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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 McLelland. Welcome to Deke's techniques. This week, a very specific technique I have for you. We're going to take these jumping silhouettes here, and we're going to give them these bright golden motion trails but here's the thing. This technique works best with silhouettes, so dark figures against a lighter background, and. Your figures have to be moving up and to the left because one of the filters that we'll be applying naturally move stuff down and to the right in order to create those motion trails in the first place. So as long as you've got tons of silhouettes jumping up and to the left this technique is for you. If you want them to move down and to right not so much. Here, let me show you, exactly how it works.
This is the final effect we're going for, just so you can see it on screen. I'm going to start off with this file, which comes to us from the Fotolia image library. About which you can learn more and get special deals at fotolia.com/deke. We're going to be applying a series of filters here, so we need to convert this image to a smart object by double-clicking on the background item inside the Layers panel. And I'll just go ahead and name this new layer Jumpers. And then I'll right click inside the Image window with my Rectangular Marquee tool. And I'll choose, convert to smart object. The next step is to go up to the Filter menu, and choose the Filter gallery. You want to twirl open the distort folder right here, and click on ocean ripple. And you can see the values that I came up with over here in the upper right corner of the screen.
I set the ripple size to 4 and the ripple magnitude to 17, and that's just a matter of playing around. But I will show you what happens. The ripple size, as you might expect, controls the size of those little ripples in there, so if you make the value bigger, you're going to get big chunky ripples like so. Not really what we want, so we keep that value pretty low. ripple magnitude determines the displacement, so notice if I go with the low ripple magnitude not only do we have just a slight bit of rippling going on, but also we're not nearly displacing the image so much down into the right as we are, as we increase that ripple magnitude value.
So, notice the difference here is the highest value Of 20, and notice the placement. That's the most important thing here. if I change ripple magnitude to 1 everything moves back to its proper location, so thesis going to perform best when you want to make your silhouettes move up and to the left, that is, in the opposite direction or the ripple magnitude... Anyway, I'm going to change this value to, as I said, 17. And then I'll go ahead and click OK. Now we want to add some motion blur to this effect. And you do that by going up to the Filter menu, choosing Blur, and choosing Motion Blur.
And you want an angle value of negative 45 degrees because that's going to match the natural angle of the ocean ripple filter. And then we want the distance value to be 20 pixels for this image. If you're working inside a different image, then you want to play around with the distance to get the best results. Now click OK. All right, you might as well clean things up to Layer's panel by right clicking inside that filter mask thumbnail and choosing Delete Filter Mask. And now we want to create kind of mask that's going to serve as her actual motion trail and you do that by switching to the channel's panel We're looking for the channel with the most contrast.
So there's the red channel, there's the green channel, and there's the blue channel. In the case of this image, blue is probably going to work out best. So go ahead and grab it, and drag it and drop it onto the little page icon, in order to create a copy of it. And let's go ahead and rename this channel Motion. Then go up to the image menu, choose adjustments and choose the levels command, or you can press Control L or Command L on a Mac. In the case of this image all you want to do is change the white point value to 70... In order to brighten up the image significantly as we're seeing here.
And then you can go ahead and click OK. Now press Ctrl+A in order to select the entire image. That's Cmd+A on the Mac. And I'll go ahead and zoom out so that you can see that this channel is selected. And then press Ctrl+C or Cmd+C on the Mac to copy it. Now switch back to the full RGB composite image, return to the layers panel, and press Ctrl+V or Cmd+V on the Mac, to paste that channel as a new layer. And I'm going to call this layer, Motion Only because that's the function it's going to serve. And you also want to press Ctrl + I, or Cmd + I on the Mac to invert the channel. Now we're going to apply some filters to this layer which means that we need to convert it to a smart object by right clicking inside the Image window and choosing convert to Smart Object.
Now you want to turn off the layer for just a moment so that you can see that we have these filters applied to the original image. Well they've served their purpose by now. So you can go ahead and turn off the eye in front of smart filters to restore the original image. Then turn on the Motion Only layer right there. Click on it to make it active. And change it's Blend Mode from Normal to Screen, in order to create this brightening effect. I'm going to zoom back in. Now we want to apply, still more filters, and we'll start By pressing the D key so that we've restore the default colors, black is foreground and white is the background then go up to the Filter menu and choose Filter Gallery once again. But this time you want to twirl open the Sketch folder and you want to click on Graphic Pin and you definitely want the stroke direction to be left diagonal. So that we're stroking down and to the left.
The stroke link should be set to its maximum which is 15. And then you want to adjust the light dark balance until you end up getting rid of all of those sort of white streaks in the black area, and I found that a value of 83 worked out quite nicely. So Stroke Link 15, Light Dark Balance 83, Stroke Direction left diagonal. Click okay, and now we want still more motion blur, because right now we've got this very jagged effect as you can see here, so go up to the filter menu, choose blur, and choose motion blur.
