.
02
ADD YOUR WRITING
Don’t fill up the canvas, just keep writing in
order to actually see how the letters flow to form
into cursive. It’s also important to remember to keep
the lines connected as one stroke, because if there
is more than one path, the stroke won’t be
connected and it won’t be smooth in C4D.
03
SMOOTH LINES
After writing ‘gold’ many times in cursive,
pick the smoothest one and delete the rest. Now
switch to the Smooth tool (Opt/Alt) and stroke
around the writing to make it perfectly clean. Smooth
performs similarly to Smudge or the Liquify tool, but
in Illustrator it’s used to change the curves of a path.
DESIGN 3D TYPE
BEGIN WITH ILLUSTRATOR
PREPARE VECTORS BEFORE TURNING THEM INTO GOLD
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04
FINISH IN ILLUSTRATOR
It’s almost impossible to get the
smoothest curve with one stroke of the Smooth
tool, so keep brushing along the path to get the
best you can. Once you’re satisfied, you’ll have to
export the path to C4D. Exporting the file in
Illustrator is an important step because if you save
the Illustrator file in the wrong format, you won’t be
able to import the strokes into C4D. Name the file
‘Gold.ai’ and save it in the Illustrator 3 format.
07
2D WRITING INTO 3D
As we have discussed before, we have to
move the path along the Z-axis too. Think of your
handwriting as a pipeline. It has a start point, where
water flows from, then curves and loops like a
rollercoaster and then, finally, there is an end point
where the pipeline thins out. So, if you take a look
at your handwriting from the Perspective view, it
should have smooth loops and curves just like an
everyday rollercoaster.
08
INSERT NURBS AND A CIRCLE
Before moving to the next stage, take a look at your writing and check to make sure that you now
have the smoothest path possible. If you’re happy, create a new Sweep NURBS and drop the path onto that
NURBS. You won’t notice any change because at this point the NURBS doesn’t have an object that it can rely
on to make it into a pipe. In this case it’s a circle, so get the circle and drop it onto the NURBS again.
05
STEP INTO CINEMA 4D
Open your Gold.ai file in C4D and see if the
lines need smoothing. If so, you can modify them in
C4D using Point Mode. Select the point that needs
fixing and use it like the Anchor tool in Illustrator
and Photoshop. Fix the curve by moving the two
sides of the point and ensure that your path doesn’t
include any small dots. If you see any dots lying
around the path, delete them. After cleaning up the
path, you can move to turning the path into 3D.
06
WORK IN POINT MODE
Remember that when you’re in C4D
you’re working in three dimensions, which means
that there’s an extra variable to consider. You will
see in the following screenshots that the stroke isn’t
flat, but more like a piece of string, because it has
depth. This can be achieved by using Point Mode to
move the points on the Z-axis in order to create
another dimension for the word. We’ll explain this
further in the later steps.
TYPOGRAPHY
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10
VRAY SHADER
We’ll now enter different values to produce
the material, so create a new Advanced V-Ray
Material. Make sure you check the boxes for
Luminosity and Specular Layer 1 and 2. We’ll be
using these three layers in the shader to get the
gold material. The eponymous Luminosity layer is
used to add the brightness of the material. Set the
Color to white with an Amount of 5%. For the
Transparency, set the Color to white and the
Amount to 100%.
11
SET UP SPECULAR LAYERS
The next layers to edit are the Specular
layers 1&2. Select Specular Layer 1 and set its
Color to a light yellow at: R:255, G:228 and B:172.
Set the Brightness to 100% and the Texture Mode
to Fresnel, with the Gradient Shader of R:214, G:219
and B:179 to R:216, G:179, B:136. Set Reflection
Glossiness to 0.5, Anisotropy to -0.5, Glossiness
Subdivision to 18 and Trace Depth to 10. For
Specular 2 guidance see the screenshot above.
12
ADJUST THE LIGHTING
Here we’ll be using GreyScaleGorilla HDRI
Light Kit. Use the overhead soft box, but instead of
just placing the light over the word, place one light
on top and two on the sides. Set the top and left soft
boxes to have higher brightness settings. This will
make the light source enter from the left when
rendered. You can also add a floor with a generic
light-grey material. Select the NURBS and move the
text just above the floor to produce shadow.
13
BEGIN RENDERING
Ensure you drop the material shader onto
the Sweep NURBS. We’re going to render using
VRayBridge with Global Illumination. No settings are
changed in GI, but the result should be your writing in
3D with the gold material and a little noise texture.
You can add more objects to make the piece more
interesting, but remember to drop the shader on top
of the objects to keep the artwork uniform. When
happy, render at 2,560 x 1,600px in TIFF format.
09
GET THE SMOOTHEST GOLD
Working in 3D is just like using your hands to sculpt. You have to consider the material, the lighting
on the model and most importantly the additional Z-axis. You’ll also have to look at the writing as a pipe that
has a defined beginning and end.
DEVELOP YOUR 3D
APPLY MATERIALS TO TAKE YOUR CREATION TO THE NEXT DIMENSION
001
Select the circle and set Radius to 5cm.
The goal is to get the smoothest pipe
without overlapping other parts
002
Select NURBS and set End Scale to 62%.
Use Fillet Cap for the start, set Radius to
5cm and use Cap for the end
003
If there are sharp corners or distortion to
be fixed, hide the NURBS and circle then
edit the path in Point Mode
001 002 003
DESIGN 3D TYPE
Remember that when
you’re in C4D you’re
working in three
dimensions, which
means that there’s
an extra variable
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14
MOVE TO PHOTOSHOP
Now it’s time to boot up Photoshop. Create
a new document at a size of 3,500 x 2,800px, fill the
Background with a light grey and File>Place your
rendered image into your canvas. Create a Quick
Mask, then cut out the letter and its shadow. Make
a new layer underneath the text and paint with a
large white soft brush in at the side of the light
source in order to create gradient behind the text.
16
TWEAK THE SHADOWS
This method is different from using just one adjustment layer and we’ll specifically select dark
areas and enhance them. Use the Eyedropper to select the darkest area, go to Select>Color Range, then
select all the shadows. Ensure you have selected the 3D type layer and then hit Cmd/Ctrl+J to create a new
layer from it. Use Levels to lower the brightness and tweak the opacity to get the best balance.
15
ADJUST THE EXPOSURE
Currently the lighting on the word is dull, so you can improve this by painting in light using blend
modes. Grab a soft brush set to a light grey and paint over the word, using Overlay as the blend mode. Also
reduce the Opacity of the brush to 50% and create a clipping mask over the word’s layer. This is a quick way to
brighten certain areas of an artwork without using any adjustment layers. The word has now been brightened
up, but we’ll also need to make the shadows darker.
QUICK TIP
When retouching a photo or an object, pay more attention
to the shadows and highlights. By simply adjusting the
light and shadows of an object, you can make it more
dynamic. Also use adjustment layers to quickly edit the
artwork’s brightness, saturation and colours.
TYPOGRAPHY
POSTPRODUCTION
POLISH UP YOUR RESULTS AND PERFECT YOUR RENDER
150 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
17
ADJUSTMENT LAYERS
We’ll now use adjustment layers to enhance the colour and contrast of
the image as a whole. Add a new Vibrance adjustment layer, then set the Vibrance
value to 97 and Saturation to -6. There are many different shades of gold, but we’ll
lean more towards a white than a regular gold. Feel free to increase the
saturation to get a more yellow finish and add a Levels layer to modify the light
and shadows.
18
FINAL EDITS
Create a new layer at the top, select Image> Apply Image, then select
OK to flatten the image into one layer. Another way to do this is to create a new
layer and hit Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+E. Select the merged layer and apply
Filter>Sharpen>Smart-sharpen, setting the value to 190%. If you want a more
pronounced effect, create another merged layer and apply the Oil Paint filter with
Shine at 0% and Smart Sharpen on. Add some text and symbols for the finishing
touch and you’ve turned a vector line into golden 3D handwriting.
DESIGN 3D TYPE
QUICK TIP
The Smooth tool is handy when
you need to smoothen the corners
and curves of a path. It’s quicker
than using the Anchor Point and
Pen tools, but the outcomes can be
very random. To get a perfect curve
you might have to apply it more
than once.
GOLDEN RESULT
We have turned a simple vector line from Illustrator into a full-3D golden type render using three different programs.
Combining different soware to create artwork gives you more freedom and it opens up the doors to make works that
can’t be finished in one application. With the knowledge gained from the different applications, you will have many more
options and techniques, as well as ways to approach your work.
Working in 3D is like using
your hands to sculpt. You
have to consider
the material, the
lighting and most
importantly the
additional Z-axis
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 151
152 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
TYPOGRAPHY
USING BOTH PHOTOSHOP AND ILLUSTRATOR, WE SHOW YOU
HOW TO REPLICATE EFFECTIVE RETRO TYPOGRAPHY
CREATE STYLISH
VINTAGE TYPE
T
ypography is a fundamental part of
day-to-day life. It’s everywhere we look, but
so much of today’s typography lacks any
creative flair.
Typography in the past, particularly in signs,
tended to be more visually pleasing. Inspired by
hand-painted enamel signs and old typographic
posters, here we’ll show you how to replicate classic
vintage typography.
A lot of time will be spent creating the type in
Illustrator. This is where we’ll add detail to the type
using options, such as the Offset Path, blends and
the Pen tool. In Photoshop we’ll apply texture using
various blending modes and use brush techniques
to mimic cracks and creases. We’ll also explore
tweaking hue and saturation, as well as Curves
layers, to enhance tones. Some textures and details
in Photoshop will complete the piece.
03
ADDING TEXTURE
Now apply some texture. Open up a dark grunge texture in Photoshop and invert it by going to
Image>Adjustments>Invert. Once this is done, drag the JPEG into your document and set the blending mode
to Overlay. To make the grunge texture more intense, go to Image>Adjustments>Levels and increase the
black to darken the texture.
02
BORDER AND GRADIENT
We want to give this piece a border, so
create a new layer, fill it with a solid colour and then
drag each edge in by 10mm. Next apply a Gradient
Overlay within the Layer Style dialog, selecting the
Foreground to Background gradient. Set the Style as
Radial, the Angle at 60 degrees and the Scale at
150%, making sure the Reverse box is ticked. Put
the Opacity of this layer to 25%.
