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2018-09-01 Photoshop Creative

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FREE! OVER 310 RESOURCES
T
TEX
EX
ACTIONS FILT
FILTERS
L ERS BRUSHES TOS + 100ss O
OFF TUTOR
TUTORIA
T IAL FILES
THE WORLD’S NO.1 FOR
PHOTOSHOP
& ELEMENTS
LEARN HOW TO
FIX YOUR
PHOTOS WITH
MASKS
Make your portraits and landscapes look
their best by mastering the use of masks
PLUS!
12 pages of
Elements
guides
TYPOGRAPHY
NEON
ALSO INSIDE!
TYPE
How to create pixel art
Conjure a volcanic eruption
Create on the go with Sketch
Compose a surreal mini-world
CRAFT AN
ADVENTURE
Create beautiful fantasy
artwork with our tutorial
Use Cinema 4D with
PS for great 3D effects
SAND
CASTLES
How to turn any photo
into a sand sculpture
www.digitalcameraworld.com
®
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Editorial
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Techniques Editor Mark White
Senior Designer Sarah Bellman
Group Editor in Chief Chris George
Group Senior Art Editor Rebecca Shaw
Contributors
Abbi Castle, Jo Cole, Sarah Cousens, Philippa Grafton,
kittozutto, Rodrigo Marinelli, John Ross, James Sheppard,
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Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244
Masking is considered by many a utility for
graphic illustration only, but the fact is that
the clever use of masks can also help you
turn a good photo into a great one.
This issue, we show you all about how
you can fix any type of photo, whether it’s
an intimate portrait or a sprawling landscape shot, with
the help of masks. Our team of resident experts takes
you through everything from subtle edits to dramatic,
creative alterations, each to suit the project at hand.
Our range of tutorials means you’ll find something for
your specific taste, whether that’s creating a realistic
photo composition, working with typography or getting
creative on your mobile device. And if reviews, galleries
and interviews are what gets your creative juices flowing,
we
ve got you sorted for th
we’ve
that too. Enjoy the issue!
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Essentials
Tutorials
a photorealistic
06 FileSilo
20 Create
composition
Download the wealth of resources on
offer to you this issue
challenge
07 Readers’
Win the ultra-cool ShuttlePRO v2
worth £89.99 in this issue’s challenge
gallery
08 Trending
Check out some of our favourite art
from around the web this month
gallery
10 Readers’
See what your fellow readers have
been creating lately
Energise your photos
12 Feature:
with masks
Check out our experts’ top tips for
editing photographs with this issue’s
masks extravaganza
I Made
34 How
Discover how Dan Sawford created a
striking giant woman composition
I Made
51 How
Rijad Smajlovic takes us through how
to create a simple but striking scene
in Photoshop
I Made
57 How
The making of a cinematic,
competition-winning Tomb Raider
poster with Moses Ruperto
focus
58 Project
Ashraful Arefin takes us for tea and
Make yourself a summery drink by
combining layers, masks and
blending techniques
and mask a portrait
26 Retouch
Learn how to edit and embellish
your images from your first tweaks
to finishing flourishes
with masks and
36 Compose
adjustments
Build compositions with stock
photos and learn how to harness
adjustments’ power
paper type posters
42 Construct
Create a poster that looks as though
YOUR FREE PHOTOSHOP
RESOURCES ARE HERE!
This issue: actions, textures, filters and
much more
Plus files to follow the tutorials
Free and ready for you to download today!
it’s made of paper with selections
and colours
a treasure island
46 Create
composition
Put together a surreal scene with
layers, masks, gradients and filters
a sand sculpture
52 Create
Bring Big Ben to the beach with
textures and masks… oh, and a
bucket and spade, of course
6
and Sketch digital
60 Capture
paintings
Get in touch with your digital side,
and use your iPad to create art
tells us about his beautiful
cinemagraph project
88 Reviews
We put the latest hardware, soware
and books through their paces
interview
96 Portfolio
We speak to Katherine Lam about
painting techniques and how she
uses Photoshop
focus
98 Reader
A showcase of the art that Urszula
Jodlowska’s created in Photoshop
62
Follow
us on
Twitter
@pshopcreative
Advanced Photoshop
a volcanic
62 Create
landscape
All you need is lava: get stuck
into one of nature’s most
awe-inspiring phenomena in
this tutorial
a neon type
68 Create
platform image
Embrace the power of 3D to
bring a flat piece of text out
into a brilliant sign
68
26
12
ENERGISE YOUR PHOTOS
WITH MASKS
78
20
36
42
46
Elements creative
to grips with
76 Get
gradients
Learn to throw a little colour
over your images using the
gradient options
a panosphere
78 Create
Build your own landscape
before turning it into a little
world of its own
a repeating
82 Create
pattern
Learn how to egg-cel at
converting an ordinary photo
into a seamless pattern
a pixel portrait
84 Create
Get game-ready with this
quirky 8-bit tutorial. You won’t
even need a coin to start
5
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Pink it up
On the FileSilo this issue…
These 14 pink filters
will give your images
that extra flair.
•
•
•
•
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8 Dot grid Photoshop actions
10 Hi-res wood panel textures
14 Pink Photoshop filters
Ink set of 280 elements
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READERS’
CHALLENGE
Upload your images to
photoshopcreative.co.uk
rs’
Readen
e
Challe gR
WINNE
We challenged you...
In Issue 164, we challenged you to get
creative with the set theme of Music. You
were allowed to create whatever you
wanted, so long as it incorporated the
theme in some way.
Silvio Bertonati
Contrabass City
This Contrabass City image
was created with Photoshop
CS5. The image was
composited together with the
help of layers, masks and
blending, with adjustment
layers being key in putting the
finishing touches together.
This issue’s
challenge...
Think you can do better?
Prove it!
Next issue, the theme is History. We
don’t mind how you incorporate it
into your image, just be as creative as
you possibly can! Head to facebook.
com/PhotoshopCreative and find the
challenge in our Events tab. Closing
date: 21/6/18.
THE PRIZE…
Contour Design
ShuttlePRO v2
WORTH
£89.99!
This issue, we’re giving the lucky winner of our
Readers’ Challenge the opportunity to win a Contour
Design ShuttlePRO v2. Store all your favourite
Photoshop shortcuts and improve your workflow
speed with this handy extension!
Honourable mentions See some honourable mentions from this issue’s challenge at facebook.com/photoshopcreative
7
over the last few weeks, and take inspiration from what’s currently trending
There’s nothing more inspiring than surfing the internet
and seeing what other artists are creating, and we
encourage you to do so. Here are some of our favourite
pictures that caught our attention recently, from some
of the world’s most exciting artists and designers.
With work featured by Wacom’s
online gallery, it’s clear that Axana
has mastered the art of the Mixer
Brush. This is one piece that really
evokes nostalgia for us, and feels
rooted in a different era.
Axana Zasorina
most-design.ru
I paint using default Photoshop brushes and a few
brushes that I made myself specifically for my work.
My favourite tool is the Mixer Brush, as I can express
more depth and uniqueness in my portraits.
With four pieces included in
Adobe Sketch’s curated
gallery online, Katya is an
artist to study for those
interested in mobile digital
art. We love the simplicity of
this piece; check it out online
in all its animated glory.
Constantine has
over 300,000
online views for
his work, and we
love the clean
lines, the clear
colours and the
fresh feel of it. This
piece embodies
those ideals, and
the blue is
particularly strong
against the
creams and
oranges.
Katya Austin
www.katya.design
I’ve been having
fun trying to blend
animation and
illustration. I drew each frame of
this campfire illustration by hand
on my iPad, then finished up
the piece using the Photoshop
frame animation feature.
8
Constantine
Sazonov
ozby.pro
This image was
composed from
several different shot exposures
using layer masks. Colour
correction was done mostly using
Curves and Google Nik collection
plugins helped a lot in searching
for the right colours and moods.
of Photoshop – we love
the detail in this image.
We’re not the only ones
either; it has over 2,000
views on Behance.
Javier Toledo Viscasillas
www.sirokostudio.com
Siroko Studio developed this idea; it
was sketched using Photoshop so
Rush VFX could take it from 2D to 3D.
From there, Siroko made the final composition
using Photoshop to embellish what had already
been created in Houdini.
Kevin Roodhorst
www.kevinroodhorst.com
Lost Memories is made out of a lot of
stock photos, no 3D was used. For
that basic underwater look I used a
blue Solid Color adjustment layer on So Light.
The textures on the Buddha are set to Multiply. I
made the haze effects with a large so brush.
Super compositor Kevin Roodhorst has over 8,000
YouTube subscribers who follow tutorials he
produces on how to create artwork like this. This is
one of our favourites of his work, for its colour,
precision and composition.
Sebastian Curi
www.sebastiancuri.com
With the illustrations [I created] for the
Ice Awards, I tried to make them fun and
colourful. I wanted to bring the vibe of a
parade and I thought of characters that could live in
Atlantic Canada, like this kid disguised as a lobster.
We love Sebastian’s playfulness in the
way he draws; this illustration in
particular feels 1990s in influence.
Sebastian has had his work featured by
both Photoshop’s and Aer Effects’
online showcases.
9
created by none other than your fellow readers
GET IN TOUCH
Send us your images now for the
chance to appear in future galleries
Create your own gallery online
PhotoshopCreative.co.uk
Upload your images to Facebook
Search PhotoshopCreative
Tweet us your creative artwork
@PshopCreative
Alternatively, you can email:
markwhite03@futurenet.com
Raqee S
Najmuldeen
photoshopcreative.co.uk/
user/Abulrook
I looked at this spiral
staircase and found something like
a wave. I used the silhouette of the
surfer and some Photoshop brushes
for clouds, then I positioned the
elements, cropped, changed the
colours and added texture in order to
create this double image scene.
Robert Schlenker
photoshopcreative.co.uk/
user/RSchlenker
This image was created
in Photoshop with a
little help from Vue Infinite 3D when
it came to creating the terrain. The
rockets, lights and the dust were all
added later in postproduction.
10
Estelle Chomienne
photoshopcreative.co.uk/
user/Stellart
I worked with three basic
brushes: the blurred
rounded, the clear rounded and the
square charcoal. With these three
brushes, I could work with different
styles of lines in Normal or Overlay
blend mode, and create [an effect that
looked] like a wet render.
Murilo Francisco
Chris Patterson
photoshopcreative.co.uk/
user/Mumu0909
photoshopcreative.
co.uk/user/King_
Christeeny
Masks and adjustment
tools were instrumental in
creating this image. I started by adding
the elements, later merged layers, and
used Color Balance, Saturation and
brushes to finalise the image.
Apart from the
shallow depth of field, everything
else was created in Photoshop
using Adobe Stock, Liquify,
custom brushes for the hair,
snow and makeup and finished
off with photo filters.
Lucy Liew
photoshopcreative.co.uk/user/lucyliew
For this image, I manipulated the start images, added
the bubbles and then used a few adjustment layers
to create the tones of the whole image. Then I used
Gaussian Blur to make a so and dreamy effect.
11
ENERGISE PHOTOS
WITH MASKS
On the FileSilo
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12
FEATURE
ENERGISE PHOTOS
WITH MASKS
Why settle for how your photos look when they’ve just been shot?
Check out our expert guide on how to creatively tweak your snaps
I
n 1988 Thomas Knoll, a PhD student at the
University of Michigan, began writing a
program on his Mac that together with his
brother John, he’d eventually develop into an
image-editing software package. Over the years,
this software package has added brushes, filters, 3D
capabilities, a Pen Tool, actions, gradients and type
features, but at its core, Photoshop is all about editing
photographs to perfection.
And what a photo editor it is. Users of all skill levels
and from all walks of life make the software their first
port of call when it comes to editing images into the
photographic masterpieces they know they can be. But
how many of us use the program to its full advantage?
We all know the odd tools here and there to repair our
photos and fix mistakes. But how can we take them to
the next level?
That’s what we’re aiming to do this issue, with a little
help from the mask function. We’ve asked our trusty
experts for their best advice for turning a boring shot
to a stunning pic, from colouring and tonal edits, to
brushes and vital portrait techniques, all using masks
for pinpoint accuracy and smooth control.
Let’s dive into the wizardry and find out just how to
energise your pictures: the Knoll brothers themselves
would be proud!
Meet the experts…
JOHN ROSS
Camera Raw has
many tools to
creatively edit your
photos, with colour,
toning and brightness tools for your
work. Combined with masks, you
can be really precise with edits, as
you’ll see on page 18.
SIMON
SKELLON
I love the flexibility
that layer masks and
adjustments give
while being able to apply blend
modes onto a landscape. A subtle
gradient along the edge of the moon
(p15) helps to blend it in.
MARK WHITE
Whether I’m
creating a
composition or a
digital painting from
a picture, I always find time to edit
my photos. The techniques on page
14 that use adjustments to edit are
standard tricks that I use in every
project to get portraits to really pop.
13
ENERGISE PHOTOS
WITH MASKS
HAIR HIGHLIGHTS
Create a Curves adjustment
like the one shown. Invert
the mask (Cmd/Ctrl+I) and
use a small, so, white
brush to create subtle pink
highlights in the hair.
Face adjustments
EYE COLOUR
Create a Curves adjustment
like the one shown. Invert
the mask (Cmd/Ctrl+I) and
use a small, so, white
brush to recolour the irises.
SMOOTH SKIN
Merge all layers (Cmd/
Ctrl+Alt/Opt+Shi+E) and go
to Filter> Blur> Surface Blur.
Choose Radius: 5, Threshold:
15. Hit OK, hit Mask and
Invert (Cmd/Ctrl+I). With
a small, so, white brush,
touch over the blemishes on
the subject.
FACE LIGHTING
Merge all layers (Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/
Opt+Shi+E) twice; set one to Screen, one
to Multiply. Hit mask, Invert (Cmd/Ctrl+I)
and with a big, so, white brush, touch in
highlights and shadows on both layers.
14
Adjustments are great for tweaking the
colour, tone and contrast in your images,
but by combining them with masks, you can
pinpoint these edits in your subjects.
We’ve mainly used Curves and new
layers, but you can use masks to try
anything in your edit. Add a Fill Color layer
and mask it over the lips to change their
colour. Add a Gradient Map for a more
drastic hair change or just use the Photo
Filter to mask in a warmer tone for the face.
FEATURE
THE SKY
For the new sky, use a layer mask
and a so brush to blend it in with the
horizon line. Mask out any details in the
existing foreground for accuracy and
apply the Overlay blend mode as well.
THE MOON
Add a 2px Gaussian Blur to the
moon’s layer mask and fade out one
edge of the moon for realism.
REFLECTION
Flip the image and use a mask to
remove any areas overlapping the sky.
Use a brush at 50% Hardness along the
horizon to blend the reflection and set
its layer to the Lighten blend mode.
Before
Improve landscape shots
When it comes to stepping up your landscape game, layer masks can make all the
difference. Using masks, we can select and insert objects, such as the moon, and
incorporate a new and more interesting sky using blend modes. The Free Transform
command and a layer mask is the perfect combination for a reflection over the water.
Simon’s top five photography tips
Bracket for HDR
Shoot in RAW
Use ND filters
Shoot landscapes in RAW
format instead of JPEG. This
gives maximum flexibility
during the editing stages in
Photoshop and you’ll notice
the difference especially
when it comes to shadow
and highlight recovery.
Don’t just capture one
Neutral density filters, or
exposure, make sure you
‘NDs’ for short, create
smoother water and moodier take multiple shots at
different exposures.
clouds. Although possible to
Combining these exposures
recreate this in Photoshop,
in Photoshop will give you an
having the effect there from
the beginning will get you off HDR effect with detail
bursting from every corner.
on the right foot.
Take a tripod
Go wider!
It’s an extra thing to carry but Wide-angle lenses are ideal
for capturing the true extent
is essential for those really
long exposures. A tripod will of a landscape. Look at
shooting with lenses ranging
not only help to keep your
images looking sharp and in from 10mm up to 18mm for
a more impressive capture
focus, but also for reducing
noise with lower ISO settings – you can always crop in
Photoshop after.
in the camera.
15
ENERGISE PHOTOS
WITH MASKS
Recolour with masks
Aer selecting Filter> Camera Raw Filter,
use the Basic panel to make simple overall
changes in your image. Then you can move
on to the Gradient adjustment layer and
selectively enhance different areas of your
image such as the sky, water or highlights.
You can also use the Adjustment Brush as
needed for more flexibility.
Dynamic effects
You can replace a background with Select>Select and Mask, then refine
further. Add some colour grading with Layer> New Adjustment Layer>
Gradient Map. To make images more dynamic, choose Filter> Render>
Lens Flare and/or Filter> Blur> Motion Blur.
16
FEATURE
WORK ON THE
COLOURS
Create a So Light layer.
Use colours from the
background, such as
orange and deep blue, to
unify the colour scheme
of the whole image.
BLEND IN A
BACKGROUND
Cut out your subject and use
the Select and Mask Tool to
refine the edge against the
background you place.
USE BRUSHES FOR
DYNAMISM
Use big paint brushes
to create vertical lines
that highlight certain
colours and give your
image a unique look.
Artistic edits
Using big, bright colours and paintstroke brushes
can really make an ordinary image pop. Simply
create a new layer above your subject layer and
select shades from the image to make them feel
natural. Hold Shi when you draw upward and
downward to get them in a perfectly straight line.
“Hold Shift when
you draw upward
and downward
to get a perfectly
straight line”
17
ENERGISE PHOTOS
WITH MASKS
Camera Raw filter
Before using Photoshop, you can make some
fundamental adjustments with Filter> Camera Raw Filter
alone. This powerful built-in processor lets you use the
Basic panel in Camera Raw to make primary changes in
colour and tone by means of simple and straightforward
adjustment sliders.
CAMERA RAW FILTER
Use the Basic panel to adjust the colour
and tones the way you like it. Go for
overall feel, not details.
ADJUSTMENT GRADIENT MASKING
Create masks with the Adjustment
Gradient. You can make adjustments in
targeted areas of your image.
Improve cars in Camera Raw
CLARITY AND CONTRAST
With the Adjustment Brush,
boost Clarity to add sharpness
and contrast to your image.
For an extra boost, add more
Contrast with the slider.
CAMERA RAW HEALING
With the Healing Tool, you
can clone out dust spots and
other unwanted blemishes to
save yourself from Healing
headaches inside Photoshop.
18
FEATURE
John’s 5 top tips
for retouching
with masks
CREATE BLACK MASKS
Click on that white mask and go
to Edit> Fill with Contents: Black.
Select OK – you now have a black
mask that successfully conceals all
of the adjustment layer’s settings.
DEFAULT WHITE MASKS
By default, creating an
adjustment layer also
automatically creates a white
mask. This means that whatever
adjustment layer settings you
create will affect your entire
image, so do tread carefully.
BLACK AND WHITE
It’s easy to get confused with all
the functionalities of masking,
so remember this key tip: black
conceals while white reveals. Keep
that in mind and you’re good to go!
MASK USING A BRUSH
With that done, simply use a white
brush to paint over the black mask
you just created. Your adjustment
settings will now be seen in any
area that’s white.
MASKING REGULAR LAYERS
On a regular pixel layer, going to Layer>
Layer Mask does the same thing. Choose
Hide All or Reveal All to add a black or white
mask, then paint as needed.
19
Tutorial Create a photorealistic composition
Essentials
On the FileSilo
Works with
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
Elements
CS
CC
Whatyou’lllearn
Create a colourful and
vibrant scene using natural
photography effects
Time taken
3 hours
Experrt
Rodrigo
Marinellii
I love to create images that
challenge me, and this
is definitely one of them.
