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How to Cheat in Photoshop CS5: The art of creating realistic photomontages Paperback – Jun 22 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (June 22 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240522044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240522043
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 18.5 x 3.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #432,604 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"[A]n excellent book which basically majors on showing you how to get things done with a minimum of fuss and shows all kinds of fakery. Typical perhaps is the neon lettering effects that we have used in the Greg Preston feature of this issue, we lifted the technique right out of How To Cheat. The initial chapters also include sound advice on using masks and paths and more importantly, Caplin explains why certain dodges are vital to achieving a realistic fake.. Overall then, this remains a good book with a lot of really practical advice on how to cheat - enjoy!"--Professional Imagemaker Magazine

"This book is a joy to work through. It also makes a great reference when you absolutely have to get something done NOW! The two-page format is a great way to present information and an easy way to learn it. It makes a great asset for any Photoshop user working with compositions."--TCS eJournal

"I reviewed the previous version of this book and liked it a lot but the new version is bigger, better looking, and full of useful tips on creating photomontages using Photoshop's latest iteration. Many Photoshop books spend early chapters introducing tools but Steve Caplin demonstrates how to use those tools to create interesting looking images instead."--Shutterbug Magazine

About the Author

Steve Caplin is a freelance artist and author working in London, England. His satirical photomontage work is commissioned by newspapers and magazines around the world, including The Guardian, The Independent, The Sunday Telegraph, The Sunday Times Magazine, Radio Times, Readers Digest and L'Internazionale. Steve has worked for advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Lowe Howard Spink, and his work has won two Campaign Poster Awards and a D&AD Pencil award. He has lectured widely in England, Norway, France and Holland, and has taught digital design at the University of Westminster and the University of the Arts London. Steve is the author of ten books: How to Cheat in Photoshop (five editions), How to Cheat in Photoshop Elements (co-authored, three editions), Icon Design, Max Pixel's Adventures in Adobe Photoshop Elements, The Complete Guide to Digital Illustration (co-authored) and Art & Design in Photoshop. He has also co-authored three mainstream books: Dad Stuff, More Dad Stuff, Stuff the Turkey and Complete and Utter Zebu. When he's not at his computer Steve plays the piano well, the accordion moderately and the guitar badly. He spends his spare time making improbable constructions out of wood and other materials. His first commissioned sculpture was for the Bethlem hospital - the original 'bedlam' - in 2010.

Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have been using various web tutorials in an attempt to master photoshop montages for over a year now with some success. I am currently 3/4 of the way through this book and have made amazing progress with my montage skills. The instructions are clear and concise and the included DVD provides all practice files used throughout the book which really streamlines the learning process. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to improve their photoshop skills.
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Format: Paperback
I learned a great deal from this book. It is extremely well-designed--one project per two page spread. Very engaging, CD included.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dommage que le livre soit arrivé en étant abîmé sur les coins du livre même s'il était neuf.... Par contre, satisfaite de la livraison rapide....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa1849390) out of 5 stars 55 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1869dd4) out of 5 stars How to "photoshop" photos with Photoshop - a useful guide, with a few minor problems July 21 2010
By Nate - Published on
Format: Paperback
Photoshop is an extremely versatile tool, that allows you to enhance the quality of images to show exactly what you want to show even where the original conditions of capture were imperfect. Refining images in this way is not "cheating" - it's more a matter of "finishing" or completing the image, refining them to the point where they better reflect the reality as the photographer envisioned it when it was shot. Sometimes, though, you want to do more than just enhance what's there, and Photoshop has gotten better and better at allowing you to create things that don't exist, or to combine things that were never combined in reality. There's a word for that. It's called "photoshopping." When we say an image has been "photoshopped" we mean that someone cheated. But that's not at all a bad thing. It's a great thing, and it's the ease with which Photoshop allows you to manipulate and invent with images that makes it an indispensable tool for designers and artists. The aim of this book is to show you how to take advantage of that tool, starting with the basics, but moving quickly into some very cool stuff.

