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This course 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 giant wall mural that we created in the previous movie, and we're going to up the realism in order to create this effect here that has brighter colors in it, as you can see, and better blends with the bricks. So it's looks like we have a little bit of lighting going on. And we've got this bystander down here as well. And this is one of those things that I came up with after sleeping on the effect, you know, I looked at the next day and thought eh, it could be better. And I think it's an interesting demonstration of how that creative process works.
So, the first thing we're going to to do here inside the image from the previous movie, is I'm going to turn off the Merge layer and the Old Door layers for now, and then I'm going to to double click on the thumbnail for the Sam Smart Object. You may end up getting this alert message that tells you how smart objects work. Just go ahead and click OK. Pretty interesting effect this thing where half his head is faded out, but it doesn't really matter for our purposes. What I want to do here is double click on the thumbnail of the Paint layer in order to bring up the properties dialog box and this one levels option here.
And I'm going to reduce the number of levels to just four, so that we have far fewer colors, and then, I'll go ahead and hide that panel. And now I'll double click on an empty portion of this empty layer, the layer that's named Empty, to bring up the layer style dialog box. And then I'll drag the black triangle for the underlying layer slider up to 50, and I'll Alt+drag the right half of it to 100. So the value should read 50 slash 100. Go ahead and click OK.
And that will give you a sense for the difference. I'll press Ctrl+z or Cmd+z on a Mac. That's the before version of the color, which is very dark, and then if I press Ctrl or Cmd+z again, that's the after version which is much brighter. Now I'll go ahead and close this image and click on the Yes button in order to save the changes. You'd click on the Save button on a Mac. Now let's create a new merged version of these layers by once again pressing Ctrl+Shift+Alt+E here on the PC or Cmd+Shift+Option+E on the Mac, and I'll go ahead and rename this layer New Merge and then press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac.
I want to downplay the contrast inside of this image so it looks more like something that might appear on a wall. So I'll drop down to the black white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and choose the levels command and that will bring up a New Layer dialog box. I'll call this layer Low Contrast and then I'll click OK. And I'm going to click in this first output levels value and press shift+up arrow three times. And then I'll tab over to the second output levels value, and I'll press Shift+Down arrow three times.
And that's going to reduce the contrast of this image. All right, now I'll select both this Low Contrast layer and the New Merge layers. I want both of the selected, so click on one, Shift click on the other. And then right-click inside the image window with the Rectangular Marquee tool and choose Convert to Smart Object. And that way we can apply the filter gallery effect as a Smart Filter, just by grabbing it and dragging it, and dropping it onto this new layer. And I'm going to rename this layer, new merge because that's what I want it to be called, and I'll go ahead and get rid of the old Merge layer because we no longer need it.
And now, I'll go ahead and expand this layer so that we can see the filter gallery effect. Now if you turn the Old Door layer back on, you'll notice, and this I will admit was a mistake on my part. Notice that the sunlight is hitting the door from this angle. So the sun would be up and to the right, I have the bricks lit from upper left. So in other words, I need to make the bricks match, and I'm going to do that by double clicking on filter gallery. And I'll just go ahead and change the light from top left to top right, that's all you need to do.
And then click OK, and you'll have much better matching bricks, all right. Now let's give the colors a slightly more brickish look by dropping down to the FX icon, and you want to choose Color Overlay. And then click on that red right there. And let's modify it. Let's make it more of a brick red by taking the saturation down to 60%. And I'll take the brightness value down to 40%. And hue of 0 degrees is just fine, then click OK. Now I'll change the blend mode to color in order to produce this effect right here, and I decided to reduce the opacity value to 20%.
So just to give you a sense of what this did, I'll turn off color overlay, those are the original colors. I'll turn color overlay back on and you can see now the colors are slightly muted and a little bit more brick red. Just a tiny bit but I think it makes a difference. Then I decided that I wanted to create a kind of lighting effect using gradient overlay. So I'll go ahead and turn it on. And I'll change the angle to 20 degrees. Which you may recall is the same angle that I used for the drop shadow that's being cast by the door.
A linear gradient is just fine, black to white is just fine as well. And we want the scale value to be 100%. But I do want to change the blend mode to overlay. Right here. So we have some brightness, top right, and some darkness down, left. And now I'm going to reduce the opacity value to 40%. And just so you can see what kind of difference this makes, I'll turn off the gradient overlay. That's the before version of the wall, and this is the after version. And again, it's a subtle effect, but I think it enhances the reality of the scene.
