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PLUS! 18 pages of Elements guides





MASTER DIGITAL ART Unlock the power of digital


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A 3D CITY Create your own city in the sky today

GO INTO SPACE With the help of filters, layers and masks

COMPOSITE LIKE A PRO Master layers to design a fantasy scene

Issue 154


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On the surface, filters may look like one of Photoshop’s more basic features, but when you look closer, they can help you unlock a whole world of opportunities, whether it comes to adding subtle final effects to an artwork you’re tweaking, or dramatically transforming an image to create something stunning and unique. Turn to p14 for an in-depth guide to their many uses. In addition, our oil painting effects tutorial on p42 shows how you can use filters to turn a simple image into a striking portrait. If you’re looking for that extra dimension to make your art pop, we have not one, but two exciting 3D features. Our advanced 3D city tutorial on p58 will teach you to build a city in the sky, and the tutorial on p22 helps you get to know the many aspects of 3D effects in Photoshop. We hope you enjoy the issue!

Erlingur Einarsson Editor erlingur.einarsson@futurenet.com


Contents Co

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Essentials 06 FileSilo This issue there are over 600 free resources for you to use

gallery 08 Trending Check out some of the coolest artwork going viral this month

gallery 10 Readers’ Have a look at what your fellow readers have been up to this issue

challenge 12 Readers’ A chance to win Corel AterShot 3 and AKVIS Enhancer software

14 25 diferent ilters and how to use Feature: Master filters

them to make a good artwork great

36 How I Made

See how Alexandru Savescu made the ilm-noiresque artwork The Mystery Man of Maryland

How I Made

56 Christian Orrillo shows us how he created the vivid Amniotic

Tutorials basic 3D in 22 Master Photoshop Get to know Photoshop’s 3D tools and create a cityscape with depth

with layer masks 28 Blend Use double-exposure tools to blend diferent images

a fantasy scene 38 Create Mix reality and fantasy with the help of layers and masks

YOUR FREE PHOTOSHOP RESOURCES ARE HERE! ✔ This issue: lightning strikes, textures,

any photo into an 42 Turn abstract oil painting

mockups, light leaks and much more

Learn how to transform a photo into a richly detailed oil painting

✔ Plus files to follow the tutorials ✔ Free and ready for you to download today!

a 3D-style logo 46 Create Layer styles, Smart Objects and Blur ilters can help you make a rockin’ logo

Create block animals 52 with Liquify Follow this fun step-by-step guide to turn any furry critter into a boxy fantasy creature

focus 70 Project Typhaine Le Gallo has perfected the way to blend digital and traditional hand-drawn art using Photoshop

92 Reviews This issue we put Anthropics’ LandscapePro 2 and AKVIS’ LightShop and OilPaint to the test

interview 96 Portfolio Carolina Rempto talks about her path



to being an acclaimed digital artist

interview 98 Reader Maciej Matuszak shares his secret Photoshop tips and tricks with us


Follow us on

Twitter @pshopcreative

Advanced Photoshop modelling in 58 3D Photoshop Dream up a city in the sky using Photoshop’s powerful 3D tools

an awesome 64 Create space scene Compose an out-of-this-world scene with the help of layers, ilters and masks










Elements creative and Burn 74 Dodge your photos Achieve fast precision with this vital tool

a creative 76 Make clock face Make creative compositions with text and images

80 Change the look of your

How to age portraits images non-destructively

a surreal moon 82 Create composition Follow this step-by-step guide to build an eye-catching scene

a scene using 86 Illustrate selections How to thrive in Elements without a graphics tablet

Common problems 90 Q&A: in Elements Your FAQs answered by our team of Elements experts



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TRENDING IMAGES Check out some of the most popular artwork that’s been rocking the internet over the last few weeks, and take inspiration from what’s currently trending There’s nothing more inspiring than surfing the internet and seeing what other artists are creating, and we encourage you to do so. Here are some of our favourite pictures that caught our attention recently, from some of the world’s most exciting artists and designers.

Chatchanok’s rooster has been viewed over 8,000 times. We love the detail in the piece, and it’s proof that while digital and analogue art are oten considered separate, they can conlate for incredible results such as this.

The blending in Rafael’s work is superb, as is the choice of colour and texture. He’s been featured by Adobe’s Photoshop gallery, and this piece is a great example of his wonderful command of a composition.

Chatchanok Wongvachara www.behance.net/ chatchanokwong

Rafael Boo www.behance. net/rafaelboo

This was created with the smoke cut out and applied using blend modes, and space elements added. The smoke was given a colour temperature, light efects and spots using gradient maps, Curves and blend modes.

Risfan Fariansyah www.behance. net/rsvn

This was created in Photoshop and Lightroom. The Transform tools were key in creating a surreal environment, masking helped to bring all the elements into the inal image and blend modes helped unify the elements.


Mind-bending compositions are extremely popular online, and this is the standout piece in Risfan’s impressive portfolio. We particularly like the colour editing that Risfan has made in Lightroom.

The artwork was created from a pencil drawing that I did, with the digital colouring coming from Photoshop. The image was created in celebration of the Chinese Year of the Rooster.

Jan Urschel

Yukai Du



This illustration was made for the movie Ghost in the Shell from Paramount Pictures. Photoshop was used to composite several 3D render passes, add photographic background plates, bring in atmospheric efects like steam, and the inal colour grading.

This is the cover of a children’s book, commissioned by Wide-Eyed Editions. The cover image needed to incorporate the themes of the book, feel coherent, and also feel related to the other pages illustrated inside. Brushes were used to create the illustration.

Jan has worked with countless production companies, and this is a shining example of his work. We love the detail and atmosphere in this piece, and so do 135,000 people who have viewed him online.

Aitor Prieto Reyes www.aitorprieto.com/

I work on my digital pieces as if they were a real canvas, so I don’t usually accumulate many layers. In this piece I used a layer for the background and another for the characters, which I blocked to give them volume with brushstrokes.

With half a million online views and support from The Student Show and Pantone, Yukai’s work is highly rated. We love this one, because it feels slick yet playful: that’s the power of Photoshop brushes.

Barcelona-born Aitor has been recognised by four separate Behance showcases for his perfectly detailed, oten caricaturist digital art. This landscape is beautifully realised and was featured by the Photoshop, Behance and Illustration galleries.


READERS’ IMAGES Welcome to an inspirational round-up of great Photoshop artwork created by none other than your fellow readers

GET IN TOUCH Send us your images now for the chance to appear in future galleries Create your own gallery online PhotoshopCreative.co.uk Upload your images to Facebook Search PhotoshopCreative Tweet us your creative artwork @PshopCreative

Alternatively, you can email: markwhite03@futurenet.com

Elissandro Pinto www.photoshopcreative.co.uk/user/ Elissandro

Image of the issue Layers, blend modes and masking were vital in this image. The rhino was the first thing to be added to the scene, before the town was added to its back and everything was blended with adjustments and brushes.

Caroline Julia Moore www.photoshopcreative.co.uk/user/ CJMArt

I took the main photo of the two subjects at the studio and merged this with a woodland photograph that I’d taken. The image was stylised with Dodge and Burn, and a Color Lookup adjustment was applied.


Alexander Kruglov

Murilo Francisco



I used a lot of layers and masks for the mood in this image. I used an image of an old gramophone from a museum and Liquified it to make it look like an unusual flower. I added my cat to the image, too!

Claudio Tosi www.photoshopcreative.co.uk/user/MirrorWalkers

The original sketch was drawn by hand, then replicated on a Wacom tablet. The aim was to enhance the beauty of the traditional sketch using digital tools. I used brushes and pastel textures on the shadows.

I used the Pen Tool to cut out the images, along with exposure, merging and adjustments, and I blended everything together to produce a natural, toned composition.

Kostis Keritis www.photoshopcreative.co.uk/user/kostis%20keritis

In order to create this, I began with a few quick sketches to find the best possible frame. Then I added more images, overpainted a few new elements and drew the details with a tablet.


READERS’ CHALLENGE Challenge entries The best entries and overall challenge winner

1 Sheri Emerson Space Detective I used Polar Coordinates to make rings from the rockets, duplicated and blurred for glow. I put the arctic scene in the background, filtered and added a desaturated rainbow ribbon.

Upload your images to


1 s’ r e d Reaallenge Ch INNER W

2 Bob Parsi Love, Strategy & War I created a movie poster theme based on Love, Strategy and War. I created this design using all images provided. I used a lot of masking, layer adjustments, blurs, blending and more.

3 Previatti Consanni Don’t Worry, Be Happy This image uses a main subject as the focus, with a spacey background. The background was created with adjustments, layers and blend modes.

4 Neil Kelly Spaceman This depicts a spaceman landing on a planet once inhabited by humans, but now only a ferry remains and no ocean. Adjustments blended everything together.

We challenged you with these In issue 151, we challenged you to get creative with these four images. You were allowed to use any or all of the pictures, and whatever other resources you chose. Here’s what you created.



The PRiZe…

RUnneRs’-UP PRiZe… WORTH $99!

Corel AfterShot 3

AKVIS Enhancer

This issue, one lucky winner will receive a copy of Corel’s photo-editing software, AfterShot 3. AfterShot is fantastic for RAW processing and is packed with a plethora of new features, including watermarking, blemish removal and an enhanced highlight recovery feature. This is a fantastic addition to any Photoshop user’s workflow, should you wish to make improvements to your photos.

Three runners-up in this issue’s challenge, along with the winner, will all receive a copy of AKVIS Enhancer. Another photo-editing program, Enhancer is a great companion to your Photoshop workflow, dedicated to improving detail and tone.

WORTH £79.99!



This issue’s challenge Think you can do better? Prove it! Get creative with the supplied images and you could win a fantastic prize! Use as many of the images as you like (from previous issues too!) and include your own photos if you wish. Head to www.photoshopcreative.co.uk and simply hit the Challenge link. Closing date: 17 August 2017.




25 FILTERS THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR WORK Don’t dismiss filters as being an unsophisticated editing option; we reveal how they can elevate your work Filters can turn a good piece of artwork into a great piece of artwork. Whether you’re looking to add noise, reduce it, blur, sharpen, or create an artistic effect on a photo, there’s a filter for that. And the best part is they’re fun to experiment with! Filters can sometimes have a bad reputation in the Photoshop world, because they create simple, immediate effects in your work, which can look obviously edited. However, this is only if you don’t use them correctly: there are hundreds

of ways that you can subtly or dramatically change the look and feel of any project, just by using filters. They never have to just be the finishing touches either, because filters can be built upon or intertwined, for you to create stunning effects throughout all of your projects. Let’s delve into 25 of them, and look at how you can use them to not just add cool effects to your images, but actually change the way you work.





Create amazing illustrations all with the help of ordinary filters, and bring a humble skyline to life.

Learn how to transform ordinary portraits with extraordinary effects, using filters for creating fire and ice.

Blend mind-bending tools and distortion filters together for projects that call for something special.

DIGITAL ARTWORK Use filters to enhance digital artwork as well as photobased projects, and get the best from Brush Strokes.


CAMERA RAW Discover the best features available in Camera Raw, and learn which sliders are the perfect ones to improve your photos.


On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative





Easy illustrations with Cutout Turn a photo into a vector-style image using two filters You don’t have to be a natural artist to draw; you can quickly create a cityscape illustration using the Cutout and Gaussian Blur filters, with a little help from the Pen Tool. Begin by opening ‘pex_169647_city.jpeg’ from the FileSilo. To apply the Cutout filter to just the buildings, grab the Pen and ensure Paths is selected, and then draw around the shape of the buildings. Create a selection around the working path and then apply Filter>Artistic>Cutout, set to 3, 2, 3. To enhance the gradient background of the image, select the original path and convert the path to Subtract from Shape Area (located in the Pen Options bar). Now create a selection around the sky and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and amend Radius to 59px. You can also apply the Gaussian Blur filter to soften the edges of shapes. Begin by creating a number of long rectangles, convert them to a Smart Object and then the Gaussian Blur can be applied. Do the same to create a moon.


Bend with Polar Coordinates Combine this filter with edits to create surreal worlds Achieve an incredible effect using the Polar Coordinates filter, adjustment layers and colour corrections. It is a simple and fast effect that is easy to achieve using some basic techniques and tools in Photoshop. This technique offers countless possibilities of composition, so feel free to exploit it to its full creative extent.

RADIAL BLUR Use Radial Blur (Filter>Blur>Radial Blur) to add a touch of motion in a circle around the image.

SPHERIZE Go to Filter>Distort>Spherize to bring more focus on the subject and make the composition feel more globe-like.

“It is a simple and fast effect that is easy to achieve using some basic techniques”

Round things out


Finish the composition




Create a 230mm x 310mm file, 300ppi. Open ‘pex_132983_ocean.jpg’. Go to Image>Image Size, (uncheck Constrain Proportions) and resize to 3000x3000px. Go to Filter>Distort>Polar Coordinates, select Rectangular to Polar. Drag the image to your file.

Duplicate the layer once (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and rotate it 60° counter-clockwise, create a layer mask and paint over the line to remove it. Duplicate again, increase the size, create a layer mask and hide the middle parts. Create a Curves adjustment layer, move the line down.

Add some adjustment layers to the water, like Colour Balance and Brightness/ Contrast. Insert ‘pex_241044_man.jpg’ in the centre and remove unnecessary parts. Add adjustment layers for the man; Colour Balance, Brightness/Contrast, Curves and Levels.



“To make the woman’s skin softer, use Filter> Blur>Surface Blur”

Add special effects to portraits Combine multiple filters for a fantasy fire and ice world

Create the snow

Add some filters



Create a new layer, set Foreground colour to black, place on the top of the layers and paint it (Alt+Del). Apply Filter>Noise>Add Noise, Amount: 90%, Distribution: Gaussian and tick Monochromatic. Use Levels (109, 1,00, 255), change blend mode to Screen and apply Filter>Blur>Motion Blur, Angle: -45° and Distance: 26px. Finally, add Filter>Artistic>Dry Brush, set to 2, 1, 3.


To make the woman’s skin softer, use Filter>Blur>Surface Blur, set to 70, 5. To add realism to the ice side, duplicate the background, merge it and apply Filter>Artistic> Plastic Wrap, set to 3, 10, 14 and make a mask to erase the unnecessary parts. Finally duplicate the background again and add the Diffuse Glow filter (Filter>Gallery>Distortion>Diffuse Glow), set to 6, 3, 16.

Make the fire


Make a new layer, use the Pen Tool (P), draw a flame shape, go to Filter>Render>Flame, set Width to 70 and change blend mode to Screen. Duplicate all layers from the fire side, merge it, apply Filter>Distort>Glass) and set to 10, 12 - Frosted Texture. Create a new layer, set Foreground colour to black, Background to white, apply Filter>Render>Clouds and change the blend mode to Screen.

Mold with Liquify and Displace Use these filters to bend objects to your will The Liquify and Displace filters are used to distort pixels in an image. However, there is a huge difference between them. Liquify is commonly used to create artistic effects by using tools to distort the pixels, Displace uses a greyscale map to distort the objects.

In this project, we used Liquify to create a melting effect and Displace to blend the melted paws with the iceberg. To create the Displace Map, open the image you want to map, desaturate it, use Levels to adjust the grayscale tones, then save as .psd. To apply

the filter, go to Filter>Distort>Displace, select the .psd file you created. To work with Liquify, go to Filter>Liquify. Grab the Forward Warp Tool and start pushing the pixels down and then push sideways and inward to make the trails thinner.



Quickly boost your illustrations Apply Texturizer and Glowing Edges to make images pop If you’re no stranger to image-editing apps such as Instagram and Photoshop Mix, then you’re more than likely already aware of just how fun filters can be. Though lacking the likes of Valencia and X-Pro II, the default options in Photoshop’s Filter Gallery can still have a beautiful creative impact on your work.


For example, if you don’t have access to suitable texture images or brushes, the Texturizer filter is a fitting substitute. Choose texture types such as Mosaic, Burlap and Canvas from the drop-down menu, and adjust using the sliders. Subtle details are best for detailed backgrounds, so keep the sliders low.

To refine the edges of an illustration, you can get excellent results from the Glowing Edges filter. Apply it to your character illustration, and set the sliders to high settings. Set the layer to either Overlay or Colour Dodge, and set the Opacity to 20% or lower. This way, it will apply extra detail to your illustration without overpowering it.

