advanced photoshop

Advanced Photoshop issue 81 is on sale now!

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Latest issue, by Julie Bassett

The latest issue of Advanced Photoshop is available now

Advanced Photoshop issue 81 is on sale now!

In this month’s issue…

Concept art

Advanced Photoshop issue 81 is on sale now!Concept art is one of the most important stages in the creation of new entertainment products, breathing life into ideas and words, turning objects of imagination into a reality. Films, graphic novels and videogames all employ concept artists to set the wheels in motion of building believable new worlds.

The conventional role of a concept artist is someone who generates a visual design for an item, character or area that doesn’t yet exist. A concept artist might only be required for preliminary artwork, but equally may be asked to become part of a dedicated creative team that sees a project all the way through to completion. The responsibilities are massive, yet the creative potential is so enticing. We speak to leading concept artists from around the world to find out more about this exciting career and their advice for making it to the top.

When undertaking a new concept art project, establishing a theme should be your primary concern. When working for clients, these will be supplied to you and you’ll have to adapt to these in order to construct the visual narrative. Approaching your own project is not so different, with a clear narrative needed to tie your designs together. Nicholas Miles (, creator of Exula and The Insect Dynasty – the latter his main focus – explains in detail: “An understanding of narrative is useful if you’re to create a world people can connect to. With this in mind you need a strong imagination to show people something that they haven’t seen before. It’s a demanding task and the rewards aren’t always instantaneous. You’re in for the long haul and you need to be able to persevere, as every project has its ups and downs. Most of all you need to keep it fun and fresh as this is how you’ll find your way to the finish line.”

(Read more in issue 81 of Advanced Photoshop magazine…)

Dynamic lighting effects

Advanced Photoshop issue 81 is on sale now! We see stunning sports advertisements with powerful effects and incredible detail almost everywhere, whether on billboards, in magazines or on TV. At first, it may seem very difficult to achieve this type of style, but it’s not as hard as it looks if you have the right Photoshop know-how and the necessary resources.

In this tutorial we will learn how to effectively create a sports advertising image, which shows the movement and high energy of the athlete. Specifically, we will be using stock photos and basic PS tools such as the Pen and Brush tools to achieve powerful light effects. Also in this Masterclass, we will discover how to blend splattered paint stock images into our main scene to make it even more dynamic. Ultimately, we will be making our tennis player look as if he is half made out of a hologram.

For all this you should have a sound knowledge of the fundamental Photoshop tools and features, including the already mentioned Pen and Brush tools, as well as the Smudge tool, blending options and adjustment layers. Photoshop is simply the best photo-editing program to perform this type of project.

(Read more in issue 81 of Advanced Photoshop magazine…)

10 secrets of success

Advanced Photoshop issue 81 is on sale now!Freelance; the word can convey such an intoxicating intrigue for those stuck in the tedium of a nine-to-five job or for those currently questioning whether their career path is the right one. But going freelance, as fun-packed and liberating as it sounds, is no picnic and should not be entered into lightly.

As well as demonstrating a unique style or incredible artistic talent, to succeed as a freelancer, designers must also possess a wide range of personal skills. Freelancers need to be self motivated, amenable, confident at networking effectively face to face as well as online, have supreme time-management skills and be self disciplined in checking the legality of contracts and keeping on top of accounts.

In this feature we expose the top ten golden rules self-employed creatives should embody in order to succeed, helping you on your way to becoming a freelancing whiz, rather than a freelancing washout.

01: Understanding contracts

Mike Harrison

“I started freelancing after I came back from travelling because I wanted that sense of freedom to continue. I’ve worked for huge organisations such as Nike, so understanding what I sign is crucial for my business. Understanding contracts is probably the most important first step when you become a freelancer. If you don’t use one or don’t bother reading the one the client sends you, then you could find yourself in an awkward situation in the future if, for example, you want to display or publish your work or when it comes to getting paid correctly and on time.

“It might seem long and boring reading everything on a contract, but it’s good practice and will benefit you in the long run once it becomes part of your workflow. If you don’t understand any specific sections then look on useful websites to explain all the terms and conditions listed. [Alternatively, if you’re still stumped] seek advice from either a professional, a fellow creative or make an appointment at your local Citizens Advice Bureau or similar organisation that offers free and confidential advice. As well as understanding contracts, you also need to store them both digitally and as a hard copy. It may seem like a dull office-based task, but as it’s your business and livelihood, it needs to be done. Invest in a filing cabinet or filing box and have a specific [folder] on your computer where you store all legal documents, so you can retrieve them quickly and easily.”

(Read more in issue 81 of Advanced Photoshop magazine…)

Futuristic typography

Advanced Photoshop issue 81 is on sale now!This tutorial is aimed at creatives who already know their way around Photoshop. Intermediate to advanced users shouldn’t have a problem completing this tutorial, while for beginners it might prove to be more of a challenge – yet ultimately it’s achievable with a little patience and perseverance.

In this Workshop, Advanced Photoshop delivers techniques and an in-depth walkthrough on how to create your own 3D letterforms. Once the letters are complete we will focus on the shading and lighting, which will help you achieve styles associated with modern sci-fi epics such as TRON: Legacy and The Matrix – a look that is very popular right now. On top of this we’ll show you how to incorporate great-looking lighting effects into any artwork through nothing more than Photoshop options.

Although the basic shapes of the letters could easily have been made in 3D software, we wanted to show that it’s just as easy to use Photoshop – and that there are even benefits of doing so. The main advantage is that we can keep our artwork more stylistic, achieving an original look that wouldn’t be possible in 3D, with a combination of special effects that use little more than shape layers, brushes and layer masks – throwing in some Gaussian Blur and blending modes just to make the image pop at the end.

(Read more in issue 81 of Advanced Photoshop magazine…)