Steve Caplin's "How to Cheat with Photoshop" is easy to read and easy to follow. Rather than get bogged down in specifics, and telling you exactly how to do a specific thing, he lists the steps for how to do a certain kind of thing, but then he gives a specific example that you can follow along with (using photographs included on the dvd that comes with the book, or your own photographs) to be sure you get the concept. For the most part this works great - even though for a couple of examples I wanted him to be a bit more specific, since it took me a moment to figure out how to do what he suggested, the process of figuring it out helped me to gain a better understanding of the principles. So this is a good teaching guide, and taught me several new things, even though I'm not new to Photoshop.

One nice feature of the book is that each section is clearly marked as to who can use it. There are chapters that apply principles possible with every version of Photoshop and others that make use of features specific to CS3, CS4 or CS5, for example. This makes the book usable for those who don't have the latest version, and in principle those with the latest version should be able to make use of every feature. In practice that's not quite right, though. Even where he adds in new features, he keeps old things intact and doesn't always explain that some of things he describes are obsolete or inaccurate for CS5. For example, where he gives instructions for how to use the "Revise Edge" feature of the selection tools, he illustrates these with the "Revise Edge" panel from CS4 even where it has been changed for CS5. Occasionally, the diagrams are just wrong (for example on p. 81 he shows the black slider moved for the underlying layer, but he says to move the white slider, and that's what works). Also, sometimes the shortcuts he identifies are no longer functioning in CS5.

Still, this is a very helpful guide to manipulating images in Photoshop and creating realistic photomontages. I haven't mastered all of its exercises, but expect to have it on my desk and it's a great reference guide for a wide range of the very cool things you can do with Photoshop. Unfortunately, it gives me the impression of having been hastily revised to reflect changes in CS5, without having been thoroughly checked to be sure that all sections are up to date and accurate. Still, most of the mistakes are minor, and on the whole I learned a lot from working through this book. It should be said that this is not really an introduction to Photoshop and presupposes that its readers have a basic familiarity with how it works (with layers and masks and adjustments, etc.).
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1869e28) out of 5 stars So much fun you don't realize you're learning. July 28 2010
By tachi1 - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is the sixth edition of HOW TO CHEAT IN PHOTOSHOP and it's updated for PS CS5. Technically, this is not a book for someone wishing to learn Photoshop. People in advertising, illustrators, etc., are the target audience. I'm just a left-brain photographer, but I've learned a lot about what Photoshop is capable of doing by reading this book over the years and just "playing." (Especially in the area of what the various artistic filters can do and how blend modes alter your image.)

My previous copy was the second edition, back in the days of CS2, and I plan to keep it. I learned to use the pen tool (more or less) thanks to the tutorial in this book. (The current book has a different tutorial, but it's just as good). This book is much thicker, thoroughly updated, but just as imaginative and just as much fun. This edition has revised to take advantage of all software developments to both regular and Extended Photoshop.

I call the exercises "tutorials" for lack of a better word. But that word implies a list of necessary instructions to accomplish a task. These aren't really "tasks." They are fun, creative, and imaginative projects you can create using image(s) (or parts of images) and Photoshop--no artistic ability or creative inspiration required. The resulting images are not bizarre, tasteless, or gory--they're just creative and useful. Ex: making a sign look like it's printed on fabric, or turning a day scene to a night scene, or distorting what you see behind the glass you just placed in your collage, or making a car float in a pool. Yes, it's fun--but you learn a lot in the process of doing it.

Some of the "old" tutorials do reappear in this version, but only those covering those rare parts of Photoshop that haven't evolved. Even there, many (such as the turning a photograph of a person into a statue) have been redone with entirely new photographs and a different workflow that I like much better. (He then, also, did it backwards: statue to person). Some seem to be the same tutorial but, if you look closely, you realize that, although the photo examples used are the similar, the steps and explanations have been updated. In addition, A LOT of completely new material has been added. You've got to give Steve Caplin credit for giving value and not taking his public for granted.

