Kraken Attack in London!: Photoshop Tutorial

Photoshop Tutorial for "Kraken Attacks London"

When I used to teach myself Photoshop, I found following tutorials to create cool images the most entertaining way to learn. Sure, I’d only create that one image this one time, but by going through the process and understanding the steps, I could then take those techniques and apply them on hundreds of images I would produce later.

For that reason I’m going to write up a few Photoshop tutorials myself. Today I’ll show you how I made Kraken Attack in London! (available to buy as cards, prints, and iPhone cases)

First you need to source your images. When looking for free imagery I like to search Flickr for those that are Creative-Commons licensed. And if you plan to adapt the image (which we definitely are) and sell the image in anyway (as I have done) then you need to make sure you tick these boxes:

Take your time looking for images. The first rule of good photo editing is making sure you source suitable images. Try to image how they’ll fit together. See if the angles will work. For this project I was looking for suitable city and creature shots. The other requirement of using Creative Commons-licensed content is attribution. You must attribute the original photographers. I’ve listed the names of the photos I used at the end of this tutorial.

Step 01: Open your base image in Photoshop. Use the marquee tool to select the area you wish to use. If you have a size ratio you wish to use, this can be set in the top bar. Once selected use Image > Crop to crop the image.


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All new portfolio

I’ve worked professionally with graphics and videos for close to ten years now, longer if we count further education. Basically ever since leaving school, part of my day-to-day life has been about either moving or still imagery. I edited photos in a darkroom before I even knew what Photoshop was. I was paid to encode and upload online videos before YouTube made it easy (remember streaming RealMedia? *shudder*). I was even involved in attempts to stream videos to mobile phones before any of them were wireless or even 3G enabled.

Yet it wasn’t until the beginning of this year I realised that, as an image guy, I should have an online portfolio. Just never occurred to me. So much of my work from previous years has been lost to site rebuilds or were hidden behind subscription paywalls. It would have made sense to have one area I could upload my content, paid or personal, to represent my body of work.

Well that’s just changed. I’ve built a portfolio site.

It may only have a fraction of my work from the last ten years, but I’m very much looking forward to filling it up with the next ten years.

PixelArt book covers

I’ve been getting into PixelArt recently. It’s a really nice style and it’s fun learning about the different techniques to get proper lines and curves and whatnot. I had a few huge ideas for pixel art projects, but they’d all take a large chunk of time to complete and I’m not sure I can commit to that yet. So instead, to get a bit of practice, I’ve created thirty PixelArt book covers for my friend Sarah McKenna’s website Reader, I Read It (if you like book I seriously recommend you bookmark it). Some are based on real covers those novels have had, others are completely my own invention.

PixelArt Book Covers

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett     Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka     Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Time for a redesign

I’ll be redesigning this site over the next few days. Why? Oh, a few reasons. One is because I want it to reflect my output more. The last design was created for a comic-based output. But me being me, I’d spend one period drawing loads of comics, then another period taking lots of photos, then another experimenting with new graphic programs, then another period writing something or other, and so on and so forth. Limiting this site to just the comics part meant that there were often long gaps between posts.

So, if you come here between now and, oh, say Monday, and the place looks weird, then don’t worry. I like to play about with WordPress and I’ll often publish Work in Progress live as I go.

Some Things Just Feel Nice - Nov 2009 Screenshot

Some Things Just Feel Nice - Nov 2009 Screenshot