Creative Photoshop

Digital Illustration and Art Techniques Covering Photoshop CS3

Derek Lea

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Book Details
 3.00 USD
 377 p
 File Size
 123,439 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 2007, Elsevier Ltd   

Back in the early 1990s, people in the former Eastern Bloc
countries were just getting used to their new freedoms.
I was at university, and one of my lecturers commented
that after so many years of state-controlled media, television
was their window on the world. It’s something that’s stuck with
me, and I think that if television can be a window on the world, then
perhaps Photoshop is a window on the imagination.
Round about the same time, in the early 1990s, the first versions
of the program were being developed very much with photo editing in
mind. I remember getting my first Macintosh and installing an old
version of doubtful legality. (Hey, I was just a student!) Having scanned
in some photos of a fellow journalism student, and cropping his
head into a triangle shape, I began duplicating it across the document
and applying different combinations of sharpen, blur, and posterize
filters to each version of his now sorry-looking face.
I knew what I was created wasn’t at all good, but others were
impressed for roughly 15 minutes which made me feel like I’d been
a bit of an Andy Warhol – for just about that long.
Fast forward 5 or 6 years and while I still couldn’t create anything
from my own imagination using Photoshop, or even crayon for that
matter, I had discovered a man who could. Derek Lea was producing
illustrations for us on Computer Arts magazine, the likes of which
we’d never seen. A colleague of mine at the time suggested that not
only should we ask Derek to create an image for us, but what if we
asked him to produce a step-by-step article, complete with screenshots,
showing how his piece was developed. I called Derek up, he
accepted and I promised him a beer the next time I was in Toronto.
We didn’t realize it at the time, but we had unleashed a new force
in the world of art and illustration. Derek was showing our readers
how they could use Photoshop creatively and artistically. Pretty soon
other magazines both within our own group, and rivals, picked up on
Derek’s talent. He’s gained illustration clients around the world, written
books and won awards.
His edge is that he won’t stand still. He has a knack for finding
new corners of the program to exploit and innovative ways of doing
so. He’s pushed the boundaries not only for his own art, but also for
thousands of up and coming artists who also want to create onscreen
the visions they have in their minds. If you’ve bought this book, you’re
about to discover what I mean.
Some of the commissions I’ve sent to Derek over the years appear
in these pages, where you can follow how they were made and aside
from feeling honoured to have been asked by the author to write
this foreword, I’m kinda proud these images have made it in. That’s
because my own Photoshop creativity languishes back where it was in
the early 1990s. I figured I’d quit while I was ahead after my Warholesque
effort. I stick to the words, but Derek Lea is certainly your man
for the pictures.
Garrick Webster
Editor, Computer Arts

Photoshop and me
When I first discovered Photoshop, it was 1993. I started a new job
as a designer at a clothing company. It was a really horrible job, but
at least they bought me a new scanner. In those days a lot of scanners
came bundled with Photoshop. The first thing I did when I opened the
scanner box was to take the Photoshop 2.5 discs and put them in my
jacket pocket. When I got home that night, I installed Photoshop on
my Mac IIci at home, and my life began to change. I know it sounds
ridiculous, but in hindsight, that was a pivotal moment for me.
I had been working in Adobe Illustrator for a few years by then,
but Photoshop seemed like a bottomless pit of creative possibilities.
There was so much I could do that at times I didn’t even know where
to start. I began spending hours and hours every night just experimenting.
As a result of this endless experimentation, I gained enough
knowledge and experience to successfully land myself a position as a
professional retoucher at a photography studio. This meant that I could
spend all day, every day, working in Photoshop.
The problem with hiring artists to do retouching work is that
although they may be good at it, they get bored. I was no exception.
Yes, I was getting good at making cheap jewelry look expensive, and
making static cars look like they were in motion, but the novelty of
those achievements wore off quickly. Frustrated and bored with my
work, yet still in love with Photoshop, I began to deviate from working
with photography in the classic sense. On my own time, I started to
experiment with different methods to create artwork within Photoshop.
I began entering contests and then winning awards. The next thing I
knew, I had art directors calling with commissions and just like that
I became a digital illustrator.
Illustrating digitally allowed me to work all day, every day within
Photoshop. But this time, I wasn’t limited to retouching photographs anymore.
Another pivotal point came when my work was noticed by the
world’s best-selling creative magazine: Computer Arts. I was featured
in Computer Arts and developed a working relationship with them that
continues to this day: They started asking me to not only illustrate, but
to write for them as well. Working with Computer Arts really lit a fire
under me creatively. The commissions from them constantly demanded
new things and challenged me both creatively and technically. I cannot
stress the importance of my work with them enough, as my contributions
to Computer Arts eventually provided the starting point for
much of the content you’ll find within this book.