Making a composition
that explores natural light,
shadows and colours from a
variety of pictures is a great
exercise for understanding
how to set a colour tone to
make an image look as real
as possible.
I’m an art director and
have 13 years of experience
at advertising agencies. I
learned and I’m still learning
to use Photoshop through
following tutorials.
Create a
photorealistic
composition
Use layers, masks, adjustment layers and many other tools to
create a vibrant scene based on natural photographic effects
E
very time you create a new image, it’s very
important to set the colour tone to make it
as appealing as possible. Depending on the
mood you want to convey, these tones might be
muted or, as in this case, lovely and vibrant. Using
Photoshop’s tools to explore the natural colours
of the picture you’re working on can produce a
fantastic result, as we will reveal in this tutorial. In
it, we will walk you through the steps to creating a
photorealistic scene using photographic effects.
Since the aim is to create an image that appears
as real as possible, we’re going to make it a bit
Link an adjustment layer
01
Create a new document at
222x300mm and add ‘background.
jpg’. Pick a Levels adjustment layer, hold
Cmd/Ctrl+Alt, click on the layer and set it to
22, 1.00, 255. Repeat the procedure with a
Color Balance (-51, 0, 11) and Brightness/
Contrast (0, 18) adjustment layer.
20
Erase with a mask
02
Add ‘sky_blue.psd’ and place it
above the original. Then select Add
Layer Mask, set the Foreground colour to
black, pick the Brush Tool (B) and gently
erase the photo’s base, as shown above.
more challenging. We will create every detail, from
the light in the sky to the reflection of the fruits in
the glass. To help us with this task, we’ll use masks
to blend photos into the scene and to create
highlights and shadows; adjustment layers to set
the colour tone; blend modes to add cool effects;
and many other tools.
Another important point to focus on during the
tutorial is emulating a depth of field effect. For this,
we’ll use the Gaussian Blur filter to help enhance
the cocktail image, softening the other elements
so they fade into the background.
Use blend modes
03
Now add ‘sky_yellow.psd’, place it
above the sky_blue layer and make
a mask (step 2) to erase the unnecessary
parts. To make it look more vibrant, change
the blend mode to Soft Light and then
duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl+J).
Tutorial Create a photorealistic composition
Brush in light
Create a new layer, set the
Foreground colour to white, pick
the Brush Tool (B), go to the Brush Preset
Picker, select a Soft Round Brush, set the
Opacity to 80%, the Size to 1500px and paint
as shown above.
04
Use Gaussian Blur filter
Add the table
Add ‘boat.jpg’, place it as shown and
apply the Gaussian Blur filter
(Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur) at 7px.
Duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl+J), flip it vertically
(Edit> Transform> Flip Vertical), change the
layer Opacity to 50%, set the blend mode to
Multiply and make a mask (step 2) to erase
the unnecessary parts.
06
05
Add ‘table.psd’. Activate the
selection (Cmd/Ctrl-click the layer
thumbnail), apply a feather (Shift+F6) of 2px,
invert the selection (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I), press
Delete. Create a new layer, set the colour to
#d7aeae, activate the table selection, paint it
(Alt+Del), change the blend mode to Color
and link Hue/Saturation (0, 34, 0) (step 1).
Make a palm tree
Create a new
layer, go to the
tree gallery (Filter>
Render> Tree), select
option 22 and set the
Leaves Amount to 65.
Place it in the left corner
and apply Gaussian Blur
(step 5) at 6px. Duplicate
it, flip it horizontally (Edit>
Transform> Flip
Horizontal) and place in
the scene’s right corner.
08
More elements
Now let’s add a few more elements to
compose the background and fill it out a bit.
Add ‘birds.jpg’, place them as shown and apply
Gaussian Blur (step 5) at 7px. Then add ‘lights_top.psd’
and repeat the procedure.
07
Enhance the details
Add ‘cocktail.jpg’ and place in the centre of the scene. Duplicate it,
apply the High Pass filter (Filter> Other> High Pass), set it at 2px
and change the blend mode to Soft Light. Finally, link a Brightness/
Contrast adjustment layer (step 1) to the cocktail layer set to 5, 24.
09
22
Mask layer groups
Create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N), activate the
cocktail layer selection (Cmd/Ctrl-click the layer
thumbnail), create a group (Cmd/Ctrl+G), select Add Layer Mask.
Set the Foreground colour to black, pick the Brush Tool (B), paint
on the cocktail’s base and change the blend mode to Overlay.
10
Always link adjustment layers to set the colour tone
Expert edit
Add more details
Shadows with the Pen Tool
Create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N),
set the Foreground colour to black,
pick the Pen Tool (P) and draw a shadow, as
shown above. Activate the layer selection
(Cmd/Ctrl+Enter), paint (Alt+Del), apply
Gaussian Blur (step 5) set to 100px and
change the blend mode to Soft Light.
11
Add motion
Next, we’ll add some movement to
the scene. First, add ‘leaf.psd’ and
place it as in the image. Then apply Gaussian
Blur (step 5) set to 5px and Motion Blur
(Filter> Blur> Motion Blur) with an Angle of
68 and Distance of 50px.
12
Link adjustment layer
After you have completed the
mask, to make the colour of the
sky look more vibrant, link a Levels
adjustment layer (step 1) and set it to 71,
1.00, 255.
01
Add highlights
To add highlights to the cocktail
image, open ‘white.psd’, place it
inside the layer group with the mask in the
shape of the cocktail and change the blend
mode to Screen.
02
Some highlights
Place reflections
Add ‘ice.psd’ and link a Brightness/
Contrast adjustment layer (step 1) set
to 20, 13. Create a layer group with the mask
in the shape of the ice (step 10), set the
Foreground colour to #e3ceac, pick the
Brush Tool, paint on the ice’s base and
change the blend mode to Soft Light.
14
13
Add the layer Side from ‘fruits.psd’
and apply the High Pass filter (step 9)
set to 2px. Duplicate it, place it underneath,
create a layer group with the mask in the
shape of the cocktail layer (step 10), place it
inside the group and then change the Opacity
to 20%.
Some shadows
Create a new layer, set the
colour to black, pick the Elliptical
Marquee Tool (M), make a circle and paint
it (Alt+Del). Apply Gaussian Blur (20px) and
change the blend mode to Soft Light.
03
Use blend modes
Compose the scene
Add the folder Top from ‘fruits.psd’. Pick the layer Fruit_01, apply the High Pass filter
(step 9) at 2px, create a layer group with a mask in the fruit_01 shape (step 10), pick
the Brush Tool, paint it white and change the blend mode to Soft Light. Repeat the procedure
with the layer Fruits_02/03/04.
15
After you have completed the
base_fruit shadow, to set the
colour tone, duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl+J),
change the blend mode to Multiply and
change the Opacity to 30%.
04
23
Tutorial Create a photorealistic composition
More shadows
Add the layer Base from ‘fruit.psd’.
Duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl+J), place it
underneath, set the Foreground colour to
black, activate the selection (Cmd/Ctrl-click
on the layer thumbnail) and paint it (Alt+Del).
Flip it vertically (Edit> Transform> Flip
Vertical), apply Gaussian Blur (step 5) at 15px
and change the blend mode to Overlay (set to
70% Opacity).
16
Work with brushes
Create a new layer, set the
Foreground colour to black, pick the
Brush Tool, change the blend mode to Soft
Light and paint around the fruits on the base.
Create a new layer, set the Foreground
colour to #eedc9b, paint on top of the cocktail
and change the Opacity to 70%.
18
Use blend modes
Add ‘splash.psd’, place it on top of the cocktail and, to make the black background
disappear, change the blend mode to Screen. Make a mask (step 2) to erase the
unwanted parts. Finally, add ‘moon.jpg’, change the Opacity to 60% and repeat the procedure.
17
Highlight texture
Let’s use a texture image to add a
few more highlights to the scene.
Place ‘texture.psd’ and change the blend
mode to Screen. Then change the Opacity to
40%, make a mask (step 2) and erase the
unnecessary parts on the top.
19
Create a Lens Flare effect
Create a new layer (Cmd/
Ctrl+Shift+N), set the Foreground
colour to black and paint it (Alt+Del). Then
apply a Lens Flare effect (Filter> Render>
Lens Flare), set the position as shown and
then set Brightness to 110%. Finally, change
the blend mode to Screen.
20
Add more
yellow
Let’s start
to set the
scene’s colour
tone to make it
look more vibrant.
Create a new layer,
set the
Foreground colour
to #faf5cc, pick the
Brush Tool (B), set
the Size to 1500px
and paint on both
sides of the scene.
21
24
Set the tone
Use a Brightness/Contrast (5, 18), Color Lookup (3Strip.Look),
(Crisp_Warm – 10% Opacity), (FoggyNight.3DL – 5% Opacity),
Levels (16, 1.07, 255) and Curves (as shown above) adjustment layer.
22
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Tutorial Retouch and mask a portrait
Essentials
Works with
CS
CC
Elements
Whatyou’lllearn
How to make simple
adjustments to Raw files to
enhance retouching
Time taken
3 hours
Expertt
Andre
Villanuevaa
As an art director and graphic
designer, I perform frequent
retouching with Photoshop.
I usually endeavour to keep
the retouching process
simple, eschewing radical,
face-warping edits as much
as possible. Restrained
retouching is certainly a fun
and rewarding task. On the
other hand, I do enjoy going
bonkers with fantastical, noholds-barred blending, thus
this image scratched two
polar creative itches.
Retouch and
mask a
portrait
Use no-nonsense retouching techniques to enhance a portrait, then
unveil the model’s wild side with a masked dual effect
S
ometimes you want order. Other times, chaos
is the only thing that you crave. What’s a
conflicted artist to do? Well why not satisfy
both urges in one Jekyll-and-Hyde image? Start
with a model and perform some no-frills
retouching to make her look her best. Then use
masks, shapes and blend modes to go bananas on
one half, resulting in a creative image that’s ‘two’
good to be true!
You’ll perform retouching separately on the
model PSD, making it more easily available for
future editing and for importing into other projects.
Retouching tasks include spot healing, light
brushing, digital teeth bleaching and subtle lip and
Perform spot healing
Paint to smooth
01
02
Open ‘model.psd’. Create a new layer.
Select the Spot Healing Brush Tool.
Ensure Sample All Layers is ticked in the
options bar. With a soft-edged brush, dab or
paint to heal irregularities. Don’t be afraid to
zoom in close for this and other edits.
26
eye enhancing. To help smooth things out, you’ll
call upon Surface Blur. This helpful filter will
preserve edges as it reduces noise, keeping major
features from being blurred beyond recognition.
On the wild side, you’ll toss in some colourful
shapes and abstract imagery. Blend modes allow
for rapid blending between layers, while layer
masks serve double duty, keeping the anarchic
elements confined to their designated sector and
also enabling you to melt edges and fade out
unneeded areas of your imported imagery.
Finalise with some adjustments and filters, using
masks to pinpoint exactly where the various
adjustments fall.
Create a new layer. Use the
Eyedropper Tool to sample a colour
in the area you want to retouch. Select the
Brush Tool. Use (at least initially) a soft-edge
brush at very low Opacity (10% or less) to
start smoothing areas.
Keep painting
03
As you move around the face,
continually sample prevalent
colours in the new regions. To break the
editing into stages, work across multiple
paint layers so you have fallback points in
case brushing goes awry. You can lower
opacity of certain stages to tone them down.
On the FileSilo
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
27
Tutorial Retouch and mask a portrait
Burn
Dodge
Add a new layer at the top. Go to
Edit> Fill. Choose 50% Gray, click OK.
Set the layer to Overlay blend mode. Select
the Brush Tool. Use a soft brush at low
Opacity (start at 10% or even less) to paint
black to darken areas.
Create a new layer. Fill with 50% grey,
Click the ‘Create new fill/adjustment
set to Overlay blend mode. Now use
layer’ button in the Layers palette,
white instead of black to lighten areas. If you
choose Hue/Saturation. Set Saturation to
need to reduce this or the previous layer,
-100, Lightness to +100. Invert mask by
paint areas with #808080 to neutralise or
pressing Cmd/Ctrl+I. Paint with white
switch to Soft Light for an overall softer blend. (10-20% Opacity) to lighten.
04
05
Lighten teeth
06
Improve eyes
Add
another
Solid Color layer.
Pick #efb857. Set to
Overlay blend mode.
Click the mask,
invert (Cmd/Ctrl+I).
Paint back with
white (60-90%
brush Opacity) to
apply colour.
08
Enhance lips
Click the new fill/adjustment button
again, choose Solid Color. Pick
#d2592e. Set to Overlay blend mode, drop
Opacity to around 40%. Click the mask, invert
(Cmd/Ctrl+I). Paint back with white (70-90%
brush Opacity) to apply colour.
07
Expert tip
Linking
masks
What is that chain link doing
to the side of a layer mask?
By default, a layer or group
is linked to its layer mask.
That means the layer and
mask move together as you
reposition with the Move Tool.
They even stick together in
other operations such as Free
Transform rotation. If you
want to unlink, click the chain
link. Now you can move the
layer or mask independently.
This is perfect for this tutorial,
where you can keep the half
mask in place and shimmy the
corresponding layer around.
Click the chain again to relink.
28
Lighter eyes
Merge layers
Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment
layer’ button in the Layers palette,
choose Levels. Adjust the sliders, focusing solely
on adjusting eyes. Option/Alt-click and drag the
previous layer’s mask to this layer to copy over.
Adjust mask as needed.
10
09
With the topmost layer selected, press
Cmd/Ctrl+Option/Alt+Shift+E. This plops
the visible image onto a handy composite layer,
perfect for overall filtering. Photoshop/CC: Ctrl/
right-click on the layer, then choose Convert to
Smart Object.
Press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+; to toggle snap
Apply Surface Blur
Perform additional touch-ups
Place model
Now you’ll blur the layer to help smooth
overall. Because you want to avoid
blurring the main features, call upon Surface
Blur. Go to Filter> Blur> Surface Blur. Gingerly
adjust Radius and Threshold (try 19 and 9
respectively). Mask if it’s needed and click OK
when satisfied.
Make any other touch-ups you like.
Here a Gradient Map is deployed with
the Gold-Selenium 2 preset under
Photographic Toning. It’s set to Lighten blend
mode and 50% Opacity. Also, some colour is
lightly brushed on to smooth areas. When
done, save and close.
13
11
12
Open ‘start.psd’. Go to View> New
Guide. Use Vertical, 50%. Click OK. Go
to File> Place [CC: Place Linked], grab the
model PSD. Rotate, scale and position, using
the guide to help you centre before
committing the place. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+; to turn
guide visibility off/on.
Add spiral
Mask model
Click the Add Layer Mask button in the Layers palette. Paint black
(40-100% brush Opacity) to fade the edges. Try a larger brush size
for increased and more gradual fading when working on the edges.
14
Place ‘spiral.jpg’ [CC: Use Place Embedded from here on
out.] Set to Hard Light blend mode, rotate, scale and
position before committing the place. Add a layer mask. Paint
black (60-100% brush Opacity) to clear up some of the detail
obscuring the model.
15
More spirals
Bring in
more of
‘spiral.jpg’ (within
the group in
Photoshop/CC) or
simply copy and
Free Transform
(Cmd/Ctrl+T) the
existing spiral layer.
Feel free to try
other blend modes
such as Soft Light.
Adjust masks as
needed. You can
also unlink the
mask to
independently
reposition a layer.
17
Create half mask
Photoshop/CC: Press Cmd/Ctrl+G to
group. Contain layers in steps up to
step 21 in group. With the Elliptical Marquee
Tool, drag out a selection to fill the canvas half
you want to hide. Elements: Go to Edit> Fill,
fill with black. Deselect (Cmd/Ctrl+D). Skip to
next step. Option/Alt-click the Add Layer
Mask button.
16
29
Tutorial Retouch and mask a portrait
Expert edit
Retouch with colour
Add circles
Sample colour
Ready to retouch? Open the
portrait you want to edit. Use the
Eyedropper Tool to sample a prevalent
colour near the region(s) that you’re
aiming to smooth.
01
Place ‘bokeh.jpg’. Set to Hard Light
blend mode. Rotate, scale and
position before committing. Photoshop/CC:
add a layer mask. Elements: select the
canvas half to hide with Elliptical Marquee
Tool. Option/Alt-click the Add Layer Mask
button. Paint black (start at low brush
Opacity) to reduce.
18
Abstract flourishes
Place ‘abstract.jpg’. Set to Lighten
blend mode. Rotate, scale and
position before committing. Photoshop/CC:
add a layer mask. Elements: select canvas
half to hide with Elliptical Marquee Tool.
Option/Alt-click the Add Layer Mask button.
Paint black to reduce. Replace or duplicate
to add a few more instances. Adjust
elements as needed.
19
Add colour
Click the ‘Create new fill or
adjustment layer’ button in the
Layers palette and choose Solid Color. The
canvas gets filled with the colour. Click OK.
02
More colour
Some colour
Click new fill/adjustment button, choose Solid
Color. Pick #2d29b0. Set to Lighten blend
mode. Elements: mask out the canvas half you need to
hide. If you decide you don’t like the colour, feel free to
change (double-click on the layer thumbnail, choose
new colour). Lower Opacity and/or edit mask if needed.
20
Invert mask
You may want to add more
of the colour from the last
step without any blending. Add
another Solid Color layer with the
same colour and keep it at Normal
blend mode. Click the mask, press
Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert. Paint with
white to add.
21
With the layer’s mask selected,
press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert. White
becomes black and the colour on the
canvas disappears. Now you’re set to
brush it on selectively.
03
Enhance eye(s)
Do you want
to enhance
one or both eyes? If
so, use step 8 as a
guide. Photoshop/CC:
add layer above
group to get out from
under its jurisdiction.
Try #eec558. Use the
Color blend mode if
you’d like to simply
adjust the colour.
Stick to Overlay for
deeper blending.
22
Brush on colour
Select the Brush Tool. Using a
soft-edge brush at low opacity,
paint white to apply the colour. Paint
black to remove. Repeat the steps to add
additional colour.
04
30
Press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+; to toggle snap
Strengthen model
It’s now time to bring back some of the features that
have been texturally buried and establish the model’s
presence. Option/Alt-click and drag the model layer to the top.
Set the blend mode to Overlay. Paint black in the mask to reduce.
23
Reinforce more
Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate the model. Set blend mode to
Normal to get a bit more of the natural look going. Drop Opacity
to around 20-30%. Adjust mask if needed.
24
Merge and
enhance
With the topmost
layer selected,
press Cmd/Ctrl+Option/
Alt+Shift+E. Photoshop/
CC: Ctrl/right-click on the
layer, choose Convert to
Smart Object. Utilise the
Enhance menu’s
auto-edit options in
Elements or CC’s Camera
Raw Filter (under Filters)
to enhance. Photoshop
users can also try some
of the assisted editing
options under Image.
26
Apply Gradient Map
Add a Gradient Map adjustment layer. Pick
Sepia Antique under Photographic Toning (or
other preset). Elements: instead add Solid Color layer,
pick a colour like #78561a. Set to Multiply. Photoshop/
CC: group and add layer mask. Mask out the radical
half. Drop layer Opacity and/or paint black in
adjustment mask to reduce.
25
Controlled edit
Finish things up
Finalise the image. Merge layers and apply light, selective blurring (Gaussian). Finetune with adjustment layers such as Levels and Hue/Saturation. In Photoshop/CC, you
can call upon additional adjustments such as Vibrance, Color Balance and Color Lookup. Add
some shape layers of varying colour and opacity. Save when done.
27
In the tutorial, you brush on colour
above the original model layer to
smooth matters over. As instructed, this
is achieved by adding a blank layer,
using the Eyedropper Tool to sample an
existing colour and then painting lightly
to apply a sort of digital make-up.