Sharpen Detail in a picture is key, but so is a lack of it; sharpen and reduce noise with these sliders.


Basic adjustments Fix the tone, brightness and light using the basic adjustments on the first page of Camera Raw.

Colour balance Get more from colours than adjustments can manage; alter hue, saturation and luminance.


Edit images with Camera Raw

Add a split tone to finish and decide on the balance between the highlight and shade.

Achieve professional retouches with this powerful filter The Camera Raw filter processes Raw files, and you can apply its sliders and effects to your pictures to fix everything from clarity and contrast, right through to saturation and split tone. If you’d like to fix a range of issues, just cycle through the features on the righthand side of the window and adjust all the

sliders. The first page is full of basic adjustments that can really bring the essentials out of your picture; once you’ve made the necessary edits, click on the next

icon and delve a little deeper into your picture, by fixing the tone, sharpening, editing colour and even applying effects based on camera make and model.

“Fix everything from clarity and contrast, right through to saturation and split tone” 21

Tutorial Master basic 3D in Photoshop

Master basic 3D in Photoshop Get to grips with the essentials of Photoshop’s 3D tools to create a background scene for a digital painting


ities look beautiful at night, and they can be an attractive setting to use in digital paintings and illustrations. However, without any perspective tools or objects, city scenes can be an intimidating subject to paint. But with a little knowledge of Photoshop’s 3D tools, you can make this process a lot less painful. Before you start, make sure your computer is powerful enough to run the 3D software. If you have never modelled a 3D object in your life before, don’t worry. In this tutorial, we will be covering the absolute basics of creating and reshaping 3D objects in Photoshop.

Expert Rebekka Hearl “As a graduate of a 3D animation course, I am well versed in the use of 3D tools and modelling 3D objects, and applying them to my digital artwork. “I’ve been using Photoshop since my teens, and it is still a vital part of my workflow to this day. I don’t know how I managed to survive so many years without my Cintiq 13HD, and my favourite Photoshop tool is without a doubt the Brush Tool.”


Although Photoshop’s built-in 3D tools are not as powerful as the tools featured in dedicated programs such as Maya, they are certainly enough for creating shapes that fit the perspective of the scene you want to paint, which is exactly what we need to complete this cityscape piece. We will also be using illustrative and digital painting techniques to complete this image, so even if you do not intend to use 3D objects in your work on a regular basis, there are drawing and colour-editing techniques you may still find useful. Most importantly, though, be sure to have fun!

Want to cycle through Move tools? Press V In 3D mode

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative

Essentials Works with




What you’ll learn How to create and adjust a basic 3D object in Photoshop CC

Time taken 9 hours


Tutorial Master basic 3D in Photoshop

Perspective reference We will be using 3D objects as part of this tutorial, but perspective reference photos are still imperative to help you put the scene together. It’s useful to take photos of tall buildings and study the perspective from different angles. Keep them to hand and keep referring to them as you work.


Begin sketching Using the reference images you collected, sketch a rough idea for your scene. Create a new layer and select a hard brush, set to 15px. If you’re not confident when it comes to drawing perspective, feel free to trace one of the images you collected.


Now your background is done, place your character in the scene. Create a new layer and, using the same brush, draw a character balancing on the wall you drew on the background layer. Remember, use as much reference material as you need. Add in basic shadows on a separate layer.


Set up the colour palette

Load up the 3D space

Create a new layer, above all layers, so it will be easy to access as you work. Using a large hard brush at 75px+, draw circles of the colours you want using the Colour Picker. These will be easily accessible later using the Eyedropper Tool.



Prepare for adjustments Don’t worry! Your sketch hasn’t been deleted. Think of this as a workspace entirely separate from your painting space. Select the Cube folder to edit the cube, and Scene to move the camera. In the Properties window, click the Coordinates icon, and switch off Uniform Scaling.



Sketch your subject

Access the 3D tab by navigating to Window>3D. This will add the 3D tab next to your Layers panel. Select Mesh From Preset, and select Cube from the drop-down menu. This will create a 3D cube and bring up the 3D navigation space.

Shape the cube

Adjust lighting

Now Uniform Scaling is off, we can elongate the cube. 3D objects are modelled by stretching or squashing them along Y, X and Z-axes. Increase the X-axis from 13 to 19, and the cube will stretch into a rectangular shape. Decrease the Z-axis.



Below the Cube folder, select the Lighting folder. You can drag it around as you do with the camera. It will be helpful to set up the lighting now, so the cube will fit the scene. From the Properties panel, set Shadow Opacity to 0%. We won’t need it.

Want to cycle through Move tools? Press V In 3D mode

Expert tip Tweak the perspective

Duplicate cube

Apply to scene

We will be using this cube to create an apartment building in our scene. To quickly give it shape, Ctrl/right-click the Cube folder and select Duplicate. This will create an exact copy. Notice how it clips through the other cube as you move it with the Move Tool.



Switch back to the Layers tab, and you’ll notice that the 3D object has been applied to your scene, exactly as you left it positioned in the 3D space. Go back to the 3D space to adjust the camera if it’s not sitting correctly. Line it up with your sketch.

Overlay colour

Start shading

Overlay some colour to make the grey 3D object fit in the scene. Use the Eyedropper Tool to select the purple you used for the background, create a new layer above the cube, Ctrl/right-click and select Clipping Mask. Use the Paint Bucket Tool to fill the layer. Set it to Overlay, 50% Opacity.



Create another clipping mask layer above the cube, below the Overlay, and set to Multiply, 40% Opacity. Use the Shape and Marquee tools to draw straight lines on the front of your apartment building. On another clipping mask layer, colour some of the windows a cyan blue.

Add texture Create a new layer set to Overlay, select the cyan, and use an airbrush to add a glow effect. If you have texture images to hand, find a scratchy one, or download one from a site like BittBox (bittbox.com). On another new layer, paste in the texture, set to Overlay, 20% Opacity.


Here’s a great tip for perspective drawings. As mentioned before, collecting perspective references is imperative for creating accurate environments, whether you’re studying perspective or editing the photos directly. But it can be frustrating looking for the angle you have in mind. If you take a photo that’s of a similar angle, of any subject, use the Transform Tool to rotate, flip and warp the image into the angle you need. Then create a new layer and draw over it.

Complete shading Select a soft brush at 50px+, and set to 60% Opacity, 80% Flow, and Multiply blend mode. Still using the same purple, shade the building. Paint harsh lines to create a concrete look. On a new layer, use a 10px hard brush to add graffiti.


Finish drawing the character With the background that will be sitting behind your character mostly finished, now’s the time to finish the character art. Create a new layer above the sketch layer, and use a hard round brush set to 12px and a dark purple to draw the lines.



Tutorial Master basic 3D in Photoshop

Quick flats

Shade the character

Create a new layer under the lines, and fill it with purple. Select outside the lines using the Magic Wand Tool. Go to Select>Expand>2px, and click OK. Select the colour layer, and hit delete. Turn on Lock Transparency, and use the Eyedropper and a hard brush to colour the character.



Create a new layer above the flats, Ctrl/right-click and select Create Clipping Mask. Set the layer to Multiply, 45% Opacity and, using a hard brush at 20px+, draw in the purple shading. Keep the shadows crisp and contrasted, to fit the strong lighting of the scene.

Add some foliage On a new layer above the apartment buildings, use a textured brush set to 35px+ to draw in some trees. Use a dark grey/cyan; in this lighting, it will appear slightly green compared to all the purples. Set the brush to 30% Opacity and Multiply blend mode to shade the trees.


Using the same technique as we did for the first apartment building, create two more cube shapes for the background buildings. Repeat steps 12 and 13 to shade them in the same way.


Foreground wall The character is still floating! Beneath her layer, create a new one and draw an angled wall using the Marquee Tool. Fill with a light purple, and then use the dark purple we used for all other shadows and a soft painting brush set to Multiply to shade it.


Starry night sky

Combine and contrast

Gradient mapping

You can’t usually see stars in a city, but we’ll make an exception here. Create a layer below all others, and use the purple to draw a dark horizon. Use the square Shape Tool to draw building silhouettes. Shade using the soft brush, and add stars and lights with a small hard brush.

With your painting complete, select all the layers, Ctrl/right-click and select Merge Layers. This will combine all your layers into one, making it easier to adjust the final colours. First go to Image> Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast and set each parameter to 11.




Background buildings


Select a saturated dark purple and a light yellow as your Foreground/ Background colours, and go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. This will create a new layer that automatically applies colour effects to your image. Set to Overlay, and reduce Opacity to 30%. And it’s done!

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Tutorial Blend with layer masks


Show us your creative edits Tweet us @pshopcreative On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative

Essentials Works with




What you’ll learn Combine images for a double-exposure effect using masks

Time taken 2 hours

Expert Andre Villanueva “Layer masks and blend modes are features I can’t live without. I especially love doing double-exposure experiments and surprising myself with combinations. “I discovered Photoshop while studying web design. Ater graduating, I taught in the media arts department. I’m now art director for a tech company, soothing my inner instructor by sharing techniques with readers.”

Blend with layer masks Produce a trendy animal double-exposure effect using layer masks, blend modes and adjustment layers


ouble-exposure imagery has roots in photography. A juxtaposing of two (or even more) images due to multiple exposures, this technique oftentimes yields startlingly beautiful visuals. You’ve more than likely seen this effect on album covers, advertisements and posters. Double exposures can be achieved in Photoshop using multiple layers stacked on top of one another and merged using layer masks and blend modes. Before you get to the blending, though, you’ll want to make selections of the playing pieces. Here you’ll start by selecting and isolating an animal and some mountains. You can certainly make the blend without isolating these, but freeing each from their

respective backgrounds will give you flexibility in editing as well as deployment. Blending will be facilitated, and you can adjust the background or swap it altogether. The initial animal-mountainscape meld will be realised with masks. You’ll then enhance with blend modes, layering clouds with Screen and doing a bit of painting with Color and Pin Light. Some choice adjustments will help to add the final spit and polish. After completing the tutorial, why not try your own double exposure? Find a worthy animal or person, then pair your subject with an interesting scene or object.

Mask the mountain

Select animal



Open ‘landscape.psd’. Use the Quick Selection tool to select the mountains. Resize the brush with [ and ]. To remove from the selection, hold Option/Alt while using the tool. When done, press the Add Layer Mask button in the Layers palette. Save and close.

Open ‘animal.psd’. Use the Quick Selection tool to make a base selection of the animal. Use the Zoom tool to get up close as needed. When you have a decent selection, go to Select>Select and Mask [non-CC: Refine Edge].


Tutorial Blend with layer masks

Clean up mask Paint with the Refine Edge Brush tool [non-CC: Refine Radius tool] along the fur and other areas to fine-tune. Resize brush with [ and ]. When done, set Output To to Layer Mask. Click OK.


Situate backdrop Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button in the Layers palette, choose Solid Colour. Pick #d0d3dc. Drag it below the animal layer. Click the animal layer. Press Cmd/ Ctrl+J to duplicate. Click the lower animal layer’s mask. Press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the selection.


Blend landscape Select the top layer. Go to File>Place [CC: Place Embedded], grab ‘landscape2.jpg’. Option/Alt+click the Add Layer Mask button from the Layers palette, then paint white in the mask at 40-60% brush Opacity to bring a bit back. Move or transform (Cmd/ Ctrl+T) layer if needed.



If necessary, paint in the mask with the Brush tool for editing. Use black to hide and white to restore areas. Get up close with the Zoom tool. Adjust brush size and opacity as needed. Decrease/increase brush hardness with { and }.


Refine the selection

Fade sky Press Cmd/Ctrl+G. Add a layer mask to the group. Ensure the Foreground colour is black. Select the Gradient tool. In the options bar, set to Linear and 100% Opacity. Choose the Foreground to Transparent preset. Shift-click and drag down from the top to fade.


Show us your creative edits Tweet us @pshopcreative

Expert tip Proper planning Investing in the planning phases of a double-exposure image can really pay off. Make sketches, jot down notes and look online and in magazines for inspiration. Gather stock photos and/or create your own assets. Line up different options for your images. When you’re in the heat of creation, stopping to search for alternate images can stunt your artistic flow. During your image search, try collecting some oddball images that catch your eye. They may be of use in a future project.

Add mountains Place [CC: Place Linked] ‘landscape. psd’. Scale down and position on the animal’s back before committing. Add a layer mask. Paint black at 60-100% Opacity to fade the edges and merge with the animal.


Paint with colour

Place birds

Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button from the Layers palette, choose Solid Colour. Pick #c68449. Set the blend mode to Colour. Click the mask and invert it (Cmd/Ctrl+I). Paint white at 10-40% brush Opacity to help blend the masking.



Place [CC: Use Place Embedded from here on out] ‘birds.jpg’. Scale down and position before committing. Set the blend mode to Darken. Remember where the birds are for the next step.

Clean mask Option/ Alt+click the Add Layer Mask button from the Layers palette, then paint white at 80% brush Opacity to bring the birds back. Feel free to move the layer to reposition the birds.



Tutorial Blend with layer masks

More clouds

Add clouds Place ‘sky.jpg’. Scale down and position before committing. Set the blend mode to Screen. Option/Alt+click the Add Layer Mask button, then paint white at 40-60% brush Opacity to add the clouds.


Paint some cloudiness Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button, choose Solid Colour. Pick #4987c6. Set the blend mode to Screen. Drop Opacity to 40%. Click the mask and invert it (Cmd/ Ctrl+I). Paint white at 10-40% brush Opacity to ramp up the cloudy vibe.


Duplicate the sky layer or place ‘sky.jpg’ again, then move and edit or add mask. To duplicate quickly, select the Move Tool, hold Option/Alt, click and drag to copy and move in one stroke. From there, edit mask and transform layer if needed.


Merge layers Make any last masking and positioning changes in the base composition. With the top layer selected, press Cmd/Ctrl+Option/ Alt+Shift+E. Right-click on the layer, and then choose the Convert to Smart Object option.


Enhance (Photoshop pre-CC) [CC: skip to next step.] Go to Filter> Sharpen>Unsharp Mask or Smart Sharpen, whichever you prefer. Adjust the settings to apply the desired amount of sharpening. When satisfied, click OK. Paint black in the filter mask to reduce in areas if needed. Skip to step 18.



Show us your creative edits Tweet us @pshopcreative

Expert edit Transplant your image

Enhance (CC) Go to Filter>Camera Raw Filter. Use the various settings to enhance and sharpen the image. Increase Clarity and follow up by increasing Shadows: +76 and Blacks: +50. Under Detail, utilise Sharpening, under Effects, utilise Dehaze and Post Crop Vignetting. Click OK when you are done.


Place your image If you need to situate your image in another document, place the image PSD in the destination document. Use Place Linked in CC to stay linked.


Mask away edges Add a layer mask to the placed image. Use black to fade edges via a soft-edged brush and/or a Foregroundto-Transparent Linear gradient.

02 Blend with Pin Light Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button, choose Solid Colour. Pick #80b2e5. Set the blend mode to Pin Light. Drop Opacity to 50%. Paint black in the mask at 10-40% brush Opacity to reduce in areas.


Cool with Photo Filter Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button, choose Photo Filter. Pick Cooling Filter (80). Set Density to 25%. Paint black in the mask at 10-40% brush Opacity to reduce the effect.


Edit background If needed, adjust the background colours or textures to help the image look more at home. Add colour, mask additional texture and/or work in some adjustments.


Finalise and save Employ other adjustments to finalise the image. Check out Colour Lookup’s various presets such as FoggyNight and FuturisticBleak. Tone down the adjustments by reducing layer Opacity and/or painting black in the masks. Play with Colour Balance’s sliders. Fine-tune with Levels or Curves. When done, save your work.


Add vignette Merge layers at the top and convert to Smart Object. Go to Filter>Camera Raw Filter. Under Effects, adjust the Post Crop Vignetting settings.