Table of Contents
Foreword vii
Introduction ix
Acknowledgements xv
Part 1: Drawing and Painting
Chapter 1: Painting in Photoshop 2
Chapter 2: Creating Characters with Shape Layers 18
Chapter 3: Graffi ti Spray Paint Art 36
Chapter 4: Creating Stencil Art 48
Chapter 5: Tracing Photographs 58
Chapter 6: Illustrating from Sketches 76
Chapter 7: Retro Art Effects 90
Chapter 8: Coloring Comic Art 104
Part 2: Unconventional Methods
Chapter 9: Antique Effects 118
Chapter 10: Photocopier Meets Photoshop 136
Chapter 11: Urban Lowbrow Art 154
Part 3: Illustrative Photography
Chapter 12: Creature Architecture 168
Chapter 13: The Third Dimension 194
Chapter 14: Ageing Effects 222
Chapter 15: Realistic Surrealism 242
Part 4: Photoshop and Other Programs
Chapter 16: Bringing Stale 3D to Life 272
Chapter 17: Poser and Photoshop: Create an Old Master 294
Chapter 18: Art Noveau: Pasting Vector Art from Illustrator 322
Chapter 19: Changing Patterns: Using Illustrator Files as Smart Objects 340
Index 351
About the CD 359

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Why does the world need another Photoshop book?
As a Photoshop neophyte in the early 1990s, I was always hungry for
resource materials. I would scour the local bookstores looking to be
informed and inspired. What I noticed then was that Photoshop books,
more or less, fell into one of two categories.
There were books that contained beautiful collections of digital
art. These books would inspire me with their rich and thoughtprovoking
images, but they lacked detailed instruction on how to
achieve those results. Apart from artistic inspiration, these books
really didn’t offer much to a guy who wanted to learn how.
The other option was books of a more instructional nature.
Generally offering lots of information, instruction, helpful hints, and
tips, I found these books always lacking in the inspiration department.
Granted, I found some useful information in these books, but more
often than not, I had to read the chapters on faith alone. Basically, I
would hope that afterward, I could do something remarkable on my
own with the knowledge they contained, because the imagery within
those books never really impressed me.
What you hold in your hands is the book I always wanted. My
aim is to inspire you as well as inform you. I have spent a great deal
of time perfecting a variety of artistic styles and working practices
in Photoshop. And I have also spent a great deal of time producing
images that I hope will inspire you to learn. This book is for those
of you who not only appreciate art, but also want to know in explicit
detail, how to create it on your own. There seems to be an infinite
amount of Photoshop books out there, and many of them are excellent.
However, I still haven’t found that perfect book that inspires as much
as it instructs. After all these years I came to the conclusion that the
book I was after didn’t exist, so I decided to write it myself. If you are
reading this right now, chances are you’ve been looking for the same
thing too.

How to use this book
This book is a series of projects. Each chapter opens with an inspirational
image, and the step-by-step instructions required to recreate that
image immediately follow. You’ll find all of the resource files needed
to create each image on the accompanying CD. This book is written
in a non-linear manner, meaning that you do not have to start at the
beginning and progressively work your way toward the end. Each
chapter is independent of the others, so you can start wherever you
like and move around randomly from one chapter to the next. Pick
a chapter with an image that inspires you and follow it through to fruition,
it’s as simple as that.
This book includes variety in not only style and subject matter,
but also in technique and working methods. You’ll find a vast array
of tools, features, and options as you work your way through. Fundamental
and essential working methods will appear repeatedly, but each
chapter definitely has something unique to offer in terms of both technique
and artistic style.
A guitar teacher once told me that the best way to teach someone
to play is to get him or her working on something they like straight
away. Forget showing them all of the chords or notes when it makes
no sense to them yet, just get them to do something they’re interested
in. That is the approach I have taken here. You’ll get your feet wet
while producing something worthwhile, and at varying stages in the
process you’ll begin to understand the value of what you’ve done.
When knowledge begins to fall into place as you work, and it most
certainly will, the proverbial light comes on. At that point, you’ll
really begin to see the potential of what you’ve learned. So don’t limit
yourself to simply finishing the chapters in this book. Try to think of
ways that you can take what you’ve learned from each chapter and use
it to create original artwork of your own.

Basic Photoshop knowledge
Creative Photoshop is not a beginner’s guide, nor is it exclusively for
experts. It falls into that mysterious category in-between often referred
to as intermediate. The idea of what an intermediate user does or does
not know will often vary depending upon whom you’re talking to. I
have written this book assuming that you, as the reader, know your
way around Photoshop and understand the basics. I am assuming that
you have an idea of what the tools do, what layers are, the difference
between vectors and pixels, etc.
Numerous functions and tools within Photoshop will be explored
in depth, via the step-by-step instructions in the following chapters,
however you’ll need to know the basics to follow along with ease. For
those of you who possess more ambition than Photoshop know-how,
I can certainly relate. As a beginner, I would’ve picked up this book
too. My advice to those who are just starting out, is to get familiar
with the Photoshop Help menu. Any time you get stuck, you can do
a specific search. The results will explain anything you need to know
about using a tool or function in Photoshop. Once you find what
you’re after, you can continue following along where you left off.
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