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Beyond Photoshop: Advanced techniques integrating Photoshop with Illustrator, Poser, Painter, Cinema 4D and ZBrush Paperback – 1 Sep 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press (1 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240811909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240811901
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 17.8 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 908,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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"Derek Lea is well placed to bring various software applications together as he operates from a graphic background, teaching at the Centennial College in Toronto. In his introduction he makes a very telling case for avoiding the situation where the computer becomes the "safe haven" from really creative thought. He holds the view that the creatives can be guilty of retreating into the comfort of familiar software rather than allowing themselves the space for free thinking, unfettered by the mechanics of a computer program.. The truly innovative step, that marks out the movers and shakers of our world over the also-rans is the ability to think up new ideas and to execute them in particular ways. Certainly for competition entries which have ambitions to catch the judges' eyes, something new and innovative always goes quite a long way - software alone rarely does that though, you still need the inspiration, so doodle with the pencil first then turn on the computer! It might help to have Beyond Photoshop close to hand along with the tutorial images available at"--Professional Imagemaker Magazine

"Beyond Photoshop is a well-written guide for the artist who wishes to combine Photoshop with Illustrator, Poser, Painter, Cinema 4D or ZBrush. Author Derek Lea has created a much-needed addition to the digital artist's library by putting together a guide in which you can literally choose any chapter and work through his examples; one does not need to start at the beginning and read to the end to reap the benefits of this book."---San Francisco Book Review

"A fine, award-winning survey of how to create stunning works of art using Photoshop and how to use it with other software packages such as Illustrator, Poser, or Painter. Digital artists who already have experience with the program will find this the perfect choice to move to the next level of experience, demonstrating the core features of each program and how they can interact. No serious Photoshop collection should be without this!"--Bookwatch

About the Author

Award-winning digital illustrator, author and regular contributor of tutorials and articles on Photoshop and Illustrator techniques to leading magazines worldwide; professor of Graphic Design-Media at the Centennial College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is Oky but if you have many prior knowledge of the software systems in it, Photoshop, illustrator, poser and Zbrush, then chances are theres nothing you don't already know here
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 29 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Well-written, thorough step-by-step tutorials but it's limiting because... 13 Oct. 2010
By Dennis A. Amith - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Beyond Photoshop: Advanced techniques integrating Photoshop with Illustrator, Poser, Painter, Cinema 4D and ZBrush" by Derek Lea is a wonderful book for those who are looking to incorporate Photoshop to their illustrators, 3D work or painting projects.

I recommend this book for those who are past the basics of Adobe Photoshop and those who have dabbled and own the software mentioned below. It's important to note that the author is using CS4 for these projects.

The chapters are:

CHAPTER 1: Sharp Edges and Painterly Blends (Adobe Photoshop CS4 & Illustrator CS4)
CHAPTER 2: 2D Textures and 3D Vectors (Adobe Photoshop CS4 & Illustrator CS4)
CHAPTER 3: Live Trace and Pathfinder Effects (Adobe Photoshop CS4 & Illustrator CS4)
CHAPTER 4: Hand Painted Magic (Adobe Photoshop CS4 & Painter 11)
CHAPTER 5: Create an Old Master (Adobe Photoshop CS4 & Poser 8)
CHAPTER 6: The Best of Both Worlds (Adobe Photoshop CS4 & Cinema 4D 11)
CHAPTER 7: Sculpting Raw Materials (Adobe Photoshop CS4 & ZBrush 3.2)

The first step is to go to the website for the book and download the project files and from there, begin following the instructions laid out in the book. Instructions are very thorough and one of the reasons why this book has only 7 chapters is because it's thorough and Derek Lea does a fantastic job explaining each step.

The good news is that with each step, there is a picture of the artwork and the tool on the software being used, so you can see what is being selected.

If anything, this is a book that works well for those who are at the intermediate level. Beginner level, it all depends on how fast you learn and your familiarity with other software. And this is where the book has its caveat and that is one may own Illustrator but then not own the other software and thus making the other chapters obsolete until you get it.

Even for me, I've purchased and owned only four of the software, so I can only go up to chapter 5. And I assume that many people will be in the same boat.

There are awesome techniques from Derek Lea but it's a book that will be subjective to the user because you need these software to work the project files. Also, it depends on how current your software is. Granted, if you know the software well, you don't need the latest versions and do your own personal workaround.

Overall, "Beyond Photoshop" is a book that is well written and definitely handled quite well by the writer Derek Lea. It would be great to have multiple "Beyond Photoshop" books that focus on Photoshop and one software rather than one book featuring techniques with several software, because it limits the user to the software they own. If you only own Photoshop and Illustrator, you only have three chapters to work with.

This book does favor Photoshop/Illustrator with three chapters and one for the others. So, in a way, I wish there were 3 chapters dedicated to Photoshop + another software each to make the book balanced (if it was well-balanced, this book would receive a 5-star rating) but since it's not, I'm only going to give it three stars. But it's a very good book, it's a well-written book but unfortunately, it's limiting.

It's a solid book but if you intend to buy this, make sure you have the software, so you can utilize each chapter.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Limited in scope, but some good stuff 4 Sept. 2010
By GameMaker - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a fairly unique book. Basically, it's a step-by-step, even click-by-click walkthrough of 7 projects. In all cases, you are using Photoshop in conjunction with another tool, to create the final artwork.

The projects are:

1) Using Illustrator and Photoshop to create a stylized women's face with some fancy little traces in the background.

2) Another Illustrator and Photoshop project, this one more cartoony

3) Another Illustrator and Photoshop project, this one has you create a complex composition with lots of different elements.

4) Corel Painter and Photoshop. You use a couple of photos, composite them together in Photoshop, and use Painter to make a digital Painting

5) Poser and Photoshop to create an interesting digital composition. You create some figures in Photoshop, render them, create the background in Photoshop, and composite them together.

