Photoshop Creative - Annual Volume 2

May 9, 2018 | Author: wyky150 | Category: Photo Manipulation, Adobe Photoshop, Instagram, Graphic Design, Imaging
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NE W

FREE BRUSHES,

FONTS AND MORE!

Photoshop ®

creatIve Annual

For all Photoshop users

 Improve images  Master the tools  Add fun effects

Welcome to

Photoshop ®

creatIve Annual A compilation of the very best content from Photoshop Creative magazine over the past year, this book is packed with fantastic tutorials to help you master Photoshop. Divided into clear sections covering the basics, photo editing, surreal art and digital art, we’ll show you how to retouch your photos, manipulate images into fantasy scenes, create striking paintings and illustrations, and much more. Our in-depth features showcase some of the best artwork from professional artists, including expert advice and tips on how to get the most out of Photoshop. On top of all this, we’ve included some fantastic resources for you to use in your projects, including brushes, actions, gradients, textures, backgrounds and fonts to help you get more out of Photoshop. There are also start files and stock images that enable you to follow the tutorials in the book. Visit the FileSilo and download them to get started.

Photoshop

®

creatIve Annual Imagine Publishing Ltd Richmond House 33 Richmond Hill Bournemouth Dorset BH2 6EZ  +44 (0) 1202 586200 Website: www.imagine-publishing.co.uk Twitter: @Books_Imagine Facebook: www.facebook.com/ImagineBookazines

Publishing Director Aaron Asadi Head of Design Ross Andrews Editor in Chief Jon White Editor Sarah Bankes Senior Art Editor Greg Whitaker Designer Phil Martin Photographer James Sheppard Printed by William Gibbons, 26 Planetary Road, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV13 3XT Distributed in the UK, Eire & the Rest of the World by: Marketforce, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5HU Tel 0203 787 9060 www.marketforce.co.uk Distributed in Australia by: Gordon & Gotch Australia Pty Ltd, 26 Rodborough Road, Frenchs Forest, NSW, 2086 Australia Tel: +61 2 9972 8800 Web: www.gordongotch.com.au Disclaimer The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited material lost or damaged in the post. All text and layout is the copyright of Imagine Publishing Ltd. Nothing in this bookazine may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. All copyrights are recognised and used specifically for the purpose of criticism and review. Although the bookazine has endeavoured to ensure all information is correct at time of print, prices and availability may change. This bookazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. Photoshop is either a registered trademark or trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. Photoshop Creative Annual Volume 2 © 2016 Imagine Publishing Ltd ISBN 978 1785 464 621

Part of the

bookazine series

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Photoshop basics 16 18 22 26 30 34 36

6

Create Instagram-style photos Make a shaped photo montage Produce fantasy artwork Compose a miniature scene with masks Stylise portraits with filters Create art with the Gradient tool Make low-poly portraits

Photoshop Creative Annual

© Ahmed El-Gezery

Discover 10 pro photo effects from expert artists

40 44 48

Draw a colourful illustration Design an abstract wallpaper Produce a calendar

Photo editing 54 60 64 68

Fix any photo

72 76 80 84 88

Take control of selections Intensify with filters and adjustments Transform photos with light effects

Fire up your shots with blend modes Apply liquid paint effects to photos Composite four seasons Create vintage portraits Inject drama with filters and more

Surreal art 94

20 professional compositing secrets

FREE RESOURCES! Including brushes, fonts, stock photos, gradients, actions and videos. Turn to p178

26 128 72 112

100 106 112 118 124 128

Create stunning art with masks Turn any portrait shot into a robot Warp a city onto a shoe Create a fantasy scene Make stunning compositions Play with perspective

168

Digital art 136 142 146 150

Illustrate with the Pen tool

154 158 164 168

Transform your portraits with brushes

174

Paint from photos Sketch and paint over photos

Add depth to inked artwork Produce creative text effects Draw a geometric portrait Build up an illustration with layers Master 3D typography

Photoshop Creative Annual

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10 pro photo effects CUTTING THE MODEL OUT “I cut out the model and placed on the new background. I used the Brush tool in Quick Mask mode to do that.”

VIGNETTE FOR FOCUS “I added a vignette with Curves, which forced the focus on the centre of the composition.”

SUBTLE DOUBLEEXPOSURE EFFECTS

© Kevin Roodhorst

Double exposure can be very effective, especially when used subtly, as on the model’s neckline in this image. Digital artist Kevin Roodhorst (www.kevinroodhorst.com) blended a lot of different techniques to create this striking photo composition. As well as the aforementioned double-exposure effect (see the steps), he used a combination of adjustment layers to blend everything together, including Color Balance, Selective Color and Curves for overall grading and toning.

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Photoshop Creative Annual

10 pro photo effects

PRO PHOTO Add impact and creativity to your photo compositions with our look at the best effects you can apply in Photoshop

P

hotoshop is king when it comes to adding photo effects to your compositions and retouches. It is packed with tools, features and filters that help you to create hundreds of different looks. It is easy to go overboard with effects, and too many can ruin an artwork, but applied sensitively and professionally, photo effects can transform your designs.

In this feature we look at 10 of the best effects for you to master in Photoshop, with examples from digital artists, creative retouchers and photographers to show you how it is done. You can apply the effects to your own photo composites using the advice on these pages. Many of these effects will need customising to suit your own image, as the

delicate settings will need tweaking to get your image looking as good as it can. However, these tips give you a good base to work from, and the best results often come from experimentation. You can achieve these photo effects using just the tools in Photoshop – we’ll be looking at the adjustment layers, brushes, transform tools and more, to help you achieve each look.

PREPPING THE BACKGROUND

DOUBLEEXPOSURE EFFECTS

ADDING MORE DETAILS

01 

02 

03 

“To create the effect on the model’s back, I used custom aquarelle brushes to get a nice fade. For the background, I combined textures on Overlay and Lighten, and added coloured spots with a Color Balance adjustment.”

“For the base of the neck I added a snowy mountain landscape and set it to Lighten, brushed in the parts I thought looked nice, and gave it a cool colour effect with Color Balance and Curves.”

“I placed the paint swooshes on-screen and used a Curves adjustment to add more contrast. I also created more detail in the neck area by placing some buildings around the snowy landscape, also on Lighten mode.”

Photoshop Creative Annual

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10 pro photo effects © Emi Haze

BUILD ATMOSPHERIC LIGHTING Composite photographer and creative retoucher Clinton Lofthouse (www. clintonlofthousephotography.com) enhanced and added the lighting and smoke effects to this image using the Brush tool, blending modes and editing options.

A good base

© Clinton Lofthouse Photography

“I knew I would need a good base to start from. So with the help of the model’s cigarette, we blew a little smoke in front of the strobe, which had an orange gel on. This left us with a good starting point for post-processing.”

01

Paint more smoke

“I added in some more smoke with a brush on a low Flow of 7%. I used the Eyedropper to sample the smoke colour, then painted it on a new layer. On another layer, set to Soft Light, I also painted in a little orange.”

02

Curves and colours

“I added to the atmosphere of the image by darkening the right-hand side of the image with Curves. I created a blue colour tone to complement the orange, masking it away from the left side, leaving us with the atmospheric lighting you see in the final image.”

03

MONOCHROME LIGHTING EFFECTS

© Elizabeth Hinders

If you choose to create an artwork in black and white (as opposed to converting it at the end – see Effect 10), lighting effects can be used to add impact and depth in the absence of colour. Freelance digital artist Elizabeth Hinders (www.andaelentari.net) prefers to work from the start in monochrome rather than desaturating later as “this gives me a

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Photoshop Creative Annual

better idea of the contrast and brightness than a lot of colour would do.” Hinders explains the importance of getting the lighting effects right in this kind of work: “It’s important to adjust the lighting to focus on the exact area of the work you want to be brightest, to focus on the most important part of your art. To adjust lighting, I use the Gradient Map adjustment layer, and work with the way the lighting is on the model’s face, or wherever I want to focus the attention.”

Applying ink splatters to the eye area, building out from the make-up

MIXEDMEDIA TEXTURES Bringing a mixed-media element into your composites can enhance the overall effect and add a tangibility to your work. Freelance digital artist and illustrator Emi Haze (www.emihaze.com) is known for creating photo-based art full of texture, inspired by his love for traditional media. He tries to keep his manual skill evident in his digital works, which is what gives them such a unique look. To emulate this, you need to build up a large collection of textures, created by hand (for example, brush strokes, ink marks, spray painting and so on, created on textured paper). These can then be scanned in at a high resolution to keep for future work. “I merge all of these elements with the [photo] using appropriate blending modes like Multiply, Overlay, Soft Light,” explains Haze. “With these elements I can also create my own brushes; the Brush tool allows me to use different tricks, like experimenting with Opacity, Flow, brush assets and variable options. I love using some of these brushes to give the subject a dispersion or splatter effect, and to create an incredibly dynamic image with the help of various masks and selections. Finally, by using adjustment layers, I aim to make the colours more vivid and vibrant, and bring up the contrast.”

ORIGINAL LIGHTNING

ADD A BLUE TONE

The lightning for this was created using an Aer Effects plug-in called Advanced Lightning before adding the glow effect in Photoshop.

To get the blue tone on the glow effect, a Hue/ Saturation layer was clipped to the lightning group and set to Colorize.

BRILLIANT GLOW EFFECTS Creating glow effects is popular in photo compositions, and the effect can be applied to all kinds of objects, including lightning as shown here. You can easily add lightning to your composition by drawing it with a steady hand, importing stock photography, or using a plug-in or an additional software program to generate it. Photographer Derek Johnston (www.derek-johnston.co.uk) used Photoshop to build up a glow effect over the lightning he added to his photo composite. The lightning strikes were grouped together and set to Screen. “The glows were painted over the top on a black-filled layer set to Color Dodge, with a very soft brush and low Flow of around 8-10%.”

© Derek Johnston Photography

Photoshop Creative Annual

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10 pro photo effects ADD COLOURED LIGHTING Raul Ferran, creative director for 343 Creative (http://343creative.com) took the original photograph, retouched it and then added a coloured lighting effect in Photoshop to change the look and add impact. He explains how he did it.

CLEAR BLEMISHES “The tool I use most now in Photoshop CC is the Spot Healing Brush tool. It uses Content-Aware technology and can cope with spots, in addition to larger distractions.”

Adding the base colour

“I retouched the original photo of the model before any of the coloured effects were added – it is best to be finished editing before starting on the photo effects. With this done, a magenta glow was added to the background.”

01

Color Balance adjustment “I placed a Color Balance adjustment layer on top of the photo and adjusted it using the Midtones, Highlights and Shadows controls in the Properties panel. The Magenta colour used in the background was kept as the main overall colour.”

02

Green contrast layer

“Next, I added a 24% and a 100% green layer set to Overlay, placed on the left side to add contrast to the photo. I added a 46% black vignette to the edges of the photo to add to the overall mood of the photo.”

03

© Raul Ferran/343Creative

CREATIVE BLUR EFFECTS

© Retouching by Lewis Moorhead; Photo by Ashley Murrell

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Photoshop Creative Annual

Photoshop has added many different blur options to its arsenal over the years, and using them correctly can add great effects to your photos. Lewis Moorhead (www.flewdesigns.com) is a creative retoucher and he used a combination of different blur techniques for the overall effect shown here. He started with a Radial Blur, achieved by converting the image into a Smart Object and using Filter>Blur>Radial Blur, with the Method set to Zoom and Quality to Best. “Testing the amounts is always the best way. That is why you use Smart Objects: so you can re-edit your filter,” explains Moorhead. “On this image, I had to move the blur centre to the end of the road. It took a few goes to get it directly in that spot to create the most realistic blur.” A second technique utilised in this image is to select an area using the Lasso tool and feather it by 20px before applying Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. “The benefit of Motion Blur is you can see the result before applying,” explains Moorhead. When you’re happy with the blurs to this point, you can add a general depth-of-field blur to the image edges (Filter>Blur>Blur Gallery>Iris Blur), says Moorhead: “Expand the circle radius to past the edges and increase the blur to 20px on the right.” Finally, a Spin Blur was used on the wheels using a feathered selection for each wheel.

10 pro photo effects © José Paulo Reis

CREATE REALISTIC REFLECTIONS There are many times when you may need to add a reflection to your image for impact or to add realism. This image by graphic designer Ahmed Atef El-Gezery (http://behance.net/ ahmedelgezery) uses the reflection in the helmet visor of the main astronaut to fix the character in his environment. This was achieved by copying the appropriate section of wall and using Flip Horizontal. “I used the Luminosity blending mode and made it fit with Edit>Transform>Warp option.”

© Ahmed El-Gezery

CONVERT TO BLACK AND WHITE

Custom brush strokes begin to be built up in the shape of the model

STRIKING LIQUID EFFECTS Photographs can be completely transformed through the use of custom brushes, to create all kinds of different effects. Digital artist José Paulo Reis (http:// www.madartistgroup.com/jose-paulo-reis) created this liquid dancer by making his own brushes. It’s a straightforward process, but can give great results. Create some splatters or ink marks, bring into Photoshop, convert to black and white, select the shapes of the splatter/ink and use Edit>Define Brush Preset. You will then be able to name your new brush as you wish to use on your projects. Repeat these steps to get as many brushes as you want to build up your effect. To apply it to an image, choose your photograph and isolate the model with the Pen tool to cut out from the background. Create a new layer and begin to add brush strokes with one of your custom brushes, using the model image as your guide. Keep repeating with all of your different splatter and ink brushes to build up the shape of the model. “You have to do this dozens of times in order to achieve the result that you want from this technique,” explains José Paulo Reis. “The mixing of the layers has to be very specific and careful to respect the shape of the dancer.”

One popular photo effect is to convert your image into black and white. How you choose to convert your artwork can make a big difference to its effectiveness, as some monochrome methods leave an image flat in tone, especially the Desaturate option. Digital artist Sulaiman Almawash (www.instagram.com/sulaiman_almawash) created this composition before converting it to black and white for impact. To apply the mono effect, he used a Black & White adjustment layer with the following settings applied: Reds: 240, Yellows: 300, Greens: 40, Cyans: -38, Blues: 4 and Magentas: 62. You will need to play with the sliders to get the best out of your own image, as no two images will use the same settings. Almawash then selected the sky and duplicated the Black & White adjustment layer, keeping all of the same settings, but applied only to the sky selection. To enhance the sky layer, he set it to Soft Light at 84% Opacity, which darkened just the sky to give it more atmosphere. He finished the artwork with a Levels adjustment, controlling it to give the best contrast over the whole image.

© Sulaiman Almawash

Photoshop Creative Annual

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16

Create Instagram-style photos

18

Make a shaped photo montage

22

Produce fantasy artwork

26

Learn to use Levels and adjustments, and blend colours for retro results

22

Use your own photos to create a beautiful montage Transform your photos into eye-catching surreal art

Compose a miniature scene with masks Use selection tools and masks to create a fantastic composition

30 34

Stylise portraits with filters Combine basic filters and masks to completely transform photos

Create art with the Gradient tool Use a simple fill tool to add toned colour to your pictures

36

Make vibrant low-poly portraits

40

Draw a colourful illustration

44

Design an abstract wallpaper

48

Produce a calendar

Master the art of low poly with selecting and filling techniques Draw, scan in and colour illustrations for various projects Mix images and shapes to create your own desktop décor Create a personalised calendar to remember good times

44

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Photoshop Creative Annual

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40 34

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For Photoshop Elements users

30 Photoshop Creative Annual

15

Photoshop basics

FINAL EDITS Merge everything into one final layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/ Opt+Shi+E) and tweak the final saturation (Cmd/Ctrl+U).

What does it mean?

FILL LAYERS – Fill Layers are Smart Objects that can fill in your layer with either a solid colour or a gradient. Unlike filling in a layer manually, they adjust with your project; this means you can create a gradient in the exact centre, or fill in your layer with a colour, and the layers won’t change if you crop outwards.

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Start image

Create Instagramstyle photos Learn to use Levels, adjustments and blend colours for retro results In the 21st century, everyone’s a photographer thanks to cameras on smartphones. Not only is photography easier to practise, but it’s also easier to share thanks to social media. There are countless apps that you can download to follow others, ‘like’ their imagery and share your own phone photography. Instagram is perhaps the defining photo-sharing app and, with its retro filters and simple sliders, it has helped to re-popularise retro snaps. It’s easy to see why Instagram filters are so popular too; they evoke classic Lomo cameras with bright colours. But while anyone

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Photoshop Creative Annual

can add a filter and increase the saturation on a picture from their Camera Roll, Elements can offer some more refined, controlled adjustments to create stunning vintage photo effects. The advantage of creating in Elements is that you can pick your own colours, place gradients wherever you like, and have finer precision over your shots. You can add light leaks if you like, mask out areas of colour, or even just apply actions to your pictures. Instagram might have changed the way many people think about retro photography, but Elements is more versatile and powerful.

Create Instagram-style photos

Re-style with gradients Use colour and adjustments for classic filtered looks

Tweak brightness and contrast

Adjust colour channels

Start off by increasing the brightness and contrast of your photo by going to Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Brightness/Contrast. This will give your picture a simple all-over boost before you start adding colours into the mix.

01 

02 

Add a fill layer

Inject colour with gradients

03 

Click on the ‘Create new fill layer’ icon, and choose Solid Color. Pick any colour and click OK, set layer to Lighten and doubleclick on the layer preview again before selecting a dark pink (we chose #523b46). This adds a block colour over the darker shades.

Head to Levels by hitting Cmd/Ctrl+L. With the drop-down Channel menu, pick the individual RGB strands in turn and move the middle stopper to 1.5 for Red, 1.3 for Green and 0.8 for Blue. This will add a subtle lomo effect to the picture, ready for recolouring later.

04 

Now it’s time to get creative with your gradients. Pick bright blues, pinks, greens and oranges for your gradients and drag them over your image on new layers beneath the Fill Layer. Add masks and drag monochrome gradients to fade the colour.

Further edits Use more Elements features that mimic Instagram adjustments

Shortcut

Add a Gradient to your presets if you plan on reusing it

Crop Instagram introduced the option to upload

Lux Lux is an option within the Instagram app to

Structure Structure is a feature of the app added last year.

rectangular images to its app last year, bucking the famous trend of all its images being square shaped. If you would like to get that classic Instagram look though, simply use the Crop tool with the Shi key held down to crop your shot to a ratio of 1:1.

basically add cinematic contrast and brighten the colours of your picture all at once. It’s a great fix for photos, and it can be mimicked with the Levels dials (Cmd/Ctrl+U). Slide the stoppers at either end of the histogram in order to create a Lux-like finish.

Where Sharpen adds detail to your pictures, Structure adds noise; it’s great for removing blurriness and can be created in Elements. Merge Visible into a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/ Opt+Shi+E) and go to Filter>Other>High Pass. Pick a radius of 20 and set layer to Linear Light.

Photoshop Creative Annual

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Photoshop basics

On the FileSilo

BACKGROUNDS

Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Make a shaped photo montage

Add a complementary texture as a background for your heart-shaped collage. Choose one that fits the theme of your montage.

Use your own photos to create a beautiful montage It’s become so much easier to quickly capture special moments in our lives, or to have a wonderful account of our most important moments. But all too often we leave these treasured memories on an SD card hidden away in a drawer, or on a hard drive where we rarely get to appreciate them. Yet these photographs are often the perfect starting point for creating artwork, ideal for displaying in your home. In this tutorial, we’ll be creating a shaped photo montage. In this case we are using wedding photos and a heart shape, but you can follow along using

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Photoshop Creative Annual

What does it mean?

photos of your own. If you would rather choose a different subject, why not try a holiday theme? Or ADJUSTMENT LAYERS – Adjustment the first year of a child’s life? You can even use a layers are used to make colour and different shape to display your photos in, if the tonal changes. There are several heart shape isn’t appropriate for your subject. different types, such as Hue/ Saturation, Brightness/Contrast and Before getting started, make sure you have Photo Filters. One of their main gathered up all your photos; we have used around benefits is that they’re 20 photos to create this image, but you can use non-destructive, so they can be double-clicked more or less than that if desired. Now all you need and edited. is the distressed background texture from the FileSilo, and you’re ready to get started.

Make a shaped photo montage

Create the background Add a distressed texture and lay out the heart shape The first task is to lay out our canvas and create a backdrop for the photos. Open up Photoshop Elements, click Photo Editor and choose the option to create a new file. Name it appropriately, and enter a Width of 240mm, Height 210mm and 300ppi resolution. Go to View> New Guide, tick Vertical, PERFECT POSITIONING Thanks to the 50% vertical guide, enter 50% then click OK. our heart is perfectly central on Now our canvas is set the canvas. up, let’s start creating.

Shortcut

Quickly get to the Custom Shape tool by hitting the U key

Place the background

Adjust the Levels

Add the heart

01 

02 

03 

Go to File>Place and choose ‘Background.jpg’. With Constrain Proportions unticked, drag the corners of the bounding box so it fits the canvas, then click the green tick to apply the changes.

Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ icon at the top of the Layers palette and choose Levels. Move the black slider to 32, the grey to 1.74 and the white to 249. Click the top-right X to close the Levels.

Select the Custom Shape tool, choose a heart shape with a black fill and no stroke. Click and drag to create a heart shape. Press V and make the heart central by lining it up with the guide. Go to View>Clear Guides.

LAYERS PALETTE This is how your Layers palette should look at this stage, with the heart shape at the top of the layer stack.

CHOOSE A SHAPE There are many different custom shapes to choose from. For this tutorial we are using Heart Card.

ADJUSTMENT LAYER By using a Levels adjustment layer we can always double-click it and edit later if desired.

THE BACKDROP This texture creates an ideal background, with the darker edges and corners acting as a natural border.

Photoshop Creative Annual

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Photoshop basics

Bring in your photos Give your photos borders, then add them to your canvas Now it’s time to add the photos to our heart-shaped montage. First we will be adding white and grey borders to each photo in turn, and then saving the bordered photos in their own folder. So before you begin this stage, create a new empty folder on your computer and name it COVER THE HEART something like ‘Bordered The photos should extend photos for montage’, so that over the edges of the heart shape, but try not to you can find them easily later lose key elements. on by keeping your photos organised in one place.

Add a border

Repeat for all photos

Open the first photo to add to your heart montage. Go to Image>Resize> Canvas. Enter 20 pixels (you may need to use a different pixel size depending on the size of your photo), tick Relative, and choose White from the drop-down menu. Click OK.

01 

02 

Drag and drop

Rearrange the photos

Apply clipping mask

04 

05 

06 

Click and drag the thumbnail of each photo from along the bottom onto your heart canvas, then close all the photo files. Press V to select the Move Tool and arrange your photos by clicking and dragging them, spreading them so they cover the heart.

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Photoshop Creative Annual

Repeat the previous step, but this time choosing 8 pixels (or a different size dependent on your photo) and Gray. Go to File>Save As, save it in the appropriate folder and close the file. Repeat this process to add borders to all of your photos.

Resize photos by dragging corners of bounding box (tick Constrain Proportions) and rotate some by clicking and dragging just beyond the corners of the bounding box. Make the photos extend over the edge of the shape and fill any gaps.

Open your photos

03 

Go to File>Open, locate the bordered photos folder, hold Shift while clicking to select them all. Click Open. Click Photo Bin at the bottom left and click the Heart Canvas file to return to it.

Rearrange the photos’ layer order in the Layers palette to bring the ones you want to make most prominent to the front. Once happy with the arrangement, Shift-click all photo layers and press Cmd/Ctrl+G to apply a clipping mask with the heart shape.

Ele Make a shaped photo montage

Apply the final touches Add some finishing touches to complete the effect We have arranged our photos into the shape, but to give the artwork an extra special personal touch, it’s time to apply some text. In this case, we have used the wedding date, but you can use any date or words that are appropriate for your image; for example, a name or date of birth. Then we will be applying some final effects and edits, and our artwork will be Photo Bin shows complete and ready to all open files; click print and display. to move through

A 3D EFFECT The inner shadow creates a realistic layered effect, as though the shape has been cut out, revealing all of the photos beneath.

Shortcut them all

Add the text

Apply a layer mask

01 

02 

Select the Text Tool, choose the Charlemagne Std Bold font in black with a size of 120pt. With the top layer in the layer stack active, click on the heart and type out your text. Press V and position the text as desired.

Insert adjustment layers

03 

Click on the top layer in the stack. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, press Cmd/Ctrl+G to create a clipping mask. Reduce the Saturation to -100. Add a Photo Filter adjustment layer, again press Cmd/Ctrl+G to create a clipping mask. Choose Sepia, and increase Density to 75%.

Hold Cmd/Ctrl and click the text layer’s thumbnail in the Layers palette to select it. Press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the selection, then add a layer mask to the heart shape layer (click the Add Layer Mask icon at the top of the Layers palette). Delete the text layer.

Make an inner shadow

04 

Go to the heart shape layer, click Effects then Styles and choose Inner Shadows from the fly-out menu. Choose the High inner shadow, click the cog icon in the top right to access Style Settings and change the Lighting Angle to 142 degrees.

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Photoshop basics

Start images

Produce fantasy artwork

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Learn how to transform your photos into eye-catching surreal art In this straightforward tutorial you will explore a range of professional tools available in Photoshop Elements and transform an ordinary photo into a beautiful, surreal composition. You will be surprised at how much you can do with just a basic knowledge of the tools and lots of creativity. You’ll start by creating a gradient background and then apply different techniques, such as blend modes and filters, to create an interesting effect. You’ll learn how to use the Quick Selection tool and the Refine Edge command to create accurate selections and

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masks. We’ll also cover how to work with custom brushes and modify their settings to add bubbles and other great effects. Photoshop Elements has a very easy and intuitive interface, making it easier for beginners or enthusiastic artists to get to grips with the tools and learn useful techniques quickly. If you are using Photoshop CS or CC you can still achieve the same effect following this tutorial. Don’t forget to download the resources from the FileSilo to use the images and brushes.

Produce fantasy artwork

Create a surreal scene Get to grips with the interface and tools in Elements Shortcut

Open the New Layer dialog box: press Shift+Cmd/ Ctrl+N

Open a new document

Create a background

Place an image

01 

02 

03 

Fire up Elements and enter into Expert editing mode. To start off, create a New Document via File>New>Blank File (Cmd/ Ctrl+N). Name it Surreal Art. Set Width to 230mm, Height to 200mm and Resolution 300ppi, then click OK.

Grab the Gradient tool (G) and click on Edit to open the Gradient Editor. Create a new gradient using the colours #3191b4 and #000b1d, set it to Linear and click OK. Now drag the gradient from the top-right to bottom-left.

Create a water-reflection effect

04 

Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N) and name it Water Reflection. Now grab the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) and draw a selection around the canvas. Hit D on your keyboard to set the Foreground/Background colour to Black/White. Then go to Filter> Render>Clouds.

FOREGROUND/ BACKGROUND COLOURS

Now let’s place an image to add a texture effect to our background. Simply go to File>Place ‘Cloud.jpg’. Drag the corner handles to fit the image, then hit Return/Enter. Now set the blending mode for the layer to Overlay.

Enhance the effect

05 

Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Set Radius to 20 pixels and click OK. Add another filter. Go to Filter>Artistic>Plastic Wrap. Set Highlight Strength: 20, Details: 10 and Smoothness: 15. Click OK. Set the blending mode for the layer to Overlay and the Opacity to 50%.

BLEND MODES The blend modes will determine how the pixels of that one layer combine with the pixels of another layer.

The Foreground/ Background colours can directly affect the final results when we apply specific filters, such as the Clouds filter.

What does it mean?

GRADIENT EDITOR Open the Gradient Editor to set the new colours or to choose a different preset.

CREATIVE FILTERS – You can combine different filters to create a variety of effects. For example, combining the Clouds, Gaussian Blur and Plastic Wrap filters you can easily create a liquid effect. The Plastic Wrap is one of the most useful filters – you can basically use it to make anything shine.

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Photoshop basics

Use custom brushes

Choose brush settings

06 

07 

Let’s add bubbles using custom brushes. Go to Edit>Preset Manager. Click Append and Load ‘Brushes_135.abr’ (available on the FileSilo). Create a new layer. Go to Layer>New>Layer or hit Shift+Cmd/ Ctrl+N. Name it Bubbles and hit OK.

Select the Brush tool (B). Click in the Tool Options icon or hit F5. Open the Brush Preset Picker and choose a bubble brush. Now Open the Brush settings. Set Scatter to 75% and Spacing to 90%. Vary the brush size and paint the bubbles.

08 

Go to File>Place ‘Kid.jpg’ and hit Return/Enter. Grab the Quick Selection tool (A) and select the child. Now go to Select>Refine Edge. Check Smart Radius and set it to 5px. Adjust Feather to 2px, check Decontaminate Colours and set Amount to 100%. Change Output to New Layer and hit OK.

Create a glowing face

Adjust tone and contrast

09 

Place the child

Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Photo Filter. Check ‘Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask‘ and hit OK. In the Photo Filter dialog, choose Cooling Filter (82). Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. Clip the layers and set the Input Levels to 5, 1.00, 210.

10 

Create a new layer and name it Glowing Face. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+G to clip the layer. Grab a large, soft-tip brush and set the Opacity to 40%. Change the blend mode to Overlay. Set the Foreground colour to white. Paint over the face and neck to create a subtle glowing effect. Now sit back and admire your masterpiece so far.

LEVELS CLIPPING MASKS Clip the layers so the adjustments will affect exclusively the layer immediately below it, instead of the whole scene.

Apply the Levels adjustment whenever you want to enhance the contrast and improve the tones.

ADJUSTMENT LAYER You can change the colours and tones without permanently changing the pixels value of the original image.

LAYER MASK Remember to apply a layer mask; it is essential to hide unwanted areas and also to maintain the original image intact.

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Produce fantasy artwork Expert tip Master the Refine Edge tool

Place the tentacles

11 

The Refine Edge tool is one of the most important tools in Photoshop Elements. It is used to create flawless selections even in complicated situations. It is particularly effective in selections that involve hair or fur. Select the object and then go to Select>Refine Edge. Start by using the Refine Radius tool and paint around the edges. Photoshop will determine what is the background and what is hair or wherever you’re trying to mask. Play around with the settings to get the best selection possible.

Go to File>Place ‘Squid.jpg’ and hit Return/Enter. Grab the Quick Selection tool (A) and select some tentacles. Now go to Select>Refine Edge. Adjust Shift Edge to -50%. Check Decontaminate Colours and set Amount to 100%. Leave all the other settings at 0. Change Output to New Layer and hit OK.

12 

Create light rays

Complete the effect

Add final touches

13 

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Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer> Levels. Set the Input Levels to 0, 1.00, 25. Press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the mask. Grab the Brush tool (B), set the Foreground colour to white and paint small, random strokes over the book.

Use the Quick Selection tool Make accurate selections

Apply filters and mask Go to Filter>Distort>Liquify. Grab the Warp tool and the Twirl tool to stretch and twist the tentacles. Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. Use a hard brush and paint over the mask to hide the unwanted areas over the book.

Head to Filter>Blur>Radial Blur. Set Amount to 100, Blur Method Zoom and Quality to Best. Drag the Blur Center to bottom and hit OK. Press Cmd/Ctrl+F to re-apply the effect. Set the Foreground to black and paint over the mask to hide unwanted areas.

Create a new layer and name it Splash. Grab the Brush tool (B). Hit F5 and open the Brush Preset Picker, choose a splatter brush and start painting over the tentacles and book. Now place the ‘fishes. png’, ‘vessel.png’ and ‘pirate.png’.

Shortcut

Re-apply an effect you just created: press Cmd/ Ctrl+F

Creating a flawless selection is crucial to make a good photo composition. The Quick Selection tool is the best choice when you are trying to select textures or tones. Grab the Quick Selection tool (W) and simply start painting the areas you want to select. The Quick Selection tool will analyse the area and detect the edges for you. To make it more accurate, press Z and zoom in, vary the brush size and paint close to the edges. Continue adding to the selection until you have selected everything. If you mistakenly select the background you can just press Cmd/Ctrl+Z or subtract from the selection by holding down the Option/Alt key and painting over the area you want to remove from.

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Photoshop basics MASK OBJECTS Use layer masks to determine which part of an image remains visible or to create a transparent effect.

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Start images

Compose a miniature scene with masks Use selection tools and masks to create a fantastic composition Photoshop Elements has many great tools to manipulate images and create fantastic compositions. This tutorial will teach you how to work with basic tools and mask techniques to create a surreal artwork. You’ll start with the Gradient tool to create the background. Next, you’ll work extensively with the Quick Selection tool to select objects and create masks. Finally you’ll learn how to apply adjustment layers, create clipping masks and use other techniques to edit the images. Layer masks are one of the most important features in Elements. They enable you to mask areas in your image without

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changing original pixels. You can control the layer’s transparency by applying greyscale tones to make it more or less opaque or transparent. We’ll apply this technique to make the light bulb slightly opaque and to add other elements to our composition. Another cool technique covered here is clipping masks. They enable you to apply an adjustment layer or an effect to the base layer without affecting other layers. You can create a clipping mask by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+G, or in the case of an adjustment layer by clicking on the ‘Clip to layer’ icon at the bottom-left of the Adjustments panel.

Compose a miniature scene with masks

Place a scene in a light bulb Learn how to use basic tools for a fantastic image Shortcut

Click Cmd/Ctrl+T to open up the Free Transform tool

Place the light bulb Create the stage

Make the background

01 

02 

Begin by setting the stage. Go to File> New>Blank File or press Cmd/Ctrl+N. Name the file and set the Width to 230mm, Height to 200mm, and Resolution to 300ppi, then hit OK.

Duplicate the layer

Grab the Gradient tool (G) and click Edit to open the Gradient Editor. Create a new gradient using the colours #a4ae83 and #ffffff, set it to Linear and click OK. Hold Shift and drag from top to bottom.

03 

Go to File>Place ‘Light_Bulb.jpg’ and hit Return/Enter. Grab the Quick Selection tool (A). Choose a hard tip brush, check Auto-Enhance and select the light bulb. Click Refine Edge and set Smooth to 100, Feather to 3 pixels and keep the other default settings. Now click OK.

