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Create your own city in the sky today




Master layers to design a

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With the help of filters, layers and masks

Issue 154

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ISSN 1747-7816

On the surface, filters may look like one

of Photoshop’s more basic features, but

when you look closer, they can help you

unlock a whole world of opportunities,

whether it comes to adding subtle final

effects to an artwork you’re tweaking, or

dramatically transforming an image to create

something stunning and unique. Turn to p14 for an

in-depth guide to their many uses. In addition, our oil

painting effects tutorial on p42 shows how you can

use filters to turn a simple image into a striking

portrait. If you’re looking for that extra dimension to

make your art pop, we have not one, but two exciting

3D features. Our advanced 3D city tutorial on p58 will

teach you to build a city in the sky, and the tutorial on

p22 helps you get to know the many aspects of 3D

effects in Photoshop. We hope you enjoy the issue!

Erlingur Einarsson Editor



Contents SAVE



06 22










This issue there are over 600 free

resources for you to use

Trending gallery

Check out some of the coolest

artwork going viral this month

Readers’ gallery

Have a look at what your fellow

readers have been up to this issue

Readers’ challenge

A chance to win Corel AterShot 3 and

AKVIS Enhancer software

Feature: Master filters

25 diferent ilters and how to use

them to make a good artwork great

How I Made

See how Alexandru Savescu made

the ilm-noiresque artwork The

Mystery Man of Maryland

How I Made

Christian Orrillo shows us how he

created the vivid Amniotic

Project focus

Typhaine Le Gallo has perfected the

way to blend digital and traditional

hand-drawn art using Photoshop


This issue we put Anthropics’

LandscapePro 2 and AKVIS’

LightShop and OilPaint to the test

Portfolio interview

Carolina Rempto talks about her path

to being an acclaimed digital artist

Reader interview

Maciej Matuszak shares his secret

Photoshop tips and tricks with us







96 46




Master basic 3D in


Get to know Photoshop’s 3D tools

and create a cityscape with depth

Blend with layer masks

Use double-exposure tools to blend

diferent images

Create a fantasy scene

Mix reality and fantasy with the help

of layers and masks

Turn any photo into an

abstract oil painting

Learn how to transform a photo

into a richly detailed oil painting

Create a 3D-style logo

Layer styles, Smart Objects and

Blur ilters can help you make a

rockin’ logo

Create block animals

with Liquify

Follow this fun step-by-step guide

to turn any furry critter into a boxy

fantasy creature


us on




today and you’ll


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✔ This issue: lightning strikes, textures,

mockups, light leaks and much more

✔ Plus files to follow the tutorials

✔ Free and ready for you to download today!

Advanced Photoshop



3D modelling in


Dream up a city in the sky

using Photoshop’s powerful

3D tools

Create an awesome

space scene

Compose an out-of-this-world

scene with the help of layers,

ilters and masks








42 28



Elements creative




Dodge and Burn

your photos

Achieve fast precision with

this vital tool

Make a creative

clock face

Make creative compositions

with text and images

How to age portraits

Change the look of your

images non-destructively




Create a surreal moon


Follow this step-by-step guide

to build an eye-catching scene

Illustrate a scene using


How to thrive in Elements

without a graphics tablet

Q&A: Common problems

in Elements

Your FAQs answered by our

team of Elements experts



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On the FileSilo this issue…

• 4 grungy photo mock-ups by Vibeke Alvestad

Johansen worth $8

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• 8 ladies tank top mock-ups by GoMedia, $37

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• 180 lightning Strikes, by SparkleStock, $5

• A total of 604 resources worth $85

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Check out some of the most popular artwork that’s been rocking the internet

over the last few weeks, and take inspiration from what’s currently trending

There’s nothing more inspiring than

surfing the internet and seeing what

other artists are creating, and we

encourage you to do so. Here are

some of our favourite pictures that

caught our attention recently, from

some of the world’s most exciting

artists and designers.

Chatchanok’s rooster has been viewed over

8,000 times. We love the detail in the piece,

and it’s proof that while digital and analogue

art are oten considered separate, they can

conlate for incredible results such as this.

The blending in Rafael’s work is superb, as is the

choice of colour and texture. He’s been featured by

Adobe’s Photoshop gallery, and this piece is a great

example of his wonderful command of a composition.

Rafael Boo



This was

created with the

smoke cut out and applied

using blend modes, and

space elements added. The

smoke was given a colour

temperature, light efects and

spots using gradient maps,

Curves and blend modes.

Mind-bending compositions are extremely

popular online, and this is the standout

piece in Risfan’s impressive portfolio. We

particularly like the colour editing that

Risfan has made in Lightroom.





The artwork was created

from a pencil drawing that I did, with the

digital colouring coming from Photoshop.

The image was created in celebration of

the Chinese Year of the Rooster.





This was

created in Photoshop and

Lightroom. The Transform

tools were key in creating

a surreal environment,

masking helped to bring all

the elements into the inal

image and blend modes

helped unify the elements.


Jan Urschel


This illustration was made for the movie

Ghost in the Shell from Paramount Pictures.

Photoshop was used to composite several 3D

render passes, add photographic background plates, bring in

atmospheric efects like steam, and the inal colour grading.

Yukai Du


This is the cover of a children’s book,

commissioned by Wide-Eyed Editions . The cover

image needed to incorporate the themes of the

book, feel coherent, and also feel related to the other pages

illustrated inside. Brushes were used to create the illustration.

Jan has worked with countless production companies, and this is a

shining example of his work. We love the detail and atmosphere in

this piece, and so do 135,000 people who have viewed him online.

Aitor Prieto Reyes


I work on my digital pieces as if they were a real canvas, so

I don’t usually accumulate many layers. In this piece I used

a layer for the background and another for the characters,

which I blocked to give them volume with brushstrokes.

With half a million online views and support from The Student Show

and Pantone, Yukai’s work is highly rated. We love this one, because it

feels slick yet playful: that’s the power of Photoshop brushes.

Barcelona-born Aitor has been recognised by four separate Behance showcases for

his perfectly detailed, oten caricaturist digital art. This landscape is beautifully

realised and was featured by the Photoshop, Behance and Illustration galleries.



Welcome to an inspirational round-up of great Photoshop artwork

created by none other than your fellow readers


Send us your images now for the

chance to appear in future galleries

Create your own gallery online


Upload your images to Facebook

Search PhotoshopCreative

Tweet us your creative artwork


Alternatively, you can email:


Elissandro Pinto



Image of the issue

Layers, blend modes and masking

were vital in this image. The rhino was the first

thing to be added to the scene, before the town

was added to its back and everything was blended

with adjustments and brushes.

Caroline Julia Moore



I took the main photo of the two

subjects at the studio and merged

this with a woodland photograph that I’d taken.

The image was stylised with Dodge and Burn,

and a Color Lookup adjustment was applied.


Alexander Kruglov


I used a lot of layers and masks for the mood in

this image. I used an image of an old gramophone

from a museum and Liquified it to make it look like

an unusual flower. I added my cat to the image, too!

Murilo Francisco


I used the Pen Tool to cut out the images,

along with exposure, merging and

adjustments, and I blended everything

together to produce a natural, toned composition.

Claudio Tosi


The original sketch was drawn by hand, then

replicated on a Wacom tablet. The aim was to

enhance the beauty of the traditional sketch using

digital tools. I used brushes and pastel textures on the shadows.

Kostis Keritis


In order to create this, I began with a few quick

sketches to find the best possible frame. Then I added

more images, overpainted a few new elements and

drew the details with a tablet.




Upload your images to




The best entries and

overall challenge winner

1 Sheri Emerson

Space Detective

I used Polar Coordinates to

make rings from the rockets,

duplicated and blurred for glow.

I put the arctic scene in the

background, filtered and added

a desaturated rainbow ribbon.

2 Bob Parsi

Love, Strategy & War

I created a movie poster theme

based on Love, Strategy and

War. I created this design using

all images provided. I used a lot

of masking, layer adjustments,

blurs, blending and more.





3 Previatti Consanni

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

This image uses a main subject

as the focus, with a spacey

background. The background

was created with adjustments,

layers and blend modes.

4 Neil Kelly


This depicts a spaceman

landing on a planet once

inhabited by humans, but now

only a ferry remains and no

ocean. Adjustments blended

everything together.


We challenged you with these

In issue 151, we

challenged you

to get creative

with these four

images. You

were allowed to

use any or all of

the pictures, and

whatever other

resources you

chose. Here’s

what you created.


The PRiZe…

Corel AfterShot 3

This issue, one lucky winner

will receive a copy of Corel’s

photo-editing software,

AfterShot 3. AfterShot

is fantastic for RAW

processing and is packed

with a plethora of new features,

including watermarking, blemish

removal and an enhanced highlight

recovery feature. This is a fantastic

addition to any Photoshop user’s

workflow, should you wish to make

improvements to your photos.



RUnneRs’-UP PRiZe…

WORTH $99!

AKVIS Enhancer

Three runners-up in

this issue’s challenge,

along with the winner,

will all receive a copy

of AKVIS Enhancer.

Another photo-editing

program, Enhancer

is a great companion

to your Photoshop

workflow, dedicated

to improving detail

and tone.



This issue’s challenge

Think you can do better? Prove it!

Get creative with the supplied images and you

could win a fantastic prize! Use as many of the

images as you like (from previous issues too!)

and include your own photos if you wish. Head to

www.photoshopcreative.co.uk and simply hit

the Challenge link. Closing date: 17 August 2017.










Don’t dismiss filters as being an unsophisticated editing

option; we reveal how they can elevate your work

Filters can turn a good piece of artwork into a great piece of

artwork. Whether you’re looking to add noise, reduce it, blur,

sharpen, or create an artistic effect on a photo, there’s a filter

for that. And the best part is they’re fun to experiment with!

Filters can sometimes have a bad reputation in the

Photoshop world, because they create simple, immediate

effects in your work, which can look obviously edited. However,

this is only if you don’t use them correctly: there are hundreds


of ways that you can subtly or dramatically change the look and

feel of any project, just by using filters. They never have to just

be the finishing touches either, because filters can be built upon

or intertwined, for you to create stunning effects throughout all

of your projects.

Let’s delve into 25 of them, and look at how you can use

them to not just add cool effects to your images, but actually

change the way you work.



Create amazing

illustrations all with the

help of ordinary filters,

and bring a humble

skyline to life.


Blend mind-bending

tools and distortion

filters together for

projects that call for

something special.



Use filters to enhance digital

artwork as well as photobased

projects, and get the

best from Brush Strokes.


Learn how to transform

ordinary portraits with

extraordinary effects,

using filters for creating

fire and ice.


Discover the best features

available in Camera Raw,

and learn which sliders

are the perfect ones to

improve your photos.




On the FileSilo

Download your free

resources at www.filesilo.









Easy illustrations with Cutout

Turn a photo into a vector-style image using two filters

You don’t have to be a natural artist to draw; you can quickly create a cityscape

illustration using the Cutout and Gaussian Blur filters, with a little help from the

Pen Tool. Begin by opening ‘pex_169647_city.jpeg’ from the FileSilo.

To apply the Cutout filter to just the buildings, grab the Pen and ensure Paths is

selected, and then draw around the shape of the buildings. Create a selection

around the working path and then apply Filter>Artistic>Cutout, set to 3, 2, 3.

To enhance the gradient background of the image, select the original path and

convert the path to Subtract from Shape Area (located in the Pen Options bar).

Now create a selection around the sky and go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and

amend Radius to 59px.

You can also apply the Gaussian Blur filter to soften the edges of shapes. Begin

by creating a number of long rectangles, convert them to a Smart Object and then

the Gaussian Blur can be applied. Do the same to create a moon.

Bend with Polar Coordinates

Combine this filter with edits to create surreal worlds

Achieve an incredible effect using the Polar Coordinates filter, adjustment layers and

colour corrections. It is a simple and fast effect that is easy to achieve using some basic

techniques and tools in Photoshop. This technique offers countless possibilities of

composition, so feel free to exploit it to its full creative extent.


Use Radial Blur (Filter>Blur>Radial

Blur) to add a touch of motion in a

circle around the image.


Go to Filter>Distort>Spherize to bring

more focus on the subject and make

the composition feel more globe-like.

“It is a simple and fast effect

that is easy to achieve using

some basic techniques”

Round things out


Create a 230mm x 310mm file, 300ppi.

Open ‘pex_132983_ocean.jpg’. Go to

Image>Image Size, (uncheck Constrain

Proportions) and resize to 3000x3000px. Go to

Filter>Distort>Polar Coordinates, select

Rectangular to Polar. Drag the image to your file.



Duplicate the layer once (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and

rotate it 60° counter-clockwise, create a

layer mask and paint over the line to remove it.

Duplicate again, increase the size, create a layer

mask and hide the middle parts. Create a Curves

adjustment layer, move the line down.

Finish the composition


Add some adjustment layers to the water,

like Colour Balance and Brightness/

Contrast. Insert ‘pex_241044_man.jpg’ in the

centre and remove unnecessary parts. Add

adjustment layers for the man; Colour Balance,

Brightness/Contrast, Curves and Levels.





“To make the

woman’s skin

softer, use Filter>

Blur>Surface Blur”

Add special effects to portraits

Combine multiple filters for a fantasy fire and ice world

Create the snow


Create a new layer, set Foreground colour

to black, place on the top of the layers

and paint it (Alt+Del). Apply Filter>Noise>Add

Noise, Amount: 90%, Distribution: Gaussian and

tick Monochromatic. Use Levels (109, 1,00, 255),

change blend mode to Screen and apply

Filter>Blur>Motion Blur, Angle: -45° and

Distance: 26px. Finally, add Filter>Artistic>Dry

Brush, set to 2, 1, 3.

Add some filters


To make the woman’s skin softer, use

Filter>Blur>Surface Blur, set to 70, 5. To

add realism to the ice side, duplicate the

background, merge it and apply Filter>Artistic>

Plastic Wrap, set to 3, 10, 14 and make a mask to

erase the unnecessary parts. Finally duplicate

the background again and add the Diffuse Glow

filter (Filter>Gallery>Distortion>Diffuse Glow),

set to 6, 3, 16.

Make the fire


Make a new layer, use the Pen Tool (P),

draw a flame shape, go to

Filter>Render>Flame, set Width to 70 and change

blend mode to Screen. Duplicate all layers from

the fire side, merge it, apply Filter>Distort>Glass)

and set to 10, 12 - Frosted Texture. Create a new

layer, set Foreground colour to black,

Background to white, apply Filter>Render>Clouds

and change the blend mode to Screen.


Mold with Liquify and Displace

Use these filters to bend objects to your will

The Liquify and Displace filters are used to

distort pixels in an image. However, there is

a huge difference between them. Liquify is

commonly used to create artistic effects by

using tools to distort the pixels, Displace

uses a greyscale map to distort the objects.

In this project, we used Liquify to create a

melting effect and Displace to blend the

melted paws with the iceberg. To create the

Displace Map, open the image you want to

map, desaturate it, use Levels to adjust the

grayscale tones, then save as .psd. To apply

the filter, go to Filter>Distort>Displace,

select the .psd file you created. To work

with Liquify, go to Filter>Liquify. Grab the

Forward Warp Tool and start pushing the

pixels down and then push sideways and

inward to make the trails thinner.





Quickly boost your illustrations

Apply Texturizer and Glowing Edges to make images pop

If you’re no stranger to image-editing apps

such as Instagram and Photoshop Mix,

then you’re more than likely already aware

of just how fun filters can be. Though

lacking the likes of Valencia and X-Pro II,

the default options in Photoshop’s Filter

Gallery can still have a beautiful creative

impact on your work.

For example, if you don’t have access to

suitable texture images or brushes, the

Texturizer filter is a fitting substitute.

Choose texture types such as Mosaic,

Burlap and Canvas from the drop-down

menu, and adjust using the sliders. Subtle

details are best for detailed backgrounds,

so keep the sliders low.

To refine the edges of an illustration, you

can get excellent results from the Glowing

Edges filter. Apply it to your character

illustration, and set the sliders to high

settings. Set the layer to either Overlay or

Colour Dodge, and set the Opacity to 20%

or lower. This way, it will apply extra detail

to your illustration without overpowering it.




Detail in a picture is key, but so is a lack of it;

sharpen and reduce noise with these sliders.

Basic adjustments

Fix the tone, brightness and light using the basic

adjustments on the first page of Camera Raw.

Colour balance

Get more from colours than adjustments can

manage; alter hue, saturation and luminance.

Edit images with Camera Raw

Achieve professional retouches with this powerful filter

The Camera Raw filter processes Raw files,

and you can apply its sliders and effects to

your pictures to fix everything from clarity

and contrast, right through to saturation

and split tone.

