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WELCOME
ISSUE 110
Welcome to the latest
issue of Advanced
Photoshop. I couldnt
start without discussing
the ground-breaking news
from Adobe on the end of
the CS boxset and the
launch of Photoshop CC
IN THIS ISSUE:
GRAPHICS
DIGITAL PAINTING
PHOTOMANIPULATION
PHOTO EDITING
ANNALISA SAYWELL
Editor
The recent announcement at the Adobe Max
conference in L.A. has sent our office into overdrive.
Weve learned that significant changes are being
made to both the Adobe product line and the means
of paying for it all, and the important questions
how, what, why and when? have been on
everyones minds since the discovery.
So taking that into account, we discuss what
exactly all the fuss is about and bring you an update
on what you can expect from the new tools as well
as looking into which features to get excited about
when Photoshop CC is finally released on 17 June.
Elsewhere in the issue, we bring you 15 great
illustration tips and tricks, show you how to create
character concepts in CS6 and discover creative
photomanipulation all using Photoshops top tools.
Our free disc is not to be missed either, with over
1,270 premium resources to choose from and an
exclusive video tutorial, it really is a bumper issue!
FIND US ONLINE:
@advancedpshop /AdvancedPhotoshop
.co.uk
003
ISSUE 110 CONTENTS
COVER ARTIST
Pete Harrison wields light
and colour in many of his
digital images, and as
lighting is so important
when producing paint
eects - who better than
him to produce our cover
tutorial this issue.
PETE HARRISON
http://peteharrison.com
TYPOGRAPHY
NEW MEDIA
DIGITAL COVER ART:
ABSTRACT GRAPHICS
44
Learn the skills required to replicate a
photographic collage with multiple layers
12
PORTFOLIO INTERVIEW:
THE PURSUIT OF
LIGHT AND COLOUR
Marta Nael reveals her secrets on how to create a
colourful portfolio but still preserve realism
EYE ON DESIGN
Whats hot, whos in and the
latest art & design happenings
PRO PANEL:
Our contributors share Photoshop secrets 06
INDUSTRY FEATURE
Adobe reveals Photoshop CC 08
18
PROJECT FOCUS:
Stunning mosiacs in CS6
12
PORTFOLIO INTERVIEW:
The pursuit of light and colour: Marta Nael
CONTENTS
ISSUE 110
004
CONTENTS ISSUE 110
56
CHARACTER CONCEPTS
DIGITAL
ALBUM
ARTWORK
36
FOR BACK ISSUES, BOOKS
AND MERCHANDISE VISIT:
76
ACTIONPACKED
COMPOSITES
28
ILLUSTRATION TIPS
TECHNIQUES
Professional artists reveal their high-end skills in our easy-to-
follow workshops
15 Illustration tips & tricks 28
INDUSTRY FEATURE
REVIEWS
We put the latest creative kit,
books and apps to the test
82
FEATURE:
Head to head - Raw war
86
REVIEW:
Wacom Cintiq 13HD
Free with issue 110 of
Advanced Photoshop
RESOURCE COLLECTION
PLUS:
Tutorial project files
Exclusive wallpapers for mobile and desktop
Fonts worth $30
Featuring 1,050 Photoshop brushes, 200
premium textures and 20 high-res images
TAILORMADE
CREATIVE CONTENT
Master paint splash eects for yourself
using Photoshop CS6
96
ON YOUR DISC
Liquid paint eects 50
WORKSHOP
Abstract graphics 44
INDUSTRY WORKSHOP
Atmospheric landscapes 62
WORKSHOP
DKNG Studios 20
STUDIO INTERVIEW
Digital album artwork 36
INDUSTRY FEATURE
Character concepts 56
WORKSHOP
SEE PAGE 22 FOR THE LATEST OFFER
SUBSCRIBE TODAY!
68 Create stylish vintage type
WORKSHOP
Engaging photo illustration 88
READER INTERVIEW
76 Action-packed composites
WORKSHOP
72 Shine by Kris Shields
HOW I MADE
88
ENGAGING PHOTO
ILLUSTRATION
Produce paint splash stock 92
RESOURCE PROJECT
72
SHINE
62
ATMOSPHERIC
LANDSCAPES
006
EYE ON DESIGN PRO PANEL
PRO PANEL
OUR CONTRIBUTORS SHARE THEIR CREATIVE SECRETS, EXPLAINING HOW THEY
CREATED THESE STUNNING EFFECTS USING PHOTOSHOPS POWERFUL TOOLS
EYE ON DESIGN
DAN KUHLKEN
www.dkngstudios.com
Running a small firm gives DKNG the opportunity to complete tasks
more efficiently. Two heads are better than one, but 10 heads can be a
circus. As a result, were limited in how many projects we can take on,
but this enables us to fully focus on the ones that we do choose. Our primary goal is to
create great work generating profit comes second. A larger team would increase our
bandwidth and that would decrease the quality of our work.
See more from Dan in this issues Studio Interview on page 20
GREG DAVIES
www.gregdavies.co.za
Nothing imbues crispness in an image quite like a
High Pass-Overlay layer. Its effect can be applied to
any image, and we can all achieve this look by first
duplicating our image and then selecting Filter>Other>High Pass. Once
complete, set the new layers blend mode to Overlay, adjust the Opacity
to taste and then the image will look much sharper.
Greg shows how to create photo-based album artwork in our
main feature on page 36
MARTA NAEL
http://martanael.daportfolio.com
There are many ways to create focus in an image,
yet we can achieve more dynamic results by rotating
the horizon line. Placing the centre of interest a bit to
the right or the left, rather than the centre, is really useful for creating a
diverse composition. The arrangement of light helps create mystery and
can also be used to guide our eyes across a picture. Use this effect to
make certain elements stand out from the background.
Check out more of Martas work in her interview on page 12
Marta Nael
Greg Davies
Dan Kuhlken
PETE HARRISON
www.peteharrison.com
Its important to keep gradients
looking smooth, especially in
high-resolution images. Banding
can easily occur if you dont keep on top of your work.
The best way to ensure the right look is to select Edit>
Color Settings and then set your piece to Adobe RBG
(1998). I use this setting for all of my work and I make
sure that I keep the Dot and spot gain set at 20%.
Find Petes create-the-cover tutorial on page 50
LUKE CHOICE
www.velvetspectrum.com
My work was based heavily in Photoshop before I learned to use C4D. Once I was able to
blend the two programs together, I realised how important it was to pay attention to the
direction of light and shadow in when creating artwork. To amplify the contrast of certain
areas in this image I used the Dodge and Burn tools, creating a greater range of depth.
More of Lukes work can be seen in our album artwork feature on page 36
007
Imagine Publishing Ltd 2013
ISSN 1748-7277
Magazine team
Editor Anna-lisa Saywell
anna-lisa.saywell@imagine-publishing.co.uk

01202 586243
Editor in Chief Dan Hutchinson
Features Editor Adam Smith
Designer Steve Mumby
Photographer James Sheppard
Senior Art Editor Duncan Crook
Head of Publishing Aaron Asadi
Head of Design Ross Andrews
Contributors
Gavin Thomas, Tim Williamson, Chris McMahon, Josh Rossi,
Angelica Jopson, Neil Stevens, Tommy Kinnerup, Kirk Nelson
Mikko Lagerstedt, Laurence Matthews, and Pete Harrison.
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The magazine for Adobe

