“I also always use the Pen tool to isolate mechanical objects, or objects with very defined edges, which gives a cleaner look.” Another hot Campau tip concerns a perennial Photoshop problem – blurry images.

“If you have a photo that’s slightly blurry, instead of Unsharp Mask, try using High Pass [Filter > Other > High Pass] in a series of layer sets to help pull out detail that’s soft-looking.”

This work was part of a series created by Mike Campau to promote his agency’s green work practices. He created the composition’s background using stock images and personal photos of skies, then used Illustrator and Swift3D to create the lettering, before adding natural elements to the lettering in Photoshop, including reflections and shadows.

The rocks were created using multiple photos of hillsides, flipped so that they were upside down. Like many other studios, Campau and his colleagues at SeventhStreet typically use Photoshop in this way – in combination with Illustrator, Poser, Swift3D, “and a large variety of other 3D programs.”

Campau says: “I am not tied into one program to do my work, but think of them as tools, and I try to find the best tool for the job.” However, he admits that in the end, “The image always ends up in Photoshop for all the finishing touches.”

Batista’s work for Norwegian ice-cream brand Henning Olsen required some complex colour work to fully remove the greenscreen background of the model shoot.

A commission for a friend, based around a slightly dull and grey-tinged image, which Batista transformed with his trademark vector swirls and some careful colour transformations using Channels.

Working closely with a photographer, Saddington & Baines developed a concept to bring the classic Bond Lotus back to life. “The vehicle and tank were modelled in CG,” says Digby-Jones, “and matched to the photographer’s background and models. The elements were composited in Photoshop and then the lighting and atmospherics were further developed to make it gel.”

This was one of a series of ads by Saddington & Baines for Guinness, based around its sponsorship of the Irish hurling championships. The tagline was ‘It’s alive inside’. Digby-Jones explains: “The sliotar [hurling ball] was retouched to become the pupil, and then the colour grading was developed with selective curves to enhance the tones and textures, to bring a striking personality and unique palette.”

Oyster Bar, a digital painting created entirely in Photoshop.

“Thanks to the high resolutions available today, Photoshop makes it possible to add new dimensions of detail, the likes of which would prove very challenging using more-traditional painting methods,” says Daniel Hammonds. “Using the zoom function, large screen-sizes and small brushes, I am able to add intricate touches to my work, from individual strands of hair down to the pores in a person’s skin, which can really breathe life into a piece of artwork.”

Illustration Adhemas Batista