Apply the Spot Healing Brush

05 

Grab the Spot Healing Brush tool (J). Choose Type: Content Aware and set the Brush Size at 90 pixels. Paint over the Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate the layer (or Ctrl+click/right-click filament to remove it, as you will not want it in your final image. Now the layer and select ºDuplicate) and name it Light_Bulb final. (Hide the Light Bulb copy layer). Now apply the mask. Go to Layer>Layer grab the Color Picker tool (I) and sample the colour near the base. Grab the Brush tool (B) and paint the remaining filament. Mask>Apply. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+T and rotate the image around -72°.

04 

QUICK SELECTIONS

REFINE EDGE

Adjust the brush settings and size and check the AutoEnhance option to refine your selection as you go.

Use the Refine Edge to tune up your selection and to create a layer mask.

CONTROL YOUR TOOLS Every tool has different options that you can change. Play with the settings to calibrate the tools to your liking.

What does it mean?

SPOT HEALING BRUSH – Usually used to remove blemishes and small imperfections from a photo, it can also be used to remove other elements. Paint the area you want to remove and the Spot Healing Brush tool will match the pixels from the surrounding areas in order to retouch the image.

MASKS Mask an object, refine edges, then duplicate the layer before applying the mask.

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Photoshop basics Expert tip Add more shadows

Make the bulb transparent

06 

First add a new layer mask. Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. Hold Cmd/Ctrl and click on the Light Bulb Final layer thumbnail to select it. Go to Select>Modify> Contract. Set it to 30 pixels and click OK. Grab a soft tip brush at 30% Opacity and start painting inside the selection.

07 

Go to File>Place ‘Ground.jpg’ and hit Return/Enter. Drag the layer placing it below the Light Bulb Final layer. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+T and scale the image to fit in the bottom half.

Mask it

Place the grass

08 

09 

Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. Keep the Ground layer active, then hold Cmd/Ctrl and click on the Light Bulb Final layer thumbnail to select it. Go to Select> Inverse to hide the area outside the light bulb.

ADJUST THE LEVELS Control the transparency by filling the selected mask with black, then adjust the Output Levels in order to reduce the contrast.

SELECT THE BOUNDARIES Hold Cmd/Ctrl and click on the Light Bulb Final layer thumbnail to select the boundaries and then paint inside the mask.

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Place images

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Go to File>Place ‘Grass.jpg’. Scale the image and repeat step 8. Now go to Select>Inverse again and grab the Brush tool (B). Start painting inside the light bulb trying to create a curved shape.

Add an extra shadow under the Light Bulb layer. Hold Cmd/Ctrl and click on the Light Bulb Final layer thumbnail to select the image. Now create a new layer and name it Shadow. Fill it with black. Press Cmd/Ctrl+D to deselect the image, then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius around 75 pixels and click OK. Now press Cmd/Ctrl+T to open the Free Transform tool and drag the centre handles to adjust the perspective. Drag it under the Light Bulb Final layer and reduce the layer’s opacity if it is necessary.

Select the tree

10 

Place the ‘Tree.jpg’ at the top of the layer stack. Grab the Magic Wand tool (A), set the Tolerance to 70 and click on the blue sky. Go to Select>Inverse and create a layer mask. Clean up the mask using a soft tip brush. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+T and resize the image.

PLACE THE LAYERS Place the image on top of the layer stack. Select and mask it, then drag under the Light Bulb layer.

INVERT THE SELECTIONS Select the light bulb boundaries and then go to Select>Inverse. Now hide the area outside the light bulb.

Compose a miniature scene with masks

Place more images

11 

Now let’s add more images to create the composition. Place the ‘House.jpg’, ‘Truck.jpg’ and ‘Cow.jpg’. Grab the Quick Selection tool and select each image. Add a layer mask or use the Refine Edge tool to enhance the selection and create the mask. Resize each image and place over the grass.

Make adjustments

Add shadows

12 

Create a new layer on top of the Grass layer. Name it Shadows. Change the blend to Soft Light and hit Cmd/Ctrl+G to clip the layers. Grab a soft Brush (B) and paint the shadows under the house, tree, truck and cow. Repeat this for the Ground layer.

Add highlights

14 

Create a new layer on top of the layer stack. Name it ‘Highlights’. Grab a hard tip brush, set the Foreground colour to white and paint the highlights. Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Set the Radius to 5 pixels and reduce the layer’s Opacity to 60%.

Alternative highlights Create an alternative effect with filters Create a new layer. Grab the Rectangular Marquee tool and draw a square selection. Fill it with black, then go to Layer>Render>Lens Flare. Choose Lens Type: 50-300mm Zoom and click OK. Now go to Filter>Distort>Polar Coordinates, check Polar to Rectangular and click OK. Go to Image>Rotate> Rotate Layer 180°. Go to Filter>Distort>Polar Coordinates, check Rectangular to Polar and click OK. Next, grab the Elliptical Marquee tool and select the globe. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate the layer, then hide the original layer. Press Shi+Cmd/Ctrl+U to desaturate, then hit Cmd/ Ctrl+T and stretch to fit on the light bulb. Hold Cmd/Ctrl and click on the Light Bulb Final layer thumbnail to select the boundaries and then create a layer mask. Change the blend mode to Screen.

13 

Enhance the contrast using the Levels adjustment. Click on the House layer then go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer> Levels. Adjust the Midtone Input levels and clip the layers. Add the Brightness/Contrast adjustment over the Tree and Ground layers, adjust the settings and clip the layers.

Create the reflection

15 

Hide the Background layer. With the top layer active, click Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+E to create a snapshot. Go to Image> Rotate>Flip Vertical. Adjust the angle and create a layer mask. Unhide the Background, grab a large soft brush, hold Shift and paint the bottom half. Reduce the layer’s Opacity to 70%.

Shortcut

Click the buttons on the Layers panel for adjustment layers

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Photoshop basics EMBRACE THE EXPERT Don’t be scared of the Expert mode – it’s where the cool tools are, and really isn’t complicated.

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Stylise your portraits with filters Start image

Use a mix of filters and masks to transform photos This tutorial makes use of three filters found inside the Filter Gallery: Glowing Edges, Halftone and Cutout. Together you can use these to transform a portrait into a funky piece of art. Filters are very easy to use, with full previews and sliders that you can play with until you get the look you want. Aside from that, they also enable you to create sometimes complicated effects very quickly. The base image for this tutorial can be found on the FileSilo, but if you’d like to use your own then bear in mind that the filters we apply will be calculated based on the entire image, so where possible keep the background empty and a different colour to your main subject.

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Throughout you’ll be utilising the power of layer masks: being able to hide sections of your layer non-destructively. They can be used on adjustment layers or standard image layers, and it’s good to get into the habit of using them rather than deleting content directly – by the end you’ll be a pro! After the overall effect has been achieved, you’ll be able to adjust colours freely to create different versions and styles. Other finishes can also be achieved quickly just by adjusting the filter values at various stages of the tutorial, creating thicker or thinner lines, alternative halftone shapes and different levels of detail. Learn the basics, then start to play!

Stylise your portraits with filters

Create funky outlines Transforms photographs with just a few layers Shortcut

Ctrl/right-click the eye symbol of a layer to turn off other ones

Select Glowing Edges

01 

Open your image into Elements, or open ‘Girl.jpg’ from the FileSilo. Duplicate with Cmd/Ctrl+J. Select the top copy and go to Filter>Filter Gallery. Inside, click on the Stylize tab and select Glowing Edges. Play with the sliders until the main edges (head, eyes, mouth and so on) are clearly defined.

Add Threshold layers

02 

Add a Threshold adjustment layer via Layer>New Adjustment Layer> Threshold. This clips your image to black and white. Leave the first Threshold layer at 128, and then create a second on top at 58.

Neaten the Thresholds

03 

Draw black on the 128 Threshold layer over areas where you want to show more white. Create a new layer (Cmd/ Ctrl+Shift+N) and on here, paint using black to create neat lines and areas. Use a hard paint brush (100% Opacity) for cleaner edges.

Duplicate and Halftone

04 

Duplicate the original photo layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and drag it to the top. Set your Foreground colour to white and the Background colour to black. Go to Filter>Filter Gallery. Select the Sketch tab and choose Halftone Pattern. Change Pattern Type to Lines, Size to around 5, and Contrast to around 50.

Mask the layer

05 

Hit OK and change the layer’s blend mode to Screen. Add a layer mask. Use the brush to paint black on the mask to hide almost the entire layer, except for the lower half of her face and her hand.

BLEND MODES Scroll through blend modes using Shi + +/- on a Mac or the up and down arrows on a PC.

What does it mean?

LAYER MASKS – A layer mask is, quite simply, a mask for a layer. It shows or hides areas depending on what shade of grey you put onto the mask: black hides completely, white shows completely, with all shades on a scale in between. They are powerful and let you remove parts of layers and bring them back again.

QUICKLY ADD LAYER MASKS Use this button to quickly add layer masks to a layer with one click.

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Photoshop basics Expert tip Retain your data

Create Halftone circles

06 

Duplicate the original photo layer again and drag it to the top. With your Foreground and Background colours set to white and black respectively, go to Filter> Filter Gallery and again navigate to Halftone. This time, change the Pattern Type to Circle. Set Size to 5 and Contrast to 50. Hit OK.

Mask and screen

07 

Set the blend mode of this layer to Screen and add a mask. Like before, use the mask to block out all areas except for her forehead and torso using black and white brushes.

Use the Cutout filter

08 

Create a stamp of your canvas so far by selecting the top layer and hitting Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E. With this new layer selected, go to Filter>Filter Gallery and find Cutout inside the Artistic filters. Keep the settings quite subtle, just using this filter to remove any rough edges.

Create a gradient

09 

Next, go to Layer>New Fill Layer and select Gradient. Choose a Linear Gradient, Angle: 0, Scale: 100, then doubleclick the gradient preview to edit the colours. Click under the scale to set up five markers.

Once we apply new filters to each layer in Elements, it is not possible to go back to the original without undo-ing any work done aer the filter was applied. To avoid having to do this, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of creating a copy of the original layer first. You can do this by selecting the layer and using the shortcut Cmd/ Ctrl+J. Then, click the eye icon next to the original to hide it until such a time that it might be needed. If your computer starts to struggle with the increased number of layers, copy them onto a new canvas instead, call it Backup and close until needed.

Set up your gradient

10 

Arrange the five markers so that one is in the centre; double-click to assign it with colour #f4e58c. Place two symmetrically further out either side with #edbd4b, then two even further out with #b85c30. Hit OK. Set the blend mode to Multiply.

ADJUSTMENT LAYERS SHORTCUT GRADIENT PREVIEW This shows you how your gradient will appear on your canvas. Double-click to edit colours.

Click this icon to add a new adjustment layer. This menu holds the most common adjustments; simply click to apply.

OPACITY STOPS These stops control the opacity of the gradient. Click these and then adjust opacity to make a gradient fade to transparent.

COLOUR STOPS These stops indicate when a new colour starts. The further apart they are, the soer the transition between colours.

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Stylise your portraits with filters

Edit the hand gradient Create the body gradient

Edit the body gradient

11 

12 

Use a layer mask to restrict the original gradient only to her face. Duplicate your gradient. Double-click to edit the gradient. Change the Angle to 90°, and then enter the colour editor.

Spread out the two darker colours closer to the edges, move the centre three to the left side. Hit OK and apply the gradient, keeping the blend mode at Multiply. Use the layer mask to only affect the torso.

13 

Duplicate your gradient layer again. Change the Angle back to 0 and enter the colour editor. This time, bring the outside markers closer to the others. Bring the centre and left-centre markers towards the left so that the bright colour lines up with the hand. Mask all but the hand.

Adjust the colours

Apply finishing touches

14 

15 

To give the colours a bit more ‘pop’, add a Levels adjustment layer. Set the black marker to around 16 and the white marker to around 216. Hit OK. Add a Photo Filter adjustment layer. Chose Warming Filter (85) from the drop-down menu and set Density to 25%.

How to master layer masks Take your editing to the next step

Now that the main portrait is complete, you can add any extra finishing touches you like, for example a border in the same style, adjust the colours, or even go back to the previous layers and neaten up any areas you weren’t quite happy with!

Shortcut

Select a layer mask and hit Cmd/ Ctrl+Backspace to fill it

Layer masks are extremely useful; it’s hard to get through a good photo edit without using them. When you delete something using the Eraser tool, it’s known as ‘destructive’ editing, meaning that once it’s been erased, you can’t get it back. Layer masks are ‘non-destructive’; they delete nothing and you can always bring back anything that was hidden at any time. Add a mask to any layer, even shape layers, and use the Brush tool to paint either black to hide or white to show, using all tones of grey in between for varying opacity. Hold Alt+click on the mask thumbnail to preview the mask fully on the canvas for more accurate editing.

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Photoshop basics

ADDING THE CAMELS Open ‘camels.jpg’, go to Filter>Adjustments>Threshold and set to Multiply; this gives you the perfect silhouette to complete your desert scene.

What does it mean?

SOLID AND NOISE – The Gradient tool has the option to choose between a Solid or Noise gradient. The Solid gradient produces a smooth fade from one colour to another, while the Noise option produces a series of fibres, which you can alter the colour of by changing the values.

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Start images

Create art with the Gradient tool Use a simple fill tool to add toned colour to your pictures Colour can add excitement to your photos – it’s one of the most important aspects of any picture and crucial to get perfect. Gradients can add more than just colour to your pictures though; they also add tone, shade and light. They’re fantastic tools for illustrators as well as photomanipulators and photo editors, but the best thing is that all you have to do is drag them to apply. Gradients might feel like one of the most simple tools in Elements, but it takes practice to know when to use them, whether you’re trying to make an entire landscape of gradient-filled shapes – such as our evening Sahara scene above – or you just want to add a subtle filter effect to a photo.

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The fun part of learning about gradients is being able to pick and choose the colours you’re going to use for your scene. It can be difficult to get it exactly right, but use the Eyedropper (I) to select colours and then tweak the shades in your Swatches. A really useful tool for making your shades more cohesive is the Gradient Map adjustment (Filter>Adjustments>Gradient Map). Simply select one gradient and it will apply it over the entire image, as we’ve done with our desert scene. Colour is one of the most enjoyable things about photo editing, so remember to have fun and experiment with gradients. We’ve supplied 50 for you to use on the FileSilo.

Create art with the Gradient tool

Make gradient art Select and fill to create a scene from gradients

Select a shape

01 

If you simply drag a gradient onto your document, it will cover the entire page in colour. To refine where you’re dragging it, use selection tools to create a shape before applying the gradient. Here, we’ve used the Polygonal Lasso to create a sand dune; use ‘Desert.jpg’ as a reference.

Pick a second colour

03 

Now, click on the bottom-right stopper and select a second colour. There’s a small arrow on the bottom of the gradient preview; slide this to adjust the fade of your first colour to your second. You can add as many colours as you like.

Shortcut

Simply hit the G key to select the Gradient tool quickly

Choose a first colour

02 

Once in the Gradient tool, you’ll have the option to select one of a few preset gradients, or create your own. Click on the bottom-left stopper; this controls the left-hand colour. A window will appear for you to pick a colour for the first half of the gradient.

Drag the gradient

04 

With your gradient chosen, drag from one half of your selected area to the other. This will apply it in this chosen area; you can drag it as often as you like to perfect the exact gradient.

Additional uses Where can you use gradients in photo editing?

Gradient maps Gradient maps are one of the most common

Light leaks Light leaks are a phenomenon in which

Vignettes Vignettes are darkened corners of an image.

adjustments in Elements. They rely principally on gradients, taking the lights and darks of an image and replacing them with the colours on your gradient’s spectrum. Go to Filter>Adjustments>Gradient Map to apply; these gradient maps oen work best as a subtle colourchanging layer when set to So Light or Overlay.

bright bursts of colour seep into the corners of photographs, and they’re simple to add in Elements. Select a yellow or pink in your Swatches, and select the Gradient tool. Choose Foreground to Transparent and on a new layer, drag from one corner into the middle of the picture. Set this layer to Screen.

They look great in retro pictures but they can help to add more focus to the centre of an image. On a new layer, select the Gradient tool, make sure black and white are set in your Swatches and hit OK. Choose the Radial option in the bottom bar and drag. Set to Multiply to hide the white, and reduce opacity if needed.

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Photoshop basics CHOOSING THE BACKGROUND COLOURS Choose a background that complements the subject nicely, as it will look far less jarring.

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Make vibrant low-poly portraits

Start image

Master the art of low poly with selecting and filling techniques Low-poly portraiture is one of the most popular digital art forms on the internet. It’s almost a throwback to old video-game graphics, and many assume that it’s created with the aid of 3D software; failing that, Adobe Illustrator is a great tool for such illustrations. Photoshop Elements can also be used to create a low-poly picture, though, as you don’t even need the Pen tool. Low poly simply relies on triangles, which you can create with the Polygonal Lasso; for an artistic style that is both extremely time-consuming and ambitious, it’s somewhat ironic that it can be achieved by arguably the two simplest of Elements functions: selecting and filling.

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Just because selecting and filling is easy though, it doesn’t mean that this project can be completed quickly. You’ll have to create hundreds of triangles with this tutorial, and it’s a long process going from the Polygonal Lasso to the Eyedropper while perfecting the colour in the Foreground swatch in between. It might take a long time to get this picture right, but ultimately it’s worth it. The finished effect looks like it was completed with far more sophisticated tools, and the best part about it is that you don’t need to be artistic; download the start image from the FileSilo and use the subject as a guide to get started.

Make vibrant low-poly portraits

Select and fill Use the simplest of techniques to build an ambitious portrait

Make preliminary edits

01 

To begin, we’re just going to make some quick edits to our existing image, because it will help to make a more colourful low-poly picture. Add Colour Fill layers of blue (#3cd2f7) and pink (#ee1d8e), set to Color, and mask over the eyes and lips respectively.

Create a triangle

02 

Add a new layer. Grab the Polygonal Lasso tool and click on a point. Click a little distance away to create a side of a triangle, then click again to create a second side. Complete the triangle and grab the Eyedropper tool. Select a colour within the shape and fill.

Add a second triangle

03 

With one triangle completed, this is the process that we’re going to replicate over the entire portrait. When you create a second triangle, try altering the foreground colour in the swatch slightly so that you have a clear difference in shade.

Form the lips

Work on the eyes

04 

Using this triangle technique, zoom in over an eye and create triangles over the eyes, selecting and filling until you cover the entire eye. You can get as detailed as you like with these triangles, and use longer ones for the eyelashes.

05 

Once both eyes are created, move on to the lips. This is where the preliminary edits will really help to bring the boldest colours to the fore of the main facial features. Try to create triangles over where specific shades meet in the picture.

What does it mean?

Shortcut

Fill shapes with a foreground colour. Press Alt/Opt+ backspace

LASSO – The Lasso tools work on the premise of selecting areas manually; the regular Lasso is a simple drag tool, and the Magnetic Lasso is used to intuitively select along lines already in your project. The Polygonal Lasso is used for selecting shapes, which makes it perfect for building a picture.

HEX CODES BRIGHT SHADES Move the dropper further towards the top-right of the palette to choose a brighter shade.

The hex code shows the specific shade as an HTML colour. If you want to use a specific colour, every one has one of these codes.

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Photoshop basics Expert tip Selecting and filling

Build up the face

06 

Keep filling triangles over the entire face. Mix up the shades and occasionally the hues slightly, but be sure to always create triangles. If you need to fill a square space, use two triangles for example. Don’t get too detailed over the cheeks.

Touch up odd triangles

08 

If you want to add more detail in sections, it’s easy to touch up odd triangles here and there by selecting a triangle within a triangle. Equally, create bigger spaces by creating triangles over a cluster of triangles.

Create the hair

07 

The hair should consist of longer triangles. Do the hair on a new layer, and once you’ve finished, duplicate. Cmd/Ctrl+click the lower of the hair layers and fill in black. Reduce to 50% Opacity, set to Soft Light, and nudge 20 pixels right and down.

Fill in the gaps

09 

Naturally, there will be gaps in your selecting and filling. Duplicate your background layer and hide the original. Hit the Mask icon and invert (Cmd/Ctrl+I). Grab the Polygonal Lasso and select around the portrait. Fill in this space in the mask white.

FEATHER Choose 0px for Feather so that you have hard edges to your triangles instead of so ones.

NEW Click on the New option so that you’re starting afresh with a new triangle every time you select

ANTIALIASING Make sure you leave the Anti-aliasing box ticked for a far smoother and more natural-looking selection.

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LASSO Use the Polygonal Lasso, as this is the one with the straight edges.

Selecting and filling is a long process, so it’s important to remember a few things. The image only comes together when it’s complete. If you start off creating triangles, you’re not going to see how it looks until the entire face is covered; if you feel it doesn’t look very good, just keep working at it. Remember to keep distinctly different shades between triangles, otherwise you’ll look like you’ve created foursided shapes instead. Keep the triangles around the hair edges lighter in colour so they show against the background.

Start the background

10 

Now to create a low-poly background for the subject to be placed on. Start by creating a new layer and bring up the grid (Cmd/Ctrl+’). Select horizontal bands and fill in various shades of grey.

Make vibrant low-poly portraits

Duplicate, rotate and repeat

11 

Duplicate your layer, set to Soft Light and hit the Transform option (Cmd/Ctrl+ T). Lengthen your bands of grey and in the dialog box below, choose to rotate by 120 degrees. Do this once more to create a low-poly-style triangle background.

Merge and colour

Add embellishments

12 

13 

Merge your three layers of grey bands all at different angles, then head up to Filter>Adjustments>Gradient Map. Pick one of the gradients and choose a colour scheme for the background of the picture. When you’re happy, drag the layer to the bottom of the layer stack.

Create extra triangles

14 

Grab the Polygonal Lasso again and on a new layer, create some triangles flying out from the portrait. Fill with colours similar to those on the subject. Duplicate this layer, and head to Filter>Radial Blur, choose Amount: 35, Method: Zoom, Quality: Best. Reduce this layer to 30% Opacity.

Make it bright and bold How to avoid a flat, 2D portrait

When a portrait is complete it can be a nice touch to add shine to the eyes, but as this is low poly, we’re going to put a twist on that idea. Choose a triangle from the Shape tool, select white (#ffffff) and drag over the portrait’s eyes. Set to Soft Light for a subtle glint.

Adjust

15 

Finally, merge everything into one last layer. Go to Filter>Other> High Pass and choose 5px, before setting to Overlay, then go to Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Brightness/Contrast; now choose Brightness: -10, Contrast: 30. Then hit Cmd/Ctrl+L to alter further with Levels.

Shortcut

Merge everything into a layer. Press Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/ Opt+ Shift+E

While you might be a stickler for detail and want to keep your portrait looking as real as possible, it’s important to try and also be as bright as you can when you’re filling in colour; hence we made the quick edits at the start of the tutorial. Be sure to actually alter the colours that you’re filling in with in your swatches, though. Make them brighter and more colourful, even if it’s not absolutely true to life, as this will make the picture a lot more vibrant and interesting. While a photograph is naturally made up of a lot of grey, low-poly artwork should be cartoon-esque in its colour.

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Photoshop basics

Start image

On the FileSilo

Draw a colourful illustration

Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Draw, scan in and colour illustrations for various projects This tutorial concentrates on colour, painting, layers and using composition to produce an illustration that you can then use within your different projects at home or work. Draw your image on to paper using a pencil and scan it in to the computer as a PDF. This ensures a clear image, which uses the high-quality resolution of 300dpi. Alternatively, you can download and use our sketch from the FileSilo. It is easy to add a transparent layer and trace over the image with the Brush tool. Go to Layer>New Layer, set the Opacity to 100%, then draw on top of your scan using the Brush tool (B). You can use a quicker more efficient method by multiplying the layer and painting

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on a transparent layer underneath leaving a crisp black outer edge still showing above. Be sure to clean your scanned images before working on them by painting over the blemishes or using the Spot Healing Brush tool (J) as when multiplying the lines, Photoshop will also multiply the blemishes making it much more difficult to erase them when the layers have been set. Follow our step-by-step tutorial and create a colourful illustration in Photoshop that could be used for many purposes. Become skilled and confident making good use of the possibilities Photoshop offers. It can help you make your work look professional, charming and desirable, as well as make sure you have lots of fun along the way.

Draw a colourful illustration

Create your illustration Add a personal touch to projects by designing original illustrations

Create a new project

Add the art

Check for missing lines

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First you need to create a new project by opening Elements then going File> New>Blank File. When the setting box pops up set it to your desired size and keep it at 300dpi. Hit OK and the white platform will appear ready for you to use.

Go to File>Place, select the illustration from the pop-up box and click Place. You can resize by moving the small black squares that are around the bounding box. Hold Shift when resizing to keep the proportion, and hit Return when in place.

Click on the Eye icon next to the background layer to make it invisible, and select the fox layer. Check there are no breakages in the black outlines of your scan. If you find any, draw them in using the Brush tool (B).

Magic up the tolerance

Multiply that outline

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05 

When you are satisfied it’s a contained image, use the Magic Wand tool to select the white background (the marching ants will surround the image you are wanting to keep). Add tolerance to 100 to make the selection tighter around the edges, then erase the unwanted white with the Eraser tool (E).

At the top of the Layers panel there is a drop-down menu that is currently set to Normal. Select the fox outline layer, then click on the menu and select Multiply. This will darken the black outlines and then when you go to paint on the transparent layer, the lines show clearly on top.

What does it mean?

MAGIC WAND – The Magic Wand tool has an amazing ability to select large areas of the same colour, but if you don’t set the tolerance it can look sloppy around the edges and leave a white halo. By setting the tolerance higher than default it will shrink the selection and eradicate the halo, leaving it crisp.

Shortcut

Zoom in press: Cmd/Ctrl+ Zoom out press: Cmd/Ctrl–

LEAVE THE WHITE AREAS Don’t colour the white areas on the foxes; just ensure you don’t delete them when you erase the background.

FLATTEN THE COLOURS Keep the colours in your image flat; this will ensure the best separation of the objects within your illustration.

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Photoshop basics Expert tip Get gradients looking right

Paint the foxes

06 

Create a new transparent layer using the square icon at the top of the Layers panel. This will be the layer that will need to be selected for any painting of the imported drawing. If you paint on the multiplied layer of the foxes it will just paint over your outlines.

07 

Add a drop shadow by using Layer>Layer Style> Style Settings. A box appears with settings in it. Click the Drop Shadow option, make sure the preview box is ticked and the lighting angle is on 90 degrees. Move the sliders to select your desired shadow settings and click OK when finished.

Prepare a background

Add the gradient

Start setting the scene

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Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N) and drag it underneath the foxes layer. Use the Elliptical Marquee tool (M) to create an oval backdrop, keep the tool selected and drag the shape into place without deselecting. Pick a colour from the Color palette.

Select the Gradient tool (G), click at the bottom of the shape, and drag the cursor upwards. When at the top, unclick and the coloured gradient will appear inside the shape made earlier. It will also be displaying the selected colour.

To set the scene you can start adding other elements to the illustration. Create a new layer then drag it between the fox and gradient layers. Choose a brown colour from the Color palette and start painting two trees. Choose a smaller brush.

KEEP IT CLICKED DOWN

LET IT BREATHE

If you unclick before you have dragged the gradient upwards into position, your shape will only display an unfinished gradient.

Leave a good amount of white space around the image so the human eye is drawn to the centre of your work.

CHANGE THE GRADIENT

BE SELECTIVE WITH OUTLINES

If you are not happy with your finished gradient you can always change the colour and the opacity in the tools panel.

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Add a shadow

You can make a gradient sit in any direction. Instead of dragging the line up, you could drag it across, down or any which way you wanted as long as it is straight. You cannot create a bent gradient with this method. There are also five different angles to choose from in the tool Options panel. These include Linear, Radial, Angular, Reflected and Diamond. The angles can be chosen from the bottom of the screen along with different blending modes that change the look and lighting of your chosen gradient.

Photoshop Creative Annual

Don’t outline the background objects in order to keep them fluid and so. Use the dramatic outlines for the main focused elements.

Draw a colourful illustration

Draw the grain

Add some grass

Tidy the greenery

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Choose a lighter brown than the one used for the trees, and a small brush size, such as 18 or 20px. Draw in a soft wood grain on the same layer as the trees and remember some cartoon-effect wood knots to add a little character.

Create a new layer and drag it between the fox and the tree. Choose a green-grass colour from the Color palette and paint the whole allocated area. It doesn’t have to be neat as you can tidy the edges in the next step, so use a larger paintbrush.

Paint in an owl

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Create a new layer. Choose your colour and draw in an owl sitting on the branch of one of the trees. Use other colours to lighten areas of the wings, and paint some feet wrapped around the branch to make it look perched. Save your work as a PSD file.

Working on the right layer Think before you add the ink

Tidy up the grass by using the Marquee tool (M) and Eraser tool (E). Make an oval shape across the top of the grass and line it up with the shape of the gradient. Erase the unwanted area and repeat the process for the bottom of the grass.

Save your work

15 

Now make the white background invisible by clicking the eye symbol next to the layer and save as an interlaced PNG. This type of file is great for designing as it leaves areas transparent within the image that don’t need colour. Now sit back and admire it.

Shortcut

To save your project quickly, use Cmd/Ctrl+ Shift+S

When creating illustrations in Photoshop it is essential to make sure you are working on the correct layer. You will find you have to go backwards and forwards from layer to layer. It’s really easy to have a brain wave, but to forget to swap back and start working away on the layer you just used. This could mean you have to delete a lot of work you have spent precious time on and re-create it. Try to name all of the layers accordingly, and keep an eye on where you are working. Everyone has done this at some point when using Photoshop, but try to break the habit before it starts.

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Photoshop basics SHAPES Use the various shape tools to populate your wallpaper with both basic and custom shapes.

On the FileSilo

Design an abstract wallpaper Start images

Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Mix images and shapes to create your own desktop décor Each year we become more connected to our computers. Since we’re inexorably drawn to our machines again and again, why not add some flair to your desktop background? Sure, you can download the latest wallpapers showcasing your favourite pop band, sports team or comic-book heroine. But armed with Photoshop Elements, you can produce your own! Starting with a completely blank canvas can be intimidating even for the most seasoned designer or artist. We’ll ease your way into the creative process by beginning with a large blur. From here you’ll place and blend in some of the main elements, including wavy lines,

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a fractal image and a model’s face. Layer masks, blend modes and adjustment layers will be employed to fuse everything together before continuing. You’ll next add colour glows. The Gradient tool set to the Radial type is a great way to form these. Instead of just laying these out on blank layers, you’ll utilise Color Fill layers for added flexibility. The final phase involves using Shape tools to add a menagerie of geometric and custom shapes. To modify, you’ll make use of layer masks, styles, Free Transform and even the groovy Liquify filter to add variation and organic dynamism to the stock shapes.

Design an abstract wallpaper

Make custom wallpaper Arrange and customise images, colour and shapes

Apply Radial Blur

Add lines

01 

02 

Open Elements and enter Photo Editor. Click Expert at the top of the interface. Open ‘Start.psd’. With the Blur layer selected, go to Filter>Blur>Radial Blur. Click OK to simplify. Set Amount: 40, Blur Method: Spin and Quality: Good. Click OK.

Fade lines and duplicate

Go to File>Place, grab ‘Lines.png’. Scale up, move left side off-canvas. Click the checkmark. Click Add Layer Mask button (top of Layers palette). Select Brush tool, choose a soft brush. Set brush Opacity to 60%. Set Foreground colour to black.

03 

Paint in mask to fade. Duplicate layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J), Free Transform (Cmd/ Ctrl+T). Scale using bounding box’s handles, rotate by clicking and dragging outside box. Choose Effects at bottom. Click Styles>Outer Glows. Double-click to apply a style. Return to Layers, edit masks and/or drop layer opacity.

Blend the fractal image

Import the model

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05 

Go to File>Place, grab ‘Fractal 1.jpg’. Confirm. Set the blend mode to Soft Light. Add a layer mask. Paint black at 90-100% Opacity to fade edges. Adjust brush size as needed. Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate. Paint black in the mask on everything except a bit of the main sphere area on the right.

Go to File>Place, grab ‘Model.jpg’. Before confirming, set the blend mode to Hard Light, drop Opacity to 70%. Scale up and position, then confirm. Add a layer mask. Paint black to reduce the left area, edges and lower face. Duplicate (Cmd/Ctrl+J). Click the mask and paint black on everything except the face.

What does it mean?

BLEND MODE

Shortcut

Shift-click a layer mask in order to quickly disable/ enable it

Hard Light is used to allow the model to better merge with the layers below.

LAYER MASK – Layer masks are greyscale images that attach to a layer and are editable via painting. Black hides, white reveals, and shades of grey produce varying levels of transparency. Use soft-edged brushes for blending and general retouching. Increase hardness for details.

LAYER MASK By painting black with so-edged brushes on layer masks, you can fade photo and object edges for smooth blends.

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Photoshop basics Expert tip Color Fill layers

Use adjustment layers

06 

Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button, choose Hue/Saturation. Slide Hue to +80. Paint black on the face to reduce. Click the ‘fill/adjustment layer’ button again, choose Levels. Move the shadow and midtones sliders right until sufficiently dark. Paint black to reduce adjustment in areas.

Load brush

08 

Select the Brush tool. In the options at the bottom, click the Brush preview. Press the button at the top right of the panel and choose Load Brushes. Grab ‘Stars.abr’. Select the brush. Set brush Opacity to 80-100%. Click the Create a New Layer button at the top of the Layers palette.

COLOR FILL Introduce Color Fill layers set to Screen to add colour throughout. Control with their masks.

FRACTALS Quickly duplicate the fractal bits by Option/ Alt+clicking and dragging while the Move tool is selected.

