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ISSUE 121 CONTENTS
WELCOME Welcome to the latest issue of Advanced Photoshop. Beauty retouching is one of the key reasons that Photoshop is used so extensively by industry professionals. ANNALISA SAYWELL Editor IN THIS ISSUE: PHOTOMANIPULATION PHOTO EDITING GRAPHICS DIGITAL PAINTING TYPOGRAPHY NEW MEDIA
COVER IMAGE BRIVAELLE CAPITAINE www.onehundredberlin.com Aer working as a model, Capitaine decided to use her beauty expertise as a retoucher. Since founding One Hundred Berlin, Capitaine has worked with high-end editorial clients including ELLE, GQ and Vogue. Re-create her cover image on page 42.
In the competitive world of beauty photography, you need to know how to produce finished retouched images. This issue offers you just that – a wealth of tips and techniques from retouch professionals and a step-by-step tutorial that will teach you the essential processes used within the beauty industry. Elsewhere in the issue, take a look at our game art feature, in which pro artists share their secrets on how to create epic concepts. Also learn to build striking graphics using a grid system, and create a realistic image using seamless lighting techniques in our cityscape composite tutorial. If that wasn’t enough, we ‘ve even covered the wonderful world of 3D for you. Transform a CG render using Photoshop tools and master matte paint techniques at the same time. All of this amazing content should keep you busy until next month. Enjoy!
24 15 TIPS FOR CREATING INDUSTRY FEATURE:
Pro artists share the secrets of creating striking visuals, from concept through to final product
FIND US ONLINE: @advancedpshop
52 TRANSFORM 3D RENDERS
Bring your CG work to life using Photoshop tricks and matte painting techniques
FOR BACK ISSUES, BOOKS AND MERCHANDISE VISIT:
CONTENTS EYE ON DESIGN What’s hot, who’s in and the latest art & design happenings
06 08 14 16
THIS ISSUE’S PRO PANEL Our contributors share Photoshop secrets PORTFOLIO INTERVIEW The evolution of an artist PROJECT FOCUS A new perspective on advertising STUDIO INTERVIEW SomeOne
58 HOW I MADE
32 60 SEAMLESS LIGHTING
FROM SHOOT TO PHOTOSHOP: RETOUCH
ISSUE 121 #/.4%.43
TECHNIQUES Professional artists reveal their high-end Photoshop skills in our easy-to-follow workshops
24 32 42 48
15 tips for creating game art INDUSTRY FEATURE
From shoot to Photoshop: Retouch COVER WORKSHOP
Professional portrait retouching HOW I MADE
Tree Of Life
Transform 3D renders HOW I MADE
60 66 72 76 86 90
Seamless lighting WORKSHOP
Work with colour and texture
REVIEWS We put the latest creative kit, books and apps to the test
FEATURE: CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X7 REVIEW: Top 10 Photoshop books
Build striking graphics HOW I MADE
The Four Seasons READER INTERVIEW
Living the dream RESOURCE PROJECT
SUBSCRIBE TODAY! SEE PAGE 22 OR 71 FOR THE LATEST OFFERS
48 HOW I MADE 96
ON YOUR DISC
Free with issue 121 of Advanced Photoshop
TAILORMADE CREATIVE CONTENT !NďEXCLUSIVEďVIDEOďTUTORIALďFROMď+IRKď .ELSONďONďHOWďTOďMASTERďRETOUCHING
WORK WITH COLOUR AND TEXTURE PREMIUM RESOURCES ď0HOTOSHOPď!CTIONS ďďGRUNGEďTEXTURES ď THREEďPACKSďOFďLAYERďSTYLESďANDďďIMAGES
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EYE ON DESIGN THIS ISSUE’S PRO PANEL
EYE ON DESIGN
THIS ISSUE’S PRO PANEL BROADEN YOUR CREATIVE HORIZONS WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM THIS MONTH’S CONTRIBUTORS, WHO UNVEIL THEIR EXPERT PHOTOSHOP ADVICE HERE FERDINAND D. LADERA
© Ferdinand Ladera
www.ferdinandladera.com Use Curves to colour your art by adjusting the channels. This is how I colour my landscape paintings. It will speed up your process. Before doing this you should paint in greyscale first just to establish the right values and depth in your painting. And lastly, always use perspective in your art, as this is very useful as a landscape painter. ■ Check out more of Ladera’s work in his How I Made tutorial on page 48 © Brandon Cawood
Shoot what you love. Never let anyone tell you that something isn’t possible. You will never catch your dreams if stop chasing them. A vivid imagination has far more value than a budget. Make friends, not clients. ■ Take a look at Cawood’s photography and re-create his looks on page 66
The magazine for Adobe® Photoshop® professionals
EDVIN PUZINKEVICH www.edvin.lv
Sometimes when I need to comp a CG object into a photo-based image, I apply some additional texture from a photo of a similar real object. Using layer blending options like Multiply, Overlay, Darken, Lighten and Screen with different transparency levels is extremely helpful for applying texture to an object. Filter>Distort>Displace is another powerful tool for texturing using a pre-existing PSD file with texture. ■ Create seamless composites on page 60
Flip your image horizontal and you will see flaws you haven’t noticed before. Desaturate it and you will see troubles in the contrast © Edvin Puzinkevich
ANTON EGOROV / WWW.BEHANCE.NET/EGOROV
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© Anton Egorov
www.behance.net/egorov Periodically check your work using these techniques: merge all the layers on the top (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+E), flip it horizontal and you will see flaws that you haven’t noticed before. Desaturate it and you will see troubles in the contrast. Zoom out of your work hugely and you’ll be able to catch sight of weaknesses of the composition clearly. ■ Learn to master Photoshop post-production techniques with Egorov on page 52
The publisher cannot accept responsibility for any unsolicited material lost or damaged in the post. All text and layout is the copyright of Imagine Publishing Ltd. Nothing in this magazine may be reproduced in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. All copyrights are recognised and used specifically for the purpose of criticism and review. Although the magazine has endeavoured to ensure all information is correct at time of print, prices and availability may change. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. Photoshop is either a registered trademark or trademark of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/ or other countries and is used with express permission. All $ prices are US Dollars unless otherwise stated. If you submit material to Imagine Publishing via post, email, social network or any other means, you automatically grant Imagine Publishing an irrevocable, perpetual, royaltyfree license to use the images across its entire portfolio, in print, online and digital, and to deliver the images to existing and future clients, including but not limited to international licensees for reproduction in international, licensed editions of Imagine products. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Imagine Publishing nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for the loss or damage. © Imagine Publishing Ltd 2014 ISSN 1748-7277
EYE ON DESIGN PORTFOLIO INTERVIEW
THE EVOLUTION OF AN ARTIST
EMERIC TRAHAND, AKA TAKESHI, EXPLAINS THE REGENERATION OF HIS STYLE TO BOLDER AND MORE EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS
meric Trahand is no stranger to the pages of Advanced Photoshop, yet you might not instantly recognise the work showcased on these pages. That’s because Trahand has consciously moved away from his previous style to focus his energies on a new direction – one that offers a blend of stark, digital forms alongside
Most of my past work I feel ‘just happened’. I was truly missing a deeper understanding of why I was doing things
traditional elements. The French artist, now based in New York City, shares the reasons behind this evolution and how it is helping him to grow as a digital artist. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU BECAME THE ARTIST YOU ARE TODAY? I am self-taught and have been pursuing a career as a professional illustrator and art director since 2006. I have, through the years, been involved in a large variety of projects such as commercial print campaigns, album art, packaging, and matte painting and design for the motion industry.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? I believe the evolution comes from a lack of satisfaction in the body of work I have produced so far. Most of my past work I feel ‘just happened’. I was truly missing a deeper understanding of why I was doing things, and how they related to my taste and inner vision. The process is experimental mostly, trying to find inspiration from very unrelated things and building slowly in a direction. It takes a lot of mistakes, a lot of hours, trying to understand how things work visually, especially when operating in new fields, with flat illustration or abstract work for example, which I didn’t have much experience of before now.
All images © Emeric Trahand 2014
Fore: This image is an album cover for New York rapper and producer Fore’s Going Back Is Not The Same As Staying, and is an example of Trahand’s more commercial work
Tangerine: When creating personal pieces of art such as this, Trahand looks all around him for inspiration, looking at unrelated styles and translating them in his own way
EYE ON DESIGN PORTFOLIO INTERVIEW
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR OTHER ARTISTS WHO WANT TO CHANGE THEIR PERSONAL STYLE, AND THE BEST WAY TO APPROACH IT? It is again a complicated question. It is a difficult exercise to change a personal style and I’m really not sure I succeeded at it myself. There are obviously many risks in changing style. You might confuse your audience or clients. You might lose track of what you are good at. How are you going to build a consistent presence online? Especially when your income depends on it. Are you ready to be less good at what you do now, versus being much better at what you used to do? I believe any artist who feels the need to change their style should first of all consider why they are doing it: if it is simply a phase, a temporary lack of satisfaction, or a deeper need to grow and free themselves from a style they feel isn’t right. My best advice would be to follow what feels right for you as a genuine, creative person. The risks are considerable, but unless an artist is fulfilled I don’t believe you are able to produce your best works. It has to be a necessity.
My personal work differs a lot from my commercial gigs, unless I’m lucky enough to find a client with a bit of love and trust for what I do CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR WORKFLOW PROCESS? HOW DOES A DESIGN GO FROM IDEA TO COMPLETION? I’m still at a very experimental stage of what I’m trying to do these days. Ideas often come from a piece of art I might come across. By this I don’t necessarily mean the reproduction of something I saw; I guess it’s more what door it opens in my mind when I’m taken into a new territory. From there, once a visual concept is defined, I try to understand how I could translate it with the visual language I’m trying to build, how it makes sense in the middle of where I am with work these days. Then the production happens, which is a succession of mistakes and steps back before something acceptable comes to life, and finds its own space. DO YOU STILL FIND TIME TO WORK ON PERSONAL PROJECTS, AND DO THEY DIFFER FROM YOUR CLIENT PROJECTS? I have, through the years, been quite squeezed in-between a lot of client works. The visual industry is a very demanding, quite frustrating industry that very often does not leave much space for building a personal body of work. My personal work differs a lot from my commercial gigs, unless I’m lucky
Castle: Personal work and commissioned artwork like this piece sit alongside each other in Trahand’s portfolio
Kuruma: A promotional piece for Colagene.com, an ‘illustration clinic’ in the UK representing digital artists
Air: This is a piece of pitch work for Nike Air, which showcases Trahand’s newer style perfectly
EYE ON DESIGN PORTFOLIO INTERVIEW
Paper, Cuts & Tape: Trahand tries to make time to complete self-initiated projects, such as this artwork, though he admits that being a professional digital artist does not leave a great deal of time for personal endeavours
A Circular Shape: Trahand says that he is still experimenting with his new direction, making plenty of mistakes along the way until he is happy with the outcome
enough to find a client with a bit of love and trust for what I do. I mean, this is the struggle most of the illustrators I know are facing; there is nothing new here. I’d just be unhappy if every piece I was doing was marketed or branded; I need to do my own stuff in order to breathe. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PROJECT THAT YOU’VE WORKED ON TO DATE, AND WHY? I don’t really have one. I’m very unsatisfied with my work generally. I believe I have a soft spot for a couple of them, for the visibility or love they got me, but no real favourite. WHERE DO YOU LOOK FOR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR ARTWORKS AND HOW DO YOU TRANSLATE IT INTO YOUR DESIGNS? I buy art books, I read, I listen to music and let myself daydream a little. I usually don’t look at much illustrative work, or things that are close to what I do. I find it more satisfying to get inspired from very
unrelated styles or techniques. Inspiration is overall a very vague and fuzzy science.
HOW DOES PHOTOSHOP FIT INTO YOUR WORKFLOW PROCESS? I’m an all-Photoshop guy. I literally never touch another software and my drawing skills are pretty limited sadly. I have probably spent a good 100,000 hours on Photoshop in my life; it just became an extension of me really.
■ TAILOR YOUR CONTENT Don’t expect art directors to always be able to imagine what you could do with your skills if it’s not explicitly visible on your portfolio. Be specific and show precise examples of what you want to work on. If you want to work on sport illustrations, lead your client to it, and have a ton of sport illustrations in your portfolio.
WHAT KIT DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR STUDIO THAT IS ESSENTIAL TO YOUR DESIGNS? I need a clean desk, a very minimal setup. Most of the time I use a Wacom tablet connected to my MacBook Pro, sometimes an extra display. I have a few sheets of paper and a pen to draw concepts, and that’s it really. Anyway, living in New York doesn’t allow you to have a big workspace or studio. The price of life is so high, you often have to do the best with the space you have.
TRAHAND UNVEILS HIS ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR CREATING A STANDOUT PORTFOLIO
■ FIND A BALANCE Clients love passionate illustrators with a nice body of personal work, but what they love even more is creatives with a strong experience of commercial projects. Make sure your professional work has a lot of space in there; it will make clients much more confident in hiring you. ■ MAKE IT STRIKING With thousands of portfolios available, clients barely spend more than a few seconds on a page. Make sure the very best of your work is immediately available once you land on the homepage and forget about anything that will delay someone from accessing the content, such as long, animated introductions, subcategories, multiple pages, loaders, etc.
EYE ON DESIGN A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON ADVERTISING
A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON ADVERTISING
COFOUNDER OF MIAGUI IMAGEVERTISING CÁSSIO BRAGA DETAILS HOW THE TEAM CREATED ONE OF THEIR MOST SUBMERGING CAMPAIGNS
H ABOUT THE STUDIO CÁSSIO BRAGA www.miagui.cc Brazillian-born Cássio Braga double-majored in marketing and creation at one of most prestigious universities in the country, ESPM. As an art director, Cássio Braga worked at several agencies before co-founding Miagui in 2011. The image production studio is composed of specialists in photography, 3D illustration, 2D illustration and image treatment.
NAME OF PROJECT MUNDO SELVAGEM FOR NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL
aving only opened its doors in 2011, Miagui Imagevertising is a studio that is already making a name for itself, with international clients such as Nike, Massey Ferguson, Fox Sports, and recently, National Geographic. In partnership with art director Gregory Kickow from Loducca Agency, the company was approached to create a campaign to promote National Geographic’s new television programme while creating a significant visual impact for the audience, drawing their attention like never before. This was no easy feat, but the Brazilian-based creative production studio certainly proved it was up to the challenge. In order to create an image with so much impact, the team used the yellow border so characteristic of National Geographic to highlight the simulated perspective of the observer, giving them the impression that they were next to fall into a pool with an alligator. Using Photoshop together with 3D modelling, a major challenge for Miagui was to develop an image so realistic it would sell the idea perfectly, despite it being almost impossible to photograph a real alligator in the right position! HOW WAS THE CONCEPT DEVELOPED? The visual design was developed entirely with a 3D illustration, following the concept of the campaign.
The image itself was first modelled in ZBrush and rendered in Mode, before Photoshop was used for post-production. Throughout this process, the colours were calibrated, some imperfections were corrected and some key points of the image were enriched to produce the final result. DID YOU HAVE A LOT OF CREATIVE CONTROL, OR DID NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC NEED A PARTICULAR MESSAGE TO COME ACROSS? The message was very specific: to announce the start of a new show on the station. We are convinced that we do not create copyright images, but we collaborate with the agency, which in this case was Loducca Agency, from which the project was developed in partnership with art director Gregory Kickow. Throughout the project, we had the exclusive goal of producing the image to exactly communicate the concept created by them. WHAT DID YOU WANT THE AUDIENCE TO TAKE FROM THE ADVERTISEMENT? The aims were to cause shock and create a large visual impact for the audience, drawing their attention to the new programme, which was the purpose of the campaign. We had some great results for the time we invested towards making that happen! CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR PHOTOSHOP WORKFLOW DURING THE PROJECT? To achieve the degree of realism in high-impact All images © Miagui/National Geographic
National Geographic render passes
Work in progress – water
Photoshop was used for post-production, where the colours were calibrated, some imperfections corrected and any points that needed to be more aesthetically eye-catching were enriched using the famous Dodge and Burn tool to enhance
Miagui Imagevertising initially created the design for the image as a 3D ZBrush piece, paying particular attention to creating the correct proportions, using as many references as possible, and setting up realistic materials and light
The Miagui team also used Photoshop to make colour and volume adjustments to the image with the Curves tool, then made saturation adjustments to adjust the colour, purity, and lightness of the final image
image, it was necessary to work various different elements before beginning to finalise the image in Photoshop. It was essential to create a 3D model with the correct proportions, to always use as many references as possible, correctly set up the realistic materials and light, and add as much detail as possible. With the rendering done, Photoshop then helped to correct the colour and let us include the final details that completed the image. The tools that I use the most in my Photoshop workflow are masks and Curves. With them, you can really take a picture to another level. WHAT WERE THE MAIN CHALLENGES AND SUCCESSES OF THIS PROJECT? The main challenge was to produce a realistic image using illustration. It had to look like the alligator had actually been photographed in that environment – which would be very difficult to reproduce – and that it was created to give the viewer the impression that any people who would go down that escalator would
come across the animal, causing a strong emotional response. The result was quite impressive right because of that. IS THERE ANYTHING ABOUT THE FINAL AD THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO CHANGE? Not at all. We had complete freedom to add all our expertise and knowledge from previous projects in this work and to develop the image in the best possible way. This successful piece is the result of a long relationship of trust between the art director from Loducca Greg KicKow, and the Miagui team. That certainly is reflected in the final outcome. WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHERS HOPING TO CREATE EYECATCHING GRAPHICS? Essentially, you need more than a good image. The campaign needs to have a good creative concept. I always maintain that a good image simply magnifies a good idea, and no matter what, you can never save a bad idea. In my opinion, the merit of this campaign
Work in progress – alligator
was the ability to be very creative and to then to have the creativity very well executed. It is fundamental to be relevant, creative and well executed. The coolest thing about this campaign is that it is complete in all those aspects, from idea to execution. And most important of all is that it mobilises people to pay attention to the message that National Geographic wants to pass on.
