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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.
Hi! This is Deke McClelland! Welcome to Deke's Techniques. Now the holidays are looming, as you well know, which is why this week we're going to take that lustrous jewel that we created last week and we are going to turn it into this button with some reflectivity across the top, and so forth. Now in case you don't want the word PANIC inside of your button, even though this is the season of panic my friends. This is editable text, and we can change it to anything we like, such as this cheerful ho-ho-ho message right here.
Here, let me show you exactly how it works. Here's that final button effect that we are going for, just so you can see it on screen. We are going to start things off by creating this reflection at the top of the button. So I'll go ahead and switch over to that jewel image that we created in last week's episodes. The necklace doesn't really make sense in the context of this next composition, unless of course you are going to wear a button around your neck. So I'll go ahead and turn off the necklace layer. And then I want to load the jewel as a selection, so I'll press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and click on the thumbnail for that jewel layer.
And the reason that we are doing this is because this will determine the shape of the reflection. Now let's scroll up to the top layer in a clipping group which in my case is low color, and we're about to create a gradient. I want it to be a white to transparent gradient. So the easiest way to work is to have your foreground colors set to white. So press the D key and then the X key, and that will make your foreground color white, as you can see at the bottom of the toolbox. Next, press the Alt key or Option key on the Mac and click in the Black & White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and then choose the second to top command which is Gradient.
Because you have the Alt key down or the Option key down on the Mac, that will force the display of the New Layer dialog box. I'll go ahead and call this layer, reflect, because it's going to serve as a reflection, then I'll turn on Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask which will put this next layer into our existing clipping group, then click OK. Now notice here inside the Gradient Fill dialog box that we have a gradient that starts white and ends transparent. That's probably what you are going to see, but if not, just go ahead and click the down-pointing arrowhead and select this second thumbnail in, which is Foreground to Transparent.
Next, we want the Style to be Linear. That's fine; the Angle should be 90 degrees. I am going to set the Scale value however to 50% and then click OK. Now I want to move this gradient upwards. So I am going to click on its layer mask which is in the shape of that selection, we just had a moment ago. I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose the Free Transform command or you can press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac, and what we want to do where this specific image is concerned, is make sure that the triangle, which is Delta, is turned off up here in the Options Bar, and then click on the top center reference point.
In that little matrix over on the left-hand side, click on the Y value to make it active and change that value to 0 and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, and that goes ahead and scoots the gradient, so it's aligned to the very top of our canvas. Now I'll press the Enter key, that'd the Return key on the Mac. I'll press the 4 key to reduce the opacity of this layer to 40%. Let's go ahead and center this guy on screen. I'll double-click in the layer mark thumbnail, here inside the Layers panel to bring up the Properties panel. If you are working in CS5 or earlier you'll need to choose the Masks command from the Window menu, and then change the Feather value to 5 pixels.
That's going to depend on resolution of your image; higher resolution images want higher feather values, but 5 works great in my case. Now I'll hide the Properties panel, now we need to get work on a text, I've already got a text layer set up in advance up here at the top of the Layers stack. Now you might figure because we want to create all kinds of interaction between the text and the button elements, that we should actually drag the text down into that clipping group. However, if you do that I'll go ahead and show you what that looks like. If you drag it down to just above the Jewel layer, for example, that will cover that text layer with a highlight and everything else, but the text gets mired down inside of the layers effects and all the other layers that work inside the image.
So what we want to do is blend that text with the layers below. But before we do that we need to do one more thing. Notice I'll switch over to our final version of the image, if you look closely at it, you'll see that we have a little bit of drift where the text is concerned and it gets worse toward the outside convex curves of the button, and that's the way things actually work optically. If you were to for example put a mosquito inside amber, you would see it distort toward the edges there and same would happen with text.
So I'll go ahead and switch back to my image in progress here, that means that I need to apply a filter to the text which means that I need to convert the text to a Smart Object. You want to go up to the upper right corner of the Layers panel, click on that little flyout menu icon and choose Convert to Smart Object. Then go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur and choose Radial Blur, and you want to set your method to zoom for this effect. Where this image is concerned, an Amount value of 15 happens to work beautifully and you want to just leave that blur center set to the center inside of the dialog box, and I call this setting of Good is going to give us the best results.