01
PICK A DOCUMENT SIZE
First you will need to decide on the size of
your document. Take into account whether the
finished image will be printed or solely used on the
web. In this case it will be printed, so we’ll open a
new 235 x 303mm portrait document in Photoshop,
making sure it has a white background.
LOGS MATTHEWS
www.logsmatthews.co.uk
OUR EXPERT
Logs Matthews is a 23-year-old,
self-taught, freelance graphic
designer from the north-west of
England. Here he shows you how
to create stylish vintage
typography using both Photoshop
and Illustrator.
FROM SIMPLE TYPE TO
DYNAMIC RESULTS
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 3: Apply texture
Step 4: Make the type
Step 14: Add final details
BEGIN APPLYING TEXTURE
BUILD UP MATERIAL EFFECTS IN PHOTOSHOP BEFORE ADDING TEXT
CREATE STYLISH VINTAGE TYPE
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09
MOVE BACK TO PHOTOSHOP
Now the type is done, copy and paste it
into your Photoshop document as a Smart Object.
This enables you to make changes to the type if
necessary, without opening the original Illustrator
file. Just double-click the Smart Object thumbnail on
the type layer to open it in Illustrator. When changes
have been made, hit Save and it will automatically
amend the type in Photoshop.
08
INTRODUCE DEPTH TO
SANS SERIF TEXT
Copy and paste the word ‘work’ into a new layer and
place it underneath your original layer. Position the
word down and right to use as a guide. Back with
the original layer, use the Pen tool to draw in the 3D
shapes. Apply a gold gradient, copy and paste these,
fill them red, then send them to the back to add even
more depth. Do this once more and fill them with
grey to replicate a shadow.
06
DETAIL THE SANS SERIF TEXT
Now grab the Line Segment tool to draw a
line above and below the sans serif words, giving
them a 1pt Stroke. Set these lines to a beige tone
(#C2B59B). To multiply the lines, double-click the
Blend tool and a Blend Options box will appear.
Select Specified Steps from the dropdown menu
and type the number of steps you would like. Click
the end point of the top line and then the parallel
point of the bottom line to multiply the lines evenly.
10
GIVE THE TYPE TEXTURE
Now we need to copy the grunge layer and
place it above the type layer. Set the blending mode
to Multiply and the Opacity to 60%. We only want
this texture layer to affect the type, so hit Cmd/
Ctrl+Opt/Alt+G to clip the texture into the type layer.
By adding a mask to this layer, and using a small
soft brush with an Opacity of 60%, you can roughly
mask out some of the areas where there is too
much texture.
07
CLIPPING THE LINES
Now send the lines to the
back. Copy and paste the inner text, give
it a beige Stroke of 1pt and put it to one
side. Select the inner text you grouped
in Step 5 and go to Object> Compound
Path>Make. With the inner text still
selected, hold Shift, select the lines,
then go to Object> Clipping Mask>Make.
Doing this will clip the lines into the
inner text. Now drag the beige outlined
text that you put aside over the clipped
lines, then fill the black letters with a
dark-red tone that’s suitable.
05
OFFSET THE SANS SERIF TEXT
In preparation for detailing the sans serif
text, we need to offset it. Begin with the word ‘work’
and go to Object>Path>Offset Path, then set the
Offset to 2mm. Once you’ve offset the path, reselect
the word and go to Object>Ungroup. While holding
the Shift key down, select the inner parts of the
word and go to Object>Group. The inner parts of the
sans serif words will be used as a clipping mask for
some of the line details.
04
INPUT THE TEXT
In Illustrator, open a new 235 x 303mm
portrait document and lay out the phrase ‘work hard
and be nice to people’. We’re aiming to produce a
vintage typography feel by applying a bold sans serif
font to the words ‘work’ and ‘nice’, as well as a bold
serif font to the words ‘and be’. Now apply a Script
font to the words ‘hard’ and ‘to people’, for a softer
contrasting effect between the texts. Outline all of
the text by going to Type>Create Outlines.
APPLY SOME MORE DEPTH
GIVE A 3D LOOK TO YOUR TEXT USING THE PEN TOOL
We’re aiming to produce
a vintage typography
feel by applying a
bold sans serif
font to the words
‘work’ and ‘nice’
QUICK TIP
Try to add layers as you create
your type. You can do this by using
the Offset Path tool multiple times,
giving your type very thin borders.
Once you have a few borders,
apply gold gradients to some and
fill others with white. This will help
embellish your type further.
TYPOGRAPHY
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FINISHING TOUCH
Now that the image is complete, we want to
add one final effect to bring it all together. Save a
copy of your PSD, flatten it, then go to Filter>Noise>
Add Noise. Use an Amount of 10% to give your
image a subtle grain texture, making your piece
look less digital and more vintage.
11
ADJUST YOUR TONES
To enhance the colours we’ll need to add a new Hue/Saturation layer above the type layer,
increasing the Saturation to make the colours more vibrant. If there’s a specific colour that you want to
target, you can select it from the Hue/Saturation dropdown. Also, add a new Curves layer above the type
layer, setting the Output at 125 and the Input at 137, to make the colours even richer.
13
DRAW IN CRACKS
Adding cracks is a great way to age an
image. This technique is easier with a graphics
tablet and pen but can still be achieved with a
mouse. First insert a new layer, select a hard round
brush – with the Size set at around 6px and the
Opacity at 100% – and start drawing in some cracks.
Once you’re happy, go to Layer>Smart
Object>Create Smart Object. Set the layer’s blending
mode to Multiply and set the Opacity to 20%.
12
MASK EDGES AND DODGE/BURN
To re-create faded edges, start by adding a
layer mask to the gradient layer. Using a 400px soft
brush with 60% Opacity, begin masking out small
areas towards the edges. Now target individual
areas of the grunge layer, use the Burn tool with the
Range set to Midtones, brush Size set at 300px and
the Opacity set at 45%, then begin to darken them.
On the other hand, if any areas need lightening, use
the Dodge tool with the same brush settings.
ADD THE FINAL TOUCHES
USE HUE/SATURATION AND CURVES LAYERS
SMALL DETAILS
Adding small details
can take a lot of time,
but they really add
quality to a piece of
work. Starting with the
banner, make a thin
triangle shape and
place it horizontally at
one end of the main
rectangle. Copy and
paste this underneath
and use the same
blending technique as used in Step 6. The number of
steps will vary on the size of your banner. Repeat this
on the other side of the rectangle and the inside of the
banner. Once positioned, set the blending mode to
Multiply and set the Opacity at 25%.
QUICK TIP
Adding noise is great for making a piece of work look
less digitally made. When adding noise to a piece of work,
make sure you decide whether the piece warrants it.
Sometimes adding noise can make what was a bright
glossy image look dull and washed out.
Adding cracks is a great
way to age an image. It’s
easier with a tablet
and pen but can
be achieved with
a mouse
CREATE STYLISH VINTAGE TYPE
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TYPOGRAPHY
Andy is an architect exploring the
unexpected results created from the
interface between architecture and
graphic design. His work is often
extravagant but never insincere. The
tangibility of the work he does in
architecture serves to fuel his appetite
for unadulterated escapism in his
graphic design work.
ANDY HAU
www.andyhau.com
OUR EXPERT
156 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
LEARN HOW TO MERGE URBANISM AND TYPOGRAPHY TO
CAPTURE THE EUPHORIA OF BEING IN A CITY
3D TYPE PROJECTS
I
f it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck – the chances
are it’s probably a duck. But one of the many things you learn in architecture is
to avoid designing duck buildings, or buildings that look like the object they
relate to. For example, if your client were a drinks manufacturer, a giant
bottle-shaped building would be pretty lame. Andy Lau’s research explores the
synergy between architecture and graphic design and the points where they blur,
for example in electrographic architecture where built surfaces become
subservient to the advertising billboards they display. If buildings can become
billboards for words, couldn’t words become pieces of architecture? An even
more interesting path would be to consider whether these building blocks of
graphic design could be manipulated again to form electrographic architecture.
With cyberspace fast becoming the new reality and e-commerce the new
architecture, could we reach a point where marketing is so critical that even the
words themselves are used for advertising space? This is the inspiration for this
image and the context for its abstract motifs. Using photo textures, we aimed to
dynamically illustrate how such a future cityscape might look.
3D TYPE PROJECTS
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01
LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS
Begin by finding a font in Illustrator with
qualities that will lend themselves to becoming the
physical form of a building. We tend to use sans serif
fonts such as Helvetica, useful because of its bulk
and clean lines. For the letters formed from
windows, use a font such as BDBrick or draw
squares to form the shape of the letter. Kern the
letters tightly to form the illusion of a dense and
bustling city.
04
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING
Although the image is abstract, there need to be tokens of realism that people will associate with buildings to
make the image convincing. Using the Line tool, create columns where you think the buildings may need support, but be
sure not to go overboard. There needs to be an element of joy and wonderment – we are designers after all, not engineers.
Heaven forfend.
03
FAÇADES
Open a new file in Photoshop and drag the
3D lettering into it. Using their outlines as a template,
overlay photo textures of real architectural materials
such as concrete and metal, and cut out the shapes
using the Pen tool. Using the 3D lettering as an
indicator, highlight areas of the photo texture using
the Polygonal Lasso tool and turn down the
Brightness levels (Image>Adjustment>Brightness/
Contrast) to create a sense of three-dimensionality.
02
ARCHITECTURAL ANATOMY
Fill some of the letters with a solid colour.
These will become your expanses of solid façade
for advertisement. Keep the other letters as
outlines, which will form areas of active frontage
for variety. Highlight all the letters and group them
together (Object>Group). Using the Extrude & Bevel
tool in Illustrator (Effect>3D> Extrude & Bevel) set
the parameters for the shading and extrude depth.
Set the perspective angle according to your design.