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How I made The Mystery Man of Maryland

The artist Alexandru Savescu

Essentials Time taken 10 hours


“I’m an artist who dabbles in a variety of styles, from traditional pen and ink illustrations and experimental printing, to digital painting and short www.thepixelprositess.com animations. I list Egon @thepixelprosites Schiele, Sergio Toppi, Moebius, Andrei Tarkovsky, Stanley Kubrick and Quentin Tarantino as key influences. “I have been a finalist three years in a row in the Folio Society and House of Illustration international competition in 2015, 2016 and also 2017.”

Show us your compositions Search for photoshopcreative

The Mystery Man of Maryland How Alexandru Savescu concocted an atmosphere of film noir with Photoshop brushes, lots of research and adjustments


y focus has always been on narrative and conceptual illustration,” says Alexandru Savescu, a Romanian illustrator and graphic designer currently residing in London. “I am passionate about portraiture, traditional drawing and printing techniques.” Alexandru’s appreciation for all art forms is represented in this piece, The Mystery Man of Maryland. Alexandru used traditional drawing techniques, including type, in the piece, and listened to a lot of jazz to help create the atmosphere for his image; not to mention the

effort he put into researching location. Ultimately though, Photoshop was the key tool in bringing all these inspirations together. “For me, Photoshop is a way of recreating these techniques and maximising productivity, helping me change and rework my ideas without interrupting the creative flow,” he says. “My favourite Photoshop tools, the very foundation of my illustrations, are actually quite common: the standard Brush and Eraser and the Lasso. Besides these, layer and clipping masks and colour overlays are my next favourite thing.”

Colouring the image

Preliminary sketches


My travelling drawing kit is a small tablet and a memory stick. After a thorough research on the location and time setting of the story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F Scott Fitzgerald, and a four hour flight, I made a few preliminary sketches.


Every colour I use is set to a specific layer and starts as 100% black, which gets a colour overlay on top and textures applied as masks. I prefer doing this because it allows me to change my mind later on and I can also use the layers to screen-print the illustration any time.

Build the composition




This is the part where Photoshop takes over from any traditional practice. I am a bit choosy with my colour palettes and it takes me a few hours and many different versions to decide. I used turquoise-vermillion colour contrast to create drama and heighten the action.

A couple of colour layers are added on top with a reduced fill and opacity with either Difference or Exclude used as the blend mode. I then added a Color Lookup filter and I was done. I was listening to jazz music continuously throughout the process to get into character and this helped me create a detective/noir setting.


Tutorial Create a fantasy scene

Essentials Works with




What you’ll learn How to use layers in a creative way to compose a fantasy scene

Time taken 5 hours

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative

Expert Rodrigo Marinelli “Photoshop gives wings to my imagination. When I was a kid, one of my dreams was to leave my bedroom and go straight to the park with my friends. While I could never do this in real life, it’s possible in Photoshop! “I’m an art director and have 12 years of experience in advertising agencies. I learned and am still learning to use Photoshop through following tutorials.”


Create a fantasy scene Let’s use layers to create an imaginative scene where a girl leaves her house and goes straight into a park


good way to create a unique scene is to mix reality with fantasy. To do that, it’s necessary to use your creativity to imagine how these two different worlds will blend into the same scene, in a way that is believable to the viewer. So, let’s learn which are the best tools to construct a scene like that. To create this image, we will work with many layers, so, it will be necessary to organise the

workflow. As we will create every single part of the scene, it is also necessary to pay attention to the colour tone of the layers. It also helps to link adjustment layers and use the Feather to blend the photos into the scene. Another essential part of this tutorial is the mask command. This is an amazing tool that will help to mix different photos. After finishing this tutorial, create your own fantasy/reality scene and send us your image!

To organise layers Set up groups (Cmd/Ctrl+G)

Blend with mask

Link the adjustment layers

Create a new document (Cmd/Ctrl+N) at 230x180mm and place ‘sky_01.jpg’. Add ‘sky_02.psd’ and place it on the top. To blend the image, click the Add Layer Mask button, set the Foreground colour to black, use the Brush Tool (B) and erase the unwanted parts, as above.


Place the floor Add the Floor layer from ‘bedroom_02.psd’ and place it below the Chair layer. To make it fill the space, as in the image, duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and make a mask (Step 1) to blend.


Enhance the details Add Layer 01 from ‘bedroom.psd’ and place it behind the Chair layer. To enhance the details in the image, duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J), apply the High Pass filter (Filter>Other>High Pass) set to 1px and change the blend mode to Soft Light. Finally, make a mask (step 1) to blend the image.


Add some details Let’s add a few details to give depth to the scene. Add the Carpet layer from ‘bedroom.psd’ and place as in the image. Then, add the Top layer from the same file and place it at the top of the bedroom. Finally use a mask (Step 1) to blend.


Add the Chair layer from ‘bedroom_02.psd’ and place it as above. Set up a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, hold Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt and click on the chair layer, then set it to 0, -33, 0. Make a mask (Step 1) to blend the image with the scene.


Create the shadows Set the Foreground colour to #aa754e, create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N) and pick the Brush Tool (B). Then, go to the Brush Preset Picker and choose a Soft Round brush. Change the blend mode to Multiply, adjust the Opacity to 50% and paint in the shadows.



Tutorial Create a fantasy scene

Expert tip Attention to the details Always pay attention to highlights and shadows in your scene – they will help make it look realistic. Because the female figure is going from a bedroom to a park, it’s necessary to pay attention to the highlights and shadows to make the scene believable. To enhance the shadows of her face, use the Burn Tool (O), set the Exposure to 50% and gently paint the darkest parts. To enhance highlights, use the Dodge Tool (O) and repeat the same procedure.

Apply the Feather command Add the ‘biker.psd’ and place it in the centre of the scene. Activate the layer selection (Cmd/Ctrl+click on the layer thumbnail), apply the Feather (Shift+F6) set to 1px, invert the selection (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I), and press delete three times. Finally, link a Levels adjustment layer (Step 2) and set it to 12, 1.00, 247.


Use the Free Transform Tool Duplicate the biker layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J), activate the selection (Cmd/Ctrl+click the thumbnail), set the Foreground colour to black, paint it (Alt+Del) and use a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) at 10px. Use the Free Transform Tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T) then hold Cmd/Ctrl and adjust the perspective.


Layer group with mask Create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N) and use the Pen Tool (P) to draw a shape as shown above. Activate the selection (Cmd/Ctrl+Enter), create a layer group (Cmd/Ctrl+G) and press the Add Layer Mask button. After that, place the Floor layer from ‘bedroom_02.psd’ inside the folder.


Create the park Add the ‘skateboard.jpg’ and place it below the bedroom/biker layers. Add ‘skateboard_02.jpg’ and place it above ‘skateboard.jpg.’ Use a mask (step 1) to erase the unnecessary parts and to blend the images. Link a Colour Balance adjustment layer (step 2) set to 0, 0, -39, as well as a Levels one set to 24, 1.00, 255.


Add the grass Add ‘grass.psd’ and place it below the bedroom layers, then add ‘grass_02.psd’, place it above and make a mask (step 1) to blend. Create a new layer, set the colour to black, use the Brush Tool (B), change the blend mode to Soft Light and brush in the shadow.

11 40

Compose the scene Let’s add more elements to make the scene realistic. First, add ‘plane.psd’ and set the Feather command (step 7) to 1px. Then, add ‘birds.jpg’ and apply the Feather at 0.5px.


To organise layers Set up groups (Cmd/Ctrl+G)

Add depth to the scene

Change the colour

Now, add ‘leaves.psd’ and place at the top of the scene. To give more depth to the image, apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur> Gaussian Blur) set to 15px. Duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and place at the bottom of the scene, as in the image above.



Add ‘butterfly.psd’ and place it on the grass. To change its colour, link a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (step 2) and set to 197, 53, 0. Add the ‘butterfly.psd’ again, place it under the leaf on the bottom and apply a 10px Gaussian Blur filter.

Use the gradient mask Add ‘basketball. psd’, duplicate it, flip it vertically (Edit>Transform>Flip Vertically) and change the Opacity to 30%. Add a mask, use the Gradient Tool (G), go to the Gradient Picker, select Foreground to Transparent and gently erase the image. Now add ‘soccer.jpg’ and ‘roller_skates.jpg’ and repeat the procedure.


Set the colour tone Simple highlights Add Layer_01 from ‘smoke.psd’, change the blend mode to Screen and place it in the middle of the scene. Then, add Layer_02 from the same photo, place it at the bottom of the scene and change the blend mode to Screen.


Let’s use different adjustment layers for both sides. Create a layer group with mask (step 10) and for the left side, use Brightness/Contrast (0, 20), Levels (19, 1.00, 255), Photo Filter (Warming 85) and Colour Lookup (3Strip.look). For the right side, add Levels (7, 1.00, 255), Brightness/Contrast (15, 16), Photo Filter (Warming 85) and Colour Lookup (3Strip.look).



Tutorial Turn any photo into an abstract oil painting


Want different results? Repeat the Glass and Oil Paint filters On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative

Essentials Works with




What you’ll learn How to use filters to apply an abstract painting effect on a photo

Time taken 1-3 hours

Expert BÜRO UFHO “We found that combining Photoshop’s Oil Paint filter with other filters can yield some interesting results. “Being both an artist, under the moniker kittozutto, and graphic design studio, BÜRO UFHO, we have been using Photoshop for over 10 years. In 2015, we had the privilege to be invited by Adobe, together with 70 artists, to celebrate its 25th Anniversary of Photoshop.”

Turn any photo into an abstract oil painting Transform a photograph with the use of filters in Photoshop


here are several ways to create an oil painting effect in Photoshop. The fastest and easiest way is a rather cool feature, aptly named the Oil Paint filter. It enables you to take any photo and easily turn it into a ‘painting’ by tweaking a few sliders. As is the case with many other Photoshop filters, using it alone creates a common-looking, much less interesting result. However, combining it with other filters opens up a whole new world of possibilities. In this tutorial, we’ll take you through the process of transforming a mandrill photo into an illustration,

Import the image

Content-Aware fill



Begin by searching for your desired image from your own library or the web. We will be using a mandrill image we found as a base for our painting. Place your guidelines according to the rule of thirds, and drag the image into your canvas.

and show you how we use filters in Photoshop to speed up and achieve a painting effect. We’ll also show you how to prepare your image before applying the filters to get the result we want. Check out our Expert Tip for more specific advice on the Blend-If sliders. The images used in this tutorial are all provided on the FileSilo. You can also download the layered PSD to get a better understanding of exactly how you can build up your artwork. Once you have worked through the technique, you can try applying it to other kinds of photos.

Patch Tool


Depending on your image, some We are going to extend the image. weird artifacts may result. We’re Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool, going to remove these by using the Patch click and drag to make a selection at the top Tool. Select the area you wish to clean up, of the image. Go to Edit>Fill>Content-Aware. and simply drag to the area you wish to Repeat to extend the bottom and both sides sample. Repeat this a few times to of the image. thoroughly remove any strange areas.


Tutorial Turn any photo into an abstract oil painting

Liquify Tool Go to Filter>Liquify. Using the Forward Warp Tool, slowly push the beard outwards so that the edges are vertically straight to keep the illustration clean and geometric. Using the Bloat Tool, click on the eye a few times to enlarge it.


Using a black Soft Round brush, roughly brush in the mouth. On a new layer, use a white Soft Round brush to paint over the highlight areas, use black for shadow areas. Set the blending mode to Soft Light to make these areas more defined.


Achieve symmetry

High Pass sharpening

Select the left side of the image with the Rectangular Marquee Tool, Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate, Cmd/Ctrl+T to transform. Right-click and select Flip Horizontal. Shift the layer accordingly to achieve symmetry.



We’re going to bring out some of the details for the oil painting effect. Go to Filter>Other>High Pass. Set Radius to 1px. Set the layer blending mode to Linear Light, Opacity at 40%. Select the layers and Cmd/ Ctrl+E to merge them.

Oil Paint filter

Bas Relief filter

Now enlarge the image to fill up the canvas. Go to Filter>Oil Paint. Set Stylization and Cleanliness to 5, Scale to 10, Bristle Detail and Shine to 0. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+F to apply the filter again.


09 44

Add details

Glass Filter Go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Distort> Glass. Set Distortion and Smoothness to 15, Texture: Tiny Lens, Scaling: 200%. Check Invert. Your image will now be transformed into an abstract pattern.


Use Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate the layer. Go to Filter>Filter Gallery> Sketch>Bas Relief. Set Detail to 13, Smoothness to 3, Light at Top Left. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+U to desaturate the layer. Set the blending mode to Overlay, with Opacity at 30%.

Want different results? Repeat the Glass and Oil Paint filters

Expert tip Blend-If sliders

Noise filter

Selective Colour

Import ‘paint-268231.jpg’ and drag into your canvas. Desaturate the image. Set blending mode to Soft Light, Opacity to 25%. On a new black layer, go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Set Amount to 55%, select Uniform, check Monochromatic. Set blending mode to Soft Light.


Photo Filter adjustment Add a Warming Filter (85) Photo Filter adjustment layer. Next, add a Magenta Photo Filter adjustment layer. Use the Blend-If slider to avoid affecting the white areas so that the whites don’t become too magenta. Check out our Expert Tip on the Blend-If slider.


Add a Selective Colour adjustment layer. We’re going to add a more purplish hue than the original colours. On the Cyans channel, set Cyan to -55, Magenta: +22, Yellow: -100. On the Blues channel, set Cyan: -100, Magenta: +35, Yellow: -100.


Blend-If is a powerful tool for layer blending that lets you manipulate specific areas to blend based on light and dark tone. Under layer Blending Options, holding down the Opt/ Alt key and drag the Blend-If slider out. Holding down the Alt/Option key causes the slider to split in half. This will smooth your layer blending and create more transition between the two layers. We’ve used this to only affect the Magenta Photo Filter on the darker tones of the image.

More Selective Colour

Levels and Brightness

Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. Set Hue: +5, Saturation: +35. Add a second Selective Colour adjustment layer. On the Reds channel, set Magenta and Yellow to -24. On the Neutral channel, set Cyan: +14, Magenta: -8, Yellow: -13.



Add a Levels adjustment layer. Pull in the blacks to 44, and whites to 199. Use the Blend-If slider to avoid affecting the black areas and only brighten the light areas. Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer and set Contrast to 11.

Import texture Import ‘red-652716.jpg’ and drag into your canvas. Desaturate the image. Set blending mode to Soft Light, Opacity to 50%. On a new layer, use a white Soft Round brush to paint over highlight areas, black for shadow areas. Set blending mode to Soft Light to make these areas more defined.


Texturizer filter Go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Texture>Texturizer. Set Texture to Canvas, Scaling to 200%, Relief to 50, Light at Top. Set the layer blending mode to Soft Light, Opacity to 50%.



Tutorial Create a 3D-style logo

Essentials Works with




What you’ll learn

Start image

Use the Pen Tool, layer styles, blend modes, Smart Objects for a 3D effect

Time taken 1.5 hours

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative

Expert Moe Hezwani “Logo design is a big aspect of my daily work. I’m always asked to create a number of styles and I’m grateful for the techniques and tools I can use in Photoshop to help me design all these logos. “I’m a professional graphic designer/illustrator and Photoshop is my go-to platform. I enjoy playing around with Photoshop to mix photography and illustration to build an image.”


Create a 3Dstyle logo Discover how to create an out-of-this-world logo design using layer styles, Smart Objects and Blur filters


very great company needs a brand logo – if it is original and eye-catching, it will help a company stand out. Most logos use typography, but it would be too ordinary to just use a standard font; why not create your own? Planning what you want your logo to look like is one of the most important stages in logo design development. Use the name of the company to help you decide on design elements, for example

in this tutorial the company is called ‘Planet Direct’, therefore a rocket with some stars is a happy complement to the company name; really have fun with your design. In this tutorial you will learn how to create an original and eye-catching logo by using a number of different Photoshop tips and tricks. Discover how to give your text depth and how to customise it with the help of the Pen Tool and layer styles.

Keep your shape layers organised Group them (Cmd/Ctrl+G)

Expert tip No Pen Tool?

Create a background

Background vignette

Create a black 240x190mm document, then grab the Ellipse Shape Tool and draw a large circle in the centre of the canvas. Hold Shift for a symmetrical circle. Now Ctrl/right-click the circle layer and click Convert to Smart Object. Then go Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and amend the Radius to 250px and set the layer blend mode to Soft Light.