6) Cinema 4D and Photoshop to create an alien head render.

7) Zbrush and Photothop to create a devil's head composition.

Each project is pretty substantial, taking about 50+ pages to complete. Some of the art assets you create, and some of them you can download from the author's website.

So how are the projects? Well, there is some good learning there. And very little prior knowledge of these tools is assumed, so if you are just getting started in any of these tools, the projects can be very useful. As far as the actual art that is created, if you are thinking of following along with your own art assets and creating a unique composition: I dunno, I liked the Poser one and the Painter one, but really none of the others. But that is just personal preference.

Whether this book is useful to you is likely to be a matter of which tools you own and use. Obviously there is a heavy emphasis on Illustrator and Photoshop, and only one project using Poser, Painter, Zbrush, and Cinema 4d. If these are tools you own and use, and you are a begginer - intermediate, then I think you can definitely get something useful from this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Inspired me to delve much deeper 10 Sept. 2010
By Diane Kistner - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Derek Lea notes in the Introduction to "Beyond Photoshop" that one must be at least an intermediate-level Photoshop user to effectively use this book. But I can tell you, as a self-taught Illustrator user who has been in Photoshop only to do some basic cropping or resizing, that I found this book very inspiring and a call to delve in more deeply.

I have avoided Photoshop out of sheer bewilderment. With "Beyond Photoshop," I find that I can pick up and learn the tools as they are mentioned, before attempting a chapter's instruction. I am a conceptual learner, so it's helpful to me to see examples of how a tool is used before I explore it. Sure, I can't move through the chapters as quickly as would an intermediate or advanced user, but I am learning from this book!

It is most helpful (and less daunting) that the chapters are self-contained. Lea invites readers to start wherever they want to, and he offers links to download the files and trial versions of all software used in the book--plus a forum for further discussion with other artists. Talk about "value added"!

The first three chapters are devoted to combining Photoshop and Illustrator, so I'm finding I'm learning Photoshop techniques but also advancing my knowledge of Illustrator considerably. Chapter 3, Live Trace and Pathfinder Effects, especially, has gotten me off to playing into the wee hours of the morning. It's definitely FUN! I'm seeing ways to move beyond some very basic (again, self-taught) designs I do in Illustrator. Lea breaks everything down into very detailed steps, so I can linger over one step as long as I wish.

Chapter 4, Hand-Painted Magic, introduces readers to Painter. I'm not likely to get into doing this kind of artwork, but the techniques further expanded my vision of what I can do in Illustrator in terms of composition and minimization of clutter.

It was not until I got to chapters 5 (Poser), 6 (Cinema 4D), and 7 (ZBrush) that I felt like I was in way over my head, but not because the instruction is difficult. On the contrary, Lea covers these three programs, as interfaced with Photoshop, in a very clear and understandable way. He assumes even advanced readers will probably not have had much, if any, experience with the software. These last three chapters range far outside the artistic realms a self-taught book designer like me is likely to venture into in terms of "need to know"; however, I found them exciting to peruse. I can see now how some of the extraordinary effects in the movie "Artificial Intelligence" might have been achieved.

On the whole, "Beyond Photoshop" has really inspired me. I'm very glad I got this book! Now, I want to get Lea's "Creative Photoshop" as well.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Simply stated - This is a very inspiring book! 8 Oct. 2010
By Kent Baker - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a photographer. Sometimes I have a vision for one of my images that trancends what I can accomplish with 'normal' photographic techniques and tools. This book certainly opened my eyes to a whole new world of possibilities! I am excited to begin the learning peocess of using the new tools, techniques and visions that are presented in this book. Since I already have Photoshop CS5 and Painter 10 I am going to begin with those pograms. But the author points out that free trial versions of the other programs he uses are available, so I will be trying those programs and techniques also. There is also a very comprehensive website for reader of this work with all the images and techniques you will need to duplicate any of the projects in the book. That is the mark of a true master, the willingness to share his entire work with you, including materials, techniques, images and tools. This is not a simple book full of simple techniques, but rather a comprehensive volume full of amazing, though often complex, excercises that result in some amazing works that I could only dream about previously! As complex as some of the excercises are, they are presented in a series (often a long series) of simple procedures that anyone with only moderate skills should be able to execute without any problem. The author understands that the best way to accomplish a complex task is to break it down into a logical series of simple steps. He does that extremely well!! Derek Lea has provided an invaluable book for those of us who want to explore the creative aspects of going 'Beyond Photoshop'. This book gets my highest recommendation!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Really great book! 17 Sept. 2010
By BOOK REVIEW - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'm sort of addicted to Photoshop books. Every time I go to the bookstore I'm always keeping my eyes out for good ones. I can pull out at least 10-12 books and browse through them to see if they are worth purchasing, and I find myself lucky to find one that is really good. This book is one of those lucky finds. I usually find any Elsevier book to be really high quality and this one was no exception. I don't own all the software used in this book. But I do own Illustrator and Photoshop and have always wanted to get a better handle on how to use them together. The tutorials in the book assume you have Adobe Creative Suite 4, if not, you can download a free 30 day trial version from Adobe. I think you'll also find it extremely helpful to have a Wacom pen tablet if you already own one to work on the projects in the book. Another really fantastic feature of this book is that all the files you need to create the projects in the lesson plans are available for downloading free on the companion website! The artwork may not be your style, however, these are high quality artistic images and thus a pleasure to work with and the lessons do empower you to apply what you learn with your own materials/files/images etc. which I think is when the real fun begins. Not only is this author passionate, he is an outstanding writer and educator and its very obvious he as equally enthusiastic about teaching as he is about art, which is extremely rare!
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