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This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.
There's no sense in bringing an illustration into Photoshop unless we're going to do something to it that we can't do inside Illustrator. And so in this movie we're going to start applying some Photoshop-specific effects, including a reflective lens flare that's a lot more credible than the one you can achieve using the Flare tool inside Illustrator. And it's all in the name of converting our base shield into this version of the shield here. And so I'll go ahead and switch over to the composition so far. Now, the first thing I want to do is darken up this shield so that it can survive the brightening effect of a lens flare.
So drop down to the fx icon and choose, in this case, Gradient Overlay. And then, inside the Layer Style dialog box, change the Style from Linear to Radial. I don't want white around the perimeter; I want it in the center. So I'll go ahead and turn on the Reverse checkbox. I'm also not interested in black around the outside, so I'll click on this gradient bar to bring up the Gradient Editor dialog box, then I'll double-click on this first color stop. And I'll change the HSB values as follows. Change the Hue value to 210, leave the Saturation values set to 100%, and change the Brightness value to 25%, and then click OK.
Click OK again in order to close the Gradient Editor dialog box. Then drag the gradient slightly up into the right, like so, in order to change the position of the highlight. And next, I want to change the Scale value to its maximum, which is 150%. And I'll change the Blend mode from Normal to the darkest of the darkening modes, one that's not even available to us inside Illustrator, which is Linear Burn. And we get this very dark effect here. Now go ahead and back off the effect by changing the Opacity value to 20%, and then click OK. All right! Now to create a lens flare as an independent layer, you drop down to the bottom of the Layers panel and Alt+Click or Option+Click on the little page icon there in order to force a display of the New Layer dialog box.
And I'll call this layer lens flare, and then click OK. Now we want to fill this layer with black, and you do that inside Photoshop by first pressing the D key; and that establishes the default colors, which are black for the foreground color and white for the background color, as you can see down here at the bottom of the toolbox on the left side of the screen. Then press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete on the Mac, in order to fill the entire layer with the foreground color, which is black.
Now, the lens flare filter is going to prove a lot more flexible if you assign it to a smart object. And to do that, make sure your Rectangular Marquee tool is selected at the top of the toolbox, and if it isn't, just go ahead and tap the M key, then right-click inside of the image window and choose Convert to Smart Object. And that will go ahead and assign a little place icon to the bottom right corner of the thumbnail here inside the Layers panel, which tells you that you've got a smart object. Now the reason we want a smart object is because that way you can assign filters from the Filter menu as smart filters, meaning that they are editable in the future.
So go ahead and click on Filter, then drop down to Render and choose Lens Flare. And these are the settings I want you to assign. The Lens Type should be 50- 300mm Zoom, as by default. Then crank up the Brightness value to 150%. And notice this little cross inside this itty- bitty preview right here. You drag it in order to change the location of the beginning of the Lens Flare effect. And in our case we want to drag the cross to right about here. Now you don't have a lot of room to work, but you can take solace in the fact that if you don't get the lens flare exactly positioned in the first place, you can always come back and modify it later.
Next click on the gigantic OK button-- thank golly they didn't make the preview bigger and the OK button smaller inside this dialog box--but at least it's easy to click. So do so in order to apply the filter, and you'll see this effect here. Now you can see that we've assigned Lens Flare as an editable smart filter. We don't need this filter mask, and right now it's really cluttering up the panel. So to get rid of it, all you do is right-click on it and choose Delete Filter Mask; you can always add a new filter mask later if you need to.
Now let's blend the Lens Flare with the shield below by double-clicking on an empty portion of this lens flare layer in order to bring up the Layer Style dialog box. And the first thing you want to do is change the Blend mode to the universal lightning mode, which is Screen. And that will go ahead and drop out all the dark stuff and merge the flare effect in with the shield. Now I want to reveal some of the darkest portions of the shield. And you do that by modifying this Underlying Layers slider. So I'm going to go ahead and drag this black triangle all the way over to a position of 70, as you can see listed right here.
And that value by the way is measured in Luminance Levels. A Luminance Level of 0 means black and a Luminous Level of 255 means white. In this case we're saying anything that has a Luminance of 70 or darker--which is pretty darn dark by the way--is going to push its way through the Lens Flare effect; and anything 70-255, all the way up to white, will allow the Lens Flare to appear. And what that means is we're not seeing much Lens Flare at this point, and we're getting some very choppy transitions.
To smooth out the transitions you divide this triangle in half, and you do that by pressing and holding the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and dragging the left half of the black triangle all the way back to left- hand side of the slider bar so that the values read 0/70, like so. And then go ahead and click OK. And so because Photoshop offers you both blend modes and that underlying layer slider, it gives you a lot more control than Illustrator over the blending experience. All right! Now we want to take the color out of this effect, notice that it's kind of pinkish and as a result it's warming up the background.
To get rid of that saturation, you want to press and hold the Alt key once again, and drop down to this Black/White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, click on it, and choose Hue/Saturation. And thanks to the fact that you have the Alt or Option key down, that forces the display of the New Layer dialog box. Let's go ahead and call this layer neutral. And then you need to turn on the checkbox, Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask. That way you're only affecting the contents of the lens flare layer. Then click OK and that will display the Properties panel.
Then go ahead and reduce the Saturation value to -100 and hide the panel by clicking on the double arrow icon, like so. And that turns the lens flare layer black and white, and even though you don't see that reflected in the thumbnail, you do see it reflected inside the larger image window. Now a couple of side notes; you may see a layer mask next to your new adjustment layer. If so, it's perfectly fine and it's not going to cause you any problems. But if you don't want to see those default layer masks in the future--and the layer mask would appear as an additional white thumbnail-- then go up to the Window menu and choose the Adjustments command, and then you bring up the Adjustments panel flyout menu by clicking on its little icon in the upper right corner, and you turn off Add Mask by Default, just FYI.
Anyway, I'll go ahead and Escape out of that menu, hide the Adjustments panel as well. And finally, if you want to adjust the placement of your Lens Flare, if it doesn't look right inside of your shield, then just go ahead and double-click on the words lens flare here inside Layers panel, and that will bring back the Lens Flare dialog box. And you can adjust the position of this little cross as you see fit. Anyway, mine was fine so I'll just go ahead and Cancel out. And so that's how you create a credible Lens Flare effect here inside Photoshop. In the next movie I'll show you how to add a brushed metal texture, as well as these brushed highlights.
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