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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, I'll show you how to take this colorful piece of artwork and convert it into something that I consider to be very exciting. We're going to create a simulation of screen printing in which the colors in the artwork and the black of the line drawing are printed in independent passes and as a result we get this colorful misregistration. But because we're working in Photoshop we can customize that misregistration, notice that the colors bleed into the sky, but the sky never bleeds into the colors, so there's an order to our chaos. So here's how it's going to work.
In this movie I'll show you how to create this custom wave pattern that grows tighter and tighter as we ascend to the upper right corner, and then next week I'll show you the screen printing technique. So we'll start off where we left off in the previous movie inside the color artwork, and I'm going to scroll up my Layers list here and twirl closed the color layers group, and then I'll click on the sky layer to make it active, and I'm going to zoom in on this empty portion of the image, above the bird, so that we have some room to work. And then I'll press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac to bring up the New Layer dialog box and I'll call this layer tile and click OK, because it will represent the core tile for our custom pattern.
All right, go ahead and select the Rectangular Marquee tool, and then go up to the Options Bar and switch the Style from Normal to Fixed Size, and the size that I'm looking for is a Width of 4 pixels and then a Height of a 100 pixels. Then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac and click inside of the image in order to create that 4x100 pixel rectangle. Now press the D key to return to your default colors and press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete to fill the selection with black. All right, next I'm going to return to the Options Bar and I'm going to click in the Width value right there to select that value, and I'm going to change the Width to a 100 pixels.
And now you can click someplace inside of the image window and then move the selection over until it exactly bisects the line, like so, and then press Shift+Left Arrow five times in a row, and that scoots the selection over 50 pixels, which is half of a 100 pixels. So it basically goes ahead and centers the line inside the selection. Now I'll go up to the Filter menu, choose Distort, and choose the Shear command, which will allow us to bend that line. And you'll start off with just a straight line right here; think of it as being our line.
Go ahead and click at this grid intersection to set a point, and then move it about halfway into that grid cube, like so, and then click down here and move it about halfway the other direction, and you should get a nice even S curve, which will bend our line into an S as well. Now I'll click OK in order to apply that change. Now, at this point we need to check to make sure that the sky is going to align with itself properly. So what you want to do is press and hold the Ctrl+Shift+Alt keys, that's Command+Shift+Option on the Mac, and go ahead and drag and clone and essentially constrain the direction of this new S to directly above the old one.
And notice that I'm a few pixels high here. I'm going to press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac in order to hide the selection outline and I'll go ahead and press the Down Arrow key a couple of times in order to nudge that S down. So one is now sitting directly on top of the other and they don't quite align as you can see. I'll go in and zoom in a little farther. We've got a little bit of a hitch there. If I press the Down Arrow key once more though, the hitch goes away, which tells me that I need to take a pixel off; just a row of pixels off the top of that first S. So I'll press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac in order to get rid of that selection, and then I'll just click like so in order to create a marquee that's sitting directly on top of the S, and I'll press the Down Arrow key just once in order to nudge it down one pixel, and I'll press the Backspace key in order to get rid of that top row.
All right, now you can press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image. At this point we need to create a bunch of these guys, and here's how it works. I'll click here in order to select the entire S, as well as an extra row of pixels, and then I want to duplicate it a bunch of times. So I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift+Alt or Command+Shift+Option on the Mac, along with the Left Arrow key, that goes ahead and duplicates the S 10 pixels to the left. And then I'll press Shift+Left Arrow in order to set it another 10 pixels, so we have 20 pixel intervals between each of our wavy lines.
Okay, now I'll do it again, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Left Arrow, Command+Shift+Option+Left Arrow on the Mac, and then Shift+Left Arrow. And then, again, with the Ctrl+Shift+Alt or the Command+Shift+Option, and then again, with just the Shift key by itself. I'll do it again and again and again. All right, so now altogether I've got, what is it, seven of these things? I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image, and then I'll just Ctrl+Drag it over a little bit so that I can see the entire thing. All right, we don't want any of the other image in the background, so Alt+Click or Option+Click on the eye in front of the tile layer, and now go up to the Options Bar, click on the Height Option and press the Down Arrow key to reduce it to 99 pixels, because our lines are only 99 pixels high.