In addition to the text, the CD has a lot of extra content. There is a huge folder called "Deleted Pages". I assume that some of these tutorials were deleted from versions between 2 and 6 to make room for newer ones, so it's like getting several books for the price of one. The photographs used to complete the effects in the tutorials are also included, as are about 3 hours-worth of video content directly related to the techniques used in the book. They are Quick Time movies and, on Windows 7, I was having a little trouble getting them to play with sound. Right clicking and choosing "open with" Quick Time player solved the problem. (Double clicking just got me "codec" and "compression" errors).

His books are excellent and I love the way he thinks. He imagines the image he wants to create; he mentally deconstructs it in his head and breaks it down into the individual components; and then he re-assembles it in Photoshop. He is an expert at Photoshop and a genius at seeing the potential in ordinary images and in finding new and different ways to use them. I highly recommend the book both as a learning experience and as sheer (but productive) entertainment.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa186c120) out of 5 stars Clear, accurate instructions with mediocre examples Aug. 16 2010
By Jerry Jackson Jr. - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
"How to Cheat in Photoshop CS5: The art of creating realistic photomontages" is a solid guide for teaching amateur Photoshop users how to create various photo effects, content edits, and photo merges. The author provides excellent step-by-step instructions that are easy to understand and simple to follow as long as you're somewhat familiar with the various Photoshop tools.

The only issue that I have with this book is that the sample images aren't particularly "photorealistic." In other words, the sample images provided by the author look like fake images that were done in Photoshop. This might not have bothered me if the subtitle of this book wasn't "The art of creating realistic photomontages."

Every example used in this book looks like the type of image that if you showed it to any random person they would say, "This is a fake photo made in Photoshop." That does not mean the instructions in this book are bad, but if you spend a little time and effort you can use these same instructions to make a MUCH better photo.

You can argue that the sample images were chosen so that amateur Photoshop users wouldn't feel bad if their images didn't look real, but in my opinion sample images in a book about creating "realistic" images shouldn't look fake.

I would still recommend this book to anyone who needs quality step-by-step instructions for the various techniques discussed in the book, but the sample images do a horrible job of illustrating what the finished product should look like if you follow the steps outlined in each chapter.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa186c600) out of 5 stars Not a computer book to leave on the shelf! July 7 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I borrowed a previous edition of this from my local library, and was enchanted by the well organised mix of practical tips and engaging humor. I was also impressed by how easy it was to apply what I had learnt to my own digital work, whether I wanted to create realism, or deliberately distorted versions of reality. When I recently upgraded to Photoshop CS5 I decided to treat myself to the matching latest edition of Steve Caplin's excellent guide. The exercises are fun, the included DVD has all the files used in the book, several hours of video tutorials and a whole bunch of other resources. Caplin's writing style is light, amusing and very authoritative. This book is strongly recommended for those who already know their way around the basics of Photoshop, and are ready to (as it says on the back) let their creativity run wild.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa186c468) out of 5 stars How to Cheat in Photoshop CS5: The art of creating realistic photomontages Aug. 25 2010
By Loves Books in MD - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is an update of the "How to Cheat in Photoshop" series so that it now includes Photoshop CS5 commands. The book demonstrates advanced artistic techniques that are explained in a simple step by step way. This is not a beginner's guide to Photoshop. In fact, it's not the first book you should buy, probably not even the 2nd book. You need to have some experience to fully appreciate the techniques that are described. It's well written and illustrated. You could read it cover to cover but I've been jumping around reading about specific techniques (out of order) and it still makes sense.

In my opinion this book would best serve illustrators, designers, and graphic artists. Photographers may get a lot out of it but the illustrations look more like artwork than photographs. I'm not knocking that... I wish I had that talent but when editing a photo, I want a photograph to look like a photograph not an illustration. If you're a photographer, I suggest going to a brick and mortar store and browsing it to see if it meets your needs. That said, I learned a lot from this book and did enjoy reading it.