Photoshop

professionals
Its important to keep
gradients looking smooth
The best way to ensure the right
look is to select Edit>Color Settings
and set Adobe RGB (1998)
PETE HARRISON / WWW.PETEHARRISON.COM
Pete Harrison
Shotopop
Ministry of Sound Australia
008
WE EXPLORE WHAT THE LATEST VERSION HAS TO OFFER AND
GAUGE THE REACTIONS FROM A COMMUNITY OF PHOTOSHOP USERS
A
t this years annual MAX Conference, held in
Los Angeles, Adobe announced its most
ground-breaking update since the release
of Photoshop CS6; the all-new Photoshop
CC. This version will be made available in June and
provides Creative Cloud subscribers with a host of
brand new tools, as well as reinvented ones.
Photoshop CC is geared towards photo editing like
weve never seen, pushing the boundaries of whats
achievable in image editing even further. Moreover,
its speedy operation means photographers and
designers can create with even more freedom. This
is all thanks to Adobe, who continues to perfect and
provide superior image editing algorithms.
New tools are supplied by the dozen and include
the most advanced sharpening tool available, live
syncing with Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) and all-new
shape tool functionality. ACR itself has now been
updated to version 8 and includes its own set of
upgrades to complement a Photoshop workflow.
In this feature we go into greater detail about
whats in store for us, presenting the most exciting of
the new Photoshop CC tools and options. We also
share some of the Photoshop communities
thoughts and opinions on this latest update, in
addition to exploring the new innovative options
added to other software in the Creative Cloud.
ADOBE REVEALS
PHOTOSHOP CC
PHOTOSHOP CC TECHNIQUES
009
NEW SHAKE REDUCTION FILTER
NEW SMART
SHARPEN FILTER
THE FUTURE OF PHOTOSHOP
Adobe has announced that, moving forward, the company
will now focus on creative software developments for
Creative Cloud. Photoshop CC will now be a subscription-
based software. This is a bold step, seeing the company
breaking away from its own tradition. This means that the
boxed version of Photoshop has been shelved.
Subscribers can now get their hands on Photoshop CC by
paying a month-to-month fee, or by instead signing up for
12 months at a cheaper cost. Adobes Photoshop CC
buying guide offers evidence that indicates a single
Photoshop CC app subscription may be available in the
near future. Presently, however pricing information is
absent. Head over to the next page to learn peoples
reactions to this revelation.
Camera shake can plague professional and
enthusiast photographers alike, caused by our
own movement when the camera is focused.
A slow shutter speed and long focal length is
also culpable. Affected shots would normally
be thrown in the Trash folder, but not any more
with this new addition to Photoshop CC.
The Shake Reduction filter, found in the
Sharpen menu, will de-blur any image
affected by camera shake. Photoshop CC does
a great job of fixing any image automatically,
but it also caters for users who like to make
manual adjustments.
The Shake Reduction tool allows us to select
the region of an image thats most affected,
with Photoshop CC algorithms laying the
foundation of our edits. Users can then perfect
looks using intuitive sliders that improve detail,
sharpness and noise left in an image. Its an
incredibly intuitive and easy to use tool.
When we say new Smart Sharpen filter, what
we really mean is revamped to the hilt. Adobe
has thought long and hard about supplying
intelligent resizing and sharpening functionality
in Photoshop CC. This latest revision shows a
great deal of diligence.
The Smart Sharpen dialog is now resizable, so
we can better scrutinize our working area. This is
something that we Photoshop users have been
persistently calling for, across all filters.
This version still operates through a set of
sliders, which makes the improved outcomes
that are applied even more outstanding. There
are only three in total (with Basic options),
including the regular Amount and Radius types.
However, Adobe has also added a Reduce Noise
slider in reaction to the haloing that occurred in
the results of previous versions.
This may seem such a small addition, but it
shows how Adobe is paying attention to even the
most specific usability issues we encounter.
Photoshop has always relied on its interpolation
technology to resize images. Yet due to its reliance
on pixels, radical resizing wasnt a viable option. Well
it is now with Photoshop CCs new Preserve Details
option, found inside the Image>Image Size dialog.
The dialog itself has had a complete redesign, now
including a large image preview.
Users must activate Resample to access the drop-
down menu that houses all bicubic interpolation
options, as well as the new Preserve Details option.
This is ideal for upsampling. Bicubic interpolations
are still ideal for minor adjustments, but for more
radical enlarging then Preserve Details is a must.
The main difference is sharper edges when blowing
up images; doubling in size doesnt seem to be a
major issue. This option also includes a Reduce
Noise slider, like the other latest filters inside
Photoshop CC. This helps smooth any noticeable
surfaces that are afflicted with tricky artifacts.
TECHNIQUES PHOTOSHOP CC
010
The main difference is
sharper edges when
blowing up images
NEW PRESERVE DETAILS OPTION
NEW SHAPE
PROPERTIES PANEL
ADOBE CAMERA
RAW FILTER
Photoshop CS6 took the Shape tool to a whole new
level with an new set of dialog options and vector
technology. These made designs more customisable
than ever. Photoshop CC continues to champion
flexible shape creation with its own new options.
These can be found in the Properties Panel and
allow Photoshop CC users to edit shapes after
theyve been applied to a design. Now we can adjust
individual corners or all of them at once, affecting
shape radius and size in real-time. We can also
select multiple shapes and control these at the same
time, conforming each one to specific settings.
Adobe Camera Raw 8 (ACR8) can now be
applied to any layer or file inside Photoshop by
using the Camera Raw filter, but theres much
more to this than previous versions. ACR8 has
been treated with new technologies to
complement the Photoshop users workflow.
The enhanced Spot Removal tool is just one
of the latest features in ACR8 and this looks to
improve photo retouching inside the app. This
tool now functions much like the Spot Healing
brush inside the standard Photoshop version.
Retouchers can use this tool to paint to
non-circular areas of an image. ACR8 will
automatically remove artefacts for us. Press V
to see the green marker, which highlights the
replacement area that ACR8 amended from.
Simple drag-and-drop this point to tell ACR8 to
sample from a new area, which we may feel
achieves better results.
OTHER CHANGES
WE PRESENT A FEW ADDITIONAL
FEATURES THAT HAVE BEEN ADDED
to the creative cloud line-up
Photoshop CC Blur Gallery and Liquify filter
can be applied non-destructively, now using
Smart Object functionality
Bring settings to multiple computers with
cloud-enabled Sync Settings
CSS Designer in Dreamweaver CC provides
the most up-to-date CSS and properties
available via an intuitive visual editing tool
Editing Finesse in Premiere Pro CC focuses
on sleek design and customisation
capabilities, combined with new editing
features and keyboard-driven editing
Photoshop CC now generates CSS code for
specific design elements, which can then be
copied and pasted into a web editor in order
to get exact results
Live 3D Pipeline with Cinema4D in After
Effects CC lets us add 3D objects to scenes,
eliminating any intermediate rendering
between applications
Parallax Scrolling in Muse CC allows us
to create stunning effects with just a few
mouse clicks images and elements now
move in different directions at different
speeds when scrolling
Motion Paths in Edge Animate allow us to
animate elements along totally
customisable paths
A completely modernised architecture in
InDesign and Flash Pro has been rebuilt
from the ground up to be faster and more
reliable, with a streamlined UI
InDesign has a great new QR code creator
Flash Pro now includes real-time drawing
and live preview functionality
Creative Cloud members can now upload
images to a Behance Pro site for free, using
File>Share on Behance
ACR FILE HANDLING
Photoshop CC lets users transfer from 32-bit to
8-bit by using ACR8 controls. To do so, simply
activate Preferences>File Handling>Use Adobe
Camera Raw to Convert Documents from 32 bit
to 16/8bit. Now just select either 16 or 8 bits
from the Image>Mode options.
011
At first I wasnt thrilled
about this. But there are a
lot of pros. I am always
upgrading to the latest versions
anyway. [Photoshop CC] will just
spread the cost. You get a lot for
$600 a year
NEW RADIAL
FILTER TOOL
NEW TONE IN
ACR OPTION
NEW UPRIGHT OPTIONS
Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) has always been revered for its
ability to stylise photos and this reputation doesnt look like
it will be waning any time soon. Not with the inclusion of
the new Radial Filter tool in ACR8, that is.
This tool lets users target a specific area of an image
using a circular selection. The dimensions of this can be
controlled and edited live by using control points. Applying
the Radial Filter tool opens its own extensive set of
options, which allow us to affect existing light, colour
temperature and sharpness within our targeted area.
Other cool functions of the Radial Filter tool include the
ability to create a new selection, which will duplicate the
settings applied previously. We can also move our
selection on-screen, with ACR8 affecting the original
image beneath in real-time. This is a great way of instantly
seeing how effects look in other areas of an image.
Photoshop has always recognised the
impact of HDR photography, with its
Merge to HDR Pro and HDR Toning
options both implemented and updated
in Photoshop versions CS5 and CS6.
Now users of Photoshop CC can load
Merge to HDR Pro images straight into
ACR8 and edit them.
All we need to do is set Mode to 32 Bit
and select the Tone in ACR option, which
appears at the foot of the dialog. All ACR
controls are applicable to our images.
This means we can add all of the new
ACR8 tools to retouch and perfect looks.
Photoshop CS6 made massive strides in lens
correction with its Adaptive Wide Angle filter.
However, this seemed to work best with fisheye
distortion. ACR8 with Photoshop CC has improved
results through its own advanced correction tools,
found under Lens Correction>Manual. The new
Upright options in here tackle all types of distortion.
There are five Upright options in total to choose
from. These provide one-click results, with ACR8
determining the best effects mechanically and to an
accurate degree especially the Auto option.
Horizontal will apply one level correction that
matches the best-case horizon in an image. Vertical
works to a similar effect. If we want to go the whole
hog we can apply the Full option, which will correct
level, horizontal and vertical perspectives. Users can
manually edit effects further by using slider options,
matching to Grid guides (enable Show Grid first).
HAVE YOUR SAY
SEE WHAT OUR FACEBOOK COMMUNITY
THINKS OF THE LATEST CREATIVE
CLOUD ANNOUNCEMENT
FRDRIC GOMBERT INFOTOGRAPHE
That would mean the end of my collaboration
with Adobe, if they dont change their mind. I
wont pay such a high price to rent software.
Creative Cloud is fine as an option, but not if its
forced to be the only available solution
CHRIS MACDONALD
I agree with Fred. This is also the end of my
collaboration with Adobe. They are forcing us
into a cloud corner and I wont be. I dont need
every single new upgrade and I refuse to pay
for something Im not going to use. I know a lot
of other colleagues that will also stop using
Adobe products because of the Creative Cloud
subscription. Now would be a good time for
some other company to come in and give
Adobe some competition.
STEVE MCALENEY
I have to agree that I will never rent software.
Adobe are making a big mistake as most
people will look elsewhere for their photo
editing needs jolly bad show.
BRAD STRICKMAN
Love it. The subscription option seemed like
a great idea to bring in more customers who
would normally just pirate it. If you want to
always keep up with the latest updates then
its cheaper in the long run. I dont understand
the hate.
ROBERTA KELLEY
Havent decided yet.
JAY LEVINE
At first I wasnt thrilled about this, but there
are a lot of pros. I am always upgrading to the
latest versions anyway. [Photoshop CC] will just
spread the cost. You get a lot for $600 a year
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON CREATIVE CLOUD AND PHOTOSHOP CC BUY ISSUE 111 ON SALE 11 JULY
040 012
EYE ON DESIGN PORTFOLIO INTERVIEW
MARTA NAEL REVEALS HER SECRETS ON HOW TO CREATE A
COLOURFUL PORTFOLIO BUT STILL PRESERVE REALISM
PORTFOLIO INTERVIEW
THE PURSUIT OF
LIGHT AND COLOUR
martanael.deviantart.com
M
astering a realistic paint style is never
easy, which makes digital artist Marta
Naels portfolio all the more amazing.
This issue we discuss with her how she
has nurtured her amazing mixed-media method and
how she continues to improve it. We also explore
how Nael has successfully promoted art sales and
translated her already impressive brush skills into
entirely different themes from expressive portraits
to skilled matte paintings.
HOW HAVE YOU CONTINUED TO IMPROVE ON
YOUR PORTFOLIO?
I paint on a daily basis, never give up and am never
satisfied with what I do. This is what pushes me to
improve my work. Creating a good portfolio is a
challenge, especially when trying to master ways to
paint light and colour effects. I only published my first
images online around three years ago. My portfolio
is something that has helped me to improve, by
comparing older works with more recent ones and
then only showing the images Im most proud of.
HOW DOES YOUR FINE ART WORK FUEL YOUR
DIGITAL ART?
If you cant paint in a traditional way then you wont
be able to paint digitally. This is something that every
working artist should bear in mind. In my case, the
traditional training I received when studying Fine Arts
became really useful. It helped me start a method
based in brush strokes, instead of line art. I found
myself always shading the entire canvas with a
neutral colour first, and then defining surfaces by
adding to or erasing from this base. I then tried to
apply this same process in my digital workflow, to
maintain the same feeling.
WHY DO YOU FOCUS ON MIXED-MEDIA?
I believe my mixed-media style is one not used by
many artists, and maybe this makes it popular. I
create a look thats normally achieved using acrylics,
oil paints or watercolours. I think that when people
see my images they dont recognise the artificial look
or airbrushed feel that some works have.
HOW HAS PHOTOSHOP SPECIFICALLY HELPED
YOU TO REPLICATE THIS LOOK?
The use of several textured brushes is essential.
Throughout the years, Ive downloaded tons of styles
that replicate the look of splashes and strokes. Ive
even created some from scratch. I dont use layers a
002
Ari: One of the images Im most proud of.
I created this image as a concept art for a
video game, which never came out, sadly
Ediciones Babylon
001
Boat in a storm: This artwork could be
seen as a play of colours, where I intend
to move away from reality and simply
enjoy painting. Despite choosing an
insignificant subject, I tried to highlight
the use of light and colour
Ediciones Babylon
@MartaNael
001
002
014
EYE ON DESIGN PORTFOLIO INTERVIEW
004
Dinotopia Tribute: A tribute to the
well-known series by James Gurney. I
tried to portray a civilisation urban
Asian, and somehow lost where
humans live together with dinosaurs,
and where a new race appears: robots
Ediciones Babylon
005
Be my valentine:
This image was created for Valentines
Day. I wanted to portray a couple feeling
the passion of love instead of a cheesy
romance image Ediciones Babylon
003
Impressions Cover: This was used as the
cover of my first artbook: Impressions. I
wanted to mix realism with a more
painterly style in the same image,
keeping the face detailed while the rest
is applied roughly Ediciones Babylon
OVER-SATURATION
Paint light as if you were modelling shapes like a sculptor.
The contrast generated from painting coloured surfaces
and dark values creates outlines. Think of a reality were
there is only over-saturation, where no grey, black or white
exists. This really helps you to achieve colourful artworks.
MULTIPLE LIGHT SOURCES
Using an interesting arrangement of light can help you add
mystery, dramatise shapes and intrigue the viewer.
Contrasting a main warm light with several secondary cool
lights makes the scene more dynamic.
ADDING NOISE
Once Im done, I flatten all the layers and create a new one
on top. I fill this with a neutral grey colour then select
Filters>Add Noise>400%. Once I have applied that effect, I
blur it a bit then change the layers blend mode to Soft light. I
also lower Opacity to around 20%. This creates a nice grain
effect, barely visible, that will add a film effect.
PORTFOLIO TIPS
LEARN NAELS INSIDE TRICKS TO SCULPTING LIGHT,
BALANCING SOURCES AND FINISHING ARTWORK
lot as I like using the History Brush instead, in order
to bring back certain parts and add texture with
transparency. This process also works perfectly
when you need to retouch a photo thats to be
integrated into a matte painting.
HOW DID YOU TRANSFER YOUR PAINT SKILLS
INTO MATTE PAINTING?
The first paintings I ever attempted were realistic,
and I soon realised I wanted to apply the same light
and colour to landscapes too. My latest works are
even more colourful, though. Im trying to get an
over-saturated result but still follow light logic. Matte
painting usually means starting from a photo plate,
but I believe working on the whole composition is
important when creating an artwork. I begin painting
from scratch and, as soon as I have a detailed image,
I mix photos and paint to generate realism.
HOW DO YOU APPLY LIGHT AND COLOUR TO
DEFINE YOUR STYLE?
Im obsessed with light and colour when painting.
Im not really concerned about meaning; I just feel
like relaxing and unwinding from all the pressure,
giving way to play, directly pouring out my feelings. I
believe that mastering how to paint the effects of
light and colour onto objects can turn a regular
image into a beautiful work of art. Thats why I
always strive for vibrancy in both my painterly and
my more realistic styles. I play with complementary
contrasts by using warm and cold tones.
CAN YOU TELL US THE POINT AT WHICH YOUR
STYLE BECAME COMMERCIAL?
When I was finishing my degree in Fine Arts I felt like
trying out digital art. As soon as I began what I called
Digital Impressionism, I got attention from the
public. I thought mixing digital art while preserving a
traditional-looking style would be interesting it
seems people agree. I started getting more likes on
social networks, then people began to buy my prints.
003
004
005
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HOW HAS SELLING YOUR WORK HELPED TO
FURTHER YOUR PORTFOLIO?
Selling your art as a print or a canvas makes you see
whether or not people value your work. It also
reveals what subject people enjoy the most in your
paintings. Plus, it means expanding more and
reaching more people especially if you get the
chance to sign and sell it.
HOW DID YOU PROMOTE YOUR PORTFOLIO TO
POTENTIAL CLIENTS?
To become a professional illustrator you need to be
good at actually illustrating, but also able to promote
your work everywhere and in any way possible.
Whenever I wanted to get some commissions I had
to show my work. The Internet is a very useful tool
for reaching out to lots of people, especially on social
networks. Appearing in magazines and art books is
helpful too, as it gets you recognised in a competitive
world of artists I sent my images whenever there
was a call for entries.
DO YOUR PERSONAL AND COMMERCIAL
STYLES DIFFER?
To be honest, its been three years since I did my last
complete piece of personal work. But thankfully, I
have quite a lot of freedom when painting at my job.
Deadlines sometimes make me finish sooner than I
would do otherwise, however.
WHO OR WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR GREATEST
INFLUENCES?
Ive loved fantasy and sci-fi since I was a kid. I spent
all my childhood watching films and reading books
based on these genres. Their influence appears in
my work almost automatically. Traditionally
speaking, Ive always enjoyed the art of Friedrich and
Turner, or the Impressionism movement. Sorolla is
also one of my favourite artists. As for digital art, I
love the works of Maciej Kuciara, Ruan Jia, Danny
Luvisi, Jonas de Ro, Dave Rapoza, Andre Wallin,
Marek Okon, Raphael Lacoste and Dylan Cole, to
name but a few.
WHATS THE MOST IMAGINATIVE PIECE OF
WORK YOUVE CREATED?
I believe it would be the piece entitled Dont Be Afraid,
Monsters. Its based on the commonly known
Beauty and the Beast story, but with a little child
being the main character and lots of monsters
surrounding her. The idea behind this image is not to
judge someone at first sight even monstrous-
looking creatures can be afraid of you and willing to
be your friend. I tried to explain the meaning of the
scene by using light in order to guide the viewers eye
around the image. Less important areas of the scene
fall into shadow while the main action is picked out.
The central figure and the monster beside her are
easily spotted from the rest.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LEARNING
CURVE WHEN PRODUCING YOUR PORTFOLIO?
Ive learned a lot from each painting. The only way to
learn is to practice on a daily basis, and putting in lots
of hours involves producing commercial work. My
biggest learning curve from this experience was the
use of layer blend modes. These let me integrate
photos with paintings a lot better especially in
matte paintings, where I can apply a Screen blend
mode or turn a greyscale sketch into a coloured one
with the Color mode.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHERS
LOOKING TO BUILD THEIR OWN PORTFOLIO?
Believe in yourself and never give up. Never be
satisfied with what you do; no matter what people
tell us, we can always improve. Also, dont upload
every single artwork you create to your portfolio be
selective, and only use the ones you think add
something new, add value or make you feel that
youve achieved what you were looking for.
Bridges Island: The birds-eye view in this artwork was intended
to dramatise the scene. Here, I tried to push my skills in painting
light and colour even further Ediciones Babylon
My biggest
learning curve
from this experience was
use layer blending modes.
These let me integrate photos
with paintings a lot better
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EYE ON DESIGN STUNNING MOSAICS IN CS6
WE ASK ARTIST CHARIS TSEVIS ABOUT HIS SIGNATURE STYLE
AND HOW HE COMMUNICATES BOTH THE PART AND THE WHOLE
PROJECT FOCUS
STUNNING
MOSAICS IN CS6
T
he mosaic is one of the earliest known
forms of art, with examples of glazed tiles
carefully placed to form larger works
dating back to 1500 BC.
Clearly we havent tired of the aesthetic approach
even thousands of years later, as renowned Greek
artist Charis Tsevis proves. His signature style is that
of contemporary digital mosaics and his carefully
arranged images burst off the page thanks to the
exciting and busy composition of smaller icons.
His work recently caught the attention of one of
the largest and most respected private art colleges
in Greece AKTO which wanted a campaign that
would feel fresh and human-centric. At the same
time, AKTO wanted a treatment that would
re-establish the values of the institution in the
current economic climate.
Four sets of values were selected to represent
the values system of the college art and science;
word and image; tradition and innovation; experience
and development, says Tsevis. The visual style of
the campaign needed to be based on these values
but also build around my signature mosaic style. As
such, to create the icons I used the tools of art
education, knowledge and culture. These represent
the necessary skills of craftsmanship and the wider
meaning of education.
Read on to discover how Tsevis took these
elements and built an eye-catching illustration that
explores education as a whole, while also
considering its constituent parts.
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT PRODUCING THE
MOSAIC EFFECT?
I was very lucky to be a part of AKTO College and
thus able to use all of the creative people that live
within it. I also had access to a huge collection of
photos taken by Stefanos Samios, a multi-award-
winning photographer.
We chose a set of images of students that we
wanted to have at the centre of our campaign. I then
processed the photos in order to fit the mosaic so
that they would reflect the atmosphere that we
wanted to get across. In this type of work its
good to simplify photos as much as possible
and correct the parts that are complicated or
difficult to understand at a glance.
Next I had to create a colour version of the mosaic
that made use of the specific colour palette of AKTO
Colleges new identity. There are six colours along
with the white parts. Everything else had to be
coloured with these hues. Obviously, I painted certain
parts of the photos in order to keep the warm tones
for the skin. I then did the same for the focal point of
every illustration and left the cold tones for the rest of
the composition.
After that I created a series of simple icons in
Illustrator that would be the stones of my mosaic.
These icons had to be simple and iconic in order to
be recognisable when very small.
Once Id prepared my photos I had to create my
mosaics. I worked with a series of custom-
developed scripts inside Synthetik Studio Artist for
this part of the work. Then I switched back to
Photoshop where I proceeded to build up the mosaic
in a manual way.
Once I had the final mosaics I created the layouts
in InDesign and worked on the TV commercial. Ex-
students at monologue.gr made the commercial.
ARE THERE ANY PHOTOSHOP SHORTCUTS TO
HELP QUICKLY REPLICATE THIS STYLE?
Unfortunately, there arent. There are many bits of
software that can create mosaics but the result that
all these programs offer simply isnt good enough
without a lot of manual correction.

WHEN CREATING MOSAICS, HOW DO YOU
ENSURE THAT THE FINAL IMAGE DOESNT
JUST GET LOST IN A MASS OF TINY ICONS?
Its actually very difficult because Ive seen the
original photos and I am always going to recognise
each and every part of them. The problem is that the
rest of the audience hasnt seen the source images,
so I have to constantly check with others to ensure
that what Im creating remains recognisable. I also
need to constantly ensure that what Im creating
imparts a very iconic composition that will send the
right message to the viewer.
HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT SELECTING THE
RIGHT STARTING IMAGE?
Mosaics are essentially photos in low resolution; a
photo with big pixels. As such the subjects have to be
Tsevis is an award-winning visual
designer based in Athens, Greece.
He studied in Milan and Athens, but
now manages a modest studio
serving prestigious clients all over
the world, such as Coca-Cola, Nike
and Toyota. Hes also worked with
agencies like TBWA, Saatchi &
Saatchi and BBH, as well as
publications such as TIME, Wired
and the Wall Street Journal.
CHARIS TSEVIS
ABOUT THE ARTIST
www.tsevis.com
VALUES+
NAME OF PROJECT
@tsevis
Alternative collage
019
iconic, simple and legible from the start. Even though
this is the starting point, I then work a great deal on
my source images to prepare them for a mosaic.
There is not one image I have ever used without
altering it substantially.
HOW MANY LAYERS ARE NECESSARY IN AN
IMAGE LIKE THIS?
There are usually around ten or more layers. There
are different mosaics with various parameters, sizes
and corrections.
WHICH NEW PHOTOSHOP TOOLS WOULD YOU
LIKE TO SEE IMPLEMENTED TO MAKE
PROJECTS SUCH AS THIS SIMPLER?
The ability to have a colour image as a brush is very
important. Being able to use many images in a
brushstroke is also important for me. Ideas like Corel
Painters Image Hose or Studio Artists Movie Brush
are something that Photoshop is missing.
WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU OFFER TO OTHERS
LOOKING TO CREATE WORK SUCH AS THIS?
Even though Im a dedicated fan of technology, I
would suggest that they first understand how
mosaics are formed before and after technology.
People tend to believe that there is an easy and
automatic way to create a mosaic but this is not true.
Mosaics are images where you should
simultaneously see the parts and the whole. There is
a huge tradition of human creativity in this field.
Stone mosaics, typewriter art, ASCII art, pixel art and
many other art movements and techniques are very
helpful areas for a newbie to explore.
Converted photo Charis Tsevis
Rejected mosaic
The most difficult part was showing the
characteristics of the face but at the same
time keeping it blurred to create the
photographic depth of field.
What I wanted to show here was the aura
of the smiling girl and to express the energy
coming out of her right hand as it creates
something that makes her so happy.
Small details are always difficult to show
in a mosaic, such as fingers. Here the
strange haircut and foulard was tricky to
represent in a mosaic.
ORIGINAL IMAGE
SEE THE REALLIFE AD
ON THIS ISSUES DISC
L
ike many other studio start-up stories, this
one begins with two college friends who took
very different paths before teaming up to
form their own design studio: DKNG.
Founder Dan Kuhlken studied graphic design, aware
that this would eventually lead to an artistic career.
Nathan Goldman, however, focused his energies on
both graphic design and art direction before working
full-time at DKNG.
So the pair collaborated in the field of design while
their nine-to-fives kept them apart. This is how they
encountered a career-changing opportunity. We
came across the chance to create posters for the
Troubadour, a world famous venue in Los Angeles,
California, Kuhlken tells us. Together we built a
large portfolio of posters for them, over the course of
a couple years. Eventually, this caught the eye of
potential new clients and our career has continued to
flourish since then, one project at a time.
DKNG is now known for producing high-quality
graphic design and illustration. Its services also
include brand and identity development, web design
and development, packaging design and apparel
design. From this, it becomes apparent that Kuhlken
and Goldman have a special interest in operating in
the entertainment industry.
The studio works with a bespoke philosophy,
believing that every client has a unique voice and
therefore that every new project requires a distinct
perspective. However, due to the fact that the studios
origins lie with gig posters, its noticeable how this
experience has inspired a few noticeable factors in
DKNGs design the application of bold colours and
shapes, specifically. One of the main purposes of a
poster is to grab the viewers attention as quickly as
possible, explains Kuhlken. The first thing people
see is colour and shape. Its only when they look
closer that they actually notice the variant details.
Setting these elements aside for now, DKNGs
design and illustration styles can change drastically
from project to project. Kuhlken believes that a
stubborn dedication to a niche style is commercially
detrimental. To us, this is not what a design firm
should express when dealing with a wide variety of
clients. We want to show we can do it all, he says.
DKNG goes some way towards achieving this
principle through the different personalities that the
duo bring. Nathan and I wear many different hats,
admits Kuhlken. Were both involved in the creative
and business sides of our studio. For instance, I
STUDIO INTERVIEW
WE INTERVIEW THE FOUNDER OF DKNG TO DISCOVER
HOW THIS LOS ANGELES-BASED STUDIO IS FUSING
THE CREATIVE REALMS OF ILLUSTRATION AND DESIGN
DKNG STUDIOS
EYE ON DESIGN STUDIO INTERVIEW
020
DKNG is a full-service graphic
design and illustration studio.
Catering primarily to the
entertainment and music
industries, the duo behind the
studio have worked with some
impressive clients.
DKNG STUDIOS
ABOUT THE STUDIO
www.dkngstudios.com
@DKNGstudios
Dan Kuhlken, Creative Director Nathan Goldman, Creative Director
021
040 022
EYE ON DESIGN STUDIO INTERVIEW
WORK IN THE CLOUD
Use Dropbox to keep files up to date across all systems,
with clear folder structures so everything is ready to access
when theyre first opened.
USE SHORTCUTS
Learn Photoshop and Illustrator keyboard shortcuts. These
are huge time-savers and become essential when tackling
seemingly impossible deadlines that are beginning to loom.
TALK TO COLLEAGUES
Sharing our progress with each other often sparks a new
solution and gets projects moving quickly, so were not stuck
spinning our wheels on a problem.
WARM UP THE OFFICE
Its easier being creative on demand when were existing in a
space where we feel comfortable and relaxed. Always have
some inspiration at hand.
TAKE A BREAK
If the ideas simply arent flowing, find an activity to occupy
your mind for a few minutes. When you return, solutions will
flow more easily.
TOP FIVE PRODUCTION TIPS
WHEN RUNNING A CREATIVE STUDIO, EFFICIENCY,
COLLABORATION AND METHODOLOGY ARE OUR
BEST FRIENDS
focus on illustration, marketing and customer
service. Nathan focuses on graphic design,
typography, art direction and client relations. Weve
very different mindsets and our roles reflect this.
Kuhlken admits to being more concerned with
creating artwork, while Goldman demonstrates
strong skills in running a creative business. Our
backgrounds definitely work well together and are
the main reasons for our success as a studio,
Kuhlken adds. As a business, DKNG continues to
thrive by allowing its stellar work to speak for itself.
The pair successfully build contacts through a
strong portfolio and successful marketing. Kuhlken
makes sure that the DKNG website and social
networks are constantly up to date and active. We
dont know what lies ahead, but we do know that
someone will see what we create and possibly reach
out to us with more work because of it, he tells us.
Most of our work comes to us through email, which
stems from our website. Many new clients cite past
work that theyve come across either from a
design blog or an image-sharing site.
DKNG proves its a contemporary studio by
utilising powerful social media platforms as a highly
successful promotion tool. Indeed, the two directors
believe that its always good to let commercial clients
know what they are up to, as creatives, on a regular
basis. Our work acts like a constantly refreshing
advertisement in that sense, Kuhlken explains. We
joined the social networks that we believe are the
strongest, most useful and relevant to our industry.
These have helped grow a consistent following.
DKNG ensures that clients keep coming back for
more by making sure it gets projects right the first
time. This makes complete sense, because if a client
is impressed with what we create then its very likely
that well work with them again. Creating something
we can be proud of is a big part of what we do, says
Kuhlken. Were very selective about who we work
for. We want to make sure we do a great job, and in
order to do that we must have a strong creative
interest in a project. This isnt too hard to find,
though, when youre working with clients such as
Disney, HBO, MTV and Mondo, like Kuhlken and
Goldman are doing.
Subsequently, we pose the question: How does
DKNG approach existing IP projects when working
with clients such as Mondo? Kuhlken answers
promptly: We always do our research. We dig deep
Photoshop is the electricity
we use to awaken
Frankensteins monster


