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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.
Hey gang! This is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques! Now you may recall over the last few movies we've been working on this 3D pie chart. Well, I set up the scene so the chart appears to be entering through a kind of talk-show curtain. I only call it a talk-show curtain because of The Tonight Show. It had a curtain. Many talk shows do not have curtains. Many non-talk shows do have curtains. I myself do not have one, but it's going to look like this, and we're going to create it out of thin air using a bunch of filters. Here, let me show you exactly what's going on with this curtain effect. All right! So here is the final version of that 3D pie chart that I created inside of Photoshop CS5 Extended.
What I'm about to show you, these talk-show style curtains in the background, that works inside of both Photoshop CS5 Standard and Extended. So I am going to go ahead and turn off the existing curtains, and you can see what a contribution they make. Even though they're just phony talk-show-style curtains, they make a big contribution. All right! I am going to zoom out a click here, and I'm going to create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N, or Command+Shift+N on the Mac, and I'll go ahead and call this guy Curtains and click OK. Then I'm going to press Ctrl+Backspace, or Command+Delete on the Mac, in order to fill that entire layer with the background color, which in my case happens to be white.
It really doesn't matter what it is at this point. We just need some pixels in place. Now press the D key to make sure that the foreground color is black and the background color is white, so you get the right effect out of this next filter, which you get by going to the Filter menu and choosing the Render command and then choosing Fibers. Now, notice I'm not applying this command as a Smart Filter to a Smart Object or anything like that, because there is not really that much point in doing so. That would give you the option of editing your settings later on down the line, but we're not going to need that kind of control, so just go ahead and choose Fibers.
I went ahead and set the Variance value to 32-- this is really up to you how much you want to apply--and a Strength of 4. So go ahead and apply any settings you like. This Filter essentially applies a kind of fractal noise pattern, so it's always going to be random and different. You can randomize it; if you don't like what you see, you can click on the Randomize button to get a different effect. It doesn't really matter that much, though. Click OK to apply the setting. Then I want you to go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and choose Motion Blur. And I am going to apply a big helping of Motion Blur here.
We want the Angle to be 90 degrees so it goes straight up and down, and I've increased the Distance value to 400 pixels. Then click OK in order to apply that change. Now, armed with the Rectangular Marquee tool, I'm going to drag across the bottom portion of the image so that I'm cleaving it just slightly under this blue wedge, and then I am going to press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on the Mac, to get rid of that curtain area down at the bottom, because we don't need it. All right! Next, I'm going to go ahead and select this region right there.
So this will be my left-side curtain. I'll go ahead and select this area. Notice that I'm going right through the O if you're trying to get the same effect. I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose the Free Transform command. Or you can press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac. And I am going to zoom in once again, so that I can better see what I'm doing. And up here in the Options bar, I am going to go ahead and click on the Warp icon in order to enter the Warp mode. I am going to drag this bottom-right handle to slightly open up the curtain. And then, so that I don't have all these sort of vertical lines all wedged together, I'll drag the control handle over a little bit.
See this round control handle? Go ahead and drag it over and then take in the opposite control handle just a little bit, so that we're getting an even consistent effect. I might take this control handle up slightly as well. All right! That'll do it. Press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, in order to apply that change. Now to select the other side of the curtain, and the best way to do that to make sure you're selecting it properly is to go up to the Select menu and choose the Inverse command, or press Ctrl+Shift+I, Command+Shift+I on a Mac, and that selects everything that wasn't previously selected.
And then just to make sure you don't have too much stuff selected, because it would now be pretty darn difficult to gauge the performance of the Free Transform command, drop down to the curtains layer here inside the Layers panel and I want you to press all of the modifier keys. So Ctrl+Shift+Alt, that's Command+Shift+Option on the Mac, just mash your fist on them and click on that thumbnail, and that finds the intersection of the previous selection and the opaque pixels inside that layer. Now, you've got to do kind of a curious thing here.
You've got to press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and basically drag around this region, just to make sure it's good and deselected, because otherwise some pixels somewhere remain selected and that creates a little bit of a problem. Now, go up to the Edit menu and choose the Free Transform command once again. Press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac if you prefer. Then let's go ahead and enter that Warp mode by clicking on the Warp icon up there in the options bar. I am going to drag this handle over just a little bit, maybe drag this control handle over a little bit as well.
And I don't really need to drag this one up. That's just fine. And press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to complete the process. All right! Now, go ahead and click off the curtains in order to deselect them, and I am going to switch the Blend mode here in the Layers panel from Normal to Multiply to go ahead and burn those curtains in, and you end up getting this effect here. Now, I want to fade them. So I'll add a layer mask by clicking on the Add Layer Mask icon down here at the bottom of the Layers panel, and I'll switch over to my Gradient tool, either by clicking on it or pressing the G key.
Make sure that you still have the same foreground and background color, that is, black for foreground, white for background, and also make sure up, here in the options bar, that the very first item is selected: foreground to background. Then we'll go ahead and drag from approximately the bottom of the curtains-- you want to cheat in a little bit like so--and go ahead and drag up to underneath the text. And I've got the Shift key down to constrain the angle of my gradient to exactly vertical, and you end up getting this nice mostly even fade.
Now you may see a little bit of an edge at the bottom of the curtains. And if you want to eliminate that edge, then go to the Filter menu, choose the Blur command, very important that the layer mask is active as it is for me, choose Gaussian Blur, and take that Radius value really high. I went ahead and set mine to 48 pixels and clicked OK. All right! Now, I just want to apply a couple of layer effects here. I'll drop down to the FX icon, click on it, and I am going to choose the Color Overlay effect. And I am going to set my color here. I'll go ahead and click on this Color Swatch and I am going to dial in a color of 15 for the Hue value and 100% for the Saturation value and then 15 for the Brightness value, so very dark red. Click OK.
And you want your Blend mode to be set to Color as mine is by default, because I've changed my default settings, but yours will probably appear as Normal. So go ahead and choose Color. Then the final step is to apply a gradient overlay. So click on Gradient Overlay, change the Angle value here to -90 degrees, like so. You should have a black-to-white gradient, as you see in my case. Go ahead and reduce your Scale value to 50% and then go ahead and drag that gradient up inside of the image window, so it's more or less cutting through that headline text.
And then finally, I am going to change that Blend mode from Normal to, once again, Multiply in order to achieve this effect here. If that's too much, and I think it is a little bit heavy handed, I am going to go ahead and take the Opacity value down to about 50% and click OK in order to apply that change. That is how you create faux talk-show curtains that drift away into nothingness here inside Photoshop.
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