Follow the side stepper for an
alternative method that uses Solid Color
fill layers. You can brush the colour on/
off like a layer-masked layer.
If you’re in ‘masking mode,’ this
technique helps you stay in the zone
(using black and white). You can also
change the colour quickly by doubleclicking the layer thumbnail. Create
another Color Fill layer for each colour.
Perhaps the disadvantage is you may
end up with more layers to manage. But
it can certainly be worth it to have the
extra control.
31
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How I Made Underwater Woman
The artist
Dan
Sawford
During my
Product Design
BSc course, I frequently
used Photoshop to blend
images of concepts and
backgrounds. Recently I
began experimenting with
Photoshop and this has
turned into a passion. Now
whenever I have free time
I’m either taking photos or
creating artwork. Find more
of my work on instagram:
@ds_artpage
Essentials
Time taken
1hour
34
Underwater
Woman
Dan Sawford talks us through how he used a simple blending of
images to create a giant in the ocean
“O
ne of the most simplistic tricks that can
be achieved with Photoshop is to create
photomontages with various images by
blending them together in order to make a scene
that would usually be impossible,” explains Dan
Sawford. “No matter what images you use or how
many of them you have, you can always make the
impossible possible.”
Dan Sawford studies product design, but
photomanipulates in his spare time using
Photoshop. He’s created some ambitious
compositions, and this is one that has an interesting
concept. “Take a woman in water and boats sailing
in the ocean, usually you’d think of somebody
swimming in the sea or diving from a boat,” he says.
“But what if the woman was a giant laying in the
ocean and the boats were having to sail over and
around her?”
Despite the simplicity of the idea, there are a few
finishing touches that make the image pop. “Some
shadows here and there, with a few enhancements,
and the image is completed,” Dan reveals.
Show us your compositions Search for photoshopcreative
The woman
I imported the woman and created a layer mask with a
1px Feather. Then I removed the background using the
Magic Wand Tool and the Select and Mask feature. I changed the
Opacity to 82% so she looked submerged and then renamed this
layer Underwater.
01
Background
I opened the boat image, placed it under the woman layer and
adjusted the size of it so it filled the background. Then I used the
Lasso Tool to select any areas where the rocks could be seen through the
woman. Once selected, I used Content Aware to remove the rocks.
02
Adding shadows
Underwater effect
I created a new layer below the
woman and copied the layer mask,
then inverted it. I used a brush with Hardness
set to 25% and painted below the woman. I
used Gaussian Blur at 65px and then
changed the layer Opacity to 55%.
I converted the woman layer to a
Smart layer, then created a layer
mask. I renamed the layer Above Water,
masked all parts of the woman that should
be underwater, leaving only the parts that
needed to be above the water’s surface.
03
04
Sailing over
I copied the underwater layer and then, using the Magic
Wand Tool, selected the boat that was above the woman and
created a layer mask. I created a layer below that and repeated step 3,
creating a shadow for the boat to make it look as though it was
floating over the woman.
06
Body shadows
I made a new layer on top of the
Above Water layer and repeated
step 3 for any parts of the woman that were
not in direct sunlight using a clipping mask. I
repeated this step for the original woman
layer for any parts underwater that were not
in sunlight.
05
Enhance the image
I grouped all work related to the image of the woman into
one folder. Then I added a Levels adjustment layer to all
layers with the values 0/1.00/241. Finally, I added a Vibrance
adjustment layer, set to +29 to increase the colour of the image.
07
35
Tutorial Compose with masks and adjustments
Expert
Compose
with masks
and
adjustments
Andre
Villanuevaa
Parallel your stock selection, techniques and execution with your
theme, and mask your way to a solid composition
Essentials
Works with
Elements
CS
CC
Whatyou’lllearn
Create a composition
with layer masks, blend
modes and adjustments
Time taken
2 hours
I rely on the combination
of masks and blend modes
for a huge portion of my
compositing. These incredible
foundational features enable
you to forge all manner of
interesting scenes, fantasies
and abstractions.
I remember discovering
layer masks as a digitalediting neophyte and being
completely blown away.
Then I found out about blend
modes and I irrevocably
became a Photoshop fanatic.
H
ave time for a piece about time? Practice
essential skills as you reflect upon the
profound nature of time and the ultimate
impermanence of being. Not only does the
selection of stock fit with the theme, so do the
techniques you’ll employ as you piece it together.
Masks will be used carefully on objects and
layers to create an ethereal feeling that’s in stride
with the themes of time and mortality. Employing
a soft-edged brush will be of paramount
importance. Enlarging the brush diameter also
helps when going for a spectral look, as the fading
of the brush edges becomes more protracted.
Lay the road
01
Open ‘start.psd’. Go to File> Place [CC:
use Place> Embedded], grab ‘road.
jpg’. Scale and position before committing
the place. Click the Add Layer Mask button in
the Layers palette. Paint black with a
soft-edged brush (60% brush Opacity) in the
mask to reduce a bit in the centre.
36
Though you have millions of colours at your
disposal, you’ll be chromatically thrifty to better
match the desired solemnity. Choosing fitting
colour as well as appropriately toned images is
the first step. Of course, even if something is
raucously coloured, you can always reduce. When
you get the compositional elements in place, both
homogenise and tone things down with overlaid
texture and Hue/Saturation, as well as a Gradient
Map adjustment layer.
Blurring is another good way to push a dreamy
feel. Apply Gaussian Blur to a stamped layer up
top, then mask to selectively apply.
Add some colour
Click the ‘Create new fill or
Set the birds loose
adjustment layer’ button in the
Now add some birds flying leftward
to symbolise the periodic yearning
Layers palette, choose Solid Color. Pick
to revisit the past. Go to File> Place, grab
#977b7b. Paint black in the mask (40-80%
‘birds.jpg’. Set blend mode to Darken, scale,
brush Opacity) to reduce, revealing some
background. Create another Solid Color layer, rotate and position before committing the
place. Click the Add Layer Mask button in the
use #50b0e2. Set to Darken blend mode.
Layers palette, paint black to reduce.
Paint black in the mask to reduce.
02
03
Press X to swap Foreground/Background colours while layer masking
On the FileSilo
Download your free
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co.uk/photoshopcreative
37
Tutorial Compose with masks and adjustments
Make the water flow
Add woman
Go to File>Place, grab ‘water.jpg’.
Scale and position before
committing the place. Option/Alt-click the
Add Layer Mask button, paint white (40-80%
brush Opacity) to add. Paint back with black
to reduce. When done, select the Move Tool.
Option/Alt-click and drag in canvas to
duplicate. Adjust masks as needed.
05
04
Place ‘woman.jpg’. Set to Overlay
blend mode, scale and position
before committing. Add a layer mask, paint
black (60-100% brush Opacity) to fade edges.
Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate and bolster.
Set to Normal blend mode. Trash mask.
Option/Alt-click the Add Layer Mask button,
paint white (40-60%) brush Opacity to add.
Overlay script
Now add some ghostly script. Place
‘script.jpg’. Set to Multiply blend
mode, scale and position before committing.
Invert layer (Cmd/Ctrl+I). Option/Alt-click the
Add Layer Mask button, paint white (40-60%
brush Opacity) to add.
06
Time for the clock
Place ‘clock.png’
at the top of the
layer stack. Scale and
position before
committing. Add a layer
mask and paint black
(10-30% brush Opacity) to
lightly fade areas for a
less corporeal look. If you
paint away too much,
back up (Cmd/Ctrl+Z) or
paint back with white.
08
Network lines
Place ‘network.jpg’. Set to Lighten blend mode,
drop Opacity to 50%, scale and position before
committing. Add layer mask, paint black (60-100%
brush Opacity) to fade edges and reduce. If the lines
are too faint, return to the colour layers from step 2
and paint more white in the masks.
07
Create reflection
Make it glow
Give the clock a bit of a spectral glow. Click the fx button
[Elements: Styles], choose Outer Glow. Elements: start with
Noisy preset, then further adjust by clicking Show style settings button.
Play around with the settings, ensuring you increase Noise (Photoshop/
CC) and Size appropriately.
09
38
Press Cmd/Ctrl+J. Free Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T), Ctrl/
right-click, choose Flip Vertical, hold Shift and move
down. Confirm transform. Drop Opacity to 60%. Elements: Ctrl/
right-click layer, choose Simplify Layer. Go to Filter> Blur>
Gaussian Blur, set to 8-10 pixels. Click OK [Photoshop/CC: Group
(Cmd/Ctrl+G)] [Elements: simplify again]. Add layer mask, paint
black to reduce.
10
Press X to swap Foreground/Background colours while layer masking
Expert edit
Control your adjustments
Start shadow
Select the original clock layer. Press
Cmd/Ctrl+J, move to top. Trash Outer
Glow. Elements: Simplify. Cmd/Ctrl-click
layer thumbnail. Go to Edit> Fill, fill with black.
Click OK. Deselect (Cmd/Ctrl+D). Skip to next
step. Photoshop/CC: Click the fx button,
choose Color Overlay. Pick black. Click OK.
11
Finalise shadow
Free Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T), Ctrl/
right-click, choose Flip Vertical, hold
Shift and move down, distort to squash,
confirm transform. Go to Filter> Blur>
Gaussian Blur, set to 80-90px. Click OK. Drop
the Opacity to 80-90%. Adjust mask (paint
white to bring some of the layer back, paint
black to reduce).
12
Fine-tune settings
The most obvious way to control an
adjustment is through its settings.
The great thing about adjustment layers
is they’re non-destructive, enabling you to
tweak to your heart’s content.
01
Use layer mask
Adjustment layers come ready
with their own layer masks. Paint
with black to hide/reduce areas. Use a
soft-edged brush and/or lower brush
Opacity setting to finesse.
02
Add the angel
Clouds for the sky
Place ‘angel.png’, scale and position
before committing. Add a layer mask
and paint black (20-50% brush Opacity) in the
mask to fade edges and reduce to impart a
slight apparition-like aspect.
14
13
Place ‘clouds.jpg’. Set to Overlay
blend mode, scale and position
before committing. Add a layer mask and
paint black (40-90% brush Opacity) in the
mask to reduce.
Reduce the effect
Sometimes you want to lower the
adjustment’s influence quickly
and uniformly. You can try reducing
the adjustment layer’s Opacity. Use in
combination with masking for nice control.
03
Some space
Bring in a touch of
the cosmos. Place
‘space.jpg’. Set to Overlay
blend mode, scale and
position before
committing. Add a layer
mask and paint black in
the mask to reduce.
15
Group mask (Photoshop/CC)
If you have an array of
adjustments that require similar
toning down, group them and mask the
group. You can also lower the group’s
Opacity for quick, wholesale reduction.
04
39
Tutorial Compose with masks and adjustments
Apply Hue/
Saturation
Now blunt the
colour. Click the
‘Create new fill or
adjustment layer’ button
in the Layers palette,
choose Hue/Saturation.
Drag Saturation leftward
to about -80. Paint black
in the mask to bring back
some colour.
17
Add texture
Time for a smidge of scratchy aging.
Place ‘texture.jpg’. Set to Color Dodge
blend mode, Opacity to 30% (feel free to play
with amount of texture), rotate, scale and
position before committing. Add a layer
mask and paint black in the mask to reduce.
16
Gradient Map adjustment
Click the ‘Create new fill/adjustment
layer’ button, choose Gradient Map.
Pick Sepia Midtones under Photographic
Toning, or pick something you like [Elements:
instead use a Photo Filter adjustment layer,
pick a Warming or Sepia filter. Increase
Density to your liking]. Drop the layer Opacity
(try around 60%) and/or paint black in the
mask to reduce.
18
Enhance
With the topmost layer selected,
press Cmd/Ctrl+Option/Alt+Shift+E.
This dumps the visible image onto a handy
composite layer, perfect for overall filtering.
[Photoshop/CC: Ctrl/right-click on the layer,
choose Convert to Smart Object.]
19
Merge and blur
Merge layers again [Photoshop/CC: Convert to Smart Object]. Go to
Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur. Set to 1-1.5 Pixels. Click OK. Add a layer
mask. Paint black in the filter mask to reduce blurring and restore clarity
in key areas.
21
40
Utilise the Enhance menu’s auto edit
options in Elements or CC’s Camera
Raw filter (under Filters) to enhance the
stamped layer. Photoshop users can also try
some of the assisted editing options under
Image, such as Auto Tone. Add some
hotspots via Filter> Render> Lens Flare.
Mask to reduce.
20
Merge layers
Finalise
Finalise the image as you see fit. Fine-tune with
adjustment layers such as Levels and Hue/Saturation.
In Photoshop/CC, you can call upon additional adjustments such
as Vibrance, Color Balance and Color Lookup. When done, save
your work.
22
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Tutorial Construct paper type posters
Essentials
Works with
Elements
CS
CC
Whatyou’lllearn
How to create a
paper-style type poster with
layers and masks
Time taken
9 hours
On the FileSilo
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
Expertt
Mark
White
As a writer on a Photoshop
magazine, it’s perhaps no
surprise that I love any
project that combines type
and art together. I love how
you can enhance the meaning
of a phrase – or even change
it – just by embellishing the
text with design.
As Techniques Editor on
Photoshop Creative, I’ve
learned all kinds of tips to
help with even the most
impressive-looking pictures.
42
Construct paper
type posters
Create the effect that letters are cut out of paper, and then add some
decorative leaves to the image
A
lot of artists start off on paper before they
sit down in front of Photoshop to work on
their masterpiece. The difference in this
tutorial is that we’re going to work with paper all
the way through.
The world is full of digital pieces that aim to
recreate the brushstrokes and textures of natural
paint, and the concept of this project is no different
to that. This is a type poster that works on the
illusion that the background is paper, with holes cut
out to make the letters. You can leave the image
like that, of course, but we’ve gone for a more
decorative final image, with multicolour leaves
threading through the left-hand side of the letters
to brighten it up a touch.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether this
composition looks like a real papercut or not. We’re
using a paper texture and ensuring the shadows
align correctly and are consistent, but this is more a
project for you to create an exciting digital art
piece. It’s a great tutorial if you love colour and
type, and it can be adapted for all occasions.
Let’s dive into this colourful project and get
creative with layers, masks and even the Pen Tool.
You can switch up the typeface, the colour palette,
the leaf shapes or anything else!
Use the Move Tool (V) to select a layer easily
Expert tip
Customise
type
Type out your text
Start off by using the Type Tool (T) to
insert your text in the centre of the
poster. We used a free font called Long Shot,
available on Dafont (https://www.dafont.
com/long-shot.font). Choose the placing of
the letters and make sure you’re happy with
it. Rasterize the text.
01
Edit the lettering
Use the Pen Tool to tweak the characters in
your poster. Make subtle curves around the
harsher edges of the piece, Cmd/Ctrl-click the path
and then mask out, to just alter the original typeface
slightly. Insert the supplied paper texture, Desaturate
(Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+U) and set to Soft Light.
02
Stroke with the Pen
Bring in key elements
As well as selecting whole bits of
the letters, you can draw onto the
mask. Select a 10px hard brush set to 1%
Spacing and draw along some of the joins of
the characters. Ctrl/right-click and choose
Stroke Path, in black, to erase these bits
from the mask.
04
03
Insert the supplied branch. We’re
going to use the leaves in each of
the letters. We’re also going to pick our
colour palette at this point too; go with a dark
grey/blue (#29363b), bright pink (#ea495f),
light pink (#f4837d), light yellow (#fdcea9) and
green (#99b998).
Tweak the Y letter
Head back to the Pen Tool now and design a new corner of the letter Y in
the word Reality. Fill this in with the same colour as the rest of the text and
while you’re at it, Alt/Opt-click the supplied paper texture to the text to apply it as a
clipping mask.
06
When you’re making edits
on each of the letters in a
typeface, ensure you’re
making the same edits to each
letter, to keep the font uniform.
When using the Pen Tool to
mask out a selection from a
letter, for example, save the
path so you can reuse it by
double-clicking it and then
naming it. Study other fonts
and work out how you can
improve the one that you’re
using. Also remember that
anything you choose to bring
back can just be filled back in
when you’re using masks.
Inner shadows
Go back to your text. Ctrl/right-click
it, go to Blending Options and
choose an Inner Shadow that’s 125 degrees
in Angle, Distance: 18px, Choke: 0%, Size: 18,
Opacity: 50%. Hit OK, Ctrl/right-click and
choose Rasterize Layer Styles.
05
Make it pop out
Now go to the Blending Options of the Y tweak,
and apply a Drop Shadow that’s at the same
angle as your Inner Shadow from step 5. Rasterize it
and then blend it into the original text layer. Merge
these together.
07
43
Tutorial Construct paper type posters
Expert edit
Recolour the letters
Autumnal tones
Use gradient maps set from deep
browns, right through to reds and
yellows to create an autumnal effect with
your text. Mask it over the leaves in order
to apply it.
01
Separate the leaves
Use the Lasso to select whole
bunches of leaves and just Cmd/
Ctrl-drag them away from the branches
they’re attached to. For each one, select and
Ctrl/right-click to Layer Via Cut. This will give
us lots of options for dragging into the letters.
08
Colour and place leaves
Create a gradient at the top of the
document with your palette colours;
clip a black and white, Soft Light gradient to it.
Now, Cmd/Ctrl-click on leaf layers to select
them and on new layers, Eyedrop (I) colours
from the gradient before filling these
selections. Drag them into place.
09
Aqua finishes
Apply a gradient map that spans
from navy to light aquamarine,
with plenty of blues in the middle, and then
mask over the leaves for an almost sealike quality.
02
Continue along the words
For each leaf, you’re going to need to create a new clipping mask and with a soft,
black, 20% Opacity brush, touch the shadows in of either the outline of the white
around it, or the other leaves around it. Repeat, filling with varying shades from the gradient.
10
Blossom feel
Using deep purple right through to
the lightest pink colours can give
the impression of cherry blossom with
your leaves.
03
Darker effect
Recolour the background a dark
blue and the letters a light grey,
before setting an almost sunset gradient
map for the leaves; this will basically invert
the effect.
04
44
Mix up the style
Paste whole letters
For the word In of the poster, we’ve
masked to create white paper lines
within the letters for the leaves to poke out.
Feel free to do things like this as you’re going
along, just to personalise the look of the
poster even more.
12
11
Group your leaves once you’ve
completed a whole letter. Don’t merge
it, as you may need to select individual leaves
from the letter, but be prepared to copy the
whole letter over to another word, should the
need occur.
Use the Move Tool (V) to select a layer easily
Add noise
Adjust the leaves
Once you’re done, select all the groups of leaves and
merge them together. Create a new layer above them,
Alt/Opt-click to clip it, and then with black and white selected in
your swatches, go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Choose 400%,
Monochrome, Gaussian. Set to Soft Light, 30% Opacity.
14
13
Let’s adjust the leaves. Use a black-to-white gradient and the
supplied gradient of your palette colours, set both to Soft Light.
Create a Vibrance layer set to +100 Vibrance and create a white-to-black
gradient. Cmd/Ctrl-click the layer preview with your letters, and mask
each of these layers.
Brighten the piece
Roughen up the letters
Copy your paper texture above your adjustment layers by Alt/
Opt-dragging it to the top of the layer stack. Set it to Multiply with
an Opacity of 50% and create a Curves layer; clip it to the texture and use
the Curves adjustment to tweak the tone of the texture.
15
Shade the inner letters
Copy the original letters layer with the
inner shadow to the top of the stack,
reduce the Fill to 0% and Ctrl/right-click to
Rasterize the Layer Style. Hit Mask and mask
out where leaves overlap the paper.