TYPOGRAPHY
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HARNESS VISUAL POWER
Step 16: Complete the artwork
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 7: Create advertising
Step 1: Begin the layout
07
ADVERTISING
In Illustrator, create a swarm of neon signs
in every garish colour you can think of. You can base
them on real logos or come up with your own. Drag
the neon signs that you have created from Illustrator
into Photoshop one by one and place them onto the
façade of the buildings. Try to retain the legibility of
the text as you are layering the neon signs.
06
LUMINARIES
One of the most important aspects of
creating a successful cityscape is realistic lighting.
Draw long, rectangular, white boxes with the
Rectangular Marquee tool and locate the positions
for the lighting to be placed. Double-click on the layer
you are working on and apply a light yellow Outer
Glow layer style.
05
INTERIOR DESIGN
Using the Rectangular Marquee tool, draw rectangles approximately the same thickness as the
walls and fill them in with a dark colour to create the floor slabs. Now draw dark, rectangular shapes in
varying sizes and shades of grey to denote furniture and doors inside the buildings and apply a Gaussian Blur
(Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) to keep the objects ambiguous. Committing to too much detail will confuse the
image, especially when you start adding the advertisements.
08
GLAZING
Glazing is notoriously difficult to emulate in
Photoshop. The easiest way to deal with it, especially
in a night-time image, is to draw everything behind
the window and create a light grey fill over the areas
of glazing, use the Bevel and Emboss layer style and
set the blending mode to Multiply. Play with the
opacity settings to achieve the desired effect.
09
ENVIRONMENT
We’ve chosen to create a night-time scene
for various reasons. First, the darkness will make
the neon signs and the lighting shine more brightly
and will capture the sense of rapture of being in the
city. Second, and more importantly, night-time
scenes are more forgiving, providing a veil of
darkness for edges to disappear and fade into
the background.
3D TYPE PROJECTS
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 159
QUICK TIP
Though cutting out and manipulating photo textures sounds like a Herculean task, especially when you could
bypass the whole ordeal and model it in 3D, trust us, it really is a lot faster and less infuriating to do it this way. And
anyway, there’s something incredibly reassuring about mindless repetitive labour.
Night-time scenes are
more forgiving, providing
a veil of darkness
for edges to
disappear into
the background
11
TOWER CRANE
Place the crane in the water in front of the
buildings to create a sense of perspective and
depth. Select the crane’s layer and make a copy of
it. Flip the layer vertically (Edit>Transform>Flip
Vertical) and apply a Motion Blur (Filter>Blur>
Motion Blur). Do not set the distance of the blur too
high. Turn down the opacity until the blurred object
looks like a reflection of the second tower crane.
12
BILLBOARD
Draw a rectangle, fill it in using a dark colour and start designing
your billboard. Play with the perspective to create depth by using the
Transform option (Edit>Transform>Perspective). Even though the words on
the billboard will form part of a greater sentence in the composition, try to
make them relate to the product that it is promoting.
13
AIRSHIP
Place the airship at a height that is above the billboard so that the eye is
immediately drawn to the first word in the sentence. Horizontally, the position of the
airship should relate to the billboard so that the eye picks up the next words. Using
the Warp tool (Edit>Transform>Warp), curve the text to align with the surface of the
airship for naturalism.
TYPOGRAPHY
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10
SITE CONTEXT
Create the cityscape behind your buildings by piecing together elements from various cities. Keep
the silhouettes dark and ethereal by turning down the opacity; they are only there for context and should not
compete with the buildings in front for the viewer’s attention.
Keep the silhouettes
dark and ethereal by
turning down the
opacity; they
should not
compete for the
viewer’s attention
16
PRACTICAL COMPLETION
Finish the artwork by adding a few more images of trees to the
background and adjust the lighting and shading so that the whole image
looks balanced as a composition. Zoom out, sit back and enjoy the view.
15
LIGHT POLLUTION
To intensify the atmosphere, exaggerate the light pollution behind the buildings.
Draw a long, elliptical shape with the Elliptical Marquee tool and adjust the Feather to a
high setting. Fill this shape in white and apply an orange Outer Glow layer style. Separate
the layer style (Layer>Layer Styles>Create Layer) and delete the bottom half of the glow.
14
ADD THE BOATS
Locate the boats in a darker area of water. This will help with the illusion that they are sitting in the
water. Delete the bottom section of the boats with the Rectangular Marquee tool, having adjusted the Feather
to a low setting. Choose a font that looks like it has been handmade with a paintbrush or something similar,
and flip the text vertically. Make a copy of the boats and the text and flip them vertically. Apply a Motion Blur
onto the boat layer and give the text layer a small Gaussian Blur. Lower the opacity on both.
3D TYPE PROJECTS
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QUICK TIP
One of the reasons that computer-generated
images end up looking sterile is that
the computer works out perspectives
mathematically and the eye just does not view
in perfect perspectives. Next time, even if
theoretically the perspective is wrong, if it looks
right visually then stick with it.
The eye just does not view in
perfect perspectives. Even if
the perspective is
wrong theoretically, if it
looks right visually
then stick with it
Graphics
162 Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection
172
PAGE
Add impact and
depth to your work
with creative,
dynamic graphics
built using a host of
advanced Photoshop
techniques
Working cross-
platform can
create some
of the most
interesting
and unique results
164 15 ways to master
infographics
Get top advice on creating
infographics from leading
industry experts
172 Master portrait
illustration
Combine Photoshop and
Illustrator to create an exciting
and colourful portrait
178 Blend graphics
and type
Design a typographic illustration
with elements and shapes
182 Master polygons
Use geometric shapes to
produce creative portraits
188 Metro-style
websites
Get to grips with Metro web
design layout styles
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182
PAGE
188
PAGE
178
PAGE
PROFESSIONAL DESIGNERS SHARE THEIR TOP TIPS FOR CREATING INFORMATIVE AND
VISUALLY APPEALING GRAPHICS THAT WORK HARD TO REPRESENT THE GIVEN DATA
SABRINA SMELKO
www.sabrinasmelko.com
Sabrina Smelko, illustrator and
designer, shares her top tips for
planning an infographic: “The first step to creating a
great infographic is gathering information – be that
from a client or not. You need to ask: What’s the
mood of the infographic? What are the dimensions
of the piece? What is the style? What medium is it
being created for? But most importantly, you need
the statistics. They are the bones that all great
infographics are based on. The right kind of stats are
also important: the more direct, the better. Any time
you can use concrete numbers or percentages, the
more hard-hitting the graphics.”
HOW TO PLAN AN
INFOGRAPHIC
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CLIENT REQUIREMENTS
I met with the great people at Bright
Almond over dinner. We chatted about their needs
and I gathered as much information about the
project as possible. At this stage, they also supplied
me with their brand guidelines that specified the
colours and fonts I had to use, so I could think about
a look and style to execute in.
02
EXPERIMENTATION
As Bright Almond spent some time fishing
for statistics, I started playing with styles, shapes and
the overall look of pieces in Illustrator before diving
into anything too specific. After this, I was supplied
with a long list of statistics from which I could pick
and choose the best nuggets of information.
03
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Once I established a look, I laid out the
boxes of soon-to-be text and graphics using a grid to
ensure the infographic would be visually balanced.
By this point, I had established a look and a layout,
gained knowledge of the dimensions, purpose and
usage of the infographic and was supplied with
colours and fonts, so it was a matter of filling in the
blanks. The only task left to do was to translate the
statistics into icons and illustrations in a visually
pleasing and educational way.
JONATHAN QUINTIN
www.dribbble.com/STUDIOJQ
Jonathan Quintin, founder
and creative director of
STUDIOJQ, created this screen printed wedding
invitation infographic to celebrate the lives of a
couple getting married. He says that you need to
consider how people will view your infographics:
“It’s extremely important to consider all media
types and where the viewer will see your
infographics. When the big rave for infographics
started, most designed for a standard web
format, but these days you need to consider
animated elements and better ways to tell a
story. This helps to deliver [the data] in a much
more visual and interesting way.”
INFOGRAPHICS
IN A DIGITAL AGE
©

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GRAPHICS
15 WAYS TO MASTER
INFOGRAPHICS
ANTON EGOROV
www.behance.net/egorov
Anton Egorov is a freelance CG
artist who has worked for clients
including Toyota, Japan Tobacco International and
Saatchi & Saatchi LA. He created this infographic on
the area and population of Central Asia and Mongolia
for a client. He explains how to create a theme with
data: “Usually, after collecting the information, it’s just
a bunch of facts, some pages of text and a couple of
fearful tables into the bargain. From this junk, we
should carefully extract nice and pretty data that we
want show to our viewer. Ideally, you can describe
your purpose with one word. But usually it’s several
ones. In my case, it’s something + something +
entertainment. Despite that, I still respect fully
utilitarian infographics.”
BUILD INFOGRAPHICS
WITH A THEME
© Anton Egorov Client: Japan
Tobacco International. Agency:
re:point - Kazakhstan
■ Add details
Some of the small details were
drawn with my tablet pen
■ Smoke effects
The black-and-white photo of the
smoke was used in Screen mode
■ Further details
Other details are simple, free 3D
models rendered in grey and
coloured with Photoshop
■ Landmarks
For famous sights, I made plain
3D models and textured them in
Photoshop using photos
■ Add textures
I mixed some textures and photos in
masked groups and used them in
Multiply mode above the 3D shot
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15 WAYS TO MASTER INFOGRAPHICS
■ 3D beginnings
At first, I rendered a simple 3D model of the pie using a plain
grey material, so I didn’t worry about perspective and shadows
ALEXIS CUDDYRE
www.alexiscuddyre.com
Graphic designer Alexis Cuddyre
has worked on data visualisation
projects for a range of clients through her current
employer, Digit. She tells us: “If the aim of your
infographic is to tell a story, it’s very important that you
don’t just include absolutely every single data point
that you’ve captured. It is the responsibility of the
team, not just the designer, to make sure the
visualisation has a carefully curated point of view. On
the other hand, there are really beautiful infographics,
especially in the interactive world, where the point of
the piece is less about explaining a single story and
more about encouraging the user to explore and
play with the data.” She collaborated with two other
designers to produce this ‘Notorious James Bond’
piece, which was entered into the Information is
Beautiful awards run by David McCandless, a
London-based author, writer and designer. The full
interactive piece is available to view at
http://notoriousbond.info.
