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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. This week, I'm going to show you and many other like-minded people how to create this rainbow gradient. And then we'll take it, and we'll turn it into this psychedelic fabric texture using a single application of a filter. I'm willing to bet most of you have never touched, called Wave. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right, here's the final psychedelic fabric texture, just so you can see it on screen. And you can create all kinds of variations using the same technique.
So, first thing you need to do is create a new document. So I'll press Ctrl+N, Cmd+N on the Mac, in order to bring up the New dialog box. And you can see I'm working in Pixels, I came up with the Width value of 1836, and a Height value of 1264. And you may ask me, where in the world did those values come from? They just happen to work well at the resolution that I'm recording this video. So in other words you can create your image any size you like. You do want the color mode, however, to be RGB. Eight bit is good enough for this and you probably want to get rid of the Background.
So go ahead and set the Background contents to Transparent like so. And I'm working the Adobe RGB color space. Now go ahead and click OK in order to create that new document like so. And now we want to create a couple of Gradient layers. So, press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click the Black, White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and and choose Gradient. And let's go ahead and call this guy B and W, because it's going to be a layer of black and white, and I'll click OK.
You want to change the Gradient type to this very first one, Foreground to Background, is going to work best. And then click in the Gradient bar, in order to bring up the Gradient Editor dialog box. Double-click on the white swatch, and let's take the Brightness down just a little bit to 85%. And then click OK, and now you can click OK again in order to update the gradient. And we want the style to be reflected in order to create an effect like this one, not this one though. So click the reverse checkbox to get the effect we're really looking for, that is black at the top, 85% Brightness there in the middle, and then black at the bottom.
Now click OK, and notice, by the way, that Photoshop went ahead and gobbled up that empty layer. Which is exactly what I was looking for. Now we're going to create another Gradient by pressing the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac. And clicking the Black, White icon at the bottom of the panel. And you want to chose Gradient once again, and this time we'll call this guy, Rainbow and click OK in order to create that layer. This is going to be a rainbow of colors, so go ahead and click the down pointing arrow head and select this guy right there, Spectrum.
Which is one of Photoshop's default gradients, and then you can click off of things here. We want to change the angle of this gradient to 0 degrees like so, and we want it to be reflected as well. And this is the effect I'm looking for, but, if I click OK, in order to create this rainbow. And then change its blend mode to overlay, in order to create this amazing interaction of Hue values and Luminous levels. Problem is it's a little too garrish for my taste and the transitions are a little harsh. And we can calm things down by effectively converting the rainbow to CMYK, even though we are working in an RGB image. We are going to define it using CMYK color values.
So double click on the rainbow thumbnail there to bring up the Gradient Fill dialog box. Click on the Gradient bar to bring up the Gradient Editor, and then you want to double click on that first Color Stop. We're going to define the colors over here using the CMYK values. So change the M value to 100, and the Y value to 100 as well, and that's CMYK red. Then you want to double-click on magenta. And actually, before you double-click, go ahead and select it, and just nudge it a little bit. We want the location to be 16%, not 15, and double-click on it. This is going to make a big difference here.
Get rid of the C value, so change it to zero, and take the magenta value up to 100%, and you end up getting a very different magenta, then click OK. Now let's modify the blue color stop, so select it, it's at 33% which is what we want. Double click on it, change both the C and M values to 100%, that's CMYK blue, click OK. And notice this cyan stop right there, its location is off we want it to be 50%. Then double click on it, change the C value to 100%.
Tab down to the yellow value and get rid of it, change it to zero, much different cyan. Then click OK and you want to select the Green Color Stop now, and go ahead and double-click on it. And this is another radical change, even though, all we're going to do is just barely modify the C value. We're just going to take it from 99 to 100, by pressing the up arrow key. Notice what a big difference that makes. That's CMYK green, this RGB green here is so far outside of the CMYK gamma, not even funny.
Go ahead and click OK, and select yellow, it's at 84% which is what we want, double-click on it. It's going to be kind of a small change but we're going to change the cyan value to zero, leave the white value cranked up the 100%. Click OK, and then we want to change this final Color Stop back to CMYK Red. So we're going to dial in a Magenta value of 100% and a Yellow value of 100% as well, click OK, and now you can click OK, and now you can click OK. And we end up with this much more reasonable interaction of colors. So, I'll press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac.
This is the garish effect we had just a moment ago. And if I press Ctrl or Cmd+Z again, this is the effect we have now. Now, it doesn't look anything like psychedelic fabric, but it will in a moment. Go ahead and Shift+Click on B and W, so that both of the gradient layers are selected. And then right-click inside the Image window, with the Rectangular Marquee Tool, and choose Convert to Smart Object. Now, we're going to apply one, and only one, smart filter, by going up to the Filter menu, choosing Distort, and choosing a command that you may have no experience with, Wave.
The way things work when you're doing normal Waves, usually just take the number of generators down, to something like one, is what I'll do. And then you can see these little waves happening right there in the Preview and you can randomize them if you want a different looking effect. By clicking on this randomize button. Then you can click OK in order to see some warbling colors right there, and normally that's about as much wave as you're really looking for. Except in our case we're looking for way more. So double-click on the word Wave there in the Layers panel, and crank the number of generators up to 500. So that we have this ridiculous interaction of these various colors here. We also want Wrap Around, so undefined areas should be defined as Wrap Around. We're not going to just stretch the Edge Pixels.
And we're going to take the horizontal scale value down to 25%. Now if you take a look at the preview, you'll see that the Horizontal scale value affects the Horizontal gradient, which is the colors. And the Vertical scale value affects the Vertical gradient, which is the black to white one. So, if I were to reduce this value, you'd see the black to white stuff change in there. But I'm not going to, we're going to keep that at 100%. Everything else is just fine as by default. So 10, 125, 35, 25 for Horizontal down here and 100% for Vertical, and then click OK, and we end up with this wild effect right here.
Now that's still not the final effect I came up with, but that is a possible effect. To see what I came up with, we'll double-click on Wave, yet again. Let's try some different types here, let's switch to Triangle and click OK, and you'll end up with this effect. And then if you double click on Wave again, and click on Square, then you end up with this more or less, final effect. Now, your effect and my effect are going to differ a little bit, because everything's random. If I switch over to the image I showed you at the outset here, this is what it looks like, and here's what the image I just created looks like. And that's because, if I double-click on Wave, you can randomize the effect as much as you want by clicking on the Randomize button.
And every one of these generators is random. I'll click OK again having just made some random changes and I end up with this effect. And that friends is how you create, at least what I'm calling, a psychedelic fabric texture, here inside Photoshop. If your a member of the lynda.com online training library, then I have a follow up movie. In which I show you how to take our psychedelic fabric texture, place it inside some text, and then add a filter, and a couple of layer effects, and we end up with this. If you're waiting for next week's free movie, remember that dot drawing technique that I showed you a few weeks back? Well, it's a little bit impressionistic, so I came up with a method to create an even finer dot pattern at a higher resolution as well.
But it ceases to be a dynamic affect and becomes a static affect instead. Deke's Techniques, each and every week. Keep watching.
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