EYE ON DESIGN STUDIO INTERVIEW
MEET THE UKBASED STUDIO THAT HAS BECOME A WORLD LEADER IN BRAND IDENTITY
reat design is at the heart of all good studios, but nowhere more so than at SomeOne. The London-based agency is nominated for a plethora of awards in 2014 – ten and counting by the end of February alone – and the reason for this is because the studio puts design at the core of everything it does. As founder and executive creative director Simon Manchipp is keen to point out, the studio’s raison d’être affects everything from the projects the team works on to the studio’s location and layout. SomeOne started with a simple aim: “To remove the fluff and nonsense surrounding the launch, relaunch and management of brands. To do the best work, and make enough money to have fun while doing it.” That focus on the best work above everything else is the reason why the plaudits just keep piling up, and why SomeOne is the go-to agency for developing and redeveloping brand identities. The studio has just completed work on Urica (www.urica.biz), a UK government-backed service that helps small businesses to get their invoices paid more quickly; creating a bold, graphical brand identity strongly influenced by placards. Other SomeOne clients include Royal Museums Greenwich, Eurostar, Zinc and Weve. The studio started out in 2003, founded by Simon Manchipp, David Law, Gary Holt and Laura Hussey, and has been evolving ever since. “We were four people. We are now around 34 people. But we’ve stayed remarkably close to our launch objectives. We are still very lean and can rapidly work around problems to get projects solved in very little time. We believe that you don’t build a company, you build people. And it’s those people that are essential to look after above all other aspects of the day,” Manchipp explains. Founder Laura Hussey was the one who saw the potential of what was, in 2003, a run-down area and is now the centre of London’s art and design scene. “We are in the heart of the creative industries in Shoreditch. Laura found it and stuck to her guns when we all freaked out — as we were used to the West End and Soho, the then so-called ‘murder mile’ rather worried us — but now it is unrecognisable! Everyone walks around with an iPad or laptop under their arm, coffee is exceptionally good (and important) and you are simply a door or two away from something fascinating or intoxicating (or both) — it’s really useful for the studio to be so connected to an environment that is all about tomorrow.”
ABOUT THE STUDIO SOMEONE
www.someoneinlondon.com @SomeOnes_Tweet Founded in 2003 by Simon Manchipp, David Law, Gary Holt and Laura Hussey, with the aim of putting all aspects of the business in the hands of the designers, SomeOne focuses on every area of brand identity.
Simon Manchipp, Founder and Executive Creative Director
Karl Randal, Design Director
Location, location, location - The studioâ€™s placement in edgy and creative Shoreditch reflects its own brand
EYE ON DESIGN STUDIO INTERVIEW
© Royal Museums Greenwich
Consistent type - The use of typography became a key signifier of the Royal Museums’ brand identity
Complete branding solution - SomeOne produced Weve’s logo and then extended this to cover the mobile commerce platform’s entire identity, including company stationery and business cards
Studio space - Everything in the studio is designed to maximise the chances of chance.
That location is a key part of the SomeOne brand, which pitches itself with masterful delicacy as on-trend, all-encompassing, future-focused and endlessly adaptable. Their studio reflects that brand identity perfectly: “We have a three-floor space with a loft boardroom, ground-floor cinema and flexible meeting space; we have all the usual stuff like free beer and wine, bike racks and Nespresso coffee, but also more quirky elements like a library and bowler hat lighting.” Everything about SomeOne’s working space showcases who they are and what they do. “It’s designed to make the most of chance. Everything is open plan; everyone can see everyone and the spaces are connected so the chances of conversation are increased. People work more effectively as they are more likely to share ideas.
Everything is open plan; everyone can see everyone… People work more effectively as they are more likely to share ideas Ideas are our business, so we’ve made the most of the space to make the most of the people.” This is vitally important in an agency that’s becoming increasingly well known for its sometimes off-the-wall, but always successful, approach. “We work in all sectors, all countries, all of the time. We invent brands with clients. Or re-invent them ready for new business challenges,” Manchipp explains.
“Ideas excite us, they shape the future, add value and signal change. We help organisations, products and services profit from change. That’s why we concentrate on creating big ideas first, then go about making them beautifully. We create monopolies for brands by employing supercharged creativity to connect business strategy with memorable and adaptive executions.” SomeOne specialises in the whole package, from logos, graphics and type to film, sound and animation. Collaborative and creativity-focused, it has grown from its founding in 2003 to become one of the UK’s most highly respected design and branding agencies. A key part of SomeOne’s approach is to embrace change. “To be consistent is to be predictable. Yet it’s what many brand ‘owners’
WORLDPAY ZINC MONEY IS EMOTIONAL STUFF, BUT THE BRANDS THAT SURROUND IT ARE DULL AND PREDICTABLE. SOMEONE CHANGED THIS WorldPay Zinc is a new way for small businesses to take card payments. It’s a pin pad that connects to your mobile phone. We worked with WorldPay from the birth of the idea through to the launch based on a credentials-only pitch. Since launch, the client has been delighted with the outcome and it’s been discussed and recognised at the Brand Impact, EuroBest and Transform Awards as an outstanding example of brand work within the financial sector.
KEEP IT PAINTERLY
When relying on paths and masks, the image can feel a little clinical. By taking a freehand approach and painting in and erasing back, areas can be blended, softened and highlighted in a more subtle way. Photoshop can be used in a way that’s similar to painting, albeit in a very technical context.
A designer in my first ever job said adjustment layers would change my life. I’m not sure they made me a better person, but [being able] to adjust your layer and then brush back areas you don’t want to appear is very useful in creating small changes that make a big difference.
Often retouching goes too far and the sense that the subject matter existed in real space is lost. It might seem obvious, but a photograph is made up of light and shadow and this gives it its depth, but I find that with heavy retouching, unexpected highlights and shadows are taken out. These give life to the image and in the end make it feel more like reality.
It’s always easy to get lost in the layer you are working on and then to take it a step further than you had intended. Knocking back the opacity of that layer once you have finished playing around with it often helps to blend it back enough to feel right again.
PERFECT DOESN’T EXIST
When making an image composite, I’m conscious not to try and make everything perfect. Sometimes a slightly awkward composition or an element that sits slightly askew can add character, resulting in a more interesting image. Arguably perfection doesn’t exist in nature, so therefore it doesn’t need to exist in the created image.
EYE ON DESIGN STUDIO INTERVIEW
ask for. But if they truly get it, the approach kills brands, or at the very least stifles them. If you are a control freak, you are not going to like the future. Brand control is an illusion. We don’t own it, or control it, the audience does. So we like to create a platform for things to adapt and change on — rather than traditional brand guidelines that are essentially a bible of ‘no’.” Photoshop is an essential part of that. “[Digital design has] empowered the individual to get exactly what they want. Collaboration is the way forward, but with collaboration you never really get exactly what
While many companies keep designers away from the realities of running a project, ours relish the chance to meet the client and get involved
to take card payments. We worked on everything from the name to the mark to the photography to the end production, even what the point-of-sale would look like in John Lewis sites around the country. It was a totally integrated project and we were delighted with the outcome.” With that kind of all-encompassing project typifying SomeOne’s client work, the studio’s designers have to be open to all challenges, creative and corporate. “We all do everything. There are no divides. If you are a designer you are expected to be able to do pretty much anything,” Manchipp says. “95 per cent of the people in SomeOne are designers. Three per cent are project-management focused. Two per cent sort the money bit out. We have a very high ratio of designers — and that’s very deliberate.
We only hire very capable people. So while many traditional design companies keep designers away from the realities of running a project, our designers relish the chance to meet the client and get involved. It makes for a far better end result.” Great design is at the heart of SomeOne, but the studio also sees its philosophies, and collaborative digital workflow, as key to the great design of the future. “There’s never been a more exciting time to be a designer, particularly in branding — it kind of means you can do anything now. It’s amazing. One day you can be doing sculpture, the next illustration, then typography. It appears the landscape is simply evolving to involve more and more platforms, more and more people and more and more ideas. All of which is a real thrill for those involved.”
you intended (if you do it right). With the tools at your fingertips you can get precisely what you hope for… It’s on everyone’s computer […] and actually they all really seem to take it for granted. I think it’s such an important part of the landscape it’s become a kind of autopilot. I don’t think many people realise how useful it is. Perhaps we should take it away for a day and then people would really see how valuable it is!” Manchipp adds with a flash of typical SomeOne out-of-the-box thinking. Photoshop is an essential for a studio that works across all aspects of branding, as a quick look at the kind of package SomeOne produces for a client proves. Manchipp gives an example: “Zinc was exciting. We worked with WorldPay on creating a new brand to launch a new way for small businesses
Branding in a digital age – The SomeOne service extends to developing a look and feel for client websites
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF KARL RANDALL NO TWO DAYS ARE EVER ALIKE FOR SOMEONE’S DESIGN DIRECTOR
All the SomeOne employees arrive at work and settle into a new day, news is discussed, hangovers are dismissed and studio banter begins.
DEEP IN WORK
In full flow, a typical day at SomeOne could consist of idea creation, strategy and naming, client-side meetings or getting deep into the meat of design. At SomeOne, designers are involved in all aspects of the branding process, not just the behind-the-scenes work. This makes the whole business run that much more smoothly.
BEASTS APPROACH THE WATERING HOLE
Lunch, usually taken in the basement, is a big social event here, or at your desk if you are stacked with tight deadlines.
Fast, frantic and competitive, getting ten-balled by the opposing team in a game of table football entails a naked lap of the studio.
Food for thought - In the SomeOne lexicon, informality breeds inspiration, and so the studio team regularly eat and travel together to strengthen their bonds and expand their creative horizons
TOP 5 PRODUCTION TIPS ■ BE ORGANISED Create a system within your project folder that allows you to easily organise your work. It doesn’t just help you find items within a project, it also helps other designers.
3D brand sculpture - It’s important to SomeOne that a rebrand isn’t just a logo change, and they think outside of the box when it comes to producing branding icons, like this huge 3D sculpture of Eurostar’s ident
■ A SIMPLE SYSTEM A system can come in the form of numbered, categorised folders like ‘00 Assets, 01 Design, 02 Comps, 04 Presentation’, which gives you a simple system to help manage your files. ■ GET IT ALL OUT When you first get on a project, you’ve probably got loads of ideas. Get them down on a piece of paper so they’re out of your mind. A clear mind will allow you to focus on the project in hand. ■ GET ON WITH IT You’ll find us working hard early in the week, maybe even late nights on a Monday, but getting on with it at the beginning allows us to get the job done and grab a beer at the end of the week. ■ DON’T THINK TOO HARD Coming up with something new every day can be strenuous and stressing about it never results in good. So when it gets to that stage, get down the pub and start throwing ideas around.
BACK TO BUSINESS
Mail, project managers and ‘catch-ups’ in the attic boardroom all try their hardest to break an afternoon’s workflow progression.
Animals are a popular theme around the studio, whether they’re pinned to clothing, on top of monitors or hanging from our oversized lamp.
A common occurrence at SomeOne around this time of year is birthdays. Songs will be sung, cards will be written and cake will be eaten.
To start and wind down the day we instate a studio-wide ban on any bright lighting, switching to our much cosier desk lamps instead.
Before the day closes, the beer fridge is busted out and beers at desks becomes a common sight among those with an evening’s work ahead of them.
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15 TIPS FOR CREATING
GAME ART PROFESSIONAL GAME ARTISTS SHARE THE SECRETS OF CREATING STRIKING VISUALS FROM CONCEPT RIGHT THROUGH TO THE FINAL PRODUCT
www.weststudio.com Tyler West, an experienced concept artist, founded West Studio, which has worked with notable clients throughout the videogames world. This concept environment is an early visual exploration piece that West Studio created for Playdek for its game Unsung Story, a tactical RPG. For West, it is important that concept art not only looks great, but that it also does its job and helps further the rest of the
production line: “The philosophy that I have always used as a designer and illustrator is to create designs that not only inspire but also inform production. What makes a concept artist good at his or her job is their ability to create designs. They need to not only excite those working on the project, but also inform artists who rely on those images (modellers, lighters, animators, etc). Concept art is not just about expression; it is also about fabrication.”
© Tyler West Studio, Inc.
01. CREATE CONCEPTS THAT AID PRODUCTION TYLER WEST FOR WEST STUDIO
15 TIPS FOR CREATING GAME ART TECHNIQUES
TECHNIQUES 15 TIPS FOR CREATING GAME ART
© 2013 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. The trademarks, copyrights and design rights in and associated with Lamborghini vehicles are used under licence from Lamborghini ArtiMarca S.p.A., Italy. General Motors Trademarks used under license to Ubisoft Entertainment. Ford Oval, Lincoln Star and nameplates are registered trademarks owned and licensed by Ford Motor Company. 3400k emblem and RUF body styling equipment are trademarks and/or intellectual property of RUF Vertriebs GmbH
02. DESIGN POWERFUL CONCEPTS XAVIER THOMAS FOR TWO DOTS
www.thetwodots.com This striking visual was created for Ubisoft title The Crew by Two Dots creative studio. It is part of the final key art for the game (http:// thecrew-game.ubi.com/portal/en-gb/home), which is an action driving adventure game for next-gen consoles. Xavier Thomas, creative director at Two Dots, explains how he creates concept art that excites: “My objective when I’m creating game art is to do something that is going to emotionally and visually affect people somehow. Therefore, I like to have time during concept phase to assimilate the project, understand which feelings the team wants to give to the gamers and explore various creative paths. If needed, I challenge the brief and client’s expectations to not over-limit myself; the idea is to take into account a maximum of constraints and play around them. Finally, I make sure I have fun before anything else; a good tip is to be a gamer, who fundamentally enjoys being part of this industry.”
TOP RESOURCES FOR CREATING GAME ART
03. VISIT CONCEPTART WORLD.COM
04. CATCH UP ON YOUR 05. TAKE A COMPUTER READING LIST GAMES ART DEGREE
06. SIGN UP TO DIGITAL TUTORS.COM
This website acts as both a blog and a directory for artists working in the entertainment industry. It profiles and showcases artwork from the latest releases and is frequently updated.
Videogame designer Sam R. Kennedy presents How To Become A Video Game Artist (£14.99/$21.99), which features interviews with pros and step-by-step tutorials.
Online digital art training courses look at the basic principles of designing a videogame character in Photoshop, including sketching, design, rendering and more.
This course at Teeside University, UK looks at 3D character modelling, environment modelling, vehicular modelling, basic real-time animation and 3D effects over its three years.
07. MASTER PHOTOSHOP EFFECTS HUGO CENEVIVA FOR ELEVENDY
www.elevendy.com Senior visual artist at Elevendy, Hugo Ceneviva, explains how he uses Photoshop’s tools to get this distinctive videogame ‘look’ for key art, as shown in this example for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist for Ubisoft.
■ Textures Use a variety of textures to add realism, blend with different modes and use High Pass to increase detail moderately
■ Lighting Play with highlights and shadows to make the action or storyline of the game come to life
Image by Elevendy Inc. ©2014 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved.
■ Colour Use colour layers (on Overlay) to make the lighting effects more realistic and believable
■ Contrast Work with Brightness and Contrast levels to create a dramatic effect on your character
THOMAS BRISSOT www.thomasbrissot.com Thomas Brissot is a concept artist and illustrator who has worked for a number of game clients. Here he shares three essential tips for creating striking game art designs…
08. MANAGE YOUR INSPIRATION Inspiration is your fuel. You should recognise when you have enough to get your engine started, but also notice when your tank is empty. When we struggle to draw or paint, often it is less because of a lack of technique than a lack of inspiration.
09. CHOOSE GOOD REFERENCES If your reference is an awful photograph, you will probably incorporate this into your artwork. That is why movie snaps, fashion photos and well-lit product photos are often popular among pros; they have a quality that you can add to your artwork.
10. UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN PROCESS
© Editions Faton 2013
If you try to apply a process that you see on the web, you will get frustrated because it relies on another person’s way of thinking and understanding things. If it makes sense for you to start with flat colours or lines or scribbles, then go ahead. At each stage, choose the way to work that seems logical to you.
15 TIPS FOR CREATING GAME ART TECHNIQUES
11. HAVE AN EFFECTIVE WORKFLOW CALEB PARRISH
www.artofcalebparrish.com Caleb Parrish is lead artist at Fun Bomb Studios, and has nine years of experience in game art and 15 years in CG. Whether a game is large or small, Parrish says that a good workflow and the ability to turn images around quickly are just as important. “One of the keys to this is having a workflow that allows you to get feedback and approvals at an early stage, but is still flexible enough to turn into a more polished piece. Keeping your parts modular while designing is a pretty powerful way to do this, especially when you need to add and remove parts on the fly.” Here he shows us how he built up this image, a concept from a mobile game called Enchant Match.
