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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! Now if you have a keen eye for detail, you may notice that I'm wearing a down jacket, not because I'm cold--in fact I'm boiling--but rather to remind you that winter is on its way, which means here come the holidays. So, today's episode is all about baubles, bangles, and beads. Specifically, we're going to be taking this black ellipse with this photographic necklace and this marble in the background, and we'll turn it into this lustrous round jewel using nothing more than vector-based ellipses and layer effects.
Here, let me take off this jacket and show you exactly how it works. We're going to be approaching this project on two fronts. First of all, in this movie, I'll show you how to start with a gradient ellipse and then we'll add a few primitive layer effects, and then finally we'll heap on a series of shine layers. And then in another movie, I'll show you how to create these satin cuts through the shine layers, as well as add the final layer of brushing, which affords us a higher degree of realism.
I'm starting inside a file that contains a handful of ellipse layers, and we'll be creating one of those layers as well. But for now, I'm just going to start with this jewel layer here, and I'm going to fill it with a gradient. And you do that in CS6 by pressing the A key to switch to the Arrow tool. And then you go up to the fill swatch up here in the Control panel, and then you select Gradient. I'm going to go with a Radial Gradient. I'm also going to turn off the Align with layer option, which expands the size of the gradient, and I'm going to change the Angle to 0 degrees, which expands it still farther.
Now, I want to turn on this Reverse option so that we're starting with white and going to black on the outside. I'm going to decrease the Scale value to 80%. Everything is right except for the color. So, I'll double-click on the first color swatch there in order to bring up the Color Picker dialog box, and I'm going to dial in a shade of red. It's going to have a Hue value of 10 degrees, a Saturation value of 100%, and a Brightness value of 50%. Then I'll click OK. Now I'll double-click on the second color swatch, which by default is white, and I'll change its Hue to 10 degrees as well, increase its Saturation to 100% as well, and dim down the Brightness to 75%, and then click OK.
So, we have just a slight radial gradient going on, just a little bit of darkening around the edges. Now, let's apply a heaping helping of layer effects here. I'm going to drop down to the FX icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, click on it, and choose Stroke. Now, in CS6, you can apply a stroke to a shape layer if you want to. However, you're going to get a different interaction between that stroke and the layer effect. So, we want to go with the stroke effect. I'm going to change the Size value to 20 pixels. We're going to send that guy outside the shape.
Then I'm going to click on the color swatch and dial in shade of brown, which is 35 degrees for the Hue value, 75% for Saturation, and 25% for Brightness. Then click OK. Now, let's add an Inner Shadow, and the Inner Shadow is going to be our big effect, as you'll see. It's going to make a huge difference. And we're going to use it to create a directional highlight. So, I'll click on Inner Shadow in order to select it, and I'm going to start off by specifying a color, so I'll click on the color swatch. So, I'll dial in a Hue value of 30%, Saturation of 100%, and the Brightness of 100% as well.
Then click OK. Increase the Opacity value to 100%, and it's not going to make much difference until we change the blend mode from Multiply to Screen. We end up getting this tiny, little highlight right there that's nothing even sort of like what we want. So, we need to increase the Distance and Size values. I'm going to take Distance up to 110 pixels, and I'm going to take Size up to 250 pixels. By the way, you'll note that my Global Light Angle for this document is set to -135 degrees.
Now, we want to change the contour, so I'll click the down-pointing arrowhead next to this little Contour option, and I'll select the third guy in, Cone - Inverted, and we end up getting this just glorious effect right here. Now select Inner Glow in order to make it active, and we want this glow to of course be the opposite of a glow. It wants to be a sort of dimming around the edges. So, we need to dial in a dark color by clicking on a little white color swatch, and I'm going to go with red again this time. 10 for the Hue value, 100% for the Saturation value, and 50% for the Brightness value. Click OK.
Change the blend mode from Screen to Multiply so that we're darkening things instead of brightening them. I'm going to take that Opacity value up to 100%, and then I'll tab my way down to the Size value and change it to 100 pixels. That gives us a little bit of volumetric form around this ellipse. Now, it's time for good old Bevel & Emboss, so I'll click on it up here at the top of the list, at least in CS6. I'll change the Style from Inner Bevel to Pillow Emboss. We're going to increase the Depth value to 400%, take the Size value up to 40 pixels, and I'm going to increase the Soften value to 16 pixels.
These guys are fine at an angle of -135 degrees, and an Altitude of 30 degrees. However, I need to change my color, so I'll click on the Highlight mode swatch right there, and I'll dial in an orange. So it's going to be 30 degrees for the Hue, 15% for the Saturation, and 100% for Brightness. It already was that. Fine. Click OK. Now, click on the dark color swatch here for Shadow mode. And this time, I'll take the Hue value to 35 degrees, take the Saturation value all the way up to 100%, and I'll enter a Brightness value of 25%, like so. Click OK.
Screen and Multiply are fine. The Opacity settings are fine as well. The one thing we need to change here that we haven't changed so far is Gloss Contour. It needs to instead of being just Linear, like it is by default, we want it to be set to Ring, which is the second guy in the second row. So I'll go ahead and click on him to make him active. And then finally, I'm going to change the Direction from Up to Down. That's just going to change the angle of the highlights and shadows. One more effect, and of course, it's Drop Shadow.
So go ahead and click on Drop Shadow and make it active. And I say of course because this thing needs to be casting a shadow on the marble background. And the shadow needs to have some form of color associated with it, so I'll click on the color swatch and I'll change the Hue value to 15, Saturation to 50, and then the Brightness to 15 as well. I'll increase the Opacity value to 100%, and I'm going to set the Distance to 35 pixels. I'll set the Size to 70 pixels. And if you take a look at what's going on out here, you'll see that the shadow is going in the wrong direction. We don't want that, so I'm going to turn off Use Global Light.