Draw the same sized circle as Step 1, but this time change the shape options to Subtract From Shape. This will give you a vignette shape. To soften it, convert the shape to a Smart Object and add a 250px Gaussian Blur. Now set the blend mode to Vivid Light and Opacity to 50%.

For most of this tutorial, you will mostly be using layer styles, the Ellipse Tool and Blur filters, which Elements users can do. Unfortunately, Elements users don’t have access to the Pen Tool, and this tutorial uses the Pen Tool to trace around the sketch from step 3. Instead of using the Pen Tool, use the Brush Tool very carefully to trace around the sketch, but still make sure you trace each section of the sketch into separate layers.

Draw the logo Open ‘fo_start_ image.jpg’ from the FileSilo and use the Pen Tool, set to Shapes, to trace around the sketch. It is very important to this tutorial that each section of the logo is on its own shape layer; for instance, the front part of the rocket will be on a separate layer to the inner 3D section.


Add a gradient overlay

Align gradients together

Once you have drawn the whole logo, it is time to add some colour to it. Start by adding a gradient to the front of the rocket. To do this, bring up the layer styles and select Gradient Overlay. Make the first colour stop a dark orange and the second a light orange.



When creating an illustration with a large number of gradient styles, you want to ensure the Align with Layer box is always ticked. Ensuring the box is ticked means all your gradients will simultaneously align together, so if you move the angle on one gradient layer style, all your gradients will move with it.


Tutorial Create a 3D-style logo Expert edit Enhance the shadows

Glow with inner shadow After applying the gradients, add a white glowing key line around the foreground shapes, for instance, the front section of the rocket, stars, etc. To do this, select Inner Shadow from layer styles and change the Blend Mode to Screen and Color to white, Distance: 8px, Choke: 2%, Size: 10px, and check Use Global Light.

06 Black layer Only darken the inside shapes of the logo, eg the inside of the T. Firstly create a new layer above the T shape, fill with black, set Opacity: 70%.


A glowing key line Add an Outer Glow to all the shape layers you added an inner shadow to and amend the following settings to create a soft glow: Blend Mode: Soft Light, Opacity: 60%, set Color to a light orange, Spread: 10%, and Size: 50px.


Enhance the glow To make the glows really pop, create a new layer, change its blend mode to Overlay and make a selection around the front part of the rocket. Grab a white soft brush and change its Opacity to 40%, then start to brush around the edges of the rocket. Repeat for the rest of the front shapes.


Create a selection Start by creating a selection around the inside of the T shape. To select a shape layer, simply Cmd/rightclick on its layer’s thumbnail.


Add a mask Now click the Add Layer Mask button located at the bottom of the Layers panel and create a mask over the new black layer.


Create a dark shadow Brush to erase With the mask thumbnail selected, ensure the Foreground colour is set to black and use the Brush Tool to erase any black fill you don’t need.



To darken the inner sections of the logo, eg the inside of the rocket, start with the inside section of the flame, select its shape layer and select the Inner Shadow layer style. Change the settings to; Blend Mode: Multiply, Color: black, Opacity: 21, Distance: 14px, Choke: 15% and Size 38px.


Outer Box Blur glow First duplicate the entire rocket and flame shapes, merge them together and move behind the shape layers. Next, add an outer glow and amend the settings to Blend Mode: Soft Light, Opacity: 40%, set Color to white, Spread: 20%, and Size: 3px. Finally, go Filter>Blur>Box Blur and change the Radius to 30px.


Keep your shape layers organised Group them (Cmd/Ctrl+G)

Expert edit Try these adjustments

A final outer glow This time, duplicate all the foreground shapes; this will include the front part of the rocket, circles, flame and letters. Once duplicated, merge the layers together, change the Opacity to 70% and the Fill to 0% and add an Outer Glow layer style. Amend the settings to: Opacity: 60%, Spread: 10% and Size: 40px.


A starry foreground Start by opening ‘pex_119685_space.jpg’ from FileSilo, go to Select>All and hit Cmd/Ctrl+C to copy the starry background. Head back to your logo canvas and hit Cmd/ Ctrl+V to paste it into the canvas. Next, change the Opacity of the starry image to 70% and the blend mode to Colour Dodge.


Foreground vignette Duplicate the background vignette from Step 2, drag it to the top of your Layers panel and change the blend mode to Soft Light. Now amend the Gaussian Blur filter. To do this, simply double-click Gaussian Blur on the layer and amend the Radius to 341.6px.


Gradient maps Gradient maps add different hues, depending on where light and dark tones are. They’re great for transforming the entire colour of an image with a few clicks.

Colour Balance The Colour Balance adjustment will enhance the colours already in an image. Tweak between Cyan/Red, Magenta/Green and Yellow/Blue.

Colour Lookup For a professional-looking tone, Colour Lookup can help. Choose from the dropdown menus and switch the blend mode to lessen the effect if need be.

Hue/Saturation adjustment Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to enhance the colours of the overall logo design. To add a new adjustment layer, go Layers>New Adjustment Layer>Hue/Saturation and amend the Saturation to +22.


Brighten up the canvas Finally, brighten and boost the contrast to add a final touch of depth. This time, use a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer and amend the Brightness to +9 and Contrast to +15.


Curves The Curves feature is a versatile adjustment: use it to alter the red, green or blue of your image, as well as the whites, blacks, lights and darks.


Tutorial Create a 3D-style logo Logo measurements

Essential dimensions for social media platforms



Logo/profiLe – 180 x 180px

Cover photo – 828 x 515px

Logo/profiLe – 400 x 400px

Cover photo – 1500 x 500px

Any logo or profile picture must be a minimum of 180 x 180px, but it’ll appear as 160 x 160px and be displayed throughout as 32 x 32px.

Any images used for your cover photo will be stretched to 828 x 515px, but you can upload an image that’s a minimum of 399 x 150px.

The logo or profile image area on Twitter uploads as 400 x 400px. You can upload JPEGs, PNGs or GIFs.

Any image you upload as your cover photo should be a wide landscape, but Twitter will reduce it to 1500 x 500px. Keep the main focus in the middle of the image.




video upLoads – 1280 x 760px

Cover photo – 2560 x 1440px

Logo/profiLe – 128 x 128px

Max iMage size – 500 x 750px

Every video needs a display image, and this should measure in at 1280 x 760px, as this qualifies as HD, with a 16:9 ratio.

Keep this to 2560 x 1440px to have the highest resolution. Cover photo sizes will vary depending on device; it will show up as 1546 x 423px on your mobile, for example.

Your profile image on Tumblr will be shrunk down to 128 x 128px, but will show up as 64 x 64px when scrolling through your news feed.

Images will show up in the news feed as a maximum of 500 x 750px, but you can upload images as large as 1280 x 1920px.



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Tutorial Create block animals with Liquify

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative

Essentials Works with




What you’ll learn How to use the Liquify filter’s Forward Push Tool and Freeze Mask Tool

Time taken 1 hour

Expert Sarah Cousens “As an animal lover, I oten ind that cute furry critters become the focus of my designs. Combined with my interest in the surreal, this block efect has me hooked. “I am a designer and illustrator and have been using Photoshop ever since forming my own design and illustration company, Cool Surface Ltd, ten years ago.”


Create block animals with Liquify

Have fun pushing pixels around to make this cute cuboid gerbil


ou may think small furry animals are pretty cute to begin with, but this charming 3D animal-cube effect gives them a whole new level of adorable quirkiness. Created almost exclusively with the Liquify filter, it is a simple technique that is so satisfying and fun to use, with amusing results! One key thing to remember is that you only get one level of undo within the Liquify filter. Undo once, and that’s it – no going back any further. This can be very frustrating when you have been carefully pushing pixels for several minutes only to

make a couple of dodgy brush strokes and ruin it all! For this reason, we recommend you periodically click OK to apply the progress you have made with the filter so far, for example immediately after you have edited one small body part, then return to the Liquify filter again to continue with your artwork. As you manipulate the image, imagine the animal’s body as being made up of 3D shapes; think about their positions, the perspective, and how the different shapes would connect with each other. Once you get the hang of it, you can have fun trying this technique out on other animals, too.

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Open the start image Open ‘pix_1238228_gerbil.psd’. Press Cmd/ Ctrl+J to duplicate the background layer, in order to preserve a copy. Go to Filter>Liquify (or press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+X) and select the Forward Warp Tool. Choose a Brush Size of around 400, Brush Density: 16, Brush Pressure: 100 and Brush Rate: 20.


Straighten the back Start to click and drag along the left edge of the gerbil’s body to manipulate it into a straight edge. Using a larger brush size creates a more natural result and prevents the fur projecting over the edges from being compressed.


Edit the leg On the right leg, create a flattened edge along the bottom, with a corner each side, dragging outwards with a large brush size, then refining the corners with a smaller size. Flatten and straighten the underneath of the gerbil’s body.

04 Create corners and edges Create a diagonal edge at the top of the gerbil’s back, leading towards his ear. Use a smaller brush size (around 80) to create a sharper corner at the top of his back. Flatten the top of the head.


Now the other leg

Apply a Freeze Mask

On the left leg, create a 3D cuboid shape, remembering to use a fairly large brush size (around 150) to prevent the edge becoming compressed and losing the soft blurred appearance. A smaller brush (eg 60) can be used to sharpen the corners.



To preserve the progress made so far, select the Freeze Mask Tool within the Liquify filter and apply a mask over the straightened edges of the gerbil, and also over his paws as we want to leave these unchanged.


Tutorial Create block animals with Liquify

Expert tip Liquify shortcuts When you activate the Liquify filter, you enter a dedicated workspace. The same rules for keyboard shortcuts apply within this window. Each Liquify tool has its own shortcut (eg press W for the Forward Warp Tool, or press F for the Freeze Mask Tool), and other common keyboard shortcuts can also be used. For example, the bracket keys can be used to adjust brush sizes, and while using the Freeze Mask Tool, you can hold Alt and paint to subtract from the masked area.

Extend the Freeze Mask

Cheek and arms Switch back to the Forward Warp Tool, drag his cheek down and left and create more of a squared shape. Alter his arm to create a sharper right-angled point at the elbow, then a straight edge along the bottom and up the left side of the arm.


Once you are happy with these areas, paint over them with the Freeze Mask Tool to preserve them, then also apply the Freeze Mask to the whiskers on the right side to prevent them from becoming distorted.


Edit the nose Switch back to the Forward Warp Tool. Straighten the edges of the bridge of the gerbil’s nose, and straighten the underneath of his mouth. Reduce the brush size so you have the necessary control to turn the pink tip of his nose into a square.


Create a rectangular ear With the Freeze Mask preserving the straight edge of the gerbil’s back, use the Forward Warp Tool on the left ear to create a rectangular shape. Zoom in to tidy and straighten the edges, and adjust the fur within the ear so it maintains a natural curved shape.


Now for the eyes Tweak the other ear For the right ear, think of it as a similar 3D shape to the left ear, but angling away from the viewer. Create a diagonal top edge, then a straight vertical edge on the right.

11 54

Apply the Freeze Mask on an area around the eye, then use the Forward Warp Tool to create a square-shaped eye. Use a small brush size to make the corners and edges sharp. Also straighten the light and shadows within the eye. Flatten the right eye.


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Feet and tail

Add a shadow layer

Slightly straighten the edges of the feet and toes, but take care not to create edges or corners that are too sharp, as this will contrast unnaturally with their blurriness. Straighten the tail, working your way along it gradually, and square off the tip.



Add a new layer at the top of the layer stack, name it Shadows, set the blending mode to Multiply and layer Opacity to 30%. Use a Soft Round Brush with R: 80 G: 47 B: 25 to paint in shadows beneath the gerbil.

Angular shadows Keep the shadows angular with straight edges to match the gerbil’s new body shape. To create a straight line, hold down Shift while left-clicking at the start and then the end point of your line.


Finishing touches Some shading Reduce the brush Opacity to 30% and apply some faint shading underneath parts of the gerbil that would project and cast a shadow, for example, beneath his arms and chin. Keep these shadows subtle, and again apply them with straight edges to match the form of the gerbil.


Check your image over and make any final tweaks or edits with the Liquify filter. Finally, give your image a boost by adding a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer at the top of the layer stack. Set the Brightness to +7 and Contrast to +3.



How I made Amniotic

Essentials Time taken 48 hours

The artist Christian Orrillo “I’m Christian Orrillo, better known as Krizpi, and I’m a self-taught, contemporary Peruvian artist. My work expresses many personal concepts related with the fantasy www.thepixelprositess.com world, full of beautiful @thepixelprosites characters and dreamlike scenes. Surrealism and classical beauty are constant elements in my work, embellished by an iridescent colour palette and influenced by the aesthetic of anime, manga art and pop culture. You can find more of my work at www.behance.net/krizpi.”


How Christian Orrillo created a beautifully iridescent self-portrait from a Photoshop brush sketch


hristian Orrillo is an artist who knows a lot about intensity, whether he’s creating something incredibly detailed or colourful. His brightly hued portraits have racked up over 25,000 views on Behance, but his digital art journey had humble beginnings. “Photoshop is and has been for a long time my first digital creative tool,” he says. “I remember the first time I used it in 2002, when I drew and painted my own characters using the Brush tool and a mouse.” Over the years, he’s developed more than just his trademark iridescent style with the program. “I intuitively learned to use my

Making a sketch

Defining shape

Finishing the piece




I made a rough sketch of what I had on my mind; in this case, a close-up of my face to which I wanted to incorporate a kind of circular shape as a space helmet. I usually use a brush with a graphite pencil texture to sketch and draw on white canvas.


favourite tools such as the Brush, Liquify, Smudge. Without these tools I cannot imagine creating what I currently make.” It’s clear that such a unique style takes time to evolve, and Christian’s mastery of the more digital art-focused tools in Photoshop is thanks to time and practice. With a great eye for colour and detail, his work looks steeped in traditional art influences, but Christian says he loves working in Photoshop. “I really enjoy drawing and painting a lot in Photoshop, experimenting with different brushes and textures. I also like to use photo-editing tools to give a realistic touch to my art.”

Once I have defined the basic composition, I add strokes of colour and experiment with textures. Here, I played with the contrast between pink and blue and added volume to the character, painting soft shadows and some delicate highlights.

I then started to focus on details, such as thin strands of hair, little sparks around the face, highlights on the eyes, texture on the lips and the bubble over the head. This required extra work to paint all the iridescent colours and reflections.

MASTER THE ULTIMATE IMAGE-EDITING TECHNIQUES WITH THIS INDEPENDENT GUIDE! Ideal for eager newcomers and seasoned pros alike, Photoshop®Tips, Tricks & Fixes is an essential companion for anyone who wants to get the most out of Adobe’s incredible image-editing software.



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Advanced 3D modelling in Photoshop


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Advanced 3D modelling in Photoshop

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative

Essentials Time taken 4 hours

Expert Daniel Sinoca “I love creating 3D objects and combining them with ordinary photos to create beautiful compositions. The 3D tools enable me to create simple and sometimes complex objects. “I got involved in the digital world more than 15 years ago and have been working as a freelance artist ever since, creating all kinds of multimedia projects.”

3D modelling in Photoshop Learn the essential skills to transforming 2D textures into 3D objects and create a fantastic cityscape


re you ready to jump into the 3D world? The Photoshop 3D tools are a great place to start. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to add another dimension to flat images using the Photoshop 3D commands. You’ll learn how to work within the dedicated 3D environment, apply textures, create 3D objects, modify the lighting and render the final composition. To work in the 3D environment in Photoshop, you will need to juggle three different panels simultaneously. The first is the Layers panel; here you will place the regular images, create 3D layers

Prepare your document


Start off by creating a new canvas, measuring around 1800x1200 pixels. Now grab the Gradient tool (G) and apply a bluish radial gradient over the canvas. Switch to the 3D workspace for access to all 3D panels, by going to Windows>Workspace>3D.


and merge the 3D models. The second is the 3D panel. It shows the elements related to the 3D objects; 3D layers, Material layers, Light, and Camera/view. Finally, the third is the Properties panel. After you select the elements in the 3D panel, the Properties panel lets you tweak the settings. For example, you can deform the object, add material, define the light intensity and more. Pay close attention to each step, because you’ll have to jump back and forth to each panel. Check the Expert tip for extra advice on how to use the camera/view and the on-screen controls.