START WITH SHAPES
I began by creating basic shapes that I thought reflected the character’s personality. I chose sharp and hard shapes to help reinforce that he is an enemy in spite of a colourful palette. I then collaged those into a silhouette to build from.
WORK WITH GRADIENTS
Once the appropriate silhouette was decided upon, I jumped straight into blocking out the shapes with colour using gradients. I like to utilise a selection made from the collapsed layers. It was then just a matter of adding the details.
DEFINE FURTHER DETAIL
It can be useful to ground the character; in this case, using colours found in the shadows of the image and a couple of radial gradients. This stage is also about defining forms and separating overlapping parts with colour and highlights.
To finish the image, I added some finer details, as well as upped the overall contrast using a Curves adjustment layer. For the glowing bits, I added a Glow layer effect to some simple lines with the colour set to the same orange as the lines themselves.
All images © Caleb Parrish
© Alien Apple Studios
12. MASTER SPEED PAINTING LISA LIAO
13 USE CRITICISM CONSTRUCTIVELY TITUS LUNTER
www.lisaliao.com Lisa Liao’s responsibility as an environmental artist for videogames is to create art from concept to production 3D scenes. “Before I start, I create some speed paintings or thumbnails. Often, I need to paint different angles for the same environment. To control the colour and lighting more effectively, I usually draw two to four speed paintings at the same time on the same canvas, each sharing the same swatches. I also put similar elements into the same layer for different printings. For example: warm colours across all paintings are consolidated on one layer, and the paintings’ cool colours on another.” © Lisa Liao
© All rights reserved – Titus Lunter
www.tituslunter.com Titus Lunter is a concept artist for Ubisoft Massive, so he is well placed to tell us a thing or two about the importance of concept art in the videogame industry. “Concept art in the media and concept art that happens behind the scenes are two completely different things. Most of the images the public gets to see are marketing approved and much more like illustrations. The prime goal of a concept artist is to make sure the rest of the team understands an idea clearly. Getting to this idea requires a lot of exploration so an idea can grow, from line sketches to colour block-outs and collages. Getting comfortable with reiterating your ideas is one of the most important things to do; you have to have a bit of a thick skin when it comes to dealing with feedback. It’s our job to fail and get all the crazy ideas out of the way, and really push the production into the right channel.”
TIPS FOR CREATING GAME ART TECHNIQUES
15. USE THE LASSO TOOL FOR GRAPHICS STUART JENNETT FOR ALIEN APPLE STUDIOS
www.alienapplestudios.com Concept artist Stuart Jennett created this artwork for an unannounced sci-fi project, in which the player took the role of a futuristic combat soldier who is dropped into a number of tense combat scenarios against an invading alien species. In order to achieve the graphic look showcased here, Jennett relied on one of Photoshop’s key tools: “If you’d like to bring a more graphic element to your work, make sure you use the Lasso tool to help define and fill areas of your canvas. By adding texture and filter effects on layers over these areas, you can create some really interesting contrasting techniques. I really like to combine these approaches with my more traditional painterly style to help create more layers of interest to the viewer. You can always mask areas as well and apply the same approach if you wish; it is nice, though, to have a juxtaposition of finishes within the same piece if possible.”
www.atomhawk.com Senior artist Stuart Ellis created this piece of concept art for Atomhawk’s work on Killzone: Mercenary, a first-person shooter game for Playstation Vita, developed by Guerrilla Cambridge Studio and published by Sony in September 2013. Atomhawk worked with Guerilla and Sony to create character, environment, props and vehicle concepts for the game. Ellis shares his top advice on how to break into the incredibly competitive world of entertainment concept art: “It sounds like such a cliché, but what you need to do is practise constantly. “A lot of aspiring artists see what professionals are producing and think, ‘Yeah, I can do that’, and when they can’t do it straight away, they become disheartened. Persistence is key. Keep going at it and you’ll find you get better pretty quickly. There are so many resources, forums and professionals online that learning has never been easier. Take a sketchbook out in your bag and whenever you have a couple of minutes spare you can scribble out a couple of doodles. Surf the ‘net and learn from those already established in the industry. It’s a very difficult industry to break into, but once you have achieved it, the rewards are great.”
© 2013 Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
14. BE PERSISTENT AND PRACTISE REGULARLY STUART ELLIS FOR ATOMHAWK
3. Shape - Benoliel shaped the face and body with the Push Left tool on in the Liquify panel and applied sharpening
1. Original shot - This is the original shot before any retouching has taken place
© David Benoliel, Model: Gintare Sudziute – Wilhelmina
2. Cleaning and dodge and burn - Using a Healing Brush at almost 200%, Benoliel cleaned the skin and small imperfections
JULIE MARIE GENE GOBELIN
IVO DE KOK
WWW.MDFRETOUCHING.COM Dean-Francis is a high-end Photoshop retoucher, working on projects in the commercial and advertising industries.
WWW.JULIEMARIEGENE.COM Gobelin is a French freelance photographer based in Lyon, specialising in portraits and fashion photography.
WWW.JOANNAKUSTRA.COM Kustra is a Polish fashion and beauty photographer and retoucher based in Costa del Sol, working in the UK, Spain and Poland.
WWW.DAVIDBENOLIELPHOTOGRAPHY.COM Benoliel is a French fashion and beauty photographer. He has been living in the US between New York and Miami for four years.
De Kok studied at the renowned Fotoacademie in Amsterdam and now works for various clients and magazines in Europe.
FROM SHOOT TO PHOTOSHOP RETOUCH TECHNIQUES
FROM SHOOT TO PHOTOSHOP
RETOUCH BEAUTY RETOUCHING IS A METICULOUS AND DIFFICULT ART, ONE THAT MUST BE APPROACHED WITH DELICACY. DISCOVER HOW TO FOLLOW IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS
© Mikhail Malyugin, Model: Kseniya Balakhnina, Make-up: Anna Nerezova www.nerezova.com
© Ferhat Yurdam
n many ways, the art of beauty retouching could be considered as one of the most difficult Photoshop techniques that there is. We’re so used to seeing other human’s faces that our subconscious minds are attuned to the smallest details – if something is off, we know it instantly. As such, beauty retouching is no easy task. It requires a delicate balance of natural and digitally enhanced beauty, with pixels used to subtly soften pores, remove blemishes, and present a portrait that could not have existed otherwise. “From the photographers to the make-up artists to the retouchers themselves – we all create beautiful, even impossible things that fill the eyes and tickle the imagination,” says beauty and fashion retoucher Stefka Pavlova. “As a retoucher, the main task is to detract that viewer from wondering where and how an image has been enhanced, and to leave them to just enjoy the beauty, while maintaining the details and features that are present in the original shot.” Read on to learn how our panel of professional Photoshop retouchers approach the discipline of beauty enhancement, and discover how they make the final shot – rather than the process used to achieve it – the focus of the piece. MIKHAIL MALYUGIN
JULIA KUZMENKO MCKIM
WWW.MIKHAILMALYUGIN.COM Malyugin is an internationally published photographer and high-end retoucher, and specialises in beauty, fashion, and CG art.
WWW.JULIAKUZMENKO.COM Kuzmenko is a Russian, LA-based beauty, fashion and portrait photographer, digital artist, retoucher and educator.
HTTP://STEFKAPAVLOVA.COM Pavlova works as a professional retouching artist in beauty and fashion post-production. She has a master’s degree in fine arts.
WWW.VICTORWAGNER.COM Victor Wagner is a 25-year-old professional retoucher based in Brazil, specialising in beauty, fashion and commercial images.
WWW.FERHATYURDAM.COM After university, Yurdam worked in a fashion photography studio. There he discovered the magic of Photoshop.
TECHNIQUES FROM SHOOT TO PHOTOSHOP RETOUCH
THE RETOUCHING TOOLKIT
Retouching can’t ensure an outstanding image. It’s the combination of the quality of the source material, the artist’s vision and his or her technical skills Julia Kuzmenko McKim, www.juliakuzmenko.com
retoucher Julia Kuzmenko McKim. “I mainly work with the Healing Brush, Clone Stamp tool and the simple Brush tool, and some layer masks, a handful of adjustment layers, a few blending modes, and some custom Actions that I created to speed up my workflow – that’s basically all I need. I also use some Photoshop filters such as Gaussian Blur and High Pass as part of the Frequency Separation technique,
which allows me to work on skin texture and skin colours and tones independently. I also use the Liquify filter – that’s one of the tools that requires very accurate handling. All these basic tools are very powerful if you know what they are capable of alone and in combination with one another.” Three tools are used generally across all the artists we spoke to – the Brush tool, the Clone Stamp and the Healing Brush – a simple yet practical combination that can be incredibly powerful when used with care and skill. The Liquify tool is also used for making body parts proportional or slimmer, while Dodge and Burn, as always, come in useful when working on lighting. “I also use Curves adjustment layers to dodge and burn any patches on the skin, which are often just pixels of the same colour as the surrounding skin but different colour values,” continues Kuzmenko. “By slightly brightening and darkening those patches, I can even out the skin surface further without affecting its texture. The trick here is to not over-do it, otherwise the skin may end up looking plastic.” However, knowing the tools is one thing, but the process doesn’t start and end with Photoshop. “I’m a strong believer that retouching itself can’t really ensure that the image will end up being outstanding,”
continues Kuzmenko. “It’s a combination of the quality of the source material – not only its technical quality, but also the scene and/or emotions it captured – the artist’s vision and his or her technical skills. I create my images from start to finish. To ensure that the final image stands out from the crowd, I have to shoot it with good lighting and get interesting emotions, facial expressions and poses from my subject.” © Stefka Pavlova, Photography: Lazar Goushev, Make-up: Marina Mladenova, Hair: Emil Ivanov, Model: Gloria Dimitrova @Ivet Fashion
Human retouching requires a great degree of skill with Photoshop’s tools, with incredibly fine settings and careful use required to augment another person’s beauty without shifting too far into the realms of complete fantasy. “The tools and panels I use for beauty retouching are very basic,” begins beauty photographer and
“Before I start an image I make sure I have a goal in mind,” says Stefka Pavlova. “Once the concept is clear, the task is easy.”
© Joanna Kustra, Model: Abigail Gotts
“I always use a mix of the Patch tool and Healing Brush for removing small skin imperfections,” states Joanna Kustra
© Julia Kuzmenko McKim, Concept, Make-up & Hair: www.sherrijessee.com/Sherri_Jessee/SHERRI_JESSEE. html, Model: www.modelmayhem.com/773686 Jamillette Gaxiola, Las Vegas, NV, Photo & post: www.facebook. com/JuliaKuzmenkoPhotography - Julia Kuzmenko McKim
BEAUTY MAKEOVER STEFKA PAVLOVA DELVES INTO SKIN RETOUCHING AND COLOUR CORRECTION
CROPPING AND COLOUR CORRECTION
RESHAPING AND CLEANING YOUR PHOTOGRAPH
FINAL COLOUR CORRECTION
The first task is to get to know the source file: dimensions, colour space, quality, details and so on. You can then rotate and crop the image according to your own needs. This is a beauty shot, so the crop area should cover the face and part of the neck only. At this stage I usually do a basic colour correction.
© Joanna Kustra
You can now move into Photoshop to start the retouching process. Here a few things are done: subtle reshaping of the face, teeth replacement, cleaning of all the skin, overall and detailed dodge and burn and some extra local colour fixes.
SETTING UP A SHOOT DAVID BENOLIEL AND JULIA KUZMENKO MCKIM OFFER ADVICE FOR SHOOTING WITH RETOUCHING IN MIND David Benoliel: “If I decide to shoot a black and white series with a model with strong features, I will use really hard light, even if the skin will not look as good. This is because I want my shadows to be dark and the photo to have a lot of contrast. I know it means more editing, but that’s okay. Another thing to do is to work closely with your make-up artist to place your highlights, by adding shimmer on the cheekbones and nose, for example. This will help contour the face, and not only will it help to better place the lights on your set, but also during the editing process, where the shadow/highlights will only need to be accentuated rather than created from scratch.” Julia Kuzmenko McKim: “In beauty retouching, like in most retouching types, the source materials and their quality are of high importance. You should always keep an eye on the things that can be easily fixed during the shoot, and will take a lot of time and effort to doctor in post-production if you don’t. I’m talking about frizzy hair, smudged make-up, flyaway hairs that are crossing the face, or accessories that got tangled. If you have an experienced team of creative professionals on set, allow them to stay right outside the frame and watch your model’s make-up and hair during the shoot. They should be able to jump in to make corrections when needed.”
This is the fun part – the final colouring of the image. You can experiment with different colour adjustments and blending modes for hours. To create this cold yet warm look, I used several adjustment layers with specific settings for shadows, midtones, highlights, blacks and whites.
TECHNIQUES FROM SHOOT TO PHOTOSHOP RETOUCH
TECHNIQUES Kuzmenko has a theory that it’s usually the signs of ageing in the human face that need to be toned down or completely removed from a retouched image. “If I am working on a 45-year-old client’s portrait, and she is a regular woman, I will soften her fine lines, nasolabial folds, any deeper wrinkles around the eyes and lips, but I won’t completely remove them,” she says. “If I am working on a beauty shot for a magazine, and the model’s skin looks tired, patchy and dehydrated, I will gently remove all that, trying to not destroy her skin texture. However, no matter what type of beauty image I am working on, the main goal is always to preserve skin texture, while removing blotchiness and temporary imperfections such as acne, make-up mistakes and smudges.” Retoucher Ivo de Kok agrees that the skin can’t be overworked, as perfection is a dead giveaway of a retouched image. “Nobody is perfect, and humans know that, so it’s important to leave some flaws in – say some lines under the eyes or a freckle.” When approaching lighting, shadows and dark circles, de Kok uses the Split Frequency Separation for evening out transitions between light and dark. “I use the High Frequency layer to clean up the image and I use the Low Frequency to smooth out the tones and transitions,” he explains. “For dark circles I often use the Patch tool to select a dark area and pull it to a lighter area of the skin. I then fix the texture by using the Healing Brush tool.” Retoucher Ferhat Yurdam considers the cheeks to be a particular area of attention when preserving skin pores. “When smoothing out skin pores I use the Healing Brush to clean the skin, then I generally use a Soft Light layer at 50% Gray to lighten the wrinkles and pores,” he tells us. “A Black & White layer under the Soft Light layer helps to see the wrinkles better, but be sure to work on the Soft Light layer. If I don’t have enough time for a solid few days of work, I use the Clone Stamp tool with low Opacity (10-30%) and cloning from around the problematic areas.” An example of this process can be seen at tinyurl.com/APFerhatYurdam. If you feel more pores are needed, then there are processes that can help you add them back into an image, as Joanna Kustra reveals. “I try to copy them from the original picture or one with the same model and a similar lighting setup. However, if I need to re-create texture, this technique works best for me: on top of my picture I go to Edit>Fill and create a 50% Gray layer. I convert my new layer to a Smart Object, which allows me to be flexible with the opacity of my next Smart Filters. I change its blending mode to Soft Light and go to Filters>Noise>Add Noise. I then add two Smart Filters as following: Blur>Gaussian Blur and Stylize>Emboss. At this stage my skin texture should already be visible, and because I am working on a Smart Object, I can adjust the blur and emboss depending on the strength I want to achieve.”
© Joanna Kustra
BEFORE © Mikhail Malyugin Model: Kseniya Balakhnina Make-up: Anna Nerezova, www.nerezova.com
“Spend a lot of time on skin texture,” says Mikhail Malyugin. “Keep the skin texture, radiance and natural colours”
AFTER © Renan Prando
“It’s important to enhance the objective of the photo, whether that’s the lipstick, eyelashes, hair or nails,” says Victor Wagner
© Joanna Kustra
ADDING A ROMANTIC TOUCH JOANNA KUSTRA REVEALS HOW TO APPLY CREATIVE COLOUR GRADING TO ENHANCE NATURAL FEATURES 001 MAKE FRECKLES POP Add a Selective Color adjustment layer, darken the reds and yellows and brighten the whites. Then change the layer’s blending mode to Darken and with a soft brush on the layer mask, bring out freckles you want to be darker.
002 ADD HAIR VOLUME Copy hair from another picture from the shoot where it looks bigger and transform it around the existing hair with the Free Transform and Warp tool. Remove unwanted areas and adjust it with the Liquify tool.
003 ',/339Ĉ4/5#(Ɏ50 Add a new layer, set Mode to Overlay and tick the box ‘Fill with Overlay – neutral colour’. On a new 50% Gray layer, paint over the area you want to affect. Use a soft white and black brush at around 5% Opacity – I have separate layers for highlights and shadows. I edit my picture as if it were in 3D – closer parts are brighter, further away are darker.
004 PLAY WITH COLOUR Apply colour grading locally. Create a Selective Color adjustment layer separately for the hair, face, eyes, lips, cheeks and backdrop, masking these areas with a soft brush. Adjust colours, moving the slider until you are happy with the outcome. Play with the black tones, adding a magenta and cyan tint. Push the white tones brighter, especially on the face and hair, adding a bit of yellow to them.