17
Use Curves again to brighten everything. We don’t want
the whole piece to be completely bright though; the
illusion is that the paper has letters cut out. Hit Mask. Cmd/
Ctrl-click the letters’ layer preview to select these pixels and with
a black-to-white gradient, fade out the bottom of the letters.
16
Camera Raw
Merge everything into one layer by
hitting Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/Opt+Shift+E and
go to Filter>Camera Raw. Increase the Clarity
and tweak the Contrast and Highlights as
you see fit. Hit OK and reduce the layer
Opacity to 30%.
18
Explore further tweaks
With your image pretty much
complete, all that’s left to tweak are
the finishing touches. Merge everything into
one layer one last time and use the High
Pass (Filter>Other>High Pass) set to Overlay
to Sharpen. Use the Brush Tool to touch-up
any individual leaves or letters.
19
45
Tutorial Create a treasure island composition
Essentials
Works with
Elements
CS
CC
Whatyou’lllearn
How to use Calculations
and the Camera Raw filter
for creative editing
Time taken
3 hours
Expert
Daniel
Sinoca
One of the things I love the
most in Photoshop is the
variety of tools and filters
that make my job easier.
With just a few clicks I can,
for example, create an
elaborate mask and combine
different layers; these little
things make Photoshop my
favourite application.
I started to get involved in
the digital world more than
15 years ago and have been
working as a freelance artist
ever since, creating all kinds
of multimedia projects and
tutorial guides.
Create a
treasure
island
composition
Edit multiple images and use gradients and filters to build a stunning
composition with an illustrated style
T
he process for creating a photomontage
involves four basic steps. First, you need
to define the background and the light
source. Second, you have to place and mask the
images. Third, add the shadows and highlights and
finally, make adjustments to correct the colour or
improve the image. But there is also an extra step
– knowing the correct techniques to apply in each
process, which is exactly what you are going to
learn in the following steps.
There are two primary techniques in this tutorial.
The first is an introduction to the Calculations
command. This command offers two additional
Create a new document
Increase the contrast
01
02
blending modes – Add and Subtract. Each pixel in
a channel has a brightness value; the Calculation
command manipulates these values by mixing the
pixels in two or more channels to create a new
selection. Each image has different values so feel
free to play with the channels and blending modes
to achieve the best results.
The second major technique involves the
Camera Raw filter. This powerful filter enables you
to remove imperfections, adjust the perspective,
apply gradients, correct the tones and much more.
Explore each tab and tweak the settings to get to
grips with this fantastic filter.
Custom brushes
03
Load a new brush set. Go to Edit>
Set up a new document (Cmd/Ctrl+N).
Open the Camera Raw filter
Presets> Preset Manager. Click
Name it Treasure Chest and set the
(Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+A). Set Contrast to
Load and locate the file ‘brushes.abr’. Grab
Width to 222mm, Height: 300mm and
30, Clarity: 50, Vibrance: 30 and Saturation: 20. the Brush Tool (B) and press F5. Find the new
Resolution: 300ppi. Now go to File> Place
Click on the HSL/Grayscale tab and open the Border Brush and click Shape Dynamics. Set
Embedded ‘pix_1846235_sunset.jpg’ and hit
Luminance panel. Set Oranges at -30 and
Size Jitter to 50%, Minimum Diameter: 10%
Return/Enter.
Blues: -45, then click OK.
and Angle Jitter: 45, then press F7.
46
On the FileSilo
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
47
Tutorial Create a treasure island composition
Place the sand
Place the image: ‘fo_sand.jpg.’
Adjust the size and move down.
Press Cmd/Ctrl+L and set the Inputs to 0,
0.60 and 230. Create a layer mask. Go to
Layer> Layer Mask> Hide All. Paint on the
mask revealing only a small portion of the
sand (use the custom sand_brush to refine
the borders).
05
Create a layer mask
Go to Layer> Layer Mask> Hide All.
Set the Foreground colour to white
(D). Use a large brush and vary the strokes.
Start painting over the mask to reveal the
image underneath and to create a soft border.
04
Add the treasure chest
Go to File> Place Embedded
‘pix_2862135_treaure.png’. First,
grab the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) and select
the top. Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate it and
drag behind the chest. Now click on the
treasure chest and grab the Pen Tool (P).
Draw a hole on the top and add a layer mask.
06
Bring in more
images
Place
‘pix_2186816ocean.jpg’. Adjust the size
and move behind the
treasure chest layer.
Mask out the unwanted
areas and then adjust the
contrast with Levels;
press Cmd/Ctrl+L and set
Inputs to 20, 0.80 and 235.
08
Make adjustments
First, grab the Brush Tool (B) and paint on the
mask to partially bury the chest in the sand.
Open the Camera Raw filter (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+A). Set
Contrast to 15, Highlights: 45, Whites: 35, Clarity: 35
and Vibrance: 15. Click on the Tone Curve tab and set
Darks: -10, then click OK.
07
Position the village
Build the island
Place ‘pix_758218_cliff1.jpg’. Adjust the size and then grab the
Quick Selection Tool (W). Select the image and add a layer mask.
Open the Free Transform Tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T) and drag the handles to adjust
the perspective. Repeat this process for the image ‘pix_1531534_cliff2.jpg’.
09
48
Now bring the images ‘pix_1096724_village.jpg’ and
‘pix_422691_lighthouse.jpg’. Use your favourite selection
tool to select and mask the images. Open the Levels (Cmd/
Ctrl+L) and tweak the inputs to increase the tones. Resize the
pictures, placing the lighthouse at the top and the village at the
bottom of the cliff.
10
Show us your creative edits Tweet us @pshopcreative
Expert edit
Tips and tricks
Mask the ship
Press Cmd/Ctrl+O and open the image
‘pix_760430_ship.jpg’. Go to
Image>Calculations. Change the Channels
for Source 1 and 2 to Blue and check Invert
for Source 2. Set Blending to Subtract,
Opacity: 100%, Offset: 128, Scale: 1 and
Result: New Channel, then click OK.
11
Open the channel
Go to Window> Channel. Click on the
new Alpha 1 channel. Now let’s adjust
the contrast to make the background darker
and the mask brighter. First, open the Levels
(Cmd/Ctrl+L) and set the Inputs to 0, 1.00 and
90, then click OK.
12
Custom brushes
Grab the Brush Tool and press F5
to open the Brushes panel. Choose
a custom brush to add the sunburst effect
and tiny details such as the waves under
the ship.
01
Shadows and highlights
Create a new layer, change the
blending mode to Soft Light. Grab
a soft brush and using dark and light
colours, paint the shadows and highlights
on the tentacles.
02
Enhance the mask
Load the selection
Grab the Dodge Tool (O). Set Range:
Highlights and Exposure: 100%. Paint
the white areas to enhance the highlights.
Now grab the Burn Tool (Shift+O). Set Range:
Shadows and improve the dark areas. Use a
brush to paint the ship’s sails and the extra
dark areas to complete the mask.
14
13
Press F7 and then go to Select>Load
Selection. Choose Channel: Alpha1
and click OK. Now add a layer mask (Layer>
Layer Mask> Reveal Selection). Save the
image as ‘ship.png.’ Go back to the Treasure
Chest window and place the new ‘ship.png’
into the scene.
Add more contrast
After finishing steps 2 through 4,
duplicate the layer, change the
blending mode to Multiply and reduce the
Opacity to 75% to increase the contrast
even more.
03
Create a new
mask
Resize the ship
and then add a
layer mask. Grab a hard
brush (B) and mask out
the bottom of the ship to
blend with the waves. To
adjust the tones, press
Cmd/Ctrl+L and set the
Inputs to 0, 0.90 and 200,
then click OK.
15
Matting
For step 15, double-click on the
vessel thumbnail to open the
Smart Object in a new window. Now go to
Layer>Matting>Remove White Matte to
defringe the edges. Press Cmd/Ctrl+S.
04
49
Tutorial Create a treasure island composition
Place the
octopus
Go to File> Place
Embedded
‘wik_octopus.jpg’. Zoom
in (Z) and then grab the
Pen Tool (P). Create a
path for each tentacle. In
Option choose to Make:
Selection and then press
Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate
it. Place each tentacle
into separate groups
(Cmd/Ctrl+G).
17
Create the trees
Add a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N).
Go to Filter> Render> Tree. Choose
the Base Tree Type: Palm Tree and tweak the
settings to customise the image, then click
OK. Create a few different shapes or trees.
Reduce the size and duplicate the layers,
then distribute around the landscape.
16
Puppet Warp
Bring in more assets
Use the Puppet Warp feature to
modify the tentacles a bit. Choose the
tentacle you want to modify and then go to
Edit> Puppet Warp. Start adding the control
points. Hold Opt/Alt to rotate the pins or drag
to stretch or place in different locations.
Now place the shell (‘pix_1162757.
png’), the starfish (‘pix_1851289_
starfish.png’) on the sand and add new
figures around the chest edges. Use the
techniques you’ve just learnt to modify, mask
and resize the images.
18
A warm atmosphere
19
Add shadows
Select the tentacle. Go to Layer>
Layer Style> Drop Shadow. Set
Blend: Multiply, Opacity: 50%, Distance: 25,
Spread: 5 and Size: 10. Now go to Layer>
Layer Style> Create Layer and use the Free
Transform Tool to adjust the angle. Repeat
this process for each layer.
20
Camera Raw filter
Press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+E to create a snapshot
Go to Layer> New Fill Layer> Gradient. Open the Gradient Editor
and then covert it to a Smart Object. Now go to Filter>
and set the gradient colours to #ffffff, #fda804, #511414 and #c05843. Camera Raw. Adjust the Shadows to 25, Whites: 25, Blacks: 40
Choose Style: Radial, Angle: -90, move the gradient left, then click OK. Set
and Clarity: 25. Open the Detail tab and set the Sharpening
the blend mode for the layer to Soft Light and drop the Opacity to 50%.
Amount to 50, Radius: 1.0 and Detail: 50. When done, click OK.
21
50
22
Alone How I Made
Essentials
Time taken
4 hours
The artist
Rijad Smajlovic
My name is Rijad
and I’m 18. I live
in Bosnia and
Herzegovina
and am working
in graphic design. I enjoyed
drawing so much that I
started working in Photoshop
back in 2010 and then soon
started using other graphic
programs. I love my job now!
You can see more of
my work at my website:
rijadartsblog.wordpress.
com/
Alone
How Rijad created a simple composition with just a few elements
C
ertain images don’t need any more than just the core elements.
This is the principle of minimalism, and though ‘minimal’ isn’t the
first word you’d use to describe Rijad Smajlovic’s artwork, Alone
certainly has a stripped-back feel about it,.
“This piece was created entirely in Photoshop using the tools that
the program has to offer us,” says Rijad. “This is a photomanipulation
where I only really used five different pictures, and just combined them
into the one image to create this effect.”
Though it’s a simple enough workflow, the concept for the image
itself came to Rijad while he was checking out how other artists create
their work. “The idea for this one came to me while I was watching
Desert and sky
01
In this step, I used the Pen Tool to cut
out the desert and insert a sky into
the image. The mountains were left in the
distance and the ground was kept, while the
image as a whole was straightened.
some of my favourite YouTubers’ tutorials on how they created their
work, and I just wanted to do something of my own”, he explains. “I
may not have used many start images but the techniques used in this
picture include matte painting and digital painting – both with the
Brush Tool – and of course I had to cut out elements with the Pen and
repair them with the Healing Tool”. On top of this, layers, masks and
the ever-useful adjustment layers were combined in the image to unify
it as a composition.
In the end, Alone is a testament to what can be achieved in
Photoshop with a very simple vision and the idea of mastering the
basics that the software has to offer.
Colouring, shading and light
Vector masks
02
03
I used the Brush Tool here to paint
the sunset behind the mountains,
shade over it and add some lightness to
make it more realistic. Stars were added to
the image and there was a touch of orange
glow applied to the mountains.
I made a vector mask of the rock
and added a girl. I made the shadow
of the girl and rock, and added some
lightness to blend in. Then I used Clarity from
the Camera Raw filter to sharpen and I also
used some filters to improve the colours.
51
Tutorial Create a sand sculpture
On the FileSilo
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
52
Show us your creative edits Tweet us @pshopcreative
Essentials
Works with
Elements
CS
CC
Whatyou’lllearn
How to mix textures and
blend modes, and make
selections with channels
Time taken
1 hour
Expertt
Sarah
Cousens
Whenever I go to the beach
I ALWAYS have to build a
sandcastle (with moat, of
course). Unfortunately, my
practical skills don’t quite
match my digital design
skills, and I have never come
close to creating anything as
elaborate as the Big Ben sand
tower in this tutorial!
I am a designer and
illustrator and have been
using Photoshop extensively
ever since co-founding
the design and illustration
company, CoolSurface Ltd,
over ten years ago.
Create a
sand
sculpture
Use textures, masks, blend modes and custom brushes to
transform a building into a miniature sand sculpture
M
ost of us will have built a sandcastle
or two in our lives. They are usually of
the pretty basic bucket and spade variety,
with a few decorative shells if you really want to
push the boat out. More elaborate creations are
usually reserved for the professional sculptors
displaying their amazing works of art at sand
sculpture festivals. However, in this tutorial we will
be showing you how to recreate them digitally,
transforming a stock photo into a sand sculpture.
Using channels to make selections, then
blending modes, adjustments and stock textures
Duplicate a channel
01
Open ‘pix_2537489_big_ben.jpg’. Go
to the Channels palette, click the Blue
channel, Ctrl/right-click it and choose
Duplicate Channel. On the Blue Copy channel,
press Cmd/Ctrl+L and enter Input values of
172, 1.00 and 193. Click the ‘Load channel as
selection’ icon at the bottom of the palette.
to create the sand effect, you’ll find out how to
create a miniature sand sculpture in the palm of a
hand. You will even learn how to make some small
changes to a standard brush in order to create
a sand grain effect to use on layer masks. Then
discover how to give it a more realistic finish by
adding shading and highlights to the sculpture on
layers with different blending modes.
Once you are familiar with the method, this
technique could be applied to all sorts of objects,
not only buildings. For example, you could try it
out on animals or even a person.
Create a selection
02
Make all original channels visible
again and hide the Blue Copy. Go
back to the Layers palette, press Shift+Cmd/
Ctrl+I to invert the selection and use the
Quick Selection Tool to remove all buildings
except the tower from the selection.
Refine with Quick Mask
03
Press Q to enter Quick Mask mode
and use the Brush Tool with white to
add the clock face and any other missing
areas to the selection. Press Q again to exit
Quick Mask mode.
53
Tutorial Create a sand sculpture
Paste in some sand
Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate the
selection onto a new layer, and then
hide the background. Copy and paste in
‘pix_2670446_sand_texture.jpg’ below the
tower in the layer stack. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T
and shrink the sand down, positioning it at
the bottom of the tower.
04
Blend with Soft Light
Duplicate and merge
Duplicate the sand layer twice and
position the duplicates so that there
is sand behind the whole of the tower, then
press Cmd/Ctrl+E twice to merge them all
down on to one layer.
05
On the tower layer, press
Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+U to desaturate it,
then change the layer’s blending mode to
Soft Light. Add a Levels adjustment layer,
click the Clip To Layer icon at the bottom of
the Levels properties window and enter Input
values of 45, 1.50, 190.
06
Resize
Open
‘pix_974574_
sand_ball.jpg’ and paste
in the tower. Press Cmd/
Ctrl+T and resize it, Ctrl/
right-click and pick
Distort. Drag the top
corners outward so the
tower’s perspective
matches the background,
and hit Enter. Position the
tower toward the left of
the hand.
08
Mask and copy
Hold Cmd/Ctrl and click the thumbnail of the
tower layer in the Layers palette to select its
contents. Add a layer mask to the sand layer. Select
the sand tower with the Rectangular Marquee then
press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+C to copy from all visible layers.
07
Clone out the ball
Continue to clone
Select the Clone Stamp Tool set to Sample: Current Layer. Use it
to remove the ball of sand on the background layer. Hold Alt and
click to sample the sea to the left of the tower, then brush over the ball.
10
09
54
Make sure to keep the horizon and the waves in line.
Repeat this to remove the ball of sand, but don’t worry
about the sand within the cupped hand.
Show us your creative edits Tweet us @pshopcreative
Expert edit
The sand brush
Paste in sand
Mask the sand
Copy and paste in the sand texture at
the top of the layer stack. Press Cmd/
Ctrl+T, rotate it so it’s landscape in orientation,
shrink it down and position at the base of the
tower as shown.
12
11
Add a layer mask and use a black
round brush to mask the edges of the
sand texture to create sloped sides leading
from the tower to the hand. Also mask out
where it covers the thumb and fingers.
Adapting brushes
If you can’t find the right brush for
the job, it’s easy to create your
own. The sand brush used in step 14 was
created from a simple square brush.
01
Load brush sets
Open the Brush Preset Picker,
click the cog icon at the top right.
Click Square Brushes in the menu and
choose Append. Now select the 6px
Square Brush.
02
Blend the sand
Reduce the brush Opacity to around
30% and use it to gently blend the
tower and the sand texture together so one
fades gradually into the other. Switch to the
Sand Edges brush (on the FileSilo, or make it
yourself using the side stepper).
13
Create a grainy edge
Use this brush on the layer mask
with white and a size of between 4px
to 6px. Perform a series of taps and quick
strokes over the edges of the pile of sand to
give it a grainy textured edge.
14
Shape Dynamics
In the right-hand toolbar, click
the Brush icon. Tick Shape
Dynamics and enter Size Jitter: 62%,
Minimum Diameter: 10%, Angle Jitter:
100%, Roundness Jitter: 68%, Minimum
Roundness: 11%.
03
Levels
adjustment
Add a Levels
adjustment layer,
click the Clip To Layer
icon so it only affects the
piled sand layer. Enter
Input values of 17, 0.74,
231. Hold Shift and click
the sand tower and piled
sand layers in the Layers
palette, then press Cmd/
Ctrl+G to group them.
15
Scattering
Tick Scattering and enter Scatter:
585%, Count: 4, Count Jitter:
37%. You now have a grain effect brush!
Try experimenting with the settings for a
slightly different finish.
04
55
Tutorial Create a sand sculpture
Add highlights
Use a soft round
brush with a
colour of R:248, G:240,
B:228 to paint over areas
where light would be
hitting the sand; all over
the left face of the tower,
and a small area on the
pile of sand near the base
of the thumb.
17
Create a highlights layer
Press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N and in the
new layer window, tick ‘Use previous
layer to create clipping mask’, name the layer
Highlights, set the blending mode to Soft
Light and the layer Opacity to 70%.
16
Refine the highlights
Some shading
Select the gulls
Switch to the Eraser and use it at 35%
Opacity to remove the highlights from
the shadowed areas beneath the projecting
details of the tower. Add another new layer,
again tick to create a clipping mask, name it
Shading and set to Multiply, 40% Opacity.
Use the brush at 20% Opacity with
R:97, G:80, B:44 to gradually add
shading to the right side of the sand
sculpture. Increase the brush Opacity to 50%
and add a narrow line of darker shadow just
above the hand.
20
18
19
Position the gulls
Copy and paste it into your artwork, then repeat with the other
gulls. Resize and position them flying around the top of the tower.
Group them, then add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, click the Clip To
Layer icon and change Hue to +9 and Saturation to -40.
21
56
Open ‘pix_370012_gulls.jpg’, select
several gulls with the Quick
Selection Tool, then click Refine Edge.
Choose Smoothing: 30, Feather: 1.4px, Shift
Edge: -10, Output: New Layer, click OK. Use
the Lasso to select one gull.