Alright, now go ahead and click OK in order to accept that effect. All right now it's time to introduce that guy into the image. So, I'll go ahead and switch over to this image here, which comes to us from the Fotolia image library, about which you can learn more and get deals at fotolia.com/deke. And notice that I've created a mask in advance here inside the Channels panel. To load it just go ahead and Ctrl+click or Cmd+click on the thumbnail for that mask, and then switch back to the Layers panel. Lets go ahead and turn this background into a new layer.
And you can do that in a new way. Inside Photoshop CC, inside the most recent version by just turning off the lock. If I turn off that lock like so, I have an independent layer called layer zero. I'll just go ahead and rename this layer, thinker. And by the way if you are working in an older version of the software, you just double click in the background and name it. And now I'll drop down to lay a mask icon, and I'll click on it in order to add that layer mask. And, now let's just right click on the image using the Rectangular Marquee tool, and I'll choose Duplicate layer, and I'll go ahead and send this guy into the mural on brickwall.psdfile, click OK.
And now let's go ahead and switch to that document in progress there. And I'm going to drag him down. Let's go ahead and zoom in a little bit. I'll drag him down so that he appears to be more or less standing on the flat ground. Now, the next step is to reduce his size, and you do that by going up to the Edit menu and choosing the Free Transform command. And now what I recommend you do is drag this little target, which is the transformation origin. Drag it down to the bottom of the image here and then press the Shift and Alt key or the Shift and Option keys on a Mac, and drag a corner handle like so.
And I'm interested in reducing this guy to about 35%, is what I think is going to work here. So I'll just go ahead and link the width and height values together and I'll reduce the width value to 35%. You could just as easily reduce the height value of course. And then I'll right click inside the image and choose flip horizontal. because I don't want him to face the other direction, away from the door that is. Now I'll move him to about here, let's say and I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that effect.
Alright now I want to convert this image to a smart object. And I could have done it before I reduce him in size and that way the reduction would be non destructive, but then I wouldn't be able to easily reduce the size of my layer mask at the same time. But, at this point I want to be able to apply. The camera raw filter, which is part of Illustrator CC, and so that means converting just him to a Smart Object. So I'm going to Ctrl+click or Cmd+Click on the layer mask in order to load it as a selection, then I'm going to throw the layer mask away by right-clicking it and choosing Delete Layer Mask.
Then I'll go up here to the Layers Panel flyout menu and I'll choose convert to smart object so that just he is the Smart Object. And now I'll drop back down to the add layer mask icon in order to put the layer mask back into play. And so that way the layer mask is outside the smart object. Doesn't really serve me any purpose to have it inside. Alright, now what I want to do is make his colors match better because he doesn't really appear to be part of the scene. And I'm going to do that by going up to the Filter menu, so you need Photoshop CC to pull off this step.
And I'm going to choose camera raw filters. Which is one of the greatest features in the software. Now i'll go ahead and zoom in on this guy. I might as well zoom in pretty far. I'm looking at him at 200%, and I'm going to change the temperature value to 20, and you can see that warms him up quite a bit. And then I'll take the contrast value up to 100, which is the highest. I'll take the highlights value down to it's lowest, which is negative 100. I'll take the shadows value up to it's highest, which is 100 as well. And then I'll take the whites down to negative 10.
Just to try to settle him a little bit and finally, I took the clarity value up to 50 and that's it. That's all I did inside of camera raw and then I went ahead and clicked OK in order to accept that affect and you can see that he looks brighter and more at home in the scene. Alright, he needs a shadow as well, so I'm going to go ahead and grab that drop shadow that I applied to the old door and I'm going to press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and drag it and drop it onto the thinker. And because I have the Alt or Option key down, I go ahead and copy the drop shadow as opposed to moving it.
And now double click on the drop shadow item, he should appear to be farther away from the wall, so I need to increase that distance value and I'm going to take it up to 35 pixels let's say and then I'll take the size value up to 20. The reason being that I want to soften the shadow because after all he's farther away from the wall and the farther away that you get from objects the more the shadow tends to blur. All right now I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that effect and that is it friends.
I'll go ahead and press the F key a couple of times to switch to the full screen mode and I'll press Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on the Mac. In order to zoom out from the image so I can take in the entire thing. And that's at least one way to enhance the reality of the mural painted on a brick warehouse wall here inside Photoshop.
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