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Add fractal bits

07 

Place ‘Fractal 2.png’, position and scale before confirming. To quickly duplicate, select the Move tool and Option/Alt+click and drag to a new position. Use Free Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T) to edit. Add more instances and arrange.

You may think Color Fill layers solely blanket layers with solid colour. However, they can be used to selectively apply colour. Click a Color Fill’s mask and invert it with Cmd/ Ctrl+I. The colour becomes hidden. You can now paint with white to reveal the colour. Alternatively, use Radial gradients with the Foreground to Transparent preset to add precise bursts of colour. The great thing about using Color Fills is you can quickly change colour by double-clicking on the Color Fill. You can also edit the mask to tone things down. Experiment with blend modes for interesting interplay between colour and image.

Sprinkle some stars

Make it colourful

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Set Foreground/Background colours to white. If you’d like to introduce colour, change one or both of the colours and the stars’ colour will jitter (randomise) between Foreground and Background. Paint some stars. Adjust size and opacity. Work across several layers for flexibility. Lower layer opacity to reduce. Mask if needed.

Click ‘Create fill/adjustment’ button, choose Solid Color. Pick #ee339a. Invert mask (Cmd/Ctrl+I). Set to Screen blend mode. Select Gradient tool, choose Radial, 100% Opacity. Click Gradient preview, Foreground to Transparent. Click OK. Set white Foreground colour. Click and drag to add colour. Use #3ae8ea, #1fff1f and #e1da20.

TIDY UP AND NAME LAYERS There’s no layer grouping (yet) in Elements, so stay efficient and sane by keeping your layers tidy and named.

STARS Add stars using a custom brush preset. Paint across multiple layers, and vary brush size and opacity.

Design an abstract wallpaper

Add shapes

Use custom shapes

Liquify objects

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Select the Shape tool. Look in the bottom-left corner for various tools. Choosing one will show an appropriate set of options. Set the colour with the colour box (try colours from step 10). Add shapes on new layers (hold off on the Custom Shape tool). Lower layer opacity for translucency.

Selecting the Custom Shape tool lets you tap into the custom shape library. Click on the shape preview to bring up the shapes. Use the drop-down at the top to choose a category (or view them all with All Elements Shapes). Try some shapes. Transform, mask and adjust the opacity.

To break the rigidity of some of the shapes, use the Liquify filter. Select a shape and go to Filter>Distort>Liquify. Click OK to rasterize the shape. Use the tools on the left to manipulate the shape. Adjust brush size and pressure on the right. Click OK when satisfied. Repeat for other shapes.

Make creative glows

Finalise the composition

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To add a glow to a selected shape, choose Effects from the bottom. Click Styles at the top, choose Outer Glows from the drop-down menu. Double-click on a style to apply. Customise by clicking the cog icon in the top right. Further customise shapes by returning to Layers and lowering opacity and/or changing the blend mode.

Wallpaper dimensions Make it just right for you

Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ and choose Levels. Adjust the sliders to get just the right balance. Paint black in the mask to remove/reduce. Play around with other adjustments if you like. Go back through your composition and make any last positioning and editing tweaks.

Shortcut

Use Cmd/ Ctrl+Option/Alt+F to recall the last filter

These days, there’s such a dizzying array of devices and screens to account for that making a one-sizefits-all wallpaper can be daunting. When creating your wallpaper, keep in mind the target screen’s dimensions/aspect ratio. To produce an image that works across a variety of screens, make the image dimensions and/or aspect ratio more expansive than expected, and keep important elements in the centre. This will facilitate cropping with your main visual elements suitably framed. An alternative to cropping: create a blank document with the desired dimensions, then place the image PSD into the document. Scale and position, then save this as a .psd. When done, save as a .jpg (File>Save As, choose JPEG).

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Photoshop basics

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

USE ANGLES Position the calendar at an angle rather than straight so it has an interesting scrapbook look rather than a formal one.

Produce a calendar Create a personalised calendar to remind you of the great times spent with family and friends Use Photoshop Elements and a little artistic flair to make a fabulous month-by-month calendar. Using the simple tools Elements offers, you can create stunning gifts for friends and family, have them professionally printed, or use as a monthly screen saver on your digital devices. Elements offers a pre-loaded calendar function that has already been made up for you. Once you have chosen a style, you just import the images into the calendar, but you cannot change the template easily. This tutorial offers a more in-depth way of making your own personal calendar based on what size, colour and

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Photoshop Creative Annual

style you fancy producing. If you decide to have it professionally printed, research the size that the printers need the images to be and what format they want the files in for a good crisp result. Set the proportions of your calendar’s requirements when making a new file so the images don’t stretch or distort in the printing process. Every page can be different and have a multitude of colours, images and effects but most important is to have fun learning a new skill and creating something cool. Look at sites such as www.vistaprint.com or www.colourcalendars.com for professional print options.

Produce a calendar

BACKGROUND TEXTURE Texture is another word for an image that looks like a physical object, for example paper, card or material.

Set up the basics Lay the foundations of the calendar by adding eyecatching imagery All projects start out with a background and a setting for all the imagery to sit on top of. Using good background images gives your project something visual from one corner to another, as the top layer of pictures will only stretch so far. Make sure the backgrounds are thought about, as they are just as important as the images found in the foreground.

Shortcut

Make PDFs of each calendar month to quickly drop in

Set it up

Create a new layer

Open up the Elements editor and go to File>New>Blank file. Type in the size you want and make sure the resolution is set to 300 pixels per inch. This will make the image details more visible when printing the calendar. The lower the PPI, the poorer the image quality.

01 

02 

Add the background images

Add your calendar month

03 

04 

You will need a background texture and an image to go on top. Go to File>Place and add ‘Grunge_texture.jpg’. Then do the same for ‘Winter.jpg’ but make it slightly smaller, giving it a border to see some of the rough texture underneath.

Now using the Paint Bucket tool, fill Layer 1 with the white colour, then go to Layer>New>Layer and click OK. Elements will automatically name it Layer 2 for you. Just make sure that you keep this layer transparent.

Add your calendar by going to File>Place and select ‘dec_2015. pdf’ or one you have created. Use Cmd/Ctrl>T to resize and position. You can also add another texture underneath so the calendar dates can be seen. File>Place another texture and resize.

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Photoshop basics

Make Polaroidstyle frames Make your own custom frames to house images Making Polaroid frames for your images separates them from the calendar’s other elements and background images. It creates an individual piece that frees them up for any images you want to use. Make sure the images are related to the months in some way, but experiment with what looks the best, for example, colour or black and white, people or animals, or even The first month places or scenery.

SEE CLEARLY Never use a font that is difficult to decipher; ensure you use one that is easily readable from a distance.

Shortcut

can be a template for the other months

Instant photo frame

Stroke that style

Add an insert

Open a new file and make it the size of a Polaroid. Create a new layer, fill with a neutral colour. Use the Rectangular Marquee (M) to draw a square for the photo and then use the Eraser (E) to erase the colour from it.

01 

To make the edges stand out use Layer>Layer Style>Style Settings> Stroke. This will add a small outline to the borders and make it look like it is sitting on top of the background rather than part of it.

02 

03 

Arrange the images

Add a month and year

Add subtle shadow

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Add your Polaroids using the Place function and make sure the images are situated at the top within the Layers panel. Move the image around the screen by keeping the mouse or trackpad clicked down on the image while moving. Resize and click return.

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Now use the Text tool and write out the month and year each on a separate layer. Choose the colour and a size that’s big enough to read. Again, make use of the Free Transform tool to move it into your desired position.

File>Place ‘Snow.jpg’ in the inner frame. Use Cmd/Ctrl>T and resize by dragging the edges. Click Constrain Proportions at the bottom. Click return when done and save as PSD. Repeat with ‘Sled.jpg’.

Add a small amount of drop shadow to the month and year to make it stand out more using Layer>Layer Style>Style Settings>Drop Shadow. Keep the settings low and subtle; this will lift it just enough to be more visual and stand off the frame.

Produce a calendar

Add some personality Insert remaining images into the calendar to personalise the rest of the space You can now add small images to give the calendar personality. The images need to be PNG files so they have no background to them. Use the File>Place function, resize using the corners and drag to position. Move the new image below or above other elements by dragging it around in the Layers panel.

LEAVE SOME SPACE Place the new images to one side so you can still see some of the background image you’re using underneath.

Tape on the images

Place the reed and robin

Add a bold colour

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02 

03 

Add some tape to the Polaroids and calendar to make it look like they are taped on. Use File>Place, choose ‘Tape.jpg’, then resize. Do this for the various images of tape, and turn them around or upside down so it looks like a different piece of tape.

Using the same technique as before, place the reed and robin images into the bottom corner. This time in the Layers panel to the right, drag the new images below the calendar layer so they will sit behind it and look faded.

Add the scarf using the Place tool. Choose a bold colour and sit it behind the Polaroids and calendar in the Layers panel. Make this stand out by draping them across the whole of the image. Use the handy Constrain Proportions function with this step.

Other months

Add snow

04 

Finally create a new layer (Layer>New> Layer) and select the Brush tool. Click on the drop-down menu at the bottom of the screen, choose Assorted Brushes and scroll to find the snowflake. Click on the screen where you want the flakes and save your work.

To create the other months, rearrange the Polaroid frames and change the images. Go to the Layers panel and make sure the object you want to move is selected, then click and drag in to place. Use File>Place to add imagery to the project. Blend the images to add appealing effects by using the Opacity slider. The Opacity has been set at 40% on the palm tree in the middle of the shot. Change the text to match colours within your images.

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Fix any photo

60

Take control of selections

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20 techniques you need to learn to improve your photos

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Use selections, masks and more to add an explosive dispersion effect

Intensify with filters and adjustments Bestow a cinematic feel to portraits with filters, adjustments and dodge and burn

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Transform photos with light effects Create a light-tastic street spectacle with blend modes, layer styles and masks

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Fire up your shots with blend modes Heat things up to create a flame-filled effect using blend modes and more

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Apply liquid paint effects to photos Combine paint splash and fashion photography using everyday tools

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Composite four seasons

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Create vintage portraits

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Use selections, blending and photos to create a year-long landscape Give portrait photos a vintage makeover using a few handy tools in Photoshop

Inject drama with filters and more Dramatise sports photos with adjustment layers, filters and more

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Photo editing

FIX ANY PHOTO 20 TECHNIQUES YOU NEED TO LEARN

I

s there such a thing as a perfect photo? Maybe so, maybe not. Some deem perfection boring anyway. However, if your images could do with a boost, there are plenty of ways to fix photos and make them more enjoyable and presentable. With so many devices and gadgets capable of taking photos, we find ourselves with troves of pictures that vary in quality. A lot of pictures are taken with phones or point-and-clicks, and these devices can’t match the quality of expensive, high-end cameras. Adjustments can help level the playing field, though. Levels and Curves can help with tone, while commands like Vibrance, Hue/ Saturation, and Color Balance can get colouring just right.

Blemishes on skin, vehicle exteriors or landscapes can be lessened or eradicated using Photoshop’s retouching tools such as the stalwart Clone Stamp and the impressive Spot Healing Brush. Sometimes using the old Brush tool with a soft-edged brush tip and a low opacity can do the trick. As with anything, you should strive to be familiar with all the tools available so you know which one(s) to deploy for a given task. Whatever your editing needs, grab the start On the FileSilo files from the FileSilo and follow along over Download your free resources at www.filesilo. the next several pages to put Photoshop’s co.uk/bks-A86 retouching suite to the test.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN… RETOUCHING TIPS

Improve your portrait images by removing blemishes, enhancing features and more.

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HEALING TRICKS

Master the Healing Brush, Spot Healing Brush and other essential cloning tools.

FIX COLOUR & TONE

Mend exposure issues, boost colour and tone, or turn images into monochrome shots.

ADD BLURRING

Create depth-of-field effects by adding a touch of realistic blurring to backgrounds.

SHARPEN SHOTS

Reverse pesky camera blur and make shaky images sharper and more defined.

01 TAME FLYAWAY HAIR

There are several ways to tame flyaway hair. Here the Clone Stamp was used to ‘paint’ using areas of the background. When cloning, adjust settings such as Size, Hardness and Opacity in the Options bar as needed. Other tactics include utilising the regular Brush tool and reshaping with the Liquify filter.

02 ENHANCE EYES

Vibrant eyes can really draw viewers in. Brighten using a Levels adjustment. Then invert the adjustment’s mask and pinpoint by painting with white. Enhance eye colour by adding a Color Fill layer, setting to Overlay, and targeting with the attached mask. Here two colours were mixed.

03 FIX SKIN

There are many tools to clean up skin. A light dose of Gaussian Blur can even things out, as will a careful application of colour using the Brush tool. The Spot Healing Brush is unrivalled for eliminating minor imperfections. Complex blemishes may require tag-teaming with the Clone Stamp.

07

HIGH PASS PREVIEW

04 LIGHTEN TEETH

Make a selection of the teeth, apply a 1-2px feather (Select>Modify>Feather, or Select>Feather in Elements), then press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate. Apply Hue/Saturation, drop Saturation and increase Lightness. Reduce the teeth layer’s opacity to tone down. Reduce further with a layer mask.

Before

05 A SMARTER SHARPEN

Before applying High Pass (Filter>Other), duplicate your Background layer and change blend mode to Hard Light. When it comes to applying the High Pass filter, you’ll be able to see the sharpening effects over your image, so long as you have the Preview box ticked. Reduce the layer’s opacity to control further.

06 THRESHOLD SHARPENING

Smart Sharpen helps make hair or fine objects stand out. Set the Amount between 250-300px and Radius to 2px. Increase the Fade and Radius sliders under Shadows or Highlights in the Smart Sharpen filter to reduce the amount of sharpening in those areas.

If you use the Unsharp Mask filter too much you may notice that noise can become a slight problem in areas of solid colour and tone. The Threshold slider inside the filter, underneath Radius, helps to reduce issues of noise from occurring. Setting to just 1 or 2 pixels will soften the noise distortion.

Before

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Photo editing

08 USE THE CLONE STAMP TOOL

The Clone Stamp enables you to ‘paint’ on pixels using a designated area of the image. After selecting the Clone Stamp tool, adjust brush settings appropriately. To keep the edit non-destructive, create a blank layer above and set Sample in the Options to All Layers or Current & Below. Set the sampling point by Option/Alt-clicking the area you wish to clone. Now gently stroke over the area to remove.

09 EMPLOY THE PATCH TOOL The Patch tool patches up an area with pixels from another area, matching texture and shading. Select the Patch tool. Choose Source or Destination. With Source, select an area then move the selection to a suitable part of the image to patch the initial area. With Destination, select an area then move to an area that will be patched with the initial area.

PRESERVE THE LAYER By setting Sample to All Layers or Current & Below, you can leave the original layer intact and clone on a new layer. You can easily scrap or restart the cloning.

Before

10

CLONE SOURCE PALETTE

Before

11 FIX WITH THE SPOT HEALING BRUSH

Heal quickly and easily sans sampling

Prepare the tool

Choose type

Keep non-destructive

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03

Select the Spot Healing Brush tool. In the Options bar, set the brush tip’s size and hardness. You can also tap the keyboard shortcuts – use [ and ] to adjust size, { and } to adjust hardness. Keep hardness low and make the brush slightly larger than the bug.

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Find yourself resampling the same points over and over? Stop the insanity and head over to the Clone Source palette. Here you can store up to five source points. Select one of the source buttons and Option/ Alt-click on the canvas to store. Then, simply click a source button whenever it is that you need to use it.

Proximity Match patches the selection with pixel information surrounding your painting area. This is great for small blemishes. Texture generates texture based on the analysed data. Choose Content-Aware, which utilises the nearby image to fill the selection with details.

To keep the editing non-destructive, create a new layer above the layer you want to fix. In the Options bar, ensure Sample All Layers is ticked. The original layer will remain intact. If the editing goes awry, you can wipe the editing layer and start over.

12 HEALING BRUSH

THE CLONING TOOLS

Check out how the four cloning tools you’ve seen on these pages can work on a single photo!

Before

The Healing Brush works like the Clone Stamp but it has the added benefit of matching texture and shading. Select the Healing Brush. Adjust brush settings. To keep the layer intact, create a blank layer above. Set Sample to Current & Below in Options. Set the sampling point by Option/ Alt+clicking the area. Now paint. Change sampling point as needed.

Clone Stamp tool

01

Tidy up hair with the Clone Stamp. Create a new layer above. Set Sample to All Layers or Current & Below. Set sampling point (Option/Alt+click) to an area of the background that matches the target area. Paint to clone over unwanted hair.

Patch tool

02

Problems in areas such as lips, skin and hair can be patched up by sampling from a cleaner part of the same region. Duplicate the target layer for a backup.

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Spot Healing Brush

Healing Brush

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Select the tool and create a new layer above the target layer. Tick Sample All Layers. Size your brush a little larger than the problem area, then click to heal.

Reduce bags and wrinkles with the Healing Brush. Create a new layer and set Sample to All Layers. Set a sample point, click and drag through the problem.

Start healing

Finish healing

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When retouching, it’s very important to get a good look at the areas you’re treating. Use the Zoom tool (or Cmd/Ctrl and the + key) to get as close as needed. When using the Spot Healing Brush, you need to click and drag through the area.

If the first attempt didn’t completely remove the problem area, continue using the brush until you’ve sufficiently cleaned up the area and everything is blended well. Optionally, use the tool across multiple layers so you have fallback points.

Final image

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13 MEND EXPOSURE

The fastest way to fix exposure in an image is by heading to the Levels adjustment and making sure that the little markers line up with the edges of the histogram. This will guarantee shadows are dark and highlights are light. Only move the middle marker once the other two are in place. Holding Opt/Alt while moving the markers will reveal any clipping.

14 GO MONOCHROME

After fixing the exposure, if you can’t get the colours to look quite right, try converting to monochrome. Add the Black & White adjustment layer and use the hand symbol to modify the tones of the effect by clicking and dragging either to the left or right on a part of the image. This will help lighten the shadow areas that are too dark.

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15 BOOST COLOUR AND TONE

Adjust midtone colour

Fix shadows and highlights

Colour impact is key

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Open the Color Balance adjustment and start by adapting the Midtones to remove obvious colour imperfections. It should become quite clear after sliding the Cyan/Red slider as to which direction you need to go to correct tones and bring back a normal white balance.

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Three steps to success

Don’t neglect the Shadows and Highlights! By selecting these from the Tone drop-down menu inside the adjustment, you can tweak the image’s colour to further depth. Changes to these sliders only need to be slight to see a big difference.

To bring a bucket of colour back into the image, add the Hue/Saturation adjustment and give Saturation a lift up to +30-40 to see a significant difference. Going too high, however, will create colour noise and banding, so be careful!

16 THE RULE OF THIRDS Activate the Rule of Thirds crop guide with the Crop tool and position the main subject over where the lines intersect. This will ensure the eye is drawn towards the main subject. Line up the horizon and any vertical objects as closely as possible with the lines on the cropping guide for the best composition.

ENGAGE THE EYE The idea is to draw the viewer’s eye towards the main subject by finding the strongest crop, which can sometimes mean getting rid of extraneous objects around the edges.

17 CROP IMAGES

Avoid cropping too much of the ‘dead space’ between the subjects and the background. Strategically positioning the empty space, for example to the left of the drivers, changes the feel of the image and will help balance the composition and reveal a bit more about the location of where the image was taken.

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18 BLUR REALISTICALLY

To achieve a more realistic depth-of-field effect, inside the Lens Blur filter try out the different Shape options under Iris. Square, for example, makes the blurred area rougher while Hexagon makes the blurriness smoother. Once applied to a duplicate Background layer, use a soft brush on a layer mask to reveal the in-focus flower.

Before

Before

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MATCH PERSPECTIVE

To make a layer match the perspective of a background, copy that layer (Cmd/Ctrl+A then Cmd/Ctrl+C). Open the background and go to Filter>Vanishing Point. Create a grid according to the image’s perspective and press Cmd/Ctrl+V to place the layer inside. Press T to transform and move it over the grid to snap into position.

20 REVERSE THE BLURRING EFFECT

Use the Shake Reduction filter (Filter>Sharpen) to sharpen blurry images. You can set a number of different directional de-blurring paths by pressing R, which is useful in more extreme cases of blurring. The Advanced section will show you how many trace outlines you currently have active, enabling you to turn certain ones off and on if needed.

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Photo editing On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials Time taken 2 hours

Expert Andre Villanueva “The whole concept of selections used to terrify me. I would purposefully avoid selection tools, opting instead to apply edits canvaswide. Obviously I didn’t get very far doing this. “As I gained more experience and confidence working with selections, I realised that they are integral to digital imaging, and I now use them in just about every piece I work on. “I discovered Photoshop while studying web design. Aer graduating, I taught for five years in the media arts department. I’m now art director for a tech company in southeast US, soothing my inner instructor by sharing techniques with readers.” For more of Andre’s excellent work head to www.000-000-0000.com.

Take control of selections

Start image

Use selections, masks and more to retouch a portrait and add an explosive dispersion effect

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hat better way to make an impact than to fashion an explosively delicious dispersion effect? Begin with a portrait and enlist a cadre of selection tools along with brushes, masks and blend modes to retouch. Selections are one of the cornerstones of Photoshop editing. Being adept at using all the selection tools will enable you to choose the best one(s) for a given situation. Sometimes you’ll combine tools and features, like starting with the Quick Selection tool and following with Refine Edge. Speaking of Refine Edge, this fantastic feature is the successor to the old Extract

Smoothen skin

Boost lips and eyes

Enhance eyebrows

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Open ‘Model.psd’ from the FileSilo. On new layers above the model, paint with a soft-edged brush at low opacity, using the Eyedropper tool to select approximate colours, hold Option/Alt while using the Brush tool for spring-loaded access to the Eyedropper.

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plug-in. It’s a potent and welcome ally when selecting hair. For the dispersion effect, you’ll team lassos with the venerable Pen tool. Eschewing the popular technique of liquifying a copy of the subject and masking with various brushes, you’ll instead create the pieces. These will be a combination of facial bits selected with lassos and vector shapes built with the Pen tool. After forming several seed groups, you’ll copy these and redeploy to quickly populate the colourful eruption. Particles courtesy of mediamilitia.com and other debris will also be tossed into the fray.

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Add a Color Fill layer and choose Solid Color. Pick #f861b0. Set to Color blend mode. Click the mask and invert it (Cmd/Ctrl+I). Paint with white to colour lips. Repeat for the eyes using #f861b0, #f433ab, and #fab2ea. Set these to Overlay. Lower opacity to reduce if needed.

On a new layer, zoom in on the eyebrows. Go to Select>Color Range. On canvas, Shift+click on hairs. Option/Alt+ click to remove. Adjust selection range with Fuzziness. Using the Lasso tool, hold Option/ Alt+Shift, click and drag, encircling the eyebrow. Add a Color Fill (#f861b0).

Take control of selections

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Expert tip Add complex shapes For creating complex shapes with complete ease, use the Pen tool set to Path to plot precise outlines of flowing or complex shapes. (Set to Shape to create vector shapes.) Click to create corner points, click and drag to create smooth points. Close the path by clicking on the origin. To convert to a selection, press Cmd/Ctrl+Return/Enter. Continue to click or click and drag to add to the selection. To remove from the selection, simply hold Option/Alt as you use the tool.

Refine Edge

Select hair

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Create a new layer at the top. With the Quick Selection tool – tick Sample All Layers in the options bar – make a rough selection of the hair. Use [ and ] to decrease or increase the brush size. Start with a larger brush size for the initial pass-through, then use smaller sizes as you get down to the details. Zoom in and out to get a good look.

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Continue to work on the selection. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it’s a good idea to get as decent a selection as you can get before continuing on to Refine Edge. Go to Select>Refine Edge (Cmd/Ctrl+Option/ Alt+R). Use the Refine Radius tool to paint around the edges. Zoom in and out as needed and size brush with [ and ].

Colour hair

Place model and make holes

Create pieces

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For Output To, choose Selection. Add a Color Fill layer. Pick #f861b0. Set to Color blend mode. Refine the mask. Duplicate the Color Fill layer twice. Doubleclicking on the first set to a darker colour (#861657). Set the other to a paler one (#fab2ea). Edit each mask to blend the colours throughout the hair. Save Model.psd.

Open ‘Final.psd’. Go to File>Place Embedded, grab the model. Add a layer mask and paint black. To create the holes, use the Polygonal Lasso tool to plot the jagged shapes then fill with black on new layers. You can also use the Pen tool. Add Inner Glow layer styles using #f810c4. Adjust the glows’ Opacity, Noise, Choke and Size.

Click on the model thumbnail. Use the Lasso tool to create a freeform selection of a bit of the face. Press Cmd/ Ctrl+J to duplicate and move above the holes. Go back to the model layer and repeat. Use the Polygonal Lasso to create shards. Also, create coloured shape layers with the Pen tool. Continue to build up.

Use Radial Blur and Color Lookup Finalise dispersion

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Adorn pieces with layer styles like Bevel & Emboss and Outer Glow. If desired, place other images for variety, for example ‘MM_Light.jpg’, ‘MM_Particles.jpg’ and ‘Optical.jpg’. Use masks and experiment with blend modes to mix in. Duplicate groups and arrange the duplicates. Free Transform whole groups or individual pieces.

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Place ‘Fractal.jpg’ above the fragment storm. Go Filter> Blur>Radial Blur. Set Amount: 60, Blur Method: Zoom, Quality: Good. Set to Linear Dodge (Add). Drop Opacity to 60%. Using Free Transform, rotate counter-clockwise. Option/Alt+click the ‘Add layer mask’ button and paint back with white. Click ‘Create new fill or adjustment’ button, choose Color Lookup. Pick ‘filmstock_50.3dl’. Paint black in the mask to reduce.

Take control of selections

Expert tip Select with Refine Edge

Continue tweaking colour

Add some stars

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Place ‘Stars.jpg’ and set to Overlay. Move it around until you can visualise some of the stars overlaid upon an area within the flying shards. After confirming the place, Option/Alt+click the ‘Add layer mask’ button to hide it, then paint back with white to add the stars. Place more stars and repeat the process, or duplicate, move, and edit each mask.

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Now darken things a bit. Click on the ‘Create new fill’ or Adjustment button again and choose Color Lookup. Pick ‘3Strip. look.’ Optionally, use a lowered opacity to reduce. Duplicate with Cmd/Ctrl+J. Set the duplicate adjustment layer’s blend mode to Multiply. Click the mask and invert (Cmd/ Ctrl+I). Paint back with white to darken.

Introduced in CS5, Refine Edge is teeming with settings to aid you in selecting complex things like hair. Start with a rough selection, then go to Select>Refine Edge. Use the Refine Radius tool to brush around the object’s edges. Smooth eases hills and valleys in the selection. Feather blurs the transition. Increase Contrast to make so-edged transitions more abrupt. Use Shi Edge to bring so-edged borders inward or outward. This is a quick way to reduce unwanted fringe colour.

Refine composition

Add more lens flares

Use Camera Raw

Select the top layer and press Cmd/ Ctrl+Option/Alt+Shift+E. Ctrl/right-click and choose Convert to Smart Object. Filters applied to the smart object will be applied as non-destructively. Go to Filter>Render>Lens Flare. In the Lens Flare dialog, click in the preview to place the lens flare. Choose from the four lenses, then adjust Brightness.

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Smart objects can have multiple smart filters applied to them. Add more lens flares by repeatedly going to Filter>Render>Lens Flare (Cmd/Ctrl+F). Vary the placement of the lens flares and experiment with the different types. To edit a lens flare, double-click on it underneath the layer. Toggle visibility with the eye icon.

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Sharpen up

Dodge and Burn

Finalise

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Merge layers and convert to a smart object. Apply a Camera Raw Filter. Increase Clarity to +30. Under the Detail tab, increase Amount to 90 and Luminance to 30. Click OK. Paint black in the Smart Filters mask to reduce. Alternatively, you can paint on the sharpness. Invert the Smart Filters mask, then paint white to sharpen areas.

On a new layer go to Edit>Fill and choose 50% Gray for Contents. Set to Overlay. To dodge, paint with white. Start at a low brush opacity and work your way up. To burn, paint with black. You can work in stages across multiple layers. If you need to remove black or white and restore to 50% Grey, paint with #808080.

Merge layers again and convert to a smart object. Go to Filter>Camera Raw Filter. This filter has loads of settings on the right to fine-tune your image. To produce a dreamy feel, slide Clarity leftward to -50. Explore the other settings if desired. Click OK when done. Paint black in the Smart Filters mask to peel off the dreamy aura in areas.

If part of the face looks too wan, apply a Color Fill layer (#e8947a) set to Linear Burn. Drop to a low opacity. Invert the mask. Paint with white at low opacity to add. To amp up the supernatural vibe, add a Color Fill (#e26ee6) and set to Soft Light. Invert the mask. To apply a slight cast, add a Color Fill (#be0bde) and lower Opacity to around 8%.

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Photo editing

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Intensify with filters and adjustments On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials Works with

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn Achieve a detailed, cinematic look with filters and adjustments

Time taken 1 hour

Expert Andre Villanueva “Within the past year, I’ve become increasingly interested in the photoretouching aspect of Photoshop. Being able to elevate ordinary photos into intense pieces is something I find exciting and rewarding. “I discovered Photoshop when studying web design. I’m now art director for a tech company, soothing my inner instructor by sharing techniques with readers.”

Start images

Intensify with filters and adjustments Bestow a cinematic feel to your portraits with filters, adjustments and a tasty dose of dodge and burn

W

hen it comes to imagery for action movie posters, sophisticated advertisements and gritty sports promos, you’ll need some high-octane styling for your photos. A detailed, cinematic look can certainly fit the bill. For those just starting out with retouching, it may seem like an impossible task to go from ordinary to intense. But you’ll be happy to learn it’s really not that complicated to get the basic styling down. After isolating our mustachioed model and placing him atop an appropriate background, you’ll

Make a quick selection

01

Open ‘Model.psd’ from the FileSilo. Use the Quick Selection tool to select the model. Resize the brush with [ and ]. To remove from the selection, hold Option/Alt while using the tool. Continue to work until you get a basic selection.

enlist the Clouds filter to add atmospheric detail. Dodging and burning (essentially, lightening and darkening areas) are next. To stay non-destructive, you’ll paint white to lighten and black to darken on 50% grey layers set to Overlay. The High Pass filter and Shadows/Highlights adjustment grant the image an HDR-like boost by sharpening the image and heightening midtone contrast. Hue/Saturation and Color Lookup will blunt and alter colour. Once the basic look is achieved, push it further with extra filtering and adjustments, like Color Balance and Photo Filter.

Use Refine Edge

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Go to Select>Refine Edge (in Photoshop, you can press Option/Alt+Cmd/Ctrl+R). Paint with the Refine Radius tool to assist in selecting the hair. Resize the brush with [ and ]. If necessary, use the Adjust Edge settings to help. Changing the View gives you different ways of displaying the selection.

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Photo editing

Expert tip Keep imperfections When producing an intense photo effect, restrain the urge to make your model too digitally pristine before applying your main filters and adjustments. Enlarged pores, wrinkles and other ‘imperfections’ offer welcome traction for your processing. In some cases, you may even find yourself with not enough detail to work with. To make too-clean models more rugged, you could blend in some grunge or dirty textures with masks and blend modes.

Borrow a beverage

Clean up the selection

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Set Output To to Layer Mask. Click OK. Click the mask. Using the Brush tool and a Soft Round brush, paint black to hide and white to restore areas. Use the Zoom tool to get up close. Adjust brush size/opacity as needed. Decrease/increase brush hardness with { and }.

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Open ‘Cappuccino.psd’. Click the Add Layer Mask button in the Layers palette. Use the Brush tool to paint black to hide everything but the liquid. Save and close. In the model document, go to File>Place (Place Embedded in CC) and grab the cappuccino. Scale, rotate and position before committing. Save and close.

Place the model in the scene

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Open ‘Start.psd’. Go to File>Place (Place Linked in CC) and grab the model. Scale up and position before committing. Create a new layer. Press D (default colours). Go to Filter>Render>Clouds. Option/Alt+click the Add Layer Mask button in the Layers palette. Paint white with a soft brush at 10% Opacity to add clouds.

Dodge and burn Desaturate

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Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button in the Layers palette and choose Hue/Saturation. Drag slider leftward to -20. This will blunt the colour vibrancy a tad.

Dodge and burn some more

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Continue to dodge and burn. To quickly intensify, duplicate the layers (Cmd/Ctrl+J). Dial down the opacity if it’s too much. Restore neutrality by painting with #808080. When done, select the top layer and press Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+E to merge layers. In Photoshop, right-click on the layer and choose Convert to Smart Object.

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Add a new layer. Go to Edit>Fill (Fill Layer in Elements). Choose 50% Gray and click OK. Set the layer to Overlay blend mode. With a Soft Round brush at a low brush Opacity (start at 10%), paint black to darken, white to lighten. Use multiple layers for increased control.

Use High Pass

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Set the merged layer to Overlay. Duplicate (Cmd/Ctrl+J). Click the eye on the top layer to hide it. Select the first merged layer. Go to Filter>Other>High Pass. Set Radius to 7. Click OK. Add a mask and paint black to reduce sharpening in areas.

Intensify with filters and adjustments

Target intensified High Pass

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Click the eye on the upper merged layer to turn it on. Select that layer. Add High Pass (Radius: 36). Click OK. Option/ Alt+click the Add Layer Mask button. Paint back with white to add intensified detail to key areas, such as the face, hair and hand.

Get the HDR look

Use Color Lookup

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Now to add a slight HDR look. Merge the layers again and convert to a Smart Object in Photoshop. Go to Image>Adjust Lighting>Shadows/Highlights (Elements: Enhance>Adjust Lighting>Shadows/ Highlights). Increase Midtone to about 36. Click OK. Mask and reduce if desired.

Finalise

Add light

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Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button in the Layers palette and choose Color Lookup. For the 3DLUT File, pick FoggyNight.3DL. Drop the layer Opacity to 70%. (Elements: use Hue/Saturation and drop Saturation to -60.) Paint black in the mask to reduce the effect on the skin.

Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button in the Layers palette and choose Solid Color. Pick white. Click the mask and press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert. Now paint white with a soft-edged brush (start at a low brush opacity) to add light in areas. You’ve achieved the base look.

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You can continue to tweak and intensify the effect. Merge layers and apply the Gaussian Blur filter. Mask out the main features to restore focus. Tweak colour with Photo Filter. In Photoshop, play with Color Lookup and/or Color Balance. Save when you’re happy with the effect.

DODGE AND BURN

Closer look

Heighten drama with dodge and burn. Stay non-destructive by painting white and black on 50% grey layers set to Overlay.

Forge a cinematic look INTENSE DETAIL Amplify subtle detail with the onetwo punch of the High Pass filter followed with Shadows/Highlights. Use layer masks to tone down the enhancements in the periphery.

STEAM AND SMOKE Enlist the Clouds filter (Filter>Render>Clouds) to quickly add atmosphere to a scene. Use a layer mask to control.

COLOUR For the base effect, you’ll blunt vibrancy with Hue/ Saturation. Colour can be further tweaked with adjustments like Photo Filter and Color Balance.

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Photo editing

Fashion a light-tastic street spectacle with blend modes, layer styles and masks using stock elements and created shapes

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rm yourself with simple yet powerful Photoshop tools and techniques, then hit the streets and make an electrifyingly bold and bright statement. You’ll start with a model and use Selection tools along with the fantastic Refine Edge to free our star from her surroundings. Before setting her loose on the streets, we’ll emblazon some graffiti art on her shirt using the Displace filter and the Darken blend mode, bestowing a good dose of street cred. After placing her atop a suitably grungy urban setting, you’ll bring in light streaks and flares courtesy of mediamilitia.com and supplied on the

Select the model

Use Refine Edge

Clean up the selection

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Open ‘Model.psd’ from the FileSilo. Use the Quick Selection tool to select the model. Resize the brush with [ and ]. To remove from the selection, hold Option/Alt while using the tool. Zoom in and out with the Zoom tool as needed. Continue to work until you get a decent selection.

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FileSilo. The lighten family of blend modes will be invaluable, allowing you to remove the dark areas of the stock, leaving the bright streaks and swirls. Photoshop users can enlist the Pen tool to plot serpentine paths. These can be turned luminescent by first stroking with an appropriate brush and then setting alight with the Outer Glow layer style. Particles can be created using the Custom Shape tool and various preset shapes. These can also be graced with glows. A graphic overlay, adjustments and filters will then finalise things. Use what you learn to add some exciting glows to your next project.

Photoshop Creative Annual

Go to Select>Refine Edge (in Photoshop, you can press Option/ Alt+Cmd/Ctrl+R). Paint with the Refine Radius tool to aid in selecting the hair. If necessary, use the Adjust Edge settings to assist. Changing View gives you different ways of displaying the selection.

When you’ve finished refining, set ‘Output To’ to Layer Mask. Click the layer mask. Using the Brush tool and a soft, round brush, paint black on unwanted areas and white on areas you’d like to restore. Resize the brush as needed, and decrease or increase brush hardness with { and }.

Transform photos with light effects

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Photo editing

Expert tip Create a light streak Bear in mind that this creative light streak trick will only work in Photoshop. On a blank layer, use the Pen tool (set to Path) to plot a streak. Set foreground colour to white. Select the Brush tool and start with a hard-edged brush at 100% Opacity and a small size. Click the Stroke path with brush button in the Paths palette. Add an Outer Glow layer style using an appropriate glow colour to set it alight. Play with Opacity, Spread and Size.

Finalise the shirt graphic

Insert the character

04

Go to File>Place (Place Embedded in CC), grab ‘Character.jpg’. Scale down with corner handles (hold Shift), position then confirm with Return/ Enter. Go to Filter>Distort>Displace. Set Horizontal/ Vertical Scale to 3. Then click OK. Choose ‘Map.psd’. Click Open.

Place the model

06

Open ‘Background.psd’. Go to File> Place (Use Place Embedded in CC, or use Place Linked if you’d like to stay linked to the source file if you think you might make further edits to it). Now grab ‘Model.psd’. Before confirming the place, scale it down slightly using corner handles (hold Shift) and position it where you’d like her to go.

Set the blend mode to Darken and drop Opacity to 76%. Click the ‘Add layer mask’ button in the Layers palette. Press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert. Paint white with a soft, round brush to gently paint the character back in. When you have finished, save the document and close it.

Add more light Add light

07

It’s now time to play with some light! Place ‘Light1.jpg’. Position and scale (if needed), then confirm. Set to Lighten blend mode. If you need to reduce or remove any part of the light, add a layer mask and paint it with black.

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Continue to add more light using ‘Light2.jpg’, ‘Light3.jpg’, ‘Light4.jpg’ and ‘Light5.jpg’. Add light both above and below the model so it looks like the light is flowing around her. Use layer masks as needed. Experiment with a Color Dodge blend mode. Duplicate (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T) instances for variety.

Use a jellyfish

Add more streaks

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Now you’ll call upon an interesting ally: a sci-fi-looking jellyfish! Its tentacles will be perfect for energetic streaks. Place ‘Jellyfish. jpg’, position it, scale and confirm. Set to Screen. Add a layer mask and paint black if you need to remove any of it.

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Continue to add more streaks by placing more instances of the jellyfish and/or duplicating it. Just like with the light, add these both above and below the model. Transform (Cmd/ Ctrl+T) the instances for variety and use layer masks as needed.

Transform photos with light effects

Insert some flares

11

Place ‘Flare1.png’, position and confirm. Add more flares by placing ‘Flare2.png’, ‘Flare3.png’ and ‘Flare4.png’ into your picture. These PNG files retain transparency, allowing for some decent blending right from the get-go. Further integrate them with blend modes – experiment with Linear Dodge (Add), Hard Light and others. Mask to reduce them and fade the edges.

Introduce some particles

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Select the Custom Shape tool and set to Shape in the options bar. Use a shape from the Artistic Textures group like Artistic 6. Create a new layer. Set the foreground colour to white. Click and drag to create a shape (hold Shift in order to constrain aspect ratio).

Apply Camera Raw filter (CC)

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CC users should go to Filter>Camera Raw Filter. Under Basic, use settings in the middle to help with contrast and detail. At the bottom, increase Clarity and Vibrance. Go to Detail to increase sharpening. Go to Effects to add grain and a vignette. Click OK when satisfied. Skip to the last step.

Add glows

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Select the top layer. Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button in the Layers palette and choose Solid Color. Pick #00e4ff. Set to Lighten. Click mask, invert with Cmd/Ctrl+I. Dab white with a soft, round brush to add glows. Repeat with other colours such as #57baee, #d40f17 and #ff00a0.

Place overlay and merge Add more particles and streaks

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Create more shapes. Add Outer Glow layer styles via the Layers palette’s Effects button. Transform shapes for variety. (Refer to the Expert tip for details on plotting your own glowing streaks.) When you have done that, select the top layer.

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Place ‘Overlay.jpg’, confirm. Set to Overlay, lower Opacity to 60%. Add a layer mask. Paint black with a soft, round brush to reduce. Before merging layers, make any last-minute adjustments. Press Cmd/Ctrl+Option/Alt+Shift+E. Ctrl/right-click on layer, choose Convert to Smart Object. (CS users: skip to step 17.)

Sharpen up (CS)

Finalise (CS & CC)

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If you don’t have CC and have been following this tutorial in CS, you just need to go to Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask. Simply adjust the Amount and then click OK. Now you can also skip to the last step!

Go to Filter>Render>Lens Flare. Play with settings, click in the preview to place. Click OK and repeat. Add any final adjustment layers at top via the ‘Create new fill or adjustment’ button in the Layers palette. Save your PSD and you’re done!

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Photo editing

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Photoshop Creative Annual

Fire up your shots with blend modes On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials Works with

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn Create a flame effect with filters, gradient maps and blend modes

Time taken 1 hour

Expert Daniel Sinoca “One of the things I like in Photoshop is the versatility. I can combine all kinds of tools to create amazing effects. Fire is a good example of how easy it is to use some of these features. “I started to get involved in the digital world more than 10 years ago and have been working as a freelance artist ever since, creating all kinds of multimedia projects and tutorial guides.”

Start images

Fire up your shots with blend modes Heat things up to create a flame-filled effect using simple techniques and blend modes

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n this tutorial we’re going to show you an easy way to create a fire effect with a relatively limited range of tools – basically filters, the Gradient Map adjustment layer and blend modes. This technique is so simple that it can be applied to almost any image. First we’ll show you how to edit the image. We’ll use the Quick Mask mode to define the area to mask. Then we’ll use the Smudge tool to add fur. Next you’ll discover a simple technique to whiten and brighten teeth and enhance the eyes. Then things really start to heat up. We’ll use the

adjustment layers and filters to desaturate the image and create smooth lines on the tiger’s face. Then we’ll apply the Gradient Map tool to add colour, and finally we’ll place fire images and use blend modes and masks. Check the Expert Tip for more on the Gradient Map tool. If you are using Photoshop Elements, we have included alternative methods throughout the steps, in addition to a final summary at the end. This tutorial is full of great tips and techniques to improve your skills. Download the start image from

Dreamstime (ID 19307501) and get stuck in.

Place the tiger Create a new document

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Go to File>New or press Cmd/Ctrl+N. Name it Tiger on Fire. Set the Width to 230mm, Height: 310mm, Resolution: 300 Pixels/Inch, in Background Contents choose black as the colour and then click OK.

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Download the tiger from Dreamstime (ID 19307501). Go to File>Place Embedded (Elements: File>Place). Press Q to enter Quick Mask mode (use the Selection Brush tool in Elements). Grab a hard brush and paint the tiger’s face. Press Q again and go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection. Invert the mask (Cmd/Ctrl+I).

Fill out the fur

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Duplicate the layer, hit Cmd/Ctrl+J and hide the original layer. With the Tiger copy active, go to Layer>Rasterize/ Simplify>Smart Object. Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Apply. Grab the Smudge tool, choose a small soft tip brush, set the Strength to 90% then gently and patiently push the fur out.

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Photo editing Expert tip Gradient maps The Gradient Map is excellent for adding colour to a blackand-white image or to alter hues in a colour image. It matches the greyscale range in an image. The black colour in the gradient represents the shadows in your image while the white colour represents the highlights. You can add colours along the gradient to affect specific areas. Remember, each image has a greyscale range, so for better results, experiment with settings in the Gradient Editor.

Brighten the teeth Brush the teeth

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Go to Quick Mask mode (Q). Now grab a hard brush (B) and paint the teeth. Press Q again then press Cmd/Ctrl+J to copy into a new layer. Keep it selected, then grab the Smudge tool. Set the Strength to 30% and start smudging the teeth.

Open Hue/Saturation (Cmd/Ctrl+U). Set Saturation to -100 and Lightness to +40. Now grab the Burn tool (O). Change Range to Midtones, Exposure: 40% and then paint the shadows on the teeth. Grab the Dodge tool (O), set the Range to Highlights, Exposure: 10% and paint the highlights.

Enhance the eyes

Merge the layers

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Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N). Name it Eyes, change the mode to Soft Light, then click OK. Zoom in and grab a soft tip brush, size 30. Set the Foreground colour to white and start painting the inner circle to add highlights. Switch to black and paint the pupil.

Create the effect

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Duplicate the layer again (Cmd/ Ctrl+J). Press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+U to desaturate and then go to Filter>Stylize>Oil Paint. For Elements, see the tips at the end. Set the Brush Stylization to 10, Cleanliness: 10, Scale: 10, Bristle Detail: 10, uncheck Lighting and click OK.

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Let’s group the files. Hold Shift and select the layers (except the Background), then press Cmd/Ctrl+G. Name it Tiger. Now press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate it and then Cmd/ Ctrl+E to merge.

Apply the gradient map

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Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. Open the Gradient Editor and create four colour stops. For the first, use #ffffff, Location: 12%. For the second, use #fda804, Location: 35%. For the third, enter #a41a08, Location: 80% and for the fourth #511414, Location: 100% and check Reverse. Clip the layers (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+G).

Add details

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Grab the Tiger_copy layer and drag to the top of the layer stack. Create a layer mask, click the layer mask button at the bottom of the Layers palette. Grab a large soft brush and start hiding the areas around the mouth, eyes and nose.

Fire up your shots with blend modes

Light the fire

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Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer> Levels. Set the Inputs to 0, 0.93, 227. Start placing the fire around the face. Go to File>Place Embedded (Elements: File>Place) ‘Fire1.jpg’. Resize, rotate and hit Enter. Change the blend mode to Screen. Create a layer mask and hide unwanted areas.

Colour the eyes

Add more fire

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Place more fire images around the tiger. Rotate the images to match the direction of the tiger’s fur. Duplicate, rotate, scale and mask each layer. Change the blend mode to Screen and adjust the Levels and Opacity a bit if needed.

Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N). Name it Eyes Colour. Set the blend mode to Color and click OK. Use the Eyedropper tool (I) and select a dark red from the tiger’s face. Grab a soft brush and paint the upper half of the eyes. Select yellow and paint the bottom half.

Make adjustments

Add a vignette effect

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First, create a snapshot. Press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+E. Name it Final. Go to Filter>Lens Correction. Open the Custom panel. Set the Vignette amount to -100 and the Midpoint to +70, then click OK. Elements users go to Guided>Vignette Effect.

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Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. Set the Input levels to 0, 0.90, 255. Now add a Color Lookup adjustment layer. Check Device Link and from the drop-down menu choose Smokey. Elements users go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer> Photo Filter and choose Sepia.

Elements users Don’t miss out! Check these alternative methods for Elements. In steps 2 and 4 the Quick Mask isn’t available, but you can easily substitute it for the Selection Brush tool (Shift+A). You can change the settings to view as a mask or a selection, adjust the Size and Hardness and then create the layer mask. In step 7 you can’t place the layers into groups; in this case, just hide the layers by clicking on the eye icon in the Layers palette. In step 8 you need to use the Graphic Novel filter and a Hue/Saturation and Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer to create the effect.

GRAPHIC NOVEL FILTER Go to Filter>Sketch>Graphic Novel. Set Darkness to 4.25, Clean Look: 8, Contrast: 0.65, Thickness: 0 and press the Add button twice to apply smoothness.

ADJUSTMENT LAYERS Apply the Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. Set the Brightness to -10 and Contrast: -47. Now apply a Hue/Saturation layer and set the Lightness to -20. Then clip the layers.

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Start image

Photo editing On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials Works with

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn How to use Photoshop Color Adjustment and Layer Mask tools

Time taken 3-4 hours

Expert Adam Smith “I love capturing realmedia resources, like paint splats, and taking them into Photoshop. I have a degree in visual communications and enjoy sharing a whole host of creative tips and techniques with like-minded creatives. I recently began operating as a professional freelance retoucher while managing a graphics department for a design agency on the south coast of the UK.”

Apply liquid paint effects to photos Combine paint splash and fashion photography using everyday Photoshop tools, resulting in extraordinary effects

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urrent trends from Photoshop artists dictate realistic effects. Many are pushing the boundaries of stock manipulation to create sophisticated looks, especially those operating with paint stock. Paint splash effects are being used in many ways to create exciting images. But one of the most popular is to replace clothing by using photo stock. Don’t be tamed by the authentic look, you don’t necessarily need expert editing skills. These effects are made possible with some of the most generic Photoshop and Photoshop Elements tools.

Apply Quick Selection tool

Remove background

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Double-click the Background layer to unlock, then select the Quick Selection tool (W). Set Size at 7px, Hardness at 100% and Spacing between 15-20%. Zoom in at 100% and apply to your model. Where selection spills into the background hold Option/Alt and subtract from selection.

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This tutorial is very much apply, rinse, repeat, as we provide you with steps that let you familiarise with key techniques. Especially the Selection and Transform tools, and layer masks. Clipping masks combined with adjustment layers, such as Hue/ Saturation, Levels and Gradient Styles are a must. Ultimately, by following and learning the steps in this tutorial you’ll be able to integrate your paint stock seamlessly, using Adobe software. This will result in the creation of believable looks and fantastical effects. You can download the start file and paint splats from the FileSilo.

Holding Cmd/Ctrl, select ‘Add Vector Mask’ from the foot of the Layers panel, hiding the background and showing your model only. Drag and drop into a new document, sized 310mm x 230mm. Tidy any obvious edges using the layer mask, use a black Brush to add and white to subtract.

Mask the dress

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Select the Quick Selection tool (W) and zoom in at 100%, applying as before with settings from step 1 to the dress. Hold Option/Alt when you need to subtract from the selection. Press Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate the dress to a new layer.

Apply liquid paint effects to photos

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Photo editing

Remove paint stock

Mask in paint textures

Combine paint textures

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Open a paint-splash stock image from the FileSilo and with the Marquee Selection tool, Ctrl/right-click your image and select Color Range. Set Select: Highlights, Fuzziness between 20-25%, Range at 180 and click OK. Hold Option/Alt with the Lasso tool activated and subtract selections from paint highlights.

Now with only your backdrop selected, hit the Backspace key to delete then drag and drop this layer into your artwork file. Next, Cmd/Ctrl+click your duplicated Dress layer thumbnail. With your selection live, activate your newly imported Paint layer and click ‘Add vector mask’ from the foot of the Layers panel.

Add flowing skirt

Merge layers using masks

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Adding the flowing ruffles of our model’s dress is a familiar process. Repeat techniques applied in steps 4 and 5 to remove the paint areas indicated in our thumbnail, from files ‘Red paint1.JPG’ and ‘Red paint2.JPG’. Drag, drop and position. Simply press V then Cmd/Ctrl+T to rotate and place.

Cmd/Ctrl+click your duplicate Dress layer thumbnail. With your selection live, apply a layer mask to the layer made from the ‘Red paint2.JPG’. This reveals the model’s right hand. Activate the layer made from the ‘Red paint1.JPG’ and apply a soft, black brush to this to merge any visible edges.

Apply a Gradient Overlay

Clone out glare

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With the layer made from ‘Red paint1.JPG’ still active, apply Gradient Overlay from the ‘Add a layer style’ options. Set blend mode to Multiply, Opacity at 77%, activate the Reverse option and set a red to black Gradient. Also set Angle at -108 degrees and Scale at 86%. Elements users: check the box on the next page.

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Once the Paint layer has been targeted to our Dress layer, align and merge it. Repeat this step, dragging and dropping other paint textures, masking them as in step 5. Click on the layer’s Lock icon to deactivate, then click the Layer Thumbnail to reposition. Blend noticeable edges using a soft, black brush at 40% Opacity.

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We now want to clone out any excessive patches of glare in our merged paint layers. Press V to activate, hold the Cmd/Ctrl (Photoshop) or Option/Alt (Elements) key and click on a layer to find it in the stack. Activate and apply the Spot Healing Brush tool to clone these out of the image. Repeat and clone as you go!

Create dress contours

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Duplicate your dress layer, setting the blend mode to Hard Light, Opacity at 75%. Place this new layer above all others. Cmd/Ctrl+click the Layer Mask thumbnail to create a selection. With the Layer Thumbnail activated, select Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set Radius to 10 Pixels before clicking OK.

Apply liquid paint effects to photos

Expert tip Elements commands

Apply painterly effects

Apply a gradient backdrop

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Select and Copy>Paste the bottom-right section of ‘Red paint2.JPG’ into your image. Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T) to place in position then match the curves of the dress contour by applying Filter>Liquify (Filter>Distort>Liquify in Elements), applying the Forward Warp tool. Now integrate by applying Gradient Overlay and merging edges with layer masks.

Select your whited-out background layer and select Gradient Overlay from ‘Add a layer style’ options. Set blend mode to Multiply, Opacity at 100%, activate the Reverse option and set a red (#b52f34) to black Gradient. Also set Style to Radial, Angle at 90 degrees and Scale at 132%.

Paint in back light

Paint in contour

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Select a large, soft brush at 30% Opacity, light pink in colour. Paint to a new layer set at 90% Opacity, placed behind your model layer. Create a new layer above this, with an 80% Opacity and Screen blending mode applied, and paint using a decreased brush size thus creating strong back lighting.

Add and merge other paint layers using previous techniques. Add Levels adjustment layers, dragging the black slider to the right to create shadows, white slider to the left to create highlights. Cmd/Ctrl+click layer masks to invert Levels layer masks and apply a soft, black brush at 20% Opacity to heighten areas where highlights and shadows should exist.

Elements users

GRADIENT MAP STOP

Applying gradients Adding and targeting Levels works in very much the same way in Elements as we have shown in Photoshop. However, applying gradients works differently. Gradient Overlay isn’t an option in the Elements fx options. Instead, choose the layer you want to target a gradient to and select Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. Activate the ‘Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask’ option to clip the gradient to your layer, isolating the effects. Set blend mode to Multiply, Opacity at 77% then double-click the Gradient Map layer thumbnail to activate the control panel.

There may be times when you want to change the position and flow of a Copy and Paste and place paint stock. This is best done in Photoshop by applying Edit>Transform>Warp tool. Elements doesn’t have this option, however, it does provide the Liquify functionality. Apply this to alter the shape and flow of your paint layers, selecting Filter>Distort>Liquify. Use Warp, Pucker and Bloat tools to create the shapes you want.

Simply drag and place the Opacity Stops in your Gradient Editor Slider to affect the fade and placement of your applied gradient.

ALTER COLOUR You can alter the colours in the Gradient Editor at any time, by simply doubleclicking a Color Stop or the Color Menu box (bottom le).

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Photo editing

Essentials Works with

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn How to composite a four-season landscape with masks and blending

Time taken 8 hours

Expert Mark White “I love this kind of project: it’s bright and exciting and it really tests your creativity. The best way to hone your skills is to start off with a blank canvas and see what you create. As Senior Staff Writer on Photoshop Creative, I’ve learned all kinds of tips to help with even the most impressive pictures.”

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Composite four seasons

Use selections, blending and photos to create a year-long landscape

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reating a panorama based on a few select photos is a simple project for any photographer to master. But how far can you take that idea? Trying to include all four seasons in one picture is an ambitious idea. You can spend hours just on the colouring alone, and searching for stock photos is as much a project as the actual editing process. This is a project that can really put your masking skills to the test; we’re

going to use everything from simple, soft brushing to selecting a Color Range. The key to blending is trying to keep everything as believable as possible. Use soft brushes for water, find images of sandy or frosty grass to blend with regular grass and remember: anything that you can’t blend, you can hide. Place objects such as trees, rocks or even mist over any edges that don’t look quite right, and you needn’t spend hours masking every pixel.

Composite four seasons

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Add guides and a background

Build a natural backdrop

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Start by creating a new document, width: 460mm, height: 190mm and resolution: 300ppi. Go to View>New Guide and place guides at 11.5cm, 23cm and 34.5cm to distinguish the sections. Insert ‘Valley.jpg’; use Cmd/Ctrl+U to alter the Hue/ Saturation, slide Hue to -10.

Next, insert the supplied images of mountains and backdrops. For each, select by going to Select>Color Range, select the sky, hit OK, click the Mask icon and then invert with Cmd/Ctrl+I. This is the quickest way to mask. Add ‘Birds.jpg’, select them with the Magic Wand and mask.

Add a beach and water

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Use ‘Beach_1.jpg’ and ‘Beach_2.jpg’ to add a lake to the centre of the picture. Instead of using the Color Range tool, use a soft brush to mask the edges. Overlap the images to create a realistic coastline and rock edge for each side.

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Photo editing Expert edit Create the details

Make leaves

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Choose an orange colour and a leaf shape. Set Scattering to 1000%, alter Color Dynamics to change the hue slightly, and add a second leaf brush to tone with Dual Brush.

Add waterfalls

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The tiniest details can really flesh out a fantasy landscape. Insert the waterfalls on the grassy edges in the middle two sections of the picture (spring and summer). Mask them with the same soft-brush technique.

Layer the left-hand side

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The section on the far left is going to be our wintery section, so insert the glacier images and softly mask them into place. In the foreground of the spring section, do the same with ‘Grass.jpg’. Don’t worry too much about blending to perfection just yet, as we will fix that later.

Extend the beach

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Add ‘Beach_3. jpg’ and overlay it with your original beach. Mask and use a Curves layer with a clipping mask (Ctrl/right-click>Add Clipping Mask) to match the tone of the original beach. Do the same with the supplied ‘Snowy scene. jpg’ on the left. Use ‘Snowy rocks.jpg’ to blend the winter scene with the cliff.

Create mist

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Create mist by selecting black and white in your swatches (D). Then go to Filter>Render>Clouds, set it to Screen, Opacity: 50% and then mask in subtly with a soft brush.

Add rainbows

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Create a new square document. Add a rainbow gradient on a new layer and go to Filter>Distort>Polar Coordinates. Select Rectangular to Polar, apply a Gaussian Blur and mask.

Recolour

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Add new layers above layers you wish to recolour and brush your chosen colour onto them, before altering the blend mode to Soft Light. Add a clipping mask to these colour layers.

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Blend the grass

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The best way to blend grass with either snow or sand is to use real examples. Insert ‘Sandy grass.jpg’ and ‘Frosty grass.jpg’ to either side of the grass and mask in.

Begin the autumn section

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Now we’re going to focus on the autumnal section of the picture on the right. Add in ‘Swamp.jpg’ and ‘Forest.jpg’ and mask them all together with a soft brush. Add mist for atmosphere and recolour the trees (see the ‘Expert edit’).

Composite four seasons

Give the sections trees

Scatter leaves and snow

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Each season will be characterised with a tree: add ‘Fir tree.jpg’ to winter, the two cherry blossom images to spring, ‘Palm tree.jpg’ to summer and ‘Autumnal tree.jpg’ to autumn. Select the leaves’ colours with Color Range then mask.

Using the supplied brushes, add some snow and leaves to either side of the picture, making sure the Scatter option is checked. Place ‘Autumn.jpg’ beneath the autumnal tree, and add ‘Pond.jpg’ to further blend the edge between the summer section.

Touch ups and details

Dodge and burn

Sharpen

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On a new layer, select the Clone Stamp tool. Check the ‘All Layers’ option. Clone over edges that need touching up. Insert the iceberg images and ‘Wolf.jpg’. Make rainbows over the waterfalls (see the ‘Expert edit’). Finally, add ‘Hut.jpg’ to fill in the dead spaces.

With the composition complete, bring out the best of the image with a Dodge and Burn. Insert a new layer of neutral grey (#808080) and brush in highlights and lowlights into the picture to give tone to the landscape and blend everything further.

Use the Camera Raw filter

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Again, Merge Visible (Cmd/Ctrl+Option/Alt+Shift+E) and go to Filter>Camera RAW. Alter the temperature and tint then experiment with the tone, colour and detail in the picture to unify the elements. To follow our tweaks, use the supplied Camera Raw action.

Add a quick sharpen by using the High Pass filter. Merge all the layers into one layer at the top of the layer stack (Cmd/ Ctrl+Option/Alt+Shift+E), and go to Filter> Other>High Pass. Set this layer to Overlay and it will bring out the shine and the details.

Make final adjustments

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Now add two Curves layers, some vibrance, and a gradient fill layer set to Soft Light to add further colour and tone to the composition. Again, we’ve supplied an action of our particular adjustments, but you can tweak according to the atmosphere you want to give.

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Create vintage portraits On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Expert

Create vintage portraits

Rodrigo Marinelli

Give your portrait photos a vintage makeover using just a few handy tools in Photoshop

Essentials Works with

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn Discover colour techniques to make your own photo look vintage

Time taken 4 hours

“In college, I always liked art classes. I thought it incredible that a style could influence everything. Over the years I realised that this knowledge helped me to develop my own style. That’s why learning is always important. “I’m an art director and have 10 years of experience in advertising agencies. I learned and am still learning to use Photoshop through following tutorials.”

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hen working in Photoshop, having a vast knowledge of different art styles can be very helpful, especially when you’re creating something new. So, with this tutorial, you’ll learn not only which tools are required to create a vintage image, but also a bit more about this important art style. The vintage style can cover anything from the Twenties to the Sixties. It has influenced a lot of sectors, such as fashion, art, lifestyle and advertising. At that time there were no computers, so everything was handmade by designers and

Set the background

Add the texture

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First create a new file (Cmd/Ctrl+N) measuring 230x310mm and paint it with the colour #fde8cc. Then make a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N) with a white circle (M) and apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur> Gaussian Blur) of 435px.

artists; that’s why vintage art isn’t usually created digitally, instead mainly featuring painted images. To make your photo look vintage you’ll use a few tools, such as Color Balance, Gaussian Blur, Feather, Filters and some composition techniques. The main factor is adjusting the colour tone; it must give the impression that the image is old, but it needs to be colourful to make the result more interesting. Another important factor to observe is textures, as these give an older look to the image. Enjoy this tutorial and create a vintage-style image with your own photos.

One of the keys to building a vintage image is details. It is very common to see words written on the image. So use ‘Letter.jpg’ and change its blend mode to Multiply, then duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and place it with 50% Opacity.

Make it vintage

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Insert ‘Vintage background.jpg’, create a new layer and make a white square (U), bigger than the background with an outline of 2pt. Insert ‘Dotty edge.jpg’ and then transform so it runs along the top of the vintage background. Duplicate three times, rotating to make a complete surround.

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Photo editing

Visit the Filter Gallery

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Photoshop has several ways to add textures in your image, one of them is exploring the Filter Gallery (Filter>Filter Gallery). To add this effect go to the Texture folder and select the Texturizer filter with Scaling: 100% and Relief: 4.

Start the transformation

Enhance the dress

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It’s time to give a vintage look to your photo. Crop the ‘Model.jpg’ photo and place it above the vintage background. As the background is predominantly yellow, change the colour tone of the photo using the Color Balance tool (Cmd/Ctrl+B) with the settings +16, 0, -24.

Add Gaussian Blur

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Part of the vintage style usually involves blur, so duplicate the woman layer and apply the Gaussian Blur filter (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) set to 4px. Once you have done that, make a mask and with the Brush tool (B), delete the blur over the face area.

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Work on the details

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Give an older look to the image by applying the same filter procedure as in step four. Move the layer with the filter below the layer with blur, so the effect only appears on the woman’s face. Add some hair highlights using the Brush tool and white.

Add colourful roses

Insert background flowers

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Crop the ‘Colourful roses.jpg’ image. Apply a Feather of 3px and place it below the woman layer, then apply a Gaussian Blur filter of 4px. Duplicate the layer and distribute some roses on the right and another at the bottom on the left.

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Now let’s make the woman’s dress more colourful by changing it to red. One of the easiest ways to do this is to create a new layer and with the Pen tool (P), make a selection of the dress. Once that is done, paint it with the colour #f05c6c and change the blend mode to Color.

Now drop in ‘Vintage flowers.png’ to continue composing the flowery background. Keep in mind that the scene behind the woman shouldn’t be too busy. Apply the same crop and blurring effects from the previous step.

Drop in the arabesque

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Insert ‘Arabesque.jpg’ and with the Magic Wand tool, select the colourful part of the picture. Copy (Cmd/Ctrl+C) and Paste (Cmd/Ctrl+V) and add the arabesque design behind the flowers. Change the blend mode to Soft Light, then make a mask to erase small details from the top.

Create vintage portraits

Expert tip Play with the blend modes

Place the bottom flowers

Add extra details

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Insert ‘Pink rose.jpg’ and ‘Leaf.jpg’ to add to the bottom flowers. Duplicate the pink rose layer and turn into yellow. Do this by making a selection and painting it with yellow #f1cf00, then change its blend mode to Color with 60% Opacity. Apply the same blur effect as in step nine.

Now you need to cut the white flowers of the ‘Leaf.jpg’ and add them to the sides, above the woman, giving more depth to your image. Finally add ‘Butterfly.jpg’ and apply the same blur effect as described in the previous steps.

Make it older

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It’s time to add some more texture and details to the image. First use only the white part of ‘Birds.jpg’ and change the blend mode to Multiply. Then use ‘Noise.jpg’ with the blend mode set to Screen. Finally put the ‘Birds.jpg’ image on the woman’s hand.

Working with photomanipulation is fantastic because you can create endless possibilities through different tools. However, one of the most interesting are the blend modes. With these, you can change the colour, brightness/contrast, the background and many other factors. Be sure to experiment with blend modes to get to know what each one is capable of. In this tutorial, they were very helpful for adding textures to the final image.

Apply final adjustments

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Add a series of colour adjustments such as Hue, Saturation (0, + 3, 0), Levels (5, 1.00, 255), Photo Filter (Filter Warming: 25%) and Brightness/Contrast (16/10). To make the image clearer, use a mask to erase the text layer, leaving only some at the top. BURN TOOL

Closer look Vintage adjustments

In the vintage style the shadows are always very strong, so use the Burn tool to enhance the shadows of the face and neck. Be careful not to exaggerate.

THE FEATHER CROP Aer you have cropped or cut out an image, crop using the Feather crop (Shi+F6). It leaves the edges of the photo soer, so it’s easier to merge.

DODGE TOOL An image needs shadows and highlights to look its best. In this case highlights were lacking, so we used the Dodge tool to highlight the face, neck and especially the hair.

THE COLOR BLEND MODE This is one of the most useful blend modes to adjust colour. Duplicate the woman’s layer, paint it with the colour #f9e4c0 and change the blend mode to Color.

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Photo editing

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Inject drama with filters and more On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials Works with

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn How to use Calculation command and Levels for complex selections

Time taken 2 hours

Expert Daniel Sinoca “The Calculation command is my favourite tool when I have to deal with complex masks. With just a few tweaks it is possible to speed up the entire process and get precise results. I started to get involved in the digital world more than 10 years ago and have been working as a freelance artist ever since, creating all kinds of multimedia projects and tutorial guides.”

