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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 McClellan, welcome to Deke's Techniques. This week I'll show you how to take vector based shape layers and turn them into volume metric forms inside Photoshop. And it features a really fun sample file that I created with the help of my youngest son, Sam. So, we started with this sketch here, and we took turn drawing it. I drew the left eye, then he drew the right one with all the veins in it and he drew the right pointy ear and I drew the left ear as a normal ear with a prosthetic and so forth, and, of course, we're trying to one up each other and crack each other up.
And then I took the sketch into photo shop to create this final, fully realized piece of art work. Now the great thing about it is I didn't paint a single brush stroke. It's all a function of these vector-based shape layers that I drew primarily using the Pen tool. And now we're going to dress him up using some layer effects in order to create this volumetric artwork. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right, I've set up some layer comps in advance inside of this document. You can get to them by going up to the Window menu and choosing the Layer Comps command, but I'm just going to be switching between them from the keyboard using a custom shortcut that I added. So here's the original sketch that Sam and I came up with and then this was the development, essentially, of the drawing.
So you can see, I took a little bit of latitude. Put the guy at a jaunty angle and then started adding some volumetric elements to them. And ultimately came up with this sort of black and white version and then I colored him with some green gradients. We'll start off inside this document. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in by pressing Ctrl + 1 or Cmd + 1 on the mac, in order to zoom in to 100%. And we'll start off with this shape right here. So I'll press the V key to switch to the Move tool, because we have so many layers inside this document. And I will right click on this white ellipse right here and I will go ahead and choose eyelid R is a name of this which stands for eyelid right. And now we are going to paint it with a few layer effects. Now this is a shape, a layer a vector based shape layer as you can see if I press the A key which gets be me Black Arrow tool. Then you can see this elliptical outline right there. And basically, nearly everything inside this document is a vector based shape layer.
We're going to paint these layers using layer effects. Starting by clicking on the Effects icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and then, if you're working along with me, go ahead and choose Gradient Overlay. Because we want to fill this shape with the gradient and the easiest way to do that when it's already filled with the solid color is to apply a Gradient Overlay effect. Then I'll click on the Gradient Bar. Double-click on the first swatch here and I'll dial in a Hue value of 90 degrees, a Saturation of 25%, and a Brightness value of 100% and this is typically the way I work.
That is to say, dial in the Hue value that I'm looking for. And then either combine a low Saturation value with a high brightness value or precisely the opposite. That is a high saturation value with a low brightness value. Then click OK and next double click on the final color swatch there. Again we want a hue value of 90 degrees. We want a high saturation value this time of 100% and a relatively low brightness value of 50%. Then click OK, and click OK again to return to the layer style dialogue box. Change the angle value to negative 20 degrees, and otherwise things are find by default.
A Blend Mode of normal and an Opacity of 100%. Then you want to click on Inner Shadow in order to select that effect and I'm going to move things over a little bit just so I can kind of see what's happening in the background here. And I will click on the color swatch and I am going to dial in a color value that we are going to be using over and over through out this art work which is a Hue of 210 degrees. A very high Saturation value of 100% and a very low Brightness value of 15%. So, almost black ,but infused which as much blue as possible.
Then click OK. Now take the opacity value down to 45%. You can leave the blend mode set to multiply. The angle value's negative 20 degrees by default inside of this document because that's the Global Light setting. And now, I'm going to change the distance value to 40 pixels and I'll take the size value up to 40 pixels, as well. You want to leave the Choke Set to 0%. Then, go ahead and click OK in order to create this effect here. Now, we want to burrow a hole through his eyelid so that we can see the eyes, which exist in the background.
So, I'll go ahead and scroll down the list here, inside the Layers panel. And I'll click on the Eyes layer to make it active, and then you can see this horizontal eclipse, go ahead and click on it to select it and press Ctrl + C or Cmd + C on the Mac to copy it. Then return to the eyelid R layer and press Ctrl + V or Cmd + V on the Mac to paste the horizontal ellipse on this layer. Then go up to the Options bar click on the Path Operations icon and choose Subtract Front Shape layer. In that way, we can see the eye in the background. Now, I want to cut away the bottom of the eyelid as well, because we have some eye bags there that we need to reveal. So I'll press the P key to switch to the Pen tool. And then I'll go ahead and click in order to create a straight line through the center of the horizontal ellipse.
