photoshop creative

The new issue of Photoshop Creative is on sale now

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General, by The Photoshop Creative Team
February 15, 2011

Check out our listings and extracts from issue 71 of Photoshop Creative – on sale now

Photoshop Creative Issue 71

Illustrate your portraits
– Transform photos into vector-style illustrations

Understand layer styles
– Discover how to improve images with these

Realistic reflections
– Looking to improve your landscapes? Here’s how…

Vintage poster effect
– Use filters to re-create a classic poster style

Also inside…
– Guide to the Transform tools
– Creating advanced photo composites
– Make 3D images in Photoshop
– Give photos a cross process effect
– Common Photoshop problems fixed

Free with this issue…
Hundreds of resources, including 89 minutes of video, 196 brushes, 15 grunge vectors, textures, actions and more

Purchase online at Imagine Shop

Issue 71 Extracts:

Pen Tool

Simple illustration with real impact can be created from a collection of vector shapes in Photoshop just by getting the hang of some of the tools and techniques. We will be producing a vector-style image from a photograph in this tutorial and the first thing you will need to learn about in Photoshop is using the Pen tool to create paths.

Before mastering the tool however, you need to examine the portrait and look at where the different areas of colour are. This is the main principle behind producing successful vector images – dividing your starting photograph up into simplified areas of colour.

The Pen Tool

The Pen is a powerful tool for producing paths both in straight lines and curved shapes. With this and your colour areas, you’ve got the building blocks for creating a vector effect. Once selections have been made as paths, a new layer is added and then filled with a suitable colour. This means it is crucial to be organised when working on vector illustrations and remember to label all of your paths and layers. Layers should then be put into groups in folders to make it easier to locate every element of the image.

Each of the layers must be ordered correctly too. For example, the eye, eyebrow and mouth layers should be above all of the layers for the skin tones. Although we will be making use of the Pen tool in order to produce the illustration effect, it is also possible to create selections using just the Magnetic Lasso tool in Photoshop Elements (see next page).

Using paths to trace outlines of areas within a photograph might sound daunting but once you get up to speed we promise you’ll be creating fantastic-looking illustrations in no time.

Layer Styles

When it comes to adding effects quickly and easily to an image, Photoshop is ripe with options. Filters and adjustments abound, but no other feature is as quick and easy as the beloved range of layer styles.

Layer Styles

These are one of the first things that any Photoshop beginner learns and certainly one of the first features that make a new user stop and say “wow!”

The ability to add a stroke, bevel and emboss or glow simply by checking a box is ingenious indeed and can be a great time-saver.

Add Reflections

Water is a very difficult subject to create in Photoshop, especially when trying to make it look natural and perform in the way water usually does. But you don’t necessarily need to ‘make’ water from scratch – you can just imply it’s there by using a shiny reflection as evidence.

Add reflections

Reflections come in all shapes and sizes, but we’ve gone for a street scene for this tutorial, reflecting the buildings off the road. By flipping the image, using a layer mask around the road and applying a blend mode and a filter, the reflection can be made transparent with a distorted surface to replicate natural water.

We have also changed the sky in the original image to make the effect more true to a post-rainstorm scene. Using the Quick Selection tool, it can be selected and placed over the original sky that wasn’t quite dark enough for the convincing effect we were after.

Lime Lizard

Photoshop is an extremely versatile program that enables us to create virtually anything we can imagine; by pushing Photoshop’s boundaries, we can alter images to look however we want. To create an amazingly surreal composite, though, you’ll need a lot more than just the right software. The task of seamlessly blending two unrelated images into a single, believable yet impossible composite, requires careful planning as well as the right choice of subject matter.

The ultimate goal of this tutorial is to create a composition that will entertain or even bewilder the viewer and make them consider whether what they see is an original image or a fabrication.

Don’t be discouraged if at first glance this seems like a daunting task, as we will demonstrate how to achieve this effect using some of Photoshop’s basic tools. To begin with, you’ll use a combination of selection techniques to extract the lizard and lime images from their backgrounds.

Lime Lizard

Next, you’ll assemble these elements and use some clever masking tricks to merge them into a single image. You’ll also apply various non-destructive adjustments to harmonise the overall colour and tonal range. For the final steps, we’ll show you how to introduce realistic light and shadow details to complete the effect.

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