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Inject drama with filters and more Dramatise your sports photos with adjustment layers, special filters and the Calculation command

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hotoshop has so many incredible tools to simplify complex processes and speed up the editing time. In this tutorial we’re going to show you some neat tricks to achieve a dramatic effect using special commands and basic editing techniques. We will use the Calculation command to create a new channel mask. This command enables you to combine two different channels to create a high contrast layer to make a detailed mask or selection. You have to experiment with the different blending modes until you get a high contrast effect. Then we’ll show you some easy

tricks to enhance the layer and create a new mask. You’ll learn basic editing techniques, such as how to apply adjustment layers, clipping masks and custom brushes, and how to use the Pen tool to create accurate paths. In the final steps you’ll work with some special filters to create a rain effect and sharpen the image. Creating a photocomposition in Photoshop is always challenging, but with just a little knowledge and creativity it is possible to achieve amazing results. Download the images and brushes from the FileSilo and don’t forget to check the Expert Tip for extra advice.

Set the scene

Apply Calculation command

Improve the contrast

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Create a new document. Go to File>New or hit Cmd/Ctrl+N. In the New window, enter the name Sport Scene and set the Width to 230mm, Height to 310mm and Resolution to 300ppi. Set the Background Contents to Black and then click OK.

Go to File>Place Embedded ‘Stadium. jpg’. Open the Channels palette (Window>Channels). Go Image> Calculations. Set the Source1 Channel to Blue. Change the Source2 Channel to Blue and check Invert. Set Blending to Subtract, Result to New Channel and click OK.

Enhance the contrast of the Alpha channel. Open the Levels (Cmd/ Ctrl+L), set the Input levels to 25, 0.40, 225 and click OK. Grab the Brush tool (B), choose a small, hard-tip brush, set the Foreground colour to white and paint the stadium seats to fill the gaps.

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Photo editing

Expert tip Get the wet look Use the Plastic Wrap filter to create a wet look on the players. First, grab the Lasso tool and set the Feather to around 5 pixels. Now select a small area on the players’ body, for example select just an arm. Go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Artistic>Plastic Wrap. Adjust the settings and hit OK. Now keep selecting small areas and press Cmd/ Ctrl+F to re-apply the last filter you used. Creating small selections enables you to control which part will be affected by the filter.

04

Select the RGB channel and then hit F7 to open up the Layers palette. Now go to Select>Load Selection. Choose Channel: Alpha1, and set the Operation to New Selection and then click OK. Now you need to create a mask; go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection.

Place the sky

06

Go to File>Place Embedded>’Sky.jpg’. Move it to the top and hit Return/ Enter. Drag the layer and place under the Stadium Mask layer. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Brightness/Contrast. In the New Layer window check ‘Use previous layer to create clipping mask’ and hit OK.

Add textures

07

Go to File>Place Embedded>’Rock Texture.jpg’. Move it to the bottom and hit Return/Enter. Make new adjustments. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. Create a clipping mask and click OK. Set the Input Levels to 0, 0.70, 255. Add a Hue/ Saturation adjustment layer and set the Saturation to -30.

Use the Pen tool

09

Place ‘Player.jpg’. Grab the Pen tool and create a path around the players. In the tool option bar, click Make: Selection. Set the Feather Radius to 3 pixels and hit OK. Now go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection.

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Enhance the layer

Create a mask

05

Duplicate the Stadium layer and hit Cmd/Ctrl+J. Name it Stadium Mask. Now go to Layer>Rasterize>Smart Object, then apply the mask by going to Layer>Layer Mask>Apply. Enhance the layer by going to Layer>Matting>Remove White Matte. Don’t forget to hide the Stadium layer.

Place more textures

08

Place the grass texture on top of the layer stack. Go to File>Place Embedded>’Grass Texture.jpg’. Drag the top middle handle to reduce the height and hit Return/Enter. Go to Layer>Layer Mask> Reveal All. Grab a large soft brush and mask the borders to blend the images.

Add shadows and highlights

10

Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N). Name it Shadows and Highlights. Change the blend mode to Soft Light. Clip the layers, hit Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+G. Grab a small, soft brush. Reduce the brush Opacity to 35% and using white as a Foreground colour, paint over the highlights. Use black to enhance the shadows.

Inject drama with filters and more

Create splashes

11

Go to Window>Brush Preset. Open the Brush menu and choose Load Brushes. Locate ‘Splash_brush.abr’ and click OK. Create a new layer and add the splashes around the players. Go to Layer> New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation. Check Colorize and set the Hue: 30, Saturation: 30 and Lightness: -25.

Add drama

Make a rain effect

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Place ‘Rock1.png’ and ‘Rock2.png’. Resize them and hit Return/Enter. Go to Layer>Layer Style>Drop Shadow. Set Opacity: 60% and Distance: 100px and hit OK. Let’s edit the shadows in their own layer. Go to Layer>Layer Style>Create Layer. Hit Cmd/ Ctrl+T and stretch the shadows a bit.

Create a new layer and fill it with black. Go to Filter>Pixelate>Mezzotint. Choose Type: Short Lines and click OK. Now go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Set the Angle to 0, Distance to 50 pixels and then click OK. Now add the Gaussian Blur and set the Radius to 3 pixels.

Complete the effect

Apply the Unsharp Mask filter

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Open the Free Transform tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T), rotate and scale the image. Set the blending for the layer to Screen. Now open the Levels (Cmd/Ctrl+L) and adjust the input levels to control the intensity of the raindrops.

Create a snapshot; hit Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+E. Name the new layer Snapshot, then go to Filter>Sharpen> Unsharp Mask. Set the Amount: 50%, Radius: 5 pixels, Threshold: 0 and click OK.

What can go wrong Not making adjustments Each image has unique properties, so it is very important to adjust the colour balance, brightness, contrast and so on of every image used in your composition in order to create a pleasing visual combination. Failing to make the adjustments will create an inconsistent and poor-quality composition. Even when we apply custom brushes such as the Splash brush used in this tutorial, it is necessary to make a few adjustments to alter the Hue to match with other elements. Changing the Hue/Saturation and Levels will probably be sufficient to correct most of the colour issues in your composition. Do not hesitate to experiment with the different adjustments until you get the desired result.

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20 professional compositing secrets Expert artists share their secrets for compositing in Photoshop

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Create stunning art with masks Make a beautiful palace with masks, adjustment layers and blend modes

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Turn any portrait shot into a robot Transform anyone into a robot using careful lighting techniques

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Warp a city onto a shoe

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Create a fantasy scene

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Make stunning compositions

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Play with perspective

Combine the Warp tool and clipping masks for a surreal effect Make a lush photomanipulation using transformations and blending modes Create a surreal world where only your technique and imagination can reach Make the most of Photoshop’s 3D tools to create a dynamic scene

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© Natascha Roosli

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PROFESSIONAL

COMPOSITING

SECRETS

WE’VE GOT THE BEST OF THE BEST TO SHARE THEIR SECRETS FOR USING PHOTOSHOP TO ACHIEVE THE OPTIMUM RESULTS WHEN COMPOSITING

W

hat does every great artist have in common? The answer is simple: individuality. There are the imitators and then there are the trendsetters, and the latter will always stand out from everybody else. But it’s the getting there which is the toughest journey for many. Even the artists you’re about to get advice from here have worked tirelessly to get their individual style honed and locked in. So join us, as we talk to the best and most intriguing artists about their favourite pieces,

CHOOSE THE RIGHT IMAGES A sense of cohesion between the chosen stock images is vital. Colin Anderson (www. andersonproductions.com.au) explains how shooting at the right time of day can do just that: “To build the background I combined a beach shot I had taken in Australia with a mountain scene that I had shot in Hawaii. Both the beach and mountains were shot at sunrise, so when combined they blended together perfectly.”

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and learn how they choose to work with Photoshop to make their composites a cut above the rest. Take tips from Edvin Puzinkevich (www.bowsforarrows.com), who describes how important experimentation is when finding the right balance when working with typographical art. Stopdown Studio’s co-founder, Samuel Giudice, details some of the principal blending techniques that went into making Movidiam Creative World (http://bit.ly/1RCTH0r); a

project that combined the efforts of many artists to achieve an appealing banner design. Photographer Sven Müller (www.500px.com/ thewanderingsoul) is an inspiration to us all, as he works with 18 raw files to combine into a seamless landscape. Learn how these, and other artists work, and create your best art yet.

20 professional compositing secrets

LIGHTING IS ESSENTIAL Blending all the elements together can make the biggest difference between a passable composition and one that truly looks as though it is a coherent whole. Colin often calls upon adjustments and HDR toning to achieve this: “I added HDR effects to the background and, finally, colour adjustments were added to the background and the android separately, so that they were both balanced.”

PAY ATTENTION TO DETAIL After capturing the right images for the scene, Colin then shares a few tricks for ensuring that additional stock photos fit into their surroundings: “When placing the android onto the background, I combined splashes from a fountain I had so that it appeared the water was washing and lifting over the android’s feet. To create a slight reflection, I duplicated the android, flipped it vertically and reduced the opacity.”

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© Gilberto Soren Zaragoza

IMPROVISE WITH THE TOOLS Lacking experience shouldn’t stop you pursuing a project. Gilberto Soren Zaragoza (www.s0r3n.artstation.com) reveals the hurdles with his image, Aphelion: “I wasn’t so confident at creating hair three-dimensionally. So I worked with different tools to paint the hair and the background from scratch, by mixing different brushes and Multiply, Overlay and Color Dodge.” © Stopdown Studio, Giovanni Mauro and Wicked Studios

© Edvin Puzinkevich

COMMUNICATE IDEAS

COLLABORATE WITH OTHERS For Samuel Giudice (www.stopdown.it), it’s about working with others: “This was a team project set with the task to create a single banner representing the two worlds inside Movidiam’s community. We started by masking the elements using the Pen tool with Refine Edge. We blended the elements with adjustments such as Levels, then drew manually over the shadows.”

© Karolis Strautniekas

CUSTOMISE BRUSH TIPS lllustrator and Photoshop pro Karolis Strautniekas (www. strautniekas.com) tells us why the Brush is vital: “The Brush was my tool of choice for this image. I used around ten custom brushes. I like to draw straight lines holding the Shift button, and when it comes to colour, I always use the Selective Color adjustment.”

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Edvin Puzinkevich (www.bows forarrows.com) specialises in creative retouching, so when he decided to try his hand at typography, he had to think carefully about his approach: “For this kind of image, it is very important to find a balance between the background and foreground elements. Details in the background should be visible enough to tell a story, but not too visible to distract the viewer’s attention away from the letters. To add vibrancy to the picture I

performed colour grading using a wide range of tools. The Color Lookup adjustment is one of the quickest tools to add mood. Changing its blending mode and mixing it with Color Balance, Curves, or Hue/Saturation adjustment layers can give it very interesting results. “Don’t be afraid to experiment: twist, bend, deform objects, and try to find new forms that communicate in new and interesting ways, and then adjust them in order to keep the type legible.”

© Davide Tosello

UTILISE LAYERS Using layers was not an issue for Davide Tosello (www. davidetosello.blogspot.it): “I used around 30-40 layers per character or element. I called upon the Brush and Eraser and worked with layers to mix colours. I experimented with size and opacity of the basic custom brushes to achieve the desired effect.”

© Aleksei Kostyuk

KEEP IT REAL Creating sci-fi effects is something Aleksei Kostyuk (www.visio-art. de) succeeds at, as he details his techniques: “For the armour, I multiplied textures with metals and painted on a few scratches. A few more details were added such as bullet holes, so the whole image looked more realistic. Finally, I used the Lens Flare filter for the lights.”

20 professional compositing secrets USE NATURAL MEDIA Staying true to the art of illustration, Raphael Vicenzi (www.mydeadpony.com) creates his collages using natural media: “A collage is a matter of choosing handmade textures, gradients and backgrounds, or using your own images. Once you have selected textures, cut them up loosely into pieces with the Lasso tool and separate them onto different layers. The composition needs to make sense to you.”

MIX UP COLOUR Raphael also suggests ways to keep an illustration varied: “Build up the image by selecting and placing contrasting shapes into the design. To add variation to each new layer, use different adjustments such as a Solid Gradient, Hue/ Saturation, or a Gradient Map, and experiment with different settings. The final image should be the result of happy mistakes and randomness.”

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© Brad Fraunfelter

USE CLAY MODELS Pro digital artist and photographer Brad Fraunfelter (www.bfillustration.com) describes his hands-on method: “I constructed a 10-inch clay model of each mech robot, and photographed each one with similar lighting. I then dropped them into the scene. Using brushes, I smoothed the surfaces, painted in detail, and then resized and positioned them.”

TWEAK WITH LIQUIFY Applying a bit of nip-tuck Liquify surgery to his models is standard procedure for Brad: “I very often use the Liquify filter to reshape body parts, trim waists, or enhance muscle mass, and it also was very useful to straighten the shapes of the robotic arms and legs. The Perspective function came in handy while enhancing the appearance and sheer size of the machines.”

ADD ATMOSPHERE Brad paints detail into his artwork for the finishing touches: “Using a custom brush, I painted in a detailed pilot suit over each of the body forms. I dropped them in one by one and precisely positioned them in front of each of the robots. Finally, I painted in a layer of dust and battle smoke between the pilots and the robots, to give atmosphere and depth to the scene.”

SEPARATE COLOUR Layers are an important part of the colouring process for Wanchana Intrasombat (www.kun-victorior.com), as he reveals: “I started by using the Pencil and Brush tools for sketching. You can create your own brush, or it might be easier to download one from the internet. When I’ve got my brush, for the colour process I always separate the image into layers by using the Lasso tool to manage each colour in the image. This way, I can fill or easily render each part of layer by locking the layer. Once the colour is edited, I use Overlay to adjust the lighting, and Multiply to edit shadows.”

CHARACTER CREATION

© Wanchana Intrasombat

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Disney played a big part in providing Wanchana with inspiration for this image: “I was inspired by Disney and was influenced mainly by Beauty and the Beast – they put life into a clock and a candle and made those objects fantastic. I concentrate on the environment around me and imagine objects going in new directions, for example the characters in this image. I was inspired by bathroom objects that we see every day, so I put a new spin on those objects. They are stuck in the bathroom all day long, so I thought, wouldn’t it be interesting if they went on a journey together?”

20 professional compositing secrets BLEND YOUR BRUSHWORK Sticking to purely brushes and blend modes just works for Natascha Roosli (www.rockpocketgames.com), as she divulges her Photoshop techniques: “I generally don’t use many tools in Photoshop except for the brushes. In the case of the dragon scales, I used an overlay mask where I basically duplicated what I had already painted, and then used the Overlay blend mode to create the waxy look. I then took it from there and just exaggerated colours and depth. It’s fun to take a layer, copy it and then play around with blend modes to see what kind of effect you get.”

KNOW YOUR BRUSHES

© Natascha Roosli

SHOOT MULTIPLE EXPOSURES Eighteen individual raw files were combined and blended together for this incredible composite landscape by photographer Sven Müller (www.500px. com/thewanderingsoul). He lets us in on how he managed to stay on top of things when wrangling with such large files: “I started by loading the files into Adobe Camera Raw and performed some minor corrections like white balance, softer sharpening and noise reduction. I

Natascha reveals some of her tricks of the trade for blending colour in compositions: “For the pattern on her dress, I used my tiny sketch brush to add lots of little scribbles and lines to give it a stitched feel. I have my main brush set up at a low transparency so I can really work on establishing colours and mixing in colours from the environment. I set the Flow of my brush to as low as 4%. As an example, I might be working in the background colours into the skin. Another trick that works really well for me is to work with opposite colour tones. So, if I use blue or cold highlights I always use warm and reddish shadows.”

aligned the exposures of the images with different exposure times by shading the highlights and brightening the shadows overall with help from the Gradient tool. I carried out the blending in Photoshop manually using layer masks (between two or three exposures per section) and the Brush and Gradient tools as well. Then I stitched seven images to the panoramic image, and finished with a few layers of Color Balance, Selective Color, Dodge and Burn and Curves. I always like to use layer masks with relatively soft edges that I create by hand.” © Dennis Mundt

THINK HDR DEPTH

© Sven Müller

Taking his inspiration from old-school comic ads, Dennis Mundt (www. behance.net/mellowmann) called upon a variety of carefully crafted 3D models to build up this colourful image. He explained to us how he tackles the challenges of working with so many 3D objects: “I used a lot of tonal contrast editing, with several layers, increasing the highlights, shadows and saturation while leaving the midtones intact to make it look like one of those ads in the old Nineties comics. Since most of the objects were rendered in 3D, they have enough depth to bring out this crisp and glowing edgy colour without distorting the actual image. In the end, it’s a bit like creating an HDR image from a raw photo.”

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Create stunning art with masks Start images

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials Works with

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn How to use masks and blend modes to create an eye-catching scene

Time taken 2 hours

Expert Daniel Sinoca “I love to work with masks, blend modes and adjustment layers. They are very handy and versatile tools, I can make several adjustments and overlap images to create amazing effects. I started to get involved in the digital world more than 10 years ago and have been working as a freelance artist ever since, creating all kinds of multimedia projects and tutorial guides.”

Create stunning art with masks

Compose a beautiful palace with a variety of simple techniques, masks, adjustment layers and blend modes

S

ometimes it’s nice to escape reality, and Photoshop is the perfect place to do so. We’re going to compose a stunning underwater scene with masks, blend modes and more. First you’ll learn how to create a background using basic techniques, then you’ll build a palace combining a few images and using a handy Photoshop filter to render beautiful trees. We’ll show you how to use the Perspective Warp tool to easily adjust the perspective in an image. Another cool feature covered in this tutorial are the blend modes, you’ll learn how to use them

Set the scene

Make the background

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Go to File>New (Cmd/Ctrl+N) and name your project Fantasy Palace. Set the Width to 230mm, Height to 310mm and Resolution to 300 pixels/inch. Confirm this by clicking OK. Let’s add a guide to help place the images. Go to View>New Guide. Set Orientation to Horizontal, Position 180mm.

to create vibrant colours, improve contrast and correct tones. Experiment with the different modes to understand how they work and how they can be applied across any project. You’ll work with layer masks, custom brushes, adjustment layers and basic Photoshop filters to create a variety of effects and textures. In this tutorial we’ll use lots of layers, so remember to apply clipping masks to keep the effects or the adjustments within the content of the base layer. Also, don’t forget to visit the FileSilo to download all of the images to begin.

Go to File>Place Embedded ‘Blue_ BG.jpg’, and hit Return/Enter. Now go to File>Place ‘Sky.jpg’. On the Option’s bar resize it to 25%. Create a layer mask (Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All). Grab the Brush tool (B), choose a large soft-tip brush, paint the bottom to remove the hard edge.

Build the palace

03

Now you need to make the palace. Go to File>Place ‘Palace.png’. Move it above the guideline, then hit Return/Enter. Now go to File>Place ‘Base.jpg’. Place the columns under the guideline, leaving only the dome above it.

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Expert tip Perspective Warp tool Perspective Warp enables you to easily change the angles of an image. Basically you have to drag a grid over one side of the image and then draw a second grid. When you see a blue line, simply release the mouse button and the edges will snap together. Then align the vertical lines by dragging the corner handles. Click on the vertical edges, which will then turn yellow and straighten the vertical lines. Now you can drag the handles to adjust the perspective.

Create a layer mask

Duplicate the layer

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Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. Grab the Magic Wand tool, select the sky and paint over the mask to hide it. Grab the Pen tool and create a path around the top ornaments. In Options click Selection. Paint over the mask to hide the dome.

Correct the perspective

Use adjustment layers

Go to Edit>Perspective Warp. Drag a plane over the left arc, then drag another plane from the right. When the sides become blue, release the mouse. Select Warp mode and click on the line that connects both planes. Hold Shift and click on the line to drag the top pin.

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Make more adjustments

Add shadows

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Now click on the Palace layer. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer> Vibrance. Clip the layers. Set Vibrance to 34 and Saturation to 42. Now add the Color Balance adjustment layer. Clip the layers and set Cyan/Red to 0, Magenta/Green to -14 and Yellow/ Blue to -16.

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First, grab a soft-tip brush (B), set its Opacity to 50% and paint over the mask to blend the columns with the rocks. Duplicate the base layer (Cmd/ Ctrl+J). Go to Layer>Rasterize>Smart Object, then go to Layer>Layer Mask>Apply. Turn off the layer’s visibility for the original base layer.

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Hit Cmd/Ctrl+T and resize the length. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Vibrance. Clip the layers. Set Vibrance: 25 and Saturation: -10. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Color Balance. Clip the layers and set Cyan/Red: 0, Magenta/Green: 15, Yellow/Blue: -30.

Duplicate the Palace layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J). Now clip the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+G). Open the Hue/Saturation (Cmd/ Ctrl+U). Set Saturation to 0 and Lightness to -35. Click OK. Add a layer mask. Grab a soft brush and paint over the mask. Keep the shadows on the side of the building and towers.

Create stunning art with masks

Expert tip Photoshop CS users

Add highlights

Build the stairway

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Go to Layer>New>Layer. Name it Highlights. Check ‘Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask’. Change Mode to Overlay, check ‘Fill with Overlay-neutral color’ and click OK. Grab the Dodge tool (O). Choose a small, soft brush. Change Range to Midtones and Exposure to 70%. Paint around the palace to enhance the highlights.

Go to File>Place ‘Stairway.png’. Place it under the left arc and hit Return/Enter. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Color Balance. Choose Tone: Midtones and set Cyan/Red: 0, Magenta/Green: -5 and Yellow/ Blue: -32. Check Preserve Luminosity and clip the layers.

Plant the trees

12 

Create a new layer and name it Tree. Go to Filter>Render>Tree. Choose a dense foliage tree, play with the settings and hit OK. Resize it and place over the palace’s wall or towers. Create a layer mask and rub out the trunk. Add as many trees as you want.

Enhance the sky

14 

Create a new layer above the Sky layer. Select the Gradient tool (G). Open the Gradient Editor and create a new gradient using colours #17291f and #e8a318. Set it to Linear. Hold Shift and drag it from top to bottom. Change the blend mode to Soft Light and clip the layers.

The Perspective Warp tool isn’t available in Photoshop CS. You can achieve a similar effect in Photoshop CS using the Free Transform tool. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+T and start adjusting the width by dragging the side handles. Hold Cmd/ Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shi and adjust the perspective by dragging the corner handles. Switch between Free Transform and Warp modes, and drag the meshes to fine tune the perspective and try to keep the mesh lines straight to avoid unwanted distortions.

Place more images

13 

Add more realism by placing more trees. Go to File>Place>‘Palm tree.png’. Resize and place it around the palace. Go to Layer>Rasterize>Smart Object. Now go to Layer>Matting>Defringe and set Width: 2 pixels. Add different trees to complete the scene. Keep them organised (Cmd/Ctrl+G).

Add water reflections

15 

Go to File>Place ‘Water Reflection.jpg’. Adjust the size and hit Return/Enter. Change the blend mode for the layer to Overlay. Create a layer mask and using a soft-tip brush remove the hard edge. Drag the layer and place on top of the layer stack.

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Make the image opaque

Place the wave

Go to File>Place ‘Underwater.jpg’. Set blend to Multiply and Opacity to 65%. Add the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Set Saturation: -50. Add the Color Balance adjustment and set Cyan/Red: 30, Magenta/Green: 75 and Yellow/Blue: -60. Add Levels and set inputs: 0, 1.80 and 150. Clip the layers.

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Make adjustments

Make realistic light rays

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Let’s make a tonal correction on the wave. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation. Set Hue to -20, Saturation to 30 and clip the layers. Now add the Brightness/ Contrast adjustment layer and set Brightness: 20, Contrast: -50 and clip the layers.

Create the effect

20

Go to Filter>Blur>Radial Blur. Set Amount to 100, Blur Method to Zoom, Quality: Best, slide the Blur Center to the top-right and click OK. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+F to smooth the effect. Set blend mode to Color Dodge and Opacity to 75%. Use the Levels (Cmd/Ctrl+L) to control the intensity.

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Go to File>Place ‘Wave.jpg’. Stretch the image a little and hit Return/Enter. Grab the Magic Wand tool (W) and select the white area. Hit Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the selection and create a layer mask. Grab a soft tip brush and paint the mask keeping only the surface visible.

Create a new layer and name it Light Rays. Grab the Rectangular Marquee tool (M). Create a selection approximately the same size of the columns image and fill with white. Click Filter>Render>Different Clouds then go to Image>Adjustments> Threshold and click OK. Press Cmd/Ctrl+D to Deselect.

Load the brushes

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Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N) and name it ‘Water texture’. Grab the Brush tool (B) and hit F5. Click Brush Presets and open the top-right menu. From there, choose Load Brushes>’Waves.abr’ and then click Load.

Create stunning art with masks

Paint the water texture

Apply final touches

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Locate the ‘water_brush1’. Set Size to 500 pixels and Spacing around 150%. Click Shape Dynamics and set Size Jitter to 100%. Click Scattering, check both axes, Scatter 100%. Set the brush’s Opacity to around 15%, change the blending mode to Overlay and start painting the water texture.

What you’ll learn

Add new layers, paint the water splashes and add more waves using the custom brushes you’ve just loaded. Place the ‘Dolphins.jpg’. Select it using the Pen tool and add a layer mask. Place the coral reef and the Moon to complete the composition. Make tonal adjustments if needed.

ADJUSTMENT LAYERS Use adjustment layers and layer masks wherever you think it is necessary. The major advantage using this technique is that you can re-edit it anytime.

ADD SOME SHADOWS AND HIGHLIGHTS Create a new layer and fill with 50% grey. Grab the Dodge and Burn tool and paint over the layer to add shadows or highlights.

CLIPPING MASKS TRANSLUCENT IMAGES Use layer masks to create translucent images. You can reduce the layer’s opacity, drag a black/white gradient over the mask, or use a low-pressure brush to create the effect.

Using the clipping mask allows for masking out effects or adjustments. The clipping mask interacts exclusively with the base layer to create interesting effects.

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Surreal art On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials

Expert

Turn any portrait shot into a robot

Rodrigo Marinelli

In this tutorial we’ll see how to turn anyone into a robot using photomanipulation and lighting techniques

Works with

Elements

CS

Start images

CC

What you’ll learn Use lighting, bevel and embossing techniques to create a robotic portrait

Time taken 6 hours

“I have always appreciated movie posters. I used to think it was incredible how they could manipulate a photo and make something so realistic. There’s nothing better than using Photoshop to create a cool sci-fi image. “I’m an art director and have 11 years of experience in advertising agencies. I learned and am still learning to use Photoshop through following tutorials.”

I

t’s common to see a movie poster and wonder how the artist managed to transform a simple image into something so amazing and unexpected. The answer to this is simple – they used Photoshop! By finding the correct tools and techniques, it is possible to create anything your imagination can dream of. In this tutorial we will transform a simple photo into a cyborg. To do this we will use a few techniques, but the main one is to create a bevel and emboss effect manually using the Pen tool, the Gaussian Blur filter and blend modes. This

technique enables you to have more control over the light and shadow that is being created, and makes the final result far more realistic. This method will help you to develop your own style to manipulating any photo. Remember that to create an image with multiple details you need to have patience and pay close attention to every part of the scene. During the process, look for references and see what you can add to make your image more amazing. After following this tutorial, why not take your own picture and transform yourself into a robot?

Set the background

01 

Create a new document (Cmd/Ctrl+N) at 230 x 310mm. With the Paint Bucket tool (G) fill the background with the colour #63b2b6. Duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and change the blend mode to Multiply. Finally use the Gaussian Blur filter (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) set to 190px.

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Create the spotlights

02 

It’s time to make some spotlights that will be behind the subject. To do this, create a new layer and with the Brush tool (B) set to 100% Opacity and Size set to 1700px, make three spots as shown above.

Turn any portrait shot into a robot

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Expert tip Creating with blur While it is the bane of a photographer’s life, blur is an essential creative tool for making your work look more realistic. To create this image, the shadows were created using the Gaussian Blur. But there is another kind of blur that is very useful for making shadows: Motion Blur. As the name suggests, it makes the blur look like it has movement. All you have to do is set the Angle and the Distance and with a few clicks, the shadow is ready.

Adjust the background

03

To make the background colours more vibrant, go to the Adjustments panel, which is above the Layers panel, and select the Levels tool with the configuration 26, 1.00, 255. Then pick Brightness/Contrast set to 21, 10.

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Add the ‘Model.jpg’ image from the FileSilo. Duplicate the layer and leave one in Normal blend mode and the other in Multiply. With the Pen tool (P), cut out the woman (in Normal blend mode). Enable the image selection, apply the Feather (Shift+F6) with 3px, then Invert the selection (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I) and finally press delete.

Make some masks

Retouch the skin

Highlight the details

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With the Brush tool (B), make a mask on the layer with the Normal blend mode and erase the edges. Finally, select the layer in Multiply mode and use the Levels tool set to 0, 1.00, 197 to make the edges of the hair look brighter.

With the Patch tool (J) selected, make a selection around parts of the skin that need to be retouched, then drag the selection to a clean area of skin. This requires a lot of patience and attention to detail. Repeat until the skin is perfect.

Draw on highlights

Create the shadows

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To have more control, draw your own highlights. Create a new layer and with the Pen tool (P), draw a highlight shape, fill with white and change the blend mode to Soft Light. Apply a 45px Gaussian Blur and change the Opacity to 20%.

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Highlight areas of detail on the photo. Use the Burn tool to enhance the shadows, such as on the side of the nose, the bottom of the mouth and chin. Next, use the Dodge tool to enhance highlights, such as the top of the nose, cheeks and forehead.

Make a new layer and with the Pen tool draw a shadow, fill with black, change the blend mode to Multiply and lower the Opacity to 30%. Apply a 45px Gaussian Blur. Don’t get carried away – the key is to enhance the highlights and shadows that already exist.

Turn any portrait shot into a robot

Replace the jacket

Adjust the model

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Replace the woman’s jacket using ‘Jacket.psd’. Place it at the top of the layer stack, apply the Gaussian Blur at 20px and make a mask to delete the unnecessary parts. Make a new layer and use the Brush tool with black to hide unwanted areas.

Use the Patch tool to smooth the shape of the cheek. Duplicate the model layer, paint it blue #8ba8b2 and change the blend mode to Color at 5% Opacity. Make some colour corrections using the Color Balance tool (-30, 0, 0) and Levels (0, 1.00, 238).

Arrange the face

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Delete the flattened model layer, then duplicate all the shape layers (Cmd/Ctrl+J), merge them, activate the selection and invert it (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift +I). Finally select the model folder and press the Add Vector Mask button. Delete the flattened shape layers and move the face layers as above.

Add extra depth

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Duplicate the shape layer and place it below. Make it darker with the Levels tool (33, 1.00, 255). Make it more realistic by adding highlights and shadows with the Brush tool. For highlights use white with the Soft Light blend mode, and create shadows with black and the Overlay mode.

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With the Pen tool, draw the robot shapes in separate layers. Duplicate the model folder and merge it (Cmd/Ctrl+E). Activate the shape’s selection and with the model layer selected, right-click and select Layer via Copy. Repeat the process with the other shapes.

Manual bevel and emboss

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Create a new layer and draw a highlight shape first, then in another layer, draw the shadow shape. Change the highlight blend mode to Soft Light and the shadow layer to Overlay. Finally, apply the Gaussian Blur at 19px and change the Opacity to 30% on both.

Create a shiny effect

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Draw a robot shape

Usually robots have a shiny sheen, so make the highlights brighter. With the Pen tool, draw a shape, fill with white, then change the blend mode to Soft Light. Apply the Gaussian Blur set to 19px. Duplicate the layer and change the Opacity to 20%.

Burn it!

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Repeat step 15 to create the shadow shape. A dynamic and practical tool to make shadows is the Burn tool, with a Size of 300px and 50% Exposure. Brush in the darker areas of the image to enhance the shadows.

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Surreal art Expert edit Enhance the details

Gear shadows

01

To give more depth, add some shadows above the gears. Select black as your colour and with the Brush tool, make the shadows and change the layer blend mode to Overlay.

Use the High Pass filter

Warp the layer

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Repeat step 14 to create the bevel and emboss effect. After that, duplicate the layer, apply the High Pass filter (Filter> Other>High Pass) set to 2px and change the blend mode to Soft Light.

To give a sense that each part of the model’s face has depth, the Warp tool is very useful. Repeat step 15 and with the Warp tool (Edit>Transform>Warp), mold the layer shape.

Erase the flyaway hair

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Repeat step 14 once more to give the bevel and emboss effect. Using the Pen tool, make a selection around the flyaway hair and with the Clone Stamp tool (S) set to 40% Opacity, press Alt/Opt to select clean skin, then brush over the hair to erase.

The nose effect

02

Create a new layer and with the Pen tool, draw the top of the nose and paint it with the colour #9ea181. To add realism, draw highlights and shadows.

Face highlights

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Follow the instructions of step 14 to make a bevel and emboss effect on the face edges. Remember that the robot face must have a glossy style of lighting.

Top screw

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To give the impression that the screws are raised, add the ‘Robot eye.psd’ and place as shown above. Put the layer in a group folder and use a mask to erase unwanted areas.

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Use Quick Mask

Add the gears

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Let’s start adding the gears into the scene. The photo ‘Robot eye.jpg’ will Repeat step 15, then use the Quick Mask to leave the central area brighter. represent the left eye of the robot. Use Brightness/Contrast (Image>Adjustments> Select the layer and press Q. With the Brush Brightness/Contrast) set to 5, 10 to make the tool, paint the desired part. Press Q again, image look more vibrant. Finally add ‘Gears. invert the selection and use the Levels tool jpg’ and repeat the procedure. set to 0, 1.00, 235.

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Turn any portrait shot into a robot

Order the gear layers

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Add ‘Gears 2b.psd’. Duplicate the image to fill all the empty space. To give depth to the scene, rearrange the layer positions and add some gears in front of the robot’s eye. Finally add ‘Gears 2.psd’ and place as shown above.

Work on the face detail

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Add ‘Metal detail.psd’. This photo will be used to make the face outline. Duplicate and rotate (Cmd/Ctrl+T) the layer as shown above. All the gear layers should be behind the shape layers.

