Photoshop tutorial: Pendulum's Immersion album cover art step-by-step

Recent Number 1 album Immersion by drum n’ rockers Pendulum features a photo-illustrative cover by Polish artist Maciej Hajnrich (aka Valp), which was also used across the Collector’s Box Set, including double vinyl, postcards and a bunch of merchandise.

Here, Hajnrich shows off the techniques for photo manipulation, retouching and editing he brought to bear on the cover. It was created in collaboration with album cover guru Storm Thorgerson, best known for covers including Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.  

The real creative challenge for Immersion was to achieve an original and natural-looking scenario merged with some hyper-real techniques. The more you look at the cover, the more you can see. It’s designed to hypnotize and immerse the viewer.

Step 1 The album’s title Immersion brought a sinister, deep ocean to mind, with strange creatures, corals and suchlike. The original sketch was created in Photoshop at only 1400 x 1400 pixels.

One thing to remember here – and throughout the composition – is that while album covers are great to experiment with, the art needs to be viewable both as a 30cm sleeve for the vinyl and as a thumbnail at an online store.

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