FROM SHOOT TO PHOTOSHOP RETOUCH TECHNIQUES
RETOUCHING HAIR We sat down with professional retoucher Marina Dean-Francis to learn about her techniques, tools and processes… Can you please tell us a little about the techniques you used to create this image? To create natural-looking skin I used the Healing Brush to remove blemishes and imperfections while maintaining the natural skin texture. Next I used Dodge and Burn to make the skin look smoother and more polished. I never remove natural lines and bone structure of the forehead or the face unless it’s distracting or requested by the client. To get rid of stray hairs I used the Clone tool in Darken mode on an empty layer, also in Darken mode. It makes it quite easy to remove the visible strays and make the surface of the hair cleaner. Next I copied the best parts of the spare pictures from the shoot and composited them to create the perfect flow of the hair. I blended it together using either the Eraser or by simply painting the missing parts, although I always try to avoid painting the hair as it can look cartoonish sometimes. I prefer to borrow some good parts from the spare images. To add shine I simply used the Lasso tool and Curves and put in highlights and lowlights where I felt they were needed. How did you make the most important areas stand out? I paid most attention to the hair. Luckily, as this was my own shoot and I was both the photographer and retoucher for the project, I had a lot of control during the shoot, and paid a lot of attention to ensuring the hair was as perfect as possible on the day. That helped me to create natural-looking, beautiful hair in the final images. What was your approach to the hair? The art of creating great hair images is firstly to have good-quality original images. Then you need a few spare images with some good hair parts to lift additional hair from if needed. Clear your schedule for the day, don’t try to rush and accept the fact that hair retouching takes ages to do. You only need to use basic tools to create fantastic-looking hair. You just need to use them in the correct way. I can do all my hair retouching using just the Clone in Darken mode, Dodge and Burn on layers, the Eraser for blending and compositing, then the Lasso and Curves for enhancing highlight areas. Sometimes if there are loads of stray hairs I use Frequency Separation to remove and smooth it. Try to avoid over-sharpening the hair. Keep a few strays in the image along with some gaps to make the hair look more natural. Don’t make the edges of the hair too sharp and perfect. Using Frequency Separation can be a good trick for removing stubborn stray hairs. Can you please tell us how Wacom technology was beneficial to the process of creating these images? When it comes to retouching I only use Wacom input devices because they offer great-quality creative tablets, which makes your work easier and more enjoyable. I program the buttons on the side of the tablet to use as shortcuts to Photoshop functions, which saves me time. The tablets are very sensitive so it’s like using a real pen or brush. Even if you are drawing hair you can make it more realistic than when using a mouse or track pad. I wouldn’t use any other tool simply because my work would not be the same quality without it. © Marina Dean-Francis
TECHNIQUES FROM SHOOT TO PHOTOSHOP RETOUCH
STARTING OUT Starting out in the beauty retouching industry can be challenging, and unfortunately there are no magic workarounds to attain a professional level of quality. “Practice, practice, practice!” exclaims Julie Marie Gene Gobelin. “I don’t think there is really any secret for good work. It’s the same in every field; you have to practise a lot to learn, be better and to be faster!”
I don’t think there is really any secret for good work. It’s the same in every field; you have to practise a lot to learn, be better and to be faster!
Julie Marie Gene Gobelin, www.juliemariegene.com
Mikhail Malyugin is quick to agree. “Practise, do more research and then practise again,” he says. “Don’t be lazy – the hours of practice and patience will be worthwhile. You might spend 4-7 hours on a photo at first, but the more you practise, the faster you will become. Your retouching skills and the use of the advanced techniques should become your second nature.” It’s important, however, to remain observant of others’ work, and not get too caught up in your own. “Look at the top photographers’ and retouchers’ work a lot,” continues Malyugin. “Observe and work on developing your own sense of style and vision. Watch the industry trends and innovations and constantly work on your own skills.”
Ivo de Kok suggests learning as many different processes and approaches as possible will help when it comes to working to deadlines. “Read as many books, watch as many tutorials, and follow as many workshops as you can – even those about selections, masks, brushes and so on. It will speed up your workflow if you know a range of different techniques that can be used to reach the same goal.” For complete beginners, Kuzmenko emphasises the importance of pacing yourself, and learning commercial retouching techniques from the ground up. “I always recommend learning the software first: all the basic tools, panels, layer masks, filters, blending modes and adjustment layers. Practise very simple retouching with them to know how they work. Read as much as you can on colour theory and colour management. Learn the visual arts basics, such as composition, visual weight, rendering of light and shadows, human anatomy – and start paying more attention to the current global or local beauty trends (make-up, fashion, colours). When you are familiar with the fundamentals and current beauty trends, you have a lot more chances to succeed at learning more advanced retouching techniques and not get discouraged.” However, as with all things based in art, it’s passion that matters most. “Anyone who has found their satisfaction in being a retoucher, who is willing to jump in with both feet into a boundless field full of beauty, will succeed,” says Stefka Pavlova. “Just be extremely patient and prepare for very hard work. Your skills will evolve with experience!”
© Hugo Toni © Fernando Tomaz
“It can be really hard, but here is always someone looking for young, new retouchers in the industry!” says Victor Wagner
A LAYERED APPROACH OUR PANEL OF EXPERTS DISCUSS THE AMOUNT OF LAYERS USED IN THEIR WORK AND HOW THEY APPROACH THEM Joanna Kustra: I rarely flatten layers while working on a PSD file, so I can always come back to a certain stage and adjust again if needed. My average PSD file contains from 30 up to 50 layers. I keep my layers in a few named folders – usually they are grouped by a few stages of my retouching: overall touch-up, skin and hair retouch, local and overall colour adjustments, highlights and shadows. Mikhail Malyugin: On average about 20-30 layers. It all depends on the photo and assignment. Sometimes I use more than 100 layers. I always name my groups Healing, Colour, Hair, D&B, Hands, Background and so on. Sometimes in each group there are several groups. Stefka Pavlova: I try to keep my workflow as simple as possible. My average file contains around 6-20 layers, and most of them are for colour adjustments only. I like to keep everything under control so I work on all layers simultaneously.
© Julia Kuzmenko McKim, For LA Fashion magazine, December 2013 issue, Los Angeles, CA Creative Director: Matthew Mitchell, Hair: William Williams, Make-up: Gabriel Valdez, Model: Amanda of PhotogenicsLA, Photo & Post: Julia Kuzmenko McKim
Julia Kuzmenko McKim: Over the years I’ve worked out a routine that suits my retouching workflow perfectly – I create new or duplicate layers while working on each segment of a photo, then merge them, duplicate the merged layer, and start working on the next part. This way, if at any point I want to take something back, I can simply retrieve it from one of the merged layers in my stack.
© Julia Kuzmenko McKim, Model: Carolina of Aston Models, Make-up & Hair: Germaine Nichols, Photo & Post-production: Julia Kuzmenko McKim
THE PERFECT RETOUCH JULIA KUZMENKO MCKIM ON HER APPROACH TO BEAUTY RETOUCHING
CREATE VIRTUAL COPIES AS LAYERS
Once I have chosen a strong photo for retouching, I normally create a few virtual copies with different exposure and colour settings, then take them into Photoshop as layers in one PSD. To do that I select all the virtual copies I’ve created, Ctrl/right-click on them and then go to Edit In>Open As Layers In Photoshop.
I then do a round of the Frequency Separation technique and some dodging and burning to finalise the skin. If you are not familiar with the concept of the Frequency Separation technique and the settings, google ‘Frequency Separation’, and my Fstoppers article will be at the top of the search list.
After my final image is composed out of different parts, I merge all the layers in the stack – this will be the background layer in my master file. I normally start with a round of the Spot Healing brush, targeting spots, blemishes, fine lines and stray hairs on the skin. I work with a very small brush and jump to the Healing Brush tool or the Clone Stamp.
My final touches are usually colour grading and a round of global Dodge and Burn where I enhance some shadows and highlights, which I could have flattened a bit while retouching the skin. When it’s a client shot I double-check with the client what format, colour space, colour mode and resolution they would like the final file in.
PROFESSIONAL PORTRAIT RETOUCHING TECHNIQUES
PROFESSIONAL PORTRAIT RETOUCHING STRIKE A BALANCE BETWEEN NATURE AND PERFECTION WITH EXPERT TECHNIQUES AND LIGHTING ADJUSTMENTS
ortrait retouching is a delicate skill, one that demands a balance between enhancing beauty digitally and ensuring that the portrait stays believable. But this tutorial will show you how to master it like the pros. I personally prefer it when the retouch is not too obvious and the identity of the photographed person is maintained, so here you will learn how to enhance the natural beauty of the model rather than fake it. The first step of a good retouch is a good development. You will find the RAW file on the disc, which you will need to open with Capture One,
Lightroom or Camera Raw. I recommend using Capture One, as I find this software very easy to use. When you open the file, you will immediately see that the right side of the model’s face appears darker than the rest. The idea will be to develop the image twice: one normal development with nice details and skin colour, and another development for the dark part of her face. So grab your start image, fire up Photoshop, and get ready to transform the portrait from a natural beauty to a flawless piece of art that could grace the cover of any high-end fashion magazine.
OUR EXPERT BRIVAELLE CAPITAINE
After five years working as a model, Capitaine decided to use her beauty expertise as a retoucher. She graduated with a master’s in digital art and later founded her own agency: One Hundred Berlin.
SOURCE FILES On the disc you will find the RAW file of the model (‘Untitled Catalog4130. nef’) so you can follow this tutorial step by step.
GETTING STARTED DEVELOP YOUR RAW FILE BEFORE MOVING INTO PHOTOSHOP
WORK IN PROGRESS FROM RAW DEVELOPMENT TO THE FINAL LOOK
GET THE BEST OUT OF RAW
Open your image in Capture One and adjust the Kelvin and Tint, then adjust the Clarity, Accentuation and Shadow to bring out details. Copy those presets, create a new variant and add the presets to it, then change the exposure until you see all the details in the shadow areas. Develop the two versions and open them in Photoshop.
MERGE THE IMAGES
Select the Move tool, Shift+Opt/Alt-click the brighter image and bring it over to the normal one. Select the shadow area on the brighter image and create a mask, Ctrl/right-click on it and select Refine Mask. Paint around the masked area with a black brush at 30% Opacity to fuse the bright and dark areas together. Merge the layers and duplicate.
Progress 1: Develop RAW file
STAMP, STAMP, STAMP
To clean up the skin, use the Clone Stamp. The secret is that the brush size should be a little bit bigger than the things you retouch (hairs and spots), the Opacity should be on 85-100% and the Hardness close to 0%. The idea is not to remove all the imperfections, but more to replace imperfections with natural pores, and keep as much texture as possible.
Progress 2: Smooth skin
Progress 3: Layer adjustments
TECHNIQUES PROFESSIONAL PORTRAIT RETOUCHING
SOFTEN THE SKIN
In this step you will soften the skin in a very natural way that doesn’t change the natural structure of the skin. Create a new Hue/Saturation layer (H: 0, S: 0, L: 50), delete the mask, change the blend mode to Soft Light and pixelise the layer. I use this layer to brighten the dark parts of the skin and darken the parts that appear too bright. To help see the difference more clearly, create a new Curves adjustment layer and darken the entire image.
Duplicate the image layer so that you can revert back to the original if something goes wrong. Zoom out of the image so that you can see from afar any areas of facial and head hair that need to be removed. Then create a new empty layer and mark these problem areas in red. To remove the hairs around the chin, create a new path and select the area around the chin. Then create a new selection and clone stamp all the little hairs within it.
CLEAN THE BACKGROUND
You will then need to clean up all the marks in the background with the Clone Stamp tool, set at 80-100% Opacity. You can also use the Dust & Scratches filter. To do this, duplicate the image layer and use the Dust & Scratches filter to make a mask that covers the model’s face. To soften lines in the background, use the Clone Stamp tool set to 35% Opacity and 45% Flow.
HAIRS AROUND THE CHIN
REDUCE FLYAWAY HAIRS
For a more natural result, select the area around the chin again, copy it onto another layer (Cmd/Ctrl+C, Cmd/Ctrl+V) and use a Gaussian Blur on this little part. Then create a grey layer and add some grain to it. Attach the grey layer with the grain to the little part of the chin that you blurred, then adjust the grain’s opacity to fuse it to the skin.
For flyaway hairs, it’s often better to rein them in using Liquify tool rather than remove them all. To do this, open the image in the Liquify tool and push inside the little hairs. On this image layer, create a mask and invert it so it appears black. Then use the brush in white and on 50-100% Opacity and paint over the messy hairs to cover them. If there are still any marks in the background, simply use the Clone Stamp to soften those differences (on 35% Opacity and 45% Flow).
RETOUCH THE FEATURES CHANGE THE SHAPE OF THE NOSE, EYES AND LIPS AND ADD TONE TO SKIN AND HAIR
Create guidelines to help see what needs to be transformed. Place these under the eyes and in the middle of the nose, then Transform the image (Cmd/Ctrl+T) to straighten it. Open the layer in Liquify to change the shape of the nose, eyes and lips. The Pressure of the brush should be close to 100%.
LIGHT AND COLOURS
To soften the dark circles under the eyes, select the area and brighten it using Levels. Then create a Selective Color layer and attach the Levels layer as a clipping mask to correct the grey tone (add colour in the grey to match the skin tones), then refine the mask. To reduce the highlights on the face, select the area, create a Levels adjustment and reduce the Midtones. Then refine the mask. On this image the nose appears slightly magenta. Select the area on the nose and balance the colour to the green.
Move the outside corner of the eyes up slightly and increase the size if necessary
Bring in the sides of the nose to make it slimmer, as well as the tip
BRIGHTEN THE EYES
The light in the eyes is not the same; use a Levels adjustment layer to balance this area, and bring in highlights in the whites of the eyes also using the Levels command. You can then create a new layer and simply draw a bit of white on the pupil (with the brush at 50% Opacity) in the eyes, then set the layer to Overlay or Soft Light mode and add a soft Gaussian Blur.
Bring up the left side of her lips to make them more symmetrical
ADD TONE TO THE SKIN
To add colour and brightness to the skin, simply select it, add a Curves adjustment to bring in some light, refine the mask and add a Selective Color layer that you can clip to the Curves layer (in the grey, add more yellow, magenta and eventually red.) On the right side of the face, it is possible to soften the shadow by selecting the shadow area, creating a new Selective Color layer, and in the grey tone, remove some black and add colour instead.
The hair must be adjusted too, so select the hair area to bring in some highlights, contrast and colour. Create a Levels layer and refine the mask. Add some highlights by moving the white slider to the left and the black cursor to the right. You can also adjust the colours with a selection of a different part of the hair (top and left) and create a Levels layer, then adjust the red and yellow tones. The left part of the modelâ€™s hair appears darker, so select this area and adjust the levels, and as usual, refine the mask.
TECHNIQUES PROFESSIONAL PORTRAIT RETOUCHING
COLOUR AND LIGHT CREATE A COLOURED BACKGROUND AND ADD DIMENSION WITH ADJUSTMENT LAYERS AND CHANNELS
For the background, create a mask of the model and add a colour. First you will need to convert the image to 16 bits. This will improve the quality of the gradient. I generally use a Curves adjustment layer to make this mask, because the Refine Mask is very easy to use on a desaturated layer but doesn’t work on a colour layer. Select the model, create a Curves layer and refine the mask. Clip a colour layer to this. To make it look more natural, it’s a good idea to reduce the Opacity of this layer when possible. Here it is set to 67%.
Neutralise the colour of the original image with a Desaturate layer. Place it under the colour layer, so it doesn’t affect it. You can also brighten the light behind the model’s head. Do this by creating a new layer, clip it to the colour mask (attached to the Desaturate and Curves layer) and simply make a white circle gradient behind her head. Create a Black & White adjustment layer set to Soft Light mode only on the model (30% Opacity) to bring some dimension to the image.
To create even more relief within the image, use Channels. Go to the Channels panel and choose a channel, generally blue or green. Duplicate this channel and go to Image>Adjustments>Levels. Select the white pipette and click on a highlight point (like on the nose, for example), then select the black pipette and click on a dark part (for example the shadow under the ear). Click OK and activate the selection by Cmd/Ctrl-clicking. Go back to the Layers panel and create a new Levels layer.
The Refine Mask is very easy to use on a desaturated layer but doesn’t work on a colour layer
Next, create a Curves layer under the Levels layers you just added (with the channel masking). Invert the mask so it is completely black, then take a soft brush (30-50% Opacity) and paint in white on the Curves mask where you want to bring in highlights. It is also possible to activate the channel another time (Green copy), create a new Levels layer, invert the mask, and move the black slider to the right. This will also bring more dimension to the image.
OPTIONAL: ADD EYELASHES
Select both the eyes and copy this selection on a new layer. Sharpen this selection and add a mask to soften around it. Create a new layer and select the brush at 100% Opacity, in black, with 0% Hardness. Then simply draw some new eyelashes with your brush, generally at 1px Size. Create a mask on the layer and mask the extremities of the new eyelashes with a brush set to 50% Opacity. Duplicate the layer for more intensity and mask any areas where it is too visible.
SKIN SOFTENING WITH THE CLONE STAMP Softening the skin with the Clone Stamp is a nice thing to do, but I always try to maintain as much texture as possible. To do this, I copy my image twice, and on the top layer I add a High Pass filter in Soft Light mode to keep the texture of the skin. On the layer beneath, I use the Stamp on a very soft setting (20% and 20%) everywhere the skin needs to be softened.