And then I'll go ahead and click down here like so as well. And then finally complete the shape. And now I'll press the A key to return to the Black Arrow tool. Click on the path to make it active and then return to the options bar. Click on path operations and choose Subtract Front Shape and you'll end up with this effect here. Now, you'll see that we've got this group here called eye bags. Go ahead and twirl it open by clicking on the little twirly arrow. Go ahead and select the bag 3 layer. And what we need to do is copy what we've done so far, in the way of layer effects. From the eyelid R layer right there.
And to do so press the Alt key, or the Opt key on the Mac, and drag the Effects icon from the eyelid R layer down and drop it onto the bag three layer. And by virtue of the fact that you have the Alt or Opt key down, you'll go ahead and copy those layer effects as opposed to move them. So with the bag three layer active, go ahead and click on the Effects icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Drop Shadow. So in other words the inner shadow and gradient overlay are fine as is but we need to add a drop shadow as well. And that drop shadow should be colored, I was telling you we're going to use this color a lot, with the Hue of 210 degrees, a Saturation of 100%, and a Brightness of 15% for this very dark blue, then click Okay.
And now if you're working along with me, turn off Use Global Light. That's very important because we're going to modify this angle value and otherwise we'll mess everything up. And then I'll click inside the value and press shift up arrow four times in order to increase the value to 160 degrees. Then I'll increase the distance value to eight, and I'll take the size value up to 12 pixels like so, and then I'll click Okay. The good news is we can use these effects over and over again for bag two and bag one, and to do so Alt drag or Opt drag the Effects icon on the bag two layer right there and then go ahead and Alt or Opt and drag it again onto the bag one layer.
And we get the effect that you see before you now. Now let's color in the body by pressing Ctrl + 0 or Cmd + 0 on the map to zoom out. It'll press the V key to switch back to my Black Arrow tool, and I'll right click on this big yellow shape right here. And I should some place on the list see a layer called body. Now this item right there, that's the body group. It's the body layer inside that group that we're interested in. So, I'll go ahead and choose it. And then, we need to grab these layer affects, by right clicking, right there on the Effects icon, associated with the eyelid R layer and choose Copy Layer Style.
Now, go ahead and scroll down the Layers panel here, until you find the body layer, right there, and then right click on it because I have such a short screen here, I have a two column menu. But in any case, you want to choose Paste Layer Style in order to paste those effects in. Double-click on Inner Shadow because that's the one we want to modify. And let's take the Distance Value up to 240 pixels and take the Size Value up to 200 pixels like so. Click on Inner Glow in order to select it.
Click on the little color swatch and we're going to dial in a familiar color, 210 for the Hue, 100 for the Saturation value, and 15% for Brightness. Click Okay. Then change the blend mode from screen to multiply so that we're darkening the edges of the body. And I'm going to take the opacity value down to 30%, because I don't want quite that much darkness. And I'm going to take the size value up to 56 pixels, and finally, I'm going to change the technique from softer to precise. And notice that that gives us a much more defined edge on the left hand side.
And then finally, you want to turn on stroke by clicking on it. And take the size value up to five pixels. The color of black is fine. A position of outside is fine as well, then click okay. Now, we want to light the eye creases a little bit over here on the left hand eyelid. So I'll press Ctrl + 1 or Cmd + 1 on the Mac. To zoom into 100%, and then scroll the image over as well. And by the way, because this is a complicated document, you may see some screen refresh delays every once in a while.
Still armed with the move tool, I'll right click on these left hand eyelids, and choose eyelids L, right there. In order to make that layer active. And I'm actually going to scroll up the list and you'll see that there's this layer toward the top of the eyes group that's called Lid Creases. Go ahead and turn it on. What it is is this soft fuzzy ellipse and I made it fuzzy by selecting it, of course that's important. And then you want to bring up your Properties panel which you can get by going to the Window menu and choosing Properties if you like.
And notice that I increased the Feather value to 2 pixels. So in other words, you can use this value to blur vector-based shapes inside of Photoshop. I'll go ahead and hide that Properties panel. And I don't actually want to see this whiteness here. I just want to use it to contain my layer effect. So I'm just going to select this Fill value. Appear at the top of the layers panel and then I am going to change it to 0%. And that will make the layer temporarily invisible. With the layer still selected, drop down to the Effects icon and choose Bevel Emboss.
