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on 28 December 2007
I don't usually write reviews but after going through this book in depth I want to recommend it to everyone who is interested in digital art. Finally, a Photoshop book that tells you how to create stunning art in depth is here!

The cool thing about Lea's book is that it is a series of very detailed tutorials. What sets it apart is that each chapter walks you through the process of creating a single, stunning piece of art. All of the files are on the disc and the linear, methodical, step-by-step approach helps you produce something amazing, rather than leaving you to fend for yourself. The cool thing about Lea's approach is that each chapter is self contained and as long as you follow each step, you'll create the amazing image at the beginning. You can jump around from chapter to chapter rather than building up from start to finish, which is also cool.

There is also a lot of inspirational art included in galleries at the end of each chapter. So even though you created the art in the tutorial, you have a clear indication of what else you can do after learning Lea's techniques. It really is amazing to see how much diversity one guy is capable of. I found the explanations clear and on the same level with my skills, which I guess could be considered intermediate.

If you want to create impressive art in Photoshop, this is the book for you. However, if you're a newbie, and you want to learn quick and simple tricks this isn't the book for you. If that is the case, you might benefit more from some of the very basic tutorials for free on the net, or you may want to check out something from the more basic 'classroom in a book' series.

This book is essential for those who want to really flex some creative muscle in Photoshop and aren't afraid to get into something complex. You'll learn to work in a range of different styles and the techniques you'll learn can be applied to original work of your own.
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on 12 November 2007
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. I'd say that the book to which it can be most closely compared is Daniel Giordan's 'The Art of Photoshop'.

Each chapter provides detailed, step-by-step instructions for the development of a piece of striking Photoshop art: 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. There is plenty of valuable advice on gathering source materials: simple effects generated from old fax machines and photocopiers provide the raw materials for some of the most impressive pictures.

For me, the most useful feature of the book is its discussion of alpha channels, which are used again and again to build up each image's complexity. I had never before appreciated quite how powerful channels can be as a means of adding convincing textures and distressed effects to digital imagery. This book illustrates their versatility more clearly than any other I've read. If you are interested in creating 'grungy', 'weathered' digital imagery, you must read 'Creative Photoshop'.

Congratulations to Derek Lea, and needless to say, highly recommended!
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on 16 September 2009
I'm a photoshop user, and I found some stuff of value here. But I'd only recommend this for novices, because if you know even half of what Photoshop can do, you'll be skipping vast chunks. 18 chapters each deal with a different technique and outcome, but the chances are you'll know some or all of them.

The book only devotes one chapter to actual photomanipulation (it's the one on the cover), and while the techniques shown are good, it isn't enough. The rest of the book delves into poster art, cartoon effects, colouring, and 3d model texturing. Myself, I find that too varied a selection.
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on 9 September 2011
super book - suggestion from a friend to enhance techniques and abilities in creative manipulations.
Full of exciting new techniques for those who have got a little stuck in their photoshop ways.... tools and techniques you never knew you would need... recommended highly.
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on 23 October 2007
I have 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!!!
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on 14 May 2008
Creative Photoshop by Derek Lea, is an easy to follow, extremely well written book and includes a CD Rom with all the necessary image files, so you could recreate the tutorials inside the book.

A great book, by a great artist.
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