If you’d like to fix a range of issues, just

cycle through the features on the righthand

side of the window and adjust all the

sliders. The first page is full of basic

adjustments that can really bring the

essentials out of your picture; once you’ve

made the necessary edits, click on the next


Add a split tone to finish and decide on the

balance between the highlight and shade.

icon and delve a little deeper into your

picture, by fixing the tone, sharpening,

editing colour and even applying effects

based on camera make and model.

“Fix everything from clarity and contrast, right

through to saturation and split tone”


Tutorial Master basic 3D in Photoshop

Master basic 3D

in Photoshop

Get to grips with the essentials of Photoshop’s 3D tools to

create a background scene for a digital painting

Cities look beautiful at night, and they

can be an attractive setting to use in

digital paintings and illustrations.

However, without any perspective tools or

objects, city scenes can be an intimidating

subject to paint. But with a little knowledge

of Photoshop’s 3D tools, you can make this

process a lot less painful.

Before you start, make sure your computer

is powerful enough to run the 3D software. If

you have never modelled a 3D object in your

life before, don’t worry. In this tutorial, we will

be covering the absolute basics of creating

and reshaping 3D objects in Photoshop.

Although Photoshop’s built-in 3D tools are

not as powerful as the tools featured in

dedicated programs such as Maya, they are

certainly enough for creating shapes that fit

the perspective of the scene you want to

paint, which is exactly what we need to

complete this cityscape piece.

We will also be using illustrative and digital

painting techniques to complete this image,

so even if you do not intend to use 3D

objects in your work on a regular basis, there

are drawing and colour-editing techniques

you may still find useful. Most importantly,

though, be sure to have fun!




“As a graduate of a 3D

animation course, I am well

versed in the use of 3D tools

and modelling 3D objects,

and applying them to my

digital artwork.

“I’ve been using Photoshop

since my teens, and it is still

a vital part of my workflow

to this day. I don’t know how I

managed to survive so many

years without my Cintiq 13HD,

and my favourite Photoshop

tool is without a doubt the

Brush Tool.”


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

On the FileSilo

Download your free

resources at www.filesilo.



Works with




What you’ll learn

How to create and

adjust a basic 3D object in

Photoshop CC

Time taken

9 hours


Tutorial Master basic 3D in Photoshop

Perspective reference


We will be using 3D objects as part of

this tutorial, but perspective reference

photos are still imperative to help you put the

scene together. It’s useful to take photos of

tall buildings and study the perspective from

different angles. Keep them to hand and keep

referring to them as you work.

Begin sketching


Using the reference images you

collected, sketch a rough idea for

your scene. Create a new layer and select a

hard brush, set to 15px. If you’re not confident

when it comes to drawing perspective, feel

free to trace one of the images you collected.

Sketch your subject


Now your background is done, place

your character in the scene. Create a

new layer and, using the same brush, draw a

character balancing on the wall you drew on

the background layer. Remember, use as

much reference material as you need. Add in

basic shadows on a separate layer.

Set up the colour palette


Create a new layer, above all layers, so it will be easy to

access as you work. Using a large hard brush at 75px+,

draw circles of the colours you want using the Colour Picker.

These will be easily accessible later using the Eyedropper Tool.

Load up the 3D space


Access the 3D tab by navigating to Window>3D. This will add the

3D tab next to your Layers panel. Select Mesh From Preset, and

select Cube from the drop-down menu. This will create a 3D cube and

bring up the 3D navigation space.

Prepare for adjustments


Don’t worry! Your sketch hasn’t been

deleted. Think of this as a

workspace entirely separate from your

painting space. Select the Cube folder to edit

the cube, and Scene to move the camera. In

the Properties window, click the Coordinates

icon, and switch off Uniform Scaling.

Shape the cube


Now Uniform Scaling is off, we can

elongate the cube. 3D objects are

modelled by stretching or squashing them

along Y, X and Z-axes. Increase the X-axis

from 13 to 19, and the cube will stretch into a

rectangular shape. Decrease the Z-axis.

Adjust lighting


Below the Cube folder, select the

Lighting folder. You can drag it

around as you do with the camera. It will be

helpful to set up the lighting now, so the cube

will fit the scene. From the Properties panel,

set Shadow Opacity to 0%. We won’t need it.


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

Duplicate cube


We will be using this cube to create an

apartment building in our scene. To quickly

give it shape, Ctrl/right-click the Cube folder and select

Duplicate. This will create an exact copy. Notice how it

clips through the other cube as you move it with the

Move Tool.

Apply to scene


Switch back to the Layers tab, and

you’ll notice that the 3D object has

been applied to your scene, exactly as you

left it positioned in the 3D space. Go back to

the 3D space to adjust the camera if it’s not

sitting correctly. Line it up with your sketch.

Expert tip

Tweak the


Here’s a great tip for

perspective drawings. As

mentioned before, collecting

perspective references

is imperative for creating

accurate environments,

whether you’re studying

perspective or editing the

photos directly. But it can be

frustrating looking for the

angle you have in mind. If you

take a photo that’s of a similar

angle, of any subject, use the

Transform Tool to rotate, flip

and warp the image into the

angle you need. Then create a

new layer and draw over it.

Overlay colour


Overlay some colour to make the grey

3D object fit in the scene. Use the

Eyedropper Tool to select the purple you

used for the background, create a new layer

above the cube, Ctrl/right-click and select

Clipping Mask. Use the Paint Bucket Tool to

fill the layer. Set it to Overlay, 50% Opacity.

Start shading


Create another clipping mask layer

above the cube, below the Overlay,

and set to Multiply, 40% Opacity. Use the

Shape and Marquee tools to draw straight

lines on the front of your apartment building.

On another clipping mask layer, colour some

of the windows a cyan blue.

Complete shading


Select a soft brush at 50px+, and set to

60% Opacity, 80% Flow, and Multiply

blend mode. Still using the same purple,

shade the building. Paint harsh lines to create

a concrete look. On a new layer, use a 10px

hard brush to add graffiti.

Add texture


Create a new layer set to Overlay, select the cyan, and

use an airbrush to add a glow effect. If you have texture

images to hand, find a scratchy one, or download one from a site

like BittBox (bittbox.com). On another new layer, paste in the

texture, set to Overlay, 20% Opacity.

Finish drawing the character


With the background that will be sitting behind your character

mostly finished, now’s the time to finish the character art. Create a

new layer above the sketch layer, and use a hard round brush set to 12px

and a dark purple to draw the lines.


Tutorial Master basic 3D in Photoshop

Quick flats


Create a new layer under the lines,

and fill it with purple. Select outside

the lines using the Magic Wand Tool. Go to

Select>Expand>2px, and click OK. Select the

colour layer, and hit delete. Turn on Lock

Transparency, and use the Eyedropper and a

hard brush to colour the character.

Shade the character


Create a new layer above the flats,

Ctrl/right-click and select Create

Clipping Mask. Set the layer to Multiply, 45%

Opacity and, using a hard brush at 20px+,

draw in the purple shading. Keep the

shadows crisp and contrasted, to fit the

strong lighting of the scene.

Background buildings


Using the same technique as we did

for the first apartment building, create

two more cube shapes for the background

buildings. Repeat steps 12 and 13 to shade

them in the same way.

Add some foliage


On a new layer above the apartment buildings, use a

textured brush set to 35px+ to draw in some trees. Use a

dark grey/cyan; in this lighting, it will appear slightly green

compared to all the purples. Set the brush to 30% Opacity and

Multiply blend mode to shade the trees.

Foreground wall


The character is still floating! Beneath her layer, create a new one

and draw an angled wall using the Marquee Tool. Fill with a light

purple, and then use the dark purple we used for all other shadows and a

soft painting brush set to Multiply to shade it.

Starry night sky


You can’t usually see stars in a city, but

we’ll make an exception here. Create

a layer below all others, and use the purple to

draw a dark horizon. Use the square Shape

Tool to draw building silhouettes. Shade using

the soft brush, and add stars and lights with

a small hard brush.

Combine and contrast


With your painting complete, select

all the layers, Ctrl/right-click and

select Merge Layers. This will combine all

your layers into one, making it easier to

adjust the final colours. First go to Image>

Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast and set

each parameter to 11.

Gradient mapping


Select a saturated dark purple and a

light yellow as your Foreground/

Background colours, and go to Layer>New

Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. This will

create a new layer that automatically applies

colour effects to your image. Set to Overlay,

and reduce Opacity to 30%. And it’s done!






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Tutorial Blend with layer masks

Show us your creative edits Tweet us @pshopcreative

On the FileSilo

Download your free

resources at www.filesilo.



Works with




What you’ll learn

Combine images for a

double-exposure effect

using masks

Time taken

2 hours




“Layer masks and blend

modes are features I can’t

live without. I especially

love doing double-exposure

experiments and surprising

myself with combinations.

“I discovered Photoshop

while studying web design.

Ater graduating, I taught in

the media arts department.

I’m now art director for a

tech company, soothing my

inner instructor by sharing

techniques with readers.”

Blend with

layer masks

Produce a trendy animal double-exposure effect using layer

masks, blend modes and adjustment layers

Double-exposure imagery has roots in

photography. A juxtaposing of two (or even

more) images due to multiple exposures,

this technique oftentimes yields startlingly beautiful

visuals. You’ve more than likely seen this effect on

album covers, advertisements and posters.

Double exposures can be achieved in Photoshop

using multiple layers stacked on top of one another

and merged using layer masks and blend modes.

Before you get to the blending, though, you’ll

want to make selections of the playing pieces. Here

you’ll start by selecting and isolating an animal and

some mountains. You can certainly make the blend

without isolating these, but freeing each from their

respective backgrounds will give you flexibility in

editing as well as deployment. Blending will be

facilitated, and you can adjust the background or

swap it altogether.

The initial animal-mountainscape meld will be

realised with masks. You’ll then enhance with

blend modes, layering clouds with Screen and

doing a bit of painting with Color and Pin Light.

Some choice adjustments will help to add the final

spit and polish.

After completing the tutorial, why not try your

own double exposure? Find a worthy animal or

person, then pair your subject with an interesting

scene or object.

Mask the mountain


Open ‘landscape.psd’. Use the Quick Selection tool to select the

mountains. Resize the brush with [ and ]. To remove from the

selection, hold Option/Alt while using the tool. When done, press the Add

Layer Mask button in the Layers palette. Save and close.

Select animal


Open ‘animal.psd’. Use the Quick Selection tool to make

a base selection of the animal. Use the Zoom tool to get

up close as needed. When you have a decent selection, go to

Select>Select and Mask [non-CC: Refine Edge].


Tutorial Blend with layer masks

Refine the selection


Paint with the Refine Edge Brush tool [non-CC: Refine Radius tool] along the

fur and other areas to fine-tune. Resize brush with [ and ]. When done, set

Output To to Layer Mask. Click OK.

Clean up mask


If necessary, paint in the mask with the Brush

tool for editing. Use black to hide and white to

restore areas. Get up close with the Zoom tool. Adjust

brush size and opacity as needed. Decrease/increase

brush hardness with { and }.

Situate backdrop


Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button in

the Layers palette, choose Solid Colour. Pick #d0d3dc.

Drag it below the animal layer. Click the animal layer. Press Cmd/

Ctrl+J to duplicate. Click the lower animal layer’s mask. Press

Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the selection.

Fade sky


Press Cmd/Ctrl+G. Add a layer mask to the group. Ensure the

Foreground colour is black. Select the Gradient tool. In the options

bar, set to Linear and 100% Opacity. Choose the Foreground to Transparent

preset. Shift-click and drag down from the top to fade.




Select the top

layer. Go to

File>Place [CC: Place

Embedded], grab


Option/Alt+click the

Add Layer Mask

button from the

Layers palette, then

paint white in the

mask at 40-60%

brush Opacity to bring

a bit back. Move or

transform (Cmd/

Ctrl+T) layer if needed.


Show us your creative edits Tweet us @pshopcreative

Add mountains


Place [CC:


Linked] ‘landscape.

psd’. Scale down and

position on the

animal’s back before

committing. Add a

layer mask. Paint

black at 60-100%

Opacity to fade the

edges and merge

with the animal.

Expert tip



Investing in the planning

phases of a double-exposure

image can really pay off. Make

sketches, jot down notes and

look online and in magazines

for inspiration. Gather stock

photos and/or create your

own assets. Line up different

options for your images.

When you’re in the heat of

creation, stopping to search

for alternate images can stunt

your artistic flow. During your

image search, try collecting

some oddball images that

catch your eye. They may be of

use in a future project.

Paint with colour


Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button from the

Layers palette, choose Solid Colour. Pick #c68449. Set the blend

mode to Colour. Click the mask and invert it (Cmd/Ctrl+I). Paint white at

10-40% brush Opacity to help blend the masking.

Place birds


Place [CC: Use Place Embedded from here on out]

‘birds.jpg’. Scale down and position before committing. Set

the blend mode to Darken. Remember where the birds are for the

next step.

Clean mask

11 Option/

Alt+click the

Add Layer Mask

button from the

Layers palette,

then paint white at

80% brush Opacity

to bring the birds

back. Feel free to

move the layer to

reposition the birds.


Tutorial Blend with layer masks

Add clouds


Place ‘sky.jpg’. Scale down and position before committing. Set the

blend mode to Screen. Option/Alt+click the Add Layer Mask button,

then paint white at 40-60% brush Opacity to add the clouds.

More clouds


Duplicate the sky layer or place ‘sky.jpg’ again, then move

and edit or add mask. To duplicate quickly, select the

Move Tool, hold Option/Alt, click and drag to copy and move in

one stroke. From there, edit mask and transform layer if needed.

Paint some cloudiness


Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ button,

choose Solid Colour. Pick #4987c6. Set the blend mode to

Screen. Drop Opacity to 40%. Click the mask and invert it (Cmd/

Ctrl+I). Paint white at 10-40% brush Opacity to ramp up the

cloudy vibe.

Merge layers


Make any last masking and positioning changes in the base

composition. With the top layer selected, press Cmd/Ctrl+Option/

Alt+Shift+E. Right-click on the layer, and then choose the Convert to Smart

Object option.


(Photoshop pre-CC)


[CC: skip to next step.]

Go to Filter>

Sharpen>Unsharp Mask or

Smart Sharpen, whichever

you prefer. Adjust the

settings to apply the desired

amount of sharpening.

When satisfied, click OK.

Paint black in the filter mask

to reduce in areas if needed.

Skip to step 18.


Show us your creative edits Tweet us @pshopcreative

Enhance (CC)


Go to


Raw Filter. Use the

various settings to

enhance and sharpen the

image. Increase Clarity

and follow up by

increasing Shadows: +76

and Blacks: +50. Under

Detail, utilise Sharpening,

under Effects, utilise

Dehaze and Post Crop

Vignetting. Click OK when

you are done.

Expert edit

Transplant your image

Place your image


If you need to situate your image in

another document, place the image

PSD in the destination document. Use

Place Linked in CC to stay linked.

Blend with Pin Light


Click the ‘Create new fill or

adjustment layer’ button, choose

Solid Colour. Pick #80b2e5. Set the blend

mode to Pin Light. Drop Opacity to 50%. Paint

black in the mask at 10-40% brush Opacity to

reduce in areas.

Cool with Photo Filter


Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment

layer’ button, choose Photo Filter. Pick

Cooling Filter (80). Set Density to 25%. Paint

black in the mask at 10-40% brush Opacity to

reduce the effect.

Mask away edges


Add a layer mask to the placed

image. Use black to fade edges via

a soft-edged brush and/or a Foregroundto-Transparent

Linear gradient.

Edit background


If needed, adjust the background

colours or textures to help the

image look more at home. Add colour,

mask additional texture and/or work in

some adjustments.

Finalise and save


Employ other adjustments to finalise the image. Check out Colour Lookup’s various

presets such as FoggyNight and FuturisticBleak. Tone down the adjustments by

reducing layer Opacity and/or painting black in the masks. Play with Colour Balance’s sliders.

Fine-tune with Levels or Curves. When done, save your work.

Add vignette


Merge layers at the top and

convert to Smart Object. Go to

Filter>Camera Raw Filter. Under Effects,

adjust the Post Crop Vignetting settings.





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How I made The Mystery Man of Maryland


Time taken

10 hours

The artist



“I’m an artist

who dabbles

in a variety of styles,

from traditional pen

and ink illustrations and

experimental printing, to

digital painting and short

animations. www.thepixelprositess.com

I list Egon

Schiele, @thepixelprosites Sergio Toppi,

Moebius, Andrei Tarkovsky,

Stanley Kubrick and Quentin

Tarantino as key influences.

“I have been a finalist

three years in a row in the

Folio Society and House of

Illustration international

competition in 2015, 2016 and

also 2017.”