Final adjustments
Finally, at the top of the layer stack, add a Photo Filter
adjustment layer; choose the Warming (81) filter. Then
use a Curves adjustment layer to give the image a slight boost.
22
Raid How I Made
Essentials
Time taken
9 hours
The artist
Moses Ruperto
My name
is Moses
Ruperto and I
am a graphic
designer/
illustrator with
over 10 years of professional
experience in multimedia
and print design. I received
a BFA in 2007 at Briarcliffe
College in Bethpage NY, and
am expected to complete
a Masters in Education at
Queens College University
in 2018. I offer services for
everything that pertains to
graphic design. Also, with
a background in advanced
drawing, I specialise in
portraits and illustrations.
Raid
How Moses Ruperto created the refined film poster that won our Tomb Raider competition
I
n issue 164, we gave readers a unique challenge to create a film
poster for the new Tomb Raider movie. The winning artist won the
opportunity to have their artwork featured in a giant mural in London,
being displayed in ODEON cinemas, and a $2,000 prize.
Moses Ruperto was a worthy winner, with this beautiful entry. “Prior
to production, I researched as much film promotion as possible,” he
says. “Once I gathered a sufficient amount of notes regarding film
posters, I was ready to begin.
Building the
subject
01
I used the
Pen Tool to
build every piece in
the image. Omitting
details from the
reference image
helped build a Lara
that was clean and
easy to recreate for
a mural.
“Keeping in mind that the artwork had potential to be showcased as
a mural, I focused on creating something that wasn’t visually
overwhelming,” says Moses. “Choosing a colour palette of just black
and red was done to draw attention to the main subject. While the
artwork is relatively simple, the contrasting colours split the
composition, creating the appearance of two in one.”
Moses’ winning poster certainly has the wow factor. It’s testament to
keeping things simple, or as Moses says, “less is more”.
Creating a
world
02
The
challenge
of building the
background was
deciding how many
elements to feature.
A full background
doesn’t necessarily
complement the
overall composition.
Pick a colour
palette
03
Though it
wasn’t my
first choice, using
red caught my
attention. I thought
about signs
signifying danger,
which I associated
with Lara’s journey.
It was a no-brainer.
57
Project focus Animating teatime in Photoshop
Animating teatime in
Photoshop
How Ashraful Arefin combined his love for video, photography and a good cup of tea, into
one stunning project of animated cinemagraphs
Ashraful Arefin
ashrafularefin.com
@arefinartist
Ashraful
Arefin is a
Fine Art Photographer from
Bangladesh. Ashraful was
photographically born in
2013 when he started a 365
photography project. Ashraful
has been very inspired by little
things and tries to portray his
appreciations for the beauty
of simple things through his
works. He aims to capture
beauty and emotion within his
photographic frame by using
colours and simple techniques.
Name of the project
How long have you had
Photoshop, Ashraful?
I started playing with Photoshop back when I
was a student in 8th grade, I remember it
was Photoshop 7. I learned more about
Photoshop when I was a student of graphic
design back in 2009. But it was 2013 when I
started taking photography more seriously
that Photoshop became a part of my life.
Right now I use it every single day, I honestly
can say I use it as much as I use my camera. I
do almost everything related to image editing
in it, and often I use Photoshop for video
editing. All the image editing and colour
toning is entirely done in Photoshop, not to
mention compositing, creating stop-motion
movies and even colour-grading video files.
This was a project that
incorporated images and videos.
Yes, to create ‘living photos’, so I used mostly
the masking options and the Brush Tool. It’s
always great to use masks as the result is
non-destructive and there’s the chance to go
back if something goes wrong. Also I did the
colour correction and colour toning using
Photoshop. I used different tools and
adjustment layers like Curves, Selective Color,
Color Balance, Gradients etc to colour grade
the cinemagraphs.
What other tools do you enjoy
using in Photoshop?
I personally love the Curves adjustment; it’s
actually the first tool I always start with when
I’m doing the editing. I love how simple it is to
use yet so useful for changing the light,
contrast and even the colour tones! Beside
that I love the Levels, Color Balance and also I
am a big fan of the masking options. I love
the ability to remove or add things to my
images without losing the actual image and I
can always go back if I make a mistake.
Another tool I really love is the Selective
All images © Ashraful Arefin
Tea Time
Y
ou’ve probably seen cinemagraphs
online; a hybrid between images and
video, in which some of the frame
remains still while the rest is animated.
When photographer and artist Ashraful
Arefin decided to create a set of
cinemagraphs for a project about teatime, he
pushed the boundaries of how animated, how
arty and how beautiful you could make an
animated GIF. The project’s since been
featured by Behance.
We caught up with Ashraful to ask him all
about his work. You should search for him
online too: these pieces look just as amazing
animated as they do on the page.
58
FUTURE PLANS
“I am currently working on a cinemagraph series based
on Harry Potter movies and another one inspired by
Alice in Wonderland. These projects will include a lot of
special effects and more magical elements.”
SIMPLICITY
IS KEY
“I feel like it’s
those little simple
moments which
make our life
beautiful. We
oen don’t realise
or don’t always
appreciate those
moments, so I
wanted to show
the magic and
beauty of simple
things through
cinemagraphs.”
DEVELOPING PHOTOSHOP SKILLS
“I am going to learn and try some new
techniques in Photoshop, which I’m very
excited about! Also I have travel plans and
want to create cinemagraphs featuring
different cities, places and cultures.”
Colour adjustment, I love the fact that I can
trigger a particular colour without affecting
others and changes what I want.
So what was the big inspiration
for this project?
My love for tea and cinemagraphs. I am a big
tea fan, especially being a Bengali, tea is an
inseparable part of my life. I always believe
that magic happens in small things and all we
have to do is to look with a slightly different
perspective. And a cinemagraph itself is
something I find pretty magical! So I wanted
to create a cinemagraph series that would
express my appreciation for tea, something
with that feel of simplicity of everyday life but
at the same time with a touch of magic.
Did you have any particular
influences for this project?
Harry Potter! I have been always very much
inspired by fairy tales and whimsical things
like magical spells, levitation tricks as seen in
Harry Potter movies. And those living
paintings in Harry Potter have been a big
inspiration! So I wanted to combine that tea
love and magic of Harry Potter together.
project on Behance I didn’t really think of
getting much appreciation, but to my surprise
both of my cinemagraph projects have been
featured by the Behance team, which was
really amazing!
Were there any other programs
you used?
Can you tell us what other
projects you have worked on that
you’re most proud of?
Adobe After Effects and Flixel Cinemagraph
Pro [were both used] for this project. The
more complex cinemagraphs like the
levitation ones were a combination of
different techniques and software in order to
get the desired effect.
Are you surprised with how well
received this project has been?
Well I assumed that this project might get
some good responses as this was something
new, but yes I was overwhelmed with the
feedback on my social media, especially on
Instagram. And also when I posted the
I have created some still-life photos recently
with simple elements like flowers, miniature
toy cars and old lanterns in an outdoor setting
that I’m really proud of. I used to work indoors
but I had this opportunity to get out of my
comfort zone. Taking my props outdoors,
shooting in front of people was always scary
to me but I have overcome that fear now by
creating those images. I have created a few
travel cinemagraphs during my recent trips to
India and Nepal, which was a long-awaited
dream for me to create since I started
shooting cinemagraphs.
59
App tutorial Capture and Sketch digital paintings
Essentials
Works with
Elements
CS
CC
Whatyou’lllearn
Create digital art with
Adobe iPad apps
Time taken
2 hours
Expertt
Mark
White
I find creating my own
brushes essential, as it
makes my artwork unique
from anyone else’s. I had
never created brushes for
Adobe Sketch, though. That
was a new challenge, and
was cool to try.
As Techniques Editor on
Photoshop Creative, I’ve
learned all kinds of tips to
help with even the most
impressive-looking pictures.
Capture and Sketch
digital paintings
Use two Adobe iPad apps – Capture and Sketch – to build your own brushes and create digital
paintings to later edit in Photoshop
On the FileSilo
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
60
W
hen Apple announced the Apple
Pencil, it went against core
principles laid down by Steve Jobs. It
was his opinion that the finger was the greatest
stylus of all when it came to touchscreens, but it
was a big deal for digital artists everywhere. It was
also a big deal for Adobe.
It would be more than a little weird if the team
behind Photoshop wasn’t also responsible for an
app designed to help you sketch on the go. Enter
Sketch: it’s all the best bits of digital drawing on the
regular desktop Photoshop, condensed down into
a smaller screen. Well, these days it might not
even be that much smaller.
But the best bits of digital drawing on the regular
desktop Photoshop, we hear you say, involve
creating your own brushes. That’s where Capture
comes in, an app for turning anything you draw
into a pattern, a brush, even a colour palette. In
this project, we’re going to create brushes with the
Capture app and use them in Sketch.
That’s what Adobe does best. It makes creativity
a lot more tangible, and that’s especially true in
this particular tutorial.
Invest in an iPad stylus for better control with brushstrokes
Take them to
Capture
Download
the Adobe
Capture app from
your App Store. Sign
in and proceed to the
stage where you
take a photo of your
chosen stroke. Use
the Transparency
slider to erase some
of the white out of
the image, leaving
just your chosen
brushstroke. Hit the
big shutter button.
02
Make some brush strokes
Grab some paper and whatever you want to turn into
brushstrokes. We used a Sharpie, but you can use
anything for this: paint, pencil, even glitter. The Capture app
enables you to take a picture of anything to turn into a brush.
01
Import into Sketch
Turn into brushes
From there, use the right-hand panel to choose the surface area
and size of your brush; see it taking shape on the left. Adjust the
head, tail and body of your chosen brush strokes using the handles and
tap Save when done.
03
Brush onto your portrait
Choose a colour, size and flow of
your brush, and on new Sketch
layers on the right, draw your brushstrokes
onto the image. Use the Eraser option on the
left to edit your strokes as you’re creating,
and just start to build up the image.
05
Download Adobe Sketch and start on your painting.
By double-tapping a brush on the left, you can
import more from your CC library. Do this choosing some of
the brushes that you created, and have a play around with
them on the canvas.
04
Use Sketch’s brushes
On another sketch layer, try out
some of Sketch’s own brushes. For
this particular project, the Acrylic brush
complements the edges and roughness of
the Sharpie brushes that we created. When
done, go to the arrow icon over the square,
and tap Save.
06
Edit in Photoshop
Export your work to Photoshop
either by saving it in your CC Library,
on a cloud service or even AirDrop it. With
your image in Photoshop, you can now make
all kinds of tweaks and edits with a lot more
control than on the iPad.
07
61
Advanced Create a volcanic landscape
On the FileSilo
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
Essentials
Time taken
3 hours
62
Show us your creative edits Tweet us @pshopcreative
Expert
Rodrigo
Marinelli
I love to watch movies
or documentaries about
volcanoes; it’s amazing to
see the fire and lava – so
vibrant and intense that it’s
impossible to take your eyes
off the TV. That’s a moment
when you realise nature is
so perfect, fabulous and
inspiring. Which is why I
made this image, it’s the
perfect opportunity to create
a scene of what it would be
like if we had the chance to
observe many volcanoes
erupting at the same time.
I’m an art director and
have 13 years of experience
at advertising agencies. I
learned and am still learning
to use Photoshop through
following tutorials.
63
Advanced Create a volcanic landscape
Create a volcanic
landscape
Learn how to compose a realistic and vibrant volcanic landscape using blend modes
C
reating a landscape scene can be a great opportunity to learn
new Photoshop skills, as well as enhance your existing ones.
Composing this kind of image requires attention and care from
the start, especially when you’re searching for the source photos.
That’s a really important stage because it will affect how good the final
result is. Always look for pictures you can get creative with, either to
compose the scene or to add some cool effect. With that in mind, let’s
look at how to compose an otherworldly volcanic landscape.
Enhance the colours
Link adjustment layers
Use masks
First, create a new document with
the dimensions 444x300mm, then
add ‘sky.jpg’ and place it as shown. To
enhance the colours, duplicate the layer
(Cmd/Ctrl+J), apply a High Pass filter (Filter>
Other> High Pass) set it at 3px and change
the blend mode to Soft Light.
01
Add ‘volcano.jpg’. Go to the
adjustment menu, choose Hue/
Saturation, hold Cmd/Ctrl+Alt and click on
the layer. Set it to 191, 45, 0 and activate the
Colorize option. Repeat the procedure, linking
Brightness/Contrast (11, 37) and Levels (7,
1.00, 221) adjustment layers.
02
03
Color blend mode
Add details
Set the shape
04
05
06
Add ‘rock_base.psd’ and link a Hue/
Saturation (230, 4, 0) adjustment,
with Colorize activated (step 2). Pick the
Brush Tool (B), set the Foreground colour to
#212a27, paint around the base as shown,
and change the blend mode to Color.
64
Because we are creating a scene with volcanoes, we would be
missing a trick if we didn’t add some lava explosions, to make it as
realistic as possible. To help with this we’ll use blend modes – more
specifically the Screen mode. The beauty of this blend mode is that it
erases the darkest part of a picture, leaving only the brightest. When
you are searching for lava explosion pictures, choose ones with a dark
background. That way when you change the blend mode to Screen,
you will get a great result.
Start adding a few details to the
scene. Add ‘fire_side_02.psd’, place
it as shown and change the blend mode to
Screen. Then apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter>
Blur> Gaussian Blur), set to 10px and make a
mask (step 3) to erase unnecessary parts.
Add ‘smoke_01_02.jpg’. Select Add
Layer Mask, set the Foreground
colour to black, pick the Brush Tool (B) and
erase the image, as shown. Link Hue/
Saturation (189, 11, 0) with Colorize activated,
Brightness/Contrast (0, 26), and Levels (15,
1.00, 255) adjustment layers.
Now add the layer Mountain_
lava_02 from ‘lava_02_mountain_
lava_02.psd’, and apply a Gaussian Blur at
8px (step 5). Then use the Warp Tool (Edit>
Transform> Warp), adjust the shape as
shown, change the blend mode to Screen.
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Expert tip
Enhance the
fire
Compose the scene
Gradient mask
Add ‘side_detail.psd’, make a mask
(step 3) to erase the unnecessary
parts and link a Color Balance (0, 0, 12)
adjustment (step 2). Finally, duplicate it (Cmd/
Ctrl+J), flip it horizontally (Edit> Transform>
Flip Horizontal) and place it on the left side.
08
07
Add the volcanic lava
Add ‘lava_01_lava.psd’ and make a
mask (step 3) to erase the
unnecessary parts and to blend it with the
scene. Then change the blend mode to
Screen and use the Warp Tool (step 6) to
define the lava shape.
09
Enhance the lights
Add the layer Lava_02 from ‘lava_02_
mountain_lava_02.psd’. Make a
mask (step 3) to erase unnecessary parts
and change the blend mode to Screen.
Duplicate it, apply Gaussian Blur (step 5), set
at 2.4px and change the layer Opacity to 80%.
12
Add ‘mountain_detail.psd’ and place it as
shown. Then to blend it with the scene, select
Add Layer Mask, set the Foreground colour to black,
pick the Gradient Tool (G), go to the Gradient Picker,
choose Foreground to Transparent and gently erase
the image.
Make it explode
First add ‘lava_01_explosion_fire_
center_right.jpg’, place it on the top of
the volcano and change the blend mode to
Screen. Then make a mask (step 3), erase
the unnecessary parts and duplicate the
layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J). Finally, add ‘lava_01_top.
jpg’ and repeat the procedure.
10
Work with the Brush Tool
Add ‘mountain_lava.psd’, change the
blend mode to Screen and make a
mask to erase the unnecessary parts.
Create a new layer, set the Foreground
colour to white, pick the Brush Tool, set the
Size to 50px, Opacity: 70%, paint on the lava
track and change the blend mode to Overlay.
13
As we are creating a
composition with many
eruptions taking place at the
same time, it’s important to
make the colours as vivid as
possible. Keep in mind that
the best way to enhance the
brightness is creating some
shadows around the main
part of the scene. Create a
new layer, set the Foreground
colour to black, pick the Brush
Tool (B), set the Opacity to
70%, gently paint around the
scene’s edges and change the
blend mode to So Light.
Blend it in
Add ‘lava_03_smoke_top.jpg’ and
place it on the top of the other volcano,
as shown. Make a mask (step 3) and erase
the edges of the image, blending it with the
scene. Duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and apply a
High Pass filter (step 1) at 2px.
11
Build the base
Add ‘lava_01_explosion_fire_center_
right.jpg’, change the blend mode to
Screen and place it on the right-hand side.
Add ‘fire_base_center_left.jpg’, place it in the
centre, make a mask, use the Warp Tool to
set the shape and change the blend mode to
Screen. Duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and place it
on the left-hand side.
14
65
Advanced Create a volcanic landscape
Expert edit
Add more details
Apply the Feather command
Blend the volcano
After linking the adjustment layers,
use a Soft Round brush at 70%
Opacity and then make a mask (step 3)
around the volcano’s sky, blending it with
the scene.
01
Introduce motion
Let’s put some people in the scene.
Add ‘people.psd’ and place as shown.
To blend with the scene, activate the layer
(Cmd/Ctrl-click on the layer thumbnail),
apply a Feather (Shift+F6) of 2px, invert the
selection (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I) and press Delete
three times.
To add motion to the scene, add the
layer group Fire_drops_center from
‘fire_drops.psd’, place it in the centre of the
scene, above the volcanoes. Then add the
layer group Fire_drops_left from the same
file and place it on the left-hand side.
Add details into the sky
Some fog
Add ‘sky_effect.psd’, change the blend
mode to Screen and link Levels (81,
1.00, 255) and Hue/Saturation (0, -100, 0)
adjustment layers (step 2). Then add ‘moon.
jpg’, change the blend mode to Screen, link a
Hue/Saturation (0, -100, 0) adjustment and
make a gradient mask (step 8) to blend in.
17
18
Use filters
Set the colour tone
15
16
Add more fog
Duplicate the Smoke_01 group
and place it above all the layers.
Click on the folder, select Add Layer
Mask, pick the Brush tool and erase the
mountain part, leaving only the fog.
02
Add ‘smoke_texture.psd’, place it
above the whole scene, change the
blend mode to Screen and set the Opacity to
10%. Then add ‘smoke_03.psd’, change the
blend mode to Screen, set the Opacity to 50%,
make a mask to erase the unnecessary
parts and place it like shown.
Add explosions
Add ‘lava_03_smoke_top.jpg’,
place it on the left-hand side of the
scene, change the blend mode to Screen
and make a mask (step 3) to erase the
unnecessary parts.
03
Create shadows
Create a new layer, Foreground
colour to black, pick the Elliptical
Marquee Tool (M), make a circle and paint
it (Alt+Del). Apply Gaussian Blur (20px) and
Motion Blur (Angle: 90, Distance: 208).
04
66
Let’s use filters to make a fire effect.
Duplicate all the layers (Cmd/Ctrl+J),
merge them (Cmd/Ctrl+E), go to the Filter
menu and select Convert to Smart Filter.
Then apply the Glass filter (Filter> Filter
Gallery> Distort> Glass) and set Distortion at
10, Smoothness at 15 and Scaling at 177%.
19
Let’s set the scene’s colour tone. Go
to the adjustment layers and use
Brightness/Contrast (0, 12), Levels (3, 1.00,
246), Photo Filter (Cyan/Sepia) and Color
Lookup (Crisp_winter.look – Opacity: 20%),
(FoggyNight.3DL – Opacity: 20%), (3Strip.look
– Opacity: 40%), (2Strip.look – Opacity: 15%).
