Photoshop Practice

I am working on a couple of euro-style strategy card games at the moment.  The first is a business start-up game, and the second is a space-themed game loosely based on my experiences playing the Traveler role-playing game years ago.   A good stock image account (I use Shutterstock) gets me everything in terms of card images I need for the first game, but royalty-free space images are harder.  However, it is actually possible to start with prosaic industrial and other images and hack them to look futuristic, but it takes some work.

So I have been working on Photoshop skills.  If I could digitally paint, I would paint beautiful concept art, but I cannot.  So my Photoshop training has focused not on painting per se but on hacking images together and overlaying effects.   A LOT of the work is learning to do selections well to mash up images and then overlaying a few effects.   I can make a really good laser beam now, for example.  Take a modern weapon, have a laser beam come out, wala a pretty functional sci fi gun  (Don't believe me?  Look at the Death Star Turrets in the original Star Wars movie and tell me those aren't essentially current-era battleship turrets with green and red light coming out).  I wrote earlier about the lessons I followed in making custom planets.

As an example, here is the lesson I did last night.  It is not production value because it started with a low-res iPhone photo my daughter sent me and as you can tell from the edges and especially the hair, I did not spend much effort getting the edge selection just right.  But my daughter liked being a cyborg:

Click to enlarge


She has dark brown hair and dark brown eyes, so she is not the ideal model for this because those are hard to colorize well.  Blondes may or may not have more fun, but they are much easier to colorize.  The downsize of the exercise is that she loved the hair and now wants to color it that way for real.


  1. Incunabulum:

    A euro style business start up game - so the only way to win the game is to play as the bureaucrat?

  2. Dane Carlson:

    I assume it's a "euro-style card game" about business rather than a card game about "euro-style business."

    Since you're the one who turned me on to Euro-style card games, I can't wait to see it.

  3. coyoteblog:

    yes, I guess the placement of adjectives is important. It is a Euro-style game about a business startup. The objective is to play many turns and to reach the highest market share while holding on to the most equity possible. What makes it euro-style in my mind is that there are many ways to score but only a limited ability to take action each turn, so one must prioritize. Often, the prioritization is between building capability that will increase bandwidth for future scoring, vs. scoring immediately. Of course, I guess you could do a Euro startup game where you play many turns and the winner is the first one who gets the business fully permitted.

  4. NRG:

    Well?? Does she get the hair??

    and I presume the eye color change contact lenses too

  5. NRG:

    Why isn't anybody talking about all the data on gun websites and others. They most certainly are spidering and storing all that data too. He|| that has no expectation of privacy. But they certainly can gather it all and then sort out whom has what. When a body considers this, it is certainly chilling to free speech. I think I need to shut up or be part of a gun registry schema.

    The gathering most certainly is legal. Is the act of sorting? Who woulda thought technology is destroying freedom?

    Sad really. FDR is dancing the victory dance in his grave. Socialism at it's finest.

  6. NRG:

    oopsie wrong blog.

  7. Joshua Vanderberg:

    Ok, cool - but a tad creepy to turn your daughter into a scantily clad cyborg )

  8. Nehemiah:

    There haven't been any new business start ups in Europe since the 19th century. Must be a historical based game.

  9. John H. Anderson:

    Please tell me you used "wala" ironically.

  10. j:

    If you blur the clothing more, it will stand out less from the blurred iphone photo.

  11. Chad:

    If you REALLY want to do amazing things with PhotoShop, check out