That's very important; otherwise, you'll mess up all the other directional effects. Then I'm going to change the Angle to 45 degrees. And finally, I'm going to increase that Spread value by clicking in it and then pressing Shift+Up Arrow until I like what I see, which happens at 40%. That's the layer effects for now. Go ahead and click OK in order to accept that total of five layer effects heaped on top of this shape layer. We need to create a layer of highlights, and I'll show you how to do that, and then we'll just add a couple of more here. I went ahead and selected from the Shape tool pop-up menu, the Ellipse tool.
And then, I created a big ellipse from here to about here. So, notice that it covers up most of the formerly red gradient ellipse. But it's a little down and to the right, because the highlight is going to be up in this region right here. Now, I want this layer to be filled with white, so I'll click on the little Fill icon up here in the Options bar, and I'll switch back to my Solid Color option and I'll go ahead and click on white. We don't want a stroke of course. What we do want to do is carve a kind of hole in this shape layer by adding another ellipse.
So, I'll go up to the Options bar, to this Path Operations icon, click on it, and choose Subtract from Shape. Then I'll drag like so, in order to subtract out this region right there. Now, I'm going to just go ahead and rename this layer highlight, because we have low light and low color here. I'm going to go ahead and give this shape layer a little bit of feathering by going up to the Window menu and choosing the Properties command. Under CS5 and earlier, you would choose Masks to bring up the Masks panel.
And then in any case, you change the Feather value, for this effect anyway, to 10 pixels in order to achieve what you see on screen right there. Now, we need to rope in this effect a little bit using a layer mask. I'll drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, click on it, and now I'm going to switch over to the Gradient tool, which you can get by pressing the G key. Go ahead and tap the D key and then the X key in order to make the foreground color black, and you want to switch to the second style in up here in the Options bar, which is Foreground to Transparent.
Then I'm going to drag right about here. I'm pressing the Shift key as I drag to constrain the angle to exactly horizontal. Now, I'm going to create another gradient from here up to this location. As I say, that goes ahead and encloses this highlight within this region. And then finally, I want to combine this highlight layer with the jewel layer below as a clipping mask, so I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on the horizontal line between those two layers in order to produce this effect here. We're not too far from being done with phase one of this project.
We've just got a couple of more layers here. There is one called low light, which looks like this. It's a combination of ellipses working together. If I were to click on this layer thumbnail and press the A key to switch to the Black Arrow tool, you can see that I've got one big white ellipse with three other ellipses cutting holes inside of it. I'm going to press the M key to switch away from that tool. I am going to add a little bit of feathering to this layer as well by bringing back my Properties panel. That would be the Masks panel inside of CS5 and earlier. And I'm going to increase the Feather value to 30 pixels this time around.
We need to mask the effect just a little bit. So, I'm going to add a layer mask by clicking on the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Then I'm going to switch from my Rectangular Marquee tool to the Elliptical Marquee tool. I'm going to marquee, let's say roughly this area right here should work for us. I'm just trying to make sure that the ellipse is big enough down here inside of this region. I'll press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete to fill that ellipse with black inside of the layer mask. I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect that area.
And with the layer mask still selected, you know what? I'll just double-click on it to bring up the Properties panel. That works in CS6. And I'll change my Feather value to 10 pixels in order to soften that transition that we just created. And then finally, this needs to be part of the clipping group as well, so I'll go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+ Click on the horizontal line between the low light layer and the highlight layer below it. Now, let's bring in low color here. I'll turn it on. Notice it's not colorful at all; it's just one ellipse cut out of another by the way.
We need to make it colorful, however, because I want to add a little bit of color to this low light. I'll press the A key to switch to that Black Arrow tool once again. Click on the fill swatch up here in the Options bar. I'll click on this icon. That indicates that we're going to bring up the Color Picker dialog box. I'll change the Hue value to 25 degrees. Then I'll increase the Saturation value to 100%. Now, click OK. We've got ourselves a shade of orange. Press the Enter key, Return key on the Mac to hide that panel. Press the M key to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool.
Let's do some more stuff to this guy. Let's feather him, for example, by bringing up the Properties panel; that's again the Mask panel in CS5 and earlier. And I'm going to change that Feather value to 20 pixels, so we get some softening. So far, this layer isn't making really the biggest contribution, which is why we need to assign a Blend mode to it, by clicking the word Normal in the upper-left corner of the Layers panel. And then I'm going to go ahead and choose the ultra-brightening mode of Linear Dodge (Add), and notice we get that nice yellow highlight right there.
Of course, this needs to be part of the clipping group, so I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on that horizontal line to make it so. That way all of these highlights reside inside the jewel. Now I want to offset this bit of highlight by adding some darkness directly below it. We'll do that by applying an unconventional use of a drop shadow. I'll click on the FX icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose the Drop Shadow command, which is at the end of the list in CS6. It's at the beginning of the list in CS5 and earlier.
I'll dial in a color here, and that color shall be 10 for the Hue value. A Saturation value of 100% is fine. I'll crank up the Brightness value to 50%, and then I'll click OK. Now, I'm going to increase the Opacity value to 100% and change the blend mode from Multiply to Linear Burn, so we're creating more of an ultra darkening effect here. I'm going to take that Distance value up to 15 pixels, leave the Spread set to 0%, and then I'll take the Size value up to 120 pixels, like so.
Then go ahead and click OK in order to accept that effect. And you can see the difference here. Keep an eye on the screen. This is what the low color layer look like without the drop shadow. This is what it looks like with the drop shadow. And that, friends, is how you create a basic smooth round jewel using a combination of layer effects and shine layers here inside Photoshop.
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