And then you want to change the style from inner bevel to pillow emboss and notice that even though. The layer is invisible. The shape layer, itself. Because we changed the fill value to zero instead of the opacity value, we can still see the layer effect. Now I'm going to take the depth value down to 50%, and I'll take the size value up to 35 pixels. I've already established a global light setting of negative 20 degrees for the angle of the light, and 30 degrees for the altitude. So I'll go ahead and drop down to the highlight mode and click on the little color swatch there, and I'm going to dial in a bright green by changing the hue value to 90%. I'll change the saturation value to 25%, and I'll leave the brightness value set to 100%.
Then I'll click Okay, and I'll change the blend mode from Screen To linear dodge, so we get as much brightening as possible, and also crank the opacity value up to its maximum of 100%. Then I'll click on the shadow mode color, and I'll change it to that same color we have been using 210 degrees, a 100% for the saturation value and 15% for the brightest value. Click Okay. Leave the mode set to multiply, that's fine, but I am going to take the opacity value down to 35% like so.
And then, I'll go ahead and click okay in order to accept that effect. Now you can see that gives us this wonderful highlight at the top edge of that eyelid and this nice shadow on the bottom edge, and that's reciprocated down here on the bottom eyelid as well, but obviously the shape is extending outside the eye. We need to add a pixel based layer mask. And you do that by dropping down to the Add Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the layers panel and clicking on it. Then you want to select the gradient tool which you can get by pressing the g key. Make sure that the linear gradient style is selected up here in the options bar. And drag from right about here to here, let's say, and I'm pressing the shift key in order to constrain the angle of my drag to exactly horizontal, and now I'm going to change my gradient setting from foreground to background, to foreground to transparent.
I will drag from this location over, about the same distance, while pressing the Shift key in order to create this effect here. Now you can see we're getting these weird little highlights right here and here on both the right and left hand edges and that's a function of the layer mask not doing exactly the job I'm looking for. (UNKNOWN) . And, you fix that, by, going over to the layers panel,double-clicking on an empty portion of this layer. So, don't click on the layer name, or the Effects icon, just click in an empty area there. And, that'll bring up the layer style dial-up box, along with these five check boxes here. You want to turn on >> Layer Mask Hides Effects in order to produce this smoother effect.
And then, click okay. We've got to do one more thing here. I want to paint away some of the bags underneath this right-hand eye because if you take a look at the original effect here, I'll go ahead and zoom in on here. You can see that the bags underneath this eye fade away just ever so slightly. And to produce that effect, we need another layer mask. So I'll go ahead and switch back to our image in progress. And I'll scroll down my list here inside the layers panel, until I get to the eye bags group right there. You want to select the entire group.
And then drop down to the Add Layer Mask Icon, and click on it. So this time we're going to mask the group, as opposed to the independent layers. I will go ahead and scroll this guy over just a little bit. And I will switch to my Brush tool, and I will right click inside the image window. Size value of 100 pixels, probably going to work, but you definitely want the hardness value to be crank down to its minimum which is 0%. And notice that my 4 grand color is black. And I lied, actually I want a bigger brush. So I'm going to press the Right Bracket key a couple of times in order to make that happen. And then I'll just paint like so.
And then I decided I wanted to paint a little more inside of the two top eye bags. So I'll load the selection for bag 2 by Ctrl + clicking. On this little layer thumbnail there. And I end up loading a selection like so, and then I'll just paint inside of it like that. And then, I'll Ctrl + click, or Cmd + click on the thumbnail for the bag three layer. And I'll once again paint like so. So I'm really just painting with the soft, fuzzy edge of brush at this point. And then I'll press Ctrl + D or Cmd + D on the Mac, to deselect the image. Maybe I'll paint just a little more Right there on that edge, like so. If you decide you've painted too much, by the way, then you can go up to the Edit menu, and you can choose this command, Fade Brush tool. And what this allows you to do is back off your painting. So I can take the opacity down to 50%, in order to bring back some of those edges. And then I'll click Okay in order to accept that change. And that is it folks.
That is my long-winded journey into creating volumetric forms. Using vector based shape layers and layer effects inside Photoshop. If you remember at the lynda.com Online Training Library, I have a followup movie in which I show you how to take the monster's eyes and make them look all bloodshot. If you're waiting for next weeks free movie, I'll show you how to create the shading marks around the monster's mouth using a combination of shape layers along with pixel based layer masks. Deke's Techniques, each and every week.
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