20
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Advanced Create a 3D neon type image
On the FileSilo
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
Essentials
Time taken
5-6 hours
68
Group and name your layers
Experrt
BÜRO
UFHO
Using 3D can help add depth,
realism and details to your
image, and we find that
Cinema 4D is a great starting
point. When combined with
OctaneRender, you can easily
live preview whatever you
create in 3D.
Being both an artist, under
the moniker kittozutto,
and graphic design studio,
BÜRO UFHO, we have been
using Photoshop for over
10 years. In 2015, we had
the privilege to be invited
by Adobe, together with 70
artists, to celebrate its 25th
Anniversary of Photoshop.
69
Advanced Create a 3D neon type platform image
Create a 3D neon
type image
Use Illustrator, Cinema 4D, OctaneRender and Photoshop to create 3D neon typography
N
eon signs have a kind of retro-futuristic quality to them, partly
due to the fact that lots of sci-fi movies portray futuristic cities
covered in Asian neon signs. It’s a projection of how the future
would look like from people in the past. Over the years, we’ve had our
fair share of trying to mimic neon signs by creating glowing texts.
What we learnt, though, is that the key to creating an interesting neon
sign lies in the little details: light reflections on the surrounding objects,
refractions of the glass tubes, electrical wirings or textures on the wall.
Without any of these, you’ll be left with something that feels flat.
Select a suitable typeface
01
Start by choosing an appropriate
typeface: Eurostile LT Std Extended 2.
Using the Pen Tool in Illustrator, start plotting
the points from the middle of the stem. With
the Direction Selection Tool, select the letters
E and O, and start pulling the Live Corners
widget inward to round the corners.
Add depth to your lines
04
Using Point mode, Cmd/Ctrl-drag
all end points of each stroke along
the Z-axis to 57cm to create addition points for
depth. Select the base cubes and group them
together as Base. Name the letters layers
accordingly and group them under as Neon.
70
In this tutorial, we’ll take you through the whole process of creating
a neon typographic illustration, and show you how we add these little
details that make the image using Cinema 4D with OctaneRender. In
the Side Stepper we will address additional details not covered by the
steps. All of the materials used in this tutorial can be found on
poliigon.com. It is definitely worth signing up to check out some of the
free materials on offer. You can also download the layered PSD file
from the FileSilo to get a better understanding of how you can build up
your artwork.
Create base shapes
Import into Cinema 4D
02
03
Set Stroke Thickness to 5pt. Create
a cube backing for each letter and
round their corners. Centre the letters
accordingly. Pull down and align the rulers to
the middle E stroke. Cut a gap in the middle
of the letter O, using the Scissors Tool (C).
Tube thickness
05
Add in a Circle Object. Set Radius to
7.5cm. Create a Sweep Object. Drag
the Circle Object and a layer of your letter N
under this Sweep Object to create thickness
for the tube. Repeat this step for all letters.
Save this as an Illustrator 8 copy.
Once this file is opened in Cinema
4D, you can still open it in Illustrator again.
When opening the file in Cinema 4D,
uncheck Connect Splines under the Adobe
Illustrator Import dialog and click OK.
Inner tube
06
Name the group Outer Tube. This
will be the outer glass of the neon
tube. Duplicate this group and rename as
Inner Tube. This will be the inner light
filament. Set the Radius of all the Circle
Objects of your inner tube to 2.5cm.
Group and name your layers
Base depth
Add an Extrude Object. Drag one of
the four cube bases under this
Extrude Object to create thickness for the
base. Set Movement to 5cm. Duplicate the
rounded cube spline. Using Point mode and
the Rectangle Selection Tool, select all eight
corner points. Go to Mesh> Spline> Create
Outline. Set Distance to -2cm.
07
Reflector depth
Add an Extrude Object and drag this
spline under. Set Movement to
45cm. Set Start Caps to Fillet, Steps: 1, Radius
to 1cm. Duplicate this reflector together with
the base as a group and position them evenly
for the rest of the letters.
08
Create tube ends
Add a Tube Object. Set Inner Radius
to 8cm, Outer Radius to 9cm, Height
to 60cm. Check Fillet, set Segments to 8,
Radius to 0.4cm. Duplicate and position these
at each end of the tubes. Group Tube Ends.
09
Extrude Object
Add details for base
Create a Rectangle Object. Set Width: 40cm, Height: 3cm. Click C to
make it editable. Using Point mode, select all four corners. Go to
Mesh> Spline> Chamfer, then click and drag the cloners to make them
round. Add an Extrude Object and drag the rectangle under. Set
Movement to 30cm.
11
10
Make a knob
Add a Cylinder Object. Set Radius to
5cm, Height to 7cm. Click C to make it
editable. Using Point mode and the Rectangle
Selection Tool, uncheck ‘Only select visible
elements’ and select the bottom points. Click
T for the Scale Tool and pull inward to reduce
the size to 75%.
12
Add a Cloner Object. Drag your extruded rectangle under.
Set Count to 8. Set Position Y to 7cm. Select your reflector
and base group. Click C to make it editable. Add a Boole Object.
Drag the base group and cloner rectangles group under. Set
Boolean Type to A subtract B.
Sculpt a button
Close the hole
Add a Sphere Object. Set Radius to
4cm. Click C to make it editable. Using
Point mode and Rectangle Selection Tool,
select the top seven rows and delete. Using
Edge mode, Cmd/Ctrl+A to select all. Click T
for Scale Tool and pull height down to 40%.
14
13
Go to Select> Loop Selection and
select the outer ring. Cmd/Ctrl-drag
3cm down along the Y-axis. Go to Mesh>
Create Tools> Close Polygon Hole and select
the bottom of the cylinder in order to close
the hole.
71
Advanced Create a 3D neon type platform image
Expert edit
Use exported passes
Shadow pass
With the Shadow pass on top of
your render image, set blending
mode to Soft Light. Split and pull in the
black slider of underlying layer under the
Blend If option.
01
Create wires
Using the previous techniques, create
a Sweep Object of a horizontal Spline.
Duplicate three copies using Cloner Object.
Place and arrange the knob, button and
wires into your neon sign.
15
Wire thickness
Using the Pen Tool, plot a few points
within each neon letter sign. Set
Object type to Cubic to smooth the line. Add
thickness using Sweep Object. Create a
smaller cube inside the letter O. Add details
using the previous step of Boole subtraction.
16
Layer ID passes
Using the separated reflector
board pass layer, Cmd/Ctrl-click
on the layer thumbnail to make a selection.
Add a Levels adjustment layer and pull in
the blacks and whites.
02
Match thickness
Wire brackets
Create a cube with X: 20cm, Y: 2cm, Z:
110cm. Set Segment X to 3, Y to 1, Z to
5. Click C to make it editable. Using Point
mode, select the points on all four corners
and begin pulling the Z-axis inward to 90%.
17
Using Polygon mode and loop
selection, select the middle column
and pull the Y-axis up to 10cm. Click T for
Scale tool and pull the Z-axis outward to
290%. Using Point mode, select the inner
four corner points. Scale and pull the Z-axis
inward to match the correct thickness.
18
Colour adjustments
Using a #6600cc purple Soft
Round brush, softly brush over the
bottom-right corner. Set layer blending
mode to Soft Light to introduce a bit of
purple into the orange areas.
03
Bring elements together
Hit the first icon on your
OctaneRender Live Viewer window
to send the scene to start a new render.
Create a wall using a large cube. Place and
position the letter signs, wires and brackets
into your composition. Adjust and place the
knobs and buttons on the side of the
reflector board.
19
Photo Filter
Finally, to balance the colours in
the image, add a Red Photo Filter
at 100% Opacity, and a Cooling Filter (80) at
25% Opacity.
04
72
Apply materials
Go to Materials> Open LiveDB.
Select Clear Glass. Select Blue Glow
Emission for the inner tubes. Select Steel for
the reflector boards and wire brackets.
Create a glossy material for the base cube.
Go to Create> Shader> c4doctane> Octane
Material. Set Material Type to Glossy.
Specular: Float 0.045. Roughness: Float
0.045. Film Index: 1.166.
20
Group and name your layers
Expert tip
Render the
image
Wire materials
Create an Octane Glossy material for
the wires. Set Diffuse: R 0, G 0.01, B
0.02. Set Roughness to 0.17. Duplicate the
black glossy base material and apply it to the
buttons. Set Diffuse to R 0.26, G 0.2, B 0.15.
Duplicate the wires material and apply it to
the knobs and tube ends. Set Diffuse to R 0, G
0, B 0.
21
Wall materials
Create a black Dirt Wall material. Set Material
Type to Glossy. Specular: Float 0.025.
Roughness> Texture> c4doctane> ImageTexture and
load in a rough texture. Repeat for the Bump channel
with the same material, and load in a scratchy texture
for the Normal channel.
22
Duplicate Outer Glass tube.
Swap Glass material with
Blue Glow. Select end points
of letters, delete. Add Octane
Camera, enable Camera
Imager and Post Processing
under Octane CameraTag. Set
Bloom and Glare to 2. Glare
Amount and Angle to 5. Glare
Blur at 0.2. Set layer ID to each
element via Octane ObjectTag.
Under OctaneRender settings
Render Passes tab, Enable.
Set format: PSD. Check Show
Passes, save beauty and multilayer file. Check passes and
layer ID to render.
Dirty wall
Add lights
Adjust light temperature
Create an Octane Mix material and
drag in this Dirt Wall material and the
Black Gloss material we created earlier. Use
the c4doctane ImageTexture to load in a
texture image to control the amount of
mixing of these two materials. Apply this Mix
Wall material to the wall.
Add an Octane Area light. Position it
at the bottom left of your sign. Under
Octane LightTag, check Use Light Color.
Under General tab, set Color to H 285, S 75%,
V 100%. Intensity to 5%. Duplicate and
position the light to top right. Set H 220, S
100%, V 100%. Intensity at 25%.
25
23
24
More lights
Finish up
Duplicate the bottom light. Enlarge and rotate it 40
degrees and position it on the right side. Set Power to 5.
Create a cube object. Set Size at 125cm. Duplicate and position
four cubes in front of the sign. Apply the Blue Glow material.
Apply an Octane ObjectTag and uncheck Camera Visibility.
27
26
Repeat for top left, set H 245, S 100%,
V 100%. Intensity at 10%. Repeat for
bottom right. This time, uncheck Use Light
Color. Set Temperature to 1500. Duplicate this
for the left side. Set Temperature to 2500.
Duplicate for bottom and set Temperate to
6500, Power at 50%.
Add a large cube and position accordingly to darken the top
reflections of the wall. Duplicate the Steel material, under Opacity,
load in a dots texture using c4doctane ImageTexture. Set TilesU to 4, TilesV
to 0.333. Refer to the Expert tip to create more glow reflections using the
outer glass tube.
73
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Ele
m
en
ts
Elements
12 pages of practical guides
Create more in Elements…
Get to grips with Gradients...............76
Create a panoshpere.............................82
Create a pixel-art portrait..................84
REPEATING
Turn a picture into an egg-cellent pattern on p82
Essential
techniques
Follow our
step-by-step
tutorials
On the FileSilo
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
e
m
Ele
ts
On the FileSilo
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
USE SOFT LIGHT
Set gradients to So light
to apply them as colour
overlays in your images.
Start
image
Tool focus…
Get to
What
does it mean?
GRADIENT MAPS – Gradients plot
colours from one side of the visual
strand in the palette to the other.
Gradient Maps use this theory to
plot colours from the darkest pixels
in an image to the lightest. They
can be used to brighten or
dramatise your image and
are worth trying out.
Dive into a world of colour possibilities with the gradient options
Whether you’re creating the most immaculately vibrant scene or
going for a monochrome picture in shades of grey, colour is vital in
design, art and photo editing. Not just colour either; the
combination of colours in your work can convey an entire
atmosphere, so it’s important to get shades perfect.
The Gradient Tool is a trusty friend when it comes to colour for a
number of reasons. A photo editor may use gradients to recolour
the scene like an Instagram filter; a photomanipulator may clip them
to layers to blend a scene together; and a digital artist might use
them for creating a sky, for example. They’re at the base of how
colour interacts in Photoshop and Elements, and when you’re first
starting to use the program, they’re an awful lot of fun.
76
Even when you’re a little more experienced, gradients can still play
a huge role in your workflow. The black-to-white gradient, set to Soft
Light, is the perfect way to tone your image completely in just a
layer. The Gradient Map is one of the most useful adjustments on
offer in the program and can deliver results instantly. Also, don’t
forget the default Rainbow gradient, which can actually be
manipulated to create rainbows for compositions, with a little help
from Polar Coordinates.
Let’s check out the basics of the options on offer. They are
something you’ll probably end up using a lot in your creative
process, and for good reason. Gradients are hugely powerful and
they can be fun to use, too.
Ele
m
en
ts
Apply the colours Pick, tweak and add the colours of the gradient
Shortcut
Hold Shift when
toggling Opacity
to change by
10%
Pick your first colour
01
Choose the Background colour
Create a new layer and hit G to bring up the Gradient Tool. Click
the colours in the bottom-left corner and you’ll see the default
setting is to create a gradient from the Foreground and Background
swatches. Click on the colour of the Foreground and choose a new one.
02
Add a third stopper
Tweak colour midpoints
03
04
To add a third colour to the middle of the gradient, all that you
need to do is click just below the visual strand. From there,
you can drag the colour along the strand or use the Location dropdown to move it.
Do the same thing with the Background colour. As you change
the colour, you’ll notice that the gradient changes in the
window. When you’re happy, click OK.
When you have a colour selected, you’ll notice a small
diamond between the other colours. This is the colour
midpoint and can also be shifted so that you don’t have quite such a
perfect gradient, if that’s what you want.
Other gradient options Discover the other options this handy colour tool harbours
Noise
Opacity
Presets
01
02
03
The Type drop-down box on the left
handles whether the gradient is
solid or reliant on Noise. This trippy effect is
difficult to control and decided by red, blue
and green channels as opposed to picking
specific colours.
Sometimes you want one side of
your gradient to be more opaque
than the other. Use the black colour spots
above the visual strand to control
transparency. Incidentally, there are
midpoints for the transparency control, too.
If you wish to use a gradient again
in another project, save it as a
preset in Elements. Use the Add to Presets
button to do so and give it a name in the
box just to the left of the button. You can
find all the gradients in the Preset Manager.
77
ts
n
e
m
Ele
ADD CLOUDS
Create a new layer and go
to Filter> Render> Clouds.
Set this to Screen and
mask in your clouds over
the mountains.
ROTATE IF
NECESSARY
Use the Transform options
to rotate your panosphere
until it’s in an optimum
position that looks good.
On the FileSilo
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
Start
image
Surreal art…
Create a
panosphere
Build a world of your own using Elements’ magical distort ability
They’re sometimes referred to as ‘panoramic planets’ or ‘creative
worlds’, but whatever you call them – we’re going with
‘panosphere’ – they’re a great use of the Distort filters.
Panospheres are a cool way to display a panoramic image in a
much smaller space. We’re going to get as creative as we possibly
can in this image by compositing together a brand-new environment
from terrain, lakes and landmarks, but it’s totally possible to create
a panosphere from a single panorama. Just make sure that the
78
edges blend seamlessly together when you apply the Polar
Coordinates filter (see later), and you’re fine!
Aside from looking cool, panospheres teach you a lot of useful
editing techniques. There are masking and retouching skills involved
in making this, not to mention the adjustments that go into blending
the whole piece together into a unified planet. This is a great project
to try out if you’re looking to push your creativity, and it can help you
practice a world of editing techniques!
Ele
m
en
ts
Build the world Create a skyline before looping it into a sphere with filters
Split your picture
Bring in the mountains
01
02
Start off by importing your image of a horizon. Select a portion
of it, Ctrl/right-click and choose Layer Via Cut. Move the two
parts of the image to opposite sides so that when they join again, the
two sides match up together.
Mask in some water
03
Add in the water image and move it to wherever you’d like it in
the scene. Hit Mask and then Invert (Cmd/Ctrl+I). With a soft,
white brush of around 20% Opacity, fade in the water across the area
you’ve placed it.
Repeat the previous step with the mountains. Repair the split
down the centre of the image by using the Clone Stamp Tool
and start to make the landscape look like one continuous panorama
rather than a comped-together set of photos.
Blend the scene together
04
Insert more images such as grassy ridges to link the water to
the land and using the same masking techniques, blend the
image as a whole together. You can make whatever edits you see fit
to the terrain; just study images of real places to see what needs to
be edited.
What
does it mean?
Shortcut
Use the { and }
keys to change the
hardness of your
brush
BACKGROUND
Turn the brightness and
saturation down on the
mountains and other
background elements
slightly to give the effect
of distance.
CLONE STAMP TOOL – One of the
most trusty tools when it comes to
retouching, as it can duplicate parts
of your image across to other places.
Simply Alt/Opt-click where you want
to copy the pixels from, before
drawing over another part of
the image. Use it with low
Opacity and build up
the strokes.
FOREGROUND
Add trees, fields and landmarks
to the foreground of the image
to populate it, and keep these
elements bright and saturated.
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Add some elements
As you build up your image, you can insert any
elements you like into the piece, such as this
waterfall or the rocks that are blended into the final piece.
Feel free to build over elements that you’ve already
blended into the project so far.
05
Recolour the scene
Create a new layer. Work on
harmonising the tones of your piece
by selecting new colours and with a soft, low
Opacity brush, touching over the scene to
give it new shades. The water, the grass and
some of the rocks may benefit from new
colours in particular.
07
Insert monuments
A skyline wouldn’t be the same without a couple of landmarks, and we’re
going to use a few famous ones – the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty and
Sydney Opera House – to make our piece look more recognisable. Blend them in
with the same techniques.
06
Tie it together
Adjust
Make little changes here and there
to make sure that your whole scene
is blended together effectively. These might
include masking in a beach between the sea
and the land, and adding some smoke over
the water using Filter> Render> Clouds.
09
08
With the skyline complete, let’s
adjust it. Use the Levels command
(under the Fill Layer icon above the Layers
panel) to tweak the tone and contrast of the
piece, and add a white to black gradient, set
to Soft Light, to the image as a whole.
PHOTO FILTER
Add a warm Photo
Filter so that the
image stands out
against the blue of
the sky.
LEVELS
Use the Levels
to adjust the
tone of your
image, by
tweaking the
stoppers along
the histogram.
GRADIENT
Add a light to dark
gradient, set to So
Light, to make the
bottom of the image
darker; this improves
the perspective when
the landscape is
turned into a sphere.
80
GRADIENT MAP
Using Gradient Maps on
new layers, set to So
Light, can help make
your image look a little
more cohesive.
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Harmonise colours
10
Apply a Gradient Map. Grab colours
from the composition to form a
gradient that goes from darker colours to
lighter colours, and then set to Soft Light,
30% Opacity. This will give a more cohesive
overall tone to the image.
Soften and sharpen
Resize
11
12
Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/Opt+Shift+E and
duplicate (Cmd/Ctrl+J). With the first
layer, go to Filter> Noise> Reduce Noise and
choose Strength: 10, with other values at 0.
With the second layer, go to Filter> Other>
High Pass; choose 5px, hit OK and set the
layer to Overlay.
Distort
Blue sky
13
14
Go to Filter> Distort> Polar Coordinates to loop the skyline
around into a sphere. Use the Rectangular to Polar setting
and then hit OK. Again, retouch what you have so far using the Clone
Stamp to get it looking perfect.
Masking landmarks
Cut out your monuments with precision
There are plenty of ways to mask in Elements, and
when it comes to cutting out buildings to put into
your panosphere, there are some methods that are
better than others.
