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A great training program for enhancing your graphic arts and illustration skills.

Video Training Review – Photorealism With Bert Monroy Volume 1 and 2 With Bert Monroy From Lynda.com.

Back a couple years ago I had the great pleasure of attending a NAPP 1 day workshop with Bert Monroy. While I was familiar with Monroy's work, I was not really familiar with him and how he created his art. I was completely blown away by what he has done and what he can do with Photoshop and Illustrator. Needless to say, while I learned what could be done, I was too mesmerized to fully pay attention on how everything was done. Lucky for me, I found Lynda.com and Photorealism With Bert Monroy because this is pretty much the whole day seminar contained in these two videos.

Monroy begins the introduction by creating an underwater scene in a little over 15 minutes. It is available online so you can get an idea of what this man can do with Photoshop and why I find his work fascinating. He starts off with a garden and finishes with an underwater scene.

In "Layers, Layer Styles and Alpha Channels" he explores how to use Layers and how they can be used for things other than standard visible layers. He also explains how, by creating an Alpha Channel you can save selections for future use, as well as explaining the differences in Selections and Layer Masks.

"Reflections" examines different ways to create reflections beginning with a simple mirror reflection, moving to more complex reflections such as "glory shots", or reflections in water, in the distance and in shiny surfaces. In "Textures" he shows how to create different textures whether it is from filters or from scanning, there are a lot of methods to create textures. He begins by creating a manila envelope, and then works through wood and stone textures.

In "Brushes," Monroy shows what can be done with the brush engine that was introduced in Photoshop 7. First he begins by showing how to create a brush that emulates an antique stitching pattern. From there he shows how to create a grass brush, a damage brush and a mold brush. He finishes by creating a Japanese maple tree using primarily brushes.

"Perspective" considers how to show perspective within your art work. This is something not very strong in Photoshop because it is a 2D program. While the later versions of Photoshop address some of these issues, here you are taught how to work with perspective the old fashion way. "Displace Filter" exposes you to the methods needed to bend things in Photoshop based on the relationship between two images.

"3D Effects," again using the old fashion way, examines how to create 3D effects. Here he shows lettering elements, light bulbs, and creating a CD in 3-dimensions. "Patterns" explores how to use patterns to create things like grills in sheet metal, brick walls and beans in a box. He explains how to use step and repeat to create these patterns.

In "Some Examples" Monroy explores a variety of techniques for creating realistic images such as rain, lighting, fire and smoke, chains and neon signs. He even includes some work within Illustrator.

Volume 2 of Photorealism With Bert Monroy continues on with even more examples that include plastic signs, icy letters, fire works and a waving banner as well as other tricks for working with blending, textures and Alpha Channels.

Again, I have been fascinated with Bert Monroy since I first saw his work and what he can do with it. If you are an illustrator or graphic artist, his techniques will be of great benefit to your work. If you want to learn how to push your skills beyond the limits of ordinary Photoshop, then Photorealism With Bert Monroy will show you how no matter what your discipline.

You can get Photorealism With Bert Monroy two ways. One is as a DVD training package Photorealism With Bert Monroy and the other is part of the online training experience at Lynda.com. The DVD Training Package is $149 USD and contains everything you need.

The online training Photorealism With Bert Monroy comes in three flavors. Monthly at $25 USD/month gets you all of the videos that are available online (approximately 21,811 videos on 318 topics at this time). Annually at $250 USD per year or Premium at $375 USD per year which get all the videos as well as all of the exercise files. Take note that the exercise files are not included with the monthly or annual subscriptions. They are included on the DVD and Premium subscriptions.

I can whole heartedly recommend Photorealism With Bert Monroy as a great training program for the individual student, as well as the college or vocational teacher looking to supplement their educational materials. It would be of great benefit to the Illustrator or Graphic Artist trying to enhance their skills. You can also try out the underwater scene for free at Lynda.com.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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