Hi everyone! The last time I posted here on Scott’s blog it was while I was still working on the new Down & Dirty Tricks for Designers, Volume 2  and I am happy to announce the book is now shipping. If you enjoyed the first book then you are in for a real treat. This book is designed to take you to that next level with more involved tutorials that are more project based so you can learn these techniques in context. Not to mention I did the best I could to bring you some of the most eye-catching images to inspire your creativity. I have always thought that just seeing what is possible can open up possibilities and change your thought process to generate a new idea.

When Volume 1 of Down & Dirty Tricks for Designers rolled out in 2011 I was nervous and excited because it was my first book and was having a lot to love up to. It would have been like George Lucas handing over the Star Wars franchise to a first time writer. Having been on a hiatus of several years, the book was met with critical acclaim and successfully revived the once dormant franchise. I was excited to hear how much it impacted so many artists and got them thinking in very different ways. After a couple years of continued success I was asked to do a second volume. This time with all new content using all the latest new features in Photoshop CC including some more advanced 3D techniques and while the technology continues to evolve we must never lose that desire to see things others don’t and continue to show the world something it has never seen before and that you can definitely do in Photoshop.

Here’s a quick rundown of the chapters in this newest volume and some of my favorite examples:

Chapter 1 – This Will Help You On Your Way
This chapter is basically a collection of best practices if you are designing in Photoshop. I compiled a number of techniques I used often in my normal work as well as, throughout this book. These include different extraction techniques, custom brushes, texture effects and even toning effects using HDR. I wanted the reader to be abel to refer to these common techniques quickly instead of searching though the book they are all here in the first chapter.

Chapter 2- You Have a Way With Words
What is a Photoshop design book without a chapter on text effects? In this chapter we once again explore type as a design element. Text is designed to convey information, it is our job as designers to make that information as stylish and visually appealing as possible to grab the viewers attentions. Here I have put together a few fun exercises that will show how you can design with text in a number of different ways. One of my favorites being the Movable Type effect shown here. I laugh at the irony of using modern technology to create vintage effects but certain things just have a great nostalgia to the way they look.

Chapter 3 – That Was No Accident, It Was By Design
In the last book I had a chapter on design effects and it was one of the more popular chapters so had to include one this time. These are more commercial effects you might use for ad design for magazine or online. I even have a full project for designing a beer label for my friend Adam Rohrmann. He had a model shoot of a girl with her face made up to look like a sutra skull. The makeup was done by Shelley Giard and we knew I was going to do most of the work in Photoshop but definitely wanted a good base to start with. I was thrilled how well it came out and just had to include the full tutorial here in the book.

Chapter 4 – Creative Differences
This chapter was a new idea this time around. Since I have been doing this I have developed such great friendships with so many prominent photographers that have all too willing to let me play around with there images I thought it would be a good idea share what friendships like that can yield. I decided to have a chapter that featured the work of certain photographers whose work I loved. This time around I was only able to get 2 photographers in the book. The first one is Moose Peterson, who has been doing some remarkable aerial photography with vintage war planes recently. Moose had given me a hard drive full of images so I went crazy. Below you can see the full composite using two of Moose’s planes. This is in the book step-by-step. The next one is my friend Glyn Dewis who is a photographer and retoucher over in the UK. He does the great themed shoots and often will mimic some Hollywood image with his own little twist. In this book he allowed me to use his images to recreate a spoof of the poster image for the movie Looper. This too is in the book step-by-step.

Chapter 5 – Deus Ex Machina
This chapter is of course Hollywood effects. Which is one of my favorite things. I am a big fan of entertainment design especially movie posters. In this chapter we will explore some techniques to help give your designs that Hollywood “look”. In the last Down & Dirty book I had a short tutorial on creating a simple movie poster. This time around we have a fully involved project complete with studio shot images and a full composite build from start to finish. All too often see tutorials that show you only part of the process. In addition to some supplemental videos which are on the book companion site you have all you need to follow the project along from start to finish. Here is a quick time-lapse of that very poster.

YouTube time-lapse of Poster:

Chapter 6 – You Will Now be Entering Another Dimension
It is certainly no secret I am a big fan of 3D in Photoshop. I am constantly trying to push the envelope and really see what i can get out of it and this last chapter in the book is a testament to that. I guarantee you have not seen 3D in Photoshop taken to such an extreme. In fact the cover art which you saw at the beginning of this post was created entirely in Photoshop CC. No help from any other 3D applications at all. You would think this would require an insane amount of computing power right? Truth be told, I did the entire graphic on a 2 year old MacBook Pro!

So there are just a few examples among the myriad of tips and techniques found in this newest volume of the Down & Dirty series. You can certainly find out more and purchase your own right here or from Amazon.

Also be on the lookout for upcoming dates as we are going to be rolling out the Down & Dirty Design Seminar Tour in the Spring 2014.

You can see more of Corey’s work at CoreySBarker.com, and follow him on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter