Imaginify – A dreamworld
(The Imaginary Kingdom series)
Designed specifically for the redbubble “Imaginify’ CS5 Challenge”.
The rules of the challenge were to create a fantastical image of reality-defying proportions utilizing the powerful new features of Photoshop CS5. Either by modifying an existing photo or creating an image from scratch. “We’re looking for the absurd, the astonishing and the downright whimsical.”
The challenge was designed to encourage us to use CS5 – and explore its new features, so I thought it would be fun to create an image which utilised some of these features to their best and which stretched my own imagination.
One of the most pleasing new features for me, is the new ‘refine edge’ tools, which enable you to select and cut out images faster than the speed of light ( well, almost!) If you look closely at the animals here in this image, you will see that I have been able to capture the very fine hairs around the edges of the bodies and in particular of the bee-lion. Using older versions of Photoshop this took forever, but the new edge detection with Smart Radius does a better job of working out what you’re actually trying to select and with content like fur and hair it makes the job much easier. Added to this is the Decontaminate colours option with a slider to really fine tune edge selections. It is fabulous.
Another time-saving new addition is the the Content Aware feature within the spot healing brush, which allows you to paint over any content you don’t want and fill the chosen area with matching pixels automatically sampled from multiple areas around to give an intelligent seamless heal. I used this and the patch tool to create the lizard skin on the elephant body. I had previously created the elelizard in an earlier version of PS, but I recreated it in CS5 to see what the difference would be. It is huge!!
I could wax lyrical about the new brushes, – the most exciting for me being a tablet pressure control that overrides brush settings and tunes in with your graphics tablet. The tablet pressure brush appears on any tool that has brush characteristics and can be controlled with a graphics tablet. Some brushes also have a tablet pressure control for opacity too. Here, the tree was completely painted from scratch, using only brushes and brush textures.
So, although this image did take a long time to create, it was completed in far less time, and with much less frustration, than it would have taken in earlier versions of Photoshop.
Image Creation & Stock
The start image of Sydney Skies was taken with a Nikon D200, 18-200mm lens, F22 1/80 ISO 200
All background images from my own stock
Elephant: My stock.
Bird Of Paradise flower – own stock
Painted in Photoshop
There was only one song that I wanted to attach to this – John Lennon with ‘Imagine’