The Magic Wand option is one that’s surprisingly
good in this case. By selecting all of the blue in the
image with Contiguous unchecked, you can erase
large parts of the sky quickly by simply clicking
and masking. Use the Refine Edge Tool once you’ve
got your selection to edit it slightly.
There are lots of other ways to make selections
and mask objects in and out of your project. One
way is to use the Brush Tool to draw straight onto
your mask as in most cases, this will give you the
best control over what is visible and what isn’t in
your image.
Merge all your layers together and go
to Image> Resize> Image Size.
Uncheck the Constrain Properties box and
reduce the Width setting so that it’s the
same size as the height of your image, to
make it a square. Hit OK. Use Transform
(Cmd/Ctrl+T) to flip it vertically.
Create a new document and paste your panosphere onto the
canvas. Create a new layer just below it and using a big, soft,
light blue brush, touch around the edges of the document to create a
sky around the world.
Shortcut
View a layer on its
own by Alt/
Opt-clicking the
Eye icon
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On the FileSilo
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
TOUCH UP
Don’t be scared to make the pattern
seamless just to see where you need
to work on it, before going back to
editing the single image again.
ADJUST
Use adjustments such as
Brightness/Contrast to get the
most out of the colourful eggs
once you’re done.
What
does it mean?
QUICK SELECTION – There for a
simple click and drag solution to
grab pixels easily from a shape. It’s
not the most precise tool for making
selections, but that’s not a problem
for this tutorial because we’re only
going for a simple egg
selection, and cloning at the
end helps remove any
jagged edges.
Start image
Photo edit…
Create a
Turn a single picture into an egg-cellent pattern that works
horizontally or vertically
Seamless patterns are useful for all kinds of things. You might
want one for a background in a composition, you might want to
scale an image down but still have it stretch across your screen, or
you might be building a website that needs a constant pattern in
the background that isn’t affected by scrolling downward. There are
all kinds of uses for them and you can find lots online.
But it’s a useful skill to be able to create your own. This is a
tutorial that doesn’t just teach you how to create a pattern, but is
also a good tutorial for helping with retouching tips and layering
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techniques. The good news is that all the techniques are fairly
simple to master!
We’re going to separate the original image into quarters and
move these corners to the opposite corners, so that they match up
with their natural seams. However it’s joining the sides in the
middle where a repeating pattern is really made.
This is a bright, fun project, and one that’s worth just saving on
your computer – you never know when you may need an egg-citing
repeating pattern!
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Build the pattern Construct the egg pattern with layers, selections and retouching
Quarter the picture
01
Start by inserting the image you wish to turn into a pattern.
Select all the pixels by Cmd/Ctrl-clicking on the layer preview
window. Ctrl/right-click and choose Transform Selection. Choose the
top-left Reference Point Location and set a Width and Height of 50%.
Hit Enter, then Ctrl/right-click. Choose Layer Via Cut.
Split the image
02
Repeat with the other four corners of the image, dissecting it
into quarters and separating each segment into new layers via
cutting them. Now move them into the opposite corner: move top left
to bottom right and so on, until you have something like we do.
Shortcut
Alt/Opt-drag to
copy a layer
somewhere else
Edit the central pattern
Tweak individual eggs
Shade and highlight
03
04
05
We just need to repair these breaks in
the image. In this case, we can take
individual eggs using the Quick Selection (A),
and copy eggs over the seams. If you’re
creating another repeating pattern of
something like grass, use the Clone Stamp.
Remember, when you move parts of
an image somewhere else within the
image, you may need to blend things a little
more. Use the Hue/Saturation (Cmd/Ctrl+U)
function to do this, and rely on the
adjustments in the Fill Layer menu.
Group your eggs (Cmd/Ctrl+G). Create
a new layer and set to Soft Light,
then use a 10% opacity soft brush and
alternate between using black and white to
add highlights and shade to the image to
blend it a little further.
Clone further
Repeat the image
06
07
Create a new layer and grab the Clone Stamp (S). Fix any odd areas that
need to be edited by Alt/Opt-clicking and dragging over your image. The
idea is to make the image look completely natural, so just repeat until it looks like
the four corners belong together.
Merge all these images together. Duplicate the
image by hitting Cmd/Ctrl+J and drag above and
to the side; place right next to the other images and you’ll
have a seamless repeating pattern!
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What
does it mean?
Creative project…
Create a
Start
image
GRID – The grid’s primary function
is to assist with layout and
alignment. Via Preferences, you can
edit various characteristics, such as
the spacing, the type of line, how
many divisions are within each
grid square, and its opacity. In
this tutorial it acts as a
guide for creating the
pixelated effect.
Turn a photo into a video game character portrait
Video game graphics have come a long way since the early days of
8-bit sprites, but the classic style of retro games continues to be
hugely popular. In this tutorial, you’ll find out how to turn a photo
into your very own retro video game-style character portrait, with a
wonderful old-school feel. One of the most important aspects of this
design is breaking the image into perfectly aligned, uniform pixel
squares. For this we will be using the Grid function. By setting the
grid’s width to our desired ‘pixel’ width, we can use it as a
framework for the effect.
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One of the great things about this method is that it is mainly
created using filters, and the only brush work that’s necessary can
be carried out easily with a mouse as the brush will snap to the grid;
no drawing skills required! We have supplied a start image for you to
work from, however this method can be applied to any good portrait
shot, so why not try it out on friends and family? To make it really
personal and unique, try adding your character’s name and some
fun stats alongside the portrait, and you’ll have the perfect gift to
give to a gaming fan!
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On the FileSilo
Download your free
resources at www.filesilo.
co.uk/photoshopcreative
STAGE 1
Prepare your photo
Start by selecting, cropping and setting up a grid
Before any filters are applied to the image to create the pixel effect,
it’s crucial to set the canvas up with the correct grid size. Each
square of the grid represents one ‘pixel’ that makes up the final
image. In this tutorial the grid squares are 50px, which works well
with the canvas size, but if you are working on a larger or smaller
canvas size then you will need to adjust the grid size accordingly, so
that each square is an appropriate size for each ‘pixel’.
Select and copy
01
Open your portrait photo (‘pix_2171923_face.jpg’) and use
the Quick Selection Tool (A) to select the subject. Keep the
selection simple, don’t worry about stray hair for example. Click Refine
Edge, increase Smooth: 100, set Output: New Document and click OK.
Crop the canvas
Set up the grid
02
03
Select the Crop Tool and in the tool settings, enter your
canvas dimensions; we’ve used Height: 232mm, Width:
190mm and a Resolution of 300ppi. Click and drag over the canvas
and position the crop area as desired, hit Enter to apply.
Go to View> Grid. Then go to Edit> Preferences> Guides &
Grid… set the Grid Style to Lines, Gridline to every 50 pixels,
Subdivisions: 2, and then click OK. Go to View> Snap to and ensure
that Grid is ticked.
SQUARE GUIDE
Shortcut
Press Cmd/Ctrl+’
to toggle the grid’s
visibility on and
off
Each square in the grid
represents the size of the
‘pixels’ that will make up
your portrait.
SWITCHING
PALETTES
We’ll be switching
between Layers,
Styles and Filters
throughout this
tutorial by clicking
the tabs here.
CROPPING
The Crop Tool is
great for quickly
resizing the
canvas to specific
dimensions using
Width, Height and
Resolution fields.
CHANGING PREFERENCE
Make changes to all sorts
of features in Elements via
Preferences in the Edit menu.
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STAGE 2
Create the pixel
effect
Adjustments, filters and strokes
break down the photo into squares
Now we have the grid in place, it’s time for
the main event! Several filters and
adjustments are needed to convert the
photo into a pixel portrait. Once this is done,
a square eraser helps to tidy the image. You
will find that the Eraser and Pencil tools will
snap to the grid, which makes it incredibly
easy to erase or edit individual ‘pixels’ simply
by using a brush the same pixel size as the
grid squares.
Blur and apply Levels
01
Go the Filters palette and apply a
Gaussian Blur filter with a Radius of
around 10px. Now Press Cmd/Ctrl+L and
adjust the Input Levels to increase contrast;
Black: 34, Grey: 1.30, White: 184.
Simplify and position
Mosiac filter
03
04
Return to the Layers palette and Ctrl/
right-click layer 1’s layer name and
click Simplify. This applies a drop shadow to
the image. Make sure you are happy with the
subject’s size and position on the canvas, as
it will be difficult to adjust it after this point.
Go back to the Filters palette and
choose the Mosaic filter from the
Pixelate category. Enter a Cell Size of 50px
(the same size as the grid squares). You
should find that the Mosaic’s cells line up
perfectly with your grid!
CHECK IT OUT
Every now and
again, hide the
grid (Cmd/Ctrl+’)
to see how your
image is looking.
Erase stray ‘pixels’
06
Select the Eraser (press E) and load
the Square brushes. Choose the
Hard Square 24 pixel brush, increase its Size
to 50px and set the Type to Pencil. Use it to
remove some of the more transparent ‘pixels’
around the outside of your image.
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Add a stroke
02
Go to the Styles palette, choose
Stroke from the top drop-down menu,
and the 40px Black Stroke. Click the cog icon
at the top right to access settings and
increase the Size to 50px and Position to
Outside. Click OK to apply.
Fill the background
05
Add a new layer, drag it below your
portrait in the Layers palette and use
the Paint Bucket Tool (K) with All Layers
unticked to fill it with a solid colour
background (we have used R:215, G:0, B:0).
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STAGE 3
Perfect the
effect
THE MAGIC
NUMBER
LOAD YOUR BRUSH
All the brush sets, including
the Square brushes, can
be loaded from the Brush
menu in Tool Settings.
Setting the drop shadow
Distance to 50px means
it is the same width as
the rest of the squares.
Define the outline and facial
features and then add text
All that’s left to do now is alter the
colour of a few ‘pixels’ with a square
brush, and add some finishing
touches. Adding black around the
outline and on key features of the face
gives a more authentic game art
appearance. The text can be added
with the Brush Tool, or alternatively
you may want to use a pixel-style font;
there are plenty of free fonts online to
choose from.
BRIGHT EYES
Just a couple of white
squares for the eyes is
enough; any more could look
too cartoonish.
Shortcut
Press Cmd/Ctrl
and + or – to
zoom in and
out
Create a black outline
Define the features
Switch to the Pencil Tool (press N), select the same Square
brush at 50px with black and use it to change all the ‘pixels’
that make up the outline of your image to solid black, making sure no
semi-transparent squares remain.
01
02
Add text
Final tweaks
03
04
On a new layer, add the text using the Square brush. Go to the
Styles palette, choose Drop Shadows from the menu, click the
Hard Edge drop shadow. Click the cog to access Settings and choose
Lighting Angle: 180, Size: 0px, Distance: 50px and Opacity: 100%.
Now add extra black squares to the eyebrows, pupils and
around the nose, mouth and ears to accentuate them. Switch
to white and add a few white squares to the eyes and teeth, but try
not to overdo this or change the features too drastically.
Now you can hide the grid for good, and reposition the text
and portrait on the canvas if necessary. Give the colours of
the portrait a final boost by adjusting the Levels, dragging the black
and white input sliders inwards slightly.
87
REVIEWS
ORANGEMONKIE FOLDIO360
HARDWARE
Price £129 / $139 US Web orangemonkie.com
The specs
Orangemonkie
Foldio360
Company
Orangemonkie
Additional Specs
Bluetooth and IR support
for smartphones and
DSLRs kÁDaylight
balanced to 5700K kÁ
10”x10” rotating turntable
k 360° rotation
Capture every angle and create rotating product shots by using
Orangemonkie’s Foldio360 turntable
CHOOSE YOUR MODE
NEUTRAL MATT
SURFACE
You can use the Foldio360 with
either a smartphone or DSLR.
The Mode button enables you
to alternate between manual
or assisted turntable use.
The texture of the
Foldio360 is a matt nonreflective surface that
will give you minimal to
no reflections.
ILLUMINATE THE BACKGROUND
The Halo Light built into the Foldio360 is designed
to illuminate the rear of the product, making the
product stand out on the turntable.
Rotating images Use Foldio360 to show off all of your product’s angles
Select your mode
Align your product
Set up your camera
01
02
03
Using the Mode button underneath
the Foldio, press and hold it for two
seconds. Assuming you have already
downloaded the Foldio360 app, you will be
able to connect your phone to the turntable.
88
After you have set your mode and
connected the Foldio, the rear Halo
Light will illuminate. Once this has occurred,
you will be able to remove the shiny reflective
cover and align your product.
With the product aligned, set up your
camera. It’s advisable to use a tripod.
To help out, the app utilises your camera’s
gyroscopic sensors, showing horizon lines as
well as a grid for centring your product.
P
roduct photography is a big deal for
self-promoters. With companies such as
eBay and Amazon having pretty stringent
policies when it comes to image quality and
clarity, taking an isolated and isometric angled
image of your product is more important than
you could have initially thought. Of course,
there is the easy option of placing your item
down on a surface, creating a path around it
and editing out your background, but nothing
comes close to a crisp and clean image, shot
specifically for that purpose.
The Foldio360 is an app-controlled,
product-photography turntable that will rotate
on command from the touch of your
smartphone. Compatible with Android and
iOS devices, as well as IR-enabled DSLRs, the
Foldio is a standalone device that will assist
the professional photographer as well as
support casual users through its ease of use
and simplicity.
Coming in at a respectable 10”x10”, the
turntable is designed to cover all bases for its
users, and not only rotates smoothly with a
sense of control and balance so as to not
disrupt the product on it, but it also has a light
built into it. This is a strip light and is
comprised of a white matt plastic, reducing
glare and reflections.
Although any pro or serious photographer
looking for high-end product shots would not
rely on the Halo rim-light built into the rear of
the unit, it is not hard to agree that the
smoothness and simplicity of the device’s
movement and its overall compactness is a
real boost to anyone who finds themselves
working in product photography.
As mentioned earlier, the Halo lighting at
the rear of the Foldio is calibrated to daylight
5700k, and is fine if you are working within a
basic white product tent. However it can
struggle on its own, and you might find you
need to bring in external lights to illuminate
the top and side edges of your product, and
not just the edge of the turntable.
A standout point about the Foldio is the
companion app. Here you can completely
control the Foldio from afar; everything from
controlling the Halo light to selecting the
mode of capture is all here.
One of the key options within the app is the
option to adjust the amount of shots you will
be taking. This also controls the amount of
incremental movements or partial rotations
the turntable will make within one session,
giving you all angles and showing the subtle
nuances of the product at hand.
The ability to select your capture device –
be it DSLR or smartphone – means that this
unit isn’t limited to just one user style. For
example, there is an option to use the
turntable for video use.
The additional editing functions built into
the app itself are also helpful, though of
course there is no comparison to using
Photoshop and editing the RAW shots taken
from a DSLR. But if you are simply trying to
edit an image to post to Instagram or send a
rotating set to a client and you need it all done
quickly, then it is a capable app. You can
adjust the images’ brightness, enhance white
balance as well as crop your shot.
Of course, editing functions aren’t the only
way in which the app has you covered, it also
enables you to look at your image through a
grid view to help you align your image. This
option makes use of your phone’s inner
gyroscopic sensors, giving you a useful level to
make sure that your image is straight as well
as centred.
The verdict
7
A great tool, but could benefit
from additional lighting
underneath the turntable. The
control of the device via the app
and IR is a major win.
Standout feature
IR or Bluetooth… you decide
A crucial feature of the Foldio is that it offers
DSLR as well as app-driven control. This
is great as not everyone wants to use a
smartphone to capture their images, but also
because it makes it easier to achieve the right
angle for your product.
Take the shot
Edit and upload
As the intention is to capture your
product from all angles, you can alter
the frequency of the shots being taken on
your app, allowing for more angles as well as
a smoother rotation to the final image.
05
04
You can alter white balance, cropping
as well as the brightness within the
app. Once you are happy, upload the images
to spinzam.com to run a final edit and create
your 360° spinning image.
89
REVIEWS
HARDWARE
ADONIT INK
The specs
Price £36.25 / $44.99 US Web adonit.net
Company
Adonit
REACTIVE SENSITIVITY
Additional specs
The pressure-sensitive stylus makes
working with the Brush Tool feel very
reactive and intuitive. The pressure
applied imitates a real brush.
Designed for Microso Surface
1mm fine point tip
Palm rejection
Pressure sensitive
THE
POINTY
END
The fine point
tip makes the
Ink genuinely
feel like a pen.
Writing on
the screen is
a breeze, and
using the Pen
Tool feels nice
and natural.
M REJECTION
R
The palm reejection feature
means inciddental contact by your
palm as you use
u the stylus is
ignored, so no
n unwanted marks!
The verdict
9
An excellent option for its
price point, the Adonit Ink
is a versatile, feature-rich
stylus for any Surface and
Windows 10 user.
Adonit Ink
Adonit’s midrange, Microsoft-exclusive stylus is a comfortable quality tool
I
n the last couple of years, Adonit has
dramatically stepped up its offering of
styluses; ranging from cheap, basic options
to high-end professional work tools, and has
even ventured into product-specific offerings.
The Adonit Ink falls into the midrange
category when it comes to price, offered at
£36.25 ($44.99), and has been designed
exclusively for the Microsoft Surface range of
touchscreen tablets (Windows 10+). It will
work with a sizeable range of other Windows
10 touchscreen laptops, however, so check up
on adonit.net/ink to see whether your laptop
is compatible, because it well might be.
Neatly packaged in a cleanly styled box, the
Ink appears unassuming at first, its simple
design not that different from the much
cheaper Mark and Mini 4 models. In addition,
those cheaper alternatives are compatible
with all touchscreens, unlike the Ink.
However, it doesn’t take long at all to notice
a big difference once you start using the Ink.
The 1mm fine point tip is far superior to the
disc or mesh tips on the cheaper models, and
the touch feel is remarkably similar to a
classic point-tip pen. Working with the Pen
90
Tool, masking and selections in Photoshop is
effortless with the Ink, due to the natural,
tactile sensation of handling it. In addition, the
pressure-sensitive stylus makes it ideal for
more complex Photoshop work, such as
working with brushes. It’s very sensitive to
different pressures when working with the
Brush Tool, and it only took this reviewer a
short time getting comfortable with it as a
genuinely useful graphic illustration stylus.
One thing that has
long bothered this
reviewer, as a
left-hander – one
who tends to drag
their wrist when
writing – is that the
adjustment needed
to keep the wrist
continuously
elevated to avoid
unwanted marking
or disturbing the
stylus tracking,
made using one a
pain, literal and
figurative, within only a few minutes. Because
the Ink comes with palm rejection technology,
which ignores incidental touch elsewhere on
the screen while the stylus is in use, it meant
that we could drop our wrist every now and
then without it interrupting our work, which
helped especially as the very slim design did
have a slight effect on grip quality. However,
that’s only a minor drawback to an otherwise
great stylus.
ZONER PHOTO STUDIO X
SOFTWARE
REVIEWS
Price £35 (approx) / $49 US Web zoner.com
SLIDERS
DEHAZE
The sliders in
the program
are easy
to use and
provide
you with
fantastic
options for
your images.
The Dehaze
tool is
one of the
highlights of
the program
and can help
to make
your foggier
images
really pop.
The specs
Company
Zoner
Additional specs
Windows 7 and above
1280 × 800 or higher required
The verdict
HISTOGRAM
8
Check out the top right of the
Develop tab in Zoner Photo Studio
to find the histogram for the image,
where you can check image levels.
Zoner Photo Studio X
F
or some, Photoshop might seem a little
too advanced and Elements might not
offer quite what’s needed. Some users
are stuck between the two programs, whether
they’re deterred by price, speed and ease of
use, or simply want a companion app that can
edit, organise and manage photos.