HOW I MADE
TREE OF LIFE
FERDINAND D. LADERA
© Ferdinand D. Ladera
THIS TALENTED CONCEPT ARTIST SHARES WITH US THE SKILLS BEHIND HIS ATMOSPHERIC DIGITAL PAINTINGS
ree Of Life is a personal piece by Ferdinand D. Ladera (www.ferdinandladera.com), who is a senior concept artist with seven years of experience in the games industry. Specialising in fantasy and sci-fi illustration, and with a background in fine art, photography and graphic design, Ladera is certainly a versatile artist. This image was created solely in Photoshop CS5 using digital painting techniques and was inspired by scenes from
the movie Avatar. “I chose this concept because I really enjoy doing landscapes and trees,” says Ladera. The concept was first created in greyscale to establish the right values and contrast. Ladera then painted over it with photos to make building up the environment easier and quicker. This also helped to make some of the elements look more realistic. He made the most of custom brushes to further speed up the painting process.
TECHNIQUES HOW I MADE
ADDING KEY VISUALS
I usually do different studies of landscapes before I pick the one that stands out. Here are all of the sketches that were done for this particular painting.
This is the concept that I chose to go with for this painting. On the right-hand side of this image are the brushes that I used in the creation of the landscape.
I have already incorporated the tree in this concept. I also added waterfalls around the tree. The waterfalls are coming from an underground river beneath the tree, which comes from the mountains.
TECHNIQUES HOW I MADE
CUSTOM TREE BRUSHES
FINAL GREYSCALE COMPOSITION
This image shows all of the custom brushes that I used for branches and leaves to speed up the process of putting the tree together. As you can see, there are quite a few of them!
And here it is, the final painting in greyscale. Iâ€™m happy with the results and I like the composition of the entire painting. So, next up is colouring.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
This is the complete concept on a bigger canvas. The images at the bottom are the inspirational sketches that I used as reference as I painted. The right-hand image shows the custom brushes used.
CURVES FOR COLOURING
I started colouring by using the Curves settings. I played around with the Red, Blue and Green channels until I saw the result I wanted. Next, I used Color Balance, Levels, etc, until I got the right colours.
CREATE STUNNING LANDSCAPES LADERA SHARES HIS TOP TIPS FOR ATMOSPHERIC DIGITAL PAINTINGS The main tip that I can give to the artists who are interested in using this process is that all you need is patience and perseverance, because landscape illustrations are kind of difficult to do. You should have a wide understanding of values and atmospheric perspective. And you should also have plenty of references to base work on. Of course, nothing beats having your own unique idea. It will really make your painting stand out.
Here, I added more details like the trees that you can see on the left side, and I also made some tweaks to the contrast and the colour.
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TRANSFORM 3D RENDERS TECHNIQUES
TRANSFORM 3D RENDERS BRING YOUR 3D RENDER TO LIFE USING PHOTOSHOP TRICKS AND MATTE PAINTING TECHNIQUES
owadays it’s hard to be a Photoshop artist and not use 3D at all, just as it is to be a 3D artist and not use Photoshop. The most modern techniques overlap different branches of computer graphics, creating images like never seen before. Over the following pages, you will see that 3D post-production isn’t harder than the usual compositing techniques that you are used to. It isn’t a strict cookbook only teaching you how to create aeroplanes, as you can apply these methods to any type of 3D render. On the way you’ll pick up some Photoshop tricks that will be helpful in many different cases.
At the beginning of the tutorial you’ll learn how to create a landscape background from scratch, from sketch to photo compositing and colour correction, using matte painting techniques. You will then polish a 3D render using a lot of adjustments and differently blended layers, and will discover which passes of a 3D render can be very helpful for post-production. You will then learn how to composite photos again to create a photoreal cockpit. By the end of the tutorial, you will have learnt how to easily add some special effects like a burning rocket trail and scattered particles. So don’t delay, let’s go!
www.behance.net/egorov Egorov is a self-taught CG artist living in Saint Petersburg who mixes Photoshop with 3D applications to create stunning infographics and illustrations. He is currently working worldwide as a freelancer.
On the disc, you can find the basic 3D render files. The photos for compositing and special effects can be found at www.cgtextures.com and www.istockphoto.com.
CREATE YOUR SCENE USING MATTE PAINTING TECHNIQUES
OUR EXPERT ANTON EGOROV
Create a new document at 3600 x 3600px. A square format is handy when creating multipurpose images. Make a grey background layer and a group. Name the group ‘Sizes’. Create two layers at 16:9 and A4, fill them with dark grey and set their Opacities at 70%. Make rectangular holes in them sized 3600 x 2025px and 2776 x 3567px.
WORK IN PROGRESS FROM IDEA TO FINISHED ARTWORK
Progress 1: Create a sketch
Progress 2: Composite scene
Open the supplied ‘draft-render.png’ file and place it into the scene so that it looks great in both size frames. Hide the Sizes group. Now your task is to create the backgrouonund of the artwork. Paint a scene using any kind of rough brush, photos and whatever else you want.
You now need a pile of misty photos. Go to a photo stock site and collect as many as you can. Replace the sketch with preview photos. Place them using rough masks and colour corrections. We used ‘25817889’, ‘25817914’, ‘25014376’, ‘25013547’ and ‘2640502’ from www.istockphoto.com.
Progress 3: Final effects
TECHNIQUES TRANSFORM 3D RENDERS
When you are happy, replace the previews with high-res images and refine the masks using brushes. Some photos will need colour correction, like ‘25817889’. Deepen its shadows using a Levels adjustment. Clip it to the photo and move the left slider to 37. Desaturate the photo using a new Hue/ Saturation layer. Set the Hue at +3 and the Saturation at -55. Then create a Solid Color layer in Soft Light mode and choose a tan colour.
Choose a tree photo or download ‘24864654’ from iStock. Replace the preview with it and improve the mask with artistic brushes, like the Rough Round Bristle brush. Create a subtle speed effect with the Motion Blur filter. Set the Angle at -6 and the Distance at 31px. Create a new clipped layer and another one beneath the photo. Use a soft brush with low opacity to brighten pieces of the landscape where it’s needed, settling the pines into the scene.
In order to make the scene deeper, use aerial perspective. This means that the distant objects, especially on the horizon, are less contrasted and lighter than the foreground ones. Сreate a new Brightness/ Contrast layer. Set the Brightness at 28 and the Contrast at -29. Clean the foreground using a large soft black brush on the mask of the layer. Create a new Levels layer and move the centre slider to the left to 1.65. Make a similar mask for it. Refine the result with other adjustment layers if it’s needed.
QUICK TIP When you place a new photo into a scene, convert it to a Smart Object. This way you have the possibility to re-transform it without any losses, and you can even change the Filter settings! This trick is very useful in real-life work when you always have to go back and adjust things you’ve already finished.
You now need to reconcile the different photos with each other. Create a new Solid Color layer in Color mode and choose a blue-grey colour. Set the Opacity at 40%. In order to diversify the colours, create a new Curves layer. Vary the channels individually: for Red, move the bottom marker up, and for Blue, move the centre of the line down. To make the colours more natural, create a new layer in Soft Light mode. Paint with broad strokes using large soft brushes in different colours.
Go to www.cgtextures.com and find the ‘Smoke0403’ set, then download the first photo. Create a group and place the file into it. Remove the sky, the chimney and excess smoke using a layer mask and brushes. Reduce the opacity. Create a Levels adjustment, clip it to the group and move the centre slider to 1.51 and the right to 138. Add a Solid Color layer filled with grey-blue in Soft Light mode.
PLACE 3D RENDER IMPORT 3D PASSES AND SETTLE THEM DOWN INTO THE SCENE
IMPORT THE RENDER
You can import your 3D render or use the supplied ‘production-render.png’. The attached fighter is a stock 3D model. It was rendered using V-Ray. The landscape created before was used as a HDRI environment map for reflections. The surface of the fighter is quite matte, but this trick can be very helpful in other cases. Once you have placed the render, make a group called ‘Guides’ and place it above the others. Draw some perspective lines. You will be able to check against them to avoid mistakes.
AERIAL PERSPECTIVE ON THE FIGHTER
The first helpful pass is ZDepth. It’s a greyscale image that shows the distance from the camera. The closest objects are white and the furthest ones are black. Place ‘render-ZDepth.png’ into the scene. Align it with the fighter and fill the empty space with black. Invert and cut the layer. Create a Brightness/Contrast layer clipped to the fighter and paste into its mask. Brighten the furthest part and reduce their contrast. Use the same mask for a blue Solid Color layer in Soft Light mode.
COLOUR TONES AND REFLECTIONS
Colour reflections are one of the most important things to settle a stock image into a scene. Tone the fighter a bit using a clipped Solid Color layer in Soft Light mode filled with blue. Set its Opacity at 10%, then add matte colour reflections. Create a layer in Soft Light mode. Grab the Brush tool and choose a green colour. Paint the lower wing and the lower side of the cockpit with broad strokes using a large soft brush with low opacity. Pick a blue colour and paint the higher parts of the fighter.
A common problem of 3D renders is their lack of imperfections, especially in lighting. So let’s make the lighting of the plane more natural. Create a new clipped layer in Overlay mode. Select the Brush tool and paint shadows and highlights with a soft black and white brush. Feel free to work instinctively. 001
With a small brush, paint intense highlights on the places where the light of the bright clouds should be reflected
In order to put the fighter in the foreground, you should hugely enhance its contrast on the nearest details. Create a new Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer clipped to the 3D render. Reduce the Brightness and lift the Contrast up to get a really contrasted plane. Then make a fully black mask for it. Grab the Brush tool and paint contrast areas using a soft white brush on the mask.
Enhance the reflections of the glass parts of the cockpit. A broad brush will increase the shine effect
Make the shadows deeper using a soft black brush. It will give the illustration more depth
Colour reflections are one of the most important things that will help to settle a stock image into a scene 055
TECHNIQUES TRANSFORM 3D RENDERS
BRING IT TO LIFE! MIX PHOTOS WITH THE 3D RENDER TO ADD REALISM
The fighter is still too clean, so let’s add dirt! Go to www.cgtextures.com, search and download ‘ConcreteLeaking0118’ or another dirty texture, then place it into the scene. Convert it to a Smart Object and set the layer mode to Overlay. Unhide the Guides group and hit Cmd/Ctrl+T to activate the Transform tool on the texture. Rotate and move the points using Cmd/Ctrl to lay the texture onto the plane. Reduce the opacity twice. Duplicate the layer and cover all of the fighter.
Go to a photo stock site and collect as many pilots, thumbs-up hands and seats as you can. Place previews into the scene. Choose ones that you like (or just download ‘35116366’, ‘33404702’, ‘35321320’ and ‘32214514’ from iStock). Use adjustment layers to settle the parts into the environment as you did with the plane. Feel free to reuse parts of the body making the pose. The original helmet of the pilot looks a bit strange so you can replace it with the other one. Paint shadows using a soft black brush.
The cockpit is located in the centre of the illustration, and truth be told it’s deadly dull and clumsy. The best solution is to make it again from scratch. Create a new group and name it ‘Cockpit’. Choose the Pen tool and outline the glass with a path (by the way – the top separator of the cockpit shouldn’t be there, so it’s a chance to remove it). Create a vector mask for the group using the path. Place the supplied file named ‘cockpit-base.png’ and align it with the fighter.
Paint the needless cockpit parts behind the pilot with a dark grey brush. Get images ‘renderReflection.png’ and ‘render-Specular.png’ and align them with the fighter, then set their modes to Screen. The first one is a pass that only shows reflections. Enhance its contrast to get a nice result. The second one is a pass that shows highlights. Use a Levels layer to add more white (set the right slider at 170). Create a new layer and mask it to show only the top glass. Add some highlights using a white brush.
QUICK TIP Aerial perspective is a truly powerful tool for achieving realism. It isn’t so noticeable in real life but it can greatly improve your work. It isn’t obligatory to have a ZDepth pass. You can make a similar mask yourself using black and white brushes.
Don’t concentrate on minute details – only the most noticeable ones. The next task is to re-create the screen on the gauge panel. Create a new group for it. Grab the Pen tool and outline the frame of the screen. Fill it with a grey colour picked from a nearby area. Add a new clipped layer and paint highlights with a white brush, then draw a shape for the glass of the screen. Fill it with a blue colour and add some reflections with white strokes.
USE PHOTO PATCHES Often 3D models aren’t perfect and some parts of them look awful in high resolution, especially if you use a low-poly model. In other cases, far too much time has been spent making them, so they are unnatural-looking. For both problems there is a good solution — photo patches. Photos are the best way to amend clumsy parts of a 3D render and bring a touch of realism into it. These can be textures, screens and gauges or even whole parts of an object like headlights. When you place a photo into a 3D render, use it as a guide for lighting and contrast correction.
The fighter is flying through the mist, so let’s add some fog on the wings to demonstrate this. Create a group above the fighter and drag in the same ‘Smoke0403’ image that you used for the landscape. You even can use the same adjustment layers. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+T and place the fog on the right wing. Duplicate it and place the copy on the other wing. Then create a new layer and draw some small pieces of fog on the shoulders of the plane using any rough white brush.
Let’s start with missile trail reflections. You can use the same image but it’s quite pale, so go to CGTextures and find image ‘Flames0002_M’. Lay it on the top-right side of the cockpit scene in Screen mode. Do the same for the helmet of the pilot. Also add some yellow tones on the nose of the fighter. Now let’s add a bright flare on the missile. Get the supplied file ‘light-effect.png’ and place it into the scene in Screen mode. Feel free to experiment with it using adjustment layers.
Let’s add a motion effect on the illustration. Unhide the guides and create a group beneath the fighter. Name it ‘Fighter trail’. Create a new layer in Normal mode and just draw trails using a soft black brush. Check the direction against the guides! Then create another layer and draw some trails using a white brush. Change the mode of the group to Overlay. It’s too intense, so set the Opacity of the group at 30%. Create a mask and hide some parts of the trail using a black brush.
In order to make the illustration more dramatic, add some particles flying into the camera. Go to CGTextures and download the first image from ‘Fireworks0008’. Open it and remove the background using the Magic Wand tool. Place it into the scene. Rotate and move it to the left-bottom corner using the Transform tool. Create a Brightness/Contrast layer and greatly reduce both the sliders with Use Legacy checked. Use a Hue/Saturation layer to desaturate them twice and change the colour.
The missile also needs a trail. In this case you need a photo. Go to a stock website and find some photos of launching rockets, shuttles and so on. Choose one or just get image ‘18769121’ from iStock. Create a new group for it and place the file into the scene. Rotate and transform the image, checking it against the guides. Then remove the sky from the photo using a mask and the Quick Selection tool. Apply some adjustment layers to reconcile the image with the scene.
Congratulations! Your action scene is now complete. But there is one thing that you can improve. The fighter is currently slightly too merged with the landscape, but you can pull it out using lighting. Create a new layer in Overlay mode beneath the fighter and brighten the space in front of the plane with a large soft white brush. Then darken the space behind it with a black brush. At the end, darken the corners of the scene with broad strokes. Now it’s finished!
QUICK TIP For special effects like fire, smoke or splashes, using a stock photo is the fastest way to achieve a great result. Don’t hesitate to experiment and try various photos and blending modes. At least you don’t need to wait for a lengthy 3D rendering to be performed.
TECHNIQUES HOW I MADE
Â© Omar Aquil
HOW I MADE
OMAR AQIL REVEALS HIS TECHNIQUES FOR ENHANCING 3D TYPOGRAPHY USING PHOTOSHOP EFFECTS
fter over six years of working in the advertising industry, freelance designer Omar Aqil considers typography to be his favourite genre to create. To realise this mechanical design, he experimented using 3D techniques in CINEMA 4D combined with typography and Photoshop to form something abstract that would also have a hyper-realistic feel. “The difficult part about creating this image was to build up the
PREPARING THE IMAGE
I initially rendered this image in CINEMA 4D, then opened it in Photoshop for final treatment. I wanted it to have soft colours and a smooth feel. I used the Unsharp Mask to increase the crispness.
composition as a whole and produce the soft colours I wanted, and I knew that Photoshop was the only software that could fulfill my needs,” he says. “In today’s modern world, we are surrounded by machines, buildings and a lot of other variations in materials. I feel I am attracted to metals and mechanical tools and tend to use them in my concepts and designs, but I aim to give them a softness and an elegance too.”
I then added a Color Balance adjustment, where I usually adjust the colour temperature according to the feel of the image. In this piece I just added some blues for coolness and softness.
Next, I added a dramatic feel to the image by using Image>Adjustment>Hue/Saturation and increased the Lightness for a smooth feel. I also used Photoshop plug-in Magic Bullet to add more of a soft effect.
SEAMLESS LIGHTING COMPOSITE A REALISTIC CITYSCAPE SCENE OF WORLDFAMOUS LANDMARKS USING COLOUR GRADING AND ADJUSTMENTS
he idea for this image came from Firas O. Tirhi, managing and creative director of Icon Advertising LLC (UAE, Dubai, www. behance.net/icon-ad). He asked Edvin Puzinkevich if he could build a realistic-looking scene for an ad campaign that would combine different landmarks. Puzinkevich certainly rose to the challenge, seamlessly building a surreal city that makes you look twice at its composition. The difficulty when creating this type of image is maintaining the realism of the original plate during the compositing of images with different contrast, lighting and colour balance. The next few pages will
cover the Photoshop techniques that will allow you to do this. You’ll learn the main principles, tips and tricks that will help you build up a believable scene, including lighting, contrast and colour grading using Curves, Selective Color and Color Balance adjustments. You’ll also discover easy ways to cut out objects from their backgrounds and how to save the depth of field of the original plate. The last steps of the tutorial will show how to get a polished, cinematic look by adding lens flares and a vignette to the image. But before you start, make sure you download the stock imagery from Shutterstock (www.shutterstock.com).