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023 023
TACO BELLS FEED THE BEAT PROJECT
DKNG PRESENTS THIS EXCITING POSTER FOR A ROCKUMENTARY ON TWO BANDS: PASSION PIT AND WILDCAT! WILDCAT!
01
3D PLANET
Here you can see how we created a three-
dimensional planet to use as the centrepiece in this
project. We fused together an image of a spherical ball
with a textured terrain, which we first created using the
3D modelling tools in Photoshop.
02
IMAGE TEXTURE
Textures were applied to create a vintage
look while also achieving an extra dimension. We
created this texture by taking a found image then
appropriating it with the Stamp tool. The final image
was exported as a bitmap TIFF using dithers, so it
was easily placed in our master Illustrator file.
03
CREATING SPACE CLOUDS
For the space-themed background, we
brought halftone clouds into Photoshop and applied
a Gaussian Blur filter to them. The subsequent effect
gave us the opportunity to create more ambience in
the image without using clouds that appeared too
sharp or in-focus.


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040 024
and become aware of what has already been done,
and this is how we can create something even more
special. Creating a concept that has never been
envisioned is ideal. If thats not possible then we take
a known concept and envision it through our own
unique perspective.
Kuhlken and Goldman bring their collective skills
together for this, abiding by the motto two heads are
better than one. Nathan and I take concept
development very seriously and brainstorm for
several days, sometimes, before presenting our
ideas to a client, reveals Kuhlken. Were hard on
each other and hold each other to a very high
standard. Once were both genuinely excited about a
series of ideas, we know its okay to move forward.
Its at this point the duo roll up their sleeves, and
begin using Mac computers with Adobe Illustrator
and Photoshop software. Photoshop comes in
especially handy when working with textures,
applying these to vector artwork and stepping out of
the realms of clip art. We often use the Stamp tool
to create custom textures, he tells us. If we like a
certain photograph of cement, for example, we clone
that area into one large image. This is then used in
our design as a textured element, which fills our
entire art space.
Colour adjustments, especially Selective Color, are
also readily applied to DKNG designs. Its not
uncommon for our design to change colour, moving
away from its original digital format into a
screen-printed image, explains Kuhlken. We often
use this tool to colour-correct photos of our work, so
they match seamlessly in our portfolio.
Referring back to print production at DKNG
specifically, screen-printing Photoshops bitmap-
to-halftones functionality makes all this possible. In
the world of screen-printing, every ink colour (layer)
must be reduced down to a purely black and white
file, Kuhlken tells us. Photoshop techniques allow
us to take a highly complex design, utilising a large
spectrum of tones, and reduce these down to
halftone dots without compromising detail. In a
nutshell, DKNG depend on Photoshop to bring all of
their creative projects to life. Photoshop is the
electricity we use to awaken Frankensteins
monster, Kuhlken concludes.
Eric Claptons Old Sock: A promotional poster created for Eric Claptons latest album Old Sock. Portraits are always tricky
in terms of subject representation and, in this case, DKNG went through a few variations 2013 DKNG Studios
Dave Matthews Band: This is a diptych poster series created for Dave Matthews Bands
2012 two-night performance in West Palm Beach, Florida 2013 DKNG Studios
While many artists choose to illustrate using a Wacom tablet or similar device, the vast
majority of DKNG illustrations are created using this Apple trackpad
An aerial view of Goldmans desk; since Kuhlken and Goldman spend so much time at
their respective desks, layout and ergonomics become very important
Oakleys Viva La Bubba Campaign: This campaign poster took
the form of a propaganda-style illustration of Bubba Watson,
and it made its debut at the Phoenix Open
2013 Oakley, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Creating something
we can be proud of
is a big part of what
we do
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF DAN KUHLKEN
EXPLORE DKNGS DAILY DIGITAL, PRINT AND BRAINSTORMING ROUTINES
08:05
BEGIN THE DAY WITH EMAILS
AND A STATUS REPORT
My morning usually begins with a quick email
check, so I can see which client revisions or fires
well need to put out quickly before jumping into
other work.
10:42
ONGOING WORK IN
PHOTOSHOP AND ILLUSTRATOR
As a rule, Illustrator and Photoshop are always
open on my desktop. We usually tackle three to five
projects a day, depending on what we have waiting
inside our queue.
11:15
MATCHING COLOURS WITH
THE PRINTING HOUSES
We work with printing houses all over the
country, so Pantone matching is an essential part
of getting screen-printing jobs right the first time.
12:50
A WALK IN THE PARK TO
STIMULATE CREATIVE THINKING
A good excuse to step away from the office is
always welcome, especially for a brainstorming
session. Getting out into the world always seems to
get new ideas flowing.
13:48
TRANSNATIONAL CLIENT
MEETINGS ON THE GO
With clients all over the world, I often prefer to
have phone meetings rather than email
conversations. That way, I get to hear the client
describe their vision in their own words.
14:33
GATHERING RESEARCH TO
SPARK NEW PERSPECTIVES
We are continually expanding our research
library of books and magazines, and were
always seeking out new sources of inspiration.
16:42
WOODWORKING IN THE SHOP
TO KEEP THINGS SHARP
I find working with my hands is a great way to
break up the day. Woodworking provides a great
creative outlet away from the realm of electronics.
18:34
EVENING TUNES TO
CLOSE THE DAY
Its fun to stay connected to our many music
clients, being musicians ourselves. Playing the
piano is a great way to wind down at the end of
the working day.
08:05 10:42
12:50
16:42 18:34
13:48
14:33
11:15
025
As a rule, Illustrator and
Photoshop are always
open on my desktop
025
STUDIO INTERVIEW EYE ON DESIGN
TECHNIQUES 15 ILLUSTRATION TIPS & TRICKS TECHNIQUES
ARTISTS IN THE INDUSTRY SHARE THEIR SECRETS TO USING PHOTOSHOP IN ORDER TO
ENHANCE THEIR ILLUSTRATIONS, WHICH RANGE FROM EDITORIAL WORK TO PACKAGING
AND HIGH PROFILE ADVERTISING
028

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VINCENTE GARCIA
MORILLO
www.vicentegarciamorillo.com
To promote DJ sessions by
electronic music label Black Book Sessions, Vicente
Garcia Morillo created the Alive Objects series, which
encapsulates the artists and presents them as just
one entity: In this case, I was playing with the
combination of elements that represent two of the
most popular musicians in Chicago and the L.A.
scene, respectively.
The first step is always to conceptualise the piece.
I consider this one of the most important phases of
the development process as this is the base of the
piece. I like to invest all the time thats necessary to
come up with a good idea. Once I have the concept, I
start doing sketches of the composition and also the
analogue elements, such as drawing and painting, in
case I want them later. I create the vector elements
in Illustrator then import and edit them in Photoshop,
fitting them together like a jigsaw, then apply effects
like gradients, layer styles, shadows and noise. I like
to experiment, mixing methods and software in my
projects, adding elements like pencil drawings to my
artworks when I get the opportunity. I usually play
with Photoshop to edit the compositional elements
and finish my pieces, but I avoid photographic
finishes as I like to preserve an illustrated element.
1. INVEST IN
A CONCEPT
DIEGO L. RODRIGUEZ
www.paranoidme.com
Diego L. Rodriguez set about creating options for HBOs How To Make It In America and
drew on inspiration from the Big Apple: Once I presented this idea, the agency loved it
and they gave me the green light to create the poster. The brief came with some
promotional images for the second season of the show. They were good, but not exactly what I had in mind.
However, having the figure of Kid Cudi as a graphic inspired me to gather extra material. I had the structure
clear: start with the characters portrait, then the body had to be connected to the buildings in some way, and
New Yorks iconic symbols, and finally the slogan below the illustration. For the New York buildings, I had a
ton of pictures that I took back in 2009. I use a specific technique to manage shadows and highlights I began
using it years ago for high-end retouching in skin or objects, then applied it to manipulations and illustration
work. Create a new layer above your illustration. Go to Edit>Fill>50% Grey and click OK. Put this grey layer in
Soft Light mode and reduce the Opacity to 30-50%. Take a soft brush, with Opacity 30-70%, and paint in those
zones where you would like to increase the shadows or highlights using only grayscale tones. This technique
is similar to Dodge and Burn, but allows more control over certain zones without affecting the main layer.
2. MANAGE SHADOWS AND HIGHLIGHTS


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ANDREA FEMERSTRAND
www.noukah.blogspot.co.uk
Concept artist and illustrator Andrea Femerstrand
regularly contributes illustrations to short stories
aimed at younger readers. This piece was created
for a short story in Swedish kids and teen magazine KP (KamratPosten):
Theres always a section where young readers stories are published.
Usually, theyre around 10 to 14 years old. I use Photoshop for drawing
and painting and do all my work from scratch, the old fashioned way.
Layers, custom brushes and adjustment layers make my work much
faster and more efficient. I dont have many secrets; mostly, I just paint.
3. PAINT YOUR ILLUSTRATION MARK VERHAAGEN
www.markverhaagen.com
Tasked with creating 36 robot playing cards for kids magazine
Bonbeck, Mark Verhaagen, the brain behind the Zoobles toy
line, had to build in originality and then deliver uniformity. The
challenge here, says Mark, was to create 36 different robots, each of them looking
interesting. I started sketching a lot of robots, focusing on shape and character, bold
versus fragile, round versus square shapes, etc. I had to think about how the robots
would move and do things, which also helped determine their looks. I tried to keep
things simple, as the final illustrations wouldnt be that big. All the robots and card
designs were made in Illustrator using fairly basic shapes and shading.
Mark then turned to Photoshop for the final touches. To save time and to make
sure each card looked the same, he recorded Actions to use as part of his workflow.
I primarily used Photoshop for adding texture and a glow effect around the robots,
he explains. As I was working with 36 different files, I saved a lot of time by using
Actions for these things. I also used an automate batch Action to save all the files
into formats. The cards were featured in Bonbek magazine, where kids could cut
out the different cards to play with. Later, an actual card game was produced too.
4. MAKE USE OF ACTIONS
Line drawing
I always start out with a rough
sketch or line drawing. After that, I
paint a rough colour scheme to
decide upon colours and overall
lighting. This illustration had to
cover a whole spread, with a lot of
empty space so that the text could
be added on top of it.
Block colours
When Im satisfied, I move back to
the line drawing, lower the opacity
and create new layers underneath
it, and then start blocking
everything in with clean, solid
colours. I lock the transparency
for each layer and when Im done
with that, its time to paint.
Add form and shading
I start fleshing out the painting,
working a lot with form and
shading. I create a separate layer
on top of everything to serve as
my light in the piece. Separating
the regular layers from the light is
extremely helpful, since you can
work on one thing at a time.
TECHNIQUES 15 ILLUSTRATION TIPS & TRICKS
Andrea Femerstrand


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BRIAN MILLER
www.orlincultureshop.com
Artist, illustrator and
owner of The Orlin
Culture Shop Brian Miller created Totes
Adorbots, a two-hour style exploration in
response to a call for cute vintage robots, for
a potential picture book. I worked from start
to finish in Photoshop CS6 using my Wacom
Cintiq, he tells us. I use the Lasso tool to
quickly create sharp edges where I need
them. However, its the years of study,
practice and exploration that
are most vital, no matter
what tool or medium
youre using.
5. WORK QUICKLY
WITH A TABLET


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Simple silhouettes
I started with a blank canvas in
Photoshop and created simple
silhouettes for the robots, working
with big shapes first and details last.
It was important at this stage to work
with speed and boldness because of
the short time I had to create.
Limit the palette
With the basic silhouettes in
place, I picked a limited colour
palette; one colour for shadows,
one colour for the highlights.
Limiting my colour palette up
front helps me focus on stronger
designs and compositions.
Direct the imagination
Its important for me to add only as
much detail as is needed to point
the viewers imagination in the
right direction. Too much detail
keeps the viewers imagination
from engaging with the piece,
which is the opposite of my goal.
Wear and tear
Once my silhouettes and colours
were established, I moved on to
detailing the piece. This was
actually a fairly quick process that
just involved me placing enough
specific details on the robot to
suggest overall wear and tear.
Mixed-media
Though I often sketch with traditional
materials, I love the challenge of
trying to create pieces in Photoshop
that blur the lines between traditional
and digital mediums.
Keep it simple
I use a limited number of brushes in
Photoshop to keep my approach as simple as
possible. This allows me to focus on the strength
of the drawing and design, not the tools.
MARK
VERHAAGEN
www.markverhaagen.com
When faced with a brief to create an image out
of a sound, Mark Verhaagen turned the project
into a vintage science illustration. Audio
designer David Kamp (davidkamp.de) came up
with the Sound Creatures project in which he
first created imaginary creature sounds. He
then sent these audio files to selected
illustrators, including Mark, who used them as
inspiration to create images of fictional animals.
The illustrations and corresponding sounds can
be seen on www.sound-creatures.com. The
audio file that I got featured some sort of sad
trumpet sound, so a trumpet-like nose was my
starting point for the look of the animal, he
says.
Once hed created the main shapes of the
animals and plants in Illustrator, Mark exported
his various objects to Photoshop. I added
shading using the Airbrush tool and then locked
transparent pixels in the Layers palette so I
could easily paint within the shape of an object.
Drawing the birds feathers was a bit more
tricky, but as soon as you have one feather in a
particular shape, you can re-use it. Use the Free
Transform, Skew and Warp tools to make each
feather look different to the last, and draw some
extra detail here and there to diversify them
further. When the illustration was ready I added
some textures so it would have a nice, old look.
6. LOCK
TRANSPARENT
PIXELS
TOMSKI AND POLANSKI
www.tomskipolanski.com
In order to create eye-catching
packaging for a new vegan brand
started by a friend of theirs, Ila and
Luke of Tomski & Polanski envisioned a vintage feel: We
started with classic floral patterns and then changed the
flowers for cupcakes and cocoa, before adding quality
typography. We used Photoshop to draw in the details of
patterns, to complete the composition and for the final
colouring and post-production, and used a lot of custom
brushes and a variety of preset Actions and filters. Since
we use a lot of textures we often add Smart Object layers,
which saves us a lot of work.
7. USE SMART OBJECTS
A trumpet-like nose
was my starting point
for the animals look