Create a 3D object


Place ‘fo_map.png’ and press Return/Enter. Now transform it into a 3D object. In the 3D panel, check 3D Extrusion and click Create. In the Properties panel, set the Extrusion Depth to 150 pixels, then click on Coordinates and set the X Rotation Angle to 90° and click Move to Ground.

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Expert edit 3D type effect

The Type Tool You can easily transform any text into a 3D object. Grab the Type Tool (T), choose a bold font, define the colour and then type your text.

01 Adjust the map material Now it’s time to tweak the materials. In the 3D panel, click ‘fo_map Front Inflation Material’. Next, in the Properties panel, set the Reflection to 30% and Refraction to 1.100; keep the other settings as they are.


3D extrusion Now create a 3D layer. Right-click on the text layer and choose ‘New 3D Extrusion from Selected Layer’. In the Properties panel, adjust the Extrusion Depth to suit.

02 Apply a new material In the 3D panel, select the ‘fo_map_ Extrusion Material’. In the Properties panel, click on the Diffuse menu and then click Replace Texture. Choose ‘fo_texture_ map.png’ and click Open. Time to edit the texture. Click on the Diffuse menu and choose Edit UV Properties. Set the Scale U/X to 4.5% and click OK.


Create a 3D building In the Layers panel, place ‘fo_bldg1_ front.png’ and press Return/Enter. Now create a 3D object. In the 3D panel, click 3D Extrusion and click Create. In Properties, keep the Extrusion Depth as it is.


Bevelled edges In the Properties panel, click on the Cap button. Set the Bevel Width at 25, keep the Angle at 45° and change the contour to Cone.


Decal technique

Edit texture

In the Secondary View, click Select/ Place the material on the other side View Camera and choose Right, then of the building. In the 3D panel, click swap Main and Right views. Now, in the ‘fo_bldg1_front_Extrusion_Material’. In Layers panel, place ‘fo_bldg1_right_view.png’. Properties, open the Diffuse menu and Move over the building and click Return/Enter. choose Edit Texture. In Layers, duplicate the To apply the new material using the decal texture and flip horizontally, placing on the technique, simply go to Layer>Merge Down right. Fill the area between the textures with (Cmd/Ctrl+E). any colour and save the image.



Merge 3D In the Layers panel, hold down the Shift key and select the text layer and the map layer, then go to 3D>Merge 3D Layers. With the layers merged together, place on top of the building.



Advanced 3D modelling in Photoshop

Expert tip On-screen controls To access on-screen controls, go to Edit>Preferences> Performance and check Use Graphic Processor. When in the 3D environment, use the Move Tool (V) to select and move the axis or the camera controllers. The 3D axis enables you to move, rotate and scale the 3D object using X, Y and Z coordinates. Hover the cursor over the axis, click and drag to control the object. Use the Secondary Camera/ View to see different angles so you know precisely where the objects are in the 3D space.

Create a new object First, swap to the Main view. In the Layers panel, place ‘fo_bldg1_frame. png’. Drag over the image and hit Return/ Enter. Transform in a 3D layer. In the 3D panel, click 3D Extrusion and click Create.


Add material Let’s use a solid colour to fill the extrusion. In the 3D panel, click ‘fo_bldg1_frame Extrusion Material’. Click on the Diffuse colour. In the Color Picker window, choose the white colour and click OK.


Merge 3D layers

Move 3D objects

To merge the 3D layers, go to the Layers panel, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and select ‘fo_ bldg1_frame’ and ‘fo_bldg1_front’. With both layers selected, go to 3D>Merge 3D Layers.



In the Secondary view, select Top view and swap with the Main view. In the 3D panel, select ‘fo_bdlg1_frame’ and use the on-screen controls to move the image. Click on the blue arrow (Move on Z Axis) and drag down to push the frame out of the building.

Scale 3D objects Now merge the objects First, swap to the Main view. With the building in the right position, it is now possible to place it on the map. In the Layers panel, select the 3D building and the 3D map layers, then go to 3D>Merge 3D Layers.

12 62

First, swap to the Top view. In the 3D panel, hold Shift and select ‘fo_bldg1_ front’ and ‘fo_bldg1_frame’. Place the cursor on the centre of the on-screen controls until the Scale Uniformly command appears. Hold down the mouse button and drag down to scale the object.


Put in place Keep both objects selected and use the on-screen controls to move and rotate the objects over the map. Now swap to the Front view and again, use the onscreen controls to drag the 3D building down to the ground.


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Build the city Repeat the techniques you’ve just learned and start creating more buildings. Remember to create the buildings with all the details and extra objects before merging with the 3D map. Swap the views and use the on-screen controls to adjust the position of each building.


Adjust the light source Use the three scene-moving controls at the bottom left of the 3D workspace to move the camera to adjust the position of the entire scene. Now, click on Infinite Light and adjust the light source angle. Render the 3D object by going to 3D>Render 3D Layer.


Place 2D images Now, bring in some regular images and place around the scene. In the Layers panel, place ‘pix_headphone.jpg’. Grab the Pen tool and select and mask the image. Resize it and place on top of the building.


Create shadows Duplicate the image and apply a layer mask. Open the Hue/ Saturation command (Cmd/Ctrl+U) and set the Lightness to -100. Reduce the layer’s Opacity to make the shadow less intense, adjusting the perspective using the Free Transform tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T) and mask it around the buildings. Add more images and create the shadows.


Add some trees Create a new layer. Go to Filter>Render>Tree. Choose a tree type and tweak the settings. Open the Advanced tab and set the Camera Tilt to 24. Create the shadow as you did in Step 18. Link the layers. Duplicate, placing the trees all over the map.


Custom brushes Go to Edit>Presets>Preset Manager. Click Load, locate ‘fo_clouds154.abr’ and then click Load. Create a new layer on top of the layer stack. Grab the Brush Tool (B) and paint a few clouds over the city.



Advanced Create an awesome space scene


Share your illustrations Tweet us @pshopcreative On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative

Essentials Time taken 2 hours

Expert Daniel Sinoca “Sometimes I think Photoshop is truly out of this world – I can create planets, galaxies, stars and add a variety of special efects to a sketch using only the amazing tools, ilters, and features that are bundled in the sotware. I have always loved science-iction stories – the idea of exploring new planets and being an astronaut were part of my childhood dreams. Well, thanks to Photoshop, now I can inally satisfy those dreams and create my own space compositions. “I started to get involved in the digital world more than 15 years ago and have been working as a freelance artist ever since, creating all kinds of multimedia projects and tutorial guides.”

Create an awesome space scene Explore new ways to use filters, layer styles and masks to create an out-of-this-world composition


et’s create an awesome space composition from a sketch using some of the most impressive features in Photoshop: filters, layer styles and masks. In this tutorial, you’ll explore each one of these powerful commands and discover how to apply them for realistic effects. To begin, you’ll create stars using the Noise filter and then you’ll learn a clever way to add some twinkles using the Motion Blur filter. Next, you’ll use the Cloud filter, blending modes and brushes to create a colourful nebula. Finally, you will place the images and use the layer styles to add glows and apply

other techniques to complete the composition and make it work as a whole. You can try out different settings for the styles, adjustments and blend modes, but it’s important to use vivid colours for the nebula to make the image stand out. If you are using Photoshop Elements, don’t forget to check the side stepper for more information on the editing process. There are so many good tips and tricks in this tutorial that at the end, you will have new skills to start using in your own projects. Download the stock images from FileSilo now, and start learning.

Set the stage

Create the stars



To begin, create a new document. Go to File>New. Name your project Astronaut, set the Width to 230mm, Height to 310mm, Resolution to 300ppi, change the Background Contents to Black and then click OK. Double-click on the Background layer thumbnail and name the layer Stars.

Go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Set Amount to 50%, Distribution: Gaussian, check the Monochromatic box and click OK. Now go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Set Radius to 3px and click OK. Use the Levels (Cmd/Ctrl+L) to create the stars. Set the Inputs to 40, 0.05, 80.


Advanced Create an awesome space scene

Merge layers Duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J). Now go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Set Angle to 0°, Distance: 30px and click OK. Change the blend to Screen. Duplicate the original layer again and apply the Motion Blur filter. Set the Angle to 90°, keep the same Distance and change the blend mode to Screen.


Cloud filter Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N) and name it Cloud. Grab the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M). Hold Shift and create a small selection. Press D to set the default Foreground/Background colours and then go to Filter>Render>Clouds. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T and scale up to fit on the canvas. Change the blend mode to Color Dodge.


Lens Flare effect Create a new layer on top of the layer stack and name it Lens Flare. Fill it with black and then go to Filter>Render> Lens Flare. Set the Brightness to 100% and Lens Type: 105mm Prime. Change the blend mode to Screen. Adjust the Levels (Cmd/ Ctrl+L) and resize it (Cmd/Ctrl+T).



Click on the Stars copy layer to make it active. Press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+E to create a merged copy of the layers. Now, hit Cmd/Ctrl+T and in Options, set the Horizontal/Vertical Scales to 150%, go to Edit>Transform>Flip Vertical, then press Return/ Enter. Change the blend mode to Screen.


Create twinkles

The nebula Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N) and name it Nebula. Drag the layer, placing under the Cloud layer. Grab the Brush Tool (B). Choose a large soft-tip brush and set the brush’s Opacity to around 30%. Choose a vivid blue colour and start painting the nebula (use different colours to enhance the nebula).


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Expert edit Camera RAW in Elements

Save image


In Photoshop Elements, finish step 18 and save the image. Go to File>Save as. Name your image and Save as type: JPEG, then click Save.

Layer styles

Open the file


Place the astronaut First, duplicate the Lens Flare layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J). Resize the image again and move to a different place. Now go to File>Place Embedded ‘Astronaut.jpg’. Grab the Pen Tool (or your favourite selection tool) and draw a path around the image. In Options, click Selection and then create a layer mask (go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection).

Open Camera RAW in Elements; go to File>Open in Camera RAW or click Opt/Alt+Cmd/Ctrl+O. Locate the JPEG image you saved and click Open.


Go to Layer>Layer Style>Inner Glow. Set the colour of the glow to white. Reduce the Opacity to 50% and Size to 70px. Now, click Outer Glow and set the Opacity to 60%, pick blue as the colour and Size: 35px, then click OK.


Tweak the settings Keep the Exposure at 0, set the Contrast to 10, Highlights to 0, Shadows to 20, Whites to 20, Blacks to 0, Clarity to 20, Vibrance to 30, Saturation to 0 and click Open Image.


Make adjustments Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Photo Filter. Click Color and choose #5fc2f1. Set Density to 60%, check Preserve Luminosity and clip the layers. (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+G). Now, add a Levels adjustment. Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Levels. Set the Inputs to 0, 0.70, 200 and clip the layers (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+G).


Add more adjustments Go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Photo Filter. Click Color and choose #f65a08. Set Density to 100%, check Preserve Luminosity and clip the layers. Grab a soft-tip brush (B). Click on the layer’s mask and hide the areas around the image.


Vignette effect Go to Filter>Correct Camera Distortion. Set the Vignette Amount to -100 and Midpoint to +70 and then click OK. Save your image by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+S.



Advanced Create an awesome space scene

Blend modes

Place the galaxy

Let’s make the astronaut suit a bit warmer, in preparation for the galaxy. Duplicate the Photo Filter layer and mask you’ve just created. Clip the layers and then double-click on the layer’s thumbnail to open the Properties panel. Choose Filter: Warming Filter (85), Density: 100%. Change the blending mode to Color Dodge.



Go to File>Place Embedded ‘Galaxy.jpg’. In Options, set the Horizontal/Vertical scale to 60% and rotate the image about -15°, then press Return/Enter. Create a layer mask. Go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. Grab a large soft-tip brush (B) and mask the sky.

Create the Sun Go to File>Place Embedded ‘Planet1.jpg’. Grab the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M). Select and mask the image. Go to Layer>Layer Style>Inner Glow. Choose a light orange colour and tweak the Opacity, Angle, Distance and Size. Now, click Outer Glow, choose a light orange and tweak the settings again, then click OK.


Make adjustments

Add the Earth

Press Cmd/Ctrl+T and scale down the image, placing it at the centre of the galaxy. Grab a soft-tip brush (B) and paint over the mask to partially hide the planet behind the clouds. Click on the Planet layer thumbnail, then open the Levels (Cmd/ Ctrl+L). Adjust the Inputs to 60, 0.90, 180.


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Place ‘Earth.jpg’. Apply the Inner/Outer Glow styles as you did in step 14. Create a new layer and name it Shadows/Highlights. Change the blend to Overlay and clip the layers (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+G). Grab a soft-tip brush (B) and using a dark blue and light orange, paint the shadows and highlights around the Earth.

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Expert tip Scaling layer styles

Place more planets

When using Free Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T) to resize a layer that has a layer style applied to it, Photoshop will not scale the style, so you have to tweak the settings again. To solve this problem, rasterize the layer style by going to Layer>Rasterize>Layer Style and then use the Free Transform Tool. After placing the planets and adding the shadow and highlights layer, remember to link the layers before you start scaling down the images.

Press Cmd/Ctrl+T and resize the Earth image. Now, add more planets and repeat steps 14 and 16 to add the layer styles and the shadows/highlights. Reduce the planets’ size and distribute around the image. You can try experimenting with different blend modes for the shadows/highlights or reduce the opacity.


Create the visor’s reflection

Smart Object

Create a snapshot; press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+E. Create a selection around the helmet visor, then create a layer mask. Unlink the mask (click the link icon between the thumbnail and the mask). Resize the image, placing the sun inside the mask. Change the blending mode to Lighten.



Create a new snapshot, press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+E and name it Final. Now, transform the image into a Smart Object. Go to Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Object. Let’s make some adjustments to enhance the colours using the Camera RAW filter.

Camera RAW filter Go to Filter>Camera RAW filter. Keep the Exposure at 0, set the Contrast to 10, Highlights: 0, Shadows: 20, Whites: 20, Blacks: 0, Clarity: 20, Vibrance: 30 and Saturation: 0. Open the Lens Correction panel, set the Vignetting to -60 and then click OK.



Project focus Blending digital and traditional artwork

Blending digital and traditional artwork Typhaine Le Gallo had always used Photoshop just for embellishing hand-drawn work, until she worked on a project that made Photoshop the focus

About the artist Typhaine Le Gallo typhainelegallo. com/ Typhaine Le Gallo is originally from France but is currently living in Montreal, Canada. She studied mathematics before studying illustration with wellknown Canadian illustrators Gerard Dubois, Steve Adams and Pol Turgeon. She has had work published by Carte Blanche and Chinese publishers, along with having work shown at exhibitions.

Name of the project


inding one’s style in Photoshop is something that every digital artist does, but learning to develop and evolve your style is something altogether more challenging. With her Little Red Boubou project, a children’s book based on the fairy tale of Red Riding Hood, Typhaine Le Gallo took her original creative process and then adapted it for the needs of the project. The subsequent illustrations have been featured in Behance’s Photoshop and Illustration galleries as a result, proving that often the very best work comes from innovation. We caught up with Typhaine to ask about her creative process, her influences, and how she made these beautiful illustrations.

Little Red Boubou

Have you always been interested in art, Typhaine? I initially studied mathematics and computer programming; I worked for around 10 years as a graphic programmer in the video game industry. But I have always enjoyed drawing and four years ago I decided to go back to

university to take illustration classes and study for a graphic design baccalaureate. This is where I discovered Photoshop.

As a graphic programmer, was it easy to get to grips with Photoshop when you first used it? Yes, I found it to be mathematics applied on pixels. The layers, masks and post-effects work are very intuitive for me as I developed similar features in video games. I chose to take a professional photography class to learn how to edit pictures, as to start with I simply wanted to create illustrations with traditional materials and enhance them in Photoshop.

Who would you say are your biggest artistic influences? My biggest artistic influence is Rebecca Dautremer, a wonderful French children’s book illustrator. I think she uses Photoshop almost exactly for the same steps than my own process: to improve a sketch, to test colours before applying traditional mediums, and to enhance the final scanned picture. A few years ago I discovered another big influence: the work of Victo Ngai, an editorial illustrator. For the first time I discovered a process almost entirely done in Photoshop, which was truly resonating with me, and it was the one I decided to use for the Little Red Boubou project.