Create motion effects

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Add a spark above the robot eye (‘Spark.jpg’) and change the blend mode to Screen. Finally add ‘Screw. jpg’, and use the screw to give the impression that it’s coming out of the robot. To give some movement use ‘Screw 2.psd’ and apply the Gaussian Blur filter set to 25px.

Add the cables

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To make the gears work, it’s necessary to have cables to transmit the energy, so add ‘Cables.psd’ and place as shown above. To give more realism to the scene, add shadows using the Warp tool and changing the blend mode to Soft Light.

Make final adjustments

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Time for some final colour edits. Apply the Photo Filter set to Cyan, 25% Density. Create a blue layer (#5cb8c6) and change the blend mode to Color at 10% Opacity. Use Hue/Saturation (0, -11, 0), Photo Filter (Sepia, 25% Density), Levels (9, 1.00 , 245) and Brightness/Contrast (10, 21).

What you’ll learn BURN AND DODGE The Burn and Dodge tools are very important when creating any image. With a few clicks you can emphasise the shadows and highlights, making the image much more interesting.

BEVEL AND EMBOSS The bevel and emboss technique can be used in many projects. The main advantage is having full control of highlights and shadows.

GLOSSY STYLE THE GAUSSIAN BLUR The Gaussian Blur filter can be used for many things, in this case, to make the shadows. With the right configuration, the result is always very realistic.

It’s important to know what kind of light style is needed, in this case a shiny style. The highlights need to be brighter, making the image look as though it has a polished appearance.

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Surreal art On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials Works with

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn How to use the Warp tool, clipping masks, light and shadow

Time taken 6 hours

Expert Rodrigo Marinelli “In all my images I love to work with bright colours. Here, I used Color Balance, Levels, Brightness and Contrast adjustment tools. “I’m an art director and have 10 years of experience in advertising agencies. I learned and am still learning to use Photoshop through following tutorials.”

Warp a city onto a shoe

Learn how to use the Warp tool and clipping masks for a surreal effect

T

he most important things for the construction of any image is creativity combined with technical ability. With the right combination of the Warp tool, clipping masks, light and shadow you’ll be able to create stunning images. Having patience and a high attention to detail are both key to this tutorial. For the final

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result to be as realistic as possible, take your time in selecting and compositing the perfect imagery. You’ll use a lot of pictures with different angles, crops and perspectives, so it’s important that care is taken at the selection stage. During the construction of the image, you’ll create shadows and highlights that give more volume to the objects.

Photoshop is a fantastic piece of software that allows you to create worlds that exist only in your mind. Tutorials are always essential for you to learn new techniques, and the images and brushes used here are available for you to download from the FileSilo, but try to create your own pieces of art with the lessons learned here.

Warp a city onto a shoe

Start images

Create the background

01

Create a new document (Ctrl/Cmd+N) that is 460mm x 310mm. Paint it blue (G) (#4ebec2). In sequence create a new layer, paint it yellow (# f7cf33) and place it in the middle of the screen. Apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Guassian Blur) of 624px.

Light the shoes

02

In this step you will make the light that will be behind the shoe. For this, you will need to make a new layer and then with a white circle apply a Gaussian Blur with 482px. This detail is very important as it will help to make the shoes brighter and stand out in the next steps.

Work on the shoe’s base

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Download the start image from the FileSilo. Select the Pen tool (P) and crop the picture, then flip it horizontally (Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal). To leave the edges softer select the shoe, apply a Feather effect (Shift+F3) with 3px, invert the selection Start imagande press Delete. (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+I)

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Expert tip Organise your layers One of the great secrets to working with an image that has many layers is to get organised. A messy file means you will spend too much time searching for a layer or an effect when you could be creating something new. So, to make your life easier, there is a command that will put all of the layers into organised folders. All you have to do is select the layers you wish to organise and press Cmd/Ctrl+G, then name the folder with an appropriate name – make it descriptive.

Crop and erase the sole

04

Select the Pen tool (P) and crop the shoe’s sole. Apply a Feather effect with 3px, just like the previous step. Make a crop mask, select the layer and press the Crop mask button. Select black and with the Brush tool (B) erase the bottom of the sole.

Add shadows

Build the city

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Using the same concept as the previous step, enhance the shadows. The procedure is the same: make a new layer, draw the shadow shape, paint it black, apply a Gaussian Blur with 40px and change the blend mode to Overlay.

05

Adding lights is always a good way to enhance the brightness of the photo. Create a new layer and with the Pen tool draw the light shape, paint it white, apply a Gaussian Blur with 40px and change the blend mode layer to Soft Light.

Paint a blue river

Insert ‘views-of-the-city.jpg’. Crop it with the mask to delete unnecessary parts. To get the right angle use the Warp tool (Edit>Transform>Warp). To make the image more interesting, delete part of the sole to give more attention to the top bridge.

Add more elements

Complete the city

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Add ‘aerial.jpg’. Go to Edit>Transform>Perspective and in sequence use the Warp tool to leave it in the right angle. Increase the yellow tone with the Color Balance of -20, then make a mask and erase the part that won’t be necessary.

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Turn the lights on

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08

For the image to be more interesting, paint the river blue. There is a very simple technique, but it requires a lot of attention to detail. Select the colour blue #a9daf3 and with the Brush tool (B), paint around the river, then change the blend mode layer to Color.

Use the same city photo to fill in the blanks. Rotate the picture and adjust your perspective. Make a mask and erase the parts that aren’t needed. To make it more interesting, delete the part of the sole, leaving the buildings, and adjust the Saturation (Cmd/Ctrl+U) to -20.

Warp a city onto a shoe Expert edit Create light and shade

Complete the river

Insert the beach

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Rotate ‘city.jpg’ and use the Warp tool to give more realism. Paint the river with the same procedure as in step 8. Add small detail to complete the empty space of the river. Select the Pen tool (P) to make the shape and put it in the right place.

It’s time to put a beach in the scene. Insert ‘coast.jpg’ and rotate it. Always pay attention to the pictures to keep the continuity in the full image. Use the Warp tool to adjust the angle and finally make a mask and delete what is not used.

Quick light

01

Make a new layer, select the white colour and then with the Brush tool (B), paint the part that should be lit up. Now change the blend mode to Soft Light.

Add in the mountain

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Add ‘italy.jpg’, rotate the image and correct the angle with the Warp tool. As this image is made with a lot of pictures, always pay attention to the colours, so apply the Color Balance (Cmd/ Ctrl+B) of -25 to intensify the yellow tone. Then crop the unnecessary parts of the image.

Quick mask

02

Adjust only parts of an image. Select the relevant layer, press Q, select the Brush (B) and paint the desired part. Press Q again, invert the selection and make the adjustment.

Shadows colour

03

Now make the shadow selection. With the Drop Counts tool (I) select a colour from a close place. Use the Gaussian Blur and then change the blend mode to Multiply.

Begin the country house

Finish the country house

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Use just part of ‘tuscany.jpg’, rotate and with the Warp tool, model the image to cover the top and to follow the natural curves of the shoes. With the crop mask, erase the unnecessary part. Finally, adjust the Saturation (Cmd/Ctrl+U) to -30.

Now use the other part of the picture to model the rest of the country house. The procedure is the same as the previous step. Pay close attention to the unity between the photos; it must be perfect, so always delete the unnecessary part with a soft brush.

High Pass

04

Duplicate the worked layer and apply the High Pass filter (Filter>Other>High Pass). Change the blend mode to Soft Light. This effect will give more sharpness to your image

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Expert tip Watch the colours It is ideal to always work in RGB. But, if the image you are working on is going to be printed, you will have to convert the file to CMYK before you do. Usually the colours aren’t the same in RGB and CMYK, so changing could alter the look of your composition and require further work. To avoid unpleasant surprises, always work with the Proof Color set to On (View>Proof Colors). This tool enables you to work in RGB mode, seeing how the colours will be in CMYK.

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Add ‘boeing.jpg’, cut out the background and place the plane. For ‘glider.jpg’, cut the background out and make the shadow. Duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and paint it black. Apply a Gaussian Blur with 4px and change the blend mode to Soft Light.

Insert a house with trees

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Place the house and tree elements of ‘alps.jpg’. Model the photo with the Rotation and Warp tools to fill the empty area and delete the unnecessary parts. Copy a part of the road, duplicate the layer and model it to occupy the space of the house.

Add more details

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Add ‘waterfall.jpg’ between the country house and the house surrounded by trees. Add the photo and with the mask, delete the unnecessary parts. Add trees in the empty parts of the sole. To perfect the composition, clear images with the clipping mask, always using a soft brush.

17

On a new layer, click on the Tool icon with the Brush tool (B) to load the ‘SS-cloudsII.abr’ brushes. Obsidian Dawn (www.obsidiandawn.com) has provided these for the FileSilo. Select the model and size of the cloud and add to the scene.

Insert another city

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Add another city to complete the empty spaces on the sole. Make sure that all added photos follow the same proportion, this is very important for the final result. Shape the picture with the Warp tool and delete the part that you won’t need.

Place the mountain on the heel

Work on the mountain detail

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Now place ‘coastline.jpg’. Ensure the image is proportional with to the rest of the scene and delete the part you don’t need. To make the other side of the mountain duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J), flip horizontally and gently erase with the mask until you get the right shape.

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Use cloud brushes

Add details to the sky

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Place ‘highlands.jpg’. This part should be a continuation of the mountain, so, pay attention to match the photos correctly. Rotate the image and model it with the Warp tool. Erase the unnecessary part with a soft brush.

Warp a city onto a shoe

Refine the mountain, shadows and lights

Apply some finishing touches

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Add a few lights and shadows to give it more realism. Make a new layer, and with the Pen tool (P) draw the shape of the shadow and light, apply a Gaussian Blur of 95px and change the blend mode to Soft Light for the lights and Multiply for the shadows.

What you can do with it In advertising, to be successful, you always need to have something new to show to the creative director, so one idea is to create a two-page ad to put in your portfolio. Today the internet is a major tool

Now, with the final image, make some adjustments to bring more life to the colours. Use the Adjustments menu, which is above the layers, and add Brightness/Contrast: 5, 10; Levels: 16, 1, 250; and Hue/Saturation: +10 layers.

Showcase your work

for promoting your work in all parts of the world, so another idea is to transform the image into a desktop wallpaper and make it free to download on your facebook page or on your personal website.

CREATE AN AD Making a two-page ad is always a dream for an art director, so take this opportunity and add a new job on your portfolio. Usually the format is 40.4 x 26.6 cm.

MAKE A WALLPAPER Use the internet as a tool to show your work to the world. Turn your work into a wallpaper, (1920 x 1080 px). Aer that, make available for free download.

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Create a fantasy scene

Start images

Create a fantasy scene Learn how to create a lush photomanipulation using a variety of techniques, transformations and blending modes

I

n this tutorial, we’ll create a fantasy scene of a warrior in the jungle. You will learn how to create the background using different pictures, work with multiple elements, apply retouching techniques, as well as control light and atmosphere. We will start this tutorial by working on the background. By combining several photos we will create a jungle river scene, complete with a waterfall and plants using layer masks, adjustment layers and blending modes. Then we’ll add the model and perform some retouching, creating clothing and jewellery. We will use different

Transformation tools (Warp and Puppet Warp), colour correction tools, brushes and filters. We will also work on the light and shadows, and ensure all elements are uniform. Our task is to achieve homogeneity of all the elements in terms of brightness, colour tone and lighting. When working on a scene it is important to remember that distant objects will have less contrast than objects in the foreground. For this we can use adjustment layers. To achieve this, a graphics tablet is very useful, but not essential. What is essential is to download the .psd file and source images from the FileSilo.

Create the background Open a new document

01

Go to File>New (Cmd/Ctrl+N), set the Width to 230mm, Height to 310mm, Resolution to 300 pixels/inch and click OK. Fill the background with a yellow-green gradient. Insert ‘Trees.jpg’ and set the layer Opacity to 88%.

02

Create a new layer with a clipping mask and fill with a black and white gradient, blending mode set to Overlay, and Opacity of 60%. Reduce saturation and contrast using Hue/Saturation and Curves. Darken the bottom part. Adjust colour using Color Balance. Add the light area in the top corner using a soft brush.

Add the waterfall

03

Insert ‘Waterfall.jpg’. Reduce saturation using Hue/Saturation. Duplicate a piece of waterfall, and place it above. Add ‘Rock.jpg’ at the top of the waterfall. Use a black soft brush (B) on the layer mask to erase the hard edges. Adjust the brightness and contrast using Curves.

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Expert tip Drop shadows Add drop shadows on objects that you place in the scene. For example, you must add a shadow under clothing. For this, create a layer in the Multiply blending mode. Set layer Opacity to 50-90%. Choose a dark colour and paint under the object using a brush. Blur the edge of the shadow using the Blur tool or Filter>Gaussian Blur. The far edge of the shadow can be faded using a soft Eraser with a low opacity. You can use this technique to darken areas of an object that are in shadow.

Plant a tree in the foreground

04

Cut out the tree from ‘Trees 2.jpg’ with a Lasso tool, and move onto the scene. Use a black brush on the layer mask to hide unnecessary areas. Create a Curves adjustment layer with a clipping mask, reduce the brightness, and add yellow and green. Use Color Balance to add more yellow and red.

05

Place ‘Roots.jpg’ to add the moss and the roots on the tree. Use Edit>Transform>Warp to get the desired shape. Adjust brightness, contrast and colour using Curves, Color Balance and Hue/Saturation. Darken the bottom part of the tree, and lighten areas at the top.

Create the river

Place some plants

06

07

Insert ‘Waterfall 2.jpg’, ‘Waterfall 3.jpg’, ‘Waterfall 4.jpg’ and ‘Rock.jpg’ to create a river. Use a soft brush to mask the edges. Adjust brightness, contrast and colour for each element. Increase saturation of the water. Create a new layer, and set blending mode to Soft Light. Use a soft brush with a colour of #445a45 to paint the area of water.

Add background elements

08

Place ‘Trees 4.jpg’ and ‘Trees 5.jpg’ in the scene, and add ‘Monkey.jpg’. Reduce the brightness and contrast using Curves. Use the Color Balance to add yellow and red. Reduce the saturation. Darken the lower part, lighten the top and left side of the tree and monkey, then add a shadow under the monkey.

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Place the plants from ‘Waterfall.jpg’, ‘Waterfall 2.jpg’, ‘Waterfall 5.jpg’ and ‘Plants.jpg’ on the riverbank. Insert ‘Water.jpg’ and ‘Trees 3.jpg’ in order to create a shore. Adjust colour and brightness for all the elements. Create a new layer, with a blending mode of Multiply. Select a dark colour and paint the area under the plants.

Insert the model

09

Place the model on the tree in the foreground. Cut out the left hand using the Lasso tool, and move it a little lower. Go to Filter>Liquify to correct the shape of the right hand and the left side. Retouch skin with the Clone Stamp and Healing Brush tool.

Create a fantasy scene

Create the clothes

Colour tone the cloth

11

Remove the pattern on the shorts using the Clone Stamp tool. Insert fragments of ‘Clothing.jpg’ to create the dress. Go to Edit> Transform>Warp. Transform the fabric form to fit the pose of the model. Use Filter>Liquify to more accurately control the shape. Hide any unnecessary pieces of cloth using the layer mask.

10

Create a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer with a clipping mask on the cloth layer. Set values to: Hue: 17, Saturation: +70, Lighten: -9, enable Colorize. Use similar toning on other pieces of cloth and top. Create a new layer below the model. Draw back part of the dress using a brush (colour #100702).

Add a belt

Create some details

Add ‘Belt.JPG’. Duplicate and place a piece of belt below. Darken the right side using Curves with the layer mask. Create a new layer, with a blending mode of Multiply. Use a hard brush with a colour of #180904 to paint the shadow from the belt.

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Work on the hairstyle

Darken the model

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Add ’Feather.jpg’. Reduce the brightness using Curves. Duplicate the feather and reduce the size (Cmd/Ctrl+T). Alter the shape with the Warp tool. Darken the bottom part. Draw small hairs on the edge of the hair on a new layer. Use a soft brush (B), Size 1-2 px, Opacity 50-70%. Sample colour from the hair.

Draw the snake bracelet. Add a shadow as in the previous step. Duplicate the head of the snake and place it on the belt buckle. Use the Warp tool to correct the shape. Erase unwanted areas. Adjust colour using Hue/Saturation.

Create a Curves adjustment layer and reduce brightness. Darken the legs and the right side of the model on the mask. Create a new layer (Multiply, Opacity: 50%). Use a soft brush (colour #24220f) to paint over the legs. Darken the clothes – the bottom part, the area under the right arm and the right side.

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Add more details

Enhance the lighting

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Draw the tip of the sword on a new layer. Use the Dodge tool (Exposure: 8-15%) to lighten the edge of the sword. Create a new layer below the model (Multiply, Opacity: 60-70%) and paint a drop shadow from the model. Cut the grass from the tree and place in front of the model’s feet.

Insert fog and splashes

18

Create a new layer (Normal). Select a white soft brush with low opacity. Paint the area behind the model. Add more fog in the area of the waterfall. Use the ‘splash’ brush (mode: Color Dodge, Opacity: 15-30%) to add a splash.

Add some plants

20

Insert ‘Waterfall 5.jpg’, ‘Plants 2.jpg’ and ‘Plants 3.png’ to the right of the model and ‘Branch 2.JPG’ at the top. Adjust brightness, contrast and colour. Add highlights and shadows. Duplicate branch. Go to Filter>Gaussian Blur, set Radius: 16 px. Insert ‘Leaves.png’ to the right and also blur.

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Group layers with the model. Create a new layer (Overlay, Opacity: 70%) with a clipping mask to the layer group. Fill it with 50% grey. Use the Dodge and Burn tools (set to 8-13%) to add more light and shadow to the face, hair, body and clothes. Create a Color Balance adjustment layer. Add more red, green and yellow.

Place the snake

19

Use the ‘Branch.jpg’ to create a branch. Insert ‘Snake.jpg’. Go to Edit> Puppet Warp to alter the shape of the snake. Adjust brightness and colour using Curves and Color Balance. Darken the lower part of the branch and the snake. Add highlights at the top using Curves with a layer mask.

Create glare and rays

21

Create a new layer, set blending mode to Screen, Opacity: 23%. Use a soft brush with colour #928f7a to paint rays. Create a layer (Color Dodge, Opacity: 58%). Select colour #6e632e and paint glare on the water, model and plants, and strengthen rays. Use texture ‘Flare.jpg’ (Color Dodge), to add more glare on the branches, tree and model.

Create a fantasy scene

Produce more uniformity

22

Add more uniformity to all of the elements. Create a new layer (Normal, Opacity: 5-10%) and using a soft brush with low opacity, paint on top of all the elements, sampling colour taken from the surrounding background. Darken the lower part of the image using Curves. Add light areas to the background and tree.

Make final corrections

23

Increase the brightness of the picture using Curves. Add a Solid Color adjustment layer (colour #594534). Use a Soft Light blending mode, Opacity: 10-20%. Add more yellow and red using Color Balance. Add a new layer (Soft Light, Opacity: 20%). Select a light orange colour and paint over the area on the left side using a soft brush.

What you’ll learn PUPPET WARP Use the Transform tools to change the shape of objects. The Puppet Warp tool enables you to configure the shape of an object.

LAYER MASK Use a layer mask to apply the effect of the adjustment layer only to a selected area. Also, use a layer mask to hide unwanted parts of objects.

CLIPPING MASK DODGE AND BURN TOOLS

Use adjustment layers with clipping masks (right-click>Add Clipping Mask). Clipping masks let you apply a correction to the selected object or the layer group.

Use the Dodge and Burn tools on a 50% grey layer (blending mode Overlay or So Light) to add more extreme lighting to your image. Use a grey brush to erase the effect.

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Make stunning compositions On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials

Expert

Make stunning compositions

Rodrigo Marinelli

In this tutorial you’ll use several tools to create a surreal world where only your technique and imagination can reach

Works with

Start image

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn Create a surreal scenario using multiple pictures and the Warp tool

Time taken 6 hours

“Since I started working with Photoshop, one of the areas that always caught my attention was photomanipulation. I found the ability to join multiple pictures to create one specific scene very exciting. I’m an art director and have 10 years of experience in advertising agencies. I learned and am still learning to use Photoshop through following tutorials.”

O

ne of the coolest things about working with Photoshop is being able to create worlds that exist only in our imagination, making an image that is unique and original. Working with photomanipulation takes a lot of patience and time in order to choose the right photos. Often only part of a picture will be used to compose the whole scene. So, use as many pictures as you feel necessary, and keep in mind that the most important aspect is the final result. In this tutorial you will be presented with many tools, such as Warp, Erase masks, Quick Mask,

and some light and shadow techniques, which will all help you to create your own world. To be able to make an image like this you have to be aware that making mistakes is part of the process; you will learn from these mistakes and evolve your technique. To get to the best final result, many pictures were tested and many of them have not been used, but do not be discouraged; trial and error is an important part of the process. Let your imagination run wild and have fun with Photoshop to create your surreal world. The files used are available on the FileSilo.

Make a clean sky

Place the mountains

Work on the grass

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First, create a new page (Ctrl/Cmd+N) 230mm x 310mm. To make a clear sky with just a few clouds it will be necessary to combine two pictures. Place ‘Sky B.jpg’ in the middle of the page then add ‘Sky.jpg’ above it with 70% Opacity.

Cut the ‘Mountain.jpg’ image and put it in the scene. Duplicate it and go to Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal. Make an Erase mask, select the black colour and with the Brush tool erase the excesses. Duplicate again and add some trees at the base.

Now start working on the garden where the egg timer will be placed. To make the grass place ‘Grass.jpg’ at the bottom of the image and ‘Background_grass. jpg’ for the background. Make a mask to erase the excess.

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Form the garden

Add some colourful flowers

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Make the side base, place the ‘Field side.jpg’ and with the Warp tool shape just like the above. Change the Hue/ Saturation to -33. Place the ‘Yellow_field.jpg’ and make the same procedure, but keep the original colour. Duplicate all layers and make a horizontal flip.

It’s time to make the garden more colourful. Crop ‘Bottom_flowers.jpg’ leaving only the flowers curve. Duplicate the layer and do a horizontal flip to occupy all of the garden. Finally, make clipping masks to eliminate the unnecessary parts and merge with the rest of the grass.

Position the background tree

07

Give more depth to the scene by adding some trees near to the lake. Place ‘Trees.jpg’ and cut the background. Then do a horizontal flip. Don’t worry about the fact that the picture is not perfect; remember that the egg timer will be sitting in front of everything that is in the scene so far.

Work on the bottom half

09

To make it easier, create a folder (Ctrl/Cmd+G) to group all layers and make a general mask. Use ‘Fish_a.jpg’ and flip horizontally, and with the mask, erase the unnecessary parts. Adjust the colour Saturation to -50 and 0/1/234 of Levels.

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Place the lake

06

One of the biggest secrets for making a good photomanipulation is adding elements that will make the scene more interesting. So place ‘Lake.jpg’, which will be positioned behind the garden and the egg timer.

Place the egg timer

08

Place the main image of the scene, the ‘Eggtimer.jpg’. First take out all the Saturation (Ctrl/Cmd+U) -100. This will help in the next few steps to merge the photos that will be inside the glass. Make a mask and erase some of the photo details, especially the bottom.

Place the diver

Work on the egg timer’s top

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Correct the ‘Diver.jpg’ colour with the Place ‘Ship.jpg’ into the top of the egg Color Balance tool, and use the timer. To add more reality in the scene, configuration -36/0/12. With the same place ‘Wave.jpg’ next to the ship, showing the procedure, place ‘Reef.jpg’ in front of the diver. impact caused by its fall. To make the water Add some lights on the egg timer. With the shape place ‘Sea.jpg’ and use the Warp tool. Pen tool make a path and paint it white, then Then adjust the colour with the Color Balance apply a Gaussian Blur of 30px. tool -36/0/12.

Make stunning compositions

Expert tip Perfect the lighting

Warp the branches

Add some leaves

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This step requires a lot of attention. Place the ‘Eggtimer_flower.jpg’, cut a branch and with the Warp tool shape its way around the egg timer. To wrap the branch of flowers around the whole egg timer use the same photo three times, one for the top, one for the middle and one for the base.

It’s time to put the leaves on the branches. Place ‘Eggtimer_flower.jpg’ and cut out some leaves. With the Warp tool, model it to follow the branch’s shape. With the Color Balance tool adjust the saturation to -34 and Levels to 0/1.30/255.

With photomanipulations it is always necessary to make a few adjustments in order to keep the same lighting throughout. The most important factor is to imagine how the final image will look. There are many adjustment tools; for this specific image we used the Burn and Dodge tools, Levels, Brightness and Contrast, Color Balance and Color filters. Don’t be afraid to test the effect of these tools; this is the best way to learn what they can do.

Work on the little details

Make some final adjustments

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Small details are essential, so add two butterflies (‘Butterfly.jpg’) that will be placed outside the edges of the egg timer. Also add the ‘Up_flower.jpg’ picture on the top of the image and with the ‘Bottom_ flowers.jpg’ add some different sized flowers in front of the egg timer to give more depth to the scene.

Make the whole scene more shiny and smokey. This will add a fantasy feel to the image. First add some adjustment layers, such as Levels (10/1/255) Photo Filter (Sepia - 25%) and Brightness and Contrast (5/10). Then with a blurred brush add some white lights on the scene with 40% Opacity. ORIGINAL LIGHTS

What you’ll learn Key tools used

Whenever you can, use the original lights of the photo. In this case, the original lights of the egg timer were cut and replaced above, only changing the opacity.

THE WARP TOOL It’s not always easy to find a picture that is in the right position – the Warp tool is always helpful. For the garden, this tool shaped the vegetation.

PICTURE’S PROPORTION To create a complex image you need to pay attention to the picture’s proportions. Find references and always keep in mind which images will be highlighted and which will be secondary.

ERASE MASK Usually to erase small details the best tool is the Erase Mask. With this tool you can choose the opacity and hardness of the brush and delete anything you want.

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Surreal art

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Play with perspective On the FileSilo

Start images

Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials Works with

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn Use the 3D tools and multiple images to get creative with perspective

Time taken 5 hours

Expert Rodrigo Marinelli “Sport can be inspirational when creating art, so the opportunity to combine my passions of sport and Photoshop was fantastic! It’s great to use tools and techniques in Photoshop to experiment with perspective. “I’m an art director and have 11 years of experience in advertising agencies. I learned and am still learning to use Photoshop through following tutorials.”

Play with perspective Make the most of Photoshop’s 3D tools to create a dynamic scene

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reating an original piece of artwork is always a challenge, but being aware of all the features and tools that Photoshop can offer makes the challenge much easier. In this tutorial, we will create a dynamic scene using perspective techniques. In order for the perspective to be correct, it’s essential to have important information about angles, highlights and shadows, which means this is a perfect tutorial to practise using the 3D engine. Unfortunately you can’t always rely on your eyes, and some decisions you make need to be more mathematical.

Set the background

01

Create a new file measuring 230x310mm. With the Paint Bucket tool (G), fill the background with red (#a53123). Duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and make a rectangle with the Rectangular Marquee tool (M). Apply a Feather (Shift+F6) of 500px and press delete three times, then change the blend mode to Multiply.

Thankfully you’ll see that with a few simple clicks, Photoshop will give you the perfect base to start creating perspective edits. To make the artwork eye-catching, we will create a scene of a motorcycle race, full of drama, suspense and motion. To do this we will also learn how to use masks to blend images and experiment with colour, as well as apply incredible photomanipulation techniques. The result will be similar to an out-of-bounds effect. So let’s use Photoshop to win this race and make a great image.

Draw highlights and shadows

02

With the Pen tool, draw the shadows at the top with a red (#a53123). Apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) of 284px and change the blend mode to Multiply. To make the highlight, create a white circle, repeat the same procedure and change the blend mode to Overlay.

Add more shading

03

With the Elliptical Marquee tool, make a circle and paint it white, as shown above, then apply the Gaussian Blur filter at 100px and change the blend mode to Soft Light.

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Use the 3D engine

04

Now let’s use the 3D tools to create a perspective base. First, make a rectangle and paint it grey (#7b7b7b) then go to 3D>New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer. Rotate the rectangle as shown in the image above and change the Extrusion Depth to 2500.

Draw highlights and shadows

06

With the Pen tool, draw the highlights, paint them white, apply a Gaussian Blur of 45px and change the blend mode to Soft Light. Also with the Pen tool, draw the shadows, paint them black, apply a Gaussian Blur of 50px and change the blend mode to Soft Light.

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Add ‘Biker.jpg’ to the scene. To change the colour tone of the image, duplicate the layer and paint it red (#a53123), then change the blend mode to Color at 30% Opacity. After that, duplicate the layer again and apply the High Pass filter (Filter>Other>High Pass) set to 3px.

07

Let’s draw a shadow and a highlight close to each other to give a bevel effect. With the Pen tool, draw the shadow, apply a Gaussian Blur of 35px and change the blend mode to Soft Light. Then, draw the highlight and repeat the procedure.

Let’s start to build up the scene. Add ‘White mountain. psd’, as shown above. Select the layer, press the Add Mask button and make a mask, then change the Foreground colour to black, and with the Brush tool (B), erase the unnecessary details of the photo.

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Create bevel highlights

Make a layer mask

09

Place the biker

Work on the perspective

08

With the Magic Wand tool (W), select the top of the 3D shape and make a layer folder with a mask, then add the layer Base_perspective from the ‘Details.psd’. In order to achieve the correct perspective, use the Perspective tool, found under Edit> Transform>Perspective.

Adjust hue and saturation

10

Add ‘Mountain.psd’ and use the Hue/Saturation tool (Cmd/Ctrl+U) with the configuration 0, +25, 0. This will make the image look more colourful. After that, select the image, apply a Feather (Shift+F6) of 2px, invert the selection (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I) and press delete.

Play with perspective

Expert tip Gradient mask

Grow some trees

Fix brightness and contrast

11 

12 

Access the Tree layer from ‘Details.psd’ and place it between the Mountain and White Mountain layer folder. Make a mask to erase the unnecessary parts and apply a Feather of 2px. Then, change the colour tone using the Levels tool (Cmd/Ctrl+L) with the configuration 11, 1,00, 239

Let start on the biker’s track. Add the Grass layer from ‘Base.psd’ and with the Brightness/Contrast tool (Image> Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast) enhance the highlights and shadows with the configuration 17, 20.

Lay the track

Give perspective and depth

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Add the Track layer from ‘Base.psd’, then use the Transform tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T) to make it fit. Hold the Cmd/ Ctrl button and select one of the little squares to change the perspective as in the image above.

Add details

15

We need to add some details to make the track more colourful. Add the layer Adding_details from ‘Details.psd’. Apply a Feather of 2px. To blend the image with the scene, it’s always important to make a mask, as in step 9.

Don’t forget to always follow the 3D perspective. In this case, follow the perspective from the right side using the layer Right_side_ perspective from ‘Details.psd’. To give more depth to the image, enhance the shadows using the Burn tool (O).

Complete the perspective

16

During the tutorial it will be necessary to use masks multiple times. This is essential to blend the images with the overall scene. But there are other ways to use this tool. Select the layer and press the mask button, change the Foreground colour to black and select the Gradient tool. Choose the second option (Foreground to Transparent) then erase the part that you want. You can also use the different gradient modes (Radial, Angle, Reflected and Diamond).

To complete the perspective from the top of the biker’s track, add the layer The_left_side_perspective from ‘Base.psd’. To manipulate the image use the Warp tool (Edit>Transform>Warp) as in the image above. To blend the image with the scene, apply a mask as in step 9.

Apply Color Balance

17

Now add the layer Trees_02 from ‘Details.psd’. It’s very important to add details to make the biker’s track more realistic. Follow the same mask procedure as in step 9 and enhance the yellow tone using the Color Balance command (Image> Adjustments>Color Balance) with the configuration 0, 0, -40.

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Surreal art Expert edit Perfect the details

Quick selection

01

Use ‘Palm.jpg’. Duplicate it, go to Image>Adjustments>Black&White. After that go to Select>Color Range, press Add Selection then press OK.

Work on the track

18

Let’s start to work on the front of the track. Follow the 3D perspective and add the layer Adding_details from ‘Details. psd’. You also need to add the layer Detail from the same image and use the Warp tool to make the image fit in with the scene, as shown above.

Bring in more trees

19

Create a new layer folder called ‘art’ and put it below the biker layer folder. Then add ‘Left trees.psd’ and put it on the left side, just like in the image above. Finally select the image and apply a Feather as you did in step 10.

Add movement

20

To give more movement to the scene, add ‘Bird. jpg’ and ‘Palm.psd’. To make the palm edges softer, duplicate the layer and change the blend mode to Multiply, then put it below the Normal layer. Make a mask on the Normal layer and erase along the edges.

Floor shadow

02

Let’s make the shadow on the floor. With the Pen tool (P) draw the shadow as shown above, apply a Gaussian Blur (7px), then change the blend mode to Soft Light.

The dust

03

To give more movement to the scene, add ‘Dust 2.psd’ and put it behind the biker layer folder. Then change the blend mode to Multiply.

Final details

04

Add the layer Final_detail from ‘Base detail.psd’, make a mask and put it in front of the biker’s track, then add the layer Final_detail_02, make a mask and put it above the sand.

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Fill with green

Work on the right side

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Let’s fill the empty spaces with the layer Trees_02 from ‘Details.psd’. Duplicate the layer until the front of the biker’s track is full of green. To blend the image with the scene, apply the Feather, as in step 10, then make masks, as in step 9.

Repeat the previous step to fill all the right side with green. Don’t forget to follow the 3D perspective. When applying the mask, always choose the Soft Round brush, because it will make the fusion of the images much more realistic.

Play with perspective

Quick mask

23

Add the layer Grass from ‘Base.psd’ and make a mask like in step 9, then add the layer Right_detail from the same image. Make a mask, then press Q and with the Brush tool, paint the bottom part. Press Q again, invert the selection and use the Levels command set to 30, 1,00, 255.

