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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, we're going to take that Psychedelic Fabric effect from the previous movie, and we're going to turn it into something that doesn't look remotely like it, specifically, these rock-like letters. I'll go ahead and switch back to the document in progress here. It does have a text layer, that I've created in advance, and it is set, if you bring up your Character panel. You can see its set in Myriad Pro bold, condense, super huge. And I've gone ahead and tracked the letters together as well, so that they're overlapping each other. And so, now what I'm going to do is grab my Gradients layer, put it on top of this text layer, so that we can get to work on it.
And we also need a new background layer. So I'll go ahead and click on the little page icon at the bottom of the Layers panel in order to add a layer. And then, I'll go up to the Layer menu, choose New, and choose Background from Layer. Now, I'll select the gradients. Go up to the Filter menu, choose Pixelate. And finally, I'll choose Crystallize. And I'm going to crank up the cell size value to 40, where this image is concerned. And then I'll click OK in order to create that crystallize effect.
Now you might say, at this point. Well, why do you even have wave in there, if you're going to do that to it? because it makes a big difference. This is what the effect looks like without wave. We basically don't have a mode of color variation going on, whereas, as soon as I add the wave filter, we've got a ton of variation. Not only in the luminance, but in the colors as well. Most that we got suddenly this blue shows up in the middle of all this magenta. Now, let's turn it into something that looks rocky, rather than this rainbow effect. You might think you have to go back and modify the gradients, but you don't have to, all you need to do is click on the FX icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose color Overlay. And I'm going to click on this color swatch here. And the values I came up with were a hue of 35%, saturation of 50% to the brightness of 100%, and then I'll click OK.
And then, you just want to change the blend mode to color in order to produce this effect here. Now click OK, in order to accept that change. Now we want to introduce the text to the whole picture here, and you do that by pressing the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on a Mac, and clicking on the little t. It's very important that you Ctrl+click or Cmd+click on the t, to load it as a selection like so. Now, you can turn off the Text layer, because we're done with it. And with the Gradients layer active, go ahead and drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon, and click on it in order to create this effect here. Now, we want the mask that we just created in the shape of the letters. We want it to kind of move and morph around the various blocks here that we're simulating using a Crystallize filter.
And to do that, make sure the Layer mask is selected, and then go up to the Select menu and choose Refine Mask. Let's crank the radius value up to ten pixels. Just so you know what's happening here, I'll turn on the Show Radius check box. And you can that's our radius around the edges of the character outlines, and what we're telling Photoshop to do is work your magic. Just look at that stuff and figure it out differently, so that we're better tracing around these blocks, and then you can go ahead and select Smart Radius as well. And I wonder now if I might take this radius value even higher.
I'm going to take it up to 20 pixels just to see what it does. And now I'll turn off Show Radius, so that I can better see the effect. Notice now that we've got some sort of mushy transitions in various places. You get rid of those by increasing the contrast value all the way to 100%. However, that gives us some pretty jagged transitions as well, which is why you want to take the smooth value up to 25%. Now, that may not look like enough smoothing. But it will resolve to enough smoothing when I click the OK button.
So these are slightly different settings that I came up with this time around. because I took the radius value higher. But I'm going to just go forward with them by clicking on the OK button. And you'll see the preview that you get with refine mask, isn't always that accurate. And it's a static modification as well. So you've gotta get it right. If you don't like the results, you have to press Ctrl+Z, or Cmd+Z on a Mac, and then try again. Now, we want to apply a few more modifications here by dropping down to the Effects icon and choosing Stroke. Size of three pixels is just perfect actually for this effect I think, and we want the color to be black, so that's great.
And now, we probably need a Drop Shadow, so go ahead and click on it to make it active. Crank the opacity value up to 100%. There's no reason to be subtle here. I'm going to take the angle value to 135 degrees. You can leave, use Global Light turned on. because there aren't any other directional effects in this file. And now I'm going to click in the distance value, and press Shift+up arrow in order to raise it to 15 pixels. The other values are fine set to their defaults as you see here. Then go ahead and click OK in order to apply those effects.
And you can see now that we've got a slightly different effect than I showed you at the outset. Here's the original text that I showed you, and here's the text that I just created. And the reason they look different isn't because of crystallize. All the blocks are the same. It's because I assigned a different smart radius value when I applied Refine Mask. In any event, that folks. Is how you transform this, into this, inside Photoshop.
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