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TECHNIQUES 15 ILLUSTRATION TIPS & TRICKS
032
033
STEVE SIMPSON
www.stevesimpson.com
Steve Simpson was given a brief
to create packaging for a frozen
yoghurt start-up that required a loud message to
kids declaring its contents yummy while also telling
parents it was healthy: To do this, I decided to create
kid-friendly, energetic, cartoon-ish characters but
make the fruit more realistic.
I was brought into the project by Dublin design
agency IDEA, Steve tells us. I was trusted to create
the look and feel for the project while the agency
looked after the client liaison and production. After
scanning my pencil sketch and setting up the size,
colour mode and resolution of the artwork usually
at least twice the size thats needed I copied the
sketch to a new layer, reduced the Opacity and
Multiplyd the layer. This allowed me to trace the
artwork onto multiple layers beneath it. Once I had
the eyes, eyebrows, mouth, head, jumper, etc on
separate layers I looked at tweaking and balancing
the colours. Steve also has some advice on colour:
Try to pick a limited palette of colours before you
start. I put mine in a small swatch somewhere in the
image as a reminder while Im working on it. I then
swap the colours around between elements until Im
happy with the balance. Dont be afraid to experiment
grass isnt always green and cows can be blue.
8. REFINE YOUR
COLOUR PALETTE
Final product
The three flavours of Chilly
Moo yoghurt Strawberry,
Banana Strawberry and Mixed
Berry are easily identifiable
by their completely distinct
but also complementary
colour palettes.
Label Top
Each of the Chilly
Moo characters
was adapted so
that it would fit the
different areas of
the packaging, such
as the lid label.
Rough sketches
All my work starts with
pencil sketches lots and
lots of them. Over a couple
of days my extremely
rough ideas are moulded
into something more solid
and presentable. Usually,
Ill present my rough
sketches, but with this
project I wanted to take
them a little further.
Defined colour palette
I coloured the sketches to
show how the characters
could represent different
flavours through the use
of colour, and how that
colour would come
together as a palette.
MAX GREGOR
www.maxgregor.com
Max Gregors fashion
illustrations are a harmonious
mix of traditional sketches and digital finishes: Here,
I started with drawings of the different elements of
the models outfit: her body drawn in pencil, an ink
drawing of her shawl and a few brush patterns
drawn in blue gauche. I then scanned all the images
and cleaned them with Levels, then used the Eraser
to remove messy lines and dust left from the scan. A
Color Overlay was key to this image as it allowed me
to add a flat graphic feel and still maintain the loose
organic detail of the brush stroke.
9. UTILISE COLOR
OVERLAY
SYD BRAK
www.sydbrak.co.uk
For this delicious array of
fruit, Syd Brak reached for the
Filter menu: The idea was to illustrate a products
ingredients in a clean, healthy and appetising way.
I created rough images then enriched the colours
to an attractive and appetising level while retaining
a believable realism. It was important to ensure
the light source was constant on every object,
with an enhanced gloss to emphasise the liquidity
and create a sunny feel. I rely fairly heavily on the
subtleties of the Filter dialog to achieve a realistic
but painter-like quality, and avoid a plastic feel.
11. DELVE
INTO FILTERS
WANCHANA
INTRASOMBAT
www.kun-victorior.com
Wanchana Intrasombat, aka Vic,
created a series of character designs for a project
entitled Life. One is a mischievous boy scout on a trip
with his classmates: My paintings and illustrations
are all done with Photoshop and a Wacom Intuos. Its
the main tool I use and I just used the normal Brush
here. I also use the standard brush to sketch, and
sometimes create my own brushes for projects. For
me, the Brush is Photoshops most important tool; I
use it for all my work as though it was a traditional
tool. Its similar to using real pencils and brushes.
10. SKETCH
WITH WACOM


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034
TECHNIQUES 15 ILLUSTRATION TIPS & TRICKS
VINCENTE GARCIA MORILLO
www.vicentegarciamorillo.com
Vicente Garcia Morillo worked on Converses Pro
Leather campaign: I had to present a graphic
interpretation of the Converse logo based on
concepts relating to urban street culture. Here, I represented basketball.
Once I got the concept, I did sketches of the composition on paper for the
client. After the concept was approved I started to develop the digital
phase. I created all the vector elements in Adobe Illustrator and then
imported these into Photoshop. Here I applied the Noise filter, which
helps to provide a uniform aspect and give the artwork some vibration.
12. ADD NOISE
SASHA
VINOGRADOVA
www.behance.net/MelaMel
Working to create four
characters in a detailed environment under the
heading of Mercenaries, Sasha Vinogradova
choose a funny and quirky style: The first step
was character design and deciding how they
would look. Next I made a rough sketch of
compositions, colours and lights and then
created my scene and 3D models in 3DS Max
and ZBrush. I set up lights and materials in a
3D scene then rendered my image. After that I
added details like eyes, grass and hair, and also
some postproduction edits like air perspective
and colour/contrast correction. I created all the
sketches and textures for elements such as the
scarf in Photoshop. I also added some details in
postproduction. When you create an image, try
to keep the final result as clear as you can in
your mind and never ignore composition. I love
to add details, but if you start adding them too
soon without keeping the entire image in mind
then you risk losing the integrity of your image.
Finding your favourite artists and researching
their work is a great way to improve your own.
14. ILLUSTRATE
IN 3D
Sasha Vinogradova


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Work in lead
I create the base of my illustrations using 5H
to 8B pencils. This achieves a fantastic tonal
range, adding the depth and textures that
clients request.
Clean up
For the retouching stage I use tools such
as the Clone Stamp and Healing Brush to
remove unwanted imperfections caused
by the traditional stage.
Add colour
I add base colours using a
Selective Color adjustment,
altering the White, Neutral
and Black channels. I create
these colour layers until I
achieve the desired look.
Pen Pressure
I tend to use a hard round brush
with Pen Pressure set to Add
Details and like to add softened
tonal areas, as seen in the waves.
MITCHELL NELSON
www.behance.net/mitchellnelson
13. PRESERVE YOUR TRADITIONAL FEEL
Mitchell Nelson was asked by California-based publisher Devious
Publications to create a quirky and unique logo, which had to tell a
story reflecting classical and vintage qualities: I drew the illustration
with pencils and then scanned this into Photoshop for postproduction and retouching.
Subtlety is the key; I try to remember why I start with pencil in the first place and enhance
its qualities rather than destroy them. However, if you are after a highly digital piece but
still mix with traditional media, strong contrasts of the two can give contemporary looks.

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YANA BEYLINSON
www.liquidpixelstudio.net
Yana Beylinson, principal of Liquid Pixel Studios,
took the vision of a family-owned business and
turned it into packaging for their range: Casacao is a family-owned
producer of organic cocoa beans, nibs and powder. The farm is located
in the Dominican Republic, with its headquarters in New York. The initial
brief had multiple references to the organic nature of the business and
admiration of the beauty and health benefits of cacao plants. Photoshop
was a cornerstone of the process, as it is for all my illustration and
pattern work. After the drawing is scanned in, the entire process of
rendering, separating the elements and colouring is done in Photoshop.
The pattern is also created in Photoshop, with careful attention paid to
detail and the placement of elements. Each element, such as the outline
or silhouette of a bean, is cleaned and placed in a separate layer. One
simple plant illustration can use up to 10 layers. I use the Color Overlay
(in the Layer Style menu) technique to colour each layer; its the most
time-effective and easy-to-change method. For patterns, I duplicate
each plant, create a layer group for each, then try different positions. The
resulting files are very large so I make flattened TIFFs for production.
15. COLOUR WITH
COLOR OVERLAY
Logo application
The next step was
the typography and
logo design. Several
versions were
suggested and a
seal option was
selected. Several
variations and
colourings were
then presented.
Pencil drawing
The lovely shapes of
cocoa branches and
beans was a starting
point. It was
suggested to
create a line
drawing that
depicts a branch.
A series of pencil drafts was
created before a perfect
depiction was selected and
rendered in pen and ink.
Package label
An intricate pattern based on the cacao
branch illustration was decided upon. Again,
several versions and colour options were
shown in order to select the strongest version.
Yana Beylinson
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036
TECHNIQUES DIGITAL COVER ART
Provider
037
A
lbum artwork has been under the influence of iconic
designers for decades, perpetually inspiring
generation after generation of artists. Producers use
imagery as a means to maximise the appeal of
commercial brands, but the work created is more than
just a marketing tool. Many people very much revere album artwork as
an expression of artistic intent certainly this is an opinion shared by all
the artists in our latest feature. Here we take an in-depth look at the
production of artwork for that album cover space, hearing directly from
the artists that make it. Lets start from the very top.
IS THE FORMAT STILL IMPORTANT?
CD booklets and covers tend to be around 4.75 x 4.75 inches precisely,
having recently moved away from the 12-inch models. Many believe
that compact sizes have deterred from more expressive styles, but
digital artists are doing things their own way. This creative redux
includes expressive CD packaging that extends branding into themed
websites. Design has broken from the confines of a rectilinear space.
These forages into web have had a distinct effect on presented styles.
A specific example is the work produced by graphic designer Jorge El
Soto (www.jorgeelsoto.com) for international DJ Jorge Prida (www.
jorgeprida.com). I thought it would be best to have a simple and
attractive image, which wouldnt include any other element than the
background and typography. This made it adaptable to different media
specs, without losing its visual power.
However, the print space is not wholly forgotten and lavish styles are
still being produced. Panel foldouts are being utilised as a continued
canvas space. Here artists produce complementary visuals and
material from the album artwork to create a completely new design.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TYPE
Typography is another complementary visual that helps to supplement
artwork and promote a music brand. In many instances the typeface is
influenced by the imagery. This was the case for communication
designer Kittaya Treseangrat (http://cargocollective.com/
kittayatreseangrat) and she uses her work for experimental band
Black Moth Super Rainbow (http://blackmothsuperrainbow.com) as a
prime example. The condition of the typeface was clearly dictated by
this projects album artwork. The packaging was colourful and loud, so
I wanted the type to appear conservative by contrast, Treseangrat
explains. In order to make it conspicuous, I enclosed the text within an
area of negative space, increasing its legibility.
With the increase in digital formats, sharing work on iPods and other
portable media players, its become extremely important to make sure
type is legible at thumbnail sizes. However, some artists believe this
isnt always such a big hang up for print projects. Freelance illustrator
Hani Abusamra (www.behance.net/haniabusamra) tells us: Anything
goes, so long as its hitting the brief and the client is happy. Album
covers are a rare kind of project where the designer gets to truly flex
their artistic muscle, without worrying too much about the kinds of
DIGITAL
COVER ART
WE DISCOVER HOW MODES OF DESIGN ARE CHANGING IN REACTION TO
THE DIGITAL AGE AND EXPLORE EXACTLY WHICH ASPECTS MAKE THE
MOST POPULAR ALBUM COVERS
HANI ABUSAMRA
WWW.BEHANCE.NET/
HANIABUSAMRA
GREG DAVIES
WWW.GREGDAVIES.CO.ZA
JORGE EL SOTO
WWW.JORGEELSOTO.COM
LUKE CHOICE
WWW.VELVETSPECTRUM.COM
MEET THE EXPERTS
KITTAYA TRESEANGRAT
HTTP://CARGOCOLLECTIVE.COM/
KITTAYATRESEANGRAT
MATEUSZ SYPIEN
WWW.BEHANCE.NET/
DIGIMENTAL
TECHNIQUES DIGITAL COVER ART
restraints you would usually encounter on other
briefs, such as legibility and conforming to a brands
typographic guidelines.
El Soto feels this could be more a condition of
working with indie projects, than commercial work.
He explains: Mainstream projects usually involve
more people and it gets complicated at times. There
are managers, labels and external image
consultants all wanting to give their own view. He
explains. He then refers back to his work for
international DJ Jorge Prida. Being an indie
production, there were many creative liberties when
producing this design. Maintaining a close
relationship with the music artist made it easier to
preserve the particular Eighties theme.
CONFORM TO CORPORATE ID
Going commercial certainly means that we not only
have to work within the constraints of the art
directors wishes, but are also bound to an existing
corporate identity at frequent times. This was
certainly the case for graphic artist Luke Choice
(www.velvetspectrum.com), with his work for The
Ministry of Sound The Annual 2012 project.
As a brand, The Ministry of Sound places a lot of
importance on logo integration within its album
covers. Having an eclectic range of genres under
one label can be a challenge, explains Choice. Its
important to make sure that the logo complements
the differing directions. The Annual compilation
series is typically based around a predominant logo
in the centre, with the type treatment integrated in a
unique way with each release.
However, once core design values are relayed,
there will be times when artists are allowed to
simply operate within the boundaries of their own
styles. Usually the art director or manager will
share their initial thoughts and ideas, then stay
away, reveals art director and digital designer
038
TRIP WEST, JOURNEY ON
Designer Hani Abusamra tried to use a photographic
composition to create an illustration, inspired by
perplexing scientific diagrams, to communicate the
concept of time passing
PIECING THE IMAGE
The Polygonal Lasso tool was used to cut out the
images and retain a hand-made feel. Once complete,
the composition was pieced together in Illustrator
PULLOUT EXAMPLE
This psychedelic design by Kittaya Treseangrat is instantly arresting. It lends a perfect visual complement
to the exciting musical experience that is the Black Moth Super Rainbows kaleidoscopic sound
Hani Abusamra Design
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Jorge El Soto (www.jorgeelsoto.com) tracked this project down personally. In the winter of 2012, DJ
Jorge Prida released his first EP debut with Planet Acetate and obtained international popularity, he
explains. El Soto liked what he saw and heard, so decided to contact Prida and enquire about working
on his visual identity. I pitched him a series of proposals that I thought matched his style of producing,
El Soto reveals. At the end he loved the concept and decided to use it.
039
BUILD A MUSIC BRAND
GRAPHIC DESIGNER JORGE EL SOTO EXPLORES HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY PITCH ALBUM ARTWORK
BUILD IDENTITY
Branding this album began by creating a logotype.
Its concept was influenced by retro references
from the Eighties. El Soto considered the visual
imagery being used by Pridas competitors and
decided to create a form that had a futurist style.
This fresh approach corresponded with the type of
music that Prida produces.
STYLISE TYPE
There was no existing font that matched the
design El Soto had produced, so it was decided to
create this example exclusively from scratch. This
calligraphy was modified inside of Photoshop. It
was built in layers, then treated with a metallic
effect, which was created by applying gradient
styles and manual lighting.
DEVELOP THE BRAND
It was decided that a nebula would be
incorporated into image, as this complemented
the futurist theme. The image was also modified
inside Photoshop. In-keeping with the gradient
colours in the logo, a cyan-to-magenta Gradient
Overlay layer style was applied to the nebula.
ALBUM COVER EFFECTS
A nebula image was applied to with the same
gradient effects and used throughout the work.
However, to avoid monotony the Distort>Wave
filter was applied. This created movement and
combined a contemporary yet psychedelic styling,
which conforms well to the music.
EXTENDING THE BRAND WEBSITE
El Soto pulled together many of the elements built for the brand to create the
official website. This followed the same style principles, being modest yet
vibrant. A portal identity that matches the album is great publicity, as it enables
visiting fans to identify instantly with the brand that is Jorge Prida.
Mainstream projects usually
involve more people There
are managers, labels and external
image consultants
ADJUSTING COLOURS
The original colour of the background in both
booklets was changed with Hue/Saturation layers
DRAWING SHAPES
The Pen and Polygon tools were used to draw all the
basic shape and line adjustments
Jorge Prida
Jorge El Soto, www.jorgeelsoto.com
TECHNIQUES DIGITAL COVER ART
Mateusz Sypien (www.behance.net/digimental).
The reason why weve been hired is because we
present a unique style thats in-keeping with what a
client wants to achieve.
STAY IN TUNE
In almost all cases, the music itself becomes as
essential as any brief or direction, with the music and
the art fulfilling one another. Music inspires artists as
creators, letting them feel and look for ideas for
visual elements that appear in projects. This was
certainly the case for graphic designer Greg Davies
(www.gregdavies.co.za) when working on the
Lacrimosa EP cover artwork for Durban band
Provider (www.facebook.com/providermusic).
Davies admits to being lucky that the lyrics had such
a rich narrative and meaning. They were written
about the vocalists grandparents in particular the
period after one of the couple had passed and the
loneliness that followed, he explains. I wanted the
artwork to link directly to the feeling of age and loss,
by using an image of a withered apple. This kept
nagging at me, so I explored this direction.
But which aspect inspires the album cover the
most the commercial singles or the entire track
list? Visually summarising the first seems far easier
to accomplish. However, Abusamra deters us from
this way of thinking, saying: If Ive done my job
correctly then the work should be a perfect visual
representation of an entire album. I dont think its
ever a good idea to focus on certain tracks to
interpret visuals. The goal should always be to have
a final piece that seems as though it was recorded
and designed simultaneously. Each aspect is
mutually important, so focusing on one thing more
than another is simply a bad idea.
Essentially, a piece of album artwork should at
least reflect an artists profile, if it doesnt personify
the entire album. Thats why its recommended by all
our artists to listen to the music and connect with it
during the creative process. Only then will you create
something inspiring that fulfils the music artists and
their audiences requirements.
WAYS TO APPROACH CLIENTS
However, trying to quantify what defines an inspiring
piece of album art becomes difficult. There are no
popular styles per se, as there are so many bands
with a litany of music releases throughout all genres.
However, when a band has a popular-selling album,
youll see that a lot of other bands want a design in a
similar style.
This attitude towards design can mean having to
approach bands directly, if the hunt for commissions
become futile. Clients generally contact me from
seeing my website or Bhance, reveals Davies.
Participating in art communities that promote
music-related design is also a good idea. Here you
can apply search tags to designs, so they appear in
the correct collection for the right sort of viewer.
040
PHOTOMANIPULATION COVER STYLES
GREG DAVIES (WWW.GREGDAVIES.CO.ZA) REVEALS HOW HE USES PHOTOSHOP CS6 FILTERS TO CREATE THE
MIXED-MEDIA EFFECTS, APPLIED TO THE LACRIMOSA ALBUM COVER, FROM DURBAN BAND PROVIDER
QUICK MOCKUP
After scouring Shutterstock, searching for photos of
old men and withered apples, the Background
Eraser tool was quickly applied to test the selected
images seeing if they worked when combined.
Once we decided what looked best, images were
deep etched and Content-Aware Fill was applied,
expanding the image to the size of the cover.
FONT TYPES
Multiple iterations of cover type were created.
These evolved from large bold font styles over and
behind the image, into subtle font styles you see in
the final artwork. The script font of the Provider
logo was created using handwriting found in a
letter, written by the vocalists grandfather who is
also the inspiration for the musics lyrics.
BASIC ADJUSTMENTS
It became necessary to match lighting across all
the different stock images. This was done using
Curves, Hue/Saturation and Shadows/Highlights
adjustments. Contrast was boosted by applying
Gradient Overlay to all layers. A grunge texture was
applied and simple airbrushing accentuated the
shadows and contour.
OIL PAINT FILTER
Filters dont usually factor into my work, apart from
the occasional bit of Blur or Liquify. However, it was
interesting to see how the latest CS6 Oil Paint filter
worked, so I applied it to this project. Here smaller
brushstrokes and less Stylization settings meant a
cleaner image. Image saturation was tweaked to
accentuate the oil paint feel.
Filters dont usually factor into my work, apart from the
occasional bit of Blur or Liquify. However, it was interesting to see
how the latest CS6 Oil Paint filter worked
With so many styles at play, its almost hopeless to
stick with one when starting out. Some disagree,
however, finding experimentation useful to the
quality of their portfolio, Luke Choice concurs:
Coming from a commercial graphic design
background and then pushing the illustration side of
my work enabled me to be more versatile and
execute a wider variety of styles instead of
focusing on a unique aesthetic.
PHOTOSHOP PRODUCTION
Photoshop has enabled all our artists to evolve their
styles, as it works on so many levels to improve
workflow. The program makes the process of
conceptualising easier than traditional media,
especially with collage-based design seen in Kittaya
Treseangrats Black Moth Super Rainbow work. I
was able to manipulate the elements without the
worry of glue drying or cutting something out the
wrong way, she reveals. Layer masks served me
better than any pair of scissors.
Manipulating images and creating elaborate
special effects also becomes far more advantageous
when youre working inside Photoshop. You can
certainly work with other programs and accomplish
similar types of effects, but only through a more
elaborate process, without getting as stunning
results, warns El Soto.
Greg Davies, www.gregdavies.co.za
Provider
Time spent on colour work has also been slashed
in half thanks mostly to Photoshop. This is an
advantage that Luke Choice is extremely thankful
for. Referring to his work on the Ministry of Sound
The Annual 2012 once again, he elaborates: With
this particular album cover, I was able to render off
multiple colour variations for the client to choose
from without any hassle. Along with the album
artwork, there is typically a number of supporting
materials such as tour packages, video releases
and adverts that can easily be reappropriated into
visual assets using Photoshop.
THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION
The recent digital revolution has been all-
encompassing, so its been proven that album
artwork, from a commercial stance, has become
much more than a print medium. Web branding is
now at the fore, as most sales are now driven online
at e-shops such as iTunes and Beatport.
This is something that is being wholly embraced by
digital designers, and for good reason. Many music
artists are now distributing work independently
online to save money on production costs. This is
achieved by avoiding long and expensive creative
042
COLOUR EDIT IN PHOTOSHOP
To make altering the coloured materials from C4D easier, try rendering them out
individually. Applying a Gradient Map to the logotype makes it far simpler to
adjust tones and produce multiple colour options. This avoids the distortion of
colours that can come from using the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.
FROM 3D TO 2D
TYPOGRAPHER LUKE CHOICE SHOWS HOW HE EDITED 3D ASSETS IN PHOTOSHOP TO
PRODUCE THE ANNUAL 2012 ALBUM ARTWORK, FOR MINISTRY OF SOUND AUSTRALIA
TECHNIQUES DIGITAL COVER ART
PITCHED CONCEPT
Erol Salcinovic (www.erolsalcinovic.com) supplied the original vectors in an
Illustrator file, which were gradually taken apart and then imported into CINEMA
4D. Objects were manoeuvred into place to reproduce the original composition.
Variations of coloured materials, reflections and shadows were then
experimented with inside this 3D software, until the client was happy with the
final render.
Along with the album artwork, there is typically a number of
supporting materials that can easily be reappropriated into
visual assets using Photoshop
processes, replacing them with more immediate
digital development. In practical terms, this means
there is almost zero disruption to an artists digital
workflow, enabling greater flexibility.
This shows a clear evolution still continues to
inspire generation after generation of artists. Coming
full circle, it also answers our initial question: is
format still important? The answer is a resounding
no. Creativity and inspiration are no less stifled
when transferring from compact to digital formats,
as was the case in the jump from vinyl LP to
compact. Opportunities are still rife within the album
art industry, where artwork remains more than just
a marketing tool. No, its much more. It has become
a direct reaction to an ever-changing digital culture
and still continues to be an expression of artistic
intent thats inspiring all album cover artists to create
stunning design. Luke Choice, www.velvetspectrum.com
043
FINAL LAYOUT
Rendering out the background
from C4D as a matte makes it
easier to target the designated
areas for Pantone assignment.
Background elements were
pieced together in Photoshop
to make sure that all colour
corrections were consistent.
These were then placed into
the InDesign file to support the
label copy, track listing and
album credits.
KILL THE NOISE KILL, KILL, KILL
MATEUSZ SYPIEN, WWW.BEHANCE.NET/DIGIMENTAL
RENDER LIGHTING
This is the straightforward
render in C4D. The
brightness of the lighting and
materials was pulled back
intentionally, so colour
corrections were much
easier to manipulate once
the image was exported to
Photoshop. Its key to make
sure the render doesnt
come out looking bleached,
as youll lose the wider
range of depth within the
different elements.
KILL THE NOISE
KILL, KILL, KILL
Try to experiment,
develop the unknown
and set your own
signature style. What
drives new clients
into your portfolio is
nothing else than
originality and quality
in your work
MATCHING THE LIGHTING
A variety of blending modes
and opacity values were
added on all-light layers to
set the correct mood