So was the Little Red Boubou project completed entirely in the Photoshop software? Well, for Little Red Boubou I wanted to push my use of Photoshop, but still use my usual watercolour pencil textures. To do so, I drew lines with black ink on paper, scanned the drawings and a lot of textures created with traditional mediums, and assembled the whole thing in Photoshop. I always start with a sketch on paper, then I move and distort the objects and characters a lot in Photoshop until I’m happy with the composition. I usually




For the skies, I enlarged my texture as usual but I also stretched it horizontally to get a different visual.

With this technique it is easy to get punchy results with coloured lines, for example the red lines on the features of the leopard’s head.


All images © Typhaine Le Galloa

In all my illustrations I used scanned watercolour pencil textures that I zoomed in to for textures with strong and large patterns.

scanned textures to the selected areas and to the lines. Then for every area, I modified the colour of the applied texture to get the exact colour that I had in mind. Finally I added shadows and highlights by darkening or lightening the colours of my lines and textures on specific areas.

choose the colours by actually colouring my sketch in Photoshop.

What are your favourite tools to use in Photoshop? Mainly the tools I use are the Magic Wand Tool in conjunction with the Refine Edge option. I also love using certain adjustment layers, specifically Selective Color, Hue/ Saturation and Brightness/Contrast. For the Little Red Boubou project, I created the illustrations by selecting areas between the black lines and using masks to apply my

This creative process is slightly different to your usual, then. What made you head in a new direction for this project? The style I used for the Little Red Boubou project differs a little bit from my usual illustrations, even if they are still similar. There are two reasons for that: first I had a very short amount of time to finish the illustrations for this book, secondly as I wanted heavily contrasted black-and-white drawings to be able to select the areas easily, I used black ink and continuous lines. As a result my lines are a little bit stronger and the look is more ‘naive’ and colourful than usual, which was not a

problem for me as I thought it was a good match to represent an African adaptation of Little Red Riding Hood.

Has this project changed the way you use Photoshop? Nothing is better than to work on a whole project of at least 10 illustrations by applying the same Photoshop recipe on all the illustrations. This recipe should be compatible with what you like to do with traditional mediums: for example, for me it was essential to keep the textures of watercolour pencils. I learnt a lot during the Little Red Boubou project. I only really mastered the software after spending a lot of time on these 32 pages of illustrations in Photoshop. Before that I was mainly trying to edit my pictures to fix the loss of colours and contrast due to the scan. Since then I am still using traditional techniques, but now Photoshop is an essential part of my process to get the final atmosphere and palette of colours that I have in mind.


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Elements 18 pages of practical guides

Essential techniques Follow the step-by-step tutorials

Create more in Elements… Dodge and Burn your photos..............................74 Make a creative clock face..................................76 How to age female portraits.............................. 80 Create a surreal moon composition........... 82 Q&A: Common problems in Elements....... 90

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative

Digital art…

learn how to

MASTER SELECTIONS TO ILLUSTRATE A SCENE Create this stunning digital artwork without a graphics tablet p86

ts n e m ele ADJUST YOUR IMAGE Always use the Levels, Brightness/Contrast and Gradient Map adjustments to harmonise the tone and colour of your images.

What does it mean? Screen anD Multiply – These are two of the most used blend modes. The Screen mode will reflect pixels to create something lighter, while Multiply will do the opposite and literally multiply the pixels of two layers together. This makes them both great for working with light and shade.

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative

Tool focus…

Dodge and burn your photos

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Work non-destructively with tone using these simple tools There are so many techniques for making your images pop. Different photo editors use different skills to try and get their images sharp, contrasted and bright, but two of the most popular tools for finishing off your photos are Dodge and Burn. Polar opposites but used in conjunction with one another, Dodge and Burn are two of the oldest features, but are still popular for their command of tone and brightness. They can be applied to any image to improve the light and shade in your photos. They’re extremely similar to brushes: think of them as being brushes that apply blend modes to your work rather than colour. Namely, Color Burn in the case of Burn, and Screen in the case of Dodge.


While you can apply the Dodge and Burn tools to any image, the absolute best way to apply them is to do so non-destructively. By making your edits on a new layer, you can use them almost like an adjustment layer, enabling yourself to edit them again if needed, reduce the opacity, or delete them completely. Editing nondestructively is the most organised way to work, for these reasons, but also so that you can view each of your edits as layers, and stay on top of your workflow. Dodge and Burn might not be fancy new tools added in the latest few versions of Elements, but they’re solid, reliable and capable of improving your photos to various degrees.

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Retouch the tone Brush on light and shade in your pictures

Create a grey layer

Start burning

Open your image and create a new layer. On this layer, select the colour #808080 and ill, before setting to Overlay. This is neutral grey: anything that is this colour will become invisible, while darker and lighter strokes will lighten and darken the photo.



Dodge the image

Adjust the Brightness/Contrast



The Dodge Tool (O) is in the bottom bar along with Burn, and does the opposite of its counterpart. Use it to subtly touch over the highlights in your image to balance out the shadows.

Shortcut Hit the Eye icon in the Layers panel to hide a layer

Select the Burn Tool (O). This is used to darken the image; lightly brush over your picture, preferably at a low Opacity setting, and make sure that you enhance the shadows all over, while adding a few more shaded areas where necessary.

Go to the Fill Layer icon, situated next to the Mask icon in the Layers panel. Select Brightness/Contrast, and adjust both sliders to improve the overall exposure and tone of the image.

Screen and Multiply Apply light and dark, without the added saturation

Duplicate the layers Dodge and Burn are great tools for improving the tone of your pictures, but they do add a touch of saturation. To avoid this, you can simply use Screen and Multiply layers. Start by duplicating your background layer twice (Cmd/Ctrl+J); one of which we want to set to the Multiply blend mode, the other to Screen.

Brush in shade Select a small, soft, white, low-opacity brush.

Mask in the Screen Once you’ve masked the Multiply layer, do the

Brush over the shadows in your image to apply extra shade; this is particularly great for contouring subjects or adding drama to the image. You can reduce the layer opacity if you want to lessen the effect of the Multiply layer.

same with the Screen layer. You may wish to brush close to the lines brushed in the Multiply layer to accentuate the contrast further. Feel free to reduce the Opacity setting of this layer to bring it more in line with the Multiply strokes.


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Creative project…

Make a creative clock face

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative

Invest time in designing a clock, with layers, masks and edits If you’re looking for an original way to display your artwork on a wall, there aren’t many more novel ways than to create a clock face. It’s something you’re bound to look at a few times a day, and its only obstructions are a couple of hands across its face. While creating a clock might be a creative idea you’d never even considered though, it’s as much about the maths of measuring out the degrees of a circle as it is about creating something bright and colourful in Elements. One aspect that will really define your clock is where you decide to place the numerals, and it’s important to get


that right: but luckily Elements has all the tools necessary for creating with precision. Ultimately though, aside from the numerals and markers on the clock for the 60 minutes, the design is totally up to you. We’ve taken inspiration from a famous clock in Prague, and updated it with a modern twist of a geometric font and beach photo; but you can create whatever you like. You may want to take the idea of the circle and run with that, or you might want to just create any kind of design and add the numbers on after.

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StaGE 1 Creating the template Build your template before you add images to it

Shortcut ROTATING – While we usually drag the corner handles of a selection to rotate it, you can also use the bottom bar of Elements to choose a degree to rotate by. If you’d like 12 equally-spaced points, simply divide 360 – the number of degrees in a circle – by 12 to work out how much to rotate by.

Every big project has humble beginnings, and creating a clock face is no different. Before we dive into the creative bit, we’ve got to organise the template, and this relies on maths as much as it does design skills. All we need is a circle for the clock face, and some markers to show where the 12 hours should be. From there, we can create whatever kind of design we like: just remember to hide the template markers when you’re done.

Set up the template


Hit alt/Opt+Cmd/ Ctrl+E to copy one layer onto the one below

What does it mean?

Create a #808080 circle that ills the entire document, and on a new layer, add a dot to the centre using the Brush Tool (B). Hit Cmd/Ctrl+’ to bring up the grid, because this can help with scale and precision.

Create a new document


Start by opening Elements and going to File>New. Choose a square document, as the clock face is going to be round; 3000 x 3000px should be enough, and choose a resolution of 300ppi so that the design is more detailed.

Finish the template


Make a thin, black line with the Marquee Tool (M) at the top of the clock on a new layer, duplicate (Cmd/Ctrl+J), Select All (Cmd/Ctrl+A) and Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T). Look to the bottom panel of Elements; rotate by 30 degrees, and then repeat this until the clock has 12 points in place.

NEUTRAL GREY USE NEW LAYERS Insert your centre spot and 12 points onto new layers so that you can hide these layers later on when you finish your clock.

TWELVE POINTS Rotate a point 30 degrees to create 12 points, but rotate 6 degrees to create 60 points for each minute.

By using neutral grey, anything you add to the clock face can be set to Overlay to blend in.

USING TEMPLATES Keep this template and use it in future for creating more clocks if you wish to.


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StaGE 2 Get stuck into the clock design Add a background and then embellish it further Once you have your template, you’re ready to go ahead and get as creative as you like with your clock. Check the internet for inspiration, find a design or pattern you’d like to create, and then start using Elements to build up the clock face. For our clock example here, we chose to add a beach image, and the colours from the Prague Astronomical Clock, for a bright, exciting finish.

add the numbers


Grab the Type Tool, and enter your numerals, 1 to 12, each on new layers: we’ve gone for Roman numerals but you can use what you like. Move each of the numerals to their space on the clock, and reduce the size of 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 for effect. We’ve supplied the font used.

Bring in the image

Inject some colour



We’ve supplied a beach image for you to drop into the project. Arrange it so that the middle of the photo aligns with the centre of the clock, resize if need be with the Transform Tool and then Alt/Opt-click to clip to the template.

Our clock is going to be inspired by the Astronomical Clock in Prague. Use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to create a circle on a new layer, and ill with colour: follow the reference image supplied, or use the ready-made one we created.

Create minute dots


Just as we created the markers for the 12 hours, we’re going to create dots for each of the 60 minutes on the clock face. Use the technique from step 3 in stage 1 and rotate each dot 6 degrees.

Blend it in


Group your layers, duplicate twice, set one group to Soft Light, one to Multiply, 75% Opacity and one to Screen, 50% Opacity. Cmd/Ctrl-click the preview image on each layer and then Ctrl/right-click, choose Stroke (Outline), and add a 10px stroke of #e5c578 before erasing the excess (E).


Perfect the clock


With the clock now looking more complete, turn the text of each of the numerals white by selecting each of them and using the Type Tool. Then, go to Layer>Layer Style>Style Settings and add a Drop Shadow on each numeral with these settings; Size: 0, Distance: 20, Opacity: 100%.


Alter the colours to customise your clock face and give it a unique style.

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StaGE 3 Finish the clock

HAND COLOUR Choose between white, black, red or teal for the hand colour: we went with red to stand out against the blue.

Adjust your work and turn it into a product With your clock very nearly complete, all that’s left to do is finish off the project with adjustments, and turn it into a real-life product for you to sell! There are loads of great sites online that can turn your artwork into products, but one of the best things about Redbubble is that it gives you a percentage of the profits whenever someone buys your design. Visit www.redbubble.com for more information and to set up an account.

GET PAID FRAME COLOUR Choose between black, white and bamboo frames for whatever looks best on your clock.

Every time someone buys your design, you will receive a percentage of the sale money.

Shortcut Hit ‘5’ to reduce a layer to 50% Opacity

adjust the clock

Reduce noise and sharpen



Create a Levels adjustment and improve the colour and tone, before adding a black-to-white gradient. Choose Radial, and then set to Soft Light, 50% Opacity so it fades to the edge. Now add a black-to-white gradient map, set it to Soft Light and then reduce to 30% Opacity.

Save for web


Hide the background layer in your project. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/ Opt+Shift+S and then choose PNG. Keep the image at high quality and save it to your computer, as we want our image to be as high resolution as possible to turn into a clock.

Merge everything into one layer by hitting Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/ Opt+Shift+E and go to Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise. Move Strength to 10 and the other values to 0. Hit OK, merge everything into another layer, then go to Filter>Other>High Pass. Set to 5px and also set to Overlay to Sharpen.

Use Redbubble


Go to www.redbubble.com and sign up for a free account. Head to your proile and upload a new image. Choose your clock face, enable it as a clock, and then resize as necessary.


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OLDER DETAILS Older hair is usually short and white or golden in colour. Wrinkles are found around eyes, cheeks, forehead, and chin.

What does it mean? LAYER MASKS – These make it easier to control transparency when blending images together. Use a white brush to paint in areas around the forehead, eyes, cheeks, nose and chin. Blend in the wrinkles, veins, and blemishes. Avoid distinct traits of the original image like eyes, lips or nose shape.

STUDY PHYSICAL TRAITS When making people look older, it helps to study the traits of older people in order to be realistic.

Photo edit… Start images

Learn how to age portraits Use the Camera RAW filter and layers for this creative effect Posters, commercials, and various advertisements today all seem to be selling some sort of age-defying product, feeding an eager public with tips and tricks on how to look younger than they actually are. The cosmetics industry alone makes billions from skin products that mask fine lines and obvious indications of age, while clothing lines keep releasing collections aimed at people who want to wear clothes that make them look young. Everyone seems to want to go back to the so-called happier times of their youth, but the truth is that age is not something to deny or shy away from – it


is something to be welcomed. After all, no wrinkle will ever dull your true shine, right? This tutorial will focus on quick and easy tips for how to make a portrait look older, just to prove that getting old doesn’t have to be a terrifying task. In fact, by using subtle blending with layer masks, you can age a photo realistically and gracefully. Are you curious to see how you’d look like in a few years? Go ahead and try it out – age your own photo at home and embrace the best years of your life that are yet to come!

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Camera RAW filter Slider adjustments create the base for the effect

Shortcut A cloning/healing layer blends everything for a inal touch

Open up the shadows

Enhance wrinkles

Inside Camera RAW, you can make use of a variety of sliders to adjust the overall tone of your photo. In this case we are going to lighten the Shadows, remembering to darken the Blacks as well.



Soften with Clarity

Adjust temperatures



While you are adjusting the hair, keep in mind that aged hair is often very soft like cotton candy, and as such, needs to be softened. Bring down the Clarity with a Local Adjustment to visually soften the hair.

Now mask the hair and then lighten it by opening up the Shadows completely. You can also add a Local Adjustment of Clarity on the skin to enhance the wrinkles further, around +20.

While you are adjusting the hair with a Local Adjustment, bring down the Saturation. Then, opt for a Warm Temperature to make the hair look more golden. This image will be your base for compositing a new image on top, which we show you how to do below.

Take it further Composite images Overlay a photo for optimal realism

Match skin colours

Resize accordingly

Adjust layer Opacity




Once the base image is prepped, do your best to choose an image of an older woman that’s as similar to yours as possible. Lay it over the top of your photo, and match the skin colours between the two female models as best as you can.

Compositing an image is never easy, so you need to painstakingly adjust the two images together until they blend seamlessly. You will need to resize, scale, and distort the older woman’s photo over yours so that they match better.

It is unlikely your two images will it exactly. This means you may need to work on multiple copies of the older woman. Drop the old woman’s layer Opacity to about 70%, blending mode of Darken and blend with layer masks.


ts n e m Ele What does it mean? REFINE EDGE – The Reine Edge option helps to inesse a selection once you’ve made it. It can feather the edges of your selection, smooth them over and even shift the edges of your selection; by clicking on the actual image away from the dialog box, it is possible to add and remove pixels.

ADJUST ACCORDINGLY Use precise adjustments to get the best out of the colours and tones of your final composition.

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PLAY WITH PLANETS Check out the other supplied planets in the resources, and experiment with different spheres in the image.