Show us your compositions Search for photoshopcreative

The Mystery Man of


How Alexandru Savescu concocted an atmosphere of film noir with Photoshop brushes,

lots of research and adjustments

has always been on narrative and conceptual

illustration,” says Alexandru Savescu, a Romanian

illustrator and graphic designer currently residing in

London. “I am passionate about portraiture, traditional drawing and

printing techniques.”

Alexandru’s appreciation for all art forms is represented in this

piece, The Mystery Man of Maryland. Alexandru used traditional

drawing techniques, including type, in the piece, and listened to a lot of

jazz to help create the atmosphere for his image; not to mention the

“My focus

effort he put into researching location. Ultimately though, Photoshop

was the key tool in bringing all these inspirations together.

“For me, Photoshop is a way of recreating these techniques and

maximising productivity, helping me change and rework my ideas

without interrupting the creative flow,” he says. “My favourite

Photoshop tools, the very foundation of my illustrations, are actually

quite common: the standard Brush and Eraser and the Lasso. Besides

these, layer and clipping masks and colour overlays are my next

favourite thing.”

Preliminary sketches


My travelling drawing kit is a small tablet and a memory stick. After

a thorough research on the location and time setting of the story

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F Scott Fitzgerald, and a four hour

flight, I made a few preliminary sketches.

Colouring the image


Every colour I use is set to a specific layer and starts as

100% black, which gets a colour overlay on top and

textures applied as masks. I prefer doing this because it allows

me to change my mind later on and I can also use the layers to

screen-print the illustration any time.

Build the composition


This is the part where Photoshop takes over from any

traditional practice. I am a bit choosy with my colour

palettes and it takes me a few hours and many different versions

to decide. I used turquoise-vermillion colour contrast to create

drama and heighten the action.



A couple of colour layers are added on top with a reduced fill and

opacity with either Difference or Exclude used as the blend mode.

I then added a Color Lookup filter and I was done. I was listening to jazz

music continuously throughout the process to get into character and this

helped me create a detective/noir setting.


Tutorial Create a fantasy scene


Works with




What you’ll learn

How to use layers in a

creative way to compose a

fantasy scene

Time taken

5 hours

On the FileSilo

Download your free

resources at www.filesilo.





Photoshop gives wings to

my imagination. When I was

a kid, one of my dreams was

to leave my bedroom and go

straight to the park with my

friends. While I could never

do this in real life, it’s possible

in Photoshop!

“I’m an art director and

have 12 years of experience

in advertising agencies. I

learned and am still learning

to use Photoshop through

following tutorials.”

Create a

fantasy scene

Let’s use layers to create an imaginative scene where a girl leaves

her house and goes straight into a park


good way to create a unique scene is to

mix reality with fantasy. To do that, it’s

necessary to use your creativity to imagine

how these two different worlds will blend into the

same scene, in a way that is believable to the

viewer. So, let’s learn which are the best tools to

construct a scene like that.

To create this image, we will work with many

layers, so, it will be necessary to organise the

workflow. As we will create every single part of the

scene, it is also necessary to pay attention to the

colour tone of the layers. It also helps to link

adjustment layers and use the Feather to blend the

photos into the scene. Another essential part of

this tutorial is the mask command. This is an

amazing tool that will help to mix different photos.

After finishing this tutorial, create your own

fantasy/reality scene and send us your image!


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

Blend with mask


Create a new document (Cmd/Ctrl+N) at 230x180mm and place

‘sky_01.jpg’. Add ‘sky_02.psd’ and place it on the top. To blend the

image, click the Add Layer Mask button, set the Foreground colour to

black, use the Brush Tool (B) and erase the unwanted parts, as above.

Link the adjustment layers


Add the Chair layer from ‘bedroom_02.psd’ and place it

as above. Set up a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer,

hold Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt and click on the chair layer, then set it to 0,

-33, 0. Make a mask (Step 1) to blend the image with the scene.

Place the floor


Add the Floor layer from

‘bedroom_02.psd’ and place it below

the Chair layer. To make it fill the space, as in

the image, duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and

make a mask (Step 1) to blend.

Enhance the details


Add Layer 01 from ‘bedroom.psd’ and place it behind the Chair layer. To enhance the

details in the image, duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J), apply the High Pass filter

(Filter>Other>High Pass) set to 1px and change the blend mode to Soft Light. Finally, make a

mask (step 1) to blend the image.

Add some details


Let’s add a few details to give depth to the scene. Add the Carpet

layer from ‘bedroom.psd’ and place as in the image. Then, add

the Top layer from the same file and place it at the top of the bedroom.

Finally use a mask (Step 1) to blend.

Create the shadows


Set the Foreground colour to #aa754e, create a new

layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N) and pick the Brush Tool (B).

Then, go to the Brush Preset Picker and choose a Soft Round

brush. Change the blend mode to Multiply, adjust the Opacity to

50% and paint in the shadows.


Tutorial Create a fantasy scene

Expert tip

Attention to

the details

Always pay attention to

highlights and shadows in

your scene – they will help

make it look realistic. Because

the female figure is going

from a bedroom to a park, it’s

necessary to pay attention to

the highlights and shadows

to make the scene believable.

To enhance the shadows of

her face, use the Burn Tool (O),

set the Exposure to 50% and

gently paint the darkest parts.

To enhance highlights, use the

Dodge Tool (O) and repeat the

same procedure.

Apply the Feather command


Add the ‘biker.psd’ and place it in the

centre of the scene. Activate the

layer selection (Cmd/Ctrl+click on the layer

thumbnail), apply the Feather (Shift+F6) set to

1px, invert the selection (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+I),

and press delete three times. Finally, link a

Levels adjustment layer (Step 2) and set it to

12, 1.00, 247.

Use the Free Transform Tool


Duplicate the biker layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J), activate

the selection (Cmd/Ctrl+click the thumbnail),

set the Foreground colour to black, paint it (Alt+Del)

and use a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur) at

10px. Use the Free Transform Tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T) then

hold Cmd/Ctrl and adjust the perspective.

Create the park


Add the ‘skateboard.jpg’ and place it below the bedroom/biker layers. Add

‘skateboard_02.jpg’ and place it above ‘skateboard.jpg.’ Use a mask (step 1)

to erase the unnecessary parts and to blend the images. Link a Colour Balance

adjustment layer (step 2) set to 0, 0, -39, as well as a Levels one set to 24, 1.00, 255.

Layer group with mask


Create a new layer (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N) and use

the Pen Tool (P) to draw a shape as shown

above. Activate the selection (Cmd/Ctrl+Enter), create a

layer group (Cmd/Ctrl+G) and press the Add Layer

Mask button. After that, place the Floor layer from

‘bedroom_02.psd’ inside the folder.

Add the grass


Add ‘grass.psd’ and place it below the bedroom layers,

then add ‘grass_02.psd’, place it above and make a mask

(step 1) to blend. Create a new layer, set the colour to black, use

the Brush Tool (B), change the blend mode to Soft Light and

brush in the shadow.

Compose the scene


Let’s add more elements to make the scene realistic. First, add

‘plane.psd’ and set the Feather command (step 7) to 1px. Then, add

‘birds.jpg’ and apply the Feather at 0.5px.


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

Add depth to the scene


Now, add ‘leaves.psd’ and place at the top of the scene. To give

more depth to the image, apply a Gaussian Blur (Filter>Blur>

Gaussian Blur) set to 15px. Duplicate it (Cmd/Ctrl+J) and place at the

bottom of the scene, as in the image above.

Change the colour


Add ‘butterfly.psd’ and place it on the grass. To change its

colour, link a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer (step 2)

and set to 197, 53, 0. Add the ‘butterfly.psd’ again, place it under

the leaf on the bottom and apply a 10px Gaussian Blur filter.

Use the gradient



Add ‘basketball.

psd’, duplicate it,

flip it vertically


Vertically) and change the

Opacity to 30%. Add a

mask, use the Gradient

Tool (G), go to the Gradient

Picker, select Foreground

to Transparent and gently

erase the image. Now

add ‘soccer.jpg’ and

‘roller_skates.jpg’ and

repeat the procedure.

Simple highlights


Add Layer_01 from ‘smoke.psd’, change the blend mode to Screen

and place it in the middle of the scene. Then, add Layer_02 from

the same photo, place it at the bottom of the scene and change the blend

mode to Screen.

Set the colour tone


Let’s use different adjustment layers for both sides.

Create a layer group with mask (step 10) and for the left

side, use Brightness/Contrast (0, 20), Levels (19, 1.00, 255), Photo

Filter (Warming 85) and Colour Lookup (3Strip.look). For the right

side, add Levels (7, 1.00, 255), Brightness/Contrast (15, 16), Photo

Filter (Warming 85) and Colour Lookup (3Strip.look).



Tutorial Turn any photo into an abstract oil painting

Want different results? Repeat the Glass and Oil Paint filters

On the FileSilo

Download your free

resources at www.filesilo.



Works with




What you’ll learn

How to use filters to

apply an abstract painting

effect on a photo

Time taken

1-3 hours




“We found that combining

Photoshop’s Oil Paint filter

with other filters can yield

some interesting results.

“Being both an artist,

under the moniker kittozutto,

and graphic design studio,

BÜRO UFHO, we have been

using Photoshop for over

10 years. In 2015, we had

the privilege to be invited

by Adobe, together with 70

artists, to celebrate its 25th

Anniversary of Photoshop.”

Turn any photo

into an

abstract oil


Transform a photograph with the use of filters in Photoshop

There are several ways to create an oil

painting effect in Photoshop. The fastest

and easiest way is a rather cool feature, aptly

named the Oil Paint filter. It enables you to take

any photo and easily turn it into a ‘painting’ by

tweaking a few sliders. As is the case with many

other Photoshop filters, using it alone creates a

common-looking, much less interesting result.

However, combining it with other filters opens up a

whole new world of possibilities.

In this tutorial, we’ll take you through the process

of transforming a mandrill photo into an illustration,

and show you how we use filters in Photoshop to

speed up and achieve a painting effect. We’ll also

show you how to prepare your image before

applying the filters to get the result we want. Check

out our Expert Tip for more specific advice on the

Blend-If sliders.

The images used in this tutorial are all provided

on the FileSilo. You can also download the layered

PSD to get a better understanding of exactly how

you can build up your artwork. Once you have

worked through the technique, you can try applying

it to other kinds of photos.

Import the image


Begin by searching for your desired

image from your own library or the

web. We will be using a mandrill image we

found as a base for our painting. Place your

guidelines according to the rule of thirds,

and drag the image into your canvas.

Content-Aware fill


We are going to extend the image.

Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool,

click and drag to make a selection at the top

of the image. Go to Edit>Fill>Content-Aware.

Repeat to extend the bottom and both sides

of the image.

Patch Tool


Depending on your image, some

weird artifacts may result. We’re

going to remove these by using the Patch

Tool. Select the area you wish to clean up,

and simply drag to the area you wish to

sample. Repeat this a few times to

thoroughly remove any strange areas.


Tutorial Turn any photo into an abstract oil painting

Liquify Tool


Go to Filter>Liquify. Using the Forward

Warp Tool, slowly push the beard

outwards so that the edges are vertically

straight to keep the illustration clean and

geometric. Using the Bloat Tool, click on the eye

a few times to enlarge it.

Add details


Using a black Soft Round brush, roughly brush in the mouth. On a new layer, use a

white Soft Round brush to paint over the highlight areas, use black for shadow

areas. Set the blending mode to Soft Light to make these areas more defined.

Achieve symmetry


Select the left side of the image with

the Rectangular Marquee Tool,

Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate, Cmd/Ctrl+T to

transform. Right-click and select Flip

Horizontal. Shift the layer accordingly to

achieve symmetry.

High Pass sharpening


We’re going to bring out some of the

details for the oil painting effect. Go

to Filter>Other>High Pass. Set Radius to 1px.

Set the layer blending mode to Linear Light,

Opacity at 40%. Select the layers and Cmd/

Ctrl+E to merge them.

Glass Filter


Go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Distort>

Glass. Set Distortion and

Smoothness to 15, Texture: Tiny Lens,

Scaling: 200%. Check Invert. Your image will

now be transformed into an abstract pattern.

Oil Paint filter


Now enlarge the image to fill up the canvas. Go to

Filter>Oil Paint. Set Stylization and Cleanliness to 5,

Scale to 10, Bristle Detail and Shine to 0. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+F to apply

the filter again.

Bas Relief filter


Use Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate the layer. Go to Filter>Filter Gallery>

Sketch>Bas Relief. Set Detail to 13, Smoothness to 3, Light at Top

Left. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+U to desaturate the layer. Set the blending mode

to Overlay, with Opacity at 30%.


Want different results? Repeat the Glass and Oil Paint filters

Noise filter


Import ‘paint-268231.jpg’ and drag into your

canvas. Desaturate the image. Set blending

mode to Soft Light, Opacity to 25%. On a new black

layer, go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Set Amount to

55%, select Uniform, check Monochromatic. Set

blending mode to Soft Light.

Selective Colour


Add a Selective Colour adjustment

layer. We’re going to add a more

purplish hue than the original colours. On the

Cyans channel, set Cyan to -55, Magenta: +22,

Yellow: -100. On the Blues channel, set Cyan:

-100, Magenta: +35, Yellow: -100.

Expert tip



Blend-If is a powerful tool for

layer blending that lets you

manipulate specific areas to

blend based on light and dark

tone. Under layer Blending

Options, holding down the Opt/

Alt key and drag the Blend-If

slider out. Holding down the

Alt/Option key causes the

slider to split in half. This will

smooth your layer blending

and create more transition

between the two layers. We’ve

used this to only affect the

Magenta Photo Filter on the

darker tones of the image.

Photo Filter adjustment


Add a Warming Filter (85) Photo Filter

adjustment layer. Next, add a

Magenta Photo Filter adjustment layer. Use

the Blend-If slider to avoid affecting the white

areas so that the whites don’t become too

magenta. Check out our Expert Tip on the

Blend-If slider.

More Selective Colour


Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment

layer. Set Hue: +5, Saturation: +35.

Add a second Selective Colour adjustment

layer. On the Reds channel, set Magenta and

Yellow to -24. On the Neutral channel, set

Cyan: +14, Magenta: -8, Yellow: -13.

Levels and Brightness


Add a Levels adjustment layer. Pull in

the blacks to 44, and whites to 199.

Use the Blend-If slider to avoid affecting the

black areas and only brighten the light areas.

Add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer

and set Contrast to 11.

Import texture


Import ‘red-652716.jpg’ and drag into your canvas.

Desaturate the image. Set blending mode to Soft Light,

Opacity to 50%. On a new layer, use a white Soft Round brush to

paint over highlight areas, black for shadow areas. Set blending

mode to Soft Light to make these areas more defined.

Texturizer filter


Go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Texture>Texturizer. Set Texture to Canvas,

Scaling to 200%, Relief to 50, Light at Top. Set the layer blending

mode to Soft Light, Opacity to 50%.


Tutorial Create a 3D-style logo


Works with




What you’ll learn

Use the Pen Tool, layer

styles, blend modes, Smart

Objects for a 3D effect

Time taken

1.5 hours



On the FileSilo

Download your free

resources at www.filesilo.





“Logo design is a big aspect

of my daily work. I’m always

asked to create a number of

styles and I’m grateful for the

techniques and tools I can

use in Photoshop to help me

design all these logos.

“I’m a professional graphic

designer/illustrator and

Photoshop is my go-to

platform. I enjoy playing

around with Photoshop

to mix photography and

illustration to build an image.”

Create a 3Dstyle


Discover how to create an out-of-this-world logo design using layer

styles, Smart Objects and Blur filters

Every great company needs a brand logo – if

it is original and eye-catching, it will help a

company stand out. Most logos use

typography, but it would be too ordinary to just

use a standard font; why not create your own?

Planning what you want your logo to look like is

one of the most important stages in logo design

development. Use the name of the company to

help you decide on design elements, for example

in this tutorial the company is called ‘Planet

Direct’, therefore a rocket with some stars is a

happy complement to the company name; really

have fun with your design.

In this tutorial you will learn how to create an

original and eye-catching logo by using a number

of different Photoshop tips and tricks. Discover

how to give your text depth and how to customise

it with the help of the Pen Tool and layer styles.


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

Create a background


Create a black 240x190mm document, then

grab the Ellipse Shape Tool and draw a large

circle in the centre of the canvas. Hold Shift for a

symmetrical circle. Now Ctrl/right-click the circle layer

and click Convert to Smart Object. Then go

Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and amend the Radius to

250px and set the layer blend mode to Soft Light.

Background vignette


Draw the same sized circle as Step 1,

but this time change the shape

options to Subtract From Shape. This will

give you a vignette shape. To soften it, convert

the shape to a Smart Object and add a 250px

Gaussian Blur. Now set the blend mode to

Vivid Light and Opacity to 50%.

