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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.
In this movie, we're going to take this design and we are going to add a magnifying glass to it. And I want to fully integrate the magnifying glass into the larger design in order to create this effect here. And notice we've got this magnifying glass image. It's casting a drop shadow. This is not a standard Drop Shadow layer effect; that would not work in this case. I've also given the lens a little bit of color, as you can see, and I've magnified the upper-left corner of the P in the word Photoshop. So we'll start things off with this magnifying glass photo which comes from the Fotolia Image Library, about which you can learn more at fotolia.com/deke.
I am going to go over to the Layers panel and right-click on that background item and choose Duplicate layer, and inside the Duplicate Layer dialog box I am going to go ahead and change the document from the current one to the design that I am working on, which happens to be called Mostly flat file.psd. And I'll go ahead and call this new layer Magnifying glass, because after all that's what it is. Click OK. Now I have actually created a new layer, but to see that layer I need to move back into my original design. There it is, a new layer called Magnifying glass.
Now you can see not only is it way to big, it's opaque, and that's the way stock images and other digital photographs work. They start off as flat files. So to see through the magnifying glass to the underlying art, I am going to go ahead and change the Blend mode from Normal to Multiply, and that goes ahead and burns that magnifying glass into the larger design. Now let's go ahead and scale and rotate the art. I'll go ahead and zoom out a click, then go up to the Edit menu and choose Free Transform, or press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac, and I am going to go ahead and reduce the size of this image to about 50% of its current size, like so, and then I'll go ahead and drag it over here.
Let's rotate the image by dragging just beyond one of the corner handles, like so. And I want to rotate it-- I figured out through trial and error--about 17 degrees. This looks pretty good. I'll go ahead and press Shift+Up Arrow and a couple of other arrow keys in order to nudge that artwork in the place, and then I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, in order to accept that modification. All right, let's go ahead and zoom back in. Now to add some color to the glass, just a little bit of gray, and I'll do that by switching from my Rectangular Marquee tool to the elliptical marquee, and then I'll go ahead and draw selection around that magnifying glass, like so.
And about there looks pretty good. You can use the spacebar, by the way, to move that selection outline around independently of the image, so that you get it exactly where you need it to be. I might increase the size of my selection just a little bit. I am trying to make this as accurate as possible. It's not necessary that you're just absolutely dead on, but you do want to make sure that you're covering the entire interior of that glass, like so. Then I'll create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N, Command+Shift+N on the Mac, and I'll call this new layer lens, click OK, and let's fill the selection with black by pressing the D key to reinstate the default colors and then pressing Alt+Backspace, or Option+Delete, to fill that selection with a foreground color, which as I say is black.
Now I'll press Ctrl+D, or Command+D on the Mac, to deselect the image, and I want to reduce the opacity of this lens to about, I've figured out 7%. So I'll go ahead and select that Opacity value, enter a value of 7, and then press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac. I'll also move the lens below the magnifying glass art, like so. Now the next step is to create the drop shadow, and I can't assign a Drop Shadow effect to the Magnifying glass layer, because after all it's an opaque layer and if I do so, if I drop down to the fx icon and choose Drop Shadow, I'll end up with this effect here.
So I am casting a shadow behind that work. That makes it look like the magnifying glass is set on a different card or something like that. That is definitely not the effect I want. So I'll click the Cancel button to abandon that effect. What you want to do instead is duplicate this magnifying glass layer, and I'll do that by Alt+Dragging or Option+Dragging the Magnifying glass layer below lens like so. That creates a copy of it. I'll rename this copy shadow. Now I am going to nudge the layer down and to the right by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrow and then Ctrl+Shift+Right Arrow. That would be Command+Shift+Down Arrow and Command+Shift+Right Arrow on the Mac.
And that gives us 10 pixels of room down and to the right, as I say. Now we need to blur this layer by going up to the Filter menu, choosing Blur, and then choosing Gaussian Blur. And I'm going to apply a Radius for this image of 4 pixels. Then go ahead and click OK. And by the way, if you were working inside of a higher resolution image then you would presumably want a higher Radius value. I'll click Ok in order accept that effect. That gives us a drop shadow the old-fashioned way, by the way. This was the way we used to how to create drop shadows in Photoshop back before there were layer effects.
All right, the final step is to increase the size of that P inside the glass. So I'll select the Background layer. You may recall from the previous movie that the text and the background are fused together, so the text is actually made up of pixels. I'll go ahead and switch to the Rectangular Marquee tool, and I'll select a general area of this text, like so, and then I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command, or I can press Ctrl+C, Command+C on the Mac. Now let's go ahead and switch to Lens layer and Ctrl+Click, or on the Mac Command+Click, on its thumbnail, right there in the Layers panel, and that will go ahead and load the outline of that layer as a selection.
Now I want to paste inside that selection by going up to the Edit menu, choosing Paste Special, and then choosing the Paste Into command. And that goes ahead and pastes that text onto a new layer inside of a layer mask. I'll go ahead and call this layer big P, and then let's go ahead and scale it and move it around. I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose Free Transform, or press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac, and I am going to go ahead and increase the size of these letters fairly dramatically. Let's go ahead and move them over too, so we can see what we are doing. And the specific percentage I am looking for, incidentally, is 172%, but I might as well dial that in in the options bar.
I'll click on the Chain icon to lock both the Width and Height values down. Then I'll change either one of them to 172 and press the Enter key a couple of times in a row in order to accept that modification. Now notice that the P appears in front of the lens and the drop shadow. That's no good. So I'll go over here to Layers panel and drag this big P layer down below the shadow layer, drop it into place. The final thing I want to do is lighten the P just a little bit, so that it looks like we are seeing it through glass. I could reduce the Opacity value. For example, let's say I press the 8 key to reduce the Opacity to 80%.
That lightens that big corner of the P, but it also means that we're seeing through it to the P below. That's no good. So I'll press the 0 key in order to reinstate an Opacity value of 100%, and then here is the easiest way to work. Go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments, and choose the Levels command, or press Ctrl+L, Command+L on the Mac, and I am going to take this Output levels value all the way up to, I'd say about 80, which goes ahead and lightens the darkest color, as you see here on screen.
I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification. And that's how you integrate a magnifying glass into a design here inside Photoshop.
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