RMIT Scifi Portfolio made with Photoshop v2..

Howdy lovers of all things Photoshop!

Seeing as how today is the 20th anniversary of our beloved (or hated) piece of software, I thought I would post my old 1994 RMIT BA Photography final year portfolio. Created entirely with Photoshop v2 without layers and Strata Studio Pro v1, a basic 3D program. The first version I used was actually 1.5 but the first version I owned was v2.. and I have updated ever since.. well except for CS3,4 I’m still on CS2.

Digital imaging was still in its infancy and we were all grasping with concepts like resolution (I notice some people still are!), bit depth, scanning etc. The single layer, one undo features of v2 forced you to think about what you wanted and how you would go about achieving it. There were no books on Photoshop at the time except for Adobe’s less than stellar manual and it’s good to see things haven’t changed in 20 years in that dept!

So, is Photoshop a curse or a blessing? It’s both. I’ve learned some very bad habits with this tool and also learned to be free and work with confidence. One of the main reasons I’ve moved into oil painting is because I want to paint without using technology as a crutch. Now I’m forced to think of composition, lighting etc more carefully whereas with Photoshop, I can just slide things around until I get them right. Don’t like that building, delete it, flip it, darken it etc. It’s too easy with a hundred layers at your finger tips. Having said that, it’s awesome for tight deadlines and my career wouldn’t be where it is today without it.

So.. Happy birthday Photoshop and to all the people who have made it what it is today.. Thanks for the ride!

In these 20 years, has Photoshop improved, or is it getting fat and bloated? What was your favorite version? Let me know!

Anyway, here are some examples of my portfolio.. For those scifi fans, you might be able to pick out my influences and direct homages. It’s hard to look at these now in some ways as I see all the flaws but they are what they are and they got me a job with Digital Domain and a matte painting gig on The Fifth Element.

The photographic elements and 3D elements will be obvious, but what may not be so obvious was the fact that I did it all with a mouse, no wacom! My computer at the time was a new PowerMac 8100/80AV running System 7 with a 500Mb Hard drive, 48Mb RAM and a 44Mb Syquest drive. Photoshop installation came on 7 1.5Mb floppy disks. How far things have come!

I completed a total of 18 images for my final year folio. Here are ten of them.



  1. ‘Aaah, you shouldve stayed a student!—‘

    Who wouldve thought such wonderful innocence would have to go through such bastardisation since then, eh Mr Haag!-anyhow, still lookin good after all these years- we cant wait for your own “Planet Story” to get out and invade some interplanetary quadrant of the Sci-Fi World.

    And-me?–oh, im just obsessed with sexy women–‘just not enough scanties in your stuff buddy!–well, a pretty face helps!

  2. Ankaris says:

    That’s what Ev suggested.. however I’m more inclined to go oil’s and expand upon the themes.. My recent Sky Burial #1 oil painting is in essence the same as the last image in this post.

    Yes, the Alien Narcissus shuttle.. a Halcyon kit I think it was.

    I tried Bryce after I did this folio.. render times were insane.. so was Strata if you went for Radiosity!

  3. Richard Cave says:

    Still good in todays money, ever wanted to go in and use more modern techniques on them?

    PS love the shuttle pastiche with the shuttle from Alien! 4th one in. love the last image.



    PPS I started of with Bryce, 14 hrs to render one image, doh!

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