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative


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Surreal art…

Create a surreal moon composition Turn a collection of stock images into a surreal scene For as long as night has followed day, humans have been obsessed with the moon, whether they’ve been viewing it through a telescope, or landing on it in the 1960s and 1970s. Artistically though, it makes a great focus for a composition! In this project, we’re going to explore how to make a composition realistic in tone, if not in scale. The idea is simple: our subject is placing a moon into the sky with help from a step ladder, and so we’re going to need to make sure the image is balanced in terms of

the size of its elements. Don’t be afraid to lay out your stock images on the page when you start: sometimes before making a composition such as this, it can help to rough it out first. The most important thing, though, is just to have fun and experiment whenever you can. There are loads of great techniques you can learn from attempting a project like this, and we’ve supplied everything you’ll need to recreate this image in your own style on the FileSilo. So download, and get creating!

The foundations Build the composition up with brushes, masking and other tools Shortcut Alt/Opt-drag a layer to duplicate it in the Layers panel

Begin the composition

Give it a subject

Recolour with the sunset




Start off by opening the background image and cropping so that you just have a clear view of the beach, with the horizon in the distance. Add the supplied ladder image. Place and add a white-to-black gradient. Clip this to the ladder by Alt/ Opt-clicking it.

Place the supplied image of the girl. Use Quick Selection (W) to cut her out and place her behind the ladder. Use Reine Edge on the selection, and then Cmd/ Ctrl-click the layer preview of the ladder layer; ill in this selection with black, on the mask of the subject.

TWEAK THE SUNSET When you place the sunset, grab a sot brush, Alt/ Opt-click colours from the image, and brush over the bottom half.

Scatter the stars


Add the supplied image of the starry sky. Set it to Multiply, 80% Opacity and place it just above the lower sunset layer. Use the techniques in the annotated screenshot to blend it in with the image.

Add the sunset image. Place it below the ladder layer and set to Screen; hit Screen, Invert (Cmd/Ctrl+I) and make big, soft brush strokes over the sky. Duplicate the layer and move above the subject. Delete the mask and follow the annotated screenshot below to learn how to blend it.

BLENDING THE SUBJECT Cmd/Ctrl-click on the subject layer preview, then Shit+Cmd/Ctrlclick on the ladder layer preview. Go to Filter>Blur>Average to remove detail from the subject.


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Expert tip Keep realism in the shadows

Place the moon Insert the supplied moon image, and use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to select it before hitting Screen. Duplicate the layer, then on a layer below, select a big, soft, white brush and click to add a glow. Duplicate this layer and mask out the glow from inside the moon.


Lay some more planets In the supplied iles, you’ll ind a collection of various planet stock images, already cut out and ready to place into your image. Select a few and place them onto the ground in front of the ladder. Resize by using Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T).


Cast some shadows We need these planets to glow, so add glowing white brush strokes as we did with the moon. Clip a Soft Light layer to each of the planet layers and using soft black and white brushes, touch-up the lighting and shading on each of the planets.


Select the layer previews of all the planets, plus the ladder. Fill with black on a layer beneath them all, then go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and choose 10px. Hit Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T) and use to resize and shape each of the shadows as seen in the screenshot above. You can also mask them slightly with a gradient.


Work on the lighting



Select the ladder from the layer preview, again by Cmd/Ctrl-clicking and ill with black on another new layer above the shadow layer. Again, blur, then go to Filter>Distort>Liquify, and create a curve as seen. Clip to the layer of the planet next to the ladder and reduce the Opacity setting.



SIZE AND PRESSURE Alter the size and pressure of the brush that you warp with using the two sliders on the right-hand side.


Zoom in and pan around by using the Hand and Zoom tools at the bottom of the tool panel.

Liquify the ladder shadow

Use the Warp tool to drag pixels around the main preview area and distort the shadow.

Grow or shrink the size of the object you’re liquifying by using the Pucker and Bloat tools on the let.

When you create the shadows of your planets and the ladder, it’s important to remember a few things to ensure that your composition stays realistic. The irst is that the edge of the shadows can’t be too hard, which is why we use Gaussian Blur. Remember to transform the shadows in a direction away from the light source, in this case the moon, and that the shadows will be darker the closer they are to the object. When you mask the excess from the shadows in step 8, use a dark grey-to-white gradient, as this will only mask some of the shadow.

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Make adjustments


Go to the Fill Layer icon and choose some adjustments to subtly enhance the tone, colour and feel of the piece so far. We used Levels – alter the red, green and blue channels – along with Brightness/ Contrast and a black-to-white gradient map.

Sharpen it up

Reduce noise


Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/Opt+Shift+E to create a merged layer at the top of the stack. Go to Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise and choose Strength: 10, both other values at 0. Click OK. This will smooth over the entire image.


Again, create a merged layer at the top of the layer stack. Go to Filter>Other>High Pass and choose 5px as the Radius before hitting OK and setting to Overlay. This will sharpen up the image again, and add detail to the highlights.

Add noise

Tweak the colours



Once more, create a merged layer at the top of your layer stack, and this time go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Select Amount: 400%, Distribution: Gaussian and check the Monochrome box. Click OK and set to Soft Light, 20% Opacity.

Master lighting with blend modes

Finally, with everything else in the image complete, add a Photo Filter, a black-to-white gradient set to Soft Light, 20% Opacity, and then add a gradient of yellow to navy via purple, as seen above, to bring out the colours of the inal composition.

Shortcut Hit Cmd/Ctrl+F to repeat the last ilter that you used

Use Screen, Lighten and Soft Light for different effects When creating a composition that relies largely on light and light sources, it’s incredibly important to get the best out of the light in your picture. As a inishing touch, we’ve inserted a bokeh texture, available in the supplied resources. By setting the texture to Screen, only the lightest colours become visible, but if you want to let through light and dark, set the blend mode to Sot Light. Alternately, Lighten will only show pixels lighter than the colours of the layers below. Get to know your blend modes so that you’ll be able to keep all your images consistent in tone. Experiment with Screen, Lighten and Sot Light in this tutorial and see what efects you can create.


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LOOK CLOSELY Though it may look like it was hand-drawn, every element of this piece was created using selection and shape tools.

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Digital art…

Illustrate a scene using selections Master the Lasso tool and draw without a graphics tablet Digital art can be an expensive hobby. Once you’ve got your hands on software, you might consider purchasing accessories such as printers, scanners, graphics tablets and plug-ins. However, none of these extra purchases are entirely necessary for creating digital art. This tutorial will show you how to create a lovely piece using tools already available to you, and techniques that can be completed using your regular mouse. We’ll be painting a nautical scene using Elements. All the tools we will require are under the Expert tab – but don’t let that put you off! All the menus we will be using are simple to navigate and the


tools are easy to apply. To make things even more straightforward, we would recommend first finding a picture of a lighthouse standing over the ocean to use as reference for this tutorial. If you can copy and paste the image into Elements, feel free to trace over it during step one. The end result will be an attractive, illustrative image of a lighthouse at night: an excellent piece to use as a gift, or print off and frame in your own home. The techniques we will cover can be used for any of your future projects, and will hopefully improve your skill and confidence when drawing in Elements.

Ele m en ts

Default tools Create this nautical scene without the aid of a graphics tablet

Sketch your scene


Under the Expert tab, create a new document and then a new layer. Select a small hard brush, 100% Opacity and 10px in size. Use the Colour Picker to choose a bright colour, like blue or red, and sketch the lighthouse scene. Trace an image if needed.

Prepare for colour

Using the Lasso



Once your sketch is done, set the blend mode to Multiply. Create another layer below that one, and ill it with a light-blue colour using the Bucket tool. You should notice that your sketch’s lines are now darker; this will make them easier to see as you apply colour.

Draw the sea foam


You can complete the sea foam using the same technique as the rocks. Create a new layer beneath the rocks layer, use the Colour Picker to choose a light grey/blue, and trace over the sea foam areas. Try to make the shapes more rounded than the rocks.

Create another new layer above the blue ill layer. Select the Lasso tool and use it to trace the outline of one of the rock formations. Use the Colour Picker to choose a dark blue, and use the Bucket tool to ill the selected area. Repeat until all the rocks are illed.

Create the sea


Create another new layer, beneath the rocks and the foam. Select a deep blue and use the Rectangular Marquee tool to draw a rectangle across your canvas. This will be the basic colour for the sea, so make sure you keep the rectangle below the horizon line you drew in your sketch.

What does it mean?

Shortcut Press the L key to quickly select the Lasso tool

LASSO TOOL – This is a useful and versatile tool for drawing freeform without the aid of a graphics tablet. It enables you to draw any shape using the mouse, and create a selection. This selection area can be illed in using the Bucket tool, moved using the Move tool, or removed with the Delete key.

JAGGED LINES Draw sharp, pointed edges using the Lasso and Square Marquee tools to give your rock formations a harder look.

RESHAPE YOUR COLOURS Taper the foam and rocks by drawing over them with the Lasso, and hitting the delete key.


ts n e m Ele

Expert tip Blur the moon for realism

Darken the sky Repeat the last step for the night sky, using a darker blue. Then select an even darker blue, and set your brush to a 200px+ Airbrush. Draw around the top corners of the canvas to create a shadow across the sky. You don’t need a graphics tablet for this – the mouse will work ine!


Making waves Go back to your sea layer. Select the blue using the Eyedropper tool, then make it slightly darker in the Colour Picker. Using the Lasso tool, draw several rough, snaking lines across the layer, and ill them using the Bucket tool to shade in some waves.


Choppy sea

Light in the dark

Repeat the process using another slightly darker blue. Fill in the gaps between your irst lot of waves. This will give your ocean a sense of depth. If you’re ever unsatisied with a shape you’ve drawn, draw back over it with the Lasso, and press delete to taper the shape.



Use the aforementioned technique one more time, using a blue that is lighter than your ocean’s base colour. Be much more sparing with your use of this colour. Keep your shapes small, aside from one area near the horizon. We’ll be using this in the next few steps.

The moon is obviously a far away object, so drawing it with a very hard edge will look incorrect in your image. To ix this, soten the edges of the moon by selecting the moon layer, then go to Filter>Blur> Gaussian Blur. A new window will appear. This includes a preview window, which will show how the blur will edit your currently selected asset. Adjust the Radius slider to between 2.0 and 2.5. Try to keep it within these numbers; blurring it too much will make it look out of focus, instead of far away. Click OK, and the blur will be applied.

Moon over the water Create a new layer above your night sky layer. Using the Circle Marquee tool, draw a perfect circle above the highlighted area of the sea below. Select a near-white blue in the Colour Picker, and ill your shape with the Bucket tool.


STRIKING COLOURS Using the Lasso tool like this creates sharp, striking artwork. It’s great for creating illustrative work.

GRAPHICS TABLET If you do have access to a graphics tablet, use it to draw in extra details, like small rocks.

A PERFECT CIRCLE COLOUR CONTRAST Make sure each colour stands out. Use the Bucket tool to adjust them.


To draw a complete circle, hold Shit as you draw outward with the Circle Marquee tool.

Ele m en ts

Bright side of the moon


Just as you did with the waves, use the Lasso tool to draw details on the moon. First, press the Opacity Lock button from the top of the Layers panel. This will prevent you from colouring outside of the moon. Select two shades of dark greys, draw in your squiggly lines, and use the Bucket tool to ill them in.




Create a new layer above the moon, set it to Overlay. Using a near-white colour, select Brush tool, set to the airbrush you used earlier. Click around the moon; this will create perfect soft circles around it, which will make it look like it’s glowing.


Create a new layer above the rock layer, and use the Lasso tool to draw in the lighthouse. Use a light white to ill in the selection, then select a grey/purple to draw in the details. Use the Lasso and Square Marquee tools to draw straight and angular lines for the windows.

Shade the scene

A light in the darkness



Go back to your rock layer, and use a darker shade of purple and the Lasso tool to draw jagged shapes. Fill them in with the Bucket tool. Do this again with a darker shade, to give the rocks deinition. Apply the same technique to the lighthouse; use Opacity Lock to keep the shading within the lighthouse shape.

Gradient maps The easy way to instantly apply beautiful colour

Create a new layer beneath the lighthouse layer, and use the Lasso to draw a straight line from the top of the lighthouse to the horizon line. Select the Gradient tool, and adjust the settings to Foreground to Transparent. Drag from the top of the lighthouse to the horizon line to create a fading light.

Shortcut Press K for the Bucket tool, G for the Gradient tool

Elements has many tools for adjusting the colour of a inal piece. Gradient maps can produce some truly beautiful results. Set your Foreground swatch to a dark colour and your Background swatch to a lighter colour. Create a gradient map by going to Layer> New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. This will create a new layer with the colour efects applied. The darker colours of your piece will be enhanced by the irst colour you selected, and the lighter colours by the second. Now experiment with blend modes. Overlay, Color Dodge and Sot Light are good options. Lower the Opacity to 70% or lower, so the gradient map doesn’t overpower your piece.


ts n e m Ele


Get in touch

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CAN I USE WATERCOLOUR TEXTURES IN MY WORK? Watercolour textures are popular resources on the internet, and are great for incorporating into your projects. While you might want to use them as overlays for digital art or incorporate them into compositions, they can be central to creating beautiful textured artwork, too. Start of with an image and then go to the Fill Layer icon. Select Threshold to reduce the layer to just black and white. With your image now being two colours, drop in your watercolour textures; we’ve supplied some on the FileSilo to use. Set these to a Screen or Lighten blend mode and use the Levels adjustment to tweak the contrast and exposure of the textures. Finally, add a watercolour paper texture to the background and set to the Multiply blend mode to add a little more to the background. Play with the Gradient Map and Brightness/Contrast adjustment layers to harmonise the image further, bearing in mind that a stronger contrast will make your image stand out more.

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PERFECT THE THRESHOLD Use a black or white brush on your Threshold layer to edit the contrast of the image.

Alternatively, you can email: mark.white03@futurenet.com

On the FileSilo Download your free resources at www.filesilo. co.uk/photoshopcreative





Use two scenes that have similar horizons or elements, such as the trees in this image.

An out-of-bounds composition places some kind of screen or window in one image, with elements breaking out of the screen and spilling into the scene. They’re extremely fun to make and can really bring out your creativity. Start with the supplied image of the bucolic, grassy scene, and cut out the iPad to place into the image, before cutting out the screen of the iPad, too. Place the beach scene within the iPad and then add the supplied sunrise stock image, using Multiply to blend the two images together. Add some more sand and hit Mask; with a sot brush, blend the sand falling out of the iPad and onto the grass. Next, add the birds and the subject: you can cut the birds out with the Magic Wand and the subject out with Quick Selection. Then, duplicate your original scene and move it to the top of the layer stack. Hit Mask, then Invert (Cmd/Ctrl+I). Select a white grass brush, and mask in the grass over the edge of the sand and the iPad. Finish with a Lens Flare (Filter>Render>Lens Flare) and make adjustments if need be, such as Hue/Saturation and Levels, using the Fill Layer icon.

Ele m en ts IS THERE AN EASY WAY TO RETOUCH MY PORTRAITS? VIEW LAYERS Once you select Expert mode, you’ll be able to see all the edits you’ve made as individual layers.


HOW CAN I TURN MY IMAGES INTO PENCIL SKETCHES? Mastering how to create pencil sketches on paper might be extremely difficult, but creating them in Elements is less so. You can use the Brush Tool to trace an image in Expert mode, or create a quick sketch of any picture by using the Quick mode. Simply open the picture you want to transform into a pencil sketch and go to Quick. Under Pencil Sketch, you’ll find four potential options, all slightly different and varying in style. From there, if you pick one, you can turn your image into a sketch immediately, but the real editing comes in once you click back on Expert. Use Brightness/Contrast and Levels to adjust the look of your sketch, and remember that you can still use brushes to edit the image.



There are loads of great ways to retouch your portraits but one of the easiest is using the Guided Edit section of Elements, and going to the Perfect Portrait option. From here, you’ll see a list of edits that you can make down the right-hand side of the window, from smoothing skin and using the Spot-Healing Brush to Red Eye Removal. Use each of these options one by one, and remember that subtlety is key. It’s also possible to use the tools in creative ways; you may wish to use the Darken Eyebrows feature to contour the cheeks or use the Spot Healing Brush to smooth the lips. Once finished, you can go into the Expert workspace to make further edits.

Quick tip

Using Outer Glow The Outer Glow layer style is one of the most useful tricks in your editing arsenal for making your layers stand out. Simply by applying an outer glow to a picture, you can give your layer added warmth or prominence over the background. It’s great for light effects, too. Use it in conjunction with the Drop Shadow to make a layer stand out even more, but remember to use it subtly, as it can look over-the-top in some cases.

