The 10 most popular Photoshop tutorials from 2014 by leading illustrators, designers and photographers.

Over the past year, we've had the pleasure of publshing some amazing Photoshop tutorials created by some of the most talented visual creatives in the world. 

While easy to follow step-by-step, these aren't the usual 'how to remove red-eye' and 'how to turn a photo into a terrible painted artwork' tutorials that you'll find all over the Internet. They're not for beginners and don't waste your time teaching you things you already know - but instead for talented people like you who know their way around Photoshop and want to learn how to make your art better.

So here's our top 10 Photoshop tutorials of 2014.

Photoshop tutorial: Create a low-poly portrait (picture above)

Here Brazilian designer Breno Bitencourt shows you step-by-step how to create a stylish low-poly portrait in Illustrator and Photoshop.

The secret to creating works in this style is working from the best reference photos – and first off Breno reveals how to capture these (using himself as a model). He then reveals how to work these up in Photoshop, then create a vector version in Illustrator.

Photoshop tutorial: Create powerful lighting effects with clouds and lightning

A small character can tell a big story – but traditional character art can be rather flat and one-dimensional, tending towards a cartoonish feel.  

In this tutorial, Ricardo Ajcivinac shows how to recreate this brilliant image, and how to give your character art extra punch by using lighting and layer styles.

Photoshop tutorial: How to change colours of elements in a photo

When editing your photos, you may find that sometimes that you love an image, but would prefer it if an element such as some jewellery was a different colour, or the model was a brunette rather than a blonde. By learning how to change these elements in Photoshop, you might be able to save yourself time and money by not having to schedule in another full day of shooting. 

In this tutorial, we’ll cover the basic steps of colour mixing in Photoshop by turning the model’s gold jewellery and the detailing on her dress into silver. Once you’ve mastered this, you’ll be able to adapt these skills to a number of different applications including garments and hair.

Photoshop tutorial: Design a pop-up illustration

Pop-ups can add a sense of playfulness to your work. They can also offer an element of surprise and interaction – and it can be very exciting to open out a pop-up spread and see the artwork spring to life in front of your eyes.

In this tutorial you will explore how to combine Photoshop’s tools with traditional pop-up techniques as a starting point to plan, modify and transform your 2D artwork into a fully functional pop-up spread. With practice and a little more experimentation you can go on to create elaborate 3D masterpieces that breath new life into your artwork, literally giving it a new dimension.

Photoshop tutorial: Create a children’s picture book illustration

Transforming run-of-the-mill stock photos into dreamy, fantastical compositions is easy when you know how.

In this brilliant tutorial, Photoshop wizard Fabio Sasso puts layer masks and Photoshop’s built-in filters to good use to create a beautiful, enchanting image that wouldn’t be out of place in a children’s book.

Photoshop tutorial: Create vector animal type

Illustrator Marcus Reed says that the idea behind his Animal Alphabet project was to create an engaging and creative way of helping children learn about animals and the alphabet, through the mediums of flash cards and prints.

He used geometric shapes and symmetry for the illustrations, a muted palette and use of space to help give a stylised approach to the concept.

Photoshop tutorial: Get started with type art

Type art is popular at the moment for all sorts of reasons – and it’s a highly versatile skill to have. You can use illustrated lettering in projects ranging from posters to brochures – making it a great technique to add to your creative toolset.

But beware: type art is so popular at the moment that there’s a lot of crud out there. The rules are the same as for any aesthetic style: learn the basics carefully, and then be original.

Photoshop tutorial: Paint a beautiful animal portrait with these elegant brush techniques

Artists are pushing digital painting in innovative new directions inspired by a range of creative traditions. One artist who’s leading the charge is Ratinan Thaijareorn – aka Ise – a Thai painter whose art draws on fine art and fashion, as well as symbolism.

Here she takes you through the process of how she creates her work, first roughly comping the arrangement of elements using reference photos and then applying layers of brushwork above them to produce the final piece

Photoshop tutorial: 3D printing from Photoshop CC or CS6

3D printing isn’t always straightforward though, as it takes a while to install, let alone master, the various programs you’ll need. But with some time and effort it can be done. 

Creating your model doesn’t necessarily mean using 3D or CAD software. You can use Photoshop CC – or if you use Photoshop CS6 Extended, follow our 3D Printing from Photoshop CS6 tutorial.

Photoshop’s 3D modelling options were vastly improved in CS6 with more intuitive onscreen controls that give even the least techy artist the ability to produce models from flat artwork, photographs, or their imagination – and then enhanced further in Photoshop CC.

Photoshop tutorial: How to set up a Wacom tablet for Photoshop

Wacom’s Intuos Pro, Intuos 5, Intuos4, Intuos3 and Cintiq tablets are incredibly popular throughout the creative industries – giving designers, illustrators and photographers more fluidity of movement and far more precision throughout their digital processing.

However, ensuring that Photoshop and your tablet work together perfectly requires a bit of tweaking to suit how you like to work. Here photographer and illustrator Tigz Rice explains how to get the most of out of your Wacom tablet when used with Photoshop.