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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! This week I'm going to show you how to take this fairly uninspired-looking text right here and in Photoshop we're going to render it out as a brushed-metal effect. And it works not just for text; we've got some shape layers going on, all kinds of stuff. Here. Let me show you exactly how it works. All right! Here's the final brushed-metal effect. It's mostly a matter of piling on a bunch of layer effects, but before we do, we need to create the brushed-metal pattern and we'll do that inside a separate document.
So, go up to the File menu and choose the New command. And you want to set the Width and Height values to the exact same measurements as the document you're working on, which in my case is 1200x452 pixels. Go ahead and change the Color mode to Grayscale and then click OK. And we want to work with a base layer of black, so press the D key in order to instate the default colors and then press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete to fill the active background with black. Now, we're going to add a few Smart filters, but first we need convert the layer to a Smart Object.
So, go to the Layers panel flyout menu and choose Convert to Smart Object. I'm also going to go ahead and rename this new layer blackness and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. Next, go up to the Filter menu, choose Noise, and choose Add Noise. And we're going to be applying all kinds of noise to this image. Crank the Amount value up to 100%, set Distribution to Gaussian. The Monochromatic check box is already on because we're working inside of a grayscale image. So click OK. Then go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and as you might imagine, we're going to work with the Motion Blur filter, so choose it.
I decided on an Angle value of 25 degrees; your angle is totally up to you. You do want to crank the Distance value up to something pretty high, in my case 500 pixels, but if you're working inside a high-resolution image, you probably want to go even higher than that. Then click OK. Now notice that we've got some problems around the edges of our document. So, I'll go ahead and zoom out a few clicks and then go up to the Edit menu and choose Free Transform, or you can press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac. If you get the warning about hey, you're not going to see the filters anymore, just click OK.
Then go up to the Options bar, go ahead and lock down the proportions, and change the Width value to 150% and press the Enter key or the Return key a couple of times in order to apply that change. All right! I'm going to zoom back in. Now, the only problem at this point is that there's actually too much luminance variation going on. So, we want to make things more gray by going up to the Filter menu, choosing Stylize, and then choosing the Emboss command. And these are the settings I want you to apply: an Angle of 135 degrees, a Height of 1, and an Amount of 100%. Then click OK.
That's our pattern. Now, we need to define it by going up to the Edit menu and choosing the Define Pattern command. And then let's call this guy Brushed metal and then click OK. We've now got our Brushed metal pattern. Now let's assign it to our base layers, which are found inside this document right here, Text & shapes.psd. I've got my layer of editable text selected. The first layer effect we're going to apply is down here. Click on the fx icon and then choose Gradient Overlay. That's where we'll start. And I'm going to change the Angle value to 210 degrees, so we have a little bit of an angle going on.
I'll change the Style from Linear to Reflected, and we want to reverse the order of the colors. Notice right now that we've got black in the center and white at the outsides. We want black at the outsides, so turn on the Reverse check box right there, then click on the Gradient bar in order to bring up the Gradient Editor dialog box. Double-click on the white color stop and change the Brightness value to 50%. So, we have a medium gray. Then click OK a couple of times to return to the Layer Style dialog box. Now, we're going to want to create an interaction between the gradient overlay and the pattern overlay that will appear below it, and we'll do so by changing the Blend mode from Normal to Overlay.
That's not going to make any difference yet, because we don't have anything to blend with, but it will shortly, and then change the Opacity value to 70%. Now, click on Pattern Overlay to select it. You can see that we have an interaction between the gradient and this bad pattern that we have so far. Let's make it a better pattern, by clicking on the down arrowhead and then selecting that last pattern, the one you just created, Brushed metal. And you can see that we have an overly aggressive brushed-metal pattern going on here. I don't want it to be quite an emphatic, so I'll reduce the Opacity value to 50%.
The other thing we want to avoid is any kind of seam. Now, you may or may not see a seam here inside your image. If I start dragging around, we may begin to see a seam. It don't look like it so far, but it's there at some place. To make sure it's not there and that it doesn't show up at any point, let's increase the Scale value to 130% and then click on the Snap to Origin button right there, and that will eliminate any possibility of a seam in the future. All right! Now, let's apply a Bevel & Emboss effect. So, click on Bevel & Emboss.
