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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've got our fake grass integrated into our fake shadow. Now it's time to fake a rainbow. If you scroll down the list of layers, you'll see a layer called rainbow. Go ahead and click on it to make it active and then Alt+Click or Option+Click on its eyeball, or where the eyeball would be, in order to view this layer independently of all the others. And you can see it's just a simple gradient, and it's based in part, by the way--if you go to the Gradient tool and you click on the down-pointing arrowhead, you'll see that there's a gradient called Transparent Rainbow. And I modified it a little bit in order to come up with this one.
I document that in one of my previous Deke's Techniques. But for now we're just going to turn this band of color into an actual rainbow. So let's go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+ Click the eyeball in order to bring back the other layers, and then click where the eyeball should be so that we can see this rainbow layer. And I'm going to press the M key in order to switch back to my Rectangular Marquee tool. Now we need to convert this layer into a Smart Object. So go to the Layers panel flyout menu icon and choose the Convert to Smart Object command.
Then what you want you want to do is go up to the Edit menu, choose Transform, and then choose Warp, because we need to give this rainbow an arc. And so you want to change the Warp setting up here in the options bar from Custom to Arc and then increase the Bend value to 90 degrees, so you have just a ton of bend associated with this rainbow. Then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac a couple of times in order to accept that change. All right, I'm going to press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac to zoom out a little bit here.
And then I want to nudge this rainbow to the left 90 pixels. So I'm going to press Shift+Left Arrow one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine times in a row. All right, now what we need to do is make the rainbow look like an actual rainbow, not some weird candy stripe through the sky. So the first step is to change the blend mode from Normal to Linear Light. This is my favorite mode for rainbows anyway. Now that ends up making the rainbow look worse than ever. However, if you take down that Fill value, you're going to get a much better effect, and you want to take it really low.
I'm going to take mine down to 15% and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. Now, I don't know about you, but I've never seen a rainbow that's this sharply defined, so we need to blur it a little bit. And because we're working with a Smart Object, we can apply Gaussian Blur as a Smart Filter by going up to the Filter menu, choosing Blur, and then choosing Gaussian Blur. And the value I came up with for this image is 14 pixels. And then I'll click the OK button in order to apply that change. All right, one lingering problem is that the rainbow goes down into the grass, which it probably wouldn't, so we need to mask that portion of the rainbow away.
Now we're going to do so using a layer mask not a filter mask. We don't need this filter mask. So if you want to get rid of some of the clutter in your Layers panel, right-click on that Filter Mask and choose Delete Filter Mask to get a rid of it. All right, drop down to the Background layer and Alt+Click or Option+Click on its eyeball to hide everybody else, and then go up to the Select menu and choose the Color Range command. And we're using Color Range because it's so obvious, the difference between the grass and the sky. You can leave the Fuzziness value cranked up to 100; it doesn't really matter.
Just go ahead and click in the grass and then start Shift+Dragging all over it in order to select as much grass is possible. Now you don't want to go too far. I have gone too far because I'm selecting some of either the blue in the sky or maybe the clouds. So let's see what happens if I take that Fuzziness value down, to let's say, it's default of 40. All right, now I'll click OK in order to create that mask, and you can see that we've got some lingering junk down here at the bottom. If that bothers you, go ahead and zoom out and Shift+Drag with the Rectangular Marquee tool to select that bottom region, but I have to say, it probably won't matter.
All right, I went ahead and zoomed back in obviously, and now I'm going to Alt+Click or Option+Click on the eye in front of the background layer to bring back the other layers in the composition. And I'll click on the rainbow layer to make it active, and then I'll drop down to this Add Layer Mask icon. I want to mask the grass away, so I'm going to Alt+Click or Option+Click on that icon, and sure enough, we no longer have a rainbow in the grass. Now for my part I was looking at this rainbow and the sky and everything else and thinking, just not enough drama for this fiery little automobile we're trying to create here.
So I decided to darken the sky in an unconventional way, that is to say I'm going to use black to transparent gradient. So press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac in order to bring up the New Layer dialog box and we'll call this layer Gradient and then click OK. Then go ahead and select the Gradient tool, which you can get by pressing the G key, and press the D key in order to reinstate the default colors--that is, black and white--and click on the down-pointing arrowhead next to the Gradient Bar in the options bar, and select the second guy in, Foreground to Transparent, and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac to hide that panel.
And drag from about here down to the grass, like so, now that fills the sky with a big black gradient, which is obviously not anything anybody wants. So go over to the Gradient layer and double- click on an empty portion of it to bring up the Layer Style dialog box, and I want you to once again press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag the left half of this white triangle associated with the Underlying Layer slider down to 100. So the value should read 100/255. If you don't get them set to exactly that, that's not a problem. But look what we have here.
We've got all of these light clouds trying to push through the darkness associated with the sky. Now if you ask me, that's too much darkness, so let's go ahead and take the Opacity value down to 50% and then click the OK button. And you can see that this delivers an awesome, exciting effect. If I turn the Gradient layer off, this is the dramatic sky we have now. All right, that takes care of the rainbow and the sky. The only thing left is to add the fire to the side of the car, and I'll show you how that works in the next movie.
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