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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.
All right, we're starting things off with our anaglyphic glasses on, with the red lens left and the cyan lens right, in which case you can see this stereoscopic image rendered in rich 3D detail. And notice, among other things, that we have these inclined lightning bolts as well as this inclined text, and when I say inclined I mean that the lightning bolts and the text are actually rotated in 3D space, so that they appear to be gradually coming out toward us. And you achieve this effect by first splitting the objects to the red channel and the green and blue channels respectively and then stretching and transforming those objects in opposite directions.
However, the basic principles of moving objects forward and backward inside of an anaglyphic image remain the same. Here, let me show you what I mean. I am going to press the F key, in order to switch out the full-screen mode and then switch over to our diagram. And the only portion of the diagram I'm interested in is this area right here, forward, because we're going to exclusively be stretching objects forward in 3D space. And in order to achieve that effect, we need to split the channels just like usual--that is, you make a duplicate of the object, whether it's a text or shape layer, and you send one of the layers to the red channel, the other one to the green and blue channels, and then you take that green/blue item, which would be cyan, and move it to the left, and you take that red item and you move it to the right.
However, instead of moving, as you did in the previous movie, you stretch-- and let me show you what that looks like. I'll go ahead and switch over to our image in progress here, scroll up my list, and you'll see that there is this shape layer that has a bunch of little spikes coming out of it. I am going to turn it on. The name of this layer incidentally is lightning, and I'm going to go ahead and click on the layer to make it active and then press Ctrl+J, or Command+J on a Mac, in order to jump it to a new layer. And now, let's go ahead and rename the top layer 'R bolts', just so that we know it's a red layer and we have a shorter name here. And I'll double-click on the name of the bottom lightning layer, and I'll call it C bolts for a cyan bolts.
And then I'll double-click in an empty portion of this layer in order to bring up the Layer Style dialog box, and I'll turn off the red channels check box so that just G and B are turned on. That gives us the cyan layer. In case, you're wondering, by the way, why Photoshop decides to preview this cyan layer as red, which would be the complement of cyan, it's because even though white is going to turn into cyan inside the final image, were it black, which is the assumption that's made inside of this dialog box, then it would be red. We don't care. Just bear in mind that even though it's showing you red, it's really the cyan layer.
Go ahead and click OK. Then double- click in an empty portion of the R bolts layer in order to bring up the Layer Style dialog box once again. Turn off G and B. We have just R turned on. You'll see a cyan preview of this layer. That's not accurate because this is a layer of white not black. It doesn't matter. Click OK in order to accept that as well. All right, now click on the C bolts layer again to make it active. Make sure that the vector mask has a heavy outline around it, and that you can see the little gray path outlines around the lightning bolts. Then you want to switch to your Black Arrow tool, which Photoshop calls the Path Selection tool, and I want to marquee the left-hand bolts.
Now bear in mind that these lighting bolts appear on the cyan bolts layer. And in order to move objects forward then the cyan layer has to go to the left. So what we're going to do, because I want these lighting bolts, the left side of the lightning bolts, to be coming at us as the points of the lightning bolts recede back toward my face inside of this stereoscopic photograph, then I want to go ahead and stretch the lighting bolts on the cyan layer to the left. And I believe this will make more sense as we work through it here, but what you want to do is go up to the Edit menu and choose Free Transform Path, or you can press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac.
And then you would just go ahead and stretch the layer like so, and you'll end up getting this kind of effect here. But I tell you what, why don't we do it by the numbers here? I am going to go up to Options bar, and I'm going to select the right-hand point inside of this reference point matrix. Then go ahead and change the width value to a 108%. Height should remain the same as it was before, so leave it at 100%. We're just changing the width value to a 108, and that's it. All right now, if you were to put on your 3D glasses, you'll see that everything is the way it's supposed to be.
These lighting bolts are coming at us on the left-hand side. I want these right lighting bolts to come at us on the right side, which means that we have to nudge the red component of the rights side of those lightning bolts to the right. And so we're going to need to switch layers. So click on the R bolts layer to make it active, click on the vector mask if it's not already active to make sure it has a heavy outline around it. Let's go ahead and scroll a little bit over to the right right there, and with my Black Arrow tool, I'll go ahead and marquee those right-hand bolts. Then I'll go up to the Edit menu, I'll choose Free Transform Path--Ctrl+T, Command+T on a Mac--and I'll select the left-hand point inside the reference point matrix up here in the Options bar, and I will once again change the width value to 108%, and we'll get this effect right there.
Then press the Enter key, or the Return key on a Mac, in order to accept that modification. All right, so pretty intricate stuff, a lot to wrap your head around here. Let's check out the text at the top of the screen. It's a little more complicated, quite frankly, but it's an awful lot of fun I think, and we get an awesome effect out of it. Go ahead and turn on those top two text layers and then click on the very top one, the one that says 'spellbinding', in order to make it active. Lets go ahead and scroll up just a little but there, and I want you to switch to your Type tool this time, which you can get by pressing the T key, and then go up to the Options bar and notice this little guy, the Create Warped Text icon.
Go ahead and click on it in order to bring up the Warp Text dialog box, and I want you to switch from None, if it's currently active, to Arc. So just go ahead and select Arc, and that may create this effect here. That's what it does by default. It goes and arcs the text at 50%. What I want you to do is set that text to an arc of 0%, and then we are going to change the vertical distortion value to -10, is the effect that we're looking for, so that the text comes at us on the top side. Now this is a 2D effect so far. In order to convert it into a 3D effect, you need to go ahead and click OK.
Now let's go ahead and press Control+J, Command+J on a Mac, in order to create a copy of that layer. Go ahead and double-click an empty area to bring up the Layer Style dialog box, turn off the G and B check boxes, click OK, leave R on because this is the R version of this layer, and I'll go ahead and call it 'red "spellbinding"'. And then we'll go ahead and rename this guy 'cyan "spellbinding"', double-click on an empty portion of that layer, and turn off the red check box, the R check box there, in order to see that text layer just in the green and blue channels, and then click OK.
All right, once again we want to move the top of those letters out toward us, so that means we need to slant the letters on the cyan layer to the left and we need to slant the layers on the red layer to the right. So currently, the cyan layer is selected. I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose Free Transform, or press Ctrl+T, Command+T once again, and I'm going to move that little target that represents the origin for our transformation down to the bottom of the letters right there at the baseline, and then I will change the horizontal value here to 5 degrees.
And believe it or not, a positive value slants the text to the left and a negative value slants it to the right. So it's sort of an upside-down world where these modifications are concerned. Go ahead and press the Enter key or the Return key a couple times in order to accept that modification. Click on red "spellbinding", the red "spellbinding" layer, to select it, and then let's perform that same transformation, but in the opposite direction. Go up to the Edit menu, choose Free Transform--or press Ctrl+T, Command+T on a Mac--move that transformation origin right there down to the bottom of the letters like so, and then change the horizontal value, which is a slant or skew value if you prefer, to -5 degrees this time, and then press the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac a couple of times in a row in order to accept that modification.
All right, now drum roll, please. Go ahead and put on those 3D glasses once again, press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the full-screen mode, and you should see those lighting bolts and the word spellbinding rotated in 3D space in order to create a couple of gradual anaglyphic inclines here inside Photoshop.
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