Expert tip

No Pen


For most of this tutorial, you

will mostly be using layer

styles, the Ellipse Tool and

Blur filters, which Elements

users can do. Unfortunately,

Elements users don’t have

access to the Pen Tool, and

this tutorial uses the Pen Tool

to trace around the sketch

from step 3. Instead of using

the Pen Tool, use the Brush

Tool very carefully to trace

around the sketch, but still

make sure you trace each

section of the sketch into

separate layers.

Draw the logo


Open ‘fo_start_

image.jpg’ from

the FileSilo and use the

Pen Tool, set to Shapes,

to trace around the

sketch. It is very

important to this tutorial

that each section of the

logo is on its own shape

layer; for instance, the

front part of the rocket

will be on a separate layer

to the inner 3D section.

Add a gradient overlay


Once you have drawn the whole logo, it is time to add

some colour to it. Start by adding a gradient to the front

of the rocket. To do this, bring up the layer styles and select

Gradient Overlay. Make the first colour stop a dark orange and

the second a light orange.

Align gradients together


When creating an illustration with a large number of gradient

styles, you want to ensure the Align with Layer box is always

ticked. Ensuring the box is ticked means all your gradients will

simultaneously align together, so if you move the angle on one gradient

layer style, all your gradients will move with it.


Tutorial Create a 3D-style logo

Expert edit

Enhance the shadows

Black layer


Only darken the inside shapes

of the logo, eg the inside of the

T. Firstly create a new layer above the T

shape, fill with black, set Opacity: 70%.

Glow with inner shadow


After applying the gradients, add a

white glowing key line around the

foreground shapes, for instance, the front

section of the rocket, stars, etc. To do this,

select Inner Shadow from layer styles and

change the Blend Mode to Screen and Color

to white, Distance: 8px, Choke: 2%, Size: 10px,

and check Use Global Light.

A glowing key line


Add an Outer Glow to all the shape

layers you added an inner shadow to

and amend the following settings to create a

soft glow: Blend Mode: Soft Light, Opacity:

60%, set Color to a light orange, Spread: 10%,

and Size: 50px.

Create a selection


Start by creating a selection

around the inside of the T shape.

To select a shape layer, simply Cmd/rightclick

on its layer’s thumbnail.

Enhance the glow


To make the

glows really pop,

create a new layer,

change its blend mode to

Overlay and make a

selection around the front

part of the rocket. Grab a

white soft brush and

change its Opacity to 40%,

then start to brush

around the edges of the

rocket. Repeat for the rest

of the front shapes.

Add a mask


Now click the Add Layer Mask

button located at the bottom of the

Layers panel and create a mask over the

new black layer.

Brush to erase


With the mask thumbnail

selected, ensure the Foreground

colour is set to black and use the Brush

Tool to erase any black fill you don’t need.

Create a dark shadow


To darken the inner sections of the

logo, eg the inside of the rocket,

start with the inside section of the flame,

select its shape layer and select the Inner

Shadow layer style. Change the settings to;

Blend Mode: Multiply, Color: black, Opacity: 21,

Distance: 14px, Choke: 15% and Size 38px.

Outer Box Blur glow


First duplicate the entire rocket and

flame shapes, merge them together

and move behind the shape layers. Next, add

an outer glow and amend the settings to

Blend Mode: Soft Light, Opacity: 40%, set

Color to white, Spread: 20%, and Size: 3px.

Finally, go Filter>Blur>Box Blur and change

the Radius to 30px.


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

Expert edit

Try these adjustments

A final outer glow


This time, duplicate all the foreground

shapes; this will include the front part

of the rocket, circles, flame and letters. Once

duplicated, merge the layers together,

change the Opacity to 70% and the Fill to 0%

and add an Outer Glow layer style. Amend

the settings to: Opacity: 60%, Spread: 10%

and Size: 40px.

A starry foreground


Start by opening ‘pex_119685_space.jpg’

from FileSilo, go to Select>All and hit

Cmd/Ctrl+C to copy the starry background.

Head back to your logo canvas and hit Cmd/

Ctrl+V to paste it into the canvas. Next, change

the Opacity of the starry image to 70% and the

blend mode to Colour Dodge.

Gradient maps

Gradient maps add different hues,

depending on where light and dark tones

are. They’re great for transforming the

entire colour of an image with a few clicks.




Duplicate the


vignette from Step 2, drag

it to the top of your

Layers panel and change

the blend mode to Soft

Light. Now amend the

Gaussian Blur filter. To do

this, simply double-click

Gaussian Blur on the

layer and amend the

Radius to 341.6px.

Colour Balance

The Colour Balance adjustment will

enhance the colours already in an image.

Tweak between Cyan/Red, Magenta/Green

and Yellow/Blue.

Colour Lookup

For a professional-looking tone, Colour

Lookup can help. Choose from the dropdown

menus and switch the blend mode to

lessen the effect if need be.

Hue/Saturation adjustment


Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment

layer to enhance the colours of the

overall logo design. To add a new adjustment

layer, go Layers>New Adjustment

Layer>Hue/Saturation and amend the

Saturation to +22.

Brighten up the canvas


Finally, brighten and boost the

contrast to add a final touch of depth.

This time, use a Brightness/Contrast

adjustment layer and amend the Brightness

to +9 and Contrast to +15.


The Curves feature is a versatile

adjustment: use it to alter the red, green or

blue of your image, as well as the whites,

blacks, lights and darks.


Tutorial Create a 3D-style logo

Logo measurements Essential dimensions for social media platforms



Logo/profiLe –

180 x 180px

Any logo or profile

picture must be a

minimum of 180 x 180px,

but it’ll appear as 160 x

160px and be displayed

throughout as 32 x 32px.

Cover photo –

828 x 515px

Any images used for

your cover photo will

be stretched to 828

x 515px, but you can

upload an image that’s

a minimum of 399 x


Logo/profiLe –

400 x 400px

The logo or profile image

area on Twitter uploads

as 400 x 400px. You can

upload JPEGs, PNGs or


Cover photo –

1500 x 500px

Any image you upload as

your cover photo should

be a wide landscape, but

Twitter will reduce it to

1500 x 500px. Keep the

main focus in the middle

of the image.



video upLoads –

1280 x 760px

Every video needs a

display image, and this

should measure in at

1280 x 760px, as this

qualifies as HD, with a

16:9 ratio.

Cover photo –

2560 x 1440px

Keep this to 2560 x 1440px

to have the highest

resolution. Cover photo

sizes will vary depending

on device; it will show up

as 1546 x 423px on your

mobile, for example.

Logo/profiLe –

128 x 128px

Your profile image on

Tumblr will be shrunk

down to 128 x 128px,

but will show up as 64

x 64px when scrolling

through your news feed.

Max iMage size

– 500 x 750px

Images will show up

in the news feed as

a maximum of 500

x 750px, but you can

upload images as large

as 1280 x 1920px.





Download our digital

trial offer now!





Tutorial Create block animals with Liquify

On the FileSilo

Download your free

resources at www.filesilo.



Works with




What you’ll learn

How to use the Liquify

filter’s Forward Push Tool

and Freeze Mask Tool

Time taken

1 hour




“As an animal lover, I oten

ind that cute furry critters

become the focus of my

designs. Combined with my

interest in the surreal, this

block efect has me hooked.

“I am a designer and

illustrator and have been

using Photoshop ever since

forming my own design and

illustration company, Cool

Surface Ltd, ten years ago.”

Create block

animals with



You may think small furry animals are pretty

cute to begin with, but this charming 3D

animal-cube effect gives them a whole new

level of adorable quirkiness. Created almost

exclusively with the Liquify filter, it is a simple

technique that is so satisfying and fun to use, with

amusing results!

One key thing to remember is that you only get

one level of undo within the Liquify filter. Undo

once, and that’s it – no going back any further. This

can be very frustrating when you have been

carefully pushing pixels for several minutes only to

fun pushing pixels around to

make this cute cuboid gerbil

make a couple of dodgy brush strokes and ruin it

all! For this reason, we recommend you periodically

click OK to apply the progress you have made with

the filter so far, for example immediately after you

have edited one small body part, then return to the

Liquify filter again to continue with your artwork.

As you manipulate the image, imagine the

animal’s body as being made up of 3D shapes;

think about their positions, the perspective, and

how the different shapes would connect with each

other. Once you get the hang of it, you can have

fun trying this technique out on other animals, too.


Check out the latest blog www.photoshopcreative.co.uk

Open the start image


Open ‘pix_1238228_gerbil.psd’. Press Cmd/

Ctrl+J to duplicate the background layer, in

order to preserve a copy. Go to Filter>Liquify (or press

Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+X) and select the Forward Warp Tool.

Choose a Brush Size of around 400, Brush Density: 16,

Brush Pressure: 100 and Brush Rate: 20.

Straighten the back


Start to click and drag along the left edge of the gerbil’s body to manipulate

it into a straight edge. Using a larger brush size creates a more natural

result and prevents the fur projecting over the edges from being compressed.

Create corners and edges


Create a diagonal edge at the top of the gerbil’s back, leading towards his ear. Use a

smaller brush size (around 80) to create a sharper corner at the top of his back.

Flatten the top of the head.

Edit the leg


On the right leg, create a flattened

edge along the bottom, with a

corner each side, dragging outwards with a

large brush size, then refining the corners

with a smaller size. Flatten and straighten the

underneath of the gerbil’s body.

Now the other leg


On the left leg, create a 3D cuboid shape, remembering to use a

fairly large brush size (around 150) to prevent the edge becoming

compressed and losing the soft blurred appearance. A smaller brush (eg

60) can be used to sharpen the corners.

Apply a Freeze Mask


To preserve the progress made so far, select the Freeze

Mask Tool within the Liquify filter and apply a mask over

the straightened edges of the gerbil, and also over his paws as

we want to leave these unchanged.


Tutorial Create block animals with Liquify

Expert tip



When you activate the Liquify

filter, you enter a dedicated

workspace. The same rules

for keyboard shortcuts

apply within this window.

Each Liquify tool has its own

shortcut (eg press W for the

Forward Warp Tool, or press

F for the Freeze Mask Tool),

and other common keyboard

shortcuts can also be used.

For example, the bracket keys

can be used to adjust brush

sizes, and while using the

Freeze Mask Tool, you can

hold Alt and paint to subtract

from the masked area.

Cheek and arms


Switch back to the Forward Warp Tool, drag

his cheek down and left and create more of a

squared shape. Alter his arm to create a sharper

right-angled point at the elbow, then a straight edge

along the bottom and up the left side of the arm.

Extend the Freeze Mask


Once you are happy with these

areas, paint over them with the

Freeze Mask Tool to preserve them, then

also apply the Freeze Mask to the whiskers

on the right side to prevent them from

becoming distorted.

Edit the nose


Switch back to the Forward Warp

Tool. Straighten the edges of the

bridge of the gerbil’s nose, and straighten the

underneath of his mouth. Reduce the brush

size so you have the necessary control to

turn the pink tip of his nose into a square.

Create a rectangular ear


With the Freeze Mask preserving the straight edge of the gerbil’s back, use the

Forward Warp Tool on the left ear to create a rectangular shape. Zoom in to tidy and

straighten the edges, and adjust the fur within the ear so it maintains a natural curved shape.

Tweak the other ear


For the right ear, think of it as a similar 3D shape to the left ear, but

angling away from the viewer. Create a diagonal top edge, then a

straight vertical edge on the right.

Now for the eyes


Apply the Freeze Mask on an area around the eye, then

use the Forward Warp Tool to create a square-shaped

eye. Use a small brush size to make the corners and edges

sharp. Also straighten the light and shadows within the eye.

Flatten the right eye.


Check out the latest blog www.photoshopcreative.co.uk

Feet and tail


Slightly straighten the edges of the feet and toes, but take care not

to create edges or corners that are too sharp, as this will contrast

unnaturally with their blurriness. Straighten the tail, working your way

along it gradually, and square off the tip.

Add a shadow layer


Add a new layer at the top of the layer stack, name it

Shadows, set the blending mode to Multiply and layer

Opacity to 30%. Use a Soft Round Brush with R: 80 G: 47 B: 25 to

paint in shadows beneath the gerbil.




Keep the


angular with straight

edges to match the

gerbil’s new body

shape. To create a

straight line, hold

down Shift while

left-clicking at the

start and then the end

point of your line.

Some shading


Reduce the brush Opacity to 30% and apply some faint shading underneath parts of

the gerbil that would project and cast a shadow, for example, beneath his arms and

chin. Keep these shadows subtle, and again apply them with straight edges to match the form

of the gerbil.

Finishing touches


Check your image over and make any

final tweaks or edits with the Liquify

filter. Finally, give your image a boost by

adding a Brightness/Contrast adjustment

layer at the top of the layer stack. Set the

Brightness to +7 and Contrast to +3.


How I made Amniotic


Time taken

48 hours

The artist

Christian Orrillo

“I’m Christian

Orrillo, better

known as

Krizpi, and I’m

a self-taught,

contemporary Peruvian

artist. My work expresses

many personal concepts

related www.thepixelprositess.com

with fantasy

world, @thepixelprosites full of beautiful

characters and dreamlike

scenes. Surrealism and

classical beauty are constant

elements in my work,

embellished by an iridescent

colour palette and influenced

by the aesthetic of anime,

manga art and pop culture.

You can find more of my work

at www.behance.net/krizpi.”


How Christian Orrillo created a beautifully iridescent

self-portrait from a Photoshop brush sketch

Christian Orrillo is an artist who knows a lot about intensity,

whether he’s creating something incredibly detailed or colourful.

His brightly hued portraits have racked up over 25,000 views on

Behance, but his digital art journey had humble beginnings. “Photoshop

is and has been for a long time my first digital creative tool,” he says. “I

remember the first time I used it in 2002, when I drew and painted my

own characters using the Brush tool and a mouse.”

Over the years, he’s developed more than just his trademark

iridescent style with the program. “I intuitively learned to use my

favourite tools such as the Brush, Liquify, Smudge. Without these tools

I cannot imagine creating what I currently make.” It’s clear that such a

unique style takes time to evolve, and Christian’s mastery of the more

digital art-focused tools in Photoshop is thanks to time and practice.

With a great eye for colour and detail, his work looks steeped in

traditional art influences, but Christian says he loves working in

Photoshop. “I really enjoy drawing and painting a lot in Photoshop,

experimenting with different brushes and textures. I also like to use

photo-editing tools to give a realistic touch to my art.”

Making a sketch


I made a rough sketch of what I had

on my mind; in this case, a close-up

of my face to which I wanted to incorporate a

kind of circular shape as a space helmet. I

usually use a brush with a graphite pencil

texture to sketch and draw on white canvas.

Defining shape


Once I have defined the basic

composition, I add strokes of colour

and experiment with textures. Here, I played

with the contrast between pink and blue and

added volume to the character, painting soft

shadows and some delicate highlights.

Finishing the piece


I then started to focus on details,

such as thin strands of hair, little

sparks around the face, highlights on the

eyes, texture on the lips and the bubble over

the head. This required extra work to paint all

the iridescent colours and reflections.




Ideal for eager newcomers and seasoned pros alike, Photoshop® Tips, Tricks &

Fixes is an essential companion for anyone who wants to get the most out of

Adobe’s incredible image-editing software.



Ordering is easy. Go online at:


Or get it from selected supermarkets & newsagents


Advanced 3D modelling in Photoshop

Share your illustrations Tweet us @pshopcreative


Advanced 3D modelling in Photoshop

On the FileSilo

Download your free

resources at www.filesilo.



Time taken

4 hours




“I love creating 3D objects

and combining them with

ordinary photos to create

beautiful compositions. The

3D tools enable me to create

simple and sometimes

complex objects.

“I got involved in the digital

world more than 15 years

ago and have been working

as a freelance artist ever

since, creating all kinds of

multimedia projects.”


modelling in


Learn the essential skills to transforming 2D textures into 3D

objects and create a fantastic cityscape

Are you ready to jump into the 3D world?

The Photoshop 3D tools are a great place to

start. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to add

another dimension to flat images using the

Photoshop 3D commands. You’ll learn how to work

within the dedicated 3D environment, apply

textures, create 3D objects, modify the lighting and

render the final composition.

To work in the 3D environment in Photoshop,

you will need to juggle three different panels

simultaneously. The first is the Layers panel; here

you will place the regular images, create 3D layers

and merge the 3D models. The second is the 3D

panel. It shows the elements related to the 3D

objects; 3D layers, Material layers, Light, and

Camera/view. Finally, the third is the Properties

panel. After you select the elements in the 3D

panel, the Properties panel lets you tweak the

settings. For example, you can deform the object,

add material, define the light intensity and more.

Pay close attention to each step, because you’ll

have to jump back and forth to each panel. Check

the Expert tip for extra advice on how to use the

camera/view and the on-screen controls.