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Digimental Studio/Kill The Noise (OWSLA)
LEARN THE SKILLS TO REPLICATE A PHOTOGRAPHIC
COLLAGE WITH MULTIPLE LAYERS AND FILTERS
DIGITAL COVER ART
ABSTRACT GRAPHICS
T
he purpose of this process is to produce
artwork for a vinyl album cover sleeve and
then to present the work in a photographic
style that can be used for presentation
purposes when pitching for this area of work.
By using Photoshop for this form of collage work
and illustration, its all about being in control of your
layers, making tiny adjustments to colour and
shadow and then using the scaling, perspective and
distorting tools for the final presentation image.
This work is inspired by the recent vinyl revival that
has seen the emergence of campaigns for this
format to be resurrected. This has occurred not only
for the sound quality the product was known for but
also the plethora of designs, illustrations, collages
and graphics that the classic album cover gave us
from as far back as the Fifties. In some respects, the
main source of inspiration for this tutorial comes
from the work of Peter Saville and his album sleeve
designs for Factory Records, most notably for Joy
Division and New Order. The aim here is to help you
create your own album artwork in a style that is a
nod to this style, where simple graphic elements are
mixed together with photographic collage.
045
NEIL STEVENS
www.crayonfire.co.uk
OUR EXPERT
Stevens is a one-man studio
working from St Albans, UK. With a
background in design he made the
transition to illustration by creating
prints, which he sells online,
editorial illustrations and work for
the advertising industry.
@Neil_A_Stevens
SOURCE FILES
All the images and brushes used to
create this image, including the
model, photo stock, textures and
rendered images, are supplied. Pre-
made PSD files are also included.
LAYER ON THE FOUNDATIONS
IMPORT THE MAIN BASE IMAGERY FOR YOUR COMPOSITION
01
CREATE YOUR FILE TO SPEC
First you want to create a decent-sized
Photoshop document that will act as the square
format for your album cover. Set up a new file at 270
x 270 mm and then bring in the PATTERN_BG file
onto a new layer, position it neatly and then name
the layer Pattern BG.
02
ADJUST COLOURS
At the moment, our new pattern layer is
rather bright. We want to mute these colours
somewhat, so apply a Hue & Saturation adjustment
and go through each of the colours within the
dialogs drop-down menu, changing them until they
are more muted reds, greys and blues.
03
USE MORE SHADING
Now the pattern has a colour
palette youre happy with, insert the
image file MODEL as a new layer
above the pattern. Create another new
layer below this headshot and then
use a brush with a 360-pixel Diameter,
an Opacity of 85% and a dark grey
tone. Now simply paint behind and
around the edge of the head, then set
the layer to the Multiply blend mode.
LAYERING THE SLEEVE
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Progress 1: Adjust the colours
Progress 2: Tones and shading
Progress 3: Add final elements
ABSTRACT GRAPHICS TECHNIQUES
046
04
TWEAK THE SKIN TONE
We now want to add a subtler tone to the
skin colour than the existing dark grey. Grab the
Eyedropper tool and select one of the colours from
the pattern background a lighter, yellow-tinged
grey is good. Add a new layer above the model,
naming it Skin Tone, and use the Paint Bucket tool to
fill it with the new colour, then apply the Overlay
blend mode. You can then adjust the layers Opacity
to bring out subtle differences.
07
Colour-matCh your layers
We now want to give the image a more
surreal feel by adding in the glasses. Within
Illustrator, select the vector file of the patterned
circles and add them to a new layer in your
Photoshop document, renaming it Testcard Glasses.
Now repeat the process in Step 2 to adjust the colour
of the pattern to match that of your background
pattern. For the shading below the glasses, repeat
the techniques in Step 3.
05
CONTOUR PATTERN
Now well bring a contour pattern to the
face. Select the Pattern BG layer, copy and paste the
whole layer above the face as a new layer and
rename this Face Pattern. Increase the Scale by 20%,
use the Overlay blend mode again and then decrease
the Opacity of the layer to between 20-30%. Now go
to Distort>Spherize, making the Amount 100%, and
then use a soft Eraser to delete the pattern from
areas on either side of the face we dont want to see.
08
EDIT THE GLASSES FURTHER
To make sure that the glasses pattern isnt too flat, simply use a soft Eraser with an Opacity of
between 80-90% to delete the areas above the eyes of the model so they are just visible. Delete the white
areas of the pattern, then add glare on a new layer with a soft white brush, set to 360 pixels in Diameter and
60% Opacity. Paint a small dab onto each lens that will add a subtle touch to the whole look of the face.
06
INCLUDE SUBTLE DETAIL
To give the face even more detail we can
add the WAVES.ai Illustrator file, which will add tiny
detailed lines to the skin. Place the file as a new layer
above the Face Pattern layer, renaming it Waves. The
lines may be too bright and dominant, so to tone
them down a little simply decrease the layer Opacity.
You could also experiment with other blend modes.
Once again, use a large soft Eraser to delete the
unwanted waved lines that surround the face.
QUICK TIP
When adding a shadow to an object, its always
good to use a dark colour with your brush. By
using the Multiply blend mode it adds a more
harmonious feel to your shading. You can always
decrease or increase the layers opacity for even
more subtle changes.
TECHNIQUES ABSTRACT GRAPHICS
047
09
FINAL ELEMENTS OF A COVER
In order to finish off the whole look and feel of the cover artwork, you can add the small detailed elements for that final touch. Open the Illustrator file
Elements.ai, add the graphic red line and diagonals to the far left of the cover, the text and logo to the bottom-left, and be sure to place each element onto a separate
layer for added flexibility. Once complete, you can now move on to adding the final colour adjustments.
001
Adding noise to your layers is always a subtle way of including
texture that isnt too dominant with regards to the eye. You can
always experiment with this filter, but here we have only used a
7-11% Noise for the background pattern. You can apply this to
the flattened image at the end or to each layer individually,
changing the percentage as you go.
002
The edges of objects on a layer may look too sharp, so you can
always either delete the edges with a high-opacity Eraser or
even add a shadow above them with the Brush tool. For greater
accuracy, you can select the negative space of an object with
the Marquee tool, add a new layer above, invert the selection
and then apply your subtle shading.
003
Its often good to take a step back, look at the whole picture and
have a play around with various colour adjustments. Flatten the
whole image and make subtle changes to the contrast or
brightness. Have a look at tweaking the colour balance and
even the exposure and Curves until you are happy with the
overall balance of your artwork.
ADD THE FINAL TOUCHES TO YOUR COVER ARTWORK
SUBTLE ALTERATIONS CAN BE MADE TO YOUR ALBUM COVERS LAYERS FOR A MORE HARMONIOUS OVERALL LOOK
001 002 003
048
10
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Now you can add your cover artwork to a
larger image for presentation purposes, to show the
work in situ. Select the whole flattened cover image
and paste it into the larger image, named Blank
Vinyl. Place this over the album cover, and transform
your cover art with the Perspective option first and
then the Distort option so that it matches with each
corner of the blank cover below.
11
ADD A CIRCULAR SELECTION
Go back to an unflattened version of your
main cover art and select just the background
pattern, then copy and paste this into the
presentation image. With the circular selection tool,
create a circle of the same diameter as the red
centre circle on the record. Now reselect your pattern
layer, copy and paste the new selection, delete the
rest and you will now have the shape to place over
the red centre circle. Place this over the top and
delete the unwanted parts.
12
SHADE BETWEEN OBJECTS
More photo-realism can be added by
creating a rectangular selection next to the
outer-right edge of the front cover and adding a new
layer. Now use a soft brush 360 pixels in Diameter,
80-90% Opacity and dark in colour to add the
shading to the inside of the opened album cover
within your selected area. Apply the Multiply blend
mode for more subtlety and the record should look
nicely tucked within the opening of the album cover.
13
LIGHT AND SURFACE SHADING
As we havent flattened the image yet, we
can add a nice area of light to the front of the cover.
Select the negative space around the cover artwork
layer and invert the selection. Now add a new layer
above this, then select a large soft white brush with
an Opacity of 10% and a Diameter of 960. Brush over
the front cover in the top-left corner and then play
around with different blend modes or opacity values
to create the glare you want.
14
BRIGHTEN THINGS UP
The image is almost complete. To add that
final touch ready for presentation purposes, you can
sharpen up the image a little. Make sure you flatten
the image and experiment with the Hue, Saturation,
Brightness and Contrast to alter the colour and tone
for the final time. Make sure you dont overdo this
final part of the process, as by now its usually just a
subtle change that can make all the difference.
LAYER MANAGEMENT
It really is important for you to name your layers
when your artwork contains a lot of subtle
shading across numerous objects. The more you
build up your collage, the more detailed the stack
of layers becomes. So if you name as you go with
clear and relevant labels, it makes it so much
easier in the long run. Alterations are always
needed and you want to be able to find those
individual layers easily in order to amend them,
and more than anything it saves valuable time.
You can group and link layers for even more
flexibility and can always save the unflattened
version before merging them all together.
PLACE ARTWORK IN SITU
NOW IS THE CHANCE TO PRESENT YOUR ARTWORK DIFFERENTLY, AT AN ANGLE
AND WITH SUBTLE SHADING TECHNIQUES
TECHNIQUES ABSTRACT GRAPHICS
Image by Warner McGee & Tim Cooper
PLAY IT YOUR WAY
TRIAL NOW AVAILABLE
THEFOUNDRY.CO.UK/MODOTOUR
TECHNIQUES LIQUID PAINT EFFECTS
050
ORIGINAL TUTORIAL
FILES USED
For those interested in applying
the exact stock images Pete
has use, make sure you head
over to dreamstime.com.
Below are the image IDs for you
to search for:
//27702508
//14257226
//14257319
//15233790
//17285721
051
PETE HARRISON
http://peteharrison.com
OUR EXPERT
Pete Harrison masterfully wields
light and colour in many of his digital
images. Here he obtains the same
energy, but instead works with paint
stock to create believable looks.
@pete_aeiko
PREPARING THE LAYOUT
HERE WELL USE SELECTION TECHNIQUES TO LAYER THE IMAGE
02
ISOLATE THE MODEL
Well 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.
01
PREP OUR IMAGE
Open Photoshop and create a new 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 we start adding any effects to the
photo, well need to cut the model out. Zoom in and
use the Pen tool to do this.
03
CONTINUE TO CUT OUT
Dont worry too much about the hair for
now just make a rough selection and we can fix
this in the next step. 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 the Make Selection option. Duplicate the
model layer then activate Quick Mask.
FROM CLOTH TO PAINT
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Progress 1: Isolate the model
Progress 2: Bring in elements
Progress 3: Comp and blend
DISCOVER HOW TO MANIPULATE PAINT STOCK AND CREATE ENERGY USING
LAYER MASKS, SELECTION AND TRANSFORMATION TOOLS
PHOTOMANIPULATION
LIQUID PAINT EFFECTS
P
aint splash effects can be used in many
ways. One thats very popular is to replace
clothing by using photo stock. Thats what
we set out to achieve here, showing how we
create our own photomanipulation of a model with
paint splash fashion. Once finished well 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. Well 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.
Isolating and changing the colour and appearance
of our paint stock layers will be easy when we start
using the colour adjustment tools and further
masking techniques. We use these so that our
layers fit seamlessly together in our composition.
We will also tackle different blend modes and show
how these react with our image 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 well discover core
techniques that can then be easily be applied to any
future photomanipulation projects.
052
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.
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
models 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.
04
BACKGROUND WORK
Having masked out the woman we can
now work on the background. Well want to make
this 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. Well come
back to the background a bit later once weve
worked on the model some more.
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.
05
FIX THE MODEL
Click on the model layer and zoom in; we will start fixing up areas of the mask that dont look right,
especially around the hair. Select a black flat brush then start painting around the black areas of the hair and
the parts that we want to hide from our model layer. Lower the brushs Flow to 12%. If you make a mistake,
hit X then paint areas back in with a white brush. Also fix areas around the outline that may have been missed
during the initial Pen tool selection.
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.
TECHNIQUES LIQUID PAINT EFFECTS
053
ISOLATE STOCK IMAGES
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.
PASTE IN PAINT LAYERS
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.
CHANGE EXISTING COLOUR
Arrange the layers that weve introduced over the top of the
models dress, and then select one of them. Apply Image>
Adjustments>Hue/Saturation. Make the selected paint splash
blue to match the womans dress. This can just be a rough
adjustment before merging the model with both dress layers.
APPLY PAINT SPLASHES
BUILD EFFECTS USING STOCK AND BASIC ADJUSTMENTS 09
054
WORK WITH LIGHT
COMBINE BLEND MODES AND COLOUR ADJUSTMENTS TO CREATE DEPTH
14
MANUAL EFFECTS
Now add and style paint stock to the floor
using the same techniques. Then add more light to
areas of paint using a soft white brush, so they blend
better. Darken other areas by using the same brush,
but with a deep blue colour and set to Overlay. Dodge
and Burn to create more depth, and fix the lighting
on the right side of the model. Add more paint to the
top half of her dress and blend it with the bodice
using previous techniques. After that, were finished.
13
ALTER BRIGHTNESS
Some of the bottom layers of the dress
need to be made darker, as they would naturally fall
into shadow. To achieve the look we see here we
repeat pretty much the same technique used in the
previous step, but lower the brightness of the
duplicate layer by decreasing the Lightness value in
a Hue/Saturation adjustment. One trick is to
duplicate a layer, apply the above settings and then
add an inverted layer mask (Opt/Alt-click on New
layer mask). Edit using this mask and a white soft
brush to paint in areas of light.
11
MORE PLAY WITH PAINT
Feel free to select and cut parts off the paint
layers to make them fit. Also cut some off and add
them to the top half of the models dress. Try and
make the dress feel as though it ruffles by using
different paint splats and hues. Apply a soft round
black brush to attached layer masks and blend areas
of the paint more realistically, and use Edit>
Transform>Warp to enhance the flow of the dress.
Its all a matter of playing and seeing what we can
create. Dont be afraid to experiment.
12
CREATE DEPTH
Once we have established the final look of
our paint layers we can begin to edit the existing
lighting. Bring the highlights of the original paint
back in and add darker blue tones to certain areas,
producing greater contrast. Get one of the top paint
layers and duplicate it, then set the copy to Overlay.
Continue by adjusting the hue of the original layer to
make it a deeper blue. This colouring method is a
great way of producing depth. Repeat the process
with the other paint layers.
10
ARRANGE LAYERS
Once youve brought in and processed all
the paint splash layers, you will need to start
arranging all of these in a way that makes each one
seem to be a part of our models 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.
USE COLOUR 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 youve
selected, and use the plus and minus droppers to
specify detailed areas. Once youve 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.
TECHNIQUES LIQUID PAINT EFFECTS
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056
WORK WITH PERSPECTIVE, LIGHTING AND
CONTRAST USING PAINTING TECHNIQUES
DIGITAL PAINTING
CHARACTER
CONCEPTS
T
he process of creating a digital painting in
Photoshop can be very complex, so in this
tutorial you will learn how to control your
workflow. Well guide you from your initial
thought process to any techniques you will have to
bear in mind before diving deeper into the different
aspects of creating a strong, readable digital painting.
This includes, perspective, lighting and contrast.
The majority of your time here will be spent
understanding the different steps, from the initial
thumbnails to the final rendered painting. The tutorial
is meant to be performed in Photoshop, for the sake
of getting an efficient workflow by using some of its
essential tools such as adjustments layers, blend
modes and masks.
The inspiration and idea for this specific painting
comes from a long-lasting fascination for dinosaurs,
and is a comical new take on the discussed evolution
theory about T-rexs way of hunting!
057
058
01
THUMBNAILS
The first step is to do some character
exploration sketches, to get a better sense of the
style and theme. In this case we want something
stylised and cartoon-based with a comedy twist. As
you do this, look up some references or write down
some keywords to help you explore the direction to
take. It is important to keep this step as simple as
possible, so do yourself a favour and work at a small
scale; create a new document and set the size to A4,
then zoom out to 12.5%. Use a hard-edged brush.
03
THE GOOD IDEA!
Once you have fully
explored the first two steps, you
will hopefully find that you have
some good ideas for what is to
come next. Start by creating a
new document and then set it to
Width: 5000 pixels, Height: 2800
pixels and Resolution: 300 pixels/
inch. The technical approach from
here can vary a lot, but in this
tutorial we want to go straight in
with colour. Pick a colour palette
that you like and start by creating
a two-coloured gradient layer
reflecting sky and ground.
02
SHAPE LANGUAGE
When we have finished sketching in some
interesting thumbnail silhouettes that feel suitable
for the style and theme, we can start exploring the
shapes a bit further. Make the resolution higher on
your chosen thumbnail design by going to Image>
Image Size>Resolution and then begin exploring the
personality, features and background of your
character. Your thought process is the key at this
point, so keep it loose and try to go with the flow of
your character concepts.
04
SKETCH IT ALL OUT
When you start your
painting you once again want to
work on a small scale. Have a
clear idea of what you want to
achieve, and make sure that you
paint with a large brush in the
beginning so that you force
yourself to work with the overall
shapes first. Set your chosen
brush to 100% Opacity and Flow,
and colour pick from your palette
and your gradient layer until you
can see all the elements of
importance in your painting. Dont
be afraid of doing this roughly, as
long as it follows your idea.
QUICK TIP
To save time when youre
adjusting your steps, use
Hue/Saturation or Color
Balance for any colour
adjustments, and Levels or
Curves for the contrast
adjustments. Layering with
different blend modes can also
be useful, and using layer
masks for controlling the
affected area is handy indeed.
TECHNIQUES CHARACTER CONCEPTS
FROM SKETCH TO
FINISHED ARTWORK
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Progress 1: Keep it rough
Progress 2: Make it readable
Progress 3: Render it out
TOMMY KINNERUP
www.tommykinnerup.com
OUR EXPERT
Tommy Kinnerup is a concept artist
working with films, games and
illustrations. He is known for his
stylised character artwork skills,
which have served him well over the
past nine years of his career.
@pete_aeiko
059
05
LIGHT
An important decision to make that will
affect the rest of your painting is the light. In this case
we work with three light sources: a direct light
coming from the sun located to the right; an indirect
light coming from the illuminating blue sky; and
finally, the bounce light that is caused by both the
direct and indirect light. The choice of light directions
will affect your composition and the overall
readability of your painting, so try to think about
which elements are the most important to highlight.
07
VALUE
Now its time to work into the contrast
values a bit further. To make the painting more
readable, we turn it into black and white only for the
sake of checking the values. Open the Adjustments
palette. Click the Hue/Saturation icon and, in the
dialog that appears, pull the Saturation bar back to
-100. Now you can always check your values by
switching the adjustment layer on and off. We want
to have the highest contrast value in the foreground,
and the further we travel into the image then the
lower this contrast gets.
08
COLOURS IN LEVELS
To keep this painting colourful and playful,
we want to have some more refined local colours.
(Local colour means the colour of an element, such