The angle still wants to be negative 45 degrees, but we're going to crank the distance value up to 50 pixels like so. And now click OK. This is a pretty darn cool ghosty effect, but we want it to be behind the jumpers not in front of them. So, we need to mask those jumpers away. And we'll do that by turning off this layer for the present so that we're seeing the unmodified jumpers image. Go back to the channels panel and once again duplicate that blue channel by dragging it and dropping it on the little Page icon. And now let's go ahead and rename this layer, silhouettes, let's say, because that's what we're trying to protect.
I'll press Ctrl + L, or Cmd + L on a Mac, to bring up the levels dialog box. And the values that came up with this time around were a black point value of 20 and a wide point value of 80. And then go ahead and click OK and notice that does a good job of isolating these particular silhouettes. Your values may differ if you're working inside of a different image. Now you want to load this mask as a selection by pressing the Ctrl key or Cmd key on the Mac and clicking on the Silhouettes channel and notice that goes ahead and selects the white areas, deselects the black areas.
Now click on RGB. Return to the Layers panel as well. Turn on that Motion Only layer. Make sure it's selected. Right click on the Filter Mask thumbnail and choose Delete Filter Mask because we don't want a filter mask, we want a layer mask instead. So go ahead with that selection active, drop down to the Add Layer icon. At the bottom of the layers panel and click on it, and you end up with this effect here. Now we need to go for the gold here, and we'll do that using a couple of layer effects.
So I'll click on the effects icon at the bottom of the layers panel and I'll choose Color Overlay. And I'll click on this little red swatch here and dial in a different color which is just really a hue value of 50 degrees. The saturation and brightness values are fine set to their default which are 100%. Then click OK. We want to burn this gold into those white motion blurs. And you do that by changing the blend mode to multiply. But that multiples not only the white motion trails but the rest of the image as well to contain the goal just inside the motion trails click on Blending options up here at the top of this list and turn on this first check box which reads Blend Interior Effects as Group.
And that goes ahead and burns in the yellow before applying the Screen Blend mode and we end up with this effect here. Now I want to add a little bit of yellow to the front of the bodies and I will do that by turning on Bevel Embass. Just click on it, then click on the color swatches associated with the highlight mode change it to that same values so we want a hue value of 50 degrees and saturation value of a 100% the brightness value wants to be 100% as well. Click OK. Crank the opacity value up to 100 and then take the shadow mode opacity down to 0% because we don't need any shadow.
Now click OK. And I'm going to zoom out just a little bit here, so I can take in a little more of the image. Notice that we have a couple of problems. We've got this rippling up here in upper left region of the sky. And then we've got these highlights in the upper right corner of the image. To address those, first alt click or option click on the layer mask thumbnail for this motion only layer. And then select a brush tool, right click inside the image and notice that I've got the hardness set to zero percent and I've got the size cranked up to 400 pixels.
Now you want to change the mode from normal up here in the options bar to overlay. That's going to affect not the layer, but rather the brush tool. And now I'll paint away these sort of gray snivels up here in the upper left corner of the image, and I'll paint down here in the lower right corner as well, and I want to paint. Paint away this area here. On the left-hand side of the image. If you're working inside a different image, you'll need to paint away different artifacts. Now go ahead and Alt click on that thumbnail again. In order to reveal the full color image. And you should then all those little weird ripples disappear. Now I'll go ahead and restore the mode for the brush to normal, just to be safe. I'll switch back to the rectangular marquis tool to get rid of these edges up here.
You want to zoom in on it just to check out how big they are. And here I am looking at the image at let's say the 400% zoom ratio. I'll go ahead and select that region, and notice I can see in my heads up display the width is 5 pixels. And so that means that's how much of the image I need to get rid of, and if I select this area up here the height is 5 pixels as well, so that's great. The solution then is to go up to the image menu and choose the canvas size command. Turn on the relative checkbox, make sure you're working with pixels. Make sure the center square is active down below, and you want to change the width value to negative 10, that is 5 times 2, 5 pixels on the right and five pixels on the left, and then take the height value down to negative 10 pixels as well, click OK. Photoshop will lie to you and tell you that some clipping will occur, that's actually not true.
We're working with smart objects, they're unclippable, so just go ahead and click proceed. In order to apply that non-destructive modification and now I'll go ahead and center by zoom again by pressing Ctrl + 0 and just to give you a sense here I will switch to the image I showed you at the offset, notice how the things change a little bit between the two images, so this is the image I created before And this is the one I created for you just now. And you can see that my motion trails are varying ever so slightly and that's a function of the ocean ripple filter.
Which by the way is a random effect and it's going to give you different results every single time. Go ahead and press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the full screen mode, and that friends, is how you add bright golden motion trails to dark silhouettes here inside Photoshop. Alright, so next week, we're switching to Illustrator and I'm going to show you how to create a precise schematic drawing. Like this one here in which everything lines up with everything else exactly the way it should using Illustrator's grid.
This techniques each and every week. Keep watching.
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