Prepare your document


Start off by creating a new canvas, measuring around 1800x1200

pixels. Now grab the Gradient tool (G) and apply a bluish radial

gradient over the canvas. Switch to the 3D workspace for access to all 3D

panels, by going to Windows>Workspace>3D.

Create a 3D object


Place ‘fo_map.png’ and press Return/Enter. Now

transform it into a 3D object. In the 3D panel, check 3D

Extrusion and click Create. In the Properties panel, set the

Extrusion Depth to 150 pixels, then click on Coordinates and set

the X Rotation Angle to 90° and click Move to Ground.


Share your illustrations Tweet us @pshopcreative

Expert edit

3D type effect

Adjust the map material


Now it’s time to tweak the materials. In the 3D panel, click ‘fo_map Front Inflation

Material’. Next, in the Properties panel, set the Reflection to 30% and Refraction to

1.100; keep the other settings as they are.

The Type Tool


You can easily transform any text

into a 3D object. Grab the Type Tool

(T), choose a bold font, define the colour

and then type your text.

Apply a new material


In the 3D panel, select the ‘fo_map_

Extrusion Material’. In the Properties

panel, click on the Diffuse menu and then

click Replace Texture. Choose ‘fo_texture_

map.png’ and click Open. Time to edit the

texture. Click on the Diffuse menu and choose

Edit UV Properties. Set the Scale U/X to 4.5%

and click OK.

Create a 3D building


In the Layers panel, place ‘fo_bldg1_

front.png’ and press Return/Enter.

Now create a 3D object. In the 3D panel, click

3D Extrusion and click Create. In Properties,

keep the Extrusion Depth as it is.

3D extrusion


Now create a 3D layer. Right-click

on the text layer and choose ‘New

3D Extrusion from Selected Layer’. In the

Properties panel, adjust the Extrusion

Depth to suit.

Bevelled edges


In the Properties panel, click on

the Cap button. Set the Bevel

Width at 25, keep the Angle at 45° and

change the contour to Cone.

Decal technique


In the Secondary View, click Select/

View Camera and choose Right, then

swap Main and Right views. Now, in the

Layers panel, place ‘fo_bldg1_right_view.png’.

Move over the building and click Return/Enter.

To apply the new material using the decal

technique, simply go to Layer>Merge Down


Edit texture


Place the material on the other side

of the building. In the 3D panel, click

‘fo_bldg1_front_Extrusion_Material’. In

Properties, open the Diffuse menu and

choose Edit Texture. In Layers, duplicate the

texture and flip horizontally, placing on the

right. Fill the area between the textures with

any colour and save the image.

Merge 3D


In the Layers panel, hold down the

Shift key and select the text layer

and the map layer, then go to 3D>Merge 3D

Layers. With the layers merged together,

place on top of the building.


Advanced 3D modelling in Photoshop

Expert tip



To access on-screen controls,

go to Edit>Preferences>

Performance and check Use

Graphic Processor. When in

the 3D environment, use the

Move Tool (V) to select and

move the axis or the camera

controllers. The 3D axis

enables you to move, rotate

and scale the 3D object using

X, Y and Z coordinates. Hover

the cursor over the axis, click

and drag to control the object.

Use the Secondary Camera/

View to see different angles so

you know precisely where the

objects are in the 3D space.

Create a new object


First, swap to the Main view. In the

Layers panel, place ‘fo_bldg1_frame.

png’. Drag over the image and hit Return/

Enter. Transform in a 3D layer. In the 3D panel,

click 3D Extrusion and click Create.

Add material


Let’s use a solid colour to fill the extrusion. In

the 3D panel, click ‘fo_bldg1_frame Extrusion

Material’. Click on the Diffuse colour. In the Color Picker

window, choose the white colour and click OK.

Merge 3D layers


To merge the 3D layers, go to the Layers panel, hold

down the Shift key on your keyboard and select ‘fo_

bldg1_frame’ and ‘fo_bldg1_front’. With both layers selected, go

to 3D>Merge 3D Layers.

Move 3D objects


In the Secondary view, select Top view and swap with the Main view.

In the 3D panel, select ‘fo_bdlg1_frame’ and use the on-screen

controls to move the image. Click on the blue arrow (Move on Z Axis) and

drag down to push the frame out of the building.

Now merge the objects


First, swap to the Main view. With the

building in the right position, it is now

possible to place it on the map. In the Layers

panel, select the 3D building and the 3D map

layers, then go to 3D>Merge 3D Layers.

Scale 3D objects


First, swap to the Top view. In the 3D

panel, hold Shift and select ‘fo_bldg1_

front’ and ‘fo_bldg1_frame’. Place the cursor

on the centre of the on-screen controls until

the Scale Uniformly command appears. Hold

down the mouse button and drag down to

scale the object.

Put in place


Keep both objects selected and use

the on-screen controls to move and

rotate the objects over the map. Now swap

to the Front view and again, use the onscreen

controls to drag the 3D building down

to the ground.


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Build the city


Repeat the techniques you’ve just

learned and start creating more

buildings. Remember to create the buildings

with all the details and extra objects before

merging with the 3D map. Swap the views

and use the on-screen controls to adjust the

position of each building.

Adjust the light source


Use the three scene-moving controls at the bottom left of the 3D workspace to move

the camera to adjust the position of the entire scene. Now, click on Infinite Light and

adjust the light source angle. Render the 3D object by going to 3D>Render 3D Layer.

Place 2D images


Now, bring in some regular images and place around the

scene. In the Layers panel, place ‘pix_headphone.jpg’.

Grab the Pen tool and select and mask the image. Resize it and

place on top of the building.

Create shadows


Duplicate the image and apply a layer mask. Open the Hue/

Saturation command (Cmd/Ctrl+U) and set the Lightness to -100.

Reduce the layer’s Opacity to make the shadow less intense, adjusting the

perspective using the Free Transform tool (Cmd/Ctrl+T) and mask it

around the buildings. Add more images and create the shadows.

Add some trees


Create a new layer.

Go to


Choose a tree type and

tweak the settings. Open

the Advanced tab and set

the Camera Tilt to 24.

Create the shadow as you

did in Step 18. Link the

layers. Duplicate, placing

the trees all over the map.

Custom brushes


Go to Edit>Presets>Preset Manager.

Click Load, locate ‘fo_clouds154.abr’

and then click Load. Create a new layer on

top of the layer stack. Grab the Brush Tool (B)

and paint a few clouds over the city.



Advanced Create an awesome space scene

Share your illustrations Tweet us @pshopcreative

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Time taken

2 hours




“Sometimes I think

Photoshop is truly out of this

world – I can create planets,

galaxies, stars and add a

variety of special efects

to a sketch using only the

amazing tools, ilters, and

features that are bundled in

the sotware. I have always

loved science-iction stories

– the idea of exploring

new planets and being an

astronaut were part of my

childhood dreams. Well,

thanks to Photoshop, now

I can inally satisfy those

dreams and create my own

space compositions.

“I started to get involved in

the digital world more than

15 years ago and have been

working as a freelance artist

ever since, creating all kinds

of multimedia projects and

tutorial guides.”

Create an


space scene

Explore new ways to use filters, layer styles and masks to create

an out-of-this-world composition

Let’s create an awesome space composition

from a sketch using some of the most

impressive features in Photoshop: filters, layer

styles and masks. In this tutorial, you’ll explore

each one of these powerful commands and

discover how to apply them for realistic effects. To

begin, you’ll create stars using the Noise filter and

then you’ll learn a clever way to add some twinkles

using the Motion Blur filter. Next, you’ll use the

Cloud filter, blending modes and brushes to create

a colourful nebula. Finally, you will place the images

and use the layer styles to add glows and apply

other techniques to complete the composition and

make it work as a whole.

You can try out different settings for the styles,

adjustments and blend modes, but it’s important to

use vivid colours for the nebula to make the image

stand out. If you are using Photoshop Elements,

don’t forget to check the side stepper for more

information on the editing process. There are so

many good tips and tricks in this tutorial that at the

end, you will have new skills to start using in your

own projects. Download the stock images from

FileSilo now, and start learning.

Set the stage


To begin, create a new document. Go to File>New. Name your

project Astronaut, set the Width to 230mm, Height to 310mm,

Resolution to 300ppi, change the Background Contents to Black and then

click OK. Double-click on the Background layer thumbnail and name the

layer Stars.

Create the stars


Go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Set Amount to 50%,

Distribution: Gaussian, check the Monochromatic box

and click OK. Now go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Set Radius to

3px and click OK. Use the Levels (Cmd/Ctrl+L) to create the stars.

Set the Inputs to 40, 0.05, 80.


Advanced Create an awesome space scene

Create twinkles


Duplicate the layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J). Now go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Set

Angle to 0°, Distance: 30px and click OK. Change the blend to Screen.

Duplicate the original layer again and apply the Motion Blur filter. Set the Angle to 90°,

keep the same Distance and change the blend mode to Screen.

Merge layers


Click on the Stars copy layer to make it active.

Press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+E to create a

merged copy of the layers. Now, hit Cmd/Ctrl+T and in

Options, set the Horizontal/Vertical Scales to 150%, go

to Edit>Transform>Flip Vertical, then press Return/

Enter. Change the blend mode to Screen.

Cloud filter


Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N) and name it

Cloud. Grab the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M). Hold Shift

and create a small selection. Press D to set the default

Foreground/Background colours and then go to

Filter>Render>Clouds. Press Cmd/Ctrl+T and scale up to fit on the

canvas. Change the blend mode to Color Dodge.

The nebula


Create a new layer (Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+N) and name it Nebula. Drag

the layer, placing under the Cloud layer. Grab the Brush Tool (B).

Choose a large soft-tip brush and set the brush’s Opacity to around 30%.

Choose a vivid blue colour and start painting the nebula (use different

colours to enhance the nebula).

Lens Flare



Create a new

layer on top of

the layer stack and

name it Lens Flare. Fill

it with black and then

go to Filter>Render>

Lens Flare. Set the

Brightness to 100% and

Lens Type: 105mm

Prime. Change the

blend mode to Screen.

Adjust the Levels (Cmd/

Ctrl+L) and resize it



Share your illustrations Tweet us @pshopcreative

Expert edit

Camera RAW in Elements

Place the astronaut


First, duplicate the Lens Flare layer (Cmd/Ctrl+J). Resize the image again and move to

a different place. Now go to File>Place Embedded ‘Astronaut.jpg’. Grab the Pen Tool (or

your favourite selection tool) and draw a path around the image. In Options, click Selection and

then create a layer mask (go to Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal Selection).

Save image


In Photoshop Elements, finish

step 18 and save the image. Go to

File>Save as. Name your image and Save

as type: JPEG, then click Save.

Layer styles


Go to


Style>Inner Glow. Set

the colour of the glow

to white. Reduce the

Opacity to 50% and

Size to 70px. Now,

click Outer Glow and

set the Opacity to

60%, pick blue as the

colour and Size: 35px,

then click OK.

Open the file


Open Camera RAW in Elements;

go to File>Open in Camera RAW or

click Opt/Alt+Cmd/Ctrl+O. Locate the JPEG

image you saved and click Open.

Tweak the settings


Keep the Exposure at 0, set the

Contrast to 10, Highlights to 0,

Shadows to 20, Whites to 20, Blacks to 0,

Clarity to 20, Vibrance to 30, Saturation to

0 and click Open Image.

Make adjustments


Go to Layer>New Adjustment

Layer>Photo Filter. Click Color and

choose #5fc2f1. Set Density to 60%, check

Preserve Luminosity and clip the layers.

(Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+G). Now, add a Levels

adjustment. Go to Layer>New Adjustment

Layer>Levels. Set the Inputs to 0, 0.70, 200

and clip the layers (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+G).

Add more adjustments


Go to Layer>New Adjustment

Layer>Photo Filter. Click Color and

choose #f65a08. Set Density to 100%, check

Preserve Luminosity and clip the layers. Grab

a soft-tip brush (B). Click on the layer’s mask

and hide the areas around the image.

Vignette effect


Go to Filter>Correct Camera

Distortion. Set the Vignette

Amount to -100 and Midpoint to +70 and

then click OK. Save your image by pressing



Advanced Create an awesome space scene

Blend modes


Let’s make the astronaut suit a bit warmer, in preparation for the

galaxy. Duplicate the Photo Filter layer and mask you’ve just created.

Clip the layers and then double-click on the layer’s thumbnail to open the

Properties panel. Choose Filter: Warming Filter (85), Density: 100%. Change

the blending mode to Color Dodge.

Place the galaxy


Go to File>Place Embedded ‘Galaxy.jpg’. In Options, set the

Horizontal/Vertical scale to 60% and rotate the image

about -15°, then press Return/Enter. Create a layer mask. Go to

Layer>Layer Mask>Reveal All. Grab a large soft-tip brush (B)

and mask the sky.

Create the Sun


Go to File>Place


‘Planet1.jpg’. Grab the

Elliptical Marquee Tool

(M). Select and mask the

image. Go to Layer>Layer

Style>Inner Glow. Choose

a light orange colour and

tweak the Opacity, Angle,

Distance and Size. Now,

click Outer Glow, choose

a light orange and tweak

the settings again, then

click OK.

Make adjustments


Press Cmd/Ctrl+T and scale down the image, placing it at

the centre of the galaxy. Grab a soft-tip brush (B) and

paint over the mask to partially hide the planet behind the clouds.

Click on the Planet layer thumbnail, then open the Levels (Cmd/

Ctrl+L). Adjust the Inputs to 60, 0.90, 180.

Add the Earth


Place ‘Earth.jpg’. Apply the Inner/Outer Glow styles as you did in

step 14. Create a new layer and name it Shadows/Highlights.

Change the blend to Overlay and clip the layers (Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+G). Grab

a soft-tip brush (B) and using a dark blue and light orange, paint the

shadows and highlights around the Earth.


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Place more



Press Cmd/Ctrl+T

and resize the

Earth image. Now, add

more planets and repeat

steps 14 and 16 to add the

layer styles and the


Reduce the planets’ size

and distribute around the

image. You can try

experimenting with

different blend modes for

the shadows/highlights

or reduce the opacity.

Expert tip

Scaling layer


When using Free Transform

(Cmd/Ctrl+T) to resize a layer

that has a layer style applied

to it, Photoshop will not scale

the style, so you have to

tweak the settings again. To

solve this problem, rasterize

the layer style by going to


Style and then use the Free

Transform Tool. After placing

the planets and adding the

shadow and highlights layer,

remember to link the layers

before you start scaling down

the images.

Create the visor’s reflection


Create a snapshot; press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+E.

Create a selection around the helmet visor, then create a

layer mask. Unlink the mask (click the link icon between the

thumbnail and the mask). Resize the image, placing the sun

inside the mask. Change the blending mode to Lighten.

Smart Object


Create a new snapshot, press Shift+Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+E

and name it Final. Now, transform the image into a

Smart Object. Go to Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart

Object. Let’s make some adjustments to enhance the colours

using the Camera RAW filter.

Camera RAW



Go to


RAW filter. Keep the

Exposure at 0, set the

Contrast to 10, Highlights:

0, Shadows: 20, Whites:

20, Blacks: 0, Clarity: 20,

Vibrance: 30 and

Saturation: 0. Open the

Lens Correction panel,

set the Vignetting to -60

and then click OK.


Project focus Blending digital and traditional artwork

Blending digital and

traditional artwork

Typhaine Le Gallo had always used Photoshop just for embellishing hand-drawn work,

until she worked on a project that made Photoshop the focus

About the artist

Typhaine Le Gallo



Typhaine Le Gallo is originally

from France but is currently

living in Montreal, Canada. She

studied mathematics before

studying illustration with wellknown

Canadian illustrators

Gerard Dubois, Steve Adams and

Pol Turgeon. She has had work

published by Carte Blanche and

Chinese publishers, along with

having work shown at exhibitions.

Name of the project

Little Red Boubou

Finding one’s style in Photoshop is

something that every digital artist

does, but learning to develop and

evolve your style is something altogether

more challenging.

With her Little Red Boubou project, a

children’s book based on the fairy tale of Red

Riding Hood, Typhaine Le Gallo took her

original creative process and then adapted it

for the needs of the project. The subsequent

illustrations have been featured in Behance’s

Photoshop and Illustration galleries as a result,

proving that often the very best work comes

from innovation.

We caught up with Typhaine to ask about

her creative process, her influences, and how

she made these beautiful illustrations.

Have you always been interested

in art, Typhaine?

I initially studied mathematics and computer

programming; I worked for around 10 years as

a graphic programmer in the video game

industry. But I have always enjoyed drawing

and four years ago I decided to go back to

university to take illustration classes and study

for a graphic design baccalaureate. This is

where I discovered Photoshop.

As a graphic programmer, was

it easy to get to grips with

Photoshop when you first used it?