And then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac and click somewhere inside of these lines, like so, in order to make sure that you're selecting a full interval. So you're selecting the entire height of these wavy lines; you're not selecting the entire width--you wouldn't want to--but everything is going to repeat perfectly this way. Now go up to the Edit menu and choose Define Pattern, and notice that Photoshop is smart enough, if you've selected this thing properly, it's smart enough to boil the pattern down to the smallest tile that it needs, which I think is pretty amazing actually.
Let's go ahead and call this pattern wave and then click OK. All right, now I'm going to press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac in order to zoom out for my artwork, and I'll turn off that tile layer, because we're done with it. So I'll press Ctrl+D, by the way, Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. Then Alt+Click or Option+Click in the eye in front of tile to bring back the other layers, and turn off tile. All right, now let's create a new pattern layer that fills in the entire sky. So you want to our press Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and click on the thumbnail for the sky layer in order to load it up as a selection.
Then, press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click this little black white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose the Pattern option, which will force the display of the New Layer dialog box, and I'll call this layer waves and click OK. And notice that Photoshop goes ahead and automatically assigns the selection as a Layer Mask to this Pattern layer. And it automatically selects the last pattern made, which is waves. If you don't see waves, then click on that arrowhead and choose waves from the end of the list, but mine is working fine, so I'll go ahead and click OK.
All right, now what I'm really looking for is some wavy lines at an angle that distort toward the upper right corner of the image, and that's not something that Photoshop can accommodate using a dynamic pattern layer. So we've got to convert this to a static pattern, but first we need to increase the size of our image. So I'll returns to the image at hand and I'll go up to the Image menu and I'll choose the Canvas Size command, and make sure that you're working in Pixels, and then I want to change both the Width and Height values to 40 pixels a piece, assuming that the Relative check box is turned on, so you want Relative on.
Then 40 pixels for each value, make sure that center square is selected, then click OK. So I'm just adding a little bit of extra room at first. And then I'm going to turn around and add a lot of room, by going back to the Image menu and choosing the Canvas Size command again. And this time I'll change the Width value to 1000 pixels and the Height value to 1000 pixels as well, and then click the OK button in order to create this massive canvas, that is now entirely filled with that pattern. It's just we can't see it's filled with that pattern, because that area is masked out.
So if I were to Shift+Click on this Layer Mask thumbnail, you can see we've got pattern all over the place. All right, I'll Shift+Click on it again in order to turn it back on. Then, I'll right-click inside my Image Window and I'll choose Rasterize Layer in order to convert that dynamic pattern to pixels. And I'll turn off this link between the layer and its layer mask, so we can edit the pattern independently. And then I'll go up to the Edit menu and I'll choose the Free Transform command, which you can also get by pressing Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac. All right, now drag out here in the dark area, in the pasteboard area, and actually, you might want to zoom out a little farther so you have more room to work.
Drag out here in order to rotate the pattern, and I rotated it something around 28 degrees probably. And then you want to press the Ctrl+Shift+ Alt keys for about the 11th time; that will be Command+Shift+Option on the Mac, and drag this corner handle inward like so, in order to distort the lines inward in the upper right-hand corner. All right, now you can rotate the pattern further if you want to. I'm going to nudge it down and over by pressing the Down and Right Arrow keys, and that looks pretty darn good to me. As long as you're not seeing any gaps and the transformation battery is not going into the rectangle of the artwork, everything is fine.
So then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to apply that change, and now, I'll go up to the Image menu and choose the Canvas Size command yet again, and I'm going to change the Width value to -1000 pixels, because we're done with all that big margin, and I'll change the Height value to -1000 pixels as well. Make sure the center square is selected, click OK. Photoshop is going to warn you that you're going to clip a bunch of details inside your image; this is actually not true, you're only going to clip the background layer, which doesn't matter. So go ahead and click Proceed in order to move forward.
And zoom in on your artwork by pressing Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac, and we have managed to fill that background with an absolutely custom wave pattern. And don't forget next week, when I'll show you how to simulate screen printing by deliberately offsetting colors.
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