WHAT IS THE GRAPHICS TAB USED FOR? In Elements, we usually work with the Layers palette firmly on the right-hand side of the window at all times. But if you check along the bottom-right of the program, you’ll see that there are other options, including Graphics. This provides exactly what you’d expect. Click on there, view them, and double-click to apply a graphic as the background to your image. They’re great for placing subjects onto or can form the basis of a new project. There is also a range of styles for you to explore.



The specs


Company Anthropics



Price £29.95 / $49.95 US Coupon code PST17 Web www.landscapepro.pics/

LandscapePro 2

Intelligent automated masking Sky replacement 3D Lighting brushes RAW file support

Anthropics’ update to its intelligent software makes editing landscape images easier than ever View the original The option to quickly switch back to the original image is a really handy feature to help you monitor how much you have edited.

Drop-Down menuS The drop-down menus make editing simple and split up each section you have masked for localised editing.

Simple interface The program is laid out in a way that’s easy to use, and the pop-up prompts really make editing easy.

Enhance landscapes Use this intelligent software to transform vistas and replace the sky

Import your image

Label the image

Select a sky




Upon opening the interface, you will have the options to open an example image, watch a video tutorial or import your own image. Select the option to import your own image and choose the one that you would like to edit.


Next, you will be prompted to drag labels onto parts of the image to identify them for the masks. We labelled the sky, grass, mountain and trees. You will most likely have to alter the selections, which is done by dragging them.

We wanted to change the cloud formations and make something a little different, so we selected a new sky from the Clouds drop-down menu. You will probably have to try a few in order to ind one that works with your image.


his intelligent editing software aims to help simplify the photographer’s workflow with a powerful alternative to spending hours meticulously editing landscape shots. LandscapePro 2 offers the user dramatic effects in just a few simple steps and its interface will suit any skill level of photographer or photo editor. The unique controls and intelligent selection tools adapt to the image you are working on. The software helps users process landscape imagery with essential features that make replacing skies and altering clouds simple, using presets or by uploading your own imagery. It will enable you to brighten, recolour and even replace skies, as well as offering automatic area selection, targeted editing, distance controls, one-click presets, lighting controls and RAW file support. This latest version includes new lighting brushes, over 100 new sky presets, a new Sky Reflections label and improved selection tools. The interface is simple throughout and although it might be initially daunting with its multiple drop-down menus and sliders, we found it to be intuitive and relatively easy to pick up with a little experimentation. As you

progress through your edit, the software gives you tips in pop-up boxes, which we found really helpful, especially during the first few times we used the software. Once you have selected an image, you are prompted to drag labels from the main panel over the different elements in the image. This applies masks to the labelled parts of the image, which enables localised adjustments. The software then attempts to identify the areas of the image associated with each label, however, generally you will need to alter them yourself by selecting and dragging the masks. In the latest update this feels easier and more responsive than the first, but you will have to spend a little time in detailed areas. When you come across more complicated objects, you can employ the Object In Sky or the Tree & Sky tools, which enable you to brush over objects to separate the two masks. In general, these tools were impressive, with only a couple of errors. The masking process is simple and the software identifies subjects intelligently, and it’s probably quicker than doing the same thing in Photoshop. Once you have created the masks, you will be able to apply adjustments to the image as a whole, or to the individual sections you have created. Each section has its own drop-down menu with the adjustments available. You will be able to replace the sky or alter the clouds and their density or colour to completely transform your landscape capture. You’ll also have the option to relight the image, change the time of day and adjust the depth of field, which will transform your imagery in an impressive way. Although we think it’s accessible to all levels, we’re not sure if it will appeal to everyone. The masking is powerful and one of the most effective of its kind, but it can be a little laborious with more detailed landscapes.

If you’ are a photographer who spends their days editing landscape after landscape, LandscapePro 2 might be the perfect solution for you to make dramatic adjustments to your captures and take them a little further than you might have in Photoshop. That said, there are certainly still some improvements that could be made – the two obvious ones being speed and responsiveness. Already discounted to a very reasonable £29.95 ($49.95), readers of Photoshop Creative can get a further 10% off the price by using the Coupon Code PST17 at checkout.

The verdict


For the price, it is worth a go. It’s unique and will enable you to delve into your landscapes with intelligent automatic selection and creative presets.

Standout feature Replace and edit the sky The Sky Replacement tool seems to be the most intelligent feature; you can completely replace a sky with one of your own images, or change the clouds and their density. We were impressed by the option to flawlessly remove all of the clouds with a mere click of the mouse.

Change the lighting Go into the Lighting drop-down menu and alter the strength of the light. Then drag the black Lighting icon to where on the image you would like the light source to come from.


Use Lighting brushes Enhance the lighting in your image by painting on light with the 2D Lighting brush. It will intelligently mould onto the landscape for a realistic effect.




The specs


Price £76 (approx) $99 US Web http://akvis.com/


Add or remove elements of the lens lare to customise and reine exactly how you wish your lighting efect to look.



Additional specs Windows XP and above Mac 10.7 and above Photoshop CS3 and above Photoshop Elements 6 and above

Pick a speciic style of lens lare or lighting efect by visiting the let-hand panel and double-clicking to add the efect.

Standout feature Elements panel Add or remove parts of your lens lare using the panel in the top-right corner, and control how your lare looks. You can also copy elements or rearrange them, meaning that every lighting efect is completely customisable.

SLIDERS Improve on the elements you’ve added to the photo: change colours, opacity and size of everything in your lare.

AKVIS LightShop Add lens flares to your work and refine the lighting with this exciting and accurate plug-in


ighting can be the difference between a good photo and a bad one. Well-lit photos grab attention for all the right reasons. But can something as fundamentally important as lighting be creative, and how can you possibly get imaginative with it? Though Photoshop offers many ilters for improving your lighting, AKVIS LightShop can help to take your lighting even further; it’s available as a plug-in for Photoshop too, making it easy to use alongside your other ilters. LightShop is structured like most AKVIS plug-ins; offering an array of presets for applying to work, along with thorough

sliders for tweaking anything you like in your lighting. As with other AKVIS plug-ins, LightShop is wonderfully easy to get to grips with, and the irst impressions of the software are great. While LightShop is essentially a collection of lens lare stock images, the plug-in is far more advanced than just inserting light effects into your photos. The lares you add to your work are nicely blended into the image, and you can adjust the opacity. Everything is also labelled with images where necessary, so you can alter just about anything in your lens lare quickly and eficiently.

LightShop is a great addition to Photoshop because it builds on the Lens Flare feature without being dificult to work with. The effects are eclectic and easy to tinker with, making LightShop a must for photo editors who want to improve lighting in their work.

The verdict


A useful upgrade on the Lens Flare tool and one of the most in-depth plug-ins AKVIS has produced, LightShop is also very user-friendly.

Five great effects A taste of the creative options available to you

Colour filters




These help to add bursts of light to your image, but they’re also capable of lending a little hue and saturation to any landscape.


The Sunset option is a good lighting effect to display on a horizon, with the light spots facing upwards towards the sky.

Cascade of Light


One of the most ostentatious lens lares, with bright lares, spots and rings, to be built up or stripped back.


Shining Star



Moonlight simply adds a sphere to the work with a bright halo; it can transform night shots or make day shots a little more surreal.

This effect is bright, has bursts of light and softer light spots scattered across the image, making it good for corner placement.




Price £54 (approx) $69 US Web http://akvis.com/


Company AKVIS

See your image take shape in the preview area of the program, and use the Ater tab to see the completed efect.

PRESETS Choose a preset digital art option from the drop-down list, and either leave it at that, or tweak the sliders further to perfect the efect.

Additional specs Windows XP and above Mac 10.7 and above Photoshop CS3 and above Photoshop Elements 6 and above

Standout feature Abstract Art tab SLIDERS Use the sliders to alter everything about your image, from the simplicity of the composition to how random the strokes are.

While most digital art plug-ins create paintings based on the photo you’re converting, OilPaint is diferent. the Abstract Art tab can distort your image, add new colours and take the image in a whole new direction.

AKVIS OilPaint Turn any image into a digital painting of beautiful strokes using this simple plug-in


igital painting is one of those skills that fall into the category of being easy to learn, but hard to master. It takes patience, time and lots of practise to become a great digital artist, not to mention a lot of experimenting to ind your style. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to play around with digital art and create basic paintings in Photoshop from nothing. AKVIS OilPaint is available either as a standalone app or as an add-on to Photoshop, and can help you evolve as a digital artist and develop your own style. It can turn any photo into digital artwork using presets and sliders,

making it easy to achieve an effect that would otherwise take a lot of time and effort. While this may suggest OilPaint doesn’t give much control over your work, this isn’t the case at all. The sliders are precise and can control everything from detail to brush size. OilPaint is fantastically in-depth and you can create something unique every time: while it can be used to create a inished image, you can also add more effects in Photoshop. OilPaint makes a great addition to Photoshop, because it slots right into your worklow, has a plethora of options for tweaking work, and is extremely versatile. It’s

useful for Photoshop beginners looking to learn more about digital paintings, but it can be used by more advanced artists seeking to save time with their work; digital painting might be easy to learn, but OilPaint can take your skills to the next level.

The verdict


A useful plug-in for all levels of digital artists, OilPaint has quick, accurate and unique efects to help you transform any image into a digital work of art.

Five great presets Some of the ways to get creative with OilPaint



This effect excels in creating thick, painterly strokes with a clear brush pattern, perfect for leaving as a inished digital painting.

Dramatic Colors Magnific + Wild Strokes Fresco The Dramatic This is simplistic, The Wild Strokes Frame & Canvas


Colors preset is good for saturating your image a little and making each of the hues really pop in your painting.


This preset does three things; it adds a canvas, a frame and completes the look with subtle brush strokes.


bold and gives you a great starting point to go further and add your own custom brush strokes to the image.


option is big, bold and painterly. It is great when used on photos of skies and water because it gives a rippled feel.


Portfolio interview

Carolina Rempto tells us her biggest influences, how she became interested in art, and how she creates her stunning digital paintings


ith work featured by TheStudentShow along with Behance’s Photoshop and Illustration galleries online, Carolina Rempto is a digital artist who’s already seen critical acclaim for her work, not to mention thousands of views. As someone deeply passionate about digital painting, Carolina is constantly undergoing exciting new projects. We asked her about her favourite ones, and what tips she has for beginners.

Have you always been interested in art and design? I’ve always been the kind of kid that was quiet and drawing something. At first I was drawing dresses and princesses, when I grew up a little I started to copy the comics that I read in my favourite teenage magazines. When I was about to begin a Graphic Design course, I started to learn Photoshop and it soon became essential in my life. Now I work with it every day.

Who are your biggest influences? Well, I think my biggest artistic influence is Mary Blair (the artist who produced concept art for such films as Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Song of the South and Cinderella). I’ve always loved Disney movies and when I finally discovered the artist behind some of them, I fell in love with her art. I didn’t start to create like I do now, though I’ve been in a lot of places when it comes to creation and creativity, but the more you know about art, about yourself and your tools, the better you get. You never stop developing!

Would you describe your artwork in a similar way to how one might describe Disney art? I would describe my work as colourful, whimsical and cute. It is a result of everything I love and I think that is how I would like the world to be: so similar to


Disney in that sense. I observed a lot of illustrators that create similar art and tried to absorb the aspects that I like in their art to create something unique, that is truly mine. For me, it is super important to keep an eye on what illustrators that I like are doing. It seems like the more you see, the more you learn and apply it to your own work.

What are your favourite tools and features in Photoshop? My favourite tool is the Brush, I use it all the time, but I also love the Magic Wand as it saves me a lot of time. Another great thing is that you can add masks to the layers, which is magical! My creative process usually starts with some options I’ve created as digital sketches in Photoshop, then I start to separate the shapes of the drawing by using layers and flat colours. After that, I test a lot of colours, and when I decide that I like the combination, I add some textures and details to finalise it.

so I would say to find your way to use it, learn your favourite shortcuts (you’re going to save a lot of time using them!) and focus on doing your work. Photoshop is a great tool to achieve your final result, so focus on that.

Which projects have you worked on that you’re most proud of? I recently did a comic about a girl that was seeking the truth, it was called Azul and it was truly a life-changing project. I never tried to do comics before and I absolutely loved it! It pushed my limits and made me discover sides of my work that I never saw before. Another project that I’m really proud of is the special edition plate I’ve illustrated for a national chain of Italian restaurants here in Brazil, that was sold for a short period of time all over the country. I’m really hoping to work with concept art somewhere in the future, so I might invest some of my time studying more about that subject so I can achieve these goals.

As a digital artist, and someone who uses brushes a lot in their work, textures must be really important to you, too Yes. Textures are really important in my work, as I think they bring life to the illustration. My favourite adjustment is Hue/Saturation, because it gives me the chance to change the colour of the work without really altering it too much. It allows me to try new combinations of colours on a project, which is great.

What tips would you give to Photoshop beginners looking to achieve results as good as yours? Tutorials are great, they help a lot. But don’t limit yourself to it. Try new things, try to discover what each tool does and use it in unexpected ways. You’ll find that the way you use Photoshop is always a little bit different from the way others do,

Happy and Satisfied: This was a personal piece I did about a cat really happy and satisfied with its life. It’s available as a cushion, a travel mug, a tote bag and a phone case.

All images © Carolina Rempto

carolrempto. myportfolio.com/

The power of brushes & textures

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe: This project was developed for the Type and Image class at SCAD. The goal was to do a cover for a book that we like. The main idea that I chose to represent the book is the balance between Aslan and the White Queen.

Art + Beer: This project is a series of illustrated posters about beer and how people relate to it. Relaxation, Lifestyle, Fun and Love were the themes and the typography was made by hand.

Amazonian Myths: There are many interesting mythological creatures in Brazilian folk tales, so I chose some of the Amazonian myths to paint in a series of illustrations!

Harry Potter illustration: This was a project that gave 13 artists the opportunity to create a digital painting of a Harry Potter character. The project has been viewed over 5,000 times online.


Flower of Life

Reader interview No Life

The Macaque Island

The making of Rebirth of Paradise

The Wanderer

How Maciej turned a series of stock photos into one utopian composition

Creating the background I started to composite the background together by masking two pictures: the sky and the roots. I wanted the image to look bright and warm.

Rebirth of Paradise

Maciej Matuszak Polish artist Maciej on inspiration, messages in his work and how to create amazing, unique artwork


nspiration can strike from anywhere, and that’s something that Maciej Matuszak, a graphic designer who works for an advertising agency by day, embraces. Though all his work looks diferent, he takes inluence from all over, including his surroundings. “I come from a very beautiful country,” he says of Poland. “I encourage everyone to visit.” We caught up with Maciej to ind out how he creates his amazing work.

help send a message. But I like it the best when someone tells me what they see in my work, and then we can discuss the subject together.

Can you tell us where your inspiration comes from?

Are there any tips that you would give to beginners?

Oten everything goes straight from my head to the computer. At the beginning I search for diferent photographs. Oten when I browse for images, I ind something special, and then when I have the idea, I start building from there.

Be as creative as you can and just try to develop your own style. Don’t focus too much about what other people are doing. Ask experienced artists for feedback and then see what it is they have to t Once Was say about it. Wha

Do you have a message you try and convey in your work?

If you are inspired by Maciej’s art on these pages, you can see more of his work at www. photoshopcreative.co.uk/user/ inspireyourmind

I try to say something, not with everything that I create, but I think that subject matter and title can


What subject matters do you explore most in your work? All of my pictures are diferent, but I’d like to think they all have an air of mystery. I like exploring space with my artwork, but equally, I don’t mind what I create as long as it’s interesting.


Plant some trees Next I added some trees, using Channels to cut them out, as I find it to be a simple way to isolate colour in a layer. I added shade all over and matched light relative to where the sun was in the photo.

Building the composition In this step, I added the rest of the trees, using a brush and the appropriate settings. I created flying pollen to show that the paradise is beginning to recover.

Adjustments The last step was to adjust the composition as a whole with the appropriate colour, which I did using Curves and Color Balance. I also added a light vignette.



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