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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 establish the various layer effects in order to achieve this reflecting liquid here inside Photoshop. So, I am going to start things off here by selecting this drops layer, and then if you're working along with me, you want to right-click on the FX icon, and choose Clear Layer style, so that now we can start things over here. Step number one, is to reduce the Fill Opacity value to 5 and that's going to make the layer darn near invisible, but it's just what we need to be able to build up these effects.
Next drop down to the FX icon and choose Bevel and Emboss. You want to make sure that the Style is set to Inner Bevel. I am going to take the Depth value up to 120 %, Direction should be Up, and then the Size value is going to depend on the size of your image, but in the case this one, I want a size of 15 pixels like so. Now my Angle and Altitude values are set to 135 and 65 degrees respectively; that's what we want for this effect. Then you want to drop-down to the Highlight mode, make sure the color is set to white, which it is in my case, and then I am going to change the Blend mode from Screen to Linear Dodge, so that we get a hotter effect, as you're seeing here.
An Opacity value 75% is just fine. Next we want to click on the color for the Shadow mode and this is going to depend on how much we want to match your image, but I went ahead and dialed in a Hue value of 45 degrees and Saturation, and Brightness values of 35% a piece, in order to come up with this kind of dim yellowish brown. Then I'll click OK. Now you want to change the Shadow mode from Multiply to Linear Burn, so that you end up with a harsher shadow effect as we're seeing here.
And you probably want to take the Opacity value down; I took it quite a bit down to 15%, because after all we're not going to have a very pronounced shadow where water is concerned. Next we want to change the Gloss Contour and we start things off by clicking the down pointing arrowhead and selecting one of the contours that ships with Photoshop, which is Ring and you end up with this effect here, which is almost one I am looking for, but not quite. So, to modify it ever so slightly, click inside the little Contour icon there, to bring up the Contour Editor dialog box, and you want to select this point right there, the one in the upper right corner, and just go and press the left arrow key a few times in order to d Nudge that point over to the left, until the Input point value is 96%, you still want the Output to be 100%, and you end up with this effect here.
Then go ahead and click OK in order to accept that change. Now we need a few more shadows so, I am going to click on Drop Shadow to make it active. It's at the bottom of list here in CS6. It's at the top of the list in previous versions. Click on the Color and change it to that same color whatever it was, that you've dialed in a moment ago, in my case 45, 35, 35, and then click OK to accept that color. By default the Blend mode is set to Multiply, and the Opacity 75%, which works out beautifully. The only change I am going to make is to take a Size value up to 10 pixels like so, and we end up with this effect here.
Now let's add an Inner Shadow, so just go ahead and click on Inner Shadow to turn it on and to access its settings, click on the Colors swatch, dial in that same color again 45, 35, 35, in my case, then click OK. And this time we once again want the Blend mode to be to set to Multiply, but we want the Opacity value to be a lot lower. So, I am going to reduce it to 35 % the Angle value is just fine. I am going to take the Distance value upto 10 pixels and I'll take the Size upto 15 pixels. Finally, we need to add a little bit of color to the liquid.
So, click on Color Overlay to make it active, I don't want it to be read. So, I am going to click on a Color Swatch and the color I came up with that look good to me anyway, is the Hue value of 210 degrees a Saturation of 50%, and a Brightness value of 100%, then click OK. Next, change the Blend mode from Normal to Linear Light, which is going to create this over-the-top blue effect here, and then take the Opacity value down to a mere 5% and that's it, and I'll click OK in order to accept that effect.
There is one additional adjustment that you might want to make. It's upto you. I am going to go ahead and zoom in, pass 100% view size, so we're seeing the effect at 200%. And notice how the Reflections that are coming off is a little harsh, if it's a little bit too jagged for your taste, and what you do is you double-click on Bevel and Emboss in order to bring back the settings and you turn on this checkbox right there Anti-alias, I am going to go ahead and move that over, so we see what happens on screen. And you can see that that softens the edges ever was so slightly and it moves the effect just a little bit as well.
Now I'll click OK in order to accept that very subtle change. And now I'll zoom back out, so we can take in the entire effect and that's how you create the appearance of natural water reflections using a handful of layer effects, here inside Photoshop. In the next movie I'll show you how to refract the wood grain in the background, so it appears as if it's being magnified by the water.
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