Book Reviews: Creative Photoshop CS4: Digital Illustration and Art Techniques [Paperback]
Editorial Reviews from Amazon.com
Amazon.com quotes for previous edition: “A tutorial book that is CREATIVE AND FUN!!! I really can’t recommend this book enough. The tutorials are easy to understand even when dealing with advanced techniques. It could be a bit much if you are brand new to Photoshop but I doubt it. I don’t think anyone looking into purchasing a book of this type would be at all disappointed. There are other tutorial books out there but this one has subjects and artwork that are truly engrossing. Not only are the tutorial format and content superb but the author offers an online community that can be accessed through his personal site. Here you can ask for help on problem areas from other readers and often the author himself and also post your own work that the lessons have hopefully helped you to create. An easy 5 stars, great work.” “Phenomenal! I purchased this book on a whim and was pleasantly surprised by the quality of its content. Lea takes readers step by step through simple and very complex design techniques. His instructions are easy to follow and, unlike many other Photoshop books I have picked up, just as easy to apply to other projects! Having access to the author through the reader forum on the book website makes this an even more useful tool. Any tips that might seem vague are easily explained by the man who wrote the book – and other readers that have overcome similar problems. I have worked through several books on Photoshop, but this has been the best by far!” Amazon.co.uk quotes for previous edition: “Fantastic! I have been a fan of Derek Leas work for a number of years since first discovering his tutorials in Computer Arts magazine. I often emailed Derek asking him if he was going to write a book on advanced digital imaging techniques. Derek finally took the challenge of writing a book and to say that the wait was worthwhile is an under statement! If you are a keen digital artist hungry for new techniques to apply to your work this is the book for you. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!!!” “Detailed discussion of sophisticated digital art techniques. This is one of very few Photoshop books that focuses on the creation of digital art, rather than the techniques required for certain standard tricks and effects…all of the tutorial images are genuinely inspiring, rich in textures, reflecting the author’s emphasis on the importance of incorporating scans of real world objects into digital illustration…Congratulations to Derek Lea, and needless to say, highly recommended!” Amazon.ca quotes for previous edition: “This Book is a refreshing change. There are so many generic Photoshop books out there that I stopped looking at them a while ago. Then I found this. Derek Lea has written the definitive guide for artists who want to create within Photoshop. I find the art so inspirational and the style of writing so easy to follow that I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to do something really cool with Photoshop. Lea also maintains a companion website to the book with an active forum. I found loads of people posting questions and even Lea himself was there to offer support to almost everyone who posted. Buy this book, then check out the web forums that go with it. You won’t be disappointed.; –#34
If you are a digital artist, illustrator, cartoonist, graphic artist, designer, or serious hobbyist looking for new and interesting ways to use Photoshop, this is the book for you! You already know how to use Photoshop as an image editing tool; now, challenge yourself and discover the more artistic aspects of the program with one of the world’s best teachers by your side.
In addition to four brand new chapters on real world projects, this new edition of award-winning digital artist Derek Lea’s bestselling Creative Photoshop contains several brand new features such as “What you’ll learn in this chapter” summaries, so you can quickly find projects using the specific tools you’d like to focus on, and supplementary information at the end of each chapter, containing useful resources and additional gallery images to provide further study and inspiration. As you work through Derek’s fantastic artistic methods, be sure to visit www.creativephotoshopthebook.com for more information, including the project files for each chapter, available for download for you to work with, a reader forum, and more.
*Stunning images from award winning digital artist Derek Lea inspire you to push your own creativity further than you even thought possible
*Compatible with previous versions of Photoshop
*Explore Photoshop from an entirely unique perspective as you learn how to create graffiti, antique effects, stencil art, and so much more
*Fully updated throughout for CS4, plus four brand new chapters on real world projects that combine traditional art methods with Photoshop to create tactile images
Customer Reviews from Amazon.com
By tachi1 “tachi1″
This review is from: Creative Photoshop CS4: Digital Illustration and Art Techniques (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What’s this?)
This is a project-based book for fairly experienced Photoshop users. It is not general Photoshop information or instruction for the uninitiated. It also seems to be geared to a niche category of designers, not the more conventional art, advertising, or photography market to which I belong. What follows are my subjective interpretations of the book’s content.
The good points:
* Clearly explained thought process and workflow supported by equally clear and logical screen shots of Photoshop dialogs and, particularly, detailed layer stacks (so necessary to understand the sequence and the logic).
* The author is a more than a merely competent artist. His original art (sketches, cartoons, line drawings, photographs) are the basis for the projects in the book.
* The author knows how to teach. Not every artist or technically-skilled author knows how to put himself in the place of a reader with less knowledge or abilities and explain the how’s and why’s of the process.
* Originality in the use of Photoshop for unusual purposes. While you might, personally, not share his artistic vision, the projects do open your imagination to ideas you might not have otherwise considered and which can be made applicable to your own taste and interpretations. Excellent as a launching pad for your own brand of originality.
* Web downloads for the project materials, etc. It helps to do things his way first using the exact same illustrations shown in the book before going off in your own tangent with your own materials.
* Excellent organization. Each chapter/project begins with a synopsis explaining the project, what he hopes to achieve, how he will proceed, and the purpose of the exercise. I wish other Photoshop books would do this.
* Although a certain proficiency in Photoshop is assumed and probably required (i.e. knowledge of paths, pixel and vector masks, layers, selections, etc.) an experienced user can follow the text and screenshots to complete all the project steps.
* Excellent index and general organization.
* Excellent marginal notations: practical, on-point, clear, and just plain interesting.
* Probably the most original Photoshop book I’ve ever come across.
The not so good:
* I don’t particularly care for his type of art (based on the genre of graffiti, tattoo, aliens, eyeballs, etc.). This is a problem because it is the art that sets the mood and 90% of the book is art I cannot relate to. Once I got past this, of course, I realized the actual techniques can be successfully adapted to any other graphic elements, but I wish there had been greater variety in the presentation.
* Our approaches to photography are polar opposites. He takes a photograph of a generic, middle-age woman and adds about 20-years worth of lines and wrinkles; sagging skin and chins; bags under the eyes and, possibly, a couple of terminal illnesses. I would take the same photo and try to make her skin smoother, her eyes brighter, and try to take 5-10 years off and an equal number of pounds. (Of course, what he does is so much more difficult than what I do that I might be displaying my jealousy here). Seriously, I did find this chapter extremely interesting and keep coming back to examine again how he did things. I don’t plan to use it myself (unless I get really mad at someone!) but as an exercise in reverse engineering it is priceless.
* You have to keep in mind that this is not, strictly-speaking, a “Photoshop” book. Photoshop serves as a supplement to or support for the original art created in another medium (hand-drawn then digitized art, or art created digitally in Illustrator or some other vector drawing program). You either have to have access to or be able to create the art, then bring it into Photoshop and go on from there. (There are two exceptions, in which the projects are based on photographs.)
* Plain Photoshop is used for most projects, but for the 3-D project, Photoshop CS4 Extended is required.
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