as a green leaf, that is not being affected by colour.)
This is also a good way of clarifying the levels in the
paintings foreground, midground and background. A
basic rule of thumb when it comes to environmental
colours is to have the warmest colours closest and
the coldest colours furthest back. So in this painting
we want to apply the warmest colours to the
characters in the foreground.
09
SHAPES IN SPACE
Making the shapes clearly readable in a
detailed painting like this is a challenge in itself. In
this case we dont really have a clear dominant
shape its more a matter of achieving a symmetry
in the painting that makes the intruder, the T-rex, mix
in with the two plant-eating dinosaurs on either side.
This means that we end up having a round repetitive
shape that creates the line of action that we want.
We also want the surrounding space and the
environment to support the characters shape
language in the best way possible.
Your thought process is the
key at this point, so keep it
loose and try to go with the flow
of your character concepts
06
SHADOWS AND VOLUME
In order to define the individual shapes, it is crucial to understand the basic functions of light and
shadow and the volume within. In this example we use shadows to create an interesting layer effect on the
three dinosaurs in the foreground. The main function of this is to help us separate the characters from each
other and also to clarify the volumes.
005 004 003 002 001
HIGHLIGHT LOCAL COLOUR TRANSITION SEPARATION SHADOW
060
TECHNIQUES FOR CONCEPT ART
TIPS AND TRICKS FOR SPEEDING UP THE WORKFLOW IN PHOTOSHOP
10
SHORTCUT FOR ADJUSTING COLOURS
For a more efficient adjustment of your
colour work there are some helpful tools you can
use in Photoshop to achieve what you are looking
for. Head to the Adjustments and select Hue/
Saturation. This will bring up the options to adjust the
Hue, Saturation and Lightness. In this case we want
to increase the amount of red. Choose the drop-
down menu named Master and select your Red
channel for adjustment. This is personal preference
at this stage so feel free to play until it is right.
13
BLEND MODES
A good way of trying out different colour
variations in your painting is to start using the blend
modes. Bear in mind that you need to be careful
when using blend modes, as the result can become
quite random if you dont know what you are looking
for. In this case we want to use the blend mode
called Overlay, in order to increase the saturation in
different places. Create a new layer in your Layer
stack, then click Overlay in the menu at the top. Now
you can start colour picking from your painting and
paint saturated colours into the different areas.
14
LIQUIFY
Sometimes, you just dont like a specific
shape or area, or theres curvature that feels wrong.
A helpful tool to warp these into place is Liquify. Go
to Filter>Liquify and select the Forward Warp tool. As
for all of the mentioned tools, use them carefully.
What you dont want to end up having is stretched
areas in your painting, so at this stage you should
keep this to a minimum.
15
EVALUATION
An important thing to do after you have
finished your painting is to thoroughly evaluate what
you have created. Give your eyes some rest and go
back to your painting with fresh, critical eyes, and try
to ask yourself the questions: How does it feel?
Does it read as intended? Do the adjustment layers
make the painting better? and so forth. Making
artwork is a matter of trying things out and exploring
all the time. There is no recipe to a perfect painting
its mostly hard work and a lot of small victories
until you eventually master the piece. Good luck!
11
SHORTCUT FOR ADJUSTING VALUES
For the same reason as when adjusting the
colours, we want to have an easy way of adjusting
the values of our painting. Go to the Adjustments
window and select Levels. This will bring up the
options of adjusting the images levels. In this case
we want to reduce the amount of whites. Choose the
middle icon, then pull the midtones to the right to
add more black. Again, wait until the picture is
updated before saving and hit Cmd/Ctrl+Z to undo
any changes if they do not look right.
12
LAYERED MASKS
To control areas of affection for a certain
layer, you can use layer masks. In this case we want
to work with the previously added Levels layer, in
order to decrease the amount of black furthest back
in the painting. Select the Levels adjustment layer,
then click on the layers white icon. Now you can
start masking out the blacks by painting with a soft-
edged brush set to black. The advantage of a layered
mask is that you can always change where it should
affect and how much it should affect by painting in
black for hiding and in white for revealing.
TECHNIQUES CHARACTER CONCEPTS
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TECHNIQUES ATMOSPHERIC LANDSCAPES
CRAFT A DREAMY LANDSCAPE USING A SELECTION
OF HIGHRES IMAGES AND CUSTOM BRUSHES
PHOTO EDITING
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 Photoshops
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 CS6s 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.
063
MIKKO LAGERSTEDT
http://mikkolagerstedt.com
OUR EXPERT
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.
@MikkoLagerstedt
SOURCE FILES
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.
CREATE A SIMPLE BACKGROUND
ADD ADJUSTMENT LAYERS TO BEGIN CLEANING THE BACKGROUND IMAGE
01
CLEAN THE BACKGROUND
Open background.jpg and duplicate the
background. 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 Patchs 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
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Progress 1: Remove distractions
Progress 2: Brush clouds
Progress 3: Final adjustments
064
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 its 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 the layers.
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
groups 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.
TECHNIQUES ATMOSPHERIC LANDSCAPES
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 youre smoothing the edges use a big soft
brush with 10% Opacity and 100% Flow.
065
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 boats 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.
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.
10
MAKE A CUSTOM BRUSH
On the background layer, select part of the
piers 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 it.
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
Add a Color Lookup
adjustment layer to balance
the lightness of the image
FINAL ADJUSTMENTS FOR
PHOTOMANIPULATION
When youre using layers and blur effects in
manipulations, its 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.
066
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.
17
ADD FOG
Create a group called Final Adjustments
and then make a 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 layers Opacity to 30% and bring up
the Layer Style dialog. Under Blend If, drag the
Underlying Layers white pointer to 111/255 using
Opt/Alt. 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 layers Opacity to 59%.
FINAL ADJUSTMENTS
CREATE COLOUR CORRECTIONS WITH CURVES ADJUSTMENT LAYERS
TECHNIQUES ATMOSPHERIC LANDSCAPES
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.
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CREATE THE ART OF THE FUTURE
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USING BOTH PHOTOSHOP AND ILLUSTRATOR, WE SHOW
YOU HOW TO REPLICATE EFFECTIVE RETRO TYPOGRAPHY
TYPOGRAPHY
CREATE STYLISH
VINTAGE TYPE
T
ypography is a fundamental part of
day-to-day life. Its everywhere we look, but
so much of todays 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 well show you how to replicate classic
vintage typography.
A lot of time will be spent creating the type in
Illustrator. This is where well add detail to the type
using options, such as the Offset Path, blends and
the Pen tool. In Photoshop well apply texture using
various blending modes and use brush techniques
to mimic cracks and creases. Well 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 well 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.
@logsmatthews
FROM SIMPLE TYPE TO
DYNAMIC RESULTS
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Progress 1: Apply texture
Progress 2: Make the type
Progress 3: Add final details
BEGIN APPLYING TEXTURE
BUILD UP MATERIAL EFFECTS IN PHOTOSHOP BEFORE ADDING TEXT
CREATE STYLISH VINTAGE TYPE TECHNIQUES
069
070
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 thats 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 youve 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.
TECHNIQUES CREATE STYLISH VINTAGE TYPE
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. Were 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
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.
Were aiming to produce a
vintage typography feel by
applying a bold Sans Serif font to
the words work and nice
071
14
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 well need to add a new Hue/Saturation layer above the type layer, increasing
the Saturation to make the colours more vibrant. If theres 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 youre
happy with the cracks, go to Layer>Smart
Object>Create Smart Object. Set the layers 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.
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.
ADD THE FINAL TOUCHES
USE HUE/SATURATION AND CURVES LAYERS
TECHNIQUES HOW I MADE TECHNIQUES
072
HOW I MADE
SHINE
KRIS SHIELDS A.K.A COLOUR DRIP
S
hiny, colourful pieces of art are what artist
Kris Shields (www.facebook.com/Colour
Drip) aims for. Im heavily influenced by
anything sci-fi, so I try to create alien
appearances in my work. These still have a human
element so the viewer can relate, he reveals.
He certainly shows how his fondness for lighting
helps him create sci-fi looks in this image. The
Screen blend mode is his biggest asset, helping
LEARN HOW BLEND MODES AND DODGE AND BURN WERE
USED TO CREATE VIBRANT LIGHT EFFECTS
Shields create vibrant effects. However, he does
admit that: The trick is to pick stock images that
already have good lighting.
Surprisingly, Shields only decides his image tones
at the end of a piece. I change the hue of my layers
beforehand, which lets me get a feel for how the
colour should look. Then I add the finishing touches
using adjustment layers, editing tones with Color
Balance and Levels.
073
Im heavily influenced by
anything sci-fi, so I try to
create alien appearances. These
still have a human element so
the viewer can relate
02
ADD TEXTURE
Adding texture is my
way of turning ordinary
images into something
special. I found photos of
metal and placed them on
the shoulders of my model
to depict futuristic armour.
03
SPACE STOCK
To make the model
more alien I highlighted the
face using a soft brush,
changed the eye colour
using Hue/Saturation then
added colour to the hair
using nebula stock. These
layers blend modes were
all set to Screen.
01
FOCAL POINT
I made the chest area the focal point in this image first
by adding a charcoal texture and setting this layers blend mode to
Multiply. I also added white marks using a brush at 100% Hardness.
HOW I MADE TECHNIQUES
074
TECHNIQUES HOW I MADE
04
ADD KEY FEATURES
I enhanced the focal point by adding a
holographic globe and more nebula images, all set
to Screen to improve my lighting effects. Then I
masked around the hands, making them look like a
globe was being held.
05
LIGHT AND REFINEMENT
At this point there was no obvious light
source coming from the globe, so I implemented
one using a Gradient Fill layer. Further detail was
added in the form of a lens flare, which I created
using a soft brush.
06
BRING IT ALL TOGETHER
Elements in the lower areas of the image
were coming along nicely at this point. The middle
and top sections, however, seemed empty. By adding
a nebula around the shoulders I closed the gaps
between the elements.
08
FINAL TOUCHES
Once I was happy with the overall
composition, it was just a case of tweaking colours
using Color Balance and Levels adjustment layers.
These enhanced the lighting and depth of field.
07
ADD DEPTH
I produced perspective to make the piece
stand out. I did this by creating a few circles using the
Ellipse tool, then proceeding to erase parts and
applying the Gaussian Blur filter.
The trick to creating good lighting is to focus on
what the light is hitting. Be sure to emphasise
shadows and highlights, which the Burn and
Dodge tools are great at doing. Airbrushing
certain parts of an object to smooth out areas
also gives lighting a more realistic look.
USE PHOTOSHOPS DODGE AND BURN TOOLS
TO GIVE EXPOSURE AN EXTRA BOOST
ENHANCE THE POWER
OF LIGHTING
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076
DISCOVER THE ART OF PIECING TOGETHER STATIC PHOTOS
TO CREATE BELIEVABLE, ACTIONPACKED SCENES
PHOTOMANIPULATION
ACTIONPACKED
COMPOSITES
C
reating believable scenes isnt easy,
especially when youre working from a body
of different stock resources. However, over
the following pages were going to learn how
to correctly place and match a whole bunch of
separate images, thus creating the stunning
composite that we can see here.
Were going to explore ways to colour correct
elements and methods for adding surreal effects, so
that an image becomes eye-catching and, more
importantly, convincing. We will also learn how to
manually create sunlight and highlights, as well as
match foreground and background elements.
Special effects are also addressed in this tutorial,
and we will see how water splashes and waves can
be created from scratch. This becomes simple when
utilising the awesome power of Photoshops
brushes, along with a few more expert techniques
that are applied manually with the same Brush tool.
All the techniques covered here are fairly simple,
so you will easily be able to apply them to your own
work. The inspiration for this tutorial came from a
rather interesting action sport involving a unit called
The Blob. Its a very entertaining and dangerous
sport, so we wanted to capture not only how fun it is
but also the risk involved.
TECHNIQUES ACTIONPACKED COMPOSITES
077
JOSH ROSSI
www.joshrossi.com
OUR EXPERT
Rossi is a commercial photographer
obsessed with action movies, and
dreams of directing the next Bond
movie. In his spare time he creates
stunning images such as this one
using the photos that he takes.
@joshrossiphoto
SOURCE FILES
Inside the resource pack included on
your cover disc you will find some
original files that will need to be cut
out and then placed in order to
re-create this composite.
TECHNIQUES ACTIONPACKED COMPOSITES
078
Set the Eraser tool to a
Grass brush style and erase
small parts of the wing. This
creates the effect suggesting
feathers have fallen off
05
CHANGE BLOB COLOUR
Sometimes colours dont match in an
image, and we will need to target these manually. To
change the colour of the blobs stripes we first select
the section we want to change with the Pen Path
tool, making sure that we have the Blob layer
selected for this next step. Create a Hue/Saturation
adjustment layer, then change the Hue until we get
the colour that we want. The selection we made in
conjunction with the applied adjustment layer will
add a layer mask automatically.
02
LINE UP ALL ELEMENTS
Open, cut and paste Rock.
psd, Guy_hit.psd, Boat_small.psd
and Boat.psd into the image. Match
them up with the background. Place
the Boat layer to the left and Guy_hit
in the sky somewhere, for now.
Place Boat_small behind the other
layers. Make a copy of the Rock
layer then place this to the right side
of the image. Flip the original and
place it on the left side. Make sure
that you place each rock a little
differently so that it will look more
authentic in the finished scene.
04
PLACE THE BLOB
To cut out the blob we recommend using
the Pen Path tool. As you start selecting the bottom
part of TheBlob.psd, draw around the reflection
you dont need to be too precise here. Bring the blob
into the composite and resize it until it looks right.
Use the Eraser to remove the hard line we have
created beside the reflection, so it blends with the
water. If the blob is too long then it will need to be cut
down to size; to do this, simply select a coloured
stripe, delete it and then reconnect the blob.
01
CREATE THE BACKGROUND
First, well manually merge
the two BGright.psd and BGleft.psd
background files together. Place
BGright over the top and to the right of
BGleft to create a panorama. Line up
the mountains along the back and use
the Eraser, at 50% Opacity, to lightly
erase the hard edges of BGright. Dont
worry about matching up the waves
perfectly as we will be placing a boat
over the top to hide the waves later. We
will also need to enlarge the
background so that it matches with the
other elements at a later stage.
03
EXCHANGE FACES
Bring in the new face from Boat.psd and
place it directly over the old face of the cameraman,
so they match up well. Add a Curves adjustment to
the new face and brighten it, matching it to the rest
of the body; adjust only the midtones. Make a precise
selection of the cameramans hat using the Pen Path
tool. Once you have a good selection, go to the new
face layer and delete what is inside the selection.
This will create a seamless transition between the
old head and the new face.
FROM EMPTY SPACE TO A
SPRAWLING SCENE
WORK IN
PROGRESS
Progress 1: Gather elements
Progress 2: Add and refine
Progress 3: Boost effects
079
07
BOAT REFLECTION
Painting in the boats reflection is a fairly simple process. First create a blank layer
underneath the boat layer and then set it to the Overlay blend mode. Now pick a red colour
to simulate the boats colour and, with your brush set to 50% Opacity, lightly paint in some
red marks next to the boat to simulate a reflection. If the red colour is a little strong then
just add a Hue/Saturation adjustment and set Saturation to -50.
09
BRIGHTEN AND COLOUR MATCH
We have our background colours in place, so now well start working on the other images in the
composition. Go to each one and give it similar desaturation and colour adjustments. Use clipping masks so that the
colour only affects the layer beneath the adjustment layer; to create one, hold down Opt/Alt and click between the two
layers. Now that the colours are similar its time to match the brightnesses. Add a Curves adjustment layer above
each layer we want to adjust and then brighten or darken as needed.
06
BROKEN BIRD
The free stock images of the birds and feathers that we used
can be found by entering the following search codes into www.sxc.hu:
1387379, 551773, 110238 and 625562. Once the birds are all placed,
take one of them and then flip it vertically. Now set the Eraser tool to a
Grass brush style and erase small parts of the wing. This creates the
suggestion that feathers have fallen off. Now cut out the feathers and
place them sporadically next to the bird. Add a small amount of Motion
Blur to each feather to complete the effect.
08
COLOUR EACH IMAGE
Now what we need to do is match the
colour and brightness of all the images in the
composition. The first thing to decide is what
mood we want the final image to have. For this
image, we want a warm look. Start by adding a
Hue/Saturation adjustment and then
desaturate the background by setting Saturation
to -26. After that, add a Color Balance layer.
Work with the Midtones settings, setting the
Reds at 14 and Yellows at -11.
QUICK TIP
When cutting out an object,
feather the edges once youve
placed it into a new
composition that way, each
image will look natural and
wont have that cut-out look.
To do this, simply create your
selection and click Refine
Edge in the top toolbar. Set
Feather between 1 and 3.
080
14
BLEND IF
The Blend if sliders under the Blending
Options are useful when painting highlights. Double-
click a painted highlight layer and, at the bottom of
the pop-up dialog, youll see the Blend if options.
Well be working with Underlying Layer. Hold down
Opt/Alt and then drag the left slider. This separates it
into two, and we can now adjust either one to create
the correct highlights. By bringing the sliders over to
the right, the colour we paint is being revealed only
on the highlighted areas and not in the shadows.
10
CREATE BOAT WAVES
Bring Waves.psd into the composition and place it underneath the Boat layer. Use the Lasso tool to
make a rough cutout of the small waves coming from the boat. Once selected, use the Transform tool to
resize and place waves underneath the boat for a realistic look. Erase around the hard edges as needed,
blending waves in with the background water. Set the Eraser tool at 100% Opacity with a Spatter style and
then remove the bottom edges of the boat, simulating water splashes.
13
HIGHLIGHTS AND CLIPPING MASKS
One last thing that will make this step a lot
easier is to create a clipping mask this will make
painting on the highlights very precise because, as
we explained earlier, a clipping mask will only affect
the layer below it. Hold down Opt/Alt and then click
between the blank layer and the layer beneath it. You
are now ready to manually paint in the highlights.
Grab your brush and start painting on the edges of
your objects, simulating how the orange sunlight
would hit each one in real life.
11
PAINT WATER DROPLETS
To re-create the water spray simulating the
trajectory of the man, grab this brush: http://www.
brusheezy.com/brushes/2039-water-brushes.
Make the brush very small and paint in water
droplets using a white colour. Now set the Eraser at
50% Opacity and erase areas unsystematically to
make the water splashes look random. We enhance
this by using another brush: http://all-free-
download.com/photoshop-brushes/water_
splash_brushes_178287.html. Apply it with a white
colour at 85% Opacity, dabbing in a few places then
erasing where necessary.
12
ADD HIGHLIGHTS
Each image needs to match up with the
lighting and colour cast in the background. To
accomplish this we need to manually create