USE INFOGRAPHICS
TO TELL A STORY
© Alexis Cuddyre, Christina Winkless and David Paul Rosser
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GRAPHICS
■ Focal design
Each actor was labelled ‘Notorious for…’, which
influenced the design of the hero image
■ Project focus
This image is a single screen from an interactive
infographic called Notorious James Bond,
created by Alexis Cuddyre, Christina Winkless
(www.christinawinkless.com) and David Paul
Rosser (www.davidpaulrosser.co.uk)
■ Create balance
We included the same amount of supporting
data on the right-hand side as a secondary way
of comparing across all the actors
■ Pick an angle
This was based on data released by Information is Beautiful. We looked at the data
and decided our story was going to be on what each actor was notorious for, be it the
highest number of kills, or the number of times the actor was presumed dead
■ Add context
Last, we added a third level of data along the left-hand side in the
format of a timeline, where all the movies were listed with their
respective ratings in order to provide additional context
JAYMIE MCAMMOND
www.jaymiemcammond.com
Designer, illustrator
and letterer Jaymie
McAmmond has
worked for a huge number of well-
known clients. This amazing infographic
artwork was created as a site-specific
mural for Starbucks, Toronto, and the
actual mural stands at 10 x 20ft. It was
created using mixed media tools
including pencil, paper, chalk, charcoal,
Illustrator and Photoshop.
“When designing this type of mural, I
begin with sketches to determine
content, hierarchy of information,
composition and typography. During this
phase, I also draw any spot illustrations I
want to include. Although it might be
quicker to draw these digitally, I find I get
more control and accuracy on paper.
Next, I redraw the illustrations and
assemble the final composition in
Illustrator. Lastly, I add texture and depth
in Photoshop.
Since Photoshop brushes don’t work
at this scale, all of my textures are hand
crafted, scanned and imported as
separate layers. Although the industry
standard for printing murals is
100-150dpi at full scale, I work at 250dpi
to retain maximum detail in my textures.
At the end of a project, my files can be
upwards of 20GB per image before
flattening – a speedy processor and extra
RAM can really help with this.”
One key element of McAmmond’s
work is the typography: “Not all
infographics need typography to be
successful. There are lots of beautiful
infographics out there that have no
typography at all. However, I always get
really excited working with type.
Choosing the right typefaces is like
choosing the right cast for a film. The
information is like a script and the
typography are the actors that give it
meaning and bring it to life.”
CREATE MIXED MEDIA INFOGRAPHICS
© Jaymie McAmmond
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ANNY TRUONG
www.behance.net/anniitron
Anny Truong, a graphic designer for April Gold Bags,
is one of a growing number of designers who have
applied infographics to their CV as a unique way of
presenting information about themselves. Truong advises to keep things
simple: “Infographics are meant to present complex information quickly
and clearly. The last thing you want is to confuse the viewer with
something that was meant to be simple. Keep it clean, concise and
visually appealing. A little bit of humour or personality doesn’t hurt either.”
CREATE AN INFOGRAPHIC CV
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LAWRENCE WHITELEY
www.wond.co.uk
Lawrence Whiteley is a designer and director at
Wond. He explains that creating an infographic that
is easy to understand in a glance is “not as crucial
as designing something people feel is worthy of a glance. A captivating
design whets the appetite for soaking up the information. If you give the
viewer curiosity then you have a hook, opening us up to learn.” In order
to achieve this, he advises: “A hierarchy of design helping the viewer to
navigate and a nice amount of breathing room are a solid foundation, but
it would be nothing without a seductive colour palette and some graphic
flair. Overcrowding will put people off.”
INFOGR8
www.infogr8.com
infogr8 designed this quirky
infographic based on a survey
by online contact lens retailer GetLenses. The
agency was tasked with creating a visual story
reflecting the frustrating problems glasses wearers
suffered in 2013. The design proves that infographics
can be fun: “The data doesn’t have to always be
serious, but it must be accurate in order to hold
integrity. Each project has different objectives,
audiences and formats to consider. The way we
approach the data needs to reflect that each time,
with open, fresh and innovative thinking.”
The company has some essential advice when it
comes to introducing humour: “It’s crucial that the
data never gets lost in the design, regardless of the
angle you’re taking. Without being able to grasp the
subject at hand straight away or at least have a
basic understanding of it, you’ve just created an
attractive piece of graphic design. However, with this
specific infographic we were given a bit more
freedom by the client and therefore decided to go
with a more playful, humorous direction that fitted
the target audience and the message we were
trying to convey.”
INJECT HUMOUR
INTO INFOGRAPHICS
© Produced by infogr8, illustrated by
infogr8’s Stavros Siamptanis
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GRAPHICS
RANDY KRUM
www.infonewt.com
Randy Krum is a well-known
name in the world of
infographics, as the man behind the website
www.coolinfographics.com, a collection of the best
infographics around. He is also the president of
InfoNewt, an infographic design and visual
consulting company. He explains why infographics
are so appealing:
“The science behind why infographics work is
very compelling. The Picture Superiority Effect states
that audiences are likely to remember 65 per cent of
the content presented if the text is combined with
visuals to assist in conveying the message.
Compare that number to only ten per cent
remembered by audiences from text alone, and
it’s clear that this is a huge advantage to anyone
that uses information design to tell a story in
an infographic.”
Krum offers an explanation as to how a designer
should approach data if they are looking to create an
infographic for the very first time: “Design
infographics should be used to to communicate a
story really well. Most readers will only look at one
for five to ten seconds, and not at the whole thing. An
infographic designer needs to focus on
communicating the main message of the design in
that very short window of opportunity in order to
successfully reach most of the audience. Don’t
include extra data just because it’s available, as that
will confuse and clutter the design and reduce
its effect.”
DON’T FORGET
THE DATA
© 2010 InfoNewt, LLC, Design by Randy Krum
GARY CORR
www.garycorr.co.uk
One difficult thing to achieve
with infographics is balancing
lots of information in one artwork. This is something
that Gary Corr has achieved in his CV project. The
majority of the work is based on typography, so it
was important to get all the elements weighted
correctly for it to work. “Typography played a huge
part in my CV. This was like a sort of cover letter for
me, but using nice typography. I also made it into a
nice piece of visual art. I wanted to create something
that was bold and stood out, creating a memorable
style that communicates quite strongly. A fair bit of
planning was involved: first, you need to decide
which information is going into the CV. As well as the
usual CV info, I wanted to include some lighthearted
facts that would paint a picture of my personality.
Also, I spent time researching others that had been
already done. I wanted to create an original layout
that I hadn’t seen before which would stand out. I
used an unusual shape and fold to achieve this.”
STAND OUT FROM
THE CROWD
© Gary Corr 2013
Gary’s infographic CV has an original layout
that folds down small so that it is easy to
carry around for networking purposes
Thinking outside of the box will make Corr
stand out from the many other CVs received
by design agencies every day – a definite
edge as a recent graduate
KIM GLAZEBROOK
www.kimberleyglazebrook.co.uk
Kim Glazebrook is a graphic
and web designer, and she
created this infographic for NHS 5 Boroughs to
help young people deal with depression. When
working for clients like the NHS, it is important to
make sure that your facts are correct when
creating your design: “With an infographic, and
especially this one, it is vitally important to check
the data is correct, as providing incorrect advice
could be very harmful.”
ALWAYS CHECK
YOUR FACTS
© Kimberley Glazebrook and NHS 5 Boroughs Partnership
© Gary Corr 2013
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MAKE YOUR INFOGRAPHIC EASY TO SHARE
JOHN PRING
www.designbysoap.co.uk
John Pring is the
director of Inbound
Marketing and Content
Creation at Designbysoap. He explains the
importance of making an infographic easy
to share so that it has the widest reach:
“Ensure the page you publish the
infographic on has social media sharing
buttons, making it easy for the reader to
share the content. You can include any
number of social platforms for a user to
engage with, but I would certainly
recommend including Twitter, Facebook,
Pinterest, StumbleUpon and Google+.
Include a HTML embed code with your
infographic, to allow people to copy and
paste the code to embed the infographic on
their own site. An added benefit of this is
that you can include a credit link back to
your own site in the embed code, sending
in more traffic.
In order to encourage sharing, you need
to think about three main elements; the
data, the design and the subsequent
promotion of the artwork.
The data is integral to the success of
your infographic, as it is the angle from
which you decide to approach the
information. The data should be at least
one of three things: informative,
educational or entertaining. Similarly, the
story is hugely important – much like a
journalist does, it’s better to approach and
visualise the data with a story in mind.
The design is a crucial part of
encouraging sharing – you can have the
most interesting data in the world and a
great angle to approach, but if the design is
poor then you’ll struggle to effectively
promote the infographic and will be unlikely
to see much engagement in the way of
social media sharing.
Lastly, the way in which you promote
and spread your infographic will
dramatically affect how it’s shared across
social media platforms. Publishing an
infographic on your site and submitting it to
a few infographic submission sites will
likely result in only a handful of social
shares, whereas approaching an influencer
such as Mashable and getting your design
published on their site will almost certainly
give you hundreds (if not thousands) of
social shares.”
© Official Charts Company and Designbysoap Ltd, 2013
MICHELLE
HYEMIN LEE
www.milee.co
Michelle Hyemin Lee created
One Beverage, an infographic that visualises the
process of making a drink using an espresso
machine. Information is delivered in a circular graph
to resemble both a cup and a clock, and is based on
Starbucks Coffee Company’s Masterna espresso.
An important part in the creation of this graphic was
a relevant and simple colour palette: “When
designing One Beverage, I selected colours in a
subtle range of browns and warm greys to visually
suggest the topic and contribute in efficiently
organising and delivering the information. Subtle
and neutral colours are chosen not only to visualise,
but also help the viewer to easily read and
understand the information. I believe that choosing
a relevant and effective colour palette is one of the
most crucial tasks when designing an information
graphic, because it is a dominant communication
tool. It can effectively suggest the content at glance.
An irrelevant or eyesore colour palette can repel the
viewer from reading the information.”
