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Take a 10-minute recess every week and join Bert Monroy in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator, the playgrounds of digital artists. Every Friday Bert walks through a fun, self-contained project that tests your skills and challenges the imagination. These programs aren't just image editors; they are sandboxes for creativity and experimentation. Take a spin through a carousel of tools and get reinspired, each and every week.
What we're going to do today is create a dog tag. A military ID. You can use it for just about anything. And keep in mind, it's techniques that are important not the actual content that's being created. But how it's being created because, a little modification here and there could solve other problems you might be faced with. Let's go in here and start to create our dog tag. I'm going to create a new layer. And I'm going to call that layer Tag. I can get my Elliptical tool. Right here. And I have it set to paths. Because I wanted to create a couple of different effects with the same shape.
I'm going to go in here and create a shape. We see that the corners aren't rounded enough, so let's undo that. And, I'm going to change the radius. I'm going to bump it up to say, 30 pixels. And, let's see what that looks like. That looks much better. That looks more like what I want. Now, keep in mind this is pixels and it's set to the resolution of my particular image here, so yours might vary. Now I'm going to bring it over there right there, and in that layer of dogtag I'm going to go in here and pick a nice medium gray, like that. Click OK, and go ahead and fill that path with that color.
Then let's save the path, okay? And then, we're going to create a new layer, and we're going to call this layer, rim. Now I'll get my Paint brush, which right now is set to a hard edge nice small size. And I'm going to go in here and in my, I make sure that the spacing is brought down to 1%. So it'll be a nice solid line, and in that neutral layer, I'm going to take that path and stroke it. I have the brush selected, so when I stroke it, it's going to use the currently selected brush.
And there we have the little rim. I can now turn off my path. I'm going to go to that Rim layer. I'll give it a little Bevel and Emboss. And increase the depth so we get really strong lights and darks, increase the size, and soften it up a little bit so we get that soft edge to our rim. Click OK. Now in the Tag layer, what I'm going to do is I'm going to take my Elliptical Selection tool, and right about at the center spot I'm going to draw a little circle. Now I'm holding down my Option and my Shift keys so I can go in, drawing it from the center out.
And I'm going to hit the Delete key to make it into a hole. I can deselect it now and we'll go in there and give that a Bevel and Emboss. And there we see that inside there, are highlights on this side, the dark's on that side so our light seems to be working in the right direction. So I'm going to go in there and increase the depth on that so we get some nice darks and lights going on there. Maybe beef up that highlight a little bit more. Click OK, there we have the basic shape of our dog tag. Now, on top of this, we're going to put our type.
So, what I'm going to do is I get my Text tool and I'm going to type in, right here, we're going to say, your name goes right here. Okay? Select all, and we're going to change that color right off the bat, we're going to make a lighter gray like that. That looks a little better. And we've got a much larger size. Let's go in there and let's see what a 36 point is going to look like. Well, I'd go much bigger, we'll go with a 60 point, and there's a type in place.
Put it right where we want it, like that. Now, the font. The font has to be the kind you see on a dog tag. So what I'm going to do is, I double-click on this to select the type again, and I'm going to go and find a font that's going to work for us. And that's going to be something like Courier. Right up here I have Courier. And there's, somewhere around here, there's a Courier. There it is. And I'm going to take go ahead and choose Courier, and there's our Courier type. Click OK, and it's looking good. Put it right in position where we want it, and move it over just a little bit, and that's going to get a Bevel and Emboss as well.
So you going to go in there and bring up the layer styles and give it a bevel and emboss, however, in this case I'm going to say, give it an outer bevel so the outside part is being shown. Now this type is usually punched in Into the metal. So, let's increase the depth. We got nice strong lights and darks again. And what we're going to do is change the light source, the direction of the light source. But I want to make sure I turn this off. Because if I change the direction of the light source, notice how everything changed? So, I want to bring it back to where it was, and turn off Global Light.
So now I can affect just the life of this layer. So now I put the light source coming from this direction. Now it looks like the type has been put into the little text, like that. Click OK and now we have our little type in our little name plate. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to turn off my background and I'm going to say merge visible. I'm going to go in there and say Merge Visible. Now you see how the layers went away. So let me undo that. I'm going to say Option > Merge Visible. That created a whole new layer.
And what the beauty of that is, in case I ever want to change like the type or whatever, I still have all the individual elements so I can make those changes. So we could just turn off the eyes for those right now. And there's my layer. Next thing we need to do is the little chain. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to draw another path. I'll have this path coming around like this, and going through there like that, and coming around down here, and wrapping this way and going out there like that. 'Kay? That's going to be our little chain.
So, we'll take that path, and we'll save it. Make sure we have it. Now, I'm going to get my, I have that nice grey from before. I'm going to get my paintbrush, which is still a hard-edged brush, and I'm going to make it much smaller. So I'm going to shrink it way down so it's this nice little strip like that. And I'm going to create a new layer. New layer on top of that, and we'll call it chain. And then I'm going to go ahead and stroke that path with that brush, and I get that. Okay. And I'm going to create a new layer, and this one we'll call Balls.
The little balls that you see on that type of a chain. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to make my brush much bigger now, so we get about that size right there. That looks Pretty good. And I'll go to my Brush Engine and what I'll do is I'll increase the spacing now, so we have a very distinct space between all the little brush tips, just like that. And in that layer I will now take the path and stroke it with that new brush. And there's all the little balls. So now we can turn off that path and let's go look at those layers.
I'm going to take that chain, I'm going to give it the same Effects that I have here. So I'm going to Option + Click and Drag this up into here so I got that nice little tone happening in there. And I'm going to Option+drag it into here so the little balls will also have that same effect. There they are. Getting there. So now what I'm going to do, is I'm going to give the Ball layer a mask. There's a mask, and what I'm going to do is I'm going to turn the layer that has the little plate into selection by Cmd clicking on it, just like that.
Then in that mask, using black for my color, I'm going to go in here and let's make sure our brush is back to being a solid brush. I'm going to go in there and start to paint away this part. Now, you see how the, my little effect kind of got built up in there? Well, I want to go back into the Layer Styles for this. I'm going to go back into the Layer Styles, and say that the Layer Mask hides the Effect. I want to make sure that's the case in this one as well. That the layer mask hides the effect. So now when I go back to that and I start to paint, you'll see that there's no difference in that tonality in there so I can go in there and take care of it everywhere I don't want that little chain to show.
Right through there like that. Deselect it, and then I can take that mask and Option click and drag it into this file here. And there we see that now the chain is completely hidden, and we have our little dog tag that's can be used for just about anything you want.
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