Photo Bashing: What, Where, Why

Photo Bashing: What, Where, Why

Just like physical art, digital art involves plenty of techniques for developing detailed pieces. Whether you're trying to create a digital painting, sketch, or 3D animation, these often require immense amounts of work from start to finish. 

There are many methods you can utilize to create stellar digital art with surprising efficiency. But, in this blog, we’ll be diving into the technique of photo bashing.

What is Photo Bashing?

Photo bashing is a digital art technique that involves using various images and composing them through layering, merging, and blending in order to create a completely new image. 

Understandably, it arose from game concept artists’ need to create impressive images in a pinch. Think of paper mache—by sticking various-sized balloons together to create a rough outline of the desired form, then paper maching over it, you can create an entirely new thing. In a similar way, with photo bashing, you can start with one or a number of base images rather than a blank canvas, then develop something unrecognizable from them. 

Where is Photo Bashing Used?

The short answer is everywhere. A lot of fan art utilizes photo bashing techniques, as using standard photo editing platforms like Photoshop can be a fraction of the time it takes with more traditional techniques. 

Photo bashing is most popular and engaged within the place it was first developed: video game conceptual art. These artists have to develop a large volume of images at a time, and photo bashing is the perfect way to maintain authenticity to the original images while creating something different. Here are a few places you could expect to see photo bashing used:

  • NFTs
  • Movies
  • Posters
  • Graphic design, and specifically, book covers

Why Is It Important

You can use photo bashing for a variety of project scales—from creating characters to envisioning entire universes. But most importantly, it can be a huge timesaver. Photo bashing liberates you from the need to create pieces from square one every time. 

In fact, if this becomes a frequent practice, you can develop a personal library of favorite assets that you can pull from to make the process even more efficient. So whether you want to add a degree of realism to your digital art, or you’re on a time crunch, you can expedite the process by photo bashing.

Helpful Resources

You can find all of the most innovative digital art techniques on Cubebrush, whether it’s examples of photo bashing, assets and references to use in your photobashed pieces, or simply how to develop this skill. Uplevel your photo bashing skills with some of our most recommended tutorial sets:

Castle Concept - Photo bashing Techniques

In this tutorial, the digital artist Jose Vega talks through two processes. In the first, he builds a 3D scene through kitbashing (a kitbash or model bash is when a new Frankenstein model is created by combining elements of commercial model kits). In the second, Vega explains the post-processing Photoshop techniques he uses to finish the image.

The pack includes:

  • 1.5+ hour video tutorial
  • High-resolution PSD file
  • 7 render sets with various angles for practice

Photo bashing tips - Ancient Temple

Renowned digital content producer Trent Kaniuga walks you through his top illustration techniques in this photo bashing series. It covers both Trent’s process, drawing exercises to practice your skills, and explanations of the methods he uses.

The set contains:

  • 1.5 hour video tutorial
  • 15-minute commentary video

Photoshop Brushes for photo bashing

This set, created by Miguel Noguiera, includes tools, as well as a tutorial that discusses workflow, brush techniques, and ideal contexts in which to use them. By purchasing this set, you can utilize the brushes for both personal and commercial needs.

The pack contains:

  • 8 custom Photoshop brushes
  • .abr file (Adobe Photoshop CC2022)
  • Short video tutorial introducing the brushes