PICK THE RIGHT
COLOUR PALETTE
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© Michelle Hyemin Lee
An earlier prototype for laying out the cyclists and the labels. In
the end, I had much less space than I thought, so had to simplify
these a lot more to fit in
PAUL BUTT
www.sectiondesign.co.uk
Paul Butt is a freelance
designer and has worked with
clients including the BBC, Wired, Which?, GQ, the
Financial Times and Ubuntu. When creating an
infographic, he explains that: “For me, information
has the central priority, with graphic design playing
the supporting role in presenting it. I try to approach
projects with a rational process and everything has
to have a reason for being on the page. With that
said, there are often little design tweaks and
flourishes that can be quite subtle, yet can really
add character to a piece. However, they should not
obscure the main point of the graphic.”
Butt has a set procedure for ensuring that the
information doesn’t get lost in the design: “I try to
work to a defined grid where I’ll lay out a wire
frame of the information, and then work out how to
go about the aesthetics. Always question what you
are doing and think how other people might
interpret the work. Getting other people’s opinions
can be very valuable, as the design should be as
accessible as possible.”
PRIORITISE THE
INFORMATION
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15 WAYS TO MASTER INFOGRAPHICS
TIFFANY FARRANTGONZALEZ
www.tiffanyfarrant.co.uk
Freelance information designer Tiffany
Farrant-Gonzalez has a lot of experience when
it comes to working with data. Having worked for companies
including Google and American Express, she says: “The Open Data
movement has recently seen both countries and large organisations
release previously hidden data out into the world. This now means
that there is a fantastic array of sources out there to visualise: from
the economy and healthcare to the extinction rate and
environmental data. The Guardian Datablog (www.guardian.co.uk/
news/datablog) keeps an A-Z list of open data sources and Andy
Kirk, who runs www.visualisingdata.com, has also compiled a
fantastic list of open data sources as well as services that work with
or curate social, map-based, weather and travel data.”
FIND GOOD DATA TO
ILLUSTRATE
© Tiffany Farrant-Gonzalez
© Section Design
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MASTER PORTRAIT ILLUSTRATION
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BLACK AND WHITE TO
DYNAMIC COLOUR
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 4: Draw in Illustrator
Step 13: Gradient effects
Step 16: Finish colouring
CREATE THIS COLOURFUL AND DYNAMIC PORTRAIT BY TEAMING UP
PHOTOSHOP WITH ILLUSTRATOR
MASTER PORTRAIT
ILLUSTRATION
W
orking cross-platform can often
create some of the most interesting
and unique results. Combining
programs means you can get the
best from each of them, mixing and matching tools
and techniques to create some really unusual
mixed-media styles. This tutorial will show you how
to create a bright and colourful portrait image,
working from a photograph to first create a sketch
in Illustrator, and then moving onto Photoshop to
add splashes of colour.
Before you start, have fun sketching lots of
different portraits on paper. It’s important to
understand shading and colour, and which details
have the biggest impact on your portrait. As you
progress, you will see that the eyes are often the
trickiest part to get right, yet they are also the most
important aspect of a portrait. Study plenty of photo
stock to ensure that you master their shape and
shading, for a more engaging and convincing
design. Don’t be put out if this takes you some time,
though, as you’ll learn from each mistake.
BRAM VANHAEREN
bramvanhaeren.com
OUR EXPERT
Bram Vanhaeren is a digital artist
from Belgium. He’s been
developing his style since his first
Pen tool experiments in
Illustrator about eight years ago.
His work ranges from simple
illustrations and typography to
mixed-media artwork.
ILLUSTRATE THE PORTRAIT
SKETCH THE PORTRAIT SHADE BY SHADE
02
FIND YOUR PHOTOGRAPH
Use a photo as a base for your illustration.
To spot a good picture from the rest, you need to
check a few important details. First, you must make
sure that the size is okay; the bigger, the better. It’s
also important that there is enough contrast, as this
helps a lot when you are sketching the image.
01
CREATE A NEW
DOCUMENT
Start up Illustrator and create a
new A3 document with Color
Mode set to CMYK. If you prefer
using different settings or sizes,
feel free to do so. Here you will
need a portrait orientation. Make
sure you don’t change the raster
effects and keep it at 300dpi.
03
LAYER ORGANISATION
If there is something that will always help
you in the future working as a designer, it’s a nice
and clean layer organisation habit. Start your
document by naming your layers. In this tutorial you
will only need a few, depending on how many
colours you wish to use.
SOURCE FILES
Download the start image from
blog.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/
tutorial-files/ under Issue 115.
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06
CONTINUE THE PROCESS
When you are shading your portrait, you will see how important it is to
start with the darkest colours first and then the lighter colours in the layers
below. Make sure you look at the whole image, to keep your focus and not get
lost in one single detail. After a few hours of drawing portraits, you will pick up
your own ways to recognise and handle different shapes on a face; for example,
how you like to draw a mouth or an eyebrow.
05
DRAW WITH WAVES
After you have finished the most important details in black, continue drawing with a dark grey.
Select ‘Only web colors’ in your Fill(x) menu to work with the six shades of grey. Now you can draw in the
darker areas and build your portrait. To create paths, we like to draw with a ‘wave’ technique, where we try to
draw in waves and curves. This way we can create some experimental colour paths – perfect for lips and
shadow from the hair and chin.
04
START WITH BLACK
To create this portrait, always start with
the darkest colour to draw the most important
elements of your portrait (these are the eyes, nose,
hair etc). It’s important to use your fresh energy in
the beginning to make sure that these features are
just perfect! Use your Wacom or mouse with the
Pencil tool if you have some experience of drawing
in Illustrator, or use the Pen tool and create your
paths point-by-point if you are a beginner.
07
MAKE IT DIRTY
You should now be almost finished with your black and white
illustration. The next step is to add a dirty paint effect to your portrait. Create a
new layer on top and call it ‘Dirt’. Then imagine you have a dirty, rough brush in
your hands and wipe black and white paint over the portrait, in particular
coming from the highlights. Take the Pencil tool and draw your dirty paint
strokes and place them around so they still fit and add value to your portrait.
QUICK TIP
There is no tutorial that can teach you how to draw. It’s essential for you to sketch on a daily basis to get better at it.
Challenge yourself and try something new every day. You will train your eye to recognise shapes very quickly and learn
how to build your illustrations.
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08
ADD SOME LINEWORK
Before you are completely finished in
Illustrator, create a new layer group called
‘Linework’ and take the Paintbrush tool (B) with
Stroke on. Set the Stroke up with a Size of 0.25pt
(depending on your image size), a Brush
Definition of 3pt Oval and a Uniform variable
brush width profile with Opacity of 100%. Now
draw lines to emphasise the curves of your
portrait and add flow to your model’s face. It’s
also a perfect tool to add details and outlines.
09
OPEN PHOTOSHOP
Time to start working in Photoshop. Copy all the paths from your Illustrator document by pressing
Cmd/Ctrl+C. Open a new A3-sized document in Photoshop and place your illustration. Photoshop will then
ask you how you want to paste it. Pick Smart Object to allow easy updates to your drawing later.
001 DETAILS
Draw all the important details in black and
make sure it’s perfect so that people easily
recognise your model
002 DIRTY PAINT EFFECT
Create dirty brush strokes on the face in
black or white to add a gritty and realistic
paint effect
003 OUTLINES
Thanks to the useful Brush tool, you can
add more details to your portrait with
simple curly lines
001
002
003
FINAL ADJUSTMENTS
USE LAYER MASKS, ADJUSTMENT LAYERS AND FILTERS TO COMPLETE YOUR ILLUSTRATION
11
CREATE YOUR OWN GRADIENT BRUSH
You will now create different coloured gradient brushes. Use a soft
round brush with Opacity of 70% and Flow of 100% and start by brushing one
circle of 2500px in a pinky-red colour. Then create another at 2000px with dark
orange, 1500px with orange and 1000px with yellow. Then transform your
brushes with the Warp tool (Edit> Transform>Warp tool and pull around) and
set the blending mode to Screen to place it over the portrait.
10
ADD HAZE
For the next step, you need to search for high-resolution images of
dark clouds with lots of details in them. Once you have found some, paste them
into your Photoshop document, desaturate your layer (Cmd/Ctrl+U) and adjust
the brightness using Curves (Image>Adjustments>Curves or Cmd/Ctrl+M) until
you have a high-contrast black and white image. Now change the layer’s blend
mode to Multiply and place it over the shoulders and hair to add a foggy feeling
to your portrait.
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14
IT’S IN THE DETAILS
Your image is almost complete, but before you finish, search for images that will create textures to
add to your portrait. For example, in this tutorial we used a waving American flag with the red stripes and
white stars to add details that matter to the model, in order to create a story behind the artwork. Then blend
the texture with the illustration by changing the contrast (Image>Adjustments>Curves) and change the
blending mode to Screen again to place it in the darker areas.
15
CHANGING THE OVERALL COLOUR
Create a new layer on top of your whole
document and fill the layer with color #2a59ef, for
example, then change the blending mode to
Difference and the Opacity to 10-15%. You will find
that you discover a fantastic colouring effect with this
single step. You can also duplicate this layer and
change the colour for another effect. When you do
this, place white lines on top of this layer to
emphasise specific details in your portrait – for
example, below the eyes.
13
CONTINUE TO ADD ENERGY
By placing the correct warped brushes, you will experience a special effect where it feels as though
your portrait has gained some energy. This result can come from the movement your brushes suggest and
the colour. In this tutorial, you should try and stick with warm colours and pull your round soft brushes to one
specific side with the Warp tool. This will give the impression that your model has stopped in time, but her
surroundings are still moving.
12
WARP YOUR BRUSHES
You can warp the gradient brushes around
specific parts of your portrait; for example, around
the shape of your model’s hairline or neckline. Play
around and see what looks best. Make sure you try
and adjust the colours as well with the Hue/
Saturation option (Image>Adjustments>Hue/
Saturation) after you have brushed your own
gradients. This way you can come up with unique
colourways you would never have imagined before.
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16
ADD A GRAIN
You may have noticed that recently a lot of digital art has a cool grainy effect in the colour shading.
Ever wondered how this is done? Well, it’s easy. Search for ‘grain texture’ in Google with the search option on
large images and you will find a high-resolution grain texture image (grey and white dots like on an old TV).