BUILD THE SCENE CUT OUT THE LANDMARKS AND ARRANGE THEM IN THE COMPOSITION
The goal of the sketching stage is to find the best solution for achieving the best look and composition. It’s also a good time to make a decision about the light and colour of the final image. The selected background will define the whole image’s light direction and the mood of the composition. Using the Polygonal Lasso tools, roughly separate the landmarks from their backgrounds and place them on the chosen background just to get an idea of the position you want them in. The image can stay low-res during this step.
SEAMLESS LIGHTING TECHNIQUES
OUR EXPERT EDVIN PUZINKEVICH www.edvin.lv
Edvin Puzinkevich is a digital artist based in New York. He focuses on the magic of creative retouching and the CG world. He is currently a senior retoucher at Vault49 Studio (www. vault49.com).
TO COMPLETE THIS TUTORIAL IN FULL, DOWNLOAD THESE IMAGES FROM SHUTTERSTOCK.COM: 35276251, 60026929, 95471923, 117587290,118963108, 126049961, 127408904, 133653437, 139886302, 144121687, 144121720, 154449206, 168427115, 175308839, 112137230 123996982, 52000468, 133653437 129812237, 125333915, 43163083
WORK IN PROGRESS FROM IDEA TO REALITY
Progress 1: Scene setup
Progress 2: Contrast balance
Progress 3: Add some flares
TECHNIQUES SEAMLESS LIGHTING
Create a new document and set it to International Paper with A3 size, 300 dpi, Adobe RGB (1998) colour profile and a white background. Rotate the image 90 degrees to make your workspace landscape. Place the background on a new layer in the centre of the workspace. Use the Brush tool to paint the shapes of buildings into the composition. This will give you an idea of the type, size, angle of view and lighting of buildings you want to find later.
When masking out images, use different Feather options with the Selection tools to imitate depth of field
Because the ratio of the background image is different to the A3 landscape format, you will need to extend the image to the left and right. Separate the sky from the rest of the image and use the Transform tool to scale it up horizontally. Use the Clone Stamp tool to fix ‘holes’ in the sky that will appear after transformation. You cannot do the same with the cityscape, as in this case the buildings will lose their natural proportions. To extend the city, simply duplicate part of the existing cityscape by using the Polygonal Lasso tool and copy and paste the left and right parts of the skyline.
PLACE AND TRANSFORM
Use the Transform tool to scale down each landmark. It’s very important in terms of realism to keep each object the right scale according to the whole scene. Use a tallest buildings comparison chart to find the right proportions. Some landmarks (like Big Ben) could be exaggerated in size to make them more prominent and to improve the overall composition, adding more interesting details. Mask out the part of the object that is overlapped by existing buildings on the background image, using the same approach as in step 4.
SEPARATE LANDMARKS FROM BACKGROUNDS
First of all, put every landmark into its own group. There is a small trick to separating objects from their backgrounds and placing them on the scene: use the Polygonal Lasso tool to select each landmark but use a different Feather option. If the object is located closer to the horizon, its contour will be a little out of focus, so in this case the Feather for the Polygonal Lasso tool will be 0.5-0.7px. The closer the object to the foreground, the sharper the contour will be. For buildings in the foreground, use a Feather option of 0.1-0.2px. Add a layer mask to isolate the object.
Add a new layer, fill it black and change the mode to Color. This will convert the image to black and white, making it easier to unify the contrast. In each landmark’s group, create a Curves adjustment and match the contrast to the surrounding environment. For a distant object, adjust the curve to make the dark areas of the object lighter (as a result of aerial perspective, far objects have less contrast).
DEPTH OF FIELD
To blend new objects with the scene, you need to adjust the depth of field of every landmark. The distant objects must have fewer details than the foreground buildings. The best solution is to compare the placed landmark with the environment and find out if the new object looks sharper or blurrier compared with the buildings from the original plate located next to it. If a new object is sharper, apply Gaussian Blur. If it’s blurrier, apply Unsharp Mask.
ADJUST MAIN TONE
When you have adjusted the contrast of all the landmarks, delete the top black layer. Now it’s time to make the first rough move into colour adjustment. Apply a Solid Color adjustment layer to the object, and in the opened window, pick up the colour of the building located next to the landmark you have placed using the Eyedropper. Don’t pick up a colour from the lightest or darkest places. Then change the blending mode of the Solid Color adjustment layer to Color. This makes the building colour closer to the environment it is in.
In real life the colour is not monotone. To make the picture more believable, you need to perform some colour grading for the highlights and shadows to bring in some variation in colour. Depending on the situation, there are different tools that can do this, including Color Balance, Selective Color and Curves adjustments. To add more variation, mask different parts of the buildings and apply different colour adjustments to them. In the Properties of the Color Balance adjustment layer, add some yellow tone into the Highlights, red in the Shadows and magenta in the Midtones. QUICK TIP The Selective Color adjustment layer is one of the most powerful colour adjustment tools. Begin the adjustment with the Midtones, Shadows and Highlights, then make precise tweaks in any of the four colour channels.
MAKE LIGHT AND SHADOW TWEAKS
Some of the new buildings have neutral lighting in their own environment. To blend the object more into the new scene, select part of the building that should be lighter and apply a Brightness/ Contrast adjustment layer, making it brighter. Then select the part of the object that should be darkest in the new environment and apply a Brightness/ Contrast adjustment layer, but reduce the Brightness value. Use the Polygonal Lasso tool to select different parts of the building with different Feather options depending on the depth of field. Stay consistent with the rest of the image and do not allow the object to pop up out of its environment. The same kind of treatment could be done with a Curves or Levels adjustment layer too.
TECHNIQUES SEAMLESS LIGHTING
ADD DROP SHADOW
ADD A VIGNETTE
To create a drop shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, make a selection of it, Cmd/Ctrl-click on the layer mask, create a new layer under the bridge layer and paint it black. Flip the layer vertically, apply Gaussian Blur with a value of 8.0, change the layer blend mode to Multiply and set the Opacity to 23%. Using a soft brush at 400px Size and 25% Opacity, paint with black over the shadow’s layer mask to make the lowest part more transparent.
Add a Curves adjustment layer on top of all the layers and invert the mask to black. Make it darker in the middle values. Select a soft brush and adjust its Size to 1100px, 0% Hardness and 25% Opacity and paint with white over the mask in the bottom-left and upper-right corners to make it slightly darker. To avoid banding that can appear in the sky as a result of using a soft brush, add Uniform Noise with a value of 4% to the mask.
OVERALL COLOUR CORRECTION
The foreground looks too yellow. To fix it, create a Gradient Map adjustment on top of all the layers. Create a dark blue to orange gradient. Select the adjustment layer’s mask and change it to black. Change this layer’s blending mode to Color and set Opacity to 39%. Select a soft brush, change the Size to 1100px and Hardness to 0%, and paint with a white colour over the Gradient Map adjustment layer mask. Try to cover the bottom third of the image.
Select the Brush tool and set the Size to 50%, the Opacity to 30% and the Hardness to 0%. On a new layer, paint a soft circle with one click, reduce the size of the brush to 35px and click on the same place once again. Then reduce the brush size to 10px and click again. As a result you will get a soft circle with a high density in the centre and soft edges. Now duplicate this layer, transform it and change the opacity so that you can apply it to different buildings.
To finalise the visual and make it more cinematic, add two lens flares from stock images ‘95471923’ and ‘144121720’. Place these images in new layers on top of all the layers. Place and rotate image ‘144121720’ over the sun and change its blend mode to Screen. Place the second image ‘95471923’ to the right of the bridge and rotate it to match the direction towards the sun, change Opacity to 67% and set the layer blending option to Screen. QUICK TIP There is no need to cut out light effects (flares, light beams, sparkles, etc) from a dark background. Instead, push the contrast of the image and try to make everything except the light effect as dark as possible but don’t lose details, then change the blend mode of the layer to Screen.
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WORK WITH COLOUR AND TEXTURE GIVE YOUR COMPOSITES THE VIDEOGAME LOOK USING LIGHTING EFFECTS, LAYERS, TEXTURES AND ADJUSTMENTS, ADDING INTENSITY AND DRAMA
f you are wanting to take your action shots to the next level, then this tutorial is for you. In it, you will learn how to turn a regular photo of a SWAT team into an action movie poster-style image. The steps have been written with the assumption that readers following along have a moderate grasp and understanding of Photoshop. Knowledge of layers, blending modes and masking skills will be to
your advantage, and many of the techniques involve using multiple layers so that you are working non-destructively. You will want to pay close attention to detail. Believable composites take time and patience. It is important to work in layers, and save your progress often. Some of the steps may seem complicated to begin with, but with practice and
perseverance you will harness these skills, and soon be on your way to creating images like you are used to seeing on the covers of your favourite first-person shooter games! Once your learn the principles behind these techniques, you will be able to adjust them to fit the needs of other composite projects. Learning these steps is just the tip of the iceberg on your epic image journey!
WORK WITH COLOUR AND TEXTURE TECHNIQUES
OUR EXPERT BRANDON CAWOOD
ﬂash-light-productions.com Brandon Cawood is a commercial photographer who is addicted to superheroes and action movie posters. He is the owner of Flash Light Productions, a photography/ videography company specialising in environmental portraiture.
SOURCE FILES All the necessary textures needed to re-create this look can be found in the PRO Texture 5 Pack, available from www.phlearn.com/ pro-textures.
WORK IN PROGRESS FROM PRACTICAL TO TACTICAL
Progress 1: Prepare elements
LAYOUT ELEMENTS ORGANISE YOUR LAYOUT, CREATING THE BASIC CONTENT SHAPES
Progress 2: Position layers
The key to any great composite is having a very clean mask. There are many ways to mask an object or person. Always add a layer mask so you can use black to remove and white to add back. A pen tablet comes in handy. Take your time. You want to make sure you don’t have a black edge around your mask. You want your edges to blend into the background just as they would if it weren’t a composite. If you make a mistake, just switch your brush to white and paint it back in.
Progress 3: Add wow factor
TECHNIQUES WORK WITH COLOUR AND TEXTURE
If you are shooting your own images, it is always good to think about post-production while at the photo shoot. Shooting a clear mask while using strobes can sometimes cause unwanted reflections that can add extra time to the editing process. By simply grabbing a shot of the face without the mask, you can place it on top of the mask in a separate layer. Simply bringing down the Opacity of the face layer will allow you to add some details back into the face and eyes while still giving the appearance they are behind the mask. Make sure that the eyes line up and the scale matches the underlying layer. You can Transform and Warp if needed.
Choose a layer and make two copies by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+J twice. Next, invert the top copy by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+I. Change the blending mode to Vivid Light. With this layer still selected go to Filter>Blur>Surface Blur. A good starting point is Radius 30px and Threshold 40 levels. Go to Layer> Merge Down to merge the top copy to the middle copy. Press Cmd/Ctrl+U and desaturate the layer. Next change the blend mode to Overlay. You can adjust the Opacity on this layer to adjust how much detail is added. Repeat this step to any layer you would like to add detail to.
When placing models on a background, matching perspective is imperative to making a composite believable. Itâ€™s always better to adjust your perspective on your background rather than your models. As long as the perspective is close, you should be able to tweak it by selecting Edit> Transform>Perspective. By dragging the top corners in or out it will make the perspective higher or lower. If you drag a corner up or down it will cause that side to move closer or further away. Adjust the perspective until it matches the angle and perspective of your foreground models.
BLENDING MODES One of the greatest things you can do is learn how to use blending modes. Knowing how and when to use your blending modes can take your images to the next level. As a photographer, you can shoot and plan composites more efficiently knowing how you can blend your images together in the final build to create desired effects. Shooting something on a black background and then using the Screen blending mode will make all the black transparent. This is a great way to add things like dust, rocks, smoke, fog, water, bubbles, or anything you can think of to your composites!
Paste the fog textures between layers. Because it is on a black background, select the Screen blending mode and all the black will become transparent. If your fog or texture has colour in it, choose Cmd/ Ctrl+U and pull the Saturation down. To bring down the fog, press Cmd/Ctrl+L and move the left slider to the right. Do this for any added texture. Select the texture layer and add a mask. Use a soft, black brush with the Opacity set to 25% and paint out the part of the texture you donâ€™t want.
Use a Curves adjustment layer on the background. Make sure it is only clipped to the background layer by selecting Layer>Create Clipping Mask. Use the RBG channel to adjust the exposure so that it matches the models. Next, use colour channels to match the temperature of the models. Add another adjustment layer over the whole image. To warm the image up, select the Blue curve and drag the middle of the line down slightly.
ADDING LIGHT FLARES
FLASH LIGHT BEAMS
You can create light flares with a plug-in or within Photoshop. Select Filter>Render>Lens Flare, then choose your flare and the brightness. Now go to Edit>Undo. Create a new black layer on top of all your other layers. Change the blending mode to Screen. Next, select Filter and you will notice at the very top it will say ‘Light Flare’. You will now notice you can move the flare. If you want to change the colour of the flare, simply hold down Cmd/Ctrl+U. Check the Colorize box and move your Hue slider to the colour you want.
Create a new layer on top of the others. Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool. Make a selection along the path the light from the flashlight would travel. Add a Curves adjustment layer. This will automatically create a mask and only the part you selected will be affected. In the RGB channel, click in the middle of the line and move it up slightly. This will give you a hard, bright light where your selection was. Double-click your mask and you will see a Feather slider to adjust. Move the slider to the right to soften the edges. Repeat this process again but with a narrower beam this time.
MATCHING HIGHLIGHT COLOURS ONLY
ADJUSTING SHADOWS ONLY
Your highlights should match your ‘light source’. In this image the highlights need a little more yellow/orange in them. Create a Curves adjustment layer below your flare/lighting layers. Go to the Blue channel and pull it down slightly in the middle. This will add some warmth to the image like you did before. The adjustment will affect the entire image, but you only want it to affect the highlights. To do this, select Layer>Layer Style>Blending Options. Hold down Opt/Alt and click and drag the right corner of the black slider all the way to the right. This will cause the curve to only affect the highlights in the image.
ADJUSTING HIGHLIGHTS ONLY
If you feel that your highlights are too bright or not bright enough, you can adjust them without affecting your shadows. Add a new Curves adjustment layer above all other layers. Adjust the RBG channel accordingly. This is just like step 8 but you are using the RBG channel instead of the Blue channel. With your Curves adjustment layer selected, go to Layer>Layer Style>Blending Options. At the bottom of the window you will see two sliders under Underlying Layer. Hold down Opt/Alt and click and drag the right corner of the black slider all the way to the right.
To adjust the shadows separately from the highlights, follow step 10 and add your Curves adjustment layer, then select Layer>Layer Style> Blending Options. Again, at the bottom of the window you will see two sliders under Underlying Layer. Hold down Opt/Alt and this time click and drag the left corner of the white slider all the way to the left. This will cause the curve to only affect the shadows in the image.
TECHNIQUES WORK WITH COLOUR AND TEXTURE
FINAL COLOUR GRADING
First, add a Channel Mixer adjustment layer. Choose the Black and White With Green preset. You will notice this turns your image black and white. You want to use this adjustment for some desaturation, so bring the Opacity down to 15%. Next, add a Color Balance adjustment layer. The Color Balance adjustments will vary from image to image, so play around with them to get the look you want. For this image the Shadows and Midtones were pushed towards the cyan and green tones, while the Highlights were pushed towards the red and yellow tones.
Lastly, add grain. Create a new layer above your sharpened image. Hold down Shift and click Delete. Choose Fill With 50% Gray. Change the blending mode of this layer to Soft Light. Next, select Filter>Noise>Add Noise. The size of your image will determine the amount you use. Choose Uniform and leave Monochromatic unselected. Once you have applied it, hold down Cmd/Ctrl+U. Then pull down the Saturation to -85%. Leaving a little colour in the grain will make it look more natural. Be sure to perform this step at 100% zoom. You can adjust the Opacity if it feels like it’s too much. Once this is done, save your PSD.
Save your Photoshop document. Once you have saved it, select Layer>Flatten Image. Make a duplicate copy of the flattened image by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+J. Select your top layer. Next, select Filter> Sharpen>Unsharp Mask. Adjust the sliders as needed based on the file size. While still on the top layer, select Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. You can then use a soft brush set to black to remove the sharpening from any areas you don’t want it. You can also use the Opacity to pull down the sharpening over the entire image.
You can save the image in several different ways depending on its use. If you are going to use a good-quality printing lab, you can leave the image in Adobe RBG and select File>Save As. Save the file as a JPEG or TIFF. If you are planning on using a low-end printer or saving for online use, you want to convert to SRGB. Select Edit>Convert to Profile. Choose Working RBG. Save it the same as before. For online use it’s good to scale it down before saving. Select File>Automate>Fit Image. Do a Width of 2048px and a Height of 204px. Save it as a JPEG, and put it in a separate folder so you know it’s for online use.