Click OK in order to apply that filter and we get this result here. Now what I want you to do is double-click on the little slider icon to the right of the words Radial Blur. In order to bring up the Blending Options dialog box and just reduce the Opacity to 77%, and click OK. I am going to right-click inside this Filter Mask thumbnail and choose Delete Filter Mask because it might need more room to work, really. And then I am going to reduce the opacity of this layer to 80% by tapping the 8 key. Now that's not quite enough. We want more interaction in that.
So double-click somewhere in an empty portion of this panic layer to bring up the Layers Style dialog box, and then dropdown to the underlying layer slider, and what we want to do is bring out some of these highlights. So you want to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag the left half of this white slider triangle all the way down to 20. So you'll see that you've got a value of 20/255. Then we are going to do kind of the opposite for the black slider triangle here.
What I want to do is bring out some of these dark edges in the lower left region of the P, so I'll press the Alt key again or the Option key on the Mac and drag the right half of the black slider triangle to 135, so 0/135, 20/255 are your values. And then go ahead and click OK in order to apply that effect, and that makes a huge difference. If I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac this is what things look like before we change those sliders. And if I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z again, this is what things look like now.
Now the great thing about this technique is your text remains editable. So if you don't want it during the holiday season to have a button that says PANIC, no problem, just go ahead and double-click on the thumbnail for the panic layer, if you see the alert message just click OK and then you can edit your text any which way you like. So I'll press the T key in order to get my Type tool, click inside the text and press Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac in order to select all of it, and I'll change it to HOLIDAY. And press the Enter key on the Numerical Keypad in order to accept that modification.
Then I'll go up to the Image menu because this text is so darn big now, and choose Reveal All, and that will avoid any clipping when we update the Smart Object inside of our larger composition. Now click the Close button and click Yes on the PC or Save on the Mac in order to update that Smart Object, like so. Next, what I did, because I think that text should fit inside the button, I went up to the Edit menu and chose Free Transform. Photoshop is probably going to alert you that you won't see Radial Blur during this process. That's fine, click OK.
Then what I found worked, I'll click on the Chain icon up here in the Options Bar and change either the width or the height value to 80% and then press the Enter key a couple of times in order to accept that change. Now I am not sure if you are really wanting to press HOLIDAY to go on a holiday, your button shouldn't be this dangerous red and orange and yellow color, so let's modify the color of the button by clicking on the layer below panic right there and pressing the Alt key or Option key on the Mac.
Click the Black & White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, choose Hue/Saturation in order to force a display of the New Layer dialog box. We'll go ahead and call this greenish because that's what I am going to go for, click OK, and then I am going to use my Target Adjustment tool in order to modify the colors. So I'll click on that tool and then I'll press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac, and drag inside the sort of red orange colors to the right until my Hue value over there in the Properties panel, that would be the Adjustments panel for your guys in CS5 and earlier, changes to 90, like so, and then I might go ahead and take the Saturation value down just a little bit by just dragging with a tool.
So let's say I take it down to -30, and next, I'll press the Ctrl key or the Command key again and drag to the right inside of the yellows until I get a Hue value of about +20, should do the trick, and that way we have some variations associated with our greens. I think that's a pretty festive effect, little over the top, but as you can see here, I am affecting the entire image. So I am going to go ahead and mask this greenish layer inside the button by dropping down to the jewel layer.
Pressing the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and clicking on its thumbnail once again to load it up as a selection outline. Then with the greenish layer active, I'll dropdown to the Add Layer Mask icon and click on it. And that restores the warmth of the background as well as the browns of the stroke around the button. Now the last thing is if you kind of zoom in here, you'll see that we are losing the Y inside of the highlights, and I don't want that, so I'll go back to my panic layer, which I could rename if I want to, but I am not going to, and double-click in an empty portion of it to bring up the Layer Style dialog box and then I'll revisit these underlying layer settings by actually moving this dialog box over a little bit so I can see what I am doing on screen, and I'll drag the left half of this white slider triangle back up.
Now I don't want to take it too far because then the text doesn't look like it's immersed in the button. So I'll take it up to about a 100. So the values over here on the right-hand side read 100/255, that looks pretty good to me. Now I'll click OK and I'll press Shift+F in order to switch to the Fullscreen Mode and go ahead and zoom on in, and that friends, is how you create a festive holiday button here in the merry land of Photoshop.
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