Make some dust

24

Let’s add some movement to the scene. Add ‘Dust.jpg’ and put it below the biker’s track. Change the blend mode to Multiply and with the Free Transform tool, repeat the procedure from step 13 to adjust the perspective.

Create sand wind

25 

First use the layer Sand_wind_01 from ‘Base detail.psd’. Put it below the biker. Make a mask and use Levels (36, 1,00, 255) and Hue/Saturation (0, -17, 0) to change the colour tone. Use ‘Dust 3.psd’ and put it above the biker. Change the blend mode to Screen and make a mask.

Add more wind

Make final adjustments

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Add ‘Sand.psd’ and put it in front of the biker. The secret is to use a mask to blend the image with the biker’s track. Duplicate the layer and put it in front of the back tyre. Add ‘Sand 2.psd’, also put it in front of the back tyre and make a mask.

What can go wrong

Let’s make the final colour adjustments. Go to the Adjustments menu, select the Photo Filter (Warm Filter – 25% Opacity) and Brightness/Contrast (12, 13). Don’t forget to activate Proof Color (Cmd/ Ctrl+Y) to see how the colours will look when printed in CMYK.

Wrong

Your eyes can lie When it comes to perspective, your eyes don’t always get things right. Don’t worry, though, because Photoshop has the perfect tool to help. When working with perspective it’s vital for all angles to be correct, so before you start building up the image, use the 3D tools to create a base with the right perspective. It’s easy to do in just a few clicks. If you decide not to use the 3D engine and trust your eyes, it’s possible that the final result will be wrong. You can create three squares and use the Free Transform tool to make a square with perspective, but the process is complicated and can easily go wrong, because the angles may not be right, which will compromise the entire image.

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Paint from photos

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Sketch and paint over photos

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Illustrate with the Pen tool

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Transform your photos into painted works of art using brushes and filters

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Use brushes to turn any photo into a multilayered spattered portrait Use the Pen tool, gradients and masks to draw an eye-catching futuristic city

Transform your portraits with brushes Digitally paint original artwork using a photograph as the base

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Add depth to inked artwork

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Produce creative text effects

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Draw a geometric portrait

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Give life to your black-and-white line work by adding colour and depth Mix stock photos and 3D letters to creatively illustrate a familiar phrase Learn how to take your portraits into a completely new dimension

Build up an illustration with layers Achieve the so, clean look of an airbrushed-style illustration

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Master 3D typography Take type further by creating a 3D render and adding shapes and colour

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CANVAS TEXTURE Add a layer filled with 50% grey and set the blending mode to Overlay to render it invisible. Then run the Texturizer filter on the layer to add a canvas texture to the painting.

DEPTH WITH LAYER STYLES Use Select>Color Range to pick a single paint colour. Fill that selection on a new layer and assign a Bevel and Emboss layer style. Set the Fill to 0 and the colour disappears, but the layer style remains.

MIXER BRUSH TOOL The Mixer Brush is the magic bullet for photo painting. Use it on a new layer with the Sample All Layers option. Pair it with the Bristle Brush tips for even more realistic results.

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PAINT

Paint from photos

FROM PHOTOS Transform your photos into painted works of art using brushes, filters and a whole host of other Photoshop tools

BEGIN WITH BLUR Fine details don’t paint well, so the first step of a photo painting should always be to use a Blur filter like the Smart Blur, with Quality set to High to remove the smaller details.

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

© Dmitry Pichugin | Dreamstime.com

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PAINT PLACES PAINT A MINIMALIST CITY

Painting places from photos needn’t be slavish re-creations with every detail painstakingly rendered; you can have a lot of fun stylising what you’re working from. Painting in a minimalist style enables you to capture the essence of the image while putting a different spin to it – you only paint in enough detail to suggest what’s there.

LAYER UP

EXPERT TIP Tricks of focus

City skylines lend themselves to minimalist paintings; you can easily divide the image into planes of distance. Fill the background with the sky colour, then make new layers to blockcolour each plane; making the darkest plane at the foreground, receding to the lightest at the bottom of the layer stack.

To aid the illusion of distance, you need to understand what attracts the eye. Objects have higher contrast and more detail the closer we are, so use high contrast and more detailed shading for foreground, and lower contrast with less detailed shading in the background.

TIME FOR THE DETAILS With your painting blocked out (painted with a slightly textured brush), lock each layer and using a more textured brush, paint in shadow details based on your photo. You can lower the opacity of the layer you’re painting on to see the photo below to use as a guide.

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PAINT A TRADITIONAL LANDSCAPE The Mixer Brush is brilliant for re-creating a realistic painted effect. Open your start image and create a new layer to paint on. Ensure that Sample All Layers is ticked in the top bar and choose a Bristle brush (for example: Round Fan Stiff Thin Bristles). Start by building a base; hold Alt and sample areas of sky, then use large, sweeping brush strokes to cover the canvas. Hide the Sky layer and paint over the other elements (such as the clouds, grass, and tree) one at a time, each on their own layer. Use a small brush size and zoom in close for small details, such as the leaves.

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CREATE A SOFT VINTAGE EFFECT

PAINT PEOPLE

Add a new layer then fill it with #f4ffce. Add a mask and use a Spatter brush and Chalk brush, with an Opacity of 20-45% to gently brush painted effects in the background.

PAINT A REALISTIC PORTRAIT

Believe it or not, it is possible to achieve a natural-looking painted portrait by mainly using adjustments, in addition to various filters from the Filter Gallery. This significantly simplifies the painting process and saves time, without sacrificing a painted effect. After you complete each step, you have to use adjustment tools as much as you can, especially Selective Color, Vibrance and the Curves command. You’ll find that this will result in a more natural-looking image. Also make sure you use the Dodge tool to highlight certain areas. As a finishing touch, find a paper texture and open it in Photoshop. We’ve provided one for you on the FileSilo. You must save the file in PSD format. Go to the artwork and merge all layers (Shift+Cmd/ Ctrl+Alt+E). Duplicate the layer. Go to Filter>Filter Gallery> Texturizer. Find the small arrow and click on Load Texture… Use the saved texture file in its PSD format.

HIGH PASS & FILM GRAIN Merge all layers and duplicate. Go to Filter> Other>High Pass and set Radius to 1.9 pixels. Change the blend mode to Vivid Light. Merge layers again, go to Filter>Artistic>Film Grain. Pick settings to suit.

PAINT A CARTOON

FILTER GALLERY The Filter Gallery enables you to preview and apply single or multiple filter effects to an image. Each filter has its own set of controls. Experiment with each of them to create the effect you need.

LAYER STYLES Use the Stroke layer style to add a thin border around the image. Go to Layer>Layer Style>Stroke. Adjust the stroke Size, set the Position to Inside and choose a colour to create the effect.

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Start image

It’s surprisingly easy to create a cartoon-style portrait in Photoshop. You just need a regular brush, a couple of filters and to change the blend modes. First, open the start image and duplicate it. Now go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Artistic>Poster Edges. Adjust the settings to create a nice poster look. Next, make some adjustments to outline the image. Go to Image> Adjustments>Threshold. Drag the slider to create the line art effect. Clean it up. Grab the Brush tool and set the Foreground colour to white, then paint to tidy up the skin. Change the blend mode to Multiply. Make a new layer and drag it below. Grab a hard brush and choose the skin colour, then start painting. Add more layers and use different colours to paint the hair, mouth, eyes and shirt.

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PAINT ANIMALS

ACHIEVE A FURRY TEXTURE You can create beautiful handpainted animal effects in Photoshop simply by using custom brushes, adjustment layers, filters and the Art History Brush. This tool enables you to mimic different artistic painting textures using the information from a specific history state or a snapshot. The brush settings are defined in the Art History Options bar. You can choose any custom brush, set the Opacity, experiment with different Styles, determine the Area

coverage for the strokes and set the Tolerance to adjust the amount of change applied to your image. A Start image low Tolerance lets you apply unlimited strokes anywhere in the image, while a high Tolerance will limit the paint strokes. To access the Art History Brush panel, go to Window>History and then grab the Art History Brush by pressing Shift+Y.

Set the stage

Make your brush strokes

Apply filters and adjustments

01

02

03

Open the ‘Tiger.jpg’ image, create a new layer and fill it with white. Go to Window> History. Click in front of the image thumbnail to set the source. Now grab the Art History Brush (Shift+Y). In Options, pick any Brush, choose Style: Loose Long, Area: 200px, Tolerance: 0% and begin painting.

Load the ‘Fur_Brushes.abr’ from the FileSilo. Open the Brush window (F5). Check Shape Dynamics, set Size Jitter to 80% and change the Angle Jitter to Direction. In Brush Tip Shape, set the Spacing to 10%. In Options, set Size to 125, Area: 200px, Style: Tight Medium and start painting again.

PAINTING FEATHERS

Use the Mixer Brush tool and the Oil Paint filter to paint realistic feathers. Open your image and duplicate it. Apply the Oil Paint filter (Filter>Stylize>Oil Paint) to create clean lines along the image. Grab the Mixer Brush tool (Shift+B). In Options, choose a Spatter brush and adjust the settings. Apply short and quick strokes to blend, creating soft feathers.

PAINTING SCALES

Combine filters and brushes to paint scales. Open your image and create a new layer. Grab the Brush tool and select ‘Scales.abr’ (available on the FileSilo). Paint over the fish, add a layer mask and hide the unwanted areas. Change the blend mode to Overlay. Add filters such as Oil Paint and Find Edges to create an artistic look.

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Start image

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Now duplicate the original image and drag on top of the layer stack. Go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Stylize>Glowing Edges, adjust the controls and click OK. Change the blend mode to Screen. Adjust the Levels to enhance the tones and then boost the colours using the Vibrance adjustment.

Paint from photos PAINT IN WATERCOLOUR

PAINT STILL LIFE PAINT FLOWERS

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This image relies on pre-made watercolour brushes, which saves a lot of time. There are many sites to download watercolour brushes from. Once loaded into Photoshop, you can use them again and again in many projects. Use each brush with a single click; avoid brush strokes and trails, as it looks very repetitive with this style. Have some patience and adjust each brush tip to match the photo in the Brush panel (F5) by rotating and scaling each one. You can even build up different colours on different layers to give yourself even more control. Adding the Impressionistic lines gives shape to the whole image, turning your abstract colours into a watercolour masterpiece.

Download brushes

01

Open your start image. Double-click the layer to unlock it and create a Solid Color adjustment layer underneath, filled with white. Go to a website such as Brusheezy and download some watercolour brushes. Load the .abr files.

USING THE BRUSH MENU Get a realistic watercolour look using downloaded brushes. Make pre-made brushes fit your subject by rotating, flipping and scaling them in the Brush panel (F5). Doing this enables you to use the same group of brushes in different ways without looking repetitive.

Paint blocks of colour

02

Create a new layer (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+N). Use the Eyedropper (I) to select a colour from the picture and pick a watercolour brush. Start to paint one click at a time, changing your brush after each click from the Brush panel.

PAINT REALISTIC FRUIT From CS5 onwards, Photoshop came with preset ‘realistic’ brushes, with parameters such as bristle length, stiffness, angle and so on. Using these can be a bit more taxing on your computer, but will give you a nice resulting effect. For this, the Round Curve Low brush was used, with Stiffness turned down and Bristled turned up. Use the Eyedropper (I) to pick the primary

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colours of your subject, saving each to the swatches. Set your brush to 30% Opacity, Flow to 2%, Blend Mode to Multiply, and then paint the base. Keep building up the colour, switch the blend mode to Screen and build up highlights using a combination of pale blue and pale red. Remember to vary colours often for a realistic look.

Create an outline

03

Create a new layer (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+N). Select the Brush tool (B), with the Foreground colour set to black and a small brush size. Draw some loose, Impressionistic lines, using the photo as a guide.

PAINTING WITH FILTERS For those struggling to paint on a laptop trackpad, or indeed just struggling to paint, there is a shortcut. Combine filters in the Filter Gallery to re-create a painting effect. There are many painting filters, each with its own settings, so play around and see what works best for your image and the style that you’re looking for.

Add a background

04

Create a new layer and drag it below the others. Hide the photo layer and start painting in the background. Try the watercolour splat on Brusheezy provided by loopyloo (http:// bit.ly/1TsP1dy), blend mode set to Overlay.

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Sketch and paint over photos On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials Works with

Sketch and paint over photos Start image

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn How to use brushes to create a splattered painting from a photo

Time taken 4 hours

Expert Mark White “I love mixing styles, and in this picture I particularly like the way the different types of brushes all interact together. The spatters and strokes are created from acrylic paint, but the airbrushing and paint drips really give this painting a street-art vibe. “As senior staff writer on Photoshop Creative, I’ve learned all kinds of quick tips to help with even the most impressive-looking pictures.”

Use nothing but the power of brushes to turn any photo into a multi-layered spattered portrait

B

rushes are a digital artist’s primary weapons. They can literally transform a blank canvas into a finished masterpiece, and with so many brushes on offer, the sky is the limit in terms of style when you’re painting in Photoshop. If you’re not artistically gifted however, this can pose a problem. Unfortunately brushes don’t help you become a more talented artist; they merely help to bring an artist’s imagination to life. This is a tutorial that starts life as a photo and uses mostly default brushes already in Photoshop, yet the finished picture looks so far removed from

Make an outline

01

Download the start image from Dreamstime (ID 30401383) or open the image you wish to turn into a painting and create a white, 50% opaque layer. This will help you to see the outlines of your subject while brightening the darker shades. On another new layer, start sketching over the outline with a 2px, black, round brush.

the original, that you could fool someone into thinking that you painted the entire thing. While brushes are great for artists, anyone can use them to build something impressive, with a little help from layering, masking and cleverly positioning your brush strokes in the right places. Check out how to create this completely brushed image, and remember that all the brushes you’ll need are either already in Photoshop or supplied with this tutorial. Try it out on an image of your choice too, and create something unique and artistic yourself.

Get the colours

Start painting

02

03

When you’ve completed the outline – don’t worry if it’s rough, as we’re going to build lots of layers – briefly hide the white layer. On a new layer, select colours from the model layer (Alt/Opt+click) and with a 5px brush, squiggle to lay down the main tones to paint with.

Unhide the white layer. With a 5px, 50% opaque brush on your colour layer, start brushing, mixing shades of colour together to create a painted layer of the face. Keep eyedropping with the Alt/Opt key and brushing until you’ve finished creating the painted layer.

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Expert tip Keep brushes realistic With 160 different brush shapes and sizes supplied in this tutorial, it can be hard to keep your portrait looking at all cohesive. Try to keep the drips only as big as the 5px brush stroke that painted the layers above them, and don’t make the airbrush strokes too thick. Also try to mask in the picture with a small flicked brush, rather than a big one; if the size is similar to the brush that painted the layer in the first place, it will help to make things look more realistic.

Build up the paint

04

Keep working on the painted aspect of the image. Add highlights and shadows to the hair, and with the clothes, create new layers to paint onto. Try experimenting with the blend modes of these layers to change the way the painted strokes react to each other.

Add highlights

Create some outlines

06

07

Grab the 50% opaque, 5px brush once more. On a new layer, make squiggles in white or bright colours like orange or purple, just to add some more texture to the image. You can reduce the opacity of this layer if the lines appear too bright or bold.

With the majority of your painted layers masked out, insert new layers beneath your portrait, and using the supplied paint brushes, add flicked paint strokes beneath the portrait. It looks best to get the paint all at the same angle; use the Direction option in the Brush panel.

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Select the 2px brush that you made the outline with. On a new layer, make crosshatched strokes over the darker areas of the face. Reduce this layer’s Opacity to anything from 5% to 50% depending on how dark you want the hatching; it just adds a nice extra texture.

With an 8px, 100% opaque brush, insert a new layer and make thick, marker-like strokes in black and white over edges that need more prominence. This really cartoonises the image a little more, removing it from the original photo that the painting is based on.

Place some strokes

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Start to crosshatch

Mask the portrait

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Hide the photo and the white layer, and add a colour background that complements the subject. Organise your painted, sketched and outline layers into groups, and hit mask on the painted group. Load the supplied brushes; Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the mask and brush the paint layers back in, with visible strokes at the edges.

Insert some splatters

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You will also find splatters of paint blobs supplied in the brushes. Add these too, in the same colours as the paint you manually brushed in. The aim is to make the portrait look like it was painted with these brushes, all in one specific direction.

Sketch and paint over photos

Add some drips

Place paint above

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Use the supplied drip brushes to add more tone to the image. These work particularly well at the bottom of a portrait, or dripping from a specific place, such as the flower on our subject’s dress. Again, remember to create new layers beneath the painted layers, and apply the brushes there.

As well as adding paint below your brush strokes, add it above by inserting layers at the top of the layer stack. This effect looks particularly good at the edges of your portrait; we’ve created an explosion of paint splatters at the side of the subject’s face for effect.

Work on the background

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Up to now, we’ve not paid much attention to the background, but with most of the portrait done, hide your layers and insert ‘watercolour.jpg’ just above the blue background. Tweak the background with Fill layers, adjustments and clipping masks to create a watercolour-style look in a colour of your choice.

Airbrush some squiggles

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Select the airbrush-style brush from the Brush palette. This particular brush creates awesome, unique-looking spray-style strokes that you can add – again on new layers – in whichever colours will embellish your artwork nicely.

Create the adjustments

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Finally, add some adjustments to get the portrait looking brighter and bolder. We’ve used Curves, Color Balance and Vibrance to tweak it, along with a High Pass layer of 4px to sharpen (set to the Overlay blend mode) and a layer of noise to texturise. Our specific adjustments are supplied as an action.

What you can do with it Create a poster

GO BRIGHT AND BOLD

This tutorial works really well as a poster if you use bold colours, big brushstrokes and bright adjustments in the final step. What’s even better is that if you resize a tiny picture to sketch and paint over, it won’t even be visible in the finished piece; great news if you’re creating a poster with high resolution, but don’t have a reference picture of the same size.

Try not to get too detailed and nuanced if you’re working for a big canvas, as this will only get lost in the overall picture.

LEAVE BLEED Remember to leave ample space at the edges of your painting if you’re turning it into a poster, so that you don’t cut any of the subject off.

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Illustrate with the Pen tool On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials Works with

Start image Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn Illustrate with the Pen tool, Shape layers, layer styles and gradients

Time taken 3 hours

Expert Moe Hezwani “The Pen tool is one of my favourite tools in Photoshop, and I’m constantly discovering new ways to create imaginative scenes. I love transforming photos into illustrations, and particularly enjoyed adding quirky elements to this scene, like the spaceships. “I’m a professional graphic designer/illustrator, and Photoshop is my go-to platform for my designs.”

Illustrate with the Pen tool

Use the Pen tool, gradients, masks and your imagination to draw an eye-catching futuristic city

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he Pen tool is one of those tools that needs a bit of extra bit of practice to perfect. Drawing a vector illustration, like this city skyline, is the best way to get that practice in. Drawing with the Pen tool is easy. Position your mouse where you’d like to begin drawing and click to create your first anchor point. Subsequent anchor points will all be connected to the last point drawn, enabling you to create custom shapes. To complete a shape, click the first anchor point. There are three options you could choose from when using the Pen tool: Vector, Path or Pixel.

Get started

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Open up ‘City.jpg’ from the FileSilo. Start by creating the base of the illustration. Grabbing the Rectangle tool, ensure that Shape Layers is selected. Then draw a thin rectangle about half the width of the canvas. Next, go to Edit>Free Transform Path and rotate it about 6.25°.

Using the Options bar along the top of your screen, there is a set of three icons near the left-hand side of the bar. Each icon represents one of the three types. The first icon is for shape layers, and this is the option you will need to choose when drawing a vector shape. This detailed tutorial will walk you through the process of creating a vector skyline, using shapes such as rectangles, circles and custom shapes, all made possible by that handy Pen tool. You will also discover how to give your illustration depth by adding gradient styles and strokes.

Mirror the base

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Repeat step 2 two more times using two different colours, select those three shape layers and duplicate them by hitting Cmd/Ctrl+J. Now flip the duplicated layers by going to Edit>Transform Path>Flip Horizontal and move them to the other side of the canvas. For ease, put these shape layers into folders.

Create water

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Using the Pen tool, draw the shape of the bottom half of the base, ensuring this shape layer is below the Base folder. Then double-click this layer to bring up the Layer Styles window and select Gradient. Create a blue to white gradient, with Angle: 90° and Scale: 114.

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Expert tip Custom shapes There are a lot of elements in the illustration that can be drawn once and reused, by making them into custom shapes. To create your own custom shapes, draw your object (for example, a cloud) using the Pen tool, making sure Shape Layers is selected. Once drawn, select it using the Path Selection tool, then go to Edit>Define Custom Shape. Name your new shape and hit OK. Next, head over to the Custom Shape tool and your new shape will be waiting for you there.

Build the road

Create the basic building shape

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Finish the water by drawing ripples using the Pen tool; ensure Shape Layer is selected. Next, draw an isosceles triangle on the top half of the base and add a stroke; Size: 15px. Make the stroke colour the same colour as the middle base colour.

Continue to build buildings

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Trace the remaining buildings from the photo, but use the photo as a guide. Think about perspective and which angle the buildings need to point to keep in line with the triangle shape of the base; make sure your first building is the focal point. Also ensure your buildings have bright and colourful gradients.

Add windows

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Grab the Rectangle tool and draw a small, thin rectangle. Using Free Transform Path, rotate it to the same angle as your building. Place this shape into a folder (from the drop-down menu of your Layers palette, select New Group From Layer). Now duplicate this shape layer several times.

Create shapes in shapes

Work on the sky

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Use step 8’s method to draw windows for the other buildings. Create the antenna of the centre building by drawing a long, thin triangle. Grab the Ellipse tool to draw the circular part of the antenna. To ensure your circle is added into the same shape layer, draw it while clicking the Shift key.

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Start by tracing the middle building of the photo using the Pen tool. Draw each triangle section using four different shape layers. Next, give the first and third shape the same gradient, and the second and fourth shape the same gradient, but different to the first and third. This will make the building look 3D.

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Align your windows

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Using the Move tool, move the last duplicated layer to the bottom of your building and select all those duplicated layers. With the Move tool still selected, click the Distribute Vertical Centers button in the Options bar. Next, close the folder, add a layer mask to it, and cut out the excess parts using the Polygonal Lasso tool.

Draw the soundwaves of the antenna and apply the same gradient as the building. To create the sky, make a new layer just above the start image. Use the Gradient tool to create a blue to green gradient. Now create a massive circle using the Ellipse tool, and give it the same gradient but reversed.

Illustrate with the Pen tool

Draw the spaceships

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From this point on you will be using your imagination to draw the rest of the illustration. Start by drawing a spaceship using the Pen tool. Begin with the body, give it a purple gradient and then use the Rectangle tool to draw the windows. Grab the Pen tool again and draw an engine.

Create fluffy clouds

Draw background buildings

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Create a new folder and change the Opacity of this folder to 40%. Make your Foreground colour white and start by drawing your first curve shape. Then Alt-click on your anchor point to enable you to change direction, and keep drawing curves and clicking Alt until you are happy with your cloud shape.

Build a reflection in the water

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Place all your building shape layers into one folder and duplicate it. With the duplicated folder selected, go to Edit>Transform>Flip Vertical, move down to the water and change Opacity to 7%. Add a layer mask to the folder; using the Gradient tool, create a soft fade effect to the top of the buildings.

Finish up

15

Ensure that the building reflection folder is below the road shape layer. To add the finishing touches, draw a few boats in the water. Add trees to the road with some cars and vans. Your futuristic skyline is now complete!

What you can do with it Design your own phone case There are hundreds of different phone cases out there, but wouldn’t it be great if you had your own personalised case that no one else had? What a fantastic way to show off your artwork by placing it onto your phone; you could even share your creation with friends and family by making them one, or keep it just for yourself as your own original. There a plenty of cheap online services that will help you to place your artwork onto a customised phone case.

Draw more clouds; make sure they are in that 40% Opacity folder. Create a new folder and draw the rest of the sky elements; the birds and the spaceship cloud trail. Do this by drawing a long, thin triangle coming off the spaceship. Finally, create building silhouettes behind your foreground buildings and change their Opacity to 90%.

HIGH RESOLUTION ARTWORK Before sending your artwork to be printed, make sure it has a high resolution; 300dpi should do it. If it has a low resolution, your phone case may come back with blurry artwork.

FIND THE RIGHT SERVICE Finding the right price and the best company to upload your artwork to is important to achieve the best quality phone case. www. createmycase.co.uk is a handy choice to help create your custom cases.

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Digital art On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials

Expert

Transform your portraits with brushes

Geneva Benton

Discover how to digitally paint original artwork using a photograph as the base of your creative piece

Works with

Start images

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn Use the basics of digital painting to turn a reference photo into brushed artwork

Time taken 6 hours

“I really love the themes of nature in drawing, particularly flowers. I also love messing around with colours and creating soothing themes with a bit of clash. “I’m a full-time freelance illustrator based in the United States. I have been drawing for over a decade and have been using Photoshop ever since. I love colour and the myriad of ways it can be mixed for different moods.”

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n this tutorial, you will learn how to take the bones of a reference image and completely transform it into an original piece of artwork. In this case, it is a simple photographic portrait that has been turned into a different person with some extra added elements like a blue jacket and sunflowers placed in the hair. This tutorial requires a little bit of imagination and knowledge of the basic Photoshop tools. Any version of Photoshop over version 7 can be used, but the latest CC version is recommended for its ability to keep track of the most recent brushes you’ve used.

Arrange your canvas

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With the amount of detail involved, the bigger the resolution and size of the canvas, the better. Try working at a size over 1500 pixels and 300ppi. With your document set up, paste in your chosen stock image. In this instance, we’ve supplied an easy-tocustomise portrait for the base.

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The Brush tool will be called upon for the vast majority of the painting, but feel free to use any extra tools or tricks that you know of that will help you to achieve the effects you want. You will also benefit from using a graphics tablet with working pen pressure for much easier and free-flowing brush strokes. You certainly don’t have to be a painting expert to do this tutorial, but it will help to know a little about value, shading, lighting and depth. The entire work will be hand painted with little filter use, but there will be some adjustments courtesy of Color Balance, Levels and so on.

Set up additional references

02 

The base stock is rather dramatic, so it would be a neat challenge to paint the exact opposite. The goal is a bright and cute portrait with flowers. Additional references for flowers are supplied on the FileSilo for you to paint over.

Compile the references

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Now it’s time to compile and place flowers, in this case, on her hair, cuffs, and finger. The outcome needs to be quite different from the reference art, so the flowers were cut freely with the Lasso tool (L). Lighten the image or set a low transparency for easier lining over.

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Play with perspective On the FileSilo

Start images

Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials Works with

Elements

CS

CC

What you’ll learn Use the 3D tools and multiple images to get creative with perspective

Time taken 5 hours

Expert Rodrigo Marinelli “Sport can be inspirational when creating art, so the opportunity to combine my passions of sport and Photoshop was fantastic! It’s great to use tools and techniques in Photoshop to experiment with perspective. “I’m an art director and have 11 years of experience in advertising agencies. I learned and am still learning to use Photoshop through following tutorials.”

Play with perspective Make the most of Photoshop’s 3D tools to create a dynamic scene

C

reating an original piece of artwork is always a challenge, but being aware of all the features and tools that Photoshop can offer makes the challenge much easier. In this tutorial, we will create a dynamic scene using perspective techniques. In order for the perspective to be correct, it’s essential to have important information about angles, highlights and shadows, which means this is a perfect tutorial to practise using the 3D engine. Unfortunately you can’t always rely on your eyes, and some decisions you make need to be more mathematical.

Set the background

01

Create a new file measuring 230x310mm. With the Paint Bucket tool (G), fill the background with red (#a53123). Duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and make a rectangle with the Rectangular Marquee tool (M). Apply a Feather (Shift+F6) of 500px and press delete three times, then change the blend mode to Multiply.

Thankfully you’ll see that with a few simple clicks, Photoshop will give you the perfect base to start creating perspective edits. To make the artwork eye-catching, we will create a scene of a motorcycle race, full of drama, suspense and motion. To do this we will also learn how to use masks to blend images and experiment with colour, as well as apply incredible photomanipulation techniques. The result will be similar to an out-of-bounds effect. So let’s use Photoshop to win this race and make a great image.

Draw highlights and shadows

02

With the Pen tool, draw the shadows at the top with a red (#a53123). Apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) of 284px and change the blend mode to Multiply. To make the highlight, create a white circle, repeat the same procedure and change the blend mode to Overlay.

Add more shading

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With the Elliptical Marquee tool, make a circle and paint it white, as shown above, then apply the Gaussian Blur filter at 100px and change the blend mode to Soft Light.

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Transform your portraits with brushes

Add in finer details

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The image should now be ready for finer details, such as strands of hair, highlights and markings. It’s easier to add tiny details using a fine brush, such as Photoshop’s default Hard Round.

Produce depth with colour

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To give artwork a more lively feel, try shading and adding in colours that are a bit out of the norm. One example would be adding shades of blue into mostly orange and pink hair. It helps to add a bit of flair and interest to an image.

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Instead of using a single brush to outline every single strand of hair, try using a multi-strand brush to simulate several strands. You can create a brush yourself using several dots as a base, or use the supplied ‘Multi-Strand.abr’. Try clustering strokes around the dark and light areas.

Apply finishing touches

Complete the painting

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The artwork should be nearing completion. In this example, the flowers were part of the remaining touches and required studying references and using a combination of the brushes mentioned in earlier steps to get a life-like effect.

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Add the remaining finishing touches to your design, such as background elements, extra line art, and adjusting the shading. If the colours haven’t quite come out as you’d expected, this can be remedied using Color Balance (Cmd/Ctrl+B) or fixed manually using Replace Color (Image>Adjustments>Replace Color). SLIGHT EXAGGERATION

Expert tip

The size of her pupils, colour, and eyelashes are exaggerated and enlarged for a more striking effect. More light than usual is reflected in them.

Painting eyes Shaping and colouring eyes can be a tough thing to get exactly the way you want. As this tutorial mentions, starting with a large chunk of space and adding details either as you go or at the very end can help. Start with the shape of the eyes. They come in a variety of shapes but are never perfectly round. Try blocking in the white of the eye and the pupil afterwards. Next, block in the folds above, around and underneath the eye for depth. Once satisfied, go in smaller, adding tinier details such as the pupil lighting and shading.

Tackle hair detail

EYE SHAPES There are many different shapes of eyes, such as upturned, hooded and downturned. In this tutorial, a basic almond shape was used.

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Start image

Add depth to inked artwork Give life to your black-and-white line work by adding colour and depth in Photoshop

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dult colouring books are all the rage now. It is said that colouring helps you to relax, reduces anxiety, and creates focus. While we’re not quite sure if digital colouring has the same therapeutic qualities, we’re certain it can give new life to your line drawings, in addition to a great sense of satisfaction! In this tutorial, we will take you through the process and show you how we used Photoshop to add depth and colour to this image, using textures and a custom brush. By breaking down the process into smaller bits, you can concentrate in phases,

Create basic line work

Decide on your lighting

Quickly sketch

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Begin by creating guides in your PSD to help you with the composition. Source for reference images and place them in for a quick collage. Next, use a Hard Round Pressure Size brush to begin drawing on a new layer above.

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which opens up flexibility in terms of editing at the later stage. Just one thing though – always make sure you remember to name your folders and group your layers accordingly or it will be a headache to find them. Also, before you get started, check out our Expert Tip for more specific advice on painting hair. You can download the layered PSD with textures from the FileSilo to get a better understanding of how you can build up your artwork. We’ve also supplied the original sketch, in addition to some brushes to get creative with.

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Introduce highlights and shadows to the otherwise flat image. We wanted the light to be at the top right so that it cast a shadow onto the character’s face. Fill a 40% Opacity black layer as a base, and work out the direction of the light on a new layer.

With a white Hard Round brush, quickly go over the areas where you think the light is going to affect, and roughly block them out as a guide. Because it is a basic step, it is now easier to concentrate on the details.

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Expert tip Create the hair Believe it or not, the key to creating great hair is using the Eraser tool. First, using a large Hard Round Pressure Opacity brush – in this example size 25 – brush in the dark portions of the hair. Next, switch to the Eraser tool, this time using size 15. Brush to erase, creating tiny hair stands. Switch between the Brush tool (B) and Eraser tool (E) for creating complex and natural-looking hair shapes. Set the blend mode to Soft Light and it becomes a darker tone of the hair colour.

Refine the sketch

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On a new layer, continue to work out a more refined definition on the highlight areas. Open the layer styles, set the Color Overlay to Red to make the areas you’re working on obvious. When you are done, turn them off to see how it looks as white highlights.

05

You’ve managed to complete the progressive steps earlier and finished blocking out a refined highlighted area. Take a break and view it with fresh eyes. Using the Eraser tool, we’ve removed some highlights from the daisy flower on the right to break up the monotony.

Start pathing

Continue pathing

Use transparencies

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Next create a new folder named Highlights and begin pathing using the Pen tool. Alt/Option-click on the point to convert it into a corner point. You can fine-tune the points by clicking Command/ Control on the path, on the point, or on the bézier handles to control your adjustments.

With your highlight paths completed, you can start blocking out the rest of the elements. Create a Colour folder and begin pathing. Combine paths by selecting layers with the same colour together and click Cmd/Ctrl+E. This will merge the layers into a new vector path.

Introduce background textures

09

Create a Background folder, fill a new colour layer. Drag in the ink textures provided within the PSD file from the FileSilo. Resize them accordingly and set their blending mode to Soft Light. Lay the ink layers alternately to achieve interesting blends, for example INK_01 layer is black, INK_02 is white.

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Remove highlights

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Setting your Highlights folder’s blending mode to Soft Light will automatically create a lighter tone of the base colour beneath it. To make the wings of the bees a little translucent, reduce the Opacity of the wings paths to 80%. You can now add in more details for the hair.