That’s where Zoner Studio X comes in. It
positions itself as a software package that’s
easy for a photo-editing novice to get to grips
with, but able to offer more experienced users
a fair few tricks to turn good photos into great
ones. There’s a good mixture between the
basic tools and the more sophisticated
features, and the balance of them is sufficient
for the most part.
This truly is a powerful
program, however we did
find the tabs down the side a
little frustrating.
An alternative to Photoshop, but
does it have the X factor?
The Manager section of the program is
perhaps the biggest draw to those seeking a
Photoshop alternative. It’s easy to organise
pictures and helps you keep track of your
images for editing, which is good for both
Zoner and controlling your Photoshop files.
The accuracy of this section is appealing; you
sort by keywords, add locations and star your
images to find them again easily, and none of
this slows down Photo Studio too much.
From there, the Develop and Editor sections
are packed with tools to take your images
further. There are all the basics you’d expect
from a photo-editing package, such as
cropping and adjustments, but there are
some nice surprises too. The Perspective tool
in particular is smooth to operate and really
effective, and there’s a Dehaze tool similar to
Photoshop’s, which is really good for injecting
a little colour back into your scenes. The
gradient filter is also great, and there’s a Layer
palette in the Editor section of the program,
which is perfect for layering your effects.
Zoner Photo Studio may well look like a
Photoshop-lite product, but there’s plenty
there that can actually rival the Adobe giant.
It’s best used as a Photoshop companion
though, perhaps for sorting and making
tweaks to start images. It’s great value for
what it offers, and the interface is smooth to
use; this is a program worth trying for anyone
caught between Elements and Photoshop.
5 Top features Check out the features you need to try in Zoner Photo Studio X
Gradient filter
Layers
Manager
Perspective
Create
01
02
03
04
05
A great way to
give a more
precise edit to your image.
Drag the gradient across
the image and apply the
sliders to use the feature.
Use layers to pile
up effects.
Experiment with blend
modes and layer opacity,
and you can also mask
using selections.
This is where
images are
sorted. Add info, view info
and data, sort by location,
and see a map of where
the image was taken.
The Perspective
feature is just the
thing when you want to
align your pictures
perfectly using angles
already in a shot.
The Create tab is
the missing link
between editing and
sharing pictures. Use it to
create photo books,
calendars and more.
91
REVIEWS
BOOKS
500 SELF PORTRAITS
Publisher Phaidon Price £19.95 / $29.95 US Author Phaidon Editors, with essays by Julian Bell and Liz Rideal
Release Date Out Now
500 Self Portraits
Take a long, hard look in the mirror
“There’s enough
variety of style to
appeal to any
budding artist”
A
s the old adage goes, ‘never judge a
book by its cover’. But what if the
cover is your own face peering back
at you? That’s what you’ll find with the new
edition of 500 Self Portraits. It’s a somewhat
garish introduction to the book and its topic
– a reflective foil cover means that it’s a
warped, puckered version of your own face
looming behind the title.
Page after luxurious page, 500 Self Portraits
exhaustively explores, you guessed it, 500 of
the most famous self-portraits in the world.
From 2350 BCE to 2017, you’ll uncover a
wealth of artwork of varying time, alternating
style and differing levels of self reflection
through art.
It’s largely chronological, though as
expected, a majority of the book contends
with the self-portraiture of the 20th and 21st
centuries, perhaps reflective of the
increasingly meaningful and intimate nature
of portraiture.
Certainly it’s an inspiring mix of styles and
interpretation, from Holbein to Hockney, or
Picasso to Perry, there’s enough variety of
92
medium and style to appeal to any budding
artist – traditional and digital.
Where the book stumbles, however, is its
size. Almost 600 pages long but diminutive
in dimensions, you can’t help but feel
disappointed in the size of reproductions. In
particular, landscape-oriented artwork of the
Renaissance suffers, with miniscule
reproductions. A closer crop of the selfportrait tucked away in the artwork alleviates
some of the discontent, but it’s a shame not
to be able to appreciate the art in full.
Similarly, if you’re seeking some kind of
deep, analytical interpretation of the evolution
of self-portraiture, you may be disappointed.
500 Self Portraits opens on two essays on selfportraiture in the context of the modern
world, briefly considering the role of the selfie
as a modern consumer.
On the whole, it’s a premium guide that
certainly exhibits a bulk of history’s most
profound self-portraits, but it’s let down by its
superficial nature and compact size – these
are incredible works of art that deserve to
scream from the pages, not to cower away.
The verdict
7
A comprehensive reference guide
of some of history’s most famous
self-portraits, but don’t expect
to come away feeling like you’ve
learnt more about the medium.
If you like this then check out
Build on 500 Self Portraits with Laura
Cumming’s A Face To The World, an insightful
and evocative tale of selfies through time.
REVIEWS
BENQ PD2500Q MONITOR
HARDWARE
MAIN SCREEN
Price £253.99 / $299 US Web benq.eu
The screen stretches
almost completely to
the edge of the monitor,
making it even better to
put next to another one.
BUTTONS
The main control
buttons for
the screen are
located in the
bottom right,
and can alter the
tone and colour
of the monitor.
STAND
The stand screws
on easily and can be
adjusted in height.
BenQ PD2500Q monitor
Double up when you work with these super-powerful BenQ monster monitors
T
he screen is arguably the most
important aspect to consider when
you’re a designer. After all, it’s what you
spend all day glued to, whether you’re doing
your work or distracting yourself with
YouTube. Either way it’s imperative to have a
display that’s sharp and clear enough for your
images, has good colour representation, and
perhaps most importantly,
good enough graphics to
show cat videos.
The BenQ PD2500Q
monitor is a machine built
for the modern designer. It’s
sleek, space grey in colour
and the screen goes right up
to the edge, as you would
see in a modern
smartphone. These monitors
are perfect when used
individually, but can be combined as a pair for
the ultimate designing experience; at 25
inches wide, a couple of them make for a
setup to rival your TV, and with a 2K display
of 2560x1440 pixels per screen, that’s more
than enough to get creative with. The screens
are rotational too, meaning that you can
transform your viewing from that
aforementioned 50-inch width into an almost
square display. That certainly opens up a lot
of possibilities when editing in Photoshop.
As for the actual display itself, there are
separate Darkroom, CAD/CAM and
Animation modes, depending on what you’re
designing. This is really worth experimenting
with, as you may find one
that suits what you’re
working on, but in all
honesty, the screen is
top-notch no matter what
you’re doing with it. The
PD2500Q has 100% colour
accuracy and a 2K QHD
display; this might not be the
4K we all hear so much
about these days, but when
you’re up close editing
individual pixels, it doesn’t matter too much.
The display also has anti-glare, making it
perform well in different conditions.
With multiple HDMI, DisplayPort, mini
DisplayPort, USB 3.1 Gen1, headphone, and
audio ports too, the PD2500Q monitors are
more than suitable for any computer. While
“It’s imperative
to have a display
that’s sharp
enough, with
good colour
representation”
many monitors have the specs, BenQ backs
these ones up with rotational screens and
awesome modes for just about anyone to get
stuck in with. They’re not just for the design
nerd, but someone looking for a bit of fun too,
only they’ve got the specifications to match.
Well worth investing in if you’re looking to
amplify your display.
The specs
Company
BenQ
Additional specs
16.7 million colours
2560x1440 resolution
100% sRGB/Rec. 709 colour gamut
The verdict
9
The BenQ PD2500Q isn’t
technically the most flawless
monitor you’ll ever use, but
it makes up for this with cool
modes and crisp displays.
93
REVIEWS
PLUG-IN
POLARR
Price Free to £17.76 (approx) / $23.99 US Web polarr.coo
The specs
OPEN
IMAGES
Company
See all the
images
you’re editing
in the bottom
le of your
interface
when you’re
using Polarr.
Polarr
Additional specs
Windows/Mac compatible
iOS/Android compatible (Free, with
in-app purchases)
Available on the Google Chrome store
ADJUSTMENT
TOOLS
Make all your edits
on the right using
the main menu
and the individual
tools located over
on the right.
HISTOGRAM
View the levels of your image via the
histogram, which can be dragged
anywhere in the interface.
Polarr
S
The verdict
8
Solid soware for simple
editing, Polarr Pro boasts
modern presets and great
tools. A good ‘aer editor’ for
Photoshop projects.
Tweak with filters and simple photo-editing tools in this slick
subscription software package
ubscriptions are the way forward
(remember to subscribe to Photoshop
Creative and save on every issue to truly
appreciate this sentiment...). Look at
Photoshop itself; it’s been years now since
Creative Cloud became the default service
offered by Adobe.
That’s the thinking behind the multiplatform, ultra-minimal Polarr program,
started by two photography enthusiasts in
California. The software is a free app, but then
there is a Pro version that can either be
bought as a one-off for your computer or as a
subscription to run in your web browser.
The program feels super modern, from the
neat presets to the slick look of the interface.
Even the free version has nifty filter edits as
well as basic editing tools, such as cropping,
colour tweaks and lightness edits. In this
respect, Polarr works nicely as a companion
to Photoshop. Obviously, it’s not the place to
make big-scale edits, but just before you
upload your images online, it might be worth
running them through Polarr. This is where it
might be cool to have Polarr conveniently
located in your browse.
The paid version (Polarr Pro) comes with
masking and gradient masks as well as Clarity
and Dehaze options. Despite the fact that
Polarr isn’t the most expensive program on
the market, the tools are really easy to use
and impressive in quality; it’s got a lot of
power for what seems like quite a simple
program. Though it’s probably best suited to
final tweaks once your work has been finished
in Photoshop, Polarr’s actually quite capable
of making huge improvements to your photos
from start to finish, and it’s a smaller
alternative to turn to for social media posts,
for example.
Polarr’s a very modern program with a
‘Photoshop meets Instagram’ feel. On the
whole, it’s very impressive. While the
subscription deal might be the first thing you’ll
notice about it, it’s certainly not the lasting
impression. This is a top-quality piece of
software for a reasonable price, however you
choose to pay for it.
Presets to try How to put a colourful spin on your photos with Polarr’s presets
Atmosphere
Infrared
Japan
Modern Film
Vintage
01
02
03
04
05
Gives a dreamy
look to photos. It
works best with natural
shots, and can dull the
tones without cooling the
saturation too much.
94
Alters the hues
rather than the
saturation and lightness.
Useful for a stylised look
and can be toned down
using the slider.
Best for bright
shots. In this
mostly white image, the
Japan filter recolours
some darker shades
without dulling the light.
Lightens shadows
and cohesion
over brighter elements. A
good choice for someone
looking for a modern
cinematic option.
Almost
Lomography-like
in their colour, and there
are a fair few options to
make your image look a
little older and worn.
AKVIS MAKEUP
PLUG-IN
REVIEWS
Price £35 (approx) / $49 US Web akvis.com
The specs
SPLIT
SCREEN
Company
Alter the
before and
aer view
using the
little icons in
the bottomle area of
the plug-in.
AKVIS
Additional specs
SLIDERS
Edit the
smoothing,
correction
and effects
on the
right of the
program
using the
sliders.
PRESETS
Tweak your picture in a single click
with the drop-down preset menu
on the right of the soware.
AKVIS MakeUp
R
etouching may be controversial in some
circles but whatever picture you’re
using, a little editing is usually needed.
When it comes to editing portraits, there are
a few rules that need to be followed in order
to fine-tune your image, and AKVIS MakeUp
is a plug-in that sells itself as doing just that.
To clarify, AKVIS MakeUp doesn’t add or
remove makeup as such from your portrait,
despite its name and the splash screen image
of a girl holding a lipstick and a make-up
brush. That may be a little misleading but
regardless, MakeUp is a useful set of
retouching sliders and presets to dramatically
transform portraits or make subtle changes,
depending on what needs to be done.
Windows XP+
macOS 10.12+
Photoshop CS3+
Elements 6+
The verdict
6
AKVIS MakeUp may have
some answers to your
editing quandaries but
unfortunately it’s not
particularly exciting to use.
Meet the retouching tool that offers sliders
and presets for your portraits
The first impressions of MakeUp aren’t
exceptional, though. There’s the stumbling
block that you can’t actually edit makeup in
the plug-in – unlike Portrait Professional
software, for example – and then there’s the
setup of the program, which is split between
before and after screens with the smallest of
windows between the two. This is possible to
change in the bottom left, though.
Once you actually get into the nuts and
bolts of the package, it’s not as
underwhelming. The presets aren’t half bad
when it comes to making tweaks to your
portraits, though many of them are a little
over-the-top. This can be fixed with the
sliders, which although aren’t the most
powerful AKVIS has ever offered, are still
more than capable of turning down the
effects of some of the more powerful presets.
On the whole, there are some good effects to
be found within the program: not a lot that
Photoshop itself can’t offer, but still things
that can provide you with an alternative
option for your portraits.
Ultimately, this is perhaps how AKVIS
MakeUp should be viewed: not essential by
any means, but still worth trying out in case
there’s something in there that can improve
your portraits in a few clicks, that you’re not
already doing in Photoshop. Misleading it may
be, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth the
free trial.
Five cool presets What can AKVIS MakeUp do for you in just a single click?
Artistic
Darkening
Expressive
01
02
03
This preset is
good for limiting
colour and saturation,
with any saturated colour
shining through the rest a
little more.
Reduces the
brightness of an
image. Of course, this can
be done in Photoshop, but
it only requires a click in
AKVIS MakeUp.
If you’re looking
for an HDR-style
image, the Expressive
preset provides you with a
subtle, all-over finish to
your artwork.
Landscape
Sunset
04
Brings a warm
glow to your
image. It’s bright,
saturated and much like a
gradient map.
Natural Look
05
A decent fix to
smooth and
soften your photo. It’s a
good option to apply
before you start editing
fully in Photoshop.
95
Techniques of a
painter
katherinelam.com
Queens-based graduate Katherine on the influence of painters and
how her first after-school drawing class didn’t teach her anything
K
atherine Lam only graduated in
2017 and says her portfolio isn’t
very expansive, but that hasn’t
stopped her from catching the attention
of thousands of people online.
Photoshop’s online Behance gallery,
among others, has featured her work, too.
But what are the secrets behind her
muted, yet beautiful style of painting? We
caught up to find out.
How did you first get into art?
My family enrolled me in an after-school
drawing class when I was five where I
drew fish and animals, but unfortunately I
don’t think I learned anything. I started
getting interested in art when I was 12.
For a while it was mostly a hobby that I
would do in my free time, but it later
became the only thing I was willing to
work hard for. I later enrolled in an art
school and majored in Illustration.
When was it that you first
discovered Photoshop?
I started using Photoshop when I was in
middle school. In the beginning I used
other image-editing software and played
This started off as a watercolor painting. I scanned the
image into Photoshop and cleaned up imperfections. I then
used adjustment and blending layers to change the colours.
around with those programs before I got
my hands on Photoshop. It was very
complicated and I mostly used it for
editing photos, but I learned how to use it
with the help of YouTube tutorials and a
lot of clicking around and seeing what
happened. It took a lot of time before I
was comfortable painting and making
illustrations with it. Right now, I use it
every day, mostly for painting but also for
photomanipulation, making PDFs, signing
documents, etc.
Do you still start work with a
quick sketch?
My process is pretty traditional. I do
some loose preliminary sketches with a
regular pencil to just get my ideas out.
After I choose a sketch that I like, I do a
very loose painting in Photoshop.
How does it evolve from there?
I first start off in black and white with a
huge brush, as big as I can get it without
crashing Photoshop, and I block out the
major shapes and values. Then I focus on
structure, using light and shadows to
create a sense of form and depth. After
that, I use a small brush and start to
refine edges and tighten up the piece. For
colour, I use a ton of overlay layers and
adjustment layers.
What are your favourite
Photoshop tools?
My favourite tool is the Liquify Tool. A lot
of people call it a ‘cheat tool’, since you
can just liquify a bad drawing into a
decent one, but I find it super helpful
when something turns out wonky, and
you’ve already merged all your layers
together and can’t redraw the image
without having to paint an entire area
again. Another favourite of mine is
Select> Color Range, which will select
everything of whatever colour you pick. It
saves me a lot of time and trouble when I
need to adjust colours. Besides brushes,
buckets, lassos and the Move Tool, I
96
probably use the Liquify Tool, the Spot
Healing Brush and Clone Tool the most.
Do you have any tips you can
share with beginners?
Don’t be afraid to use textures. Bump the
flow of a brush down to 10% and overlay
photos of the wood grain of your desk
over your images. You can use very
unique, custom brushes, or you can use
the default brush in Photoshop, whatever
you are comfortable with. Don’t be afraid
to use certain tools when you work,
whether it is the Liquify Tool or a million
adjustment layers. There are still a lot of
tools that I have not yet touched, but
maybe I will soon!
You describe your creative
process as ‘traditional’. Your work
looks like it’s inspired by
traditional media, too.
I’ve had a lot of influences, most of them
are painters. Joaquin Sorolla and Bernie
Fuchs [are] my biggest influences. Right
now, I’m looking at a lot of contemporary
painters such as Edward Hopper, David
Hockney, Peter Doig, and Jonas Wood.
Have these influences helped to
evolve your work in any way?
My work definitely started out very clean
and sharp, but as I started to use more
traditional media, I wanted to imitate that
look and began to use a lot of textures,
lowflow brushes, and filters. I used to
work with a lot of diagonals in my work,
but currently I see myself using more
horizontals and verticals.
What kind of impact do you think
your work has on its viewer?
People describe it as atmospheric,
something I do purposefully try to
emphasise. A lot of feedback has also
been about my work being very sad and
melancholic. I never really saw it that
way! But I also think my work looks calm
and very quiet.
For the butterflies in this piece, I drew three butterflies all on separate layers. I copied and pasted
them all around, rotated and flipped them horizontally/vertically so that they would look different. The
texture on the ground was made using a rough brush with 10% Flow and painting where the darks are.
I started this one by drawing
all the bottles and wine
glasses normally. Then I
redrew all of them distorted.
When the whole thing was
done, I merged the whole
image together, duplicated
it, changed the hue and layer
mode, and moved it a couple
of pixels to the le to create
the ‘double image’ look.
This originally was very
clean, but I put a palm
tree texture above his
head to create a grungy
look. I roughly scribbled
in the shadows of his
face and his shirt. I then
made a grid pattern and
copied and pasted it all
over the window.
For the pattern on the ground, I created a separate document and drew a tile. I
copied/pasted it all around until it created a pattern. I copied the pattern and
pasted it in the illustration, using the Transform and Liquify tools to get it to
adhere to the perspective of the piece. I used a clipping mask to paint the tiles.
All images © Katherine Lam
I used a lot of different textures for this image, but I set the
opacity very low so they all blended together. I used the mouse
to create all the straight lines. At the end, I merged the whole
image together and put a grain texture over everything.
97
Reader focus
Urszula’s
tip
Layering different
blurred effects can create a
dreamy finish. Working with
colour and saturation can
also enhance this
effect further.
ANASTASIA
I used smudge
painting to
create this
picture. It was
adapted from
a photo and
turned into this
digital painting;
a vignette
was added
aerward.
Water
Air
Fire
Urszula
Jodłowska
ursulajodlowska.deviantart.com
My name is Urszula Jodłowska. I’m a digital
artist from Poland. My adventure with digital art
began five years ago, and it quickly became my
passion. I’m entirely self-taught, and I love to
paint digitally, create caricatures, retouch and
photomanipulation. My inspiration mostly comes
from books.
Sea
CARICATURE I
Liquify was
key in creating
this piece.
Sharpening was
also important,
because
otherwise the
picture would’ve
become too
distorted. Colour
adjustments were
added to finish.
98
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