Sci-Fi De­sign Pack

THE JOY OF TECH Con­cept artist John Lib­erto serves up a tasty dish of tech­niques for Photoshop users who love paint­ing fu­tur­is­tic art

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Reviews -

Con­cept artist John Lib­erto serves up a tasty dish of tech­niques for Photoshop users who love paint­ing fu­tur­is­tic art.

The spirit of en­trepreneur­ship is alive and well in John Lib­erto’s Sci-Fi De­sign Pack. It’s great to see artists tak­ing ad­van­tage of mar­ket­ing and retail tools like Gum­road to pro­vide af­ford­able train­ing videos for those com­ing up be­hind them.

The Sci-Fi De­sign Pack brings to­gether three of John’s videos, which you can buy sep­a­rately if you wish, al­though the Pack rep­re­sents a $5 sav­ing. All three are pro­vided as high­res­o­lu­tion 1080p screen cap­tures with well-recorded au­dio, and Gum­road makes the pur­chas­ing and down­load­ing process straight­for­ward.

The videos all show­case John’s pas­sion for fu­tur­is­tic tech, but present a va­ri­ety of Photoshop tech­niques. Space­ship De­sign spot­lights line draw­ing with a splash of flat colour, while Vecto and Crab Mech cover paint­ing and ren­der­ing tech­niques.

John as­sumes you have a rea­son­able de­gree of Photoshop knowl­edge al­ready: this isn’t begin­ner ma­te­rial, but rather, prac­ti­cal in­spi­ra­tion for artists want­ing to broaden their skill set.

Above all, you’ll get an in­sight into the dif­fer­ence that con­sid­ered de­tails can make to your art. Dur­ing Vecto, for ex­am­ple, John ex­plores a range of ap­proaches that aim to “re­ward the eyes”: main­tain­ing in­ter­est in ev­ery area of the im­age by vary­ing colours and tex­tures. The de­ci­sions he takes are rooted in the re­al­ity of the scene, though: in Crab Mech, the robotic de­sign is en­hanced in ways that not only con­vince you that it’s a func­tion­ing ma­chine, but also pro­vide planes that catch the light in dif­fer­ent ways.

You could ar­gue that the pac­ing of the videos could be less se­date in parts: per­haps John could have sped up the video cap­ture slightly be­fore record­ing the voiceover to make the train­ing feel tighter. But that’s a mi­nor quib­ble against an epic slab of train­ing that will make you a bet­ter artist for not very much out­lay.

With his Sci-Fi De­sign Pack, John Lib­erto uses his con­sid­er­able con­cept art ex­pe­ri­ence to show you how to add in­ter­est to your art­work. De­tail­ing tech­niques such as mak­ing type look like it was hand-let­tered make all the dif­fer­ence. John’s Crab Mech ses­sion starts as a free-form splurge of brush strokes, be­fore shap­ing into a lively but tight con­cept piece.

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