highlights on each individual layer. Create a blank
layer above an image layer then set this to Overlay.
Choose a soft-edged brush to paint on the highlights,
with Opacity set at 30%. When choosing our colour
its important to pick one that closely matches the
light source, or perhaps a lighter shade. If we paint
with a darker colour the highlights wont look right.
QUICK TIP
Remember to use a soft-edged brush when
youre painting on most effects. Painting with a
hard brush will create an unrealistic look with
harsh edges. This is especially true when youre
dodging and burning, and adding highlights, so
its good to make a habit of setting a soft edge.
TECHNIQUES ACTIONPACKED COMPOSITES
081
Dodging and burning is
used to lighten or darken
certain areas we are going to
create a surreal effect and make
image elements stand out
15
DODGE AND BURN
Dodging and burning is a technique used to
lighten or darken certain areas of an image. In this
case, we are going to dodge and burn in order to
create a surreal effect and make image elements
stand out. Create a new layer above the layer we
want to affect and then set it to Soft Light. Choose a
soft-edged brush and set its Opacity to 20%. We are
now ready to create our effect. As were doing this
we need to be detailed in our application, paying
attention to small cracks and crevices.
18
MAKE MOOD
Were now going to add some mood and
bring the focus into the centre of the image. To do
this, well add a custom vignette around the image.
Create a blank layer over all the others and set it to
Soft Light. Choose a soft-edged brush with a large
diameter and change the Opacity to 30%. Lightly
paint around the outer edges of the image to create
the vignette. If youre not satisfied with the result
then try duplicating the layer to intensify the effect.
16
CREATE SHINE
Dodging and burning can create unique
looks; one we focus on in this step is creating shine.
Apply a white soft brush over an area by using just
one brush stroke. Next, reduce the diameter of the
brush just a little and then give the same area
another pass. Repeat this maybe once or twice more
and we will soon start to see a shine forming. Its
best to apply this technique to areas that are brighter
rather than darker. Remember to keep your brush
Opacity low, at around 20%.
19
MANUALLY ADD IN COLOUR
Sometimes, Color Balance just isnt
enough. Heres how to manually add colour to each
image individually. Create a blank layer above each
layer we want affected and set it to Overlay. Pick a
soft brush and then a colour similar to the underlying
layer. Make sure the colour you pick is more vibrant
than the original. Now set a low Opacity, around
30%, and precisely paint colour. We will need to do
this with almost every object. Dont worry about
doing this to the models skin.
17
ADD SUNLIGHT
Adding sunlight is a very important step that
will make the image look much more vibrant and
colourful. Earlier on, we added highlights to each
object. In this step we are going to add sunlight to the
rest of the background. To add the sunlight, create a
blank layer above the background image and set it to
the Overlay blend mode. Choose an orange or yellow
colour to simulate that of the sunlight and then paint
some light into the surrounding areas, including
some of the water and clouds.
20
CREATING CUSTOM LENS FLARES
To finish things off, well now manually add flares to our image. Create a blank layer above the rest
and then set it to Screen. Choose a red colour and, with a soft-edged, large diameter brush at 100% Opacity,
start painting in some flares. To create a lens flare effect just dab the brush in a few areas. Applying paint in
this manner means we have more control over the colours and the placement of the flares. Once youre happy
with the result, give your finished piece a final check.
082
RAW WAR
HERE WE NAIL DOWN TWO LEADING RAW PROCESSORS, PITTING THEM
AGAINST EACH OTHER TO SEE WHICH PROVIDES THE MOST CONVINCING EFFECTS
083
A
dobe Camera RAW (ACR) software has
been seen as the benchmark for
converting RAW files for some time now.
However, that all could change with the
introduction of DxO Labs own challenger Optics
Pro 8 Elite.
Over the next few pages we pit these premium
software head-to-head, as we try to decipher which
we should use to edit our photos. The answer to this
question hinges on several factors, spanning the
range of essential creative and practical edits.
Many of us trust ACRs lineage. This is
understandable when considering how recent
versions have extended its already impressive
processing engine. Application in ACR couldnt be
simpler either, through easy-to-use sliders.
However, DxO also comes out swinging, providing
users with an exclusive calibration process for
10,000 combinations of cameras and lenses.
ACR is free with Photoshop, which may be a
deal-breaker for some, as DxO Optics Pro 8 Elite will
set you back an additional 239. This means your
choice to use it may well depend on the depth of
your pockets. Although, when you consider just how
many of us are willing to spend big bucks on expert
lenses to compensate for image quality, DxOs claim
to provide extensive combinations goes some way
to halving this cost.
So far were still tied. So in the following pages we
take a more in-depth look at both software, testing
all the new functionality on offer and making a
definitive decision of which is king: Adobe Camera
RAW 7.4 or DxO Optics Pro 8 Elite!
In the comparison stakes, DxO Optics Pro 8 Elite
has a very intuitive interface, which presents a
coherent order that runs us through the correct
stages of creation. Panels are also fully
customisable, which means we can base our editing
workflow around the most commonly used options,
before proceeding to the final stage of processing.
Identifying the images we wish to edit in DxO
Optics Pro 8 Elite is incredibly simple with the
Organize panel. This enables us to root through
folders from our hard drive and selected images are
viewable from the thumbnails at the bottom of the
editing space. Alternatively, we can select Project
View to name and categorise our own projects.
Once images are selected, DxO Optics Pro 8 Elite
automatically recognises the cameras model, body
EDITING LIGHT IN
CAMERA RAW
EFFECTIVELY TRANSFORM IMAGES USING
IMPROVED SLIDER CONTROLS
TACKLING RAW
CONVERSION
03
TONAL PARAMETRIC CURVE
Next try using the Parametric Curve for
toning, which is preferable to the Point Curve
due to ease-of-use. Adjust the Highlights by +28,
reduce the Lights by -52, lower the dark tones
by -18 and raise the Shadows by +25 to give the
image a more neutral light.
01
OPEN THE START IMAGE
Once an image has been opened in
Camera Raw 7.4, youll find the layout is very
simple, with a large viewing area and
slider-based editing tabs situated on the right of
the Preview panel. First we will alter the
exposure by setting the associate slider to +1.60.
02
LIGHTING WITH SLIDERS
Attack the added noise by knocking the
Contrast slider down to -3. Also reduce Clarity by
-15 to blur the image enough to soften noise. To
bring back more detail, reduce the Highlights
slider to -90, increase Shadows to +48, Whites to
+21 and also reduce Blacks to -33.
and lens from file metadata, matching this with a
profile and correcting the file. This mechanical
recognition is incredibly useful and takes a lot of the
guesswork out of the editing process. We can still go
through and adjust each of the settings manually,
using the Compare screen to see exactly what we
are affecting.
Bundled with Photoshop CS6, Adobe Camera Raw
7.4 (ACR) controls standard elements, such as
contrast and exposure, as well as the Kelvin scale.
This supplies a very concise workflow, but isnt
geared towards individual use and is more generic.
The processing options in DxO Optics Pro 8,
however, are very specific. Users perhaps
inexperienced with file types will be quickly educated,
as the software provides detailed JPEG and TIFF
option settings. Theres also the option to create DNG
files, which is surprising as this software makes little
attempt to read them.
ACR, on the other hand, has a simplified thumbnail,
preview and editing panel, with the processing
capacity to create JPEGs, TIFFs, PSDs, DNGs and
even open files as Smart Objects. Sadly, with all
these bells and whistles there is no browsing option
incorporated into the latest version of the software,
with Bridge taking care of the cataloguing and
workspace layout. This means we cant just jump
into ACR, browse for a file, edit and save it. Instead
we have to laboriously move through programs,
which when taking workflow into account is
incredibly counterproductive.
The art of RAW conversion is now laid in the hands
of working professionals, with software now capable
of providing much more control than the technology
inside our cameras. Instead of letting the tech decide,
we can now make judgements ourselves, using
powerful yet easy-to-use options. How these are
presented makes an intuitive workflow all the more
productive.
084
REVIEWS RAW WAR
DxO Optics Pro 8 Elite
recognises the camera
model, body and lens from file
metadata, matching this with a
profile and correcting the file
Above: Camera Raws simplified approach to handling files is
intuitive. Save options are all clearly stated and easily navigated
Above: Camera Raws Split Toning option can be used to great effect to produce a creative tint that complements the source image. Here you
can see the simplicity of the interface
There are two schools of thought concerning
photographic noise. One suggests that noise
contains an element of detail, the other that detail
shouldnt be allowed to exist. In truth, theres no
escaping it. With the intensity and intelligence that
DxO offers, you can just about dodge it instead of
escaping it all together.
Camera Raw 7.4 and DxO Pro 8 Elite have many
similar noise-reduction options, although, DxO does
go into greater detail with its Chrominance and Grey
Equalizer features, which help smooth out and hide
away the noise generated across an image. Camera
Raw has a similar set of features in its Detail panel,
where we find the Sharpening options and the Noise
Reduction panel. These enable us to reduce the noise
in colours as well as colour detail.
One thing that Camera Raw 7.4 doesnt have, is a
dedicated option for dead pixels. This is where DxO
rises above its rival. If we have an old camera, or
images that are speckled from broken or dead pixels
on our sensor, the Pro 8 Elite Dead Pixel slider will
simply eradicate such artefacts instantly. However,
DxO Pro 8 Elites automated options do such a great
job at fixing these, we dont necessarily have to go
back and alter much, if anything at all.
Sadly Camera Raw 7.4s own noise-reduction
functionality is found wanting in comparison. We can
export to Photoshop and run all sorts of image
tweaks, but its aberration tools really are second
place to DxOs. Pro 8 Elites database and recognition
of lenses and bodies as well as its automatic
image updates dependant on the spec listed and
selected far out-weighs what can be done with
Lens Correction options in Adobes solutions.
Camera Raw 7.4 does have a Lens Profiling option,
but this is sadly a little less user-friendly in its
EDITING LIGHT IN
DXO OPTICS PRO 8
COMBINE INNOVATIVE TOOLS TO CREATE
STUNNING LOOKS
FIX NOISE & CHROMATIC
ABERRATION
03
EDGE DETAIL
You can recover edge detail by coupling
the Unsharp Mask and DxO Lens Softness
options. Weve tightened the focus in our image
by applying the following Lens Softness settings:
Global at 0.72, Details at 72 and Bokeh at 29. The
difference before and after is striking.
02
IMAGE RECOVERY
DxOs Selective Tone options can
enhance lost detail even further. Here weve
reduced Highlights to -62 and Midtones to -16.
Weve also raised Shadows to 26 and lowered
Blacks to -7. This adds shade and tone to
darkened areas by boosting contrast. It also
neutralises previously blown lighting in our sky.
approach. DxOs Lens Softening tool, on the other
hand, is a game-changing image sharpener, which
uses image data to set the softness into three key
areas Global, Detail and Bokeh. Images can be
restored to a useable standard, as if they were sharp
all along. Camera Raw 7.4 competes by coupling
several options, including Contrast and Sharpness
tools and the Clarity slider, all applied to bring back
edge detail efficiently.
085
01
COMBAT EXPOSURE
You can make use of the Light and
Color panel to remedy an underexposed image.
Reduce the Exposure Compensation option by
setting this to -1.11 and increase Smart Lighting
to 125. The image becomes neutral in tone,
enabling Contrast to be raised to 76 and the
Microcontrast to 100.
If we have an old camera
the Pro 8 Elite Dead Pixel
slider will simply eradicate such
artefacts instantly
Above: DxOs Comparison view is incredible at highlighting just how much more information is being retrieved from the RAW file. Here the Lens
Softness tool is proving its power
Above: When using the chromatic adjustments within DxO, its wise
to zoom in past 75% to see a true reflection of what is happening
Above: Make use of DxOs dark interface, as it brings out the colours
and will help you cast a critical eye over the image
086
REVIEWS RAW WAR
The colour-correction tools available in both DxO Pro
8 Elite and Camera Raw 7.4 provide cutting-edge
functionality. Options are available in both to select
profiles already installed and proof immediately
imagery, all while completely controlling colour.
In Camera Raw 7.4, were instantly greeted with the
Vibrance and Saturation controls, as well as a
Histogram to show us channel information. We also
have controls dedicated to White balance, which we
can override or create first-time effects using
presets. Most importantly, we have individual Hue,
Saturation and Luminance controls, which mean that
we can alter a selection of tones.
COLOURCORRECTION
CAPABILITY
For us, DxO Optical Pro 8
Elite is the clear winner, due
to its incredible sharpening
options, extensive lens
database and chromatic
aberration tools. Where
Camera Raw 7.4 should
have won with its
Adjustment brush and
Split Toning, it pales in
comparison when combating
noise and pixels and hasnt advanced
enough with its automation. Seeing as
DxO is a standalone editor, as well as a
processor, its a clear Adobe competitor.
VERDICT
An outstanding RAW-processing
software, Camera Raw still rides
high as an industry-standard
photo editor, with tools such as
the Adjustment brush and Split
Toning options. It also has the
ability to read, edit and save DNG
files and export images as Smart
Objects for creative application
inside Photoshop.
An astonishing program thats
ideal for photographers looking
to pull back detail from source
imagery to perfect shots. The
Lens Softness tool is a real boon
and the lens database makes it a
worthwhile investment. Add in
the Dead Pixel and Smart
Lighting features and its even
more worthy of the extra cost.
ADOBE CAMERA
RAW 7.4
DXO OPTICS
PRO 8 ELITE
A complement to these controls comes in the form
of the Split Toning panel, where we can tone the
shadows and highlights, as well as add a more
stylised look to our images. This can be enhanced
further by the softwares Adjustment brush. This
enables us to paint onto an image non-destructively,
by using a mask over the selected area and editing
with various adjustments.
Sadly DxO doesnt have an Adjustment brush for
painting. It does, however, have Global and specific
HSL controls, as well as the Tonal Curve option,
which adjusts the RGB value of an image. Another
DxO function thats very useful is its Color Rendering
option, which enables us to target our colour
rendering to a camera body, film style or ICC profile.
This helps maintain a solid colour profile.
Above & Left: This close-up image of a tree shows how the image was impeded by
noise. However, by using the Sharpen and Noise Reduction controls in the Detail
tab, distortion has been removed
Above: Here you can see the detail DxO has been able to retain, while
bringing back colour detail in the shadows. This creates greater
depth in an image
As DxO is a standalone editor, as well as a
processor, its a clear Adobe competitor 4/5 3/5
WACOM CINTIQ 13HD REVIEWS
087
C
ompact devices appeal to fashion-minded
consumers. Theyre sleek. Theyre stylish
and theyre more portable. But is this what
digital artists really want from an integrated
display? Wacom seems to think so.
Its most recent launch, the Cintiq 13HD, is no
bigger but distinctly slimmer than a Wacom Intuos.
Its 13.3-inch screen offers nearly the same sized
drawing area as a medium-sized Intuos5. But if all
we wanted was a lightweight device then wed opt
for a tablet, every time. The Cintiq 13HD, however, is
about much more.
This device includes notable upgrades, surpassing
those available in the discontinued Cintiq 12WX.
Through its absence, a smaller-sized Cintiq seems a
WACOM CINTIQ 13HD
www.wacom.com
750 / $999 Windows 8, 7 (32/64 bit), Vista SP1, XP SP3, Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later with an Intel processor
WE SEE IF SIZE REALLY DOES MATTER WITH THIS
NEW SLIMLINE INTEGRATED DISPLAY
VERDICT: 7/10
The price and amount of programming
required may put off enthusiasts, but the
Wacom Cintiq 13HD is good for those
looking to venture away from the Intuos.
KILLER FEATURES
DISCOVER ADDITIONAL NEW FUNCTIONS WITH THE CINTIQ 13HD
necessity. With a larger screen, boosted specs and at
half the weight, the device is a solid replacement.
The Cintiq 13HD sufficiently supports full HD, with
a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, and spares
no expense when it comes to precision. It includes
2048 levels of pen pressure an industry standard
weve come to expect from all Cintiq models. We get
the full benefit of a 16.7 million-colour output,
ensuring clear images and ExpressKey functionality
for an improved software workflow.
Larger screens offer a more natural application
with a stylus, especially when applying broader and
more natural brush strokes to painted images. Yet
the Cintiq 13HD seems well in-tune with sketching,
linework, inking, colouring and retouching.
We still need a separate computer and AC power,
and many might think this would limit portability.
Sadly, theres a chance of this happening, with cables
all over the place even with the 3-in-1 cables.
However, this is a situation wholly dependent on our
studio layout, and Wacom redeems itself by
designing a detachable stand. The Cintiq 13HD can
easily be used in the lap, which makes working far
more immersive and comfortable.
IMPROVED BRIGHTNESS
Screen real estate may be smaller but this
doesnt affect image clarity. This Cintiq is a
full-HD device with the highest brightness
values of any in the series (250 cd/m2).
EXPRESSKEYS REDESIGN
Touch-screen functionality would
have undoubtedly enhanced
application in the lap, but the
programmable ExpressKeys and
Rocker Ring are sufficient for
swapping between the various
Photoshop functions.
NEW PEN
The new Pro Pen works with all of
Wacoms tablets. Its now portable with a
plush case, including extra nibs, pen
colour rings and a nib removal tool for
full user customisation.
COLOUR SPACE
The Wacom Cintiq 13HD supports 75% Adobe
RGB, which is a lot less than the 24HD
models. However, this is an improvement on
the (lowest) 72% supplied with the 22HD.
FREELANCE DIGITAL ARTIST JEFF WHITLOCK TELLS US HOW
HIS TRADITIONAL BACKGROUND INFLUENCED HIS DIGITAL ART
READER INTERVIEW
ENGAGING PHOTO
ILLUSTRATION
A
fascination with visual art started very
early on for Jeff Whitlock. Drawing,
print-making and illustration were his
main focus for years, and it was only when
he found himself in a commercial environment that
he began working with computers. For some
reason, it was not easy for me to make the transition
from traditional to digital art. Metaphorically, it was
like learning a new and very difficult language. I
struggled it just wasnt intuitive for me.
Amazed by the possibilities available in the digital
world, Whitlock never looked back. Given his
background in traditional art, we wanted to talk to
him about his creative process and find out who
influences his work.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
I would describe my personal style as photo-
illustrative. Most of the elements in my
compositions begin in the form of a photograph.
These photos are combined together and
transformed in Photoshop in such a way that the
finished piece is greater than the sum of its parts.
WHAT IS YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
My creative process involves first coming up with a
quality concept its an important foundation to
everything that follows. Next the process involves a
combination of taking photographs and/or finding
appropriate stock photography to create a
compelling composition. Once the photography has
been worked out, I normally import the images into
Adobe Lightroom to organise and make global
adjustments to them.
WHICH ARTISTS HAVE INFLUENCED YOUR
WORK AND WHY?
The Great Masters (especially of the Renaissance)
have influenced me a great deal. Im in awe of their
use of colour, light, shadow, and the extraordinary
READER INTERVIEW ENGAGING PHOTO ILLUSTRATION
JEFF WHITLOCK
www.jeffwhitlockdigitalartist.com
www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/
user/JeffWhitlockDigitalArtist
OUR READER
088
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EMS Rescue: Add elements to your composition that enhance the energy and mood. For this composite,
I added lights to the cars, several layers of snow and a dramatic sky to amplify the drama of the scene
Premonition: Using a very limited color scheme with high contrast can be
very effective at creating a sense of mood and mystery in your images
Clockwise from
top left;
Sunset Copter:
Composite image
created for Mercy
St. Vincent Medical
Center Life Flight of
Toledo, Ohio. Be
sure to add your
colour adjustments
to the top of your
Layers stack. These
adjustments will
help you to unify
and harmonise the
colours of each of
the underlying
photographic
page elements

