C4021A – Produce Electronic Design (Advanced)

The Brief

In a hectic graphic design studio there is rarely time to sit a junior down and show them how to achieve the million and one possible Photoshop effects.

The onus is on the designer to be constantly learning new tricks and effects, keeping up to date on new tools and their possible application.

So taking a cue from industry you are required to research a particular photoshop effect.

You will have to research, perfect and and deliver live to the class a NEW effect that you have developed.

There are thousands of tutorials online that you can use for your research but the effect you demonstrate must be unique to you. You will produce a hand out that will allow anyone in the class to follow you step by step. This should include source images, a pdf instruction manual assembled professionally in InDesign, and a before and after PSD file.

Do not just go to the internet and copy the work you find there, this is an opportunity to show and shine.

It is lazy and defeats the purpose of the assignment. After all you are here to learn, and learning is mostly research and the application of that research.

As the course progresses the training wheels come off and there is a greater expectation of each student to be increasingly self directed in the nature and tone of their work.

Only you can find your unique “VOICE”.

Allocated Time: 6 weeks or 36 hours

Ideas for this project.

  1. Zombify a portrait
  2. Turn a potrait into Cthulu
  3. Take a pencil sketch and colourise it
  4. Apply a tattoo to a phot of a body part
  5. Body with skin peeled back showing mechanical internals
  6. Encase an object in ice (or turn somebody into ice)
  7. Montage of cycling images
  8. Gigerise a portrait (or biomechanise something)

Top 5

  • Zombify a portrait
  • Turn a potrait into Cthulu
  • Take a pencil sketch and colourise it
  • Montage of cycling images
  • Gigerise a portrait (or biomechanise something)

The Winner

  • Gigerise a portrait (or biomechanise something)

Photoshop Tutorial

Subject: Convert pencil sketch into photorealistic image

Skill Level: beginner

Estimated Time: 15 minutes (2hrs for an excellent result)


  • Photoshop CS5
  • Graphics Tablet
  • Provided images (creative commons license – you can modify/use as long as you cite me)

Additional tools (trainer note):

  • screen recording software
  • You tube account

Tutorial Guts

I have chosen a sketch of mine of a creature’s head.  I figure it would be good for my photoshop chops if I could convert it into something that would pass as photorealistic.

07/01/2012 update. Hmm, after having big plan for the holidays, it feels like I did not go on holidays and I’ve spent maybe 2 hours on this. Considering I want to finish it, then run through again following the instructions and taking screen caps, I could be in for a few more late nights. Will I ever learn?

Here is the final tute. The end result was a bit crappy and can do with some additional tweaking.

Photrealism from a sketch tutorial

Start and end images


“Your process is very thorough, the step by step tutorial supplied is painstakingly exact.

No room for error there.

The end result is actually more compelling than I had initially though, and it is nice to see that you allowed a level of flexibility. In that when you decided it was not as strong visually as you wanted you extended the process.

All in all a good submission. Now space lizard-men are not my cup of tea, but even I can appreciate that it is very well done.”