Yes, I found it to be mathematics applied on

pixels. The layers, masks and post-effects

work are very intuitive for me as I developed

similar features in video games. I chose to

take a professional photography class to learn

how to edit pictures, as to start with I simply

wanted to create illustrations with traditional

materials and enhance them in Photoshop.

Who would you say are your

biggest artistic influences?

My biggest artistic influence is Rebecca

Dautremer, a wonderful French children’s

book illustrator. I think she uses Photoshop

almost exactly for the same steps than my

own process: to improve a sketch, to test

colours before applying traditional mediums,

and to enhance the final scanned picture. A

few years ago I discovered another big

influence: the work of Victo Ngai, an editorial

illustrator. For the first time I discovered a

process almost entirely done in Photoshop,

which was truly resonating with me, and it

was the one I decided to use for the Little Red

Boubou project.

So was the Little Red Boubou

project completed entirely in the

Photoshop software?

Well, for Little Red Boubou I wanted to push

my use of Photoshop, but still use my usual

watercolour pencil textures. To do so, I drew

lines with black ink on paper, scanned the

drawings and a lot of textures created with

traditional mediums, and assembled the

whole thing in Photoshop. I always start with a

sketch on paper, then I move and distort the

objects and characters a lot in Photoshop until

I’m happy with the composition. I usually




For the skies,

I enlarged my

texture as

usual but I also

stretched it

horizontally to get

a different visual.



With this

technique it

is easy to get

punchy results

with coloured

lines, for example

the red lines on

the features of the

leopard’s head.


In all my

illustrations I

used scanned


pencil textures

that I zoomed in

to for textures

with strong and

large patterns.

All images © Typhaine Le Galloa

choose the colours by actually colouring my

sketch in Photoshop.

What are your favourite tools to

use in Photoshop?

Mainly the tools I use are the Magic Wand

Tool in conjunction with the Refine Edge

option. I also love using certain adjustment

layers, specifically Selective Color, Hue/

Saturation and Brightness/Contrast. For the

Little Red Boubou project, I created the

illustrations by selecting areas between the

black lines and using masks to apply my

scanned textures to the selected areas and to

the lines. Then for every area, I modified the

colour of the applied texture to get the exact

colour that I had in mind. Finally I added

shadows and highlights by darkening or

lightening the colours of my lines and textures

on specific areas.

This creative process is slightly

different to your usual, then.

What made you head in a new

direction for this project?

The style I used for the Little Red Boubou

project differs a little bit from my usual

illustrations, even if they are still similar. There

are two reasons for that: first I had a very

short amount of time to finish the illustrations

for this book, secondly as I wanted heavily

contrasted black-and-white drawings to be

able to select the areas easily, I used black ink

and continuous lines. As a result my lines are

a little bit stronger and the look is more ‘naive’

and colourful than usual, which was not a

problem for me as I thought it was a good

match to represent an African adaptation of

Little Red Riding Hood.

Has this project changed the way

you use Photoshop?

Nothing is better than to work on a whole

project of at least 10 illustrations by applying

the same Photoshop recipe on all the

illustrations. This recipe should be compatible

with what you like to do with traditional

mediums: for example, for me it was essential

to keep the textures of watercolour pencils. I

learnt a lot during the Little Red Boubou project.

I only really mastered the software after

spending a lot of time on these 32 pages of

illustrations in Photoshop. Before that I was

mainly trying to edit my pictures to fix the loss

of colours and contrast due to the scan. Since

then I am still using traditional techniques, but

now Photoshop is an essential part of my

process to get the final atmosphere and

palette of colours that I have in mind.


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18 pages of practical guides



Follow the



Create more in Elements…

Dodge and Burn your photos..............................74

Make a creative clock face..................................76

How to age female portraits.............................. 80

Create a surreal moon composition........... 82

Q&A: Common problems in Elements....... 90

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Digital art…

learn how to



Create this stunning digital artwork without a graphics tablet p86



does it mean?

Screen anD Multiply – These are

two of the most used blend modes.

The Screen mode will reflect pixels

to create something lighter, while

Multiply will do the opposite and

literally multiply the pixels of two

layers together. This makes

them both great for working

with light and shade.


Always use the Levels,

Brightness/Contrast and

Gradient Map adjustments

to harmonise the tone and

colour of your images.


On the FileSilo

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Tool focus…

Dodge and burn

your photos

Work non-destructively with tone using these simple tools

There are so many techniques for making your images pop.

Different photo editors use different skills to try and get their images

sharp, contrasted and bright, but two of the most popular tools for

finishing off your photos are Dodge and Burn.

Polar opposites but used in conjunction with one another, Dodge

and Burn are two of the oldest features, but are still popular for their

command of tone and brightness. They can be applied to any image

to improve the light and shade in your photos. They’re extremely

similar to brushes: think of them as being brushes that apply blend

modes to your work rather than colour. Namely, Color Burn in the

case of Burn, and Screen in the case of Dodge.



While you can apply the Dodge and Burn tools to any image, the

absolute best way to apply them is to do so non-destructively. By

making your edits on a new layer, you can use them almost like an

adjustment layer, enabling yourself to edit them again if needed,

reduce the opacity, or delete them completely. Editing nondestructively

is the most organised way to work, for these reasons,

but also so that you can view each of your edits as layers, and stay

on top of your workflow.

Dodge and Burn might not be fancy new tools added in the latest

few versions of Elements, but they’re solid, reliable and capable of

improving your photos to various degrees.


Retouch the tone Brush on light and shade in your pictures


Hit the Eye icon in

the Layers panel

to hide a layer

Create a grey layer


Open your image and create a new layer. On this layer, select

the colour #808080 and ill, before setting to Overlay. This is

neutral grey: anything that is this colour will become invisible, while

darker and lighter strokes will lighten and darken the photo.

Start burning


Select the Burn Tool (O). This is used to darken the image;

lightly brush over your picture, preferably at a low Opacity

setting, and make sure that you enhance the shadows all over, while

adding a few more shaded areas where necessary.

Dodge the image


The Dodge Tool (O) is in the bottom bar along with Burn, and

does the opposite of its counterpart. Use it to subtly touch

over the highlights in your image to balance out the shadows.

Adjust the Brightness/Contrast


Go to the Fill Layer icon, situated next to the Mask icon in the

Layers panel. Select Brightness/Contrast, and adjust both

sliders to improve the overall exposure and tone of the image.

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

Duplicate the layers

Dodge and Burn are great tools for improving

the tone of your pictures, but they do add a touch

of saturation. To avoid this, you can simply use

Screen and Multiply layers. Start by duplicating

your background layer twice (Cmd/Ctrl+J); one of

which we want to set to the Multiply blend mode,

the other to Screen.

Brush in shade

Select a small, soft, white, low-opacity brush.

Brush over the shadows in your image to

apply extra shade; this is particularly great for

contouring subjects or adding drama to the

image. You can reduce the layer opacity if you

want to lessen the effect of the Multiply layer.

Mask in the Screen

Once you’ve masked the Multiply layer, do the

same with the Screen layer. You may wish to

brush close to the lines brushed in the Multiply

layer to accentuate the contrast further. Feel free

to reduce the Opacity setting of this layer to bring

it more in line with the Multiply strokes.




Start image


Creative project…

Make a creative

clock face

Invest time in designing a clock, with layers, masks and edits

If you’re looking for an original way to display your artwork on a

wall, there aren’t many more novel ways than to create a clock

face. It’s something you’re bound to look at a few times a day, and

its only obstructions are a couple of hands across its face.

While creating a clock might be a creative idea you’d never even

considered though, it’s as much about the maths of measuring out

the degrees of a circle as it is about creating something bright and

colourful in Elements. One aspect that will really define your clock is

where you decide to place the numerals, and it’s important to get

On the FileSilo

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that right: but luckily Elements has all the tools necessary for

creating with precision.

Ultimately though, aside from the numerals and markers on the

clock for the 60 minutes, the design is totally up to you. We’ve taken

inspiration from a famous clock in Prague, and updated it with a

modern twist of a geometric font and beach photo; but you can

create whatever you like. You may want to take the idea of the circle

and run with that, or you might want to just create any kind of

design and add the numbers on after.

StaGE 1

Creating the


Build your template before

you add images to it


does it mean?

ROTATING – While we usually drag

the corner handles of a selection to

rotate it, you can also use the

bottom bar of Elements to choose a

degree to rotate by. If you’d like 12

equally-spaced points, simply

divide 360 – the number of

degrees in a circle – by 12

to work out how much

to rotate by.

Every big project has humble beginnings,

and creating a clock face is no different.

Before we dive into the creative bit, we’ve got to

organise the template, and this relies on maths as

much as it does design skills.

All we need is a circle for the clock face, and some markers to

show where the 12 hours should be. From there, we can create

whatever kind of design we like: just remember to hide the template

markers when you’re done.

Create a new document


Start by opening Elements and going to File>New. Choose a

square document, as the clock face is going to be round;

3000 x 3000px should be enough, and choose a resolution of 300ppi

so that the design is more detailed.



Hit alt/Opt+Cmd/

Ctrl+E to copy one

layer onto the

one below

Set up the template


Create a #808080 circle that ills the entire document, and on

a new layer, add a dot to the centre using the Brush Tool (B).

Hit Cmd/Ctrl+’ to bring up the grid, because this can help with scale

and precision.

Finish the template


Make a thin, black line with the Marquee Tool (M) at the top of

the clock on a new layer, duplicate (Cmd/Ctrl+J), Select All

(Cmd/Ctrl+A) and Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T). Look to the bottom panel of

Elements; rotate by 30 degrees, and then repeat this until the clock

has 12 points in place.


Insert your centre spot and 12

points onto new layers so that

you can hide these layers later on

when you finish your clock.


By using neutral grey, anything

you add to the clock face can

be set to Overlay to blend in.


Rotate a point 30 degrees

to create 12 points, but

rotate 6 degrees to create

60 points for each minute.


Keep this template and use

it in future for creating more

clocks if you wish to.



StaGE 2

Get stuck into the

clock design

Add a background and then

embellish it further

Once you have your template, you’re ready

to go ahead and get as creative as you like

with your clock. Check the internet for

inspiration, find a design or pattern you’d

like to create, and then start using Elements

to build up the clock face.

For our clock example here, we chose to

add a beach image, and the colours from

the Prague Astronomical Clock, for a bright,

exciting finish.

add the numbers


Grab the Type Tool, and enter your

numerals, 1 to 12, each on new

layers: we’ve gone for Roman numerals but

you can use what you like. Move each of the

numerals to their space on the clock, and

reduce the size of 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11

for effect. We’ve supplied the font used.

Create minute dots


Just as we created the markers for

the 12 hours, we’re going to create

dots for each of the 60 minutes on the clock

face. Use the technique from step 3 in stage

1 and rotate each dot 6 degrees.

Bring in the image


We’ve supplied a beach image for you

to drop into the project. Arrange it so

that the middle of the photo aligns with the

centre of the clock, resize if need be with the

Transform Tool and then Alt/Opt-click to clip to

the template.

Inject some colour


Our clock is going to be inspired by

the Astronomical Clock in Prague.

Use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to create a

circle on a new layer, and ill with colour:

follow the reference image supplied, or use

the ready-made one we created.

Blend it in


Group your layers, duplicate twice,

set one group to Soft Light, one to

Multiply, 75% Opacity and one to Screen, 50%

Opacity. Cmd/Ctrl-click the preview image on

each layer and then Ctrl/right-click, choose

Stroke (Outline), and add a 10px stroke of

#e5c578 before erasing the excess (E).


Perfect the clock


With the clock now looking more

complete, turn the text of each of the

numerals white by selecting each of them

and using the Type Tool. Then, go to

Layer>Layer Style>Style Settings and add a

Drop Shadow on each numeral with these

settings; Size: 0, Distance: 20, Opacity: 100%.



Alter the colours

to customise

your clock face

and give it a

unique style.

StaGE 3

Finish the clock

Adjust your work and turn it

into a product

With your clock very nearly complete,

all that’s left to do is finish off the

project with adjustments, and turn it

into a real-life product for you to sell!

There are loads of great sites online

that can turn your artwork into

products, but one of the best things

about Redbubble is that it gives you a

percentage of the profits whenever

someone buys your design. Visit

www.redbubble.com for more

information and to set up an account.


Choose between black,

white and bamboo

frames for whatever

looks best on your clock.



Choose between

white, black, red

or teal for the hand

colour: we went

with red to stand

out against the blue.


Every time someone

buys your design,

you will receive a

percentage of the

sale money.


Hit ‘5’ to reduce a

layer to 50%


adjust the clock


Create a Levels adjustment and improve the colour and tone,

before adding a black-to-white gradient. Choose Radial, and

then set to Soft Light, 50% Opacity so it fades to the edge. Now add a

black-to-white gradient map, set it to Soft Light and then reduce to

30% Opacity.

Reduce noise and sharpen


Merge everything into one layer by hitting Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/

Opt+Shift+E and go to Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise. Move

Strength to 10 and the other values to 0. Hit OK, merge everything into

another layer, then go to Filter>Other>High Pass. Set to 5px and also

set to Overlay to Sharpen.

Save for web


Hide the background layer in your project. Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/

Opt+Shift+S and then choose PNG. Keep the image at high

quality and save it to your computer, as we want our image to be as

high resolution as possible to turn into a clock.

Use Redbubble


Go to www.redbubble.com and sign up for a free account.

Head to your proile and upload a new image. Choose your

clock face, enable it as a clock, and then resize as necessary.




does it mean?

LAYER MASKS – These make it

easier to control transparency when

blending images together. Use a

white brush to paint in areas around

the forehead, eyes, cheeks, nose

and chin. Blend in the wrinkles,

veins, and blemishes. Avoid

distinct traits of the original

image like eyes, lips or

nose shape.


Older hair is usually short

and white or golden in colour.

Wrinkles are found around eyes,

cheeks, forehead, and chin.


When making people look older,

it helps to study the traits of older

people in order to be realistic.


Photo edit…

Learn how

to age portraits

Use the Camera RAW filter and layers for this creative effect

Posters, commercials, and various advertisements today all seem

to be selling some sort of age-defying product, feeding an eager

public with tips and tricks on how to look younger than they

actually are. The cosmetics industry alone makes billions from skin

products that mask fine lines and obvious indications of age, while

clothing lines keep releasing collections aimed at people who want

to wear clothes that make them look young. Everyone seems to

want to go back to the so-called happier times of their youth, but

the truth is that age is not something to deny or shy away from – it



is something to be welcomed. After all, no wrinkle will ever dull your

true shine, right?

This tutorial will focus on quick and easy tips for how to make a

portrait look older, just to prove that getting old doesn’t have to be a

terrifying task. In fact, by using subtle blending with layer masks, you

can age a photo realistically and gracefully. Are you curious to see

how you’d look like in a few years? Go ahead and try it out – age

your own photo at home and embrace the best years of your life

that are yet to come!


Camera RAW filter Slider adjustments create the base for the effect


A cloning/healing

layer blends

everything for a

inal touch

Open up the shadows


Inside Camera RAW, you can make use of a variety of sliders to

adjust the overall tone of your photo. In this case we are going

to lighten the Shadows, remembering to darken the Blacks as well.

Enhance wrinkles


Now mask the hair and then lighten it by opening up the

Shadows completely. You can also add a Local Adjustment of

Clarity on the skin to enhance the wrinkles further, around +20.

Soften with Clarity


While you are adjusting the hair, keep in mind that aged hair is

often very soft like cotton candy, and as such, needs to be

softened. Bring down the Clarity with a Local Adjustment to visually

soften the hair.

Adjust temperatures


While you are adjusting the hair with a Local Adjustment, bring

down the Saturation. Then, opt for a Warm Temperature to

make the hair look more golden. This image will be your base for

compositing a new image on top, which we show you how to do below.

Take it further Composite images Overlay a photo for optimal realism

Match skin colours


Once the base image is prepped,

do your best to choose an image of

an older woman that’s as similar to yours

as possible. Lay it over the top of your

photo, and match the skin colours between

the two female models as best as you can.

Resize accordingly


Compositing an image is never

easy, so you need to painstakingly

adjust the two images together until they

blend seamlessly. You will need to resize,

scale, and distort the older woman’s photo

over yours so that they match better.

Adjust layer Opacity


It is unlikely your two images will it

exactly. This means you may need

to work on multiple copies of the older

woman. Drop the old woman’s layer Opacity

to about 70%, blending mode of Darken

and blend with layer masks.




does it mean?

REFINE EDGE – The Reine Edge

option helps to inesse a selection

once you’ve made it. It can feather

the edges of your selection, smooth

them over and even shift the edges

of your selection; by clicking on

the actual image away from the

dialog box, it is possible to

add and remove pixels.


Use precise adjustments to get

the best out of the colours and

tones of your final composition.