Eternal love:
Composition is the
foundation to a
successful image.
Be sure to arrange
elements in a
manner that leads
the viewer through
the image in an
effective and
pleasing way
Baseball: Be sure
to add components
that complement
the main elements
of the composition
and help further
communicate the
mood and story
I love the freedom that comes with being a freelance
digital artist. Even with cash flow uncertainty and the
additional non-creative tasks necessary to run a successful
digital art business, I would not trade it for anything
I photographed myself as the main
compositional element using a front fill
light and two soft boxes, on either side,
for edge lighting
Fire, sparks and smoke were created by
layering photographs set to various
blend modes (like Screen) and modified
using the Warp and Liquify tools
Various elements were photographed,
outlined and then arranged in the
composition to create a sense of depth
and to enhance the mood of the image
090
ENGAGING PHOTO ILLUSTRATION READER INTERVIEW
compositions of painters like Da Vinci, Raphael and
Rembrandt. I admire the conceptual and
metaphorical work of Salvador Dali and Ren
Magritte innovators who stepped beyond the literal
realm to capture their unique personal visions.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE BEST WAY TO GET
YOUR WORK NOTICED?
I think the best way to get your work noticed is to get
it in front of as many people as possible, using a
variety of avenues. Online, the possibilities are
unlimited. There are many sites that encourage
artists to upload their digital portfolios for free (like
AdvancedPhotoshop.co.uk). Opportunities for
artists to share their work via social media are
abundant and continue to expand and develop in
number and scope.
In addition, I believe it pays to contact advertising
agencies, publishers and marketing companies
directly. Begin with an introductory phone call as well
as by mailing printed samples to the appropriate
contact. Leveraging every opportunity to make
industry connections is critical for success.
WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS THE MOST
IMPORTANT ASPECT WHEN WORKING ON A
PROJECT FOR A CLIENT?
In my opinion, the most important aspect of working
with a client is communication. Its basic but crucial.
With every project, I make certain that Im always
communicating as clearly and concisely as possible.
I communicate with my clients throughout the
process, making sure that nothing is assumed or left
to chance. I double-check project parameters and
provide clients with ongoing evidence that Im
handling their project with integrity, thoughtfulness
and professionalism.
DO YOU BELIEVE THERE ARE BENEFITS TO
WORKING FOR A STUDIO AS OPPOSED TO
GOING FREELANCE?
I worked in a studio for about 5 years and have since
worked as a freelance digital artist. In my estimation,
there are two major benefits to working in a studio.
First, there are other creative people to collaborate
with and bounce ideas off of. Second, theres the
advantage of having steady work and regular pay.
However, after working independently I dont think I
could ever go back to being an employee in a studio
again. I love the freedom that comes with being a
freelance digital artist. Even with cash flow
uncertainty and the additional non-creative tasks
U2 Cover is one of the first composite images that I
created with Adobe Photoshop. At the time, I felt it
was a powerful image and was quite pleased with
the finished product. Peace is one of my most
recent composites.
I believe that comparing the two images
demonstrates an enormous progression in my
work. The U2 piece has a foreground, middle and
background, yet seems flat and one-dimensional.
Peace, in comparison, has a great deal more
depth, dimension and a stronger sense of emotion.
It features a powerful triad balance between the
enormous rhino, a small child and a delicate bird.
SEE THE PROGRESSION OF WHITLOCKS STYLE
FROM HIS FIRST TO HIS MOST RECENT ARTWORK
THEN AND NOW
necessary to run a successful digital art business,
I would not trade it for anything.
DO YOU USE PHOTOSHOP FOR EVERYTHING?
I use Photoshop for most, but not all of what I do. In
addition I use Adobe Lightroom. Elements for each
project are first organised in Lightroom, then initial
global adjustments are made prior to taking the
images into Photoshop. As well as the creative
possibilities it offers, Lightroom has exceptional
database features that make it indispensable for
project management and archiving strategies.
WHAT PROJECTS ARE YOU WORKING ON AT
THE MOMENT?
Im finishing up a large project for the Chrysler
Corporations Jeep plant in Toledo, Ohio. Its a series
of 10 montages that depict their six corporate core
values. The montages are being output at nearly nine
feet high in various lengths up to 18 feet. They will be
installed in three hallways that lead from the visitor
entrance to the main factory inside the Toledo facility.
Its been a large and complex process, but will be
extremely satisfying once all of the graphic panels
have been installed.
U2 Cover: This piece was a
magazine cover assignment
and one of my first composite
images in Photoshop
Peace: Peace is a self assignment/
promotional work. It has been wisely
pointed out anything that does not add
to the composition, subtracts from it
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LEARN HOW TO SHOOT PAINT SPLASH PHOTOGRAPHY
AND INTEGRATE IT INTO YOUR ARTWORK
PRODUCE PAINT
SPLASH STOCK
W
orking with paint can be very messy,
which is why many of us will invest in
existing photo stock, adding this to our
paint splat images instead. However,
what if we knew how to shoot in a controlled
environment to get that perfect snap would there
be any need to spend money on stock?
To help us answer that question, this Resource
Project teaches you how to grab that snapshot, avoid
blurring and minimise mess. Our end results will be
suitable for commercial or personal projects by the
time were finished. We also discuss ways we can
use paint splash stock to create our own abstract
looks adding movement to energise artworks.
092
THE PERFECT SHOT
MAXIMISE IMAGE QUALITY WITH THE CORRECT SET UP
ON THE DISC
TUTORIAL FILES
01
PAINT AND WATER MIX
Its imperative to create the right consistency
from our raw materials. Add too much water and the
solution becomes diluted. Add too little and it
becomes too thick. Try a 2:1 (water to paint) ratio for
the best results, and also use a 60 millilitre pipette for
easy extraction.
02
INSTILLATION SET UP
Tape the pipette to a reflector
arm overhead and then place either a
Perspex or a white laminated,
medium-density fibreboard beneath.
Paint drops will bounce off this and its
also easier to wipe clean later. Shoot
against a white backdrop, so that
removing paint splashes from digital
files becomes straightforward.
03
CAMERA SET UP
Shoot at 1/3400 sec to effectively
freeze-frame the droplets and splatters ejected from
the pipette. Use a flashgun fast enough to sync and
achieve the correct lighting. Get correct depth of field
by setting the camera to an aperture of F11. A prime
macro lens ensures crisp detail and brighter images.
ON THE DISC PRODUCE PAINT SPLASH STOCK
RESOURCE PROJECT
093
THE SHOOT
THE BEST SETUP FOR CAPTURING PAINT SPLASHES
01
PICK THE BACKDROP
Shoot against a white
backdrop to simplify editing in the
postproduction phase
02
POSITION THE PIPETTE
Tape the pipette to a
reflector arm about two feet
overhead for better impact
03
USE A HARD SURFACE
Perspex or laminated
medium-density fibreboard (MDF)
make a good solid base, which
paint will bounce off
04
CAMERA SETTINGS
Shoot at 1/3400 sec and
use a flashgun to freeze-frame
droplets and splatters
PRODUCE PAINT SPLASH STOCK ON THE DISC
094
ADD ACTION TO IMAGES
DIGITAL ARTIST THOMAS EGAN (WWW.THOMASEGAN.COM.AU)
EXPLAINS HOW TO CREATE SYNERGY USING MODELS AND PAINT STOCK
LIGHT AND COLOUR
Apply Hue/Saturation adjustment
layers to alter the paint splash
colour and improve contrast. To
achieve realism, define a light
source then relight paint layers,
adding duplicate layers set to
either the Multiply or Linear
Dodge blend mode. Try using
stock images where light already
matches, as this saves time.
SMALLEST DETAIL
Add some droplets and finer paint particles
breaking away from areas of movement.
These are applied to create visual interest,
but also more importantly to mimic real-life
effects. Develop other smaller elements that
complement the flow now existing in the
image. Seamlessly merge these elements
with the help of layer masks.
MOVEMENT AND ENERGY
Apply paint splash layers to the base model in
certain places that accentuate shape and form.
You can further enhance a sense of direction and
energy by applying the Warp tool or Puppet tool.
Use these to manipulate splash layers and create
flowing lines, which will complement the
movement from the base model.
ON THE DISC PRODUCE PAINT SPLASH STOCK
Learn in style
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