STAMP VISIBLE LAYER If at any time in your composite you want to create a flattened image without flattening the entire document, just add a new empty layer on top of all your layers. Select this layer and hold down Cmd+Shift+Opt+E (Mac) or Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E (Windows). This will give you a stamped visible layer and allow you to test out different ideas without affecting the layers of your composite.
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BUILD STRIKING GRAPHICS TECHNIQUES
BUILD STRIKING GRAPHICS USE A GRID TO GENERATE A UNIQUE GRAPHIC COMPOSED OF GEOMETRIC FORMS
earn to create a complex graphic shape from simple patterns using cloning techniques. You will use a grid to determine the location and dimensions of all the graphical elements that give rise to the visual metaphor that suggests the concept of the poster. Many steps in this tutorial can be achieved through alternative methods and therefore are subject to personal creativity. Even using the same techniques can result in very different graphic expressions, and therefore support a wide variety of concepts. Adobe Photoshop allows us to intuitively
illuminate the scene, and also allows us to texture the image properly. Blending modes are the best way to get a quick final result and increase the possibility of getting multiple effects while creating minimal graphic expressions. You’ll discover how to get the best balance in design, exploring each element weight according to its colour, position and angle for greater understanding. You’ll use a grid to get a good reading of the poster but with the ultimate aim of generating an asymmetric graphic that metaphorically represents an ‘error of measurement’.
OUR EXPERT JORGE GISPERT
www.metric72.com Gispert is a graphic designer who allied himself with geometry, using the universe as inspiration for his personal artworks. These support concepts related to all kinds of data that he considers outstanding, constructive or innovative.
SOURCE FILES You will find a selection of basic Smart Objects created in Illustrator and a couple of the vector groups applied in this tutorial at http://blog. advancedphotoshop.co.uk/ tutorial-files. Please remember that these assets are to be used in non-commercial projects only.
GENERATING LAYOUT SPATIAL REFERENCES CREATE SPECIFIC SPACES FOR THE DIFFERENT DESIGN ELEMENTS
WORK IN PROGRESS FROM GRID TO FINISHED ARTWORK
DETERMINE THE BALANCE
In order to generate natural proportions between the different elements, their weights will be dictated by the grid. You will determine the final balance and direction that you want for the overall design. In this case, the direction of your shape will be set with an inclination of 55-60 degrees.
Progress 1: Create grid
Progress 2: Design graphic
Use the Pen tool to create an adapted version of the golden ratio in order to provide new spatial references that you will see applied in the final design. Then apply a grid or squared pattern that will help you when you are placing the different graphical elements, including the shapes and text, in a balanced way.
CREATING VECTOR PATTERNS
Start creating the vector patterns that will form the more subtle parts of the graph with the Pen tool. You will see the design of the next pieces can be worked using Photoshop, but in this case use Adobe Illustrator due to the vectorial nature of the graphical elements. Draw the first lines and parallelograms.
Progress 3: Text and lighting
TECHNIQUES BUILD STRIKING GRAPHICS
PHOTOSHOP CLONING METHOD Before you start cloning the graphic elements as lines or parallelograms, order and group them to create small groups of similar vector layers that once joined (Cmd/Ctrl+E) or grouped (Cmd/Ctrl+G) allow you to exercise a greater and faster control over your complex graphics.
CLONING AND PLACING GRAPHICS
Now you can begin to clone the pieces to start defining the volume that will occupy the graph. To obtain the effect that is seen in the graph, you will have to apply a Multiply blending mode to each of the caps that contain the imported vector elements. The clone will have to be chaotic and you should not look for any type of logical order. However, you will follow the initial inclination and will clone a group of vectors (Cmd/Ctrl+G) and flip it horizontally to get symmetric values.
SOLID SHAPE DESIGN
Now you will start creating solid shapes to give the design a new dimension, movement and contrast. To do this, select the Pen tool to connect some spatial points, creating a fill colour parallelogram onto which you will apply a gradient that you can add to Swatches (from C=3, M=75, Y=70, K=0 to C=3, M=97, Y=100, K=0, to C=0, to M=97, Y=100, K=26 with 100% Opacity). After, apply a new Gradient Map adjustment layer and select the previous one from Swatches.
AXES OF SYMMETRY
To establish the basic axes of symmetry on which you will place new graphic patterns and all textual content, create a basic division of the canvas. That way you will centre the area of attention on the point where the axes cross, and will create the balance necessary to more easily interpret where the next elements should be placed and the ‘weight’ of their colours. Making the axes of coordinates visible gives the graph a certain solidity and forces the graphical elements to merge with the background.
GRAPHICAL STRUCTURE CREATION
Once you have incorporated the first big shapes, expand them to achieve the final graphical structure. In order to force the general perspective of the graph, set the gradient’s direction in a correct way, simulating the existence of soft lights using the darker colour of the gradient as a shadow. Apply a Multiply blending mode to show up the first graphic elements and obtain new colour attributes in the design patterns. For a more solid shape, add a thin, grey stroke (0.5mm) that clearly defines the contour.
Make an initial placement study for the text. Create white squares that represent text boxes within the shape, using the grid as a reference. The hierarchy established by your initial grid determines the position of text, but this will also be determined by what they are (headers, body etc), so you must know the message you want to communicate, the amount of information to show and the relevance of every word or sentence in advance.
DOWN TO DETAILS BACKGROUND AND SECONDARY GRAPHIC ELEMENTS
TEXT STYLES AND ATTRIBUTES
Once you have placed the main text over the white masks with a standard weight, you will have to define the styles â€“ an exercise that will probably force you to place the text boxes in a different form. In this case you will use the grid to establish a new balance between the text boxes and the space that you have previously reserved in the design. When you have applied the styles to the text and modified their position, you can modify the colours. We chose very contrasted colours (white or red) for the header and lighter greys for the smaller text. This game of contrasts will be defined by the reading that you wish the design to possess.
DATA AND GRAPHIC DETAILS
COLOUR, LEVELS AND FRAME
In the following step you will incorporate some type of related but not relevant information into the graph to increase the complexity and also to define the design space. Choose very light grey tones for this text in order to keep them secondary and not overload the background too much. You can also put this body text in lowercase to preserve some editorial criteria. Even this information is intended to form part of the graphic aspect of the poster. After, feel free to create some graphic details to enrich the final design.
Itâ€™s time to export the whole design into PSD format. Choose CMYK colour model and High resolution. The content must remain editable to allow possible changes and improvements. You can also import the graphic elements separately using the Paste action as a Smart Object, due to its editable capacity and vector properties. Using this technique will give you the ability to rescale graphics without losing quality. Generate a template from the design and place it as a background on the PSD file to properly co-locate each group of graphic elements.
Once you have chosen the shape and placement of graphics, text and secondary graphic elements, select the entire workspace (Cmd/Ctrl+A), copy the resulting image (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+C) and paste (Cmd/Ctrl+V) it into a new top layer. With the entire design in a single image, modify the graphic settings using the Levels adjustment. Before finally placing a white border as a frame, place a gradient (G) covering the entire workspace in a new top layer with a diagonal direction and the following colour values: C=1,M=87,Y=58,K=0 to C=67,M=19,Y=2,K=0. Select the Lighten blending mode for this layer with 54% Opacity.
SECONDARY GRAPHIC ELEMENTS
Apply some thin lines with soft colour strokes and align them to the biggest design elements. Place them along the vertical and horizontal axes of symmetry to counteract the inclination of the red main graphics that you have obtained. To merge the graph with the environment, apply a set of increasing circles with a similar stroke to the previous lines. This step will give the graphics a virtual ground that keeps them balanced and aligned. This will also indirectly define the distribution of the graphical environment.
GRADIENTS When you define the gradient in the large, red parallelograms, you need to extend it in a direction that gives the impression of lighting in the design. The softer tone functions as a soft light and the darker tone as a soft shadow. Using Illustrator, you can change the direction and distribution of the gradient by its two parent nodes. In the case of Photoshop, you can apply the gradient using layer effects applied to a vector path, or by selecting the polygonal shape and filling it with a gradient using the Gradient tool (G), extending it for your graphical purposes.
ÂŠ Cleberson Pires Faustino
TECHNIQUES HOW I MADE
HOW I MADE
THE FOUR SEASONS
urrently working in the advertising industry, retouch artist and photomanipulator Cleberson Faustino created this quadruple-sided montage for a local car dealership. The Four Seasons was a challenge that Faustino tackled head on, and he eventually discovered one particular tool that helped bring the composition together: “This project gave me the opportunity to experiment with the Rotate tool. This tool was an essential component in the making of a complex project like this.” Being able to call upon his experiences with Photoshop was crucial. Having seen Photoshop progress and acquire new features, Faustino is able to reflect constructively: “I have been using Photoshop since version 7 and ever since then I have been amazed with the advances.” Faustino’s imagination doesn’t stop here. To see more of his work, head to www.behance.net/cfaustino.
The Rotate tool was an essential component in the making of a complex project like this
I used mainly images from stock photos, so it was very important to do a preview of them to see how they could fit in the project. After choosing the right images, I started cleaning and cutting them.
The first step to creating this complex image was to create a rough comp to get a complete vision of the project. In this case, I used the Brush tool and the images of the cars.
With all the images cut the way I needed, I started the assembling step of the project, working on the background of the scene and always looking back at the rough comp to guide me.
TECHNIQUES HOW I MADE
One of the things I most like to do is add a Lens Flare over a black layer on Screen blend mode. I use this filter every time I need to give more realism to the image
SCENERY PART I
This was the most important step of the project, where I had to integrate each car into its respective environment. For this, I used brushes, masks, paths and other images.
SCENERY PART II
The second part was defining the right lighting for each environment to integrate the whole image. And to achieve this, I used adjustments such as Black & White and Gradient Map.
SHADOW AND LIGHT
In this part of the project I worked on the contrast and exposure to obtain more realism in the image. Some of the tools I used were Dodge, Burn and Curves adjustment layers.
FACING CHALLENGES HEAD ON FAUSTINO REVEALS THE WINNING TOOL THAT HELPED MAKE THIS AD SO INTRIGUING The main challenge of this print advertisement was to present four different vehicles of a local Ford dealership in their appropriate environments. And to achieve the desired result, the image was constructed using tools such as the fluid rotate options with the powerful Mercury Graphics Engine.
Combining style with the right message is never an easy task, but Faustino has it down to a fine art ÂŠ Cleberson Faustino
One of the things I most like to do is add a Lens Flare over a black layer on Screen blend mode to give the image a special effect. I use this filter every time I need to give more realism to the image.
Since I worked with stock images, I recovered the textures at the end of the process. The method I used was HDR Toning with a duplicated image. After that, I created a layer with Soft Light.
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CORELDRAW GRAPHICS SUITE X7 REVIEWS
CORELDRAW GRAPHICS SUITE X7
COREL’S FLAGSHIP EDITING SUITE UPDATES TO INCLUDE SOME CREATIVE NEW FEATURES WE GET THE LOWDOWN www.corel.com OPERATING SYSTEM: mÍ5GLBMUQÍÍMPÍJ?RCP mÍ% Í0+
£399 EXCLUDING VAT APPROX $667
resh off the conveyor belt comes the Graphics Suite X7 by Corel, a set of applications for photo editing, graphics creation, media management and layout design. This new iteration of the suite has been built to be more efficient, with the added bonus of being able to share content with other artists more easily. X7 lets you get started on your next project, be it
either a simple book cover or a big promotional campaign, with the help of supporting software and greater workflow coherency. This new version gives a lot more room to be creative from scratch, and will provide extra tools on top of what’s in Photoshop – perhaps ideal if you don’t have access to the Creative Cloud. When looking at anything for the first time, appearance usually takes precedent. With a very grey interface that doesn’t promise any sign of visual inspiration, the new X7 scores low on presentation; there’s a strong sense of the old-hat Windows-based interface design. Of course we approach something like Corel’s new suite with fierce scepticism, with Photoshop not far behind. As part of the new Graphics Suite X7, there are now three primary applications – DRAW, PHOTOPAINT and CONNECT – and a couple of handy
supporting apps, including a screen capture module and a font management suite. The latter is ideal if you find yourself working with typographical projects. Font Navigator will search your entire PC and present your installed fonts for easier picking. This is where we also had the opportunity to group our preferred fonts together, looking up new ones online. Accessing content online is something that becomes a bigger part of working with the suite. After registering the software, we could have access to more design content such as images, templates, patterns fills, updates and more. Opting for a premium membership for just under an annual fee of £180 (approx $297) opens a gateway to even more exclusive content, as well as free upgrades to future versions. Content Exchange is a marketplace for artists to share their own graphics and design assets to broaden their creative reach.
Object creation: Creating and controlling objects and vector designs in DRAW X7 is easy using a combination of Object Properties and Align and Distribute panels
REVIEWS CORELDRAW GRAPHICS SUITE X7
NEW TO X7 WE RUN DOWN THE UPDATES TO THE LATEST VERSION OF COREL’S GRAPHICS SUITE There have been a handful of new features added to version 7 of the suite, with a redesigned welcome screen being one. This offers you access to additional pre-made resources and document layouts, popping up whenever an application in X7 is loaded up. This can now remain permanently open in a separate tab in the interface. More default workspaces have been added to X7, with options such as Lite that make it easier for newcomers to work their way around the software’s many menus and tools. There are also added custom workspaces for kicking off an illustration or page layout. Much like Photoshop, the Graphics Suite features tabbed documents, ideal for flicking between content being worked on. On top of this, if you design under a dual monitor workspace then documents can be dragged and placed on your supporting monitor for one application. Other helpful new features include the new Font Playground panel, which meant we could preview a font before incorporating it onto the page, and a reworked Object Properties docker introduces more fluid controls over transforming and previewing effects. Featured in the new iteration of DRAW X7 is the Dynamic Guides panel that gives quicker access to things such as alignment choices. Other improvements have been made to help arrange and edit colour styles, and with the addition of the new harmony rules and preview options, it’s easier to form complementary colour schemes and combinations.
PHOTO-PAINT X7 has new tools for retouching, for example the Liquid tools and Unsharp Mask Lens. The Planar Mask tool enables a method of masking a reflected gradient across an image, with controls over transitions and overall size.
Connect to stock providers: The new CONNECT X7 will sync with stock providers such as Fotolia and iStockphoto, so you can browse through royalty-free images quickly for your next project
It all starts with CONNECT X7, your personal content browser to keep photos, graphics and downloads in one handy place. From the Libraries panel you have direct access to Flickr, Fotolia, iStockphoto, SkyDrive and Corel’s Content Exchange. Entering a keyword will call up search results from any of the selected websites, and you can either jump straight to a chosen stock image online, or load a low-resolution version into one of the applications for composing into your project. Just like any other content browser, you can catalogue images for easier reach, and highlight the best files before moving into one of the applications or Photoshop. Corel’s PHOTO-PAINT X7 is a dual-purpose application for tweaking exposure, retouching images, applying camera effects, as well as the odd painterly filter or brush stroke. Much like Photoshop, there is host of tools for selecting and masking parts of a composition, and applying vector graphics or pixel-based objects to separate layers. Using what are named ‘dockers’, much like Photoshop’s panels, the Content Docker can stay open to present your images and design assets stored on your PC. Corel’s vector-based application, DRAW X7, is not too dissimilar to Adobe’s Illustrator, containing freehand
As part of the customisable workspaces in the suite, Corel gives the option to switch to a Photoshop-style interface, helping to make the whole application feel more like familiar territory 082
line-drawing tools and an arrangement of other easy-to-handle ones, and there’s a wide range of brush and pen tips in the Artistic Media, too. As well having a good selection of brushes, exploring DRAW’s preset shapes such as banners and flow charts opens the doors to more graphical layouts for those seeking to create infographics or promotional material. To top it all off, the new Smooth tool lets you iron out creases in jagged edges and control smoothing effects with the pressure sensitivity of a stylus pen. The improved Color Styles docker makes it easier to keep an eye on colour styles used throughout DRAW, with a new View Options panel offering quick go-to commands.
Managing fonts: The Font Navigator in Corel’s Graphics Suite X7 reveals the entirety of your installed fonts and any groups that you’ve created of favourite typefaces for future reference
CORELDRAW GRAPHICS SUITE X7 REVIEWS
Object Manager: The Object Manager panel inside DRAW X7 presents each page of your layout and their contents with key symbols to help locate a certain type of layer
Making it easier to design are the interactive placeholder frames. Moving content over PowerClip frames, we were able to quickly replace or add content within them. In addition to these workflowenhancing features, there’s also PowerTRACE that will convert bitmap objects to vector-based ones, with an automatic colour palette that is generated from the original. Perhaps Corel’s X7 is not the most friendliest of applications to learn from the ground up, and would certainly be a test for Photoshop users having to relearn a set of new interfaces. But it’s not that Corel has ignored Photoshop completely. As part of the customisable workspaces in the Suite, Corel gives the option to switch to a Photoshop-style interface (in PHOTO-PAINT), and an Illustrator workspace (in
CorelDRAW X7), helping to make the whole application feel more like familiar territory. Corel’s Graphics Suite X7 will appeal to those artists who are looking to design advertising flyers, newsletters, business cards, corporate graphics, or perhaps a quick calendar. Of course these are just some of the examples, but with a wide range of ready-made content and pre-designed templates available too, there’s plenty to help you along the way and inspire new concepts. Once we became familiar with the entire suite we grew to like it. Although this doesn’t have the same finesse or likeability as Photoshop does, underneath its plain exterior lies a powerful creation tool that just got even better in version 7. If you’re not signed up to Adobe’s Creative Cloud and are looking for
applications to work alongside Photoshop in generating designs for a range of purposes, Corel’s Graphics Suite X7 will provide a supporting role in your Photoshop production line. On top of this, if you don’t currently have access to additional applications then this should slot in neatly.
