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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 create the spectacular false color version of the lion. We're going to start things off where we left off in the previous movie, with these at least abhorrent looking color brush strokes. And, I'll go ahead and zoom out a click as well. Next, what you want to do if you're creating this effect along with me. Is click on your Photographic layer, in my case its the lion layer, make sure your rectangular marquee tool selected and then press the 0 key in order to raise the opacity to 100%.
Now you can click on the Color Strokes layer to make inactive and we're going to blur this layer. So of course we want to apply the blur as a smart filter. You need to right-click somewhere inside the image window again with your rectangular marquee tool and then choose Convert to Smart Object. Next go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur and choose Gaussian Blur and the value I came up with, although it will depend on the resolution of your image. Is 33 pixels. So a ton of blur as you can see here.
Then click OK. And now just because I don't have that much room inside my Layers panel, I'm going to right click in the white filter mask thumbnail and choose Delete Filter Mask. Next you want to double-click on the little slider icon to the right of the words Gaussian Blur here inside the Layers panel, and change the opacity setting for this blur to 77%, again that's just what I came up with, and then click OK. Now I want to apply some additional color in back of these colored lines.
So, I'm going to click on a Lion layer to make it active, then you want to press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac, and click on the little black white circle at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Solid color. And that way you can name the layer as you create it, and I'm just going to call mine Just Blue, and then I'll click OK. When the color picker's up, by the way, you can lift a color from inside the image by clicking on it, or you can lift a color from the swatches panel by clicking on it as well. But I came up with the following values, so a hue value of 205 degrees, a saturation of 75% and a brightness value of 65%.
Next you want to click OK. Now go ahead and select both of those two layers, just blue and color strokes. And then go up to the Layers panel fly-out menu. And choose New Group From Layers. And then I'll go ahead and put both these layers inside this group and I'm going to call this new group Blend Stuff, because that's the purpose it's going to serve. And then I'll click OK. And now, with the Blend Stuff group selected, you want to double-click on an empty portion of it in order to bring up the full layer style dialogue box.
Now, this assumes that you're working in the most current version of Photoshop, which as I record this, is Photoshop CC. I'm going to start by changing the Blend mode from pass through to linear light. All of you can do that, by the way. It's these lighter options that are missing from previous versions of the software. But they're very important to what we're doing here, because the effect is a little over the top, as you can see. So I'm going to Alt + drag or Option + drag, the left half of the white underlying layer triangle down to 105 like so.
So the value before the slasher should be 105, the value after should be 255. And then Alt drag or Option drag the right half of the black triangle up to 150. So you can see that the two triangles are crossing each other and so basically what I'm doing is fading out the darkest 150 luminous levels, and I'm also fading out the lightest 150 luminous levels, because 255 minus 150 is 105. Now I'll click OK in order to accept that effect.
Now at this point things are looking already a lot more reasonable but there's a couple of additional changes I want to make. For one thing I want to brighten up the nose. And the reason it's so dark is because the lion's nose is actually dark in the background. So, I'm going to add a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+n. Or Cmd+Shift+n on a mac, and I'm going to call this layer Orangeness, because it will be orange. I'm going to select this little color swatch right there, here inside the Swatches panel. And it's one of those predefined colors that ship along with Photoshop.
And now, I'm going to press the b key in order to get my Brush tool. And again, I'm using this in teak, but this is a pretty easy operation to perform even with a mouse, so I'm just going to paint inside the confines of the nose, and if you end up escaping the lines, if you care about that, why, then, you can certainly erase away your mistake using the Eraser tool, or in my case, the eraser end of this stylus right there. And I'm going to paint in a couple of other details like so, and then after painting back some of that nose that I just erased, you want to paint in the eyes as well, in order to give them a little more brightness, as you'll see in just a moment.
And having done that, you can now switch back to the rectangular marquee tool just by pressing the m key. And then change the blend mode here inside the Layers panel from Normal to Linear Light and you'll end up with this very bright effect right here. That's a little bit too much, so we need to back off the fill value and the easiest way to do that is to press Shift+5 in order to reduce that fill value to 50%, or you can just change the value manually if you prefer. Now I want to add a little bit of color to the black lines. I don't want them to be flat black in other words.
So I'm going to click on the Black Strokes layer to make it active and then I'll drop down to the FX icon down here at the bottom of the Layers panel. And next you want to chose Gradient Overlay and that will fill those lines with the Gradient of your choosing here. Not this one, of course, so I'll go ahead and click on a gradient bar there to bring up the gradient editor dialog box. Then I'll select the black color stop over here on the left, and I'll change the location value to 50%. And now I'll click over on the far left side to create another color stop, and I'll double click as well to bring up the color picker dialog box.
And I came up with a hue value of 200 degrees, a saturation of 100% and a brightness value of 50%. Next click OK. And now we might as well just duplicate this guy for a next color. So I'm going to get rid of the white color stop by dragging it downward like so. And then I'll Alt drag, or Option drag the blue color stop all the way to the right hand side here. Double click on it and just change the hue value to 350 degrees, the other two values are fine as is, and click OK.
Now click OK to except that multicolored gradient, and then change the angle value to 0 degrees. Now you can go with some other angle if you'd like, but I like the way the gradient looks when it's exactly horizontal. Now I want some more interaction between that gradient and the lion in the background. So click on Blending Options Default up here at the top of the list, and change the blend mode to Multiply. That in and of its self doesn't do anything because this just applies to the layer not to the new contents of the layer that is to say the gradient until you turn on this check box, blend interior effects as group.
And that way everything gets blended together. No I just want to make one more change. I'll zoom in for this one so that we can see. I want some of the brightest details inside the lion to show through these black lines. To make that happen, press the Alt key, or the Option key on a Mac, and here with the underlying layers slider, go ahead and drag the left half of that white triangle down to 155, like so. So we're allowing the brightest hundred luminance levels to fade through, and you can see that makes a difference right there in the whiskers.
Now click OK, and just so you can see the difference in what we just did, with the gradient I'll press Ctrl+z or Cmd+z on Mac. That's the flat version of the black lines, and if I press Ctrl or Cmd+z again, those are the colorful, translucent lines. That takes care of it. I'm just going to go ahead and zoom into 30% because it suits this screen. And I'll press the f key a couple of times in order to switch to the full screen mode. And that is the final version of the hand painted false color lion artwork here inside Photoshop.
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