Start images


Check out the other supplied planets

in the resources, and experiment

with different spheres in the image.

On the FileSilo

Download your free

resources at www.filesilo.




Surreal art…

Create a surreal

moon composition

Turn a collection of stock images into a surreal scene

For as long as night has followed day, humans have been obsessed

with the moon, whether they’ve been viewing it through a

telescope, or landing on it in the 1960s and 1970s. Artistically

though, it makes a great focus for a composition!

In this project, we’re going to explore how to make a composition

realistic in tone, if not in scale. The idea is simple: our subject is

placing a moon into the sky with help from a step ladder, and so

we’re going to need to make sure the image is balanced in terms of

the size of its elements. Don’t be afraid to lay out your stock images

on the page when you start: sometimes before making a

composition such as this, it can help to rough it out first.

The most important thing, though, is just to have fun and

experiment whenever you can. There are loads of great techniques

you can learn from attempting a project like this, and we’ve supplied

everything you’ll need to recreate this image in your own style on

the FileSilo. So download, and get creating!

The foundations Build the composition up with brushes, masking and other tools

Begin the composition


Start off by opening the background

image and cropping so that you just

have a clear view of the beach, with the

horizon in the distance. Add the supplied

ladder image. Place and add a white-to-black

gradient. Clip this to the ladder by Alt/

Opt-clicking it.

Give it a subject


Place the supplied image of the girl.

Use Quick Selection (W) to cut her

out and place her behind the ladder. Use

Reine Edge on the selection, and then Cmd/

Ctrl-click the layer preview of the ladder layer;

ill in this selection with black, on the mask of

the subject.

Recolour with the sunset



Alt/Opt-drag a

layer to duplicate it

in the Layers


Add the sunset image. Place it below

the ladder layer and set to Screen; hit

Screen, Invert (Cmd/Ctrl+I) and make big, soft

brush strokes over the sky. Duplicate the

layer and move above the subject. Delete the

mask and follow the annotated screenshot

below to learn how to blend it.

Scatter the stars


Add the supplied image of the starry

sky. Set it to Multiply, 80% Opacity

and place it just above the lower sunset layer.

Use the techniques in the annotated

screenshot to blend it in with the image.



When you place

the sunset, grab

a sot brush, Alt/

Opt-click colours

from the image,

and brush over

the bottom half.



Cmd/Ctrl-click on

the subject layer

preview, then


on the ladder

layer preview. Go to


to remove detail

from the subject.



Place the moon


Insert the supplied moon image, and

use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to

select it before hitting Screen. Duplicate the

layer, then on a layer below, select a big, soft,

white brush and click to add a glow. Duplicate

this layer and mask out the glow from inside

the moon.

Lay some more planets


In the supplied iles, you’ll ind a collection of

various planet stock images, already cut out

and ready to place into your image. Select a few and

place them onto the ground in front of the ladder.

Resize by using Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T).

Expert tip

Keep realism in

the shadows

When you create the shadows

of your planets and the ladder,

it’s important to remember a

few things to ensure that your

composition stays realistic.

The irst is that the edge of the

shadows can’t be too hard,

which is why we use Gaussian

Blur. Remember to transform

the shadows in a direction

away from the light source, in

this case the moon, and that

the shadows will be darker the

closer they are to the object.

When you mask the excess

from the shadows in step

8, use a dark grey-to-white

gradient, as this will only

mask some of the shadow.

Work on the lighting


We need these planets to glow, so

add glowing white brush strokes as

we did with the moon. Clip a Soft Light layer

to each of the planet layers and using soft

black and white brushes, touch-up the lighting

and shading on each of the planets.

Cast some shadows


Select the layer previews of all the

planets, plus the ladder. Fill with

black on a layer beneath them all, then go to

Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and choose 10px.

Hit Transform (Cmd/Ctrl+T) and use to resize

and shape each of the shadows as seen in

the screenshot above. You can also mask

them slightly with a gradient.

Liquify the ladder shadow


Select the ladder from the layer

preview, again by Cmd/Ctrl-clicking

and ill with black on another new layer above

the shadow layer. Again, blur, then go to

Filter>Distort>Liquify, and create a curve as

seen. Clip to the layer of the planet next to

the ladder and reduce the Opacity setting.


Use the Warp tool to

drag pixels around the

main preview area and

distort the shadow.


Alter the size and pressure

of the brush that you warp

with using the two sliders

on the right-hand side.


Zoom in and pan

around by using the

Hand and Zoom tools

at the bottom of the

tool panel.


Grow or shrink the size of

the object you’re liquifying

by using the Pucker and

Bloat tools on the let.



Make adjustments


Go to the Fill Layer icon and choose

some adjustments to subtly enhance

the tone, colour and feel of the piece so far.

We used Levels – alter the red, green and

blue channels – along with Brightness/

Contrast and a black-to-white gradient map.

Reduce noise


Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/Opt+Shift+E to create

a merged layer at the top of the stack.

Go to Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise and choose

Strength: 10, both other values at 0. Click OK.

This will smooth over the entire image.

Sharpen it up


Again, create a merged layer at the

top of the layer stack. Go to

Filter>Other>High Pass and choose 5px as

the Radius before hitting OK and setting to

Overlay. This will sharpen up the image again,

and add detail to the highlights.

Add noise


Once more, create a merged layer at the top of your layer

stack, and this time go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Select

Amount: 400%, Distribution: Gaussian and check the Monochrome box.

Click OK and set to Soft Light, 20% Opacity.

Master lighting

with blend modes

Use Screen, Lighten and Soft Light

for different effects

When creating a composition that relies largely

on light and light sources, it’s incredibly important

to get the best out of the light in your picture. As

a inishing touch, we’ve inserted a bokeh texture,

available in the supplied resources. By setting the

texture to Screen, only the lightest colours become

visible, but if you want to let through light and

dark, set the blend mode to Sot Light. Alternately,

Lighten will only show pixels lighter than the

colours of the layers below.

Get to know your blend modes so that you’ll be

able to keep all your images consistent in tone.

Experiment with Screen, Lighten and Sot Light in

this tutorial and see what efects you can create.

Tweak the colours


Finally, with everything else in the image complete, add a

Photo Filter, a black-to-white gradient set to Soft Light, 20%

Opacity, and then add a gradient of yellow to navy via purple, as seen

above, to bring out the colours of the inal composition.


Hit Cmd/Ctrl+F to

repeat the last

ilter that you





Though it may look like it was

hand-drawn, every element of

this piece was created using

selection and shape tools.

On the FileSilo

Download your free

resources at www.filesilo.


Digital art…

Illustrate a scene

using selections

Master the Lasso tool and draw without a graphics tablet

Digital art can be an expensive hobby. Once you’ve got your

hands on software, you might consider purchasing accessories

such as printers, scanners, graphics tablets and plug-ins. However,

none of these extra purchases are entirely necessary for creating

digital art. This tutorial will show you how to create a lovely piece

using tools already available to you, and techniques that can be

completed using your regular mouse.

We’ll be painting a nautical scene using Elements. All the tools

we will require are under the Expert tab – but don’t let that put you

off! All the menus we will be using are simple to navigate and the

tools are easy to apply. To make things even more straightforward,

we would recommend first finding a picture of a lighthouse

standing over the ocean to use as reference for this tutorial. If you

can copy and paste the image into Elements, feel free to trace

over it during step one.

The end result will be an attractive, illustrative image of a

lighthouse at night: an excellent piece to use as a gift, or print off

and frame in your own home. The techniques we will cover can be

used for any of your future projects, and will hopefully improve your

skill and confidence when drawing in Elements.



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

Sketch your scene


Under the Expert tab, create a new

document and then a new layer.

Select a small hard brush, 100% Opacity and

10px in size. Use the Colour Picker to choose

a bright colour, like blue or red, and sketch the

lighthouse scene. Trace an image if needed.

Prepare for colour


Once your sketch is done, set the

blend mode to Multiply. Create

another layer below that one, and ill it with a

light-blue colour using the Bucket tool. You

should notice that your sketch’s lines are now

darker; this will make them easier to see as

you apply colour.

Using the Lasso


Create another new layer above the

blue ill layer. Select the Lasso tool

and use it to trace the outline of one of the

rock formations. Use the Colour Picker to

choose a dark blue, and use the Bucket tool

to ill the selected area. Repeat until all the

rocks are illed.

Draw the sea foam


You can complete the sea foam using the same technique as

the rocks. Create a new layer beneath the rocks layer, use the

Colour Picker to choose a light grey/blue, and trace over the sea foam

areas. Try to make the shapes more rounded than the rocks.


Press the L key to

quickly select the

Lasso tool

Create the sea


Create another new layer, beneath the rocks and the foam.

Select a deep blue and use the Rectangular Marquee tool to

draw a rectangle across your canvas. This will be the basic colour for

the sea, so make sure you keep the rectangle below the horizon line

you drew in your sketch.


does it mean?

LASSO TOOL – This is a useful and

versatile tool for drawing freeform

without the aid of a graphics tablet.

It enables you to draw any shape

using the mouse, and create a

selection. This selection area can

be illed in using the Bucket

tool, moved using the Move

tool, or removed with

the Delete key.


Draw sharp, pointed edges using the

Lasso and Square Marquee tools to give

your rock formations a harder look.



Taper the foam and rocks

by drawing over them

with the Lasso, and

hitting the delete key.



Darken the sky


Repeat the last step for the night sky,

using a darker blue. Then select an

even darker blue, and set your brush to a

200px+ Airbrush. Draw around the top

corners of the canvas to create a shadow

across the sky. You don’t need a graphics

tablet for this – the mouse will work ine!

Making waves


Go back to your sea layer. Select the blue using

the Eyedropper tool, then make it slightly darker

in the Colour Picker. Using the Lasso tool, draw several

rough, snaking lines across the layer, and ill them using

the Bucket tool to shade in some waves.

Expert tip

Blur the moon

for realism

The moon is obviously a far

away object, so drawing it

with a very hard edge will look

incorrect in your image. To ix

this, soten the edges of the

moon by selecting the moon

layer, then go to Filter>Blur>

Gaussian Blur. A new window

will appear. This includes a

preview window, which will

show how the blur will edit

your currently selected asset.

Adjust the Radius slider to

between 2.0 and 2.5. Try to

keep it within these numbers;

blurring it too much will make

it look out of focus, instead

of far away. Click OK, and the

blur will be applied.

Choppy sea


Repeat the process using another

slightly darker blue. Fill in the gaps

between your irst lot of waves. This will give

your ocean a sense of depth. If you’re ever

unsatisied with a shape you’ve drawn, draw

back over it with the Lasso, and press delete

to taper the shape.

Light in the dark


Use the aforementioned technique

one more time, using a blue that is

lighter than your ocean’s base colour. Be

much more sparing with your use of this

colour. Keep your shapes small, aside from

one area near the horizon. We’ll be using this

in the next few steps.

Moon over the water


Create a new layer above your night

sky layer. Using the Circle Marquee

tool, draw a perfect circle above the

highlighted area of the sea below. Select a

near-white blue in the Colour Picker, and ill

your shape with the Bucket tool.


Using the Lasso tool like this

creates sharp, striking artwork. It’s

great for creating illustrative work.


If you do have access to a graphics

tablet, use it to draw in extra

details, like small rocks.


Make sure each colour

stands out. Use the Bucket

tool to adjust them.


To draw a complete circle, hold Shit

as you draw outward with the Circle

Marquee tool.



Bright side of the moon


Just as you did with the waves, use

the Lasso tool to draw details on the

moon. First, press the Opacity Lock button

from the top of the Layers panel. This will

prevent you from colouring outside of the

moon. Select two shades of dark greys, draw

in your squiggly lines, and use the Bucket tool

to ill them in.



Create a new layer above the moon,

set it to Overlay. Using a near-white

colour, select Brush tool, set to the airbrush

you used earlier. Click around the moon; this

will create perfect soft circles around it, which

will make it look like it’s glowing.



Create a new layer above the rock

layer, and use the Lasso tool to draw

in the lighthouse. Use a light white to ill in

the selection, then select a grey/purple to

draw in the details. Use the Lasso and

Square Marquee tools to draw straight and

angular lines for the windows.

Shade the scene


Go back to your rock layer, and use a darker shade of purple

and the Lasso tool to draw jagged shapes. Fill them in with the

Bucket tool. Do this again with a darker shade, to give the rocks

deinition. Apply the same technique to the lighthouse; use Opacity

Lock to keep the shading within the lighthouse shape.

Gradient maps

The easy way to instantly apply

beautiful colour

Elements has many tools for adjusting the

colour of a inal piece. Gradient maps can

produce some truly beautiful results. Set

your Foreground swatch to a dark colour and

your Background swatch to a lighter colour.

Create a gradient map by going to Layer>

New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. This

will create a new layer with the colour efects

applied. The darker colours of your piece will

be enhanced by the irst colour you selected,

and the lighter colours by the second.

Now experiment with blend modes. Overlay,

Color Dodge and Sot Light are good options.

Lower the Opacity to 70% or lower, so the

gradient map doesn’t overpower your piece.

A light in the darkness


Create a new layer beneath the lighthouse layer, and use the

Lasso to draw a straight line from the top of the lighthouse to

the horizon line. Select the Gradient tool, and adjust the settings to

Foreground to Transparent. Drag from the top of the lighthouse to the

horizon line to create a fading light.


Press K for the

Bucket tool, G for

the Gradient





Get in touch



Ask on Twitter


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Alternatively, you can email:




Watercolour textures are popular resources on the

internet, and are great for incorporating into your projects.

While you might want to use them as overlays for digital

art or incorporate them into compositions, they can be

central to creating beautiful textured artwork, too.

Start of with an image and then go to the Fill Layer

icon. Select Threshold to reduce the layer to just black

and white. With your image now being two colours,

drop in your watercolour textures; we’ve supplied some

on the FileSilo to use. Set these to a Screen or Lighten

blend mode and use the Levels adjustment to tweak the

contrast and exposure of the textures.

Finally, add a watercolour paper texture to the

background and set to the Multiply blend mode to add a

little more to the background. Play with the Gradient Map

and Brightness/Contrast adjustment layers to harmonise

the image further, bearing in mind that a stronger contrast

will make your image stand out more.


Use a black or white brush on your

Threshold layer to edit the contrast

of the image.

On the FileSilo

Download your free

resources at www.filesilo.




Use two scenes that have similar

horizons or elements, such as the

trees in this image.



An out-of-bounds composition places some kind of screen or window in one

image, with elements breaking out of the screen and spilling into the scene. They’re

extremely fun to make and can really bring out your creativity.

Start with the supplied image of the bucolic, grassy scene, and cut out the iPad

to place into the image, before cutting out the screen of the iPad, too. Place the

beach scene within the iPad and then add the supplied sunrise stock image, using

Multiply to blend the two images together. Add some more sand and hit Mask; with

a sot brush, blend the sand falling out of the iPad and onto the grass.

Next, add the birds and the subject: you can cut the birds out with the Magic

Wand and the subject out with Quick Selection. Then, duplicate your original scene

and move it to the top of the layer stack. Hit Mask, then Invert (Cmd/Ctrl+I). Select

a white grass brush, and mask in the grass over the edge of the sand and the iPad.

Finish with a Lens Flare (Filter>Render>Lens Flare) and make adjustments if need

be, such as Hue/Saturation and Levels, using the Fill Layer icon.




Once you select Expert

mode, you’ll be able to see

all the edits you’ve made as

individual layers.




There are loads of great ways to retouch your

portraits but one of the easiest is using the

Guided Edit section of Elements, and going to

the Perfect Portrait option.

From here, you’ll see a list of edits that

you can make down the right-hand side of

the window, from smoothing skin and using

the Spot-Healing Brush to Red Eye Removal.

Use each of these options one by one, and

remember that subtlety is key. It’s also

possible to use the tools in creative ways;

you may wish to use the Darken Eyebrows

feature to contour the cheeks or use the Spot

Healing Brush to smooth the lips.

Once finished, you can go into the Expert

workspace to make further edits.





Mastering how to create pencil sketches

on paper might be extremely difficult, but

creating them in Elements is less so. You

can use the Brush Tool to trace an image in

Expert mode, or create a quick sketch of any

picture by using the Quick mode.

Simply open the picture you want to

transform into a pencil sketch and go to

Quick. Under Pencil Sketch, you’ll find four

potential options, all slightly different and

varying in style. From there, if you pick

one, you can turn your image into a sketch

immediately, but the real editing comes in

once you click back on Expert.

Use Brightness/Contrast and Levels

to adjust the look of your sketch, and

remember that you can still use brushes to

edit the image.