In CS6, it's way up here at the top of the list. It's someplace in the middle in CS5 and earlier. A style of Inner Bevel is just fine. We want the Technique to be Chisel Hard. And then increase the Depth value to 500%. A Direction of Up is exactly what we're looking for. Let's take the Size value up to 6 pixels. This document already has the correct Global Light settings, which are an Angle of 140 degrees and an Altitude of 30 degrees. If you're working in your own document, make them so. The flat Gloss Contour is just fine.
However, we want to take the Opacity values for both the Highlight mode and the Shadow mode down to 50%. The only thing missing is a drop shadow, so click on Drop Shadow at the bottom of the list in CS6; it's at the top of the list in CS5 and earlier. The Distance value should be 3 pixels and the Size value should be 10 pixels; otherwise, the default settings are just fine. Now, click OK, and we now have the styled text. Now, it's just a matter of duplicating the styles onto the other layers and tweaking those styles to taste.
So, we're going to start with the interior layer down here. Go ahead and grab your effects and Alt+ Drag them--that's an Option+Drag on the Mac--and drop them onto that interior layer. Then go ahead and scroll down the list. We need to make a couple of adjustments. First of all grab that drop shadow and throw it away; we don't need it. Then double-click on Bevel & Emboss, and let's change the Direction to Down for this layer and then take the Size value down to 3 pixels. Then click OK. Now, notice that we have some color showing through. That's because I had to distinguish these layers from each other with a few different colors.
We actually want them all to be 50% gray. So, assuming that your foreground color is black, bring up your Color panel, make sure that you're looking at the HSB sliders, and then change the Brightness value from 0 to 50%. Now press Shift+Alt+Backspace, or Shift+Option+Delete on the Mac, to fill that interior with gray. Now, I'll go ahead and collapse that layer and let's Alt+Drag or Option+Drag the effects from the plate layer down onto the main layer in order to duplicate them once again.
Once again, we don't need the drop shadow, so grab that guy, drag him and drop him to the trashcan. That's all we need to do to the layer effects. However, we do need to get rid of the orange color assigned to this layer. And you can do that by switching to the main layer--make sure it's active--and then press Alt+Backspace or Option+ Delete on the Mac. All right! Now, to style those little circles in the corners. Let's go ahead and twirl close main, and Alt+Drag or Option+ Drag the effects from the plate layer onto the circles layer. So, go ahead and drop them on. And because you have the Alt or Option key down, you'll perform a duplication, instead of just moving the effects.
Double-click on Bevel & Emboss and let's change the Technique to Smooth. And then we're going to take that Size value up until we get a sort of semicircular effect right there, and that happens at a Size value of about 10 pixels, where this document is concerned. Now click OK. Now, we just need to add a little bit of light, and I'm going to do that by turning on this highlights layer at the top there. And I'll go ahead and click on it as well to make it active. Notice that it's just a series of white rectangles on a single layer. I'm going to go ahead and zoom out here. Now, we're going to want to transform this layer, as well as apply Gaussian Blur.
It's best to do that with a Smart Object. So, let's go ahead and convert this guy to a Smart Object by going up to the Layers panel flyout menu and choosing Convert to Smart Object. Now, I want you to go up to the Edit menu, then choose Free Transform, or press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac. Press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and drag that top handle up like so, and with the Ctrl or Command key still down, drag that bottom handle downward. And then I also want to perform a little bit of distortion. So, press both the Ctrl and Shift keys-- that would be Command and Shift on the Mac--and drag this guy outward like so.
You might want to Ctrl+Shift+Drag or Command+Shift+Drag this guy over as well, the upper right-hand corner point. And I'm going to drag this layer over, maybe transform it outward, and we have our base lights. Now press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, and I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 to zoom back in. Then I'll go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and choose Gaussian Blur. And I'm going to assign a Radius value of 20 pixels. Again, all of these Radius values are resolution-dependent.
So, if you're working inside a higher-resolution image, you want a higher radius value. Then click OK. And finally, let's go ahead and change the Blend mode for this layer from Normal to Overlay, and I'll press the Escape key to make sure that mode is no longer active, and then I'll press the 9 key in order to reduce the Opacity to 90%. And now I'll press the F key a couple of times, and that is our final brushed- metal effect, created almost exclusively using a combination of layer effects, here inside Photoshop.
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