VERDICT Features: 8/10 Ease of use: 8/10 Value for money: 7/10 Quality of results: 7/10
REVIEWS TOP 10 PHOTOSHOP BOOKS
TOP 10… PHOTOSHOP BOOKS WE TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT TEN OF THE MOST POPULAR AND USEFUL BOOKS ON PHOTOSHOP TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES
003 PHOTOSHOP CC: THE
ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CC BIBLE: THE COMPREHENSIVE TUTORIAL RESOURCE
he Photoshop CC Bible, written by Lisa DaNae Dayley and Brad Dayley, is exactly what you’d expect from a book bearing that title. It’s a full, comprehensive guide of everything you need to know about Photoshop. Some would even argue that the content for the Photoshop Bible is what should appear when a user clicks on the program’s Help menu! The book is exhaustive in its approach to cover every nook and cranny of the software, and every
feature is covered plainly and reliably. This is an excellent resource for new users and experienced pros alike. The book is written in a way that makes it easy to look up a specific feature and quickly grasp how to use it. It’s a hefty tome, weighing in at 1152 pages and printed in black and white, but with an abundance of screen shots and illustrations to make the feature descriptions as clear as possible. If you could only ever buy one Photoshop book, buy this one!
ADOBE PHOTOSHOP CC CLASSROOM IN A BOOK
he Classroom In A Book series holds the notable distinction of being produced by the same company that produces the software itself, Adobe. The material is arranged into the format of real-life, hands-on projects. That way the information isn’t simply a reference, it’s practice too!
www.oreilly.com Approx £30/$50 This book’s tagline encapsulates its intent: ‘The book that should have been in the box.’ Author Lesa Snider provides the type of insight and knowledge of the application that really does feel like it should have been packaged with it. This full colour, beautifully illustrated book is a must for anybody trying to learn Photoshop.
004 PHOTOSHOP CC
www.wiley.com £34/$50 The Digital Classroom series is publisher Wiley’s answer to the Adobe Press Classroom In A Book series. While the Digital Classroom offers a similar approach to presenting the content through hands-on projects, this publication puts added focus on the digital content, which includes video tutorials and source files.
This lesson only begins to explore the vast possibilities and the flexibility you gain when you master the art of using Photoshop layers. You’ll get more experience and try out different techniques for layers in almost every chapter as you move forward Excerpted from Adobe Photoshop CC Classroom in a Book. Copyright © 2013 Adobe Systems Incorporated. Used with permission of Pearson Education and Adobe Press.
TOP 10 PHOTOSHOP BOOKS REVIEWS
005 THE COMPLETE
GUIDE TO PHOTOSHOP’S MOST POWERFUL FEATURE 2ND EDITION
THE PHOTOSHOP CC BOOK VOLUME 1
www.peachpit.com £28/$45 Layers are an integral part of any Photoshop workflow. Author Matt Kloskowski does an amazing job of presenting this foundational feature in a way that is colourful, entertaining and highly informative. There are basic bare-bones explanations for beginners, as well as obscure tricks for experienced users.
magine Publishing’s Photoshop bookazines are perfect for learning the ins and outs of the program through in-depth features and tutorials for users of all levels. The Photoshop CC Book Volume 1 takes a look at how Photoshop fits within the Creative Cloud, and what you can do with it. From simple photo edits to more adventurous digital artwork, this book will have you creating some of your best work to date. It also comes with a free disc that is packed with images, textures, brushes, and gradients, so you can follow along with the tutorials or even use them in your own creative endeavours. If that’s not enough, take a look at the disc’s exclusive video content from Digital-tutors to get some top advice from the pros.
006 PHOTOSHOP DOWN & DIRTY TRICKS FOR DESIGNERS, VOLUME 2
www.peachpit.com Approx £30/$50 Photoshop is usually associated with photography. But in this book, acclaimed designer Corey Barker shows why Photoshop is also the go-to tool for graphics designers and illustrators alike.
007 THE ADOBE
PHOTOSHOP BOOK FOR DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHERS
www.peachpit.com £35/$55 If you are a photographer and you use (or want to use) Photoshop to correct or enhance your shots, this book is an essential resource. Award-winning author Scott Kelby presents Photoshop techniques in a very entertaining, down-to-earth style, so instead of spending countless hours with your nose in a massive manual, spend them with your eye behind a viewfinder!
PHOTOSHOP CC: VISUAL QUICKSTART GUIDE
PHOTOSHOP IMAGE EDITING GENIUS GUIDE, VOLUME 2
www.peachpit.com Approx £19/$32
This best-selling series has been a frequent choice for university classrooms for a good reason. It presents the instruction by logical groupings of features, and structures the content in a way that builds on itself. Previous lessons are applied during the instruction of the later lessons. This is essential for getting users up and running with their Photoshop competency.
This full-colour, vibrant guide to image editing contains a huge range of creative, useful and inspiring ideas, each presented with a step-by-step tutorial including screen shots to carefully guide readers through the maze of editing options. Learn the techniques here, then apply them to your own work! It also includes a fantastic free disc packed full of tutorial files, video tuition and resources.
READER INTERVIEW LIVING THE DREAM
LIVING THE DREAM
SENIOR CHARACTER ARTIST AT BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT MARC BRUNET TELLS US HOW HE USES PHOTOSHOP TO CREATE HIS GAME CHARACTERS
fter having been passionate about art for as long as he can remember, Marc Brunet was first introduced to Photoshop in high school. Today, after years of practice refining his skills as a character artist, he is living the dream working as a senior character artist for Blizzard Entertainment in California. Here he lets us in on the secrets to making it in this competitive industry… WHAT TECHNIQUES WOULD YOU SAY YOU FIND PHOTOSHOP TO BE MOST USEFUL FOR WHEN CREATING YOUR AMAZING CHARACTERS? In my case, I do absolutely everything in Photoshop when it comes to creating characters. I start with a blank canvas, then generally have one layer for my sketch, then another for the colons and a final ‘polish’ layer where I add in all the smaller details.
I don’t think I could work without the History panel or the Liquify tool either – those two Photoshop features save my life way too often. DO YOU FEEL YOUR PERSONAL STYLE HAS CHANGED A LOT SINCE YOU FIRST BEGAN TO USE PHOTOSHOP? I definitely feel my style has evolved over the years. At the beginning when I was learning, I took a lot of tips from other artists, so my work was probably heavily influenced by theirs. As the years went by it started to form into what my style is now, which I guess I would describe as very ‘painterly westernised manga’. I try to merge the Western and Japanese style of drawings and render it with a more traditional style of painting. I did a lot of watercolour paintings when I was younger, so there are definitely traces of that in my art.
OUR READER MARC BRUNET www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/ user/Bluefley @bluefley
All article images © Mark Brunet First Flight: With this painting, Brunet wanted to create an image that made people smile. “Everything in this image is about to go very wrong, even the pilot knows it,” he explains
Test Subject: “I started using Photoshop CS6 back when I was in high school,” Brunet remembers. “I quickly realised how powerful the tool was and at the same time was getting into web design, so it seemed like the perfect match”
Clockwise from top; Zero The Grappler: This image was done as a demo on Brunetâ€™s YouTube channel, explaining the process of going from 3D to 2D to create illustrations. He spent 45 minutes in ZBrush to get a base model to work with, before then spending another 90 minutes painting over it in Photoshop Winter Night: This painting is one of the first in which Brunet began to incorporate 3D to help focus on design more. He initially did a quick 30-minute sculpt in the 3D sculpting software ZBrush, after which he spent an extra hour painting over it in Photoshop REfuel: Quick speed painting in Photoshop detailing a Cyborg face that had initially been created using ZBrush and rendered in KeyShot, taking one hour and 35 minutes in total
Grounding characters: To help ground the character in an outside scene, paint in some of the colours of the sky on surfaces facing it – the shoulders and collar in this case
Custom brushes: Custom brushes are always a timesaver when used right. This particular brush paints a flock of birds in one single brush stroke!
Using 3D: Don’t be afraid to use 3D in your paintings, especially if it helps the final result. The legs were posed in Maya to help with the difficult perspective
COULD YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR DAILY LIFE AT BLIZZARD ENTERTAINMENT? WHAT WOULD BE A TYPICAL DAY? When I was a kid, that’s where I wished I could work later in life, so it was indeed pretty special when I started working there. We have a huge campus here in Irvine, California, with a cafeteria and a gym, so a normal days goes like this: I get to work at around 10am, grab some breakfast at the cafe and then get to my desk where I’ll usually pick up something I was working on the previous day. Then at noon we usually go eat lunch outside in the sun, work a few more hours and probably have a meeting or two, then head to the gym to end the day. Every day is always a lot of fun.
WHAT WERE THE SKILLS THAT YOU FEEL HAVE GOT YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY? WHAT WERE THE MAIN CHALLENGES? I think the main thing that helped me get a job was the fact I always worked towards a particular goal. I knew that I wanted to do game art and I realised pretty early that whatever is in the games art books is what I should be working towards. I thought, “If one day I could match that level, technically I could replace the guy who drew it”. I never ‘wasted’ time drawing things that wouldn’t get me closer to that goal. The main challenge really was when I had to learn to work for someone else, and suddenly put my ego in the trash and try to be as creative at work as I am at home. That definitely took a while to sink in.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE TOOLS TO USE IN PHOTOSHOP WHEN CREATING? Since I draw a lot of sci-fi characters, and use tons of decals, the Warp tool takes my number one spot. It allows me to deform anything to fit any surface as if it was painted right on it. The Brush panel is a close second – creating custom brushes to answer any specific situation while I paint is extremely useful, as well as a massive timesaver. WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE NEW ARTISTS LOOKING TO IMPROVE THEIR QUALITY OF WORK TO BREAK INTO THE INDUSTRY TODAY? Generally, what I tell people is that for videogames studios, you need to be a specialist. As a concept artist,
LIVING THE DREAM READER INTERVIEW
RegenPOD: “I had this image in my head for a long time, and painting it was the only way to get it out! I was practising bottom-up light sources and harder perspective for the face, two things I don’t feel comfortable with. I’m pretty satisfied with the result I got after spending four and a half hours in Photoshop,” says Brunet
Decals: For decals, I do everything flat and use the Transform and Warp tools to match the perspective of the target surface to which it is applied
I thought, “If one day I could match that level, technically I could replace the guy who drew it” for example, there are generally two or three categories: character concepts and weapons (sometimes separate), and environment concepts which is everything else. One way to look at it is the bigger the studio, the more specialised you need to be to be able to compete in one of those fields. I would say it’s only beneficial to be a jack of all trades if the goal is to work for a smaller studio that employs fewer artists. Most of the time concept artists are required to use Photoshop, while the list is a bit longer for 3D artists. You would have to add a sculpting software like Mudbox or ZBrush as well as a modelling software such as Maya or 3ds Max.
THEN AND NOW This image (right) was one of my first using Photoshop for colouring, and was made back when I was still using a mouse to paint. I got a tablet a bit later and, as you can imagine, it helped quite a lot! The smudgy and desaturated colours were a result of using a mouse to blend my colours I think. It was pretty hard to get nice gradients between different shades. Then there’s the terrible framing, composition, poses, flat and unfinished background… at least it feels good to notice an improvement in those ten years separating these two pieces. The latest one (above) was done, as you can imagine, with a Wacom tablet, and as opposed to the early one, done also using custom brushes. I’ve tried to improve in all aspects, but I think my composition is what seems to have improved the most. It guides the eye much better I feel.
BEAUTIFULBOKEHS HOW TO CREATE YOUR OWN BLURRED BACKGROUND LIGHTS
reating beautifully blurred backgrounds is one of the finer joys of photography. There’s something special about opening up the aperture to create a shallow focus range. Add a series of small, bright light sources to the background and you can create more magic – light bokeh. That’s the way the lens renders points of light that are out of focus. This frequently means a soft, round glow is created in-camera. While there may be widespread disagreement over how to pronounce
‘bokeh’, almost everybody agrees that the effect usually improves the shot! In this resource project, we will take a look at a few different techniques for creating a stock library of your own light bokehs. The process is fairly simple and straightforward, but will often require several attempts at dialling in the camera settings to produce the right result. But working through the steps and exploring how certain changes produce different results is half the fun!
ON THE DISC
BEAUTIFUL BOKEHS ON THE DISC
BASIC BOKEH HOW TO CREATE THOSE BEAUTIFUL BLURS
HANG THE LIGHTS
CAPTURE THE BACKGROUND
LET THERE BE LIGHTS
When you think bokeh, you probably think fairy lights elegantly blurred into an atmospheric background. So the lights you’ll need should be any fairy lights, either coloured or white – it’s up to you.
Using plastic clips on the back of a black background, clip through the fabric in between the lights to discretely attach them. Use as many as you like, but make sure you have enough loose to plug them in.
Using the clips, arrange the lights on the background. If you use too many, the bokeh will be too dense and bright and no longer look magical.
Once you have an arrangement of lights, hold an object close to your lens and focus on it. The lights will grow and blur behind it.
Once you’ve focused on the object, while still keeping your focus, move the object and snap the picture. You’ll get a nice, blurry bokeh shot.
BOKEH BRUSHES USE OUR STOCK IMAGES TO CREATE YOUR OWN CUSTOM BOKEH BRUSHES Beautiful, realistic bokehs are just a brush stroke away! Don’t forget to add significant blur to the image first
Our stock photos can easily be turned into custom bokeh brushes. First, paint out any bokeh spots that touch the edges
Once the brush is defined, use the Brush panel to find the new brush tip and add Scattering and Angle Jitter
For the brush to work, the stock image will need to be desaturated and inverted. This can be accomplished with adjustment layers
The background blur is also critical for the realism of the effect. Use the Iris Blur and adjust the location so the ground that is closer to the camera isn’t as blurred as the objects further away
HOW TO USE THE BOKEH STOCK TRANSFORM MUNDANE BACKGROUNDS INTO SOMETHING MAGICAL WITH OUR BOKEH STOCK The stock images on the disc are perfect for creating magical flare in the background of a portrait. It just takes a few simple compositing tricks to add them in.
When changing backgrounds of a portrait, a good selection is critical. If certain areas are troublesome, use multiple layers with masks. Don’t think you need to get everything in a single mask
Even the most basic backgrounds can be used, but they need to match the same lighting and perspective as the model shot. Curves and Photo Filters are great tools for lighting adjustment
Place and transform the light bokeh layers. Use the Screen blending mode to isolate the lights and layer masks in order to hide any bokeh spots that don’t fit properly
BEAUTIFUL BOKEHS ON THE DISC
INCAMERA LENS FLARE STOP USING THE TIRED PHOTOSHOP FILTER AND CREATE YOUR OWN!
For this project you’ll need a torch. Try a torch app as your phone will be easier to secure. You’ll also need a black backdrop and large clips.
SECURE THE TORCH
Take two clips and attach the phone or torch to the backdrop. Try to keep away wrinkles so you can’t see any random patches of fabric.
INTO THE LIGHT
Turn on the light and shoot straight into it to create a nice flare. Play with the exposure compensation to make it brighter or dimmer.
INDUSTRY EXAMPLE: SHAPED BOKEH ADD SHAPE AND DEPTH TO THE BACKGROUND BLURS If you want your bokeh shots to be a bit more interesting, there’s a simple process to give your bokeh some shape. For starters, you’re going to need a black sheet of paper, the lens you want to use, a white pencil, scissors and a craft knife. Start by measuring the length of your lens – it has to fit over the top to stay in place. Next, cut a strip of paper the length you want. Measure the circumference of the lens and cut it out as well. Draw out the design, placing it as close to the centre of the circle as possible and cut it out with the craft knife. Then roll the strip around the lens and tape it so it’s snug but can still slide off. Finally, attach the circle to one end of the tube and tape it so there are no gaps. Simply slide it over the front of your lens and your bokehs will appear in the shape of your cut-out.
ON THE DISC BEAUTIFUL BOKEHS
USING BOKEH (/7ď4/ď#2%!4%ď"/+%(ď",523ď).˶#!-%2!
Once you have an arrangement that satisfies you, adjust your camera position to change the size of the bokeh blooms. Compose the shot to leave space for the subject. Use an aperture of f1.7 for the smoothest blur.
FIND YOUR FRAME
ON THE DISC
Before you even introduce your subject, arrange your lights and your distance from them with your subject in mind. Check the arrangement through your viewfinder first and adjust the arrangement as needed.
Now that your background looks how you want it to, position your subject at least three to four feet away from the background. Again, this depends on how big you want your bokeh to be.
LIGHT LENS EFFECTS 21 PHOTOS OF BOKEH TEXTURES AND LENS FLARE EFFECTS Create your own light effects, or feel free to use our stock of flares and bokehs in various colours, shapes and arrangements We’ve included a slew of beautiful bokeh and flare stock for you to use in your own personal projects.
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