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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
This is Deke McClelland, here to welcome you to Deke's Techniques. This week we're going to render text in gold. Now, a few words about gold as a material. When polished like this, it's highly reflective, so that we have these lustrous shadows and highlights interacting with each other. It's a little bit yellow. You already know that. But here's what a lot of people forget: it's a soft metal. We should not see any hard, chiseled forms; we should see softly contoured forms, as we do here. Now, I was able to pull off this effect using layer effects and nothing more--no fancy filters, no Smart Objects --so that this editable text.
Are you curious how I did it? I don't blame you. I'm curious how I did it. Let me show you, as we go for the gold, here inside Photoshop. In this movie, I'm going to show you had to take these white letters--and this is live editable text inside of Photoshop, and we're going to render these letters in gold. And what I like about this effect is not only does it have the coloring of gold, as well as the shine and the highlights and the shadows and the contouring and the volumetric forms--after all, gold letters would have depth--but also there's a softness to this effect.
Because after all, gold is a soft metal. You're not going to have hard, chiseled forms if you're working with gold. Now, I'm going to go ahead and switch back to my starting point here, zoom out and press Shift+Tab in order to bring up the right-side panels. Notice that my live text layer is active. Most of what we're going to be doing inside of this movie will accomplish using layer effects, so drop down to the fx icon. And I want to start by adding a Color Overlay effect. And the color that I'm going to dial-- I'll click on the color swatch in order to bring up the Color Picker dialog box-- and the values that I landed on are 50 for the H value and then 85% for Saturation, and then finally, 100% for Brightness.
Click OK to accept that effect. Now, that's going to look a little bit garish-- after all, gold isn't bright yellow like this. So I'll reduce the Opacity value to 35%, so that we have just a glint of yellow, and then I will change the blend mode from Normal to Multiply. Now, that's not going to change the effect on-screen. I'm just doing that in case I decide to set other overlay options behind that. Next, I'm going to add a drop shadow, not because that necessarily communicates the appearance of gold, but I do one add some depth to this effect. So I'll click on Drop Shadow. Black is fine.
I'll raise the Opacity value to 100%, change that Angle value to 120 degrees. That's where I'm going; you can choose to go your own direction if you like. Because Use Global Line is turned on, that's going to change the direction of all of the directional effects. Distance and Size I've got set to 10 pixels a piece. Spread is set to 0%--that's just fine. Now then, to really get that gold effect, we need to switch over to Bevel and Emboss, so I'll click on Bevel and Emboss, I'm going to raise the Depth value to 250% let's say, and I'll also take the Size value up to 35 pixels.
I want the direction to be Down for this particular effect, and I'm going to switch the Techniques from Smooth to Chisel Hard, so that we have some very hard chiseling going on. Now, this would be just fine if I were trying to create letters that were rendered in marble, or some other very hard substance where I would have these kinds of edge lines going on inside of my letter forms. That's not the effect I would get with gold, however, so in order to soften up that effect so we don't have those harsh ridges, I'm going to take that Soften value up to five pixels, which ends up blurring the effect quite nicely I think.
Now, it doesn't look like it's rendered in gold because we don't have the right coloring. So I'm going to drop down here to the Highlight mode, click on its color swatch, and I'm going to change the color values to 45 for the H value, 50 for S, and 100 for Brightness, and then I'll click OK in order to dial in that shade of orange there. And I'll raise the Opacity value to 100%, and I'll change the Highlight Mode from Screen to the brightest-of-all -bright modes, Linear Dodge (Add). Then I'll do something similar with the Shadow Mode.
I'll go ahead and dial in a different color by clicking on its color swatch, and here inside the Color Picker dialog box, I'm going to change the HSB values to 45, 100, and 30 respectively, so I get this deep shade of brown. Click OK. And then I'm going to change the Shadow Mode from Multiply to the darkest of the darkening modes, Linear Burn. Then finally, I'm going to take the Opacity value from 75% up to 85%, like so. And the other thing I need to do is fool around with this Altitude value. The altitude is the angle of the light source in the sky, and right now it's too low.
It's too close to the horizon, so we're getting this very dramatic effect here. I want something a little softer, so I'm going to take that value up to 60 degrees. And finally, I want a little more action associated with the Gloss Contour, so I'm going to click the down-pointing arrowhead, and I'm going to change it to Ring-Double, so go and click on that and then turn on the Anti-aliased check box just to smooth over any harsh transitions. Now, this final effect is optional. You may end up finding that this gold effect is exactly what you're looking for. But if you want to burn the effect in a little bit, add a little bit of drama to the colors, then click on Satin in order to make it active.
Now, so far, that just ends up burning the letters. It doesn't look good at all. What you need to do is click on the color swatch to bring up the Color Picker dialog box, change the Hue value to 50, then the Saturation value to 85, and then the Brightness value to 50% as well. Click okay. Multiply is fine for a blend mode. You want the Contour set, by the way, if you click the down arrowhead, you want it set to this guy, Gaussian, which I believe is the default setting. And you can experiment with turning the Invert check box off, in which case you'll get a kind of glow on the inside of the letters, or back on in order to deepen the shadows inside the letters.
And then you can go ahead and drag the Satin effect around directly inside of the image window, in order to position it the way you want. Now, in my case, I went ahead and dialed in a few values here. I changed the Angle value to 35 degrees, I changed the Distance value to 12 pixels, and then finally the Size value to 20 pixels, like so. Then I clicked OK in order to accept that layer style. Now finally, I wanted add a little bit more in the way of dramatic highlights, like sparkles on the letters, so I'm going to add a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N, or Command+Shift+N on the Mac. And I'll call this layer "sparkles" and then click OK. And now I'll select my Brush tool, either by clicking on it or pressing the B key, and I'll press the X key in order to switch my foreground and background colors so the foreground color is white.
And I've got a very soft brush, incidentally. If I right-click here inside the image window, you can s value is 50 pixels--you might want to go larger or smaller. But the Hardness definitely wants to be set to 0%. All right, now I'm going to go ahead and actually increase the size of my brush a little bit, so I'm taking it up to 90 pixels by pressing the Right Bracket key a few times. And I'm going to click on this edge of the D right there and this edge of the O, and then on the other side of the O as well, and then on this side of the outer edge there of the G. And then I might reduce the size of my cursor a little bit and click a little lower on the D in this region and click a little lower inside the G as well in.
And then finally, I'm going to go ahead and zoom in a little bit, press the M key to switch back to my Rectangular Marquee tool--the reason being because I don't want any of this sparkle here to spill over into the L. So I'm going to select this region around the stem of the L, and I'm going to press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on a Mac, in order to get rid of that spill, like so. Then I'll click off the selection to deselect that area. Now of course this harsh edge doesn't look right at all, but neither do any of the other sparkle areas. They need to be confined to the interior of letters, and I'm going to do that by adding a layer mask.
You should be able to pull it off using a clipping mask, but you can't. So, the better way to work is to press the Ctrl key, or the Command key on a Mac, and click on that T thumbnail that's associated with your live editable text layer. Then, with the sparkles layer still active, drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon and click on it in order to mass that affect. And we are done. I'm going to press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the Full Screen mode, and that is the final gold effect, achieved almost entirely using a collection of layer effects, along with live editable type, inside Photoshop.
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