Paste this image on top of your work and change the blending mode to Overlay and the Opacity to 30-50%.
This works just fine with the dirt brushes you created earlier.
18
FINISHING AND SAVING
Since you are working on a high DPI with the purpose to print this artwork, it’s important to change
some things before you share your work on the internet. First you have to change the image size (Image>Image
Size). Change the Resolution from 300dpi to 72di and resample the image to Bicubic Smoother (best for
reduction). Normal quality will be just fine since you worked on a high-resolution image. Now you can sit back
and enjoy your portrait.
17
MOVING IN TIME
Earlier in this tutorial we explained how to
add energy and movement to your portrait, to give
the impression that the model is in a dynamic
environment. To create a very obvious feeling of
movement, you can add an extra group of layers
with white lines on top of all your layers in a specific
direction to create this really awesome movement
effect. It’s an easy step that has a very big impact on
your portrait.
To create a very obvious
feeling of movement, you
can add an extra
group of layers with
white lines on top
QUICK TIP
Make sure you keep all your files organised. It will help yourself and the other people who may need to use your files later. It
will also speed up your work time by far and helps you focus on other important things. Try and make it a positive working
habit as quickly as possible.
FINALISE YOUR PREVIEW
When you
are finalising
your high-
resolution
images for a
web preview,
it is possible
that you will
lose some
sharpness
in your
artwork. To solve this annoying problem, you
can use Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask aer you
have changed your image size to 72dpi. Then
change the Amount to 30%, Radius to 0.3px and
Threshold to 0 levels. This simple technique will
sharpen your preview in one second.
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BLEND GRAPHICS AND TYPE
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01
PICK A COLOUR PALETTE
Create a new document and select the
colour palette you will use. Be creative with a
limited number. The colour palette helps you to
visualise your project as a whole. The colours here
are #0b58a8, #001451, #de9e22 and #f0d2a0.
02
CHOOSE THE FONT AND TEXT
Add a new text layer (T) and choose a font
in a large size. ‘Impact’ was chosen in this case, but
you are free choose your own. Type ‘Be Creative’
and align the text in the centre. This is the main
element and the illustration’s focal point.
LEARN HOW TO MAKE A TYPOGRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION
WITH IMPACT USING THE POWER OF PHOTOSHOP
BLEND GRAPHICS
AND TYPE
T
hey say a picture says a thousand words,
so imagine the possibilities in conveying a
message if you were to combine the two. In
this tutorial, you will learn how to blend
elements and shapes to create an energetic and
dynamic typographic illustration. During the
implementation process, you will use many
different techniques in Photoshop to balance
elements and vary their proportions and shadows,
and learn how to give volume to the shapes you
draw with the Pen tool.
Using a digital tablet to follow this tutorial can be
very useful, as the opportunity to play with the
pressure of the pen works wonders when building
quality into your final image. You will also see that
the composition and balance of illustration is not
only about knowing which elements to include, it is
also knowing when to remove them. Finally, you
will learn that colours play a vital role in to obtaining
a composition with a consistent atmosphere. This
tutorial requires a sense of subtlety, but you are free
to create anything you wish.
DAVID DELIN
www.28162.com
OUR EXPERT
David Delin, aka 28162, is an image
maker based in Nantes, France. His
clients include BNP Paribas and New
Scientist magazine.
SOURCE FILES
You will find a selection of resources
provided by the artist on the disc, which
you can use to recreate this tutorial and
in your own projects.
SETTING THE TONE
CHOOSE A FONT AND COLOUR PALETTE THAT WILL HELP CONVEY YOUR MESSAGE
03
ADD A GRADIENT
Duplicate your text and go to
Layer>Pixelate>Text. Double-click it and choose
Overlay gradient. Add a Radial gradient from colour
#c16205 to colour #d89543. You are free to choose
other colours – the purpose here is to be creative.
05
MAKE A FLORAL SHAPE
Using the petal image, you can now create a floral shape.
Duplicate the layer five times and position them so that it forms a rosette.
Create a circle with the Elliptical Marquee tool, fill it with a grey Radial
gradient and place it at the centre of your petals. The use of horizontal and
vertical symmetry will help to balance your image. Go to Edit>Transform>
Vertical Symmetry Axis.
04
CREATE A PETAL
Import the ‘Petal’ file into the document.
Using the eyedropper tool (I), select colour #0157ac,
hit Cmd/Ctrl+U, click Reset and push the Saturation
to 45. Add a new layer, change it to Multiply mode,
and with a soft edged brush and Opacity set to 35%,
paint the shadows of your form. Repeat on another
layer and paint the highlights to add volume.
Keep in mind your main objective,
which is to make the text the focal
point. Place large elements in
the background and smaller
ones in the foreground
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07
DRAW A CIRCLE AND DETAILS
With the Pen tool (P), create a circle.
Double-click on your layer and add an Inner
Shadow. Now draw a pattern. Ctrl/right-click on the
background and add a focused shadow (Layer>
Layer Style>Drop Shadow). Set the Opacity to 40%,
Distance to 0px, Weight to 10px and Height to 80px.
08
CREATE AN ABSTRACT FORM
You will now create the last main form of
your illustration. Add a new layer
(Layer>New>Layer) and name it ‘Abstract form’.
Take the Pen tool and draw a shape similar to the
one above. Repeat the process that was outlined
Step 4 to give volume to the shape. A Wacom tablet
is often useful for doing this.
11
INSERT PATTERNS
Add a new layer and create a rectangle by
using the Pen tool. Double-click the layer or click fx
in the Layers panel and select Pattern Overlay.
Select an existing pattern or use one from your own
library. While adding organic geometric elements to
an illustration can be a good idea in terms of
balance, keep in mind your main objective, which is
to make the text the focal point of your composition.
Place large elements in the background and
smaller ones in the foreground. so that the
message isn’t obscured.
09
BUILD THE COMPOSITION
The next step is to import the file named
‘Sphere grid’ into your document. Now that the
main elements are at your disposal, you can begin
the most exciting part of the tutorial: the
composition. Take the time to find the right balance.
10
ADD CURVED SHAPES
Give dynamic movement to the artwork by
adding some curves. Draw them with the Pen tool.
If you want to be really accurate then this is the time
to use a digital tablet, as it will allow you to play
with the pen pressure. Fill them with a grey colour.
Build flowing shapes and give them volume for
realism – see Step 4 for an example. Arrange the
shapes so they intertwine with the text.
12
PAINT IN SHADOWS
Now that you have your shape elements,
it’s time to add a little more realism. When you
overlay forms, the credibility of these is achieved
through shadows. Use them to create a 3D effect of
depth. Paint them using a soft brush set to 40%
Opacity with your layers in Product mode. Obviously
there are other means to add shadows, like using
drop shadows, but painting your own offers a more
personal touch.
There are always points
that can be improved
such as masking
imperfections or
removing elements
TRAIN YOUR TABLET
SKILLS AND SPEED
PAINT
If you’re new to digital painting, this
tutorial can be challenging. Our tip
is to try speed-painting exercises to
get better each day. There are great
videos and schools out there to learn
that particular skill. We recommend
Advanced Photoshop contributor Feng
Zhu’s website at www.fengzhudesign.
com. Also www.schoolism.com from Bobby Chiu. There are also a lot of
free tutorials on YouTube regarding this method, so it’s definitely worth a
look. In the end there is no shortcut for making the tablet do what you want
it to. No stock images or filters will unleash that potential.
06
ADD A FLOWER
Open the ‘Flower’ file provided
on the source disc and copy and paste
the image into your scene. Apply an
Invert adjustment (Cmd/Ctrl+I) to create
a negative version of it. Put it to the side,
as you will use it later in the process.
For a more personal look, this flower
was created from a photograph, with
shadows and light painted on with a
digital tablet. Feel free to do the same.
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13
PASTE IN THE BIRDS
Bring some life into your composition by
adding an extra element. Download a bird image
from morguefile.com/archive/display/843318
and import it into your document. Duplicate the
image once or twice, and place your birds in
dynamic ways by varying their size (Edition>Free
transform or Cmd/Ctrl+T). Playing with the
variation in size allows you to provide a depth of
field, to create the illusion of a foreground,
midground and background.
14
CREATE DECORATIVE CHIPS
In order to bring even more energy and
vitality to your illustration, you can add a few chips
with features brushes. To do this, draw some
random shapes and turn them into brushes
(Edit>Define Custom Shape). Hit F5 to open the
Form panel and play with the settings of the
dynamic forms, and those of Diffuse. Do not go too
far, even if this kind of effect is fun to use. It can
quickly give a rough look to your composition if you
add too much. Instead, be subtle.
15
ADD A LAYER MASK
There are always points that can be
improved during the creation process such as
masking imperfections or removing any unwanted
elements, because you think they are useless.
Layer masks are ideal for this as they allow any
changes to be non-permanent. Add one to your
document and remove some unwanted areas of
your artwork. Layer masks have an important role
in the integration and credibility of an illustration, so
do not hesitate to spend a little time applying them.
16
MORE DEPTH
Now it’s time to add more depth to your
scene. Duplicate the flower used in Step 6 and
choose a neutral colour like grey. This increases
the depth between your foreground, the second
plane and the background. Go to Layer>Smart
Objects>Convert to Smart Object. Increase its size
(Cmd/Ctrl+T) and set the layer to Overlay mode.
Duplicate this layer, arrange it differently and play
with the opacity.
18
STRENGTHEN THE COMPOSITION
To finish, select all your layers, duplicate
them and then merge them . Apply a High Pass
filter (Filter>Other>High Pass) with a radius of
1.2px. Set the layer mode to Overlay. Attenuate the
effect of the background using a layer mask.
Perform these final touches, zooming to 100%.
Your picture is now complete, but of course you are
free to go even further and add more forms and
elements if you feel it is necessary.
17
APPLY ADJUSTMENT LAYERS
Now give the composition a balanced
chromatic scale. Add a layer of brightness and
contrast adjustment to bring out some elements
(Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Brightness/
Contrast) and a Curves adjustment layer
(Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves ). This is
almost essential, as it offers so much more
flexibility in colour correction and contrast.