Add foreground textures

10

Select the Colour folder, duplicate it by clicking Cmd/Ctrl+J, merge it by clicking Cmd/Ctrl+E. Make the layer a selection by Cmd/Ctrl and clicking on the layer thumbnail. Create a new folder named Textures, and apply the selection as a mask. Repeat texturing within this folder.

Add depth to inked artwork

Add noise

Add more noise

Make colour adjustments

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Fill a new layer with white. Go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Set the Amount to 400%, check Monochromatic. Set layer blending mode to Screen, Opacity: 50%. Right-click on the layer and go to Blending Options. Play with the Blend If sliders to affect only the lighter parts of the image.

Repeat the process, this time we are only going to affect the noise on the darker parts of the image. Set layer blending mode to Color Burn, with layer Opacity at 20%. Click Alt/Option and drag one of the sliders’ handles to split the sliders as shown in the screenshot.

Enhance the details

14

We’re going to give the image more detail by adding a mid-tone for the hair to create even more depth to the image. Start by using a black Hard Round Pressure Opacity brush and set the layer to Soft Light. Check out our Expert Tip on creating great hair.

Make a custom brush

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Create a new square document. Set the size to 250px wide. Using a Hard Round brush, put in some dots of different sizes. Click Cmd/Ctrl+A to select all and go to Edit>Define Brush Preset. Give it a name and you have your own dot brush.

Create hair ink splashes

15

Drag the ink splash layer ‘INK_07’ from the PSD provided. Set layer blending to Soft Light. Mask it using the hair path you’ve already created. Duplicate and invert the white ink splash. Unlink the mask, move the ink splash to the darker part of the hair. Relink the layer mask.

Adjust brush settings

17

Photo Filters help unify colours in your image. First add a Warming Filter (85), and a Cooling Filter (80) at 50% layer Opacity. Add red to shadows and yellow to highlights by using a Selective Color adjustment. Finally, add a Hue and Saturation layer to play around with the desired look.

Set the Brush Tip Shape Angle to -143%, Spacing: 5%. Check Shape Dynamics and set Size Jitter to 73%, Angle Jitter to 55%. Check Scattering and set Scatter to 215%, Count: 1. Brush in the shadowed areas and use the Eraser tool to erase away unwanted parts.

Add light dots

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Set the black dots layer blending mode to Soft Light and do the same for the light areas, this time using a white brush colour. We’ve added some of these white dots to the orange peony as well as the blue butterfly wings.

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Produce creative text effects Start images .

d

Produce creative text effects Learn how to mix stock photos and 3D letters to creatively illustrate a familiar phrase

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O

ne of the coolest art styles is combining photos with type to make a text look visually interesting. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing a poem or an advertising slogan, this type of art is always a worthwhile project because it generates a big impact on the people who see your work. To make art like this, it’s very important to be creative and original, so in this tutorial let’s mix some stock photos and 3D letters to write the phrase ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. Before starting work in Photoshop, have a good

Create the background

01

Create a new document (Cmd/Ctrl+N) that measures 230x310mm. Use the Paint Bucket tool to fill the background with red (#d40004). To make the frame, create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N) and with the Rectangular Marquee tool, draw out two vertical rectangles and two horizontal, then fill with the colour #faf4c2.

think about the words you are using. Each letter should visually represent the meaning of the text. During this tutorial we’ll learn how to create a 3D letter with creative textures, how to work with highlights, shadows and different opacities to add depth to the letters, in addition to using blend modes to make a cool letter effect. It’s always beneficial to have a diversified portfolio, so after completing this tutorial, choose a sentence or write your own, and then show everybody that you can make a super cool image with type at the heart of it.

Make the first letter

02

Type an A in Helvetica Bold at 72pt. Duplicate and Rasterize it. Go to the 3D menu and select the option ‘New 3D extrusion from selected layer’. Rotate the letter as shown above. Finally, create layer groups with masks on each side of the letter and add ‘Letter A_Texture.jpg’.

Insert the camera reflector

03

With the Pen tool (P), crop the reflector (‘Camera reflector_Letter P.jpg’). To make the reflector look like the letter P, use the Polygonal Lasso tool, select the white part of the reflector then press Cmd/Ctrl+T to rotate, as above.

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Set up the tripod

Attach the camera strap

Add 3D lights

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To make the letter I, first use ‘Tripod_Letter I.jpg’. Select the image and apply a Feather (Select>Modify> Feather) of 2px. Invert the selection (Cmd/ Ctrl+Shift+I) and press delete. Finally add the photo ‘Camera_Letter I.JPG’ above the tripod and repeat the same Feather procedure.

Type the letter C to use as a base, then add ‘Camera strap_Letter C. psd’. Use the Warp tool (Edit>Transform> Warp) and select the Arc option. With the same tool use the Custom option to make any further edits. Finally duplicate the layer, flip vertically and add the lock details.

Create Bevel lights

07

Select the Intro font (http://bit.ly/1rhXUxi) at 194pt and type U. Repeat step 2. Add ‘Letter U_Texture.jpg’ and change the colour with the Hue/Saturation tool (Cmd/Ctrl+U) set to 234, 37, 0. With the Pen tool, draw the bevel light and apply the Gaussian Blur (10px) in Soft Light blend mode.

Make the camera

09

To compose the letter E, first use ‘Camera_Letter E.psd’, then add ‘Camera strap_Letter E.psd’. To make this part become like the letter E, use the Warp tool to make the strap work as the bottom of the letter.

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Type T in the White Outlines font (http://bit.ly/1TwCGVD) at 220pt. Repeat step 2. To make it easier to select the sides of the letter, go to the lamp icon in 3D mode and change the position of the light, so each side has a solid colour, then add ‘Letter T_Texture.jpg’.

Warp the letter

08

To build the letter R, use the four ‘film negative’ images. To have more control, create the letter in parts. To make the manipulation easier, type an R to use as a base, and with the Warp tool, shape the images around it.

Apply the Dissolve blend mode

10

Write the word ‘is’ in white using Impact at 66pt, then change the blend mode to Dissolve with 90% Opacity. Create a new layer and using the Rectangular Marquee tool, make a white rectangle above and below the word, then repeat the same blend mode procedure. Finally rotate as shown above.

Produce creative text effects

Insert the price tag

Change the opacity

Cut out the photo ‘Price tag.JPG’. To change its colour, duplicate the layer, make a selection subtracting only the strap part, then paint with the colour #c99e01. Change the blend mode to Color. Finally, write the word ‘worth’ with the Chocoleta font (http://bit.ly/1SPBZK8) at 44pt using the colour #7f1111.

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Create a notepad

Taper extrusion

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Use the font Impact at 212pt and type a T. Follow the same procedure from step 2. Add the ‘Ring binder_Letter T.psd’ on the top of the image. Then add the ‘Notepad_Letter T.jpg’. Select the front of the letter and with the Warp tool, manipulate the bottom part to give the impression of a notepad.

Draw lights and shadows

15

To make the letter O, use ‘Coin_Letter O.jpg’. To give some depth to the image, make a new layer and with the Pen tool, draw the lights and the shadows, then use the Gaussian Blur set to 20px and change the blend mode to Soft Light.

Use the Times font at 84pt and type an A. Follow the same procedure from step 2 and add the texture ‘Letter A_Wood Texture.jpg’. An easy way to change the colour of the texture is to preserve the original 3D layer, put the folder mask layer above and change the opacity.

Type an H with the Impact font at 178pt. Repeat the procedure from step 2 but in this case, select the second icon from the 3D menu, then select the second icon from the Properties menu and choose the Taper option set to 79%. The extrude effect will only be on the left.

Texture perspective

16

Type a U using Impact at 178pt. Follow the same procedure from step 2 and add ‘Letter U_ZigZag Texture. jpg’. It’s very important that the texture follows the letter’s perspective. To achieve this, go to Edit>Transform>Perspective and make the necessary adjustments.

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Digital art Make your own style

Expert tip

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Type a $ symbol using Helvetica at 182pt and the colour #a6f07e. Duplicate the layer, then open the Layer Style window. Choose the Bevel & Emboss, Inner Shadow, Satin, Color Overlay, Outer Glow and Drop Shadow. To see all of the configurations make sure you use the ‘IP_$_style.asl’.

The final adjustments Add textures and colour adjustments to finish. Add ‘Main texture.jpg’. Take out the saturation with the Hue/ Saturation tool and brighten with Levels (0, 1.00, 157). Change blend mode to Overlay and Opacity to 60%. Add ‘Main texture 2.jpg’. Change Opacity to 60% and the blend mode to Multiply. Make an adjustment layer folder and use Levels (0, 1.00, 188) at 20% Opacity, Brightness/Contrast (35, 0) and Photo Filter (Warm, 25%). Finally make two lines to frame the words ‘is worth a’.

Create the stamp

Rotate the Scrabble letter

Use just the square part of the ‘Stamp.jpg’ image and change the blend mode to Dissolve. Then type the word ‘and’ with the font Subway Novella (http://bit.ly/1XW7HUc) at 72pt, using the colour #6c0509.

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Change the inflate angle

Sharpen with High Pass filter

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Type the letter O using the font Monoton (http://bit. ly/1VVAF92) at 175pt. Follow the same sequence from step 2. To give more depth to the letter, go to the second icon from the 3D menu, then go to the third icon from the Properties menu and change the Angle of the Inflation to -29.

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With the Rounded Rectangle tool (U) make a white rectangle and write a W and a 4, just like a Scrabble piece, then merge and follow the same procedure as in step 2. To rotate the piece, use the function ‘rotate around X axis’. Finally add ‘Letter W_Texture.jpg’.

To make the R, cut the desk lamp from the image ‘Lamp_Letter R.JPG’. To smooth the edges, select the layer and apply a Feather (Select>Modify>Feather) set to 2px. Finally, to make the image sharp, apply the High Pass filter (Filter>Other>High Pass) set to 2px and the Soft Light blend mode.

Produce creative text effects

Create a layer folder mask

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Add ‘Fountain pen_Letter D.jpg’ then ‘Ink_Letter D.jpg’. Arrange as above. Make a new layer and with the Pen tool, draw around the ink shape, make a layer folder, press the Add Vector Mask button, then add ‘Manuscript_Letter D.jpg’. Change the blend mode to Multiply.

What you’ll learn Type techniques

Make a pencil-shaving effect

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First type the letter S with the font Hobo Std (http://bit. ly/1WSLJ6g) at 204pt. This will work as a guide to put the pencil shaving layers in the right place. Add ‘Sharpening_Letter S.psd’ then duplicate it as many times as necessary and rotate until it fills the letter.

THE WARP TOOL This tool is very important for changing the form of the image. You can choose the Custom option (when you change the image manually) or the presets.

3D LETTER First type a letter, duplicate the layer and rasterize it. Go to the 3D menu and select the option ‘New 3D extrusion from selected layer’.

PERSPECTIVE TEXTURE When a texture has been added to a letter, it needs to follow the 3D perspective. To achieve that, always use the Perspective tool (Edit> Transform>Perspective).

FOLDER LAYER MASK To add the textures, first make a new layer and with the Magic Wand tool, select a letter side. Make a layer folder and press the Add Layer Mask button.

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Digital art On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/bks-A86

Essentials Works with

Elements

CS

Draw a geometric portrait

Ref image

CC

What you’ll learn How to use the Paint Bucket tool and Polygonal Lasso tool to draw

Time taken 3 hours

Expert Andy Hau “I’ve taken loads of selfies, but I’ve never drawn a selfportrait – this is my first. The low-poly style is incredibly forgiving, particularly for people like me with a potatoshaped face. You’re forced to represent yourself with chiselled features. I am a London-based architect and graphic designer, as well as the owner of A.H.A. Design Ltd – a multidisciplinary design studio.”

Selfies are so 2012 – learn how to take your portraits into a completely new dimension

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lat design has been a huge design trend for the past few years. With its minimalist feel and restrictive use of stylistic elements, flat design conveys information quickly while remaining visually appealing and approachable. With Apple, Microsoft and Google all adopting flat design in their user interfaces, as well as their branding, it’s safe to say that the flat approach is here to stay. However, tired of the ubiquitous style, there is a growing trend among illustrators to try and bring some dimensionality back into digital imagery – to resurrect the notion of tactility, while managing to retain the simplicity and approachability that flat

Find a reference image

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Unless you’re using a sitting subject, you need a reference image – a smartphone selfie is perfect. You can either use this image to trace from or, as we have done here, you can use the image as a reference. Download the photo used in this tutorial from the FileSilo.

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design embodies. Thus, the low-poly style entered the graphics world. Low poly is a geometric style that strips three-dimensional elements down to a small number of polygons. Traditionally used in 3D graphics, we are going to recreate this style using Photoshop for a portrait of a completely random, but very good-looking, stranger (okay, it’s me). Joking aside, everyone looks great as a geometric portrait, thanks to the chiselled lines and perfect symmetry. The best bit is that no 3D software or skills are required – all you need is the Polygonal Lasso tool and a good eye.

Choose a colour palette

Select the colours to use. This image Lay the background has an underexposed, light-leak feel Keep the background as plain as and uses #FBD5A6 (skin), #534D8A (hair, possible to retain a clean feel. This beard, waistcoat, eyes), #CC6B7F (light leaks), image uses a pale peach colour (#FEDCB7) #F7EADC (shirt) and #EE5692 (bow tie, to intensify the underexposed light-leak pocket square). From this main colour palette, aesthetic of the image. Select the Paint we can establish our highlights and darker Bucket tool (G) and fill in the entire layer with tones used for shading. your chosen background colour.

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Draw a geometric portrait

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Grow the hair

Create the face

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Use the Polygonal Lasso tool (L) to create the hair. Keep the lines straight and use as few changes in direction as you can. Fill the boundary with a Gradient (G). Make a copy of the hair layer and mirror it (Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal). Fill it with a darker shade.

Create a new layer underneath the hair layer and create half of the face with the Polygonal Lasso tool (L). Fill the boundary with the skin colour using the Paint Bucket tool (G). Make a copy of the face layer and mirror it (Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal). Fill it with a darker shade.

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Create the ears on a new layer using the previous method. For the shading on the ears, create a fill with the skin shade colour on a new layer. Place the shade layer above the ear layer, right-click on the shade layer and select Create Clipping Mask.

Form the eyes and eyebrows

Perfect the irises

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Now you need to create the eyebrows and upper lashes with the Polygonal Lasso tool (L) and the Paint Bucket tool (G). On a new layer under the lashes layer, create the whites of the eyes. Finally, on a new layer above the lashes layer, create the ‘bags’ under the eyes using darker skin colours.

Contour the face

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Create a 3D feel by contouring the face. On the forehead, just next to the hairline, create areas of shade using the Polygon Lasso tool (L) and Paint Bucket tool (G). Use the darkest colour for areas furthest away and the lightest colour for the areas closest to you.

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Select the Polygon tool (U) and change the Sides to 8 to create the irises. Select the layers that contain the iris elements, right-click on the Layers panel and select Merge Layers. Place the iris layer above the whites of the eyes layer and create a clipping mask as above.

Create the nose

Make a mouth

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The nose is critical for likeness (which is why some people who have bad nose jobs look completely unrecognisable). Using your new contouring skills from the previous step, create the nose as areas of light and shade.

Create the mouth using the Polygon Lasso tool (L) and Paint Bucket (G). A slight upturn at the edges of the mouth will make your subject seem less stern. Make sure you separate the two lips with an area of shade to create fullness.

Draw a geometric portrait

Expert tip Perfect symmetry

Add facial hair

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Using the same colour as the hair, create the beard with the Polygonal Lasso tool (L). The beard will define the cheekbones and chin to give further dimensionality to the face. Those of you who don’t have a beard can change the areas under the cheekbones to areas of shade.

Dress your portrait

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Using all the techniques you’ve learnt from creating the face, create your outfit using a combination of the Polygonal Lasso tool (L), Paint Bucket (G) and clipping masks. Subtle shadows under the areas where pieces of clothing overlap will create depth and fullness.

Introduce a pet

Zoom out

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The techniques in this tutorial work for animals too! The trick is to break down the facets and identify where the polygons are. For example, the cat’s head is basically an abstracted hexagon and his ears are pure triangles, which have been contoured with light and shade.

Most of us don’t have symmetrical faces. This can be somewhat of an issue when creating geometric portraits, because you either have to sacrifice likeness or you end up trying to adjust one side, which ruins the purity of the image. To counter this, once you have got the main components ready, simply remove your reference image and use instinct to locate the features. You’ll get a more natural-looking portrait and a better likeness.

Zoom out using Cmd/Ctrl+0 so the entire image fits onto your screen and check you are happy with the overall composition of the image. Everything should look balanced and the elements and colours should be evenly distributed.

What you can do with it Use it online Tired of being an egg in your Twitter profile picture but every selfie of you on your phone looks like you’re either in pain or about to sneeze? Don’t worry – we’ve all been there! One benefit of this tutorial is that geometric portraits are a great way to show the world what you look like and your artistic talent without actually revealing the real you, making them the perfect profile picture. Many social-media sites will crop your picture for you, which can be unpredictable. Instead, crop the image yourself to get the perfect fit.

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Digital art

Start image

Build up an illustration with layers Achieve the soft, clean look of an airbrushed-style illustration from start to finish in Photoshop

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rom highly polished seductive album covers to handcrafted imaginative movie posters, airbrushed realism brings a fascinating surreal quality to images. The artwork here has been greatly influenced by graphics from the Eighties, as well as masters such as Drew Struzan and Hajime Sorayama. In this tutorial, we’ll take you through the process of digital airbrushing, showing you how to use Photoshop’s layers and masks to create this image. This layering technique gradually builds up to produce a soft, smooth quality to your illustrations.

Make a basic sketch

Refine the line work

Path it out

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Begin by sourcing for reference images. They don’t have to be large; we’re just looking at overall proportions. On a new layer, make a rough guide (see the pink lines on the screenshot) with a hard brush, followed by a detailed guide (the blue lines). You can now create your first sketch (Gray).

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By using a systematic approach to creating the artwork, it will enable you to turn complex processes into easier phases to concentrate on, and opens up flexibility in terms of editing at the later stage. Just one thing though, you’ll need to name your folders and group your layers accordingly or it will be a headache to find them. Check out our ‘Expert tip’ for more specific advice on selection and advanced layer blending, and you can download the layered PSD from the FileSilo to get a better understanding of how you can build up your artwork.

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With your first sketch underneath as a guide, it’s time to create your refined sketch. Improve on the details for the eyebrows as well as the waves of her hair. At this stage you need to add in some shutter shades to really bring out the Eighties theme. Our sketch is available on the FileSilo for you.

Start pathing out areas of your refined sketch using the Pen tool. These paths will be used to mask your shadings later. Fill each path with a different colour so you can see where the areas are. Remember to name them accordingly so you can easily find them.

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Digital art Expert edit Essential steps

Create your guidelines

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A rule-of-thirds guide, together with your image’s centre guides, will help you position your elements. Google ‘Photoshop rule of thirds action’ to download this handy tool.

Shade within masks

Create a nested masked group

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Make a selection of your path (Cmd/ Ctrl+Click), for example the right eye layer. Create a group (Cmd/Ctrl+G). Apply the selection as a group mask. Press the ‘Add layer mask’ button. Uncheck your right eye visibility. Create a new layer within this group and begin shading the eye.

Repeat the same steps for the iris and you now have a nested masked group. Use a large soft brush for subtle shadings around the iris and a smaller brush for details. Slowly build up the layers of shadings and finish off with a white brush layer for the highlights.

Mirror and flip the eye

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Add shadings for the eyelid and eyebrow. Group all of these together as a right-eye group. Duplicate it, flip horizontally and place over the left-eye sketch. Be sure to flip the white highlights layer back and edit the left eye accordingly to make sure they don’t look too symmetrical.

Blur your paths

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The group mask derived from your vector paths will be too sharp, so click on the mask and then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, with a radius of 1px – 1.5px.

Flatten your image

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When you apply too many blending modes, it can look too saturated and contrasted. Adding an invert adjustment layer helps to counter this, in our case Opacity is at 25%.

Soften your image

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Copy-merge the canvas and set the layer’s blending mode to lighten. Give a Gaussian Blur of 20%. Apply it to the shutter shades area through masking to soften the edges.

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Start on the nose

Work on the bridge of the nose

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Shade the nostrils and keep them within the masked group. Keep the shading towards the tip of the nose subtle. Take note of the highlights around the rims of the nostrils. Invert the selection of the nostril vector shape and brush the highlights on a new layer.

Use a soft white brush (Opacity 40%, Flow 25%) to paint in the highlights of the nose. The highlights should fade off gradually towards the bridge of the nose, and more abruptly towards the tip of the nose. The fuller the nose, the larger your white brush should be.

Build up an illustration with layers

Add texture to the lips

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To create texture on the lips, use a soft, white brush to paint in a big subtle highlight on the lips. Next, use a soft Eraser (Opacity 82% and Flow 59%) to remove portions of the glow from the lips to create the texture according to your reference material.

Create hair waves

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Begin painting roughly the shape of the hair, brushing over a few times for darker areas. Similar with how we created the lip’s texture, use a soft, round Eraser to work out the hair. You can create a new layer and use a soft, white brush to brush in some highlights.

Paint the shutter shades

Add skin colour

Colour the lips

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Painting the complex shutter shades becomes easier with the heavy lifting completed during the earlier pathing stage. Select the path, create a group, apply the selection as a mask to the group. You can safely paint within the area. Duplicate the group below, shift it slightly up for depth.

We’re going to add colour by filling a new layer with skin tone. Set the blending mode to Soft Light. Duplicate the layer and your black shading has now turned into coloured shading. Brighten it a bit by duplicating the layer and set it to Screen at 25% Opacity.

Colour the nose

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For the nose area we will introduce some bluish tones for shadows and specific highlights. If you find the colours too strong at 100% you can reduce the layer’s Opacity down to about 25% to 50%. Lastly, add a new layer on top to brush in some white highlights.

Similarly, colour the lips using the Soft Light technique. Setting layer blending mode to Soft Light helps build up the colours harmoniously. You can paint each new colour on a separate Soft Light layer and use layer masking or the Eraser tool to define precisely the area you want to affect.

Face toning

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After completing the nose, proceed toning the rest of the face. Add some warm orange tones around the face, red tones around the cheeks, and cyan-tone highlights under the eyes and nose areas. Create more depth by brushing black over sunken areas and set the layer to Soft Light.

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Expert tip Modify your selections In this tutorial we have created many pathed-out shapes using the Pen tool. Now to make a selection of your path, Cmd/Ctrl+Click on the layer thumbnail. You will then see the marching ants around your shape. In order to add a selection to your existing one, simply Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Click on the new layer thumbnail. If you want to subtract your selection, just Option/ Alt+Cmd/Ctrl+Click on the layer thumbnail of the layer you wish to remove.

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There are two paths you’ll need for colouring the eyes. The first is an eclipse for the iris, the other is the shape of the eye. Using a nested masked group to keep the colours within the intended mask area, duplicate and flip horizontally for the other eye.

Give details to the eyes

Create eyelashes

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With your reference, begin colouring the inner portion of the iris. Take note of the reflected shadows of the eyelashes on the reflected highlights on the eyes. First, brush over a soft, white highlight over the eyes. Next, use a soft eraser on the highlight to create the reflected eyelashes.

Introduce some pores

Work on the hair colour

Flip the eye

Include some coloured make-up around the eyes. Add in eyelashes. Use a small, white brush for some of the lashes to represent reflected lights. You will also need to add in some shadow onto the eyes. Darken them slightly so your eyes will look less protruding.

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Make a selection of the hair, fill the layer with an orange colour and set the blend mode to Soft Light. Repeat the same process for the shutter shades and clothes. See our ‘Expert tip’ on adding and subtracting selections.

Add in some strands of hair

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Create a new layer, then add in some hair strands around the forehead. This will help to cover up the seams, make the face look smaller and add depth to the hair.

Add more pores

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On the noise layer, create a layer mask. Fill it with black Fill a new layer with white. Set it to Soft Light. Group the layer (Cmd/ to hide everything. Next, use a soft, white brush to brush Ctrl+G). Apply a layer mask to the group. Go to Filter>Noise>Add in the areas to create the pores. You can repeat the same Noise>Amount 50%. Unlink the mask. Enlarge the mask 200%. Re-link the process, but use a black layer instead for brushing in dark pores mask back to the group. over light areas.

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Build up an illustration with layers

Make reflections

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Create some white blocks using the Rectangle tool. Merge them together (Cmd/Ctrl+E). Warp the layer using the Fisheye Distortion tool, set to Soft Light mode at 50% Opacity. Rotate the blocks at an angle, rasterize it. Give a Gaussian Blur of 2%. Keep it within the shutter shades’ mask.

Create neon glowing earrings

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Add an inner shadow to the earrings. Blend mode: Multiply. Opacity: 75%. Angle: 90. Distance: 0px. Choke: 0%. Size: 40%. Add an outer glow. Blend mode: Normal. Opacity: 35%. Noise: 0%. Technique: Softer. Spread: 0%. Size: 75%. Apply a layer mask to brush in some hair, hiding parts of the earrings.

Place some palm trees

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With a soft, black brush, create the silhouette of palm trees using references. Set the layer’s blending mode to Overlay, with Opacity at 75%. Cmd/Ctrl+Click on the layer’s thumbnail of the shutter shades and apply the layer mask to the palm trees.

Add sparkles

Apply finishing touches

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Using the Pen tool, draw out some sparkles. Rasterize the layer and give it a Gaussian Blur of 2%. Duplicate this layer and increase the Gaussian Blur to 10% and 20%, then stack them up to produce a soft glow around the sparkle.

Take some time off and revisit the artwork with fresh eyes. Here we’ve added in more details over the sweatbands and neck area, softened the shutter shades using a Gaussian Blur layer set to Lighten mode, as well as some general darkening for the lower parts of the image. CURRENT/UNDER LAYER Moving either black or white slider of ‘This Layer’ means Photoshop will only apply blending if the tonal value of the current layer is between the values of the sliders.

Expert tip Advanced blending In this tutorial we’ve used a lot of layer blending to gradually build up the image. One of the more powerful features of the layer blending would be the Blend If slider. It’s like an auto-mask that will help you mask out complex areas based on adjusting tonal values. Play with the sliders, under Layer Style, and you will be able to restrict the blending to affect only specific parts of the image based on the light or dark values. This will help prevent the blending from affecting areas you don’t wish to be blended, without using any layer masks.

SPLIT SLIDERS You can split the slider in half by pressing Option/Alt and dragging the slider out to smooth out the blending and transition between the two layers.

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Master 3D typography

Stock images

Master 3D typography Take your typography further by creating a 3D render and adding shapes and colour – all in Photoshop

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elieve it or not, Photoshop is capable of creating complex-looking renders without the need for specialised dedicated 3D software. The 3D functionality in Photoshop enables the creation of beautiful compositions that move away from flat, 2D art. It means you can adjust camera angles, lighting and textures through a set of integrated tools. We’ll be using all these tools in this tutorial and forming a strong foundation for you to build upon. The idea here is that you will have a lot of control over the end result and create a piece that is truly your own.

The typography aspect is also down to you. Choose a strong type style and remember not to make it too fussy. A simple type style will always work better for this type of piece. As you progress from your flat graphic, the 3D will evolve under your control to a fully fledged 3D type composition. If you have a very powerful computer, use it. The rendering time will be cut in half and the whole process will be much smoother. We will guide you through the steps, but feel free to deviate to make the work your own. Experimenting with textures and lighting can completely change the outcome and final result.

Construct the typography

Get organised

Add twist and movement

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To begin with you need to construct the basic wording while considering who the design will target. This is very important, as it will control the entire end look of your design and the final result, so think carefully about the fonts you use and how they interact.

Organise your file logically and make sure each letter is on a separate layer within the Layers palette. This may sound like common sense, but if you don’t get the organisation sorted out at the start, things will be far more complicated later down the line.

Duplicate one of the letter layers and go to 3D>New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer. Choose the properties you wish, but make sure you click on the star layer in the 3D Layers palette and then adjust the values in the Deform palette to get the twist and movement you wish.

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Expert tip Get a second opinion Ask another person to take a look at your piece every so oen. You’ll get very close to your artwork aer staring at it for hours and quite oen won’t notice how it can be improved. A fresh set of eyes might give you feedback that really helps to take this forward to the next level. Constructive criticism can really help and if they suggest a different extrusion, material or lighting don’t take this to heart. Consider it, and if it improves the piece, why not give it a try?

Assign a texture

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In the 3D Layers palette click on the inflation materials (below the star layer). In the Properties palette, assign a 3D texture that gives the look you want. Choose from gloss, glass, brick, stone and more. We’ve gone for gloss. Once you have adjusted the different qualities click back on the star layer, click on cap in the Properties palette for inflation.

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Duplicate the layer with effects, click on the star layer once more, select the Selection tool in the Tool palette and then twist the whole shape to the angle you require, then click on the ISO icon on the base and wait for it to create the 3D art.

Repeat for other letters

Organise your layers

Add depth

Repeat these actions on the other letters, making sure the extrusions go behind each other. You could add a layer above at this stage with full black fill and colour with the blend mode set to Color. This allows the composition to be seen clearly and take your mind off the colouring.

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Save under a different name and then delete all unused working layers to clean the file and organise layers. This will be important as you go forward as you will be adding details to specific areas and need to be able to navigate through your document. Use obvious folder names.

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Add a background

Change the colour (optional)

Have a break

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The background will depend on the effect you want. We have gone for a simple infinity depth layer by using the Gradient tool. Add an extra few layers of the background colour and mask with the blend mode set to Multiply here if you wish to get more depth.

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Click on your rendered layer of text and click on the fx at the bottom of the Layers palette. Choose Color Overlay and set the blend mode to Color. Click on the box of colour and make a selection that complements the background. Skip this step if you are happy with your present colour ways.

Add individual shadows to help the letters interact. Select the area around your letter using the Magic Wand tool and invert your selection. Create a new layer above and set to Multiply. Use the Brush tool to paint in your shadows and adjust the opacity to get the correct level of darkness.

Take a break, then go back to your work after an hour or so. This will stop you getting too close to the piece. Decide if any changes are needed before progressing to the finishing stages. It’s hard to go backwards from this point so make sure you give serious consideration to the composition.

Master 3D typography

Add effects

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Drop shadow below by duplicating the letter group and merging the group. Then go to Layer>Effects and use the various Transform modes to get the angle to match your background. Turn the opacity of the layer down a little and also add a mask to get a subtle yet obvious shadow reflection effect.

Experiment in 3D

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Add embellishments from other 3D forms to round off the finished shape of your piece. This can be created from any simple shape then rendered using the technique in the above steps. Experiment and you’ll come up with some amazing random shapes in no time. Bubbles are a good idea. There are some on the FileSilo.

Inject some vibrancy

Enhance the details

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Click the top of the layer stack, go to the top menu and select Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Vibrancy. In the Property palette boost the settings a little and bring your creation to life. Don’t take the levels up too far or you’ll get a colour burn out and strange things happening to your gradients within the shapes form.

Flatten the image, change the mode to greyscale in Document settings, then copy the layer. Now go to your history and paste this new layer at the top of the layer stack, set the blend mode to Overlay and it will add a little pop. You can mask out sections and change the opacity to get the level you require.

Create more details

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Add more detail by thinking where there are holes in the composition. Use the above created shapes to sit above, inbetween and below the various letters and glue the whole composition together as one piece. Think how you can get them to look the best and apply them at will.

Apply a High Pass filter

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Paste another copy of the layer again at the top of the layer stack, then go to Filters>Other and apply a High Pass filter. Change the settings to get the edge of the shapes showing then change the blend mode to Overlay. This will sharpen all the edges and bring more life to the finished example.

Save a layered version

Experiment some more

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Make sure you save both a flat version and a layered version of the artwork. There is nothing that will make you madder than going back to a piece only to find that you didn’t save all the working layers within a 3D document.

Experiment with the colour. Here’s another version with recoloured sections using the Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation and adjusting the Levels to a colour that looks good. Then mask out sections to give it a new cool look.

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HOW TO USE

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ACCESSING YOUR NEW DIGITAL REPOSITORY

To access FileSilo, please visit www.filesilo.co.uk/bks-A86

01

Follow the on-screen instructions to create an account with our secure FileSilo system, log in and unlock the issue by answering a simple question about the edition you’ve just read. You can access the content for free with each edition released.

02

Once you have logged in, you are free to explore the wealth of content made available for free on FileSilo, from great video tutorials and online guides to superb downloadable resources. And the more bookazines you purchase, the more your instantly accessible collection of digital content will grow.

03

You can access FileSilo on any desktop, tablet or smartphone device using any popular browser (such as Safari, Firefox or Google Chrome). However, we recommend that you use a desktop to download content, as you may not be able to download files to your phone or tablet.

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If you have any problems with accessing content on FileSilo, or with the registration process, take a look at the FAQs online or email [email protected] imagine-publishing.co.uk.

NEED HELP WITH THE TUTORIALS? Having trouble with any of the techniques in this edition’s tutorials? Don’t know how to make the best use of your free resources? Want to have your work critiqued by those in the know? Then why not visit the Bookazines or Photoshop Creative Facebook page for all your questions, concerns and qualms. There is a friendly community of experts to help you out, as well as regular posts and updates from the bookazine team. Like us today and start chatting!

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Photoshop Creative Annual

Photoshop ®

creatIve Annual

More than 200 free resources

Discover the most creative projects for Photoshop CC, CS and Elements, as this collection of practical guides is bursting with essential tricks and step-by-step tutorials

Includes guides for Elements

Master the basics

Create surreal artwork

Edit your photos

Paint and illustrate

Get to grips with the most essential tools in Photoshop by applying them to practical projects

Enter the popular world of photomanipulation, and learn how to composite fantasy scenes

Discover all the retouching skills you need to perfect your photos and add creative effects

Embrace the Pen and Brush tools as you master the art of digital painting and illustrating

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