Quick tip


Outer Glow

The Outer Glow layer

style is one of the most

useful tricks in your editing

arsenal for making your

layers stand out. Simply

by applying an outer glow

to a picture, you can give

your layer added warmth

or prominence over the

background. It’s great for

light effects, too. Use it in

conjunction with the Drop

Shadow to make a layer

stand out even more, but

remember to use it subtly,

as it can look over-the-top

in some cases.




In Elements, we usually work with

the Layers palette firmly on the

right-hand side of the window at all

times. But if you check along the

bottom-right of the program, you’ll

see that there are other options,

including Graphics.

This provides exactly what you’d

expect. Click on there, view them,

and double-click to apply a graphic

as the background to your image.

They’re great for placing subjects

onto or can form the basis of a new

project. There is also a range of

styles for you to explore.




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

LandscapePro 2

The specs




Intelligent automated


Sky replacement

3D Lighting brushes

RAW file support

Anthropics’ update to its intelligent software makes editing landscape images easier than ever

View the original

The option to quickly switch

back to the original image is

a really handy feature to help

you monitor how much you

have edited.

Simple interface

The program is laid out in a way

that’s easy to use, and the pop-up

prompts really make editing easy.

Drop-Down menuS

The drop-down menus make editing

simple and split up each section you

have masked for localised editing.

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

Import your image


Upon opening the interface, you will

have the options to open an example

image, watch a video tutorial or import your

own image. Select the option to import your

own image and choose the one that you

would like to edit.

Label the image


Next, you will be prompted to drag

labels onto parts of the image to

identify them for the masks. We labelled the

sky, grass, mountain and trees. You will most

likely have to alter the selections, which is

done by dragging them.

Select a sky


We wanted to change the cloud

formations and make something a

little different, so we selected a new sky from

the Clouds drop-down menu. You will probably

have to try a few in order to ind one that

works with your image.


This intelligent editing software aims to

help simplify the photographer’s

workflow with a powerful alternative to

spending hours meticulously editing

landscape shots. LandscapePro 2 offers the

user dramatic effects in just a few simple

steps and its interface will suit any skill level of

photographer or photo editor.

The unique controls and intelligent selection

tools adapt to the image you are working on.

The software helps users process landscape

imagery with essential features that make

replacing skies and altering clouds simple,

using presets or by uploading your own

imagery. It will enable you to brighten,

recolour and even replace skies, as well as

offering automatic area selection, targeted

editing, distance controls, one-click presets,

lighting controls and RAW file support.

This latest version includes new lighting

brushes, over 100 new sky presets, a new Sky

Reflections label and improved selection tools.

The interface is simple throughout and

although it might be initially daunting with its

multiple drop-down menus and sliders, we

found it to be intuitive and relatively easy to

pick up with a little experimentation. As you

progress through your edit, the software gives

you tips in pop-up boxes, which we found

really helpful, especially during the first few

times we used the software.

Once you have selected an image, you are

prompted to drag labels from the main panel

over the different elements in the image. This

applies masks to the labelled parts of the

image, which enables localised adjustments.

The software then attempts to identify the

areas of the image associated with each label,

however, generally you will need to alter them

yourself by selecting and dragging the masks.

In the latest update this feels easier and more

responsive than the first, but you will have to

spend a little time in detailed areas.

When you come across more complicated

objects, you can employ the Object In Sky or

the Tree & Sky tools, which enable you to

brush over objects to separate the two masks.

In general, these tools were impressive, with

only a couple of errors. The masking process

is simple and the software identifies subjects

intelligently, and it’s probably quicker than

doing the same thing in Photoshop.

Once you have created the masks, you will

be able to apply adjustments to the image as

a whole, or to the individual sections you have

created. Each section has its own drop-down

menu with the adjustments available. You will

be able to replace the sky or alter the clouds

and their density or colour to completely

transform your landscape capture. You’ll also

have the option to relight the image, change

the time of day and adjust the depth of field,

which will transform your imagery in an

impressive way.

Although we think it’s accessible to all

levels, we’re not sure if it will appeal to

everyone. The masking is powerful and one of

the most effective of its kind, but it can be a

little laborious with more detailed landscapes.

If you’ are a photographer who spends their

days editing landscape after landscape,

LandscapePro 2 might be the perfect solution

for you to make dramatic adjustments to your

captures and take them a little further than

you might have in Photoshop. That said, there

are certainly still some improvements that

could be made – the two obvious ones being

speed and responsiveness.

Already discounted to a very reasonable

£29.95 ($49.95), readers of Photoshop

Creative can get a further 10% off the price by

using the Coupon Code PST17 at checkout.

The verdict

For the price, it is worth a go.

It’s unique and will enable you to

delve into your landscapes with

intelligent automatic selection

9and creative presets.

Standout feature

Replace and edit the sky

The Sky Replacement tool seems to be the

most intelligent feature; you can completely

replace a sky with one of your own images, or

change the clouds and their density. We were

impressed by the option to flawlessly remove

all of the clouds with a mere click of the mouse.

Change the lighting


Go into the Lighting drop-down menu

and alter the strength of the light.

Then drag the black Lighting icon to where on

the image you would like the light source to

come from.

Use Lighting brushes


Enhance the lighting in your image by

painting on light with the 2D Lighting

brush. It will intelligently mould onto the

landscape for a realistic effect.





Pick a speciic style of

lens lare or lighting

efect by visiting the

let-hand panel and

double-clicking to add

the efect.

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



Add or remove

elements of the lens

lare to customise

and reine exactly

how you wish your

lighting efect to look.


Improve on the elements

you’ve added to the

photo: change colours,

opacity and size of

everything in your lare.

The specs



Additional specs

Windows XP and above

Mac 10.7 and above

Photoshop CS3 and above

Photoshop Elements 6 and above

Standout feature

Elements panel

Add or remove parts of your lens lare using the

panel in the top-right corner, and control how

your lare looks. You can also copy elements or

rearrange them, meaning that every lighting

efect is completely customisable.

AKVIS LightShop

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

Lighting can be the difference between a

good photo and a bad one. Well-lit photos

grab attention for all the right reasons. But

can something as fundamentally important as

lighting be creative, and how can you possibly

get imaginative with it?

Though Photoshop offers many ilters for

improving your lighting, AKVIS LightShop can

help to take your lighting even further; it’s

available as a plug-in for Photoshop too,

making it easy to use alongside your other

ilters. LightShop is structured like most

AKVIS plug-ins; offering an array of presets

for applying to work, along with thorough

sliders for tweaking anything you like in your

lighting. As with other AKVIS plug-ins,

LightShop is wonderfully easy to get to grips

with, and the irst impressions of the software

are great.

While LightShop is essentially a collection

of lens lare stock images, the plug-in is far

more advanced than just inserting light effects

into your photos. The lares you add to your

work are nicely blended into the image, and

you can adjust the opacity. Everything is also

labelled with images where necessary, so you

can alter just about anything in your lens lare

quickly and eficiently.

LightShop is a great addition to Photoshop

because it builds on the Lens Flare feature

without being dificult to work with. The

effects are eclectic and easy to tinker with,

making LightShop a must for photo editors

who want to improve lighting in their work.

The verdict

A useful upgrade on the Lens

Flare tool and one of the most

in-depth plug-ins AKVIS has

produced, LightShop is also very


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

Colour filters


These help to add

bursts of light to

your image, but they’re

also capable of lending a

little hue and saturation to

any landscape.



The Sunset option

is a good lighting

effect to display on a

horizon, with the light

spots facing upwards

towards the sky.

Cascade of



One of the most

ostentatious lens

lares, with bright lares,

spots and rings, to be built

up or stripped back.



Moonlight simply

adds a sphere to

the work with a bright halo;

it can transform night

shots or make day shots a

little more surreal.

Shining Star


This effect is

bright, has bursts

of light and softer light

spots scattered across

the image, making it good

for corner placement.






Choose a preset

digital art option

from the drop-down

list, and either leave

it at that, or tweak

the sliders further to

perfect the efect.

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



See your image

take shape in

the preview area

of the program,

and use the Ater

tab to see the

completed efect.


Use the sliders to alter everything

about your image, from the

simplicity of the composition to how

random the strokes are.

The specs



Additional specs

Windows XP and above

Mac 10.7 and above

Photoshop CS3 and above

Photoshop Elements 6 and above

Standout feature

Abstract Art tab

While most digital art plug-ins create paintings

based on the photo you’re converting, OilPaint

is diferent. the Abstract Art tab can distort

your image, add new colours and take the

image in a whole new direction.

AKVIS OilPaint

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

Digital painting is one of those skills that

fall into the category of being easy to

learn, but hard to master. It takes

patience, time and lots of practise to become

a great digital artist, not to mention a lot of

experimenting to ind your style. But that

doesn’t mean it’s not fun to play around with

digital art and create basic paintings in

Photoshop from nothing.

AKVIS OilPaint is available either as a

standalone app or as an add-on to Photoshop,

and can help you evolve as a digital artist and

develop your own style. It can turn any photo

into digital artwork using presets and sliders,

making it easy to achieve an effect that would

otherwise take a lot of time and effort.

While this may suggest OilPaint doesn’t

give much control over your work, this isn’t

the case at all. The sliders are precise and can

control everything from detail to brush size.

OilPaint is fantastically in-depth and you can

create something unique every time: while it

can be used to create a inished image, you

can also add more effects in Photoshop.

OilPaint makes a great addition to

Photoshop, because it slots right into your

worklow, has a plethora of options for

tweaking work, and is extremely versatile. It’s

useful for Photoshop beginners looking to

learn more about digital paintings, but it can

be used by more advanced artists seeking to

save time with their work; digital painting

might be easy to learn, but OilPaint can take

your skills to the next level.

The verdict

A useful plug-in for all levels of

digital artists, OilPaint has quick,

accurate and unique efects to

help you transform any image

8into a digital work of art.

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



This effect excels

in creating thick,

painterly strokes with a

clear brush pattern,

perfect for leaving as a

inished digital painting.

Dramatic Colors


The Dramatic

Colors preset is

good for saturating your

image a little and making

each of the hues really

pop in your painting.

Magnific +

Frame & Canvas


This preset does

three things; it

adds a canvas, a frame

and completes the look

with subtle brush strokes.



This is simplistic,

bold and gives

you a great starting point

to go further and add your

own custom brush strokes

to the image.

Wild Strokes


The Wild Strokes

option is big, bold

and painterly. It is great

when used on photos of

skies and water because it

gives a rippled feel.


Portfolio interview



With work featured by

TheStudentShow along with

Behance’s Photoshop and

Illustration galleries online, Carolina

Rempto is a digital artist who’s already

seen critical acclaim for her work, not to

mention thousands of views.

As someone deeply passionate about

digital painting, Carolina is constantly

undergoing exciting new projects. We

asked her about her favourite ones, and

what tips she has for beginners.

Have you always been interested

in art and design?

I’ve always been the kind of kid that was

quiet and drawing something. At first I

was drawing dresses and princesses,

when I grew up a little I started to copy

the comics that I read in my favourite

teenage magazines. When I was about to

begin a Graphic Design course, I started

to learn Photoshop and it soon became

essential in my life. Now I work with it

every day.

Who are your biggest influences?

Well, I think my biggest artistic influence

is Mary Blair (the artist who produced

concept art for such films as Alice in

Wonderland, Peter Pan, Song of the South

and Cinderella). I’ve always loved Disney

movies and when I finally discovered the

artist behind some of them, I fell in love

with her art. I didn’t start to create like I

do now, though I’ve been in a lot of places

when it comes to creation and creativity,

but the more you know about art, about

yourself and your tools, the better you

get. You never stop developing!

Would you describe your artwork

in a similar way to how one might

describe Disney art?

I would describe my work as colourful,

whimsical and cute. It is a result of

everything I love and I think that is how I

would like the world to be: so similar to

The power of

brushes & textures

Carolina Rempto tells us her biggest influences, how she became

interested in art, and how she creates her stunning digital paintings

Disney in that sense. I observed a lot of

illustrators that create similar art and tried

to absorb the aspects that I like in their

art to create something unique, that is

truly mine. For me, it is super important

to keep an eye on what illustrators that I

like are doing. It seems like the more you

see, the more you learn and apply it to

your own work.

What are your favourite tools and

features in Photoshop?

My favourite tool is the Brush, I use it all

the time, but I also love the Magic Wand

as it saves me a lot of time. Another great

thing is that you can add masks to the

layers, which is magical! My creative

process usually starts with some options

I’ve created as digital sketches in

Photoshop, then I start to separate the

shapes of the drawing by using layers and

flat colours. After that, I test a lot of

colours, and when I decide that I like the

combination, I add some textures and

details to finalise it.

As a digital artist, and someone

who uses brushes a lot in their

work, textures must be really

important to you, too

Yes. Textures are really important in my

work, as I think they bring life to the

illustration. My favourite adjustment is

Hue/Saturation, because it gives me the

chance to change the colour of the work

without really altering it too much. It

allows me to try new combinations of

colours on a project, which is great.

What tips would you give to

Photoshop beginners looking to

achieve results as good as yours?

Tutorials are great, they help a lot. But

don’t limit yourself to it. Try new things,

try to discover what each tool does and

use it in unexpected ways. You’ll find that

the way you use Photoshop is always a

little bit different from the way others do,

so I would say to find your way to use it,

learn your favourite shortcuts (you’re

going to save a lot of time using them!)

and focus on doing your work. Photoshop

is a great tool to achieve your final result,

so focus on that.

Which projects have you worked

on that you’re most proud of?

I recently did a comic about a girl that

was seeking the truth, it was called Azul

and it was truly a life-changing project. I

never tried to do comics before and I

absolutely loved it! It pushed my limits

and made me discover sides of my work

that I never saw before. Another project

that I’m really proud of is the special

edition plate I’ve illustrated for a national

chain of Italian restaurants here in Brazil,

that was sold for a short period of time all

over the country. I’m really hoping to work

with concept art somewhere in the future,

so I might invest some of my time

studying more about that subject so I can

achieve these goals.

Happy and Satisfied: This was a personal piece I did about a

cat really happy and satisfied with its life. It’s available as a

cushion, a travel mug, a tote bag and a phone case.

All images © Carolina Rempto


The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe: This project

was developed for the Type and Image class at SCAD.

The goal was to do a cover for a book that we like. The

main idea that I chose to represent the book is the

balance between Aslan and the White Queen.

Art + Beer: This project is a series of illustrated posters about

beer and how people relate to it. Relaxation, Lifestyle, Fun and

Love were the themes and the typography was made by hand.

Amazonian Myths: There are many interesting mythological

creatures in Brazilian folk tales, so I chose some of the

Amazonian myths to paint in a series of illustrations!

Harry Potter illustration: This was a project that gave 13 artists

the opportunity to create a digital painting of a Harry Potter

character. The project has been viewed over 5,000 times online.


Reader interview

Flower of Life




No Life



The making of Rebirth of


How Maciej turned a series of stock photos into

one utopian composition

Creating the


I started to composite

the background

together by masking

two pictures: the

sky and the roots. I

wanted the image to

look bright and warm.


Maciej Matuszak

Polish artist Maciej on inspiration, messages in his work and

how to create amazing, unique artwork

Inspiration can strike from anywhere, and

that’s something that Maciej Matuszak, a

graphic designer who works for an

advertising agency by day, embraces. Though all

his work looks diferent, he takes inluence from all

over, including his surroundings. “I come from a

very beautiful country,” he says of Poland. “I

encourage everyone to visit.”

We caught up with Maciej to ind out how he

creates his amazing work.

Can you tell us where your

inspiration comes from?

Oten everything goes straight from my head to the

computer. At the beginning I search for diferent

photographs. Oten when I browse for images, I ind

something special, and then when I have the idea, I

start building from there.

Do you have a message you try and

convey in your work?

I try to say something, not with everything that I

create, but I think that subject matter and title can

help send a message. But I like it the best when

someone tells me what they see in my work, and

then we can discuss the subject together.

What subject matters do you

explore most in your work?

All of my pictures are diferent, but I’d like to think

they all have an air of mystery. I like exploring

space with my artwork, but equally, I don’t mind

what I create as long as it’s interesting.

Are there any tips that you would

give to beginners?

Be as creative as you can and just try to develop

your own style. Don’t focus too much about what

other people are doing. Ask experienced artists

for feedback and then see what it is they have to

say about it.

What Once Was

Rebirth of Paradise

If you are inspired by Maciej’s art on these pages,

you can see more of his work at www.




Plant some


Next I added some

trees, using Channels

to cut them out, as I

find it to be a simple

way to isolate colour

in a layer. I added

shade all over and

matched light relative

to where the sun was

in the photo.

Building the


In this step, I added

the rest of the trees,

using a brush and the

appropriate settings.

I created flying pollen

to show that the

paradise is beginning

to recover.


The last step

was to adjust the

composition as

a whole with the

appropriate colour,

which I did using

Curves and Color

Balance. I also added

a light vignette.



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