Experiment with the settings until you are happy.
SETTING THE TONE
CHOOSE A FONT AND COLOUR PALETTE THAT WILL HELP CONVEY YOUR MESSAGE
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LEARN HOW TO PRODUCE CREATIVE PORTRAITS USING GEOMETRIC
SHAPES AND PHOTOSHOP’S COLOUR ADJUSTMENTS
MASTER POLYGONS
T
he popularity of isometric shapes in digital
art can be explained in many ways. This
style is retro, shiny and there’s a lot of play
involved when creating. There are plenty of
great examples online to get inspired by – www.
polygonheroes.com and the works of our artist
Ryan Barber (www.behance.net/rbarber), for
example. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to work
from a model photo, combining both Photoshop and
Illustrator to create exciting shape styles.
We’ll begin by using Illustrator’s Pen tool, and
show you how to trace a grid of carefully mapped
triangles on top of a photo. A more interesting
isometric illustration will have a map of triangles
that’s not evenly distributed. Therefore, we will be
adding and subtracting anchor points, and using the
Direct Selection tool to adjust triangle corners, in
order to distribute our shapes.
We’ll be using the Eyedropper tool, gradients and
swatches too, showing how these are all used to fill
and affect colour. After the initial vector drawing is
complete we’ll then take our design into
Photoshop. Here we’ll explore how to make overall
colour changes to our rendered design, using
Gradient Overlay, Levels and other color
adjustments to achieve a fantastic final image.
BUILD A BLUEPRINT
USE ILLUSTRATOR’S SHAPE AND SELECTION TOOLS TO BUILD A SHAPE GRID
03
PEN TOOL COLOUR
Now that your image is
locked activate the Pen tool. Make
the Fill colour transparent and set
the Stroke colour to something
that will be easily visible when
laid on top of the image. In this
case, a bright magenta.
01
PREPARATION
The first phase involves tracing a series of
triangles on top of a photograph, in Adobe
Illustrator. Create a new file at 6.66 inches x 10
inches. Hit File>Place and find a start image. In this
case we have used a Dreamstime model
(#18986388). Once the file has been placed into
Illustrator, lock the image.
02
LOCKING YOUR IMAGE
You can lock the image in one of two
ways: either lock the layer in the Layers palette or
highlight the image and then press Cmd/Ctrl+2. All
your work will be laid directly on top of this image.
Once you are done with the illustration, you won’t
need the base image any longer.
Ryan is an LA-based illustrator and
graphic designer. Connecting with
subjects on an emotional level is
important to his work.
RYAN BARBER
www.behance.net/rbarber
OUR EXPERT
You’ll find all the images you need
on the disc provided.
SOURCE FILES
FROM ILLUSTRATOR
TO PHOTOSHOP
Step 19: Add adjustments
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 11: Colour the shapes
Step 5: Begin the grid
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04
PEN TOOL WEIGHT
The next step is to set the weight of our
Pen tool’s stroke. We don’t need this to be too thick
as our marks will only work as guides. In the troke
palette, set a thickness of 0.02 inches – this will
keep the illustration thin enough for us to still be
able to see most of the photograph underneath. If
your view of the photograph’s details is obstructed
then it will be more difficult to map the grid.
07
SECOND TRIANGLE
Activate the Direct Selection tool by pressing the A key. Our selection tool’s cursor will change in
colour from black to white. Click on the top triangle’s uppermost anchor point. Drag that anchor point down
and slightly to the right, as you can see in our example. The second triangle will now only share one common
side with the first triangle. We’ll keep on repeating this process of copying, pasting and dragging one anchor
point at a time until the photograph is covered with triangles.
08
N TRIANGLES
Copy the second triangle with Cmd/Ctrl+C
and paste it on top of itself with Cmd/Ctrl+F. Apply
the Direct Selection tool to this third triangle’s top
anchor point and then drag it down as shown. The
third triangle should now only share one side with
the second triangle. We’re starting to get the hang
of this sort of application.
05
FIRST TRIANGLE
Let’s map out a series of adjacent
triangles on top of the base photo. No other shapes
should be used, and each triangle should roughly
cover one solid area of colour. Squint when you’re
looking at the start image – this helps you to
separate out the areas of colour. Draw the first
triangle by clicking at the top of the hair then
completing a triangle covering that section of hair.
06
COPY AND PASTE
Select the first triangle and then copy it by
pressing Cmd/Ctrl+C. Paste it on top of itself by
pressing Cmd/Ctrl+F. We want this new triangle to
be adjacent to the first triangle. In other words, it will
share only one side with it. It’s important to generate
new triangles by copying them directly from the
ones that have been created before; if we don’t, our
grid will have holes and cracks between the shapes.
QUICK TIP
The more detailed the grid becomes, the more the
viewer will want to look at it. Decide which areas of
the image you want them to focus on. These areas
should have smaller, more detailed triangles. To create
apparent contrast, add some areas that are more basic.
MASTER POLYGONS
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Really focus on varying
the sizes and shapes of
the triangles.
Varying locations
will make the
image unique
10
CONTINUE THE GRID
It’s easy to just make all triangles the same
size because it speeds up the process. However,
resist the temptation. Really focus on varying the
sizes and shapes of the triangles. The more we vary
the locations of our shapes, the more unique our
illustration becomes. The reference images in the
screenshot, for example, show two circular shapes;
one is much more interesting than the other. So with
that in mind, continue mapping out your grid.
11
SOLID COLOUR
You’ve got your grid – now it’s polygon time.
Grab the Eyedropper and sample a dark skin tone
from beneath the triangle we’ll colour first. Add it to
the Swatches palette and the New Swatch window
will appear. If you’re planning to print an illustration
set this to CMYK mode. If you’re using an illustration
online set this to RGB mode. Apply Direct Selection
to the triangle and click on the new swatch.
12
GRADIENT SWATCH
Press I to activate the Eyedropper. In the
reference image, the red triangle has a light tan
colour and fades to a darker brown. Sample the tan
area to update the Fill colour. Drag to the Swatches
palette, then repeat for the brown. Drag both
swatches into your Gradient palette, delete the black
and white swatches, then adjust the gradient slider
so the tan and brown colours are at opposite ends.
13
APPLYING A GRADIENT
From the upper-left corner of the Gradient
palette, drag the Gradient swatch to the Swatches
Palette. Click on a triangle and then the new swatch.
To specify the location and direction of the gradient,
select the triangle, hit G and click where you want the
gradient to begin, then drag the cursor to the end
point. Repeat in different locations, adjusting the
gradient slider, until it represents the photo’s colours.
09
WORK WITH ANCHOR POINTS
Most triangles will share one common side with another triangle, but some triangles will only share
a portion of another triangle’s side. We’ll use the Add and Subtract Anchor Point tools to make precise edits to
the length of one of our triangle’s sides. This will provide much more flexibility in how we lay our grid out.
FILL IN COLOUR
USE ILLUSTRATOR’S TONAL OPTIONS TO CREATE SOLID SHAPES
001
We copied and pasted our initial triangle on
top of itself, creating the second one. This is
the triangle we want to edit
002
Select the right corner of the second triangle.
Drag it to the left, to shorten the side, then use
the Add Anchor Point tool
003
Select the second triangle. Activate the
Subtract Anchor Point tool and click the far-
right anchor point to remove it
003 002 001
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GRAPHICS
QUICK TIP
Mapping out all the triangles perfectly in one go is
almost impossible. You’ll need to adjust areas so that all
the triangles butt up against each other cleanly. Select all
shapes and fill them with 100% black. Remember which
shapes need adjusting, undo the black fill and then
adjust accordingly.
WORKING IN PHOTOSHOP
FIND OUT HOW TO APPLY DETAILED ADJUSTMENT SETTINGS TO CREATE STYLISH EFFECTS
14
ADJACENT COLOUR
As we fill our grid shapes with colours and gradients, we need to ensure we can clearly distinguish
all of our triangles. If any start to merge together then the image will begin to appear flat and lack that third
dimension. Colour hues, colour values or gradient angles may need to be adjusted. Refer to the base photo
for reference and remember; you should always be able to distinguish the edge of every side of every triangle.
15
BEGIN WORK IN PHOTOSHOP
It’s time to add some colour adjustments
and lighting effects in Photoshop. Hit Select All then
Copy. Open Photoshop and create a new document.
Photoshop will set up the file to fit the dimensions.
Once again, if you want to get this printed then set
your workspace to Image>Mode>CMYK. If you want
this illustration to be used online, select Image>Mode
and the choose the RGB colour mode instead. Apply
Paste as Pixels and press OK.
16
BRING HAIR INTO PHOTOSHOP
We’re going to change the model’s hair so it
includes vibrant purple tones. In Illustrator, lock the
photograph by selecting it and pressing Cmd/Ctrl+2.
Select all of the shapes that form the hair, except the
buzzed area around her ears. Individually select each
triangle with the regular selection tool; hold down
Shift and click on each desired triangle, continuing to
add to the selection. Once you have the hair, hit Cmd/
Ctrl+C. Switch over to Photoshop and then paste.
17
RENAME LAYERS
Back in Photoshop, we now have two
separate layers. The complete illustration should be
on the bottom layer and the layer with just the hair
should be set at the top of the stack. Change the hair
layer’s name from Layer 2 to Hair by double-clicking
directly on the layer’s name; a white box will appear
around it. Type in Hair and then press the Return key.
It’s always good practice to keep all layers intuitively
labeled, no matter how few layers a file may contain.
18
LAYER STYLES
Now that we have an editable hair layer, we
can make colour changes to it. Double-click just to
the right of the Hair layer’s name; the Layer Style
dialog will appear. In the left-hand column of options
there are a lots of different Layer Styles. Select
Gradient Overlay. Photoshop will default the gradient
style to black and white, which will be previewed for
us. If you don’t see the applied gradient overlay, tick
the Preview checkbox under the New Style button.
MASTER POLYGONS
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 187
19
APPLY COLOR BURN
Set this Gradient Overlay’s blend mode to
Color Burn. This blend mode creates an interesting
effect by looking at the colour channel information
and then darkening the base colour, which it does by
increasing the contrast between the base and blend
colours. The next thing for us to do is click on the
gradient slider to activate the Gradient Editor. Here
we will specify which swatches will use.
20
COLOUR STOPS
The first thing to do is to click on the small
black swatch at the bottom-left of the gradient slider.
This will activate the colour stop at the bottom-left of
the gradient, which you’ll find under the Stops
section at the very bottom of the window. Ours is a
black stop colour, as seen in the upper of the two
windows shown below; click on it to activate the
Select Stop Color dialog, which defaults to red.
21
LONG HAIR BECOMES PURPLE
Click and select an area of purple in the
Select Color Stop colour swatch. Notice how the
woman’s hair now looks slightly purple. Click OK
twice to continue. We don’t want the purple to stand
out too much – it will look more realistic to dial the
opacity back a little bit. In the Layer Style dialog set
Opacity to 70%, Style to Linear, Angle to -100˚, Scale
to 75% and check the Align with Layer tickbox.
22
ADJUST BUZZED HAIR’S COLOUR
The polygons are beginning to pop now. Next we’ll make the model’s buzzed hair a darker purple. In
Illustrator, copy these areas then paste into Photoshop. Now we apply our new Gradient Overlay to this. Set
the Gradient Overlay’s blend mode to Color Burn. Set Opacity to 85%, Angle to 140˚, Scale to 115%, and then
set the stop colour’s RGB values to R:83, G:0, B:136.
24
ADD LEVELS
To finish, head to the bottom of the Layers
palette and click the Create New Fill or Adjustment
Layer icon, then select Levels. Holding down the Alt
key, click in-between the Ring Levels layer and the
Ring layer. Any edits you make in the Adjustments
palette will now be applied to the layer below it.
Change the first Output Level value to 45, as shown.
23
ADJUST THE RING’S COLOUR
We’re going to make the ring a baby blue
colour. Go to Illustrator then copy and paste the ring
into Photoshop. Set the Gradient Overlay’s blend
mode to Overlay, then set Opacity to 100%, Angle to
119˚ and Scale to 150%. In the Gradient Editor, set
the left-hand swatch’s RGB values to R:168, G:209,
B:255 and the right-hand one to R:58, G:146, B:255.
QUICK TIP
Experiment further with blend modes by applying
a relatively low contrast photograph on top of
your illustration. Press Cmd/Ctrl+U to adjust Hue/
Saturation and activate Colorize. In the Layers palette,
select the drop-down menu to play with different
blend modes. The results are fun and will make your
image even more unique.
METROSTYLE WEBSITES
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 189
When implementing this
style, it’s better to focus on
processing details
rather than creating
complex components
CREATIVE AND TECHNICAL ADVICE ON HOW TO PRODUCE
STYLISH GRIDBASED WEB DESIGN
METROSTYLE
WEBSITES
O
ne of the more popular web design trends is
the Metro style, along with its design
language created by Microsoft. This interface
allows you to make innovative layouts,
associated with mobile device functionality.
All concepts begin in Photoshop. It’s become
standard practice for coders to receive web designs as
PSD files, eliminating any need for file conversion.
Permitting a wide range of effects, plug-ins and Smart
Objects, graphic designers can follow an entire design
process using Photoshop alone.
Here we will go through the basic steps and show
you the important things for modern web design. When
implementing this style, it’s better to focus on
processing details rather than creating very complex
components. You must address the user, who needs to
be able to navigate our design in an intuitive fashion.
Linking simplicity with imagination makes for a
good Metro design. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but
always look at your design in an objective way –
evaluate aspects that create additional problems in the
programming or actual usage of the site.
VIKTOR CHOVANEC
www.entiri.com
OUR EXPERT
Chovanec is a freelance designer
who specialises in web design. He
is the co-owner of creative studio
Entiri.com, which has gained
popularity by designing
contemporary website templates.
MAP TO METRO
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Step 2: Fashion your grid
Step 4: Scheme colours
Step 11: Add functionality
01
GRID SYSTEM
We need to select an appropriate grid to
work from. The Internet offers many grid
generators, which can be set up to create our
own examples. For this work we used a 1200px
grid, including 12 columns set to a width of 91px
each; the width size for all the columns equals
1180px. This is for higher resolutions and
bootstrap technology.
02
WIREFRAMING
Graphic designers are often tasked with
creating a wireframe design for a client first. Here we
work with basic HTML elements (shapes). This gives us
the chance to make amendments, whether from our
own judgment or due to a client’s reaction. This way,
we’re not risking time-consuming edits with the final
design, which is a big gamble.
03
BACKGROUNDS
We have divided our design into three basic
areas, each with a different background. For our page
header we start with a gradient area containing blurred
Ellipse shapes of different sizes and shades of grey. These
were applied with Gaussian Blur. We enhance this blurred
area further by adding several more shape layers and
introducing Motion Blur.
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GRAPHICS
QUICK TIP
It’s easy to swap elements between projects by using
Smart Object layers. These can easily be imported
when you hold Ctrl and then click on the layer. You can
choose from several options, including Edit Contents,
Export Contents and Replace Contents, which helps us to
perform these operations rapidly.
04
COLOUR SCHEME
Colour management is an integral part of
this workflow when you begin to add your tiles.
Using certain types evoke certain moods. This is
particularly true for a simple-looking design with an
emphasis on detail. Try to pick colours that balance;
don’t over-do it with bright and vibrant looks, as
these should be used only to highlight something
important. Add your colours to the Swatches palette
and save them separately, so they’re at hand for
every project and we can load them in later.
07
ADD ICONS
The right choice of icon is almost as important as the correct choice of font. It’s good if the designer
has developed his or her own examples for easy commercial use. You can create them using the Pen and
Shape tools. In CS6, these are vector objects that retain their quality even when you’re resizing and zooming
in on them. Always draw icons at an appropriate size that makes them easily visible. Try to set the icon’s
colours in sufficient contrast to the background colour that they are placed on.
08
SMART OBJECTS
Smart Object layers are very
advantageous. In our design, we work with these in
two ways. First, to interpret the size and dimension
of our images, as we transform bitmaps freely.
Second, we also group our elements into Smart
Objects so that we can quickly import designs into
other projects (PSD files). When you open these
grouped Smart Objects (by double-clicking) you’ll
find nested layers – in our case images, which we
can then edit or add too.
05
CONTENT STRUCTURE
Metro requires a structured layout, and
we group elements to avoid less interesting areas.
It’s important, though, to size tiles appropriately to
avoid the possibility of obscuring content after
clicking. We can find a similar caveat with mobile
apps, where the emphasis is on motion and
user-friendly navigation. This all requires careful
tuning so that the content fits with the overall tone
of the site. Try to draw out the significant and
visible navigation aids so that users always know
where they are within the website.
06
TYPOGRAPHY
Original web design requires a unique font.
We must keep in mind that what looks fine in one
browser might not look fine in another. Some sites
are almost based on beautiful typography, so it
should be chosen from trusted sites. Developers
from Google offer Google web fonts, and these are
guaranteed to work correctly in all major browsers.
It’s especially important with Metro styles to choose
a font that is easy to read because we’ll be applying
it to active tiles that should be easily definable.
METROSTYLE WEBSITES
Advanced Photoshop Premium Collection 191
10
ELEMENT STATES
Our functionality is made dynamic by
creating a number of possible states which can
appear once the site goes live, such as the active
tiles we’ve previously mentioned. We created two
different Smart Objects, one representing an active
state and the other an inactive state. This screenshot
shows a before and after, demonstrating the
dynamic effects you’ll get once we go live with the
site. The red tile on the left will be our active state,
for when a mouse hovers above it. The three grey
tiles represent the inactive state.
11
CONTENT OPTIONS
The image above shows all of the options
that may occur on the website. We have chosen to
use a laptop element to display thumbnails of our
other web projects. There are other, easier ways to
creatively display your projects. It’s often enough to
apply a soft drop shadow or put something into an
alternate shape, such as a circle. Don’t forget about
the grid when inserting similar elements, and set
the size of the elements according to their columns.
12
EDIT PICTURES
The appearance of photos is important in
the overall tone of the design. Of course, their looks
may be subjective according to your colour scheme.
The tools you use are also up to you, but we find
colour adjustments work best. We applied Color
Balance to our photos, setting Shadows to 5, -10, 6,
Midtones to -19, 5, -9 and Highlights to -20, -5, -14,
with Preserve luminosity active. For quick
brightness adjustments, use Brightness/Contrast or
Levels adjustments.
13
FINAL PRODUCT
After completing our design we need to re-
check our files and tune them. This is so the next
person to work with our project can understand and
manipulate it clearly. Don’t underestimate this
stage, as the state of your PSD file determines the
quality of your work. If you use more than the
default patterns, brushes and other Photoshop
components, provide people with your final set. In
PSD files, always try to have most of the layers
active to allow future editing.
09
INTERESTING BACKGROUND
Add a new layer and use the Brush tool to create several circles of varying sizes, between 2px
and 12px. Deploy them irregularly over the entire background. Set the layer’s colour to white by heading to
Layer Style>Color Overlay, leaving the blend mode set to Normal. Now apply the Motion Blur filter and set
the parameters as shown in the screenshot below.
PREPARE FUNCTIONALITY
GEAR UP TO PUBLISH YOUR FINAL LAYOUT
001 002 003
001
Alternate blurring of elements to create
depth, adding more blur to distant objects and
less blur to closer ones
002
Add noise (Filter>Noise>Add Noise) in small
amounts to areas containing gradients for
smoother colour transitions
003
Don’t be afraid to experiment with multiple
layers. Work with the layer styles and use
Photoshop filters
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Professional Photoshop tips
Industry experts explain how to take full
advantage of Photoshop’s best features
Create stunning graphics
Combine type and images, make stylish portraits
and build exciting illustrations
Edit like a pro
Enhance photos with cutting-edge retouching,
colour grading, and compositing methods
Transform images
Discover photomanipulation tools and create
dynamic, surreal and exciting scenes
Master typography
Learn striking typography tips and build
illustrative, 3D and vintage-style text
Paint in Photoshop
Use brushes and blending techniques to render
dream worlds and futuristic effects
VOLUME 8
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Create great
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Inside