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Creating a license plate with channels

From: Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools

Video: Creating a license plate with channels

Throughout the streets of Times Square there are many cars, and quite a few of them have a license plate that's visible. Now creating that license plate requires quite a few little steps between layer styles and alpha channels, so I'm going to create one for you right now. All right, I'm going to create some paths that are going to make up the basic license plate, so I'm going to pick the Rounded Corner Rectangle tool here. I have a radius set to 40 pixels. Now that's to give me a nice rounded corner like that. Your particular resolution of your file might require a different radius, so just play around with it until you get exactly what you want.

Creating a license plate with channels

Throughout the streets of Times Square there are many cars, and quite a few of them have a license plate that's visible. Now creating that license plate requires quite a few little steps between layer styles and alpha channels, so I'm going to create one for you right now. All right, I'm going to create some paths that are going to make up the basic license plate, so I'm going to pick the Rounded Corner Rectangle tool here. I have a radius set to 40 pixels. Now that's to give me a nice rounded corner like that. Your particular resolution of your file might require a different radius, so just play around with it until you get exactly what you want.

Now I've created a path, so the path isn't affecting my image until I do something with that path. So you can experiment with it until you have the exact radius that you want. Now I have that shape. I'm going to go in there and select this path. Because it's got all the shapes that I want exactly, I'm going to copy it and then just paste it. I copy and paste using the keyboard. And now I'm going to take that one that I just pasted right on the top of the original image and I'm going to scale it. So I'm going to scale it down, just a little bit of the top there, bring it down from the bottom and scale it in from the sides until I have it just about the right way that I want it, right about there like that.

Now I got a second path. Now with that radius, creating a really small selection right here it's going to give me a very lozenge kind of an effect, so it looks kind of like the holes that you see where you put the screws into hold your license plate in place. So I'm going to copy that straight over, like that, and then copy it straight down and copy this one straight down as well. So there we have all the basic paths that are going to make up the license plate. So now I can start to make up my license. I'm going to pick a very light gray color, and I'm going to pick up this large area back here.

This is the basic shape of my license plate. So I'm going to create a layer right here, which I'll call the outer plate. There. To that outer plate, I'm going to go ahead and fill it with that gray color right there, like that. So now I'm going to take the inner shape right there and create another layer, which we'll call just the plate. I'll fill that path with that. Okay, so now both paths have been filled into that area.

I'm going to select these little holes. I'm going to turned those into a selection, turn off my paths and go to both layers and hit the Delete key to eliminate that area, making a hole right inside that shape. Now I'm going to go in here and I'm going to start adding a little dimension to this. So I'm going to go in there and take the outer plate and give it a little layer style. So I am going to go ahead and say give it a Bevel and Emboss, which is going to give me a nice edge. I'm going to sharpen that by bringing it down to about 2, and increase the depth so I get a nice hard tone in there. And I want to give some color to that top light, so I'm going to go here and click on this and give it more of a bluish tone.

So it looks like it's something from the sky right out there. Click OK. I'm going to change the mode for that one to Normal, so I get this little blue haze along the top. Let's make it a little bit darker. There we go. So now we have this little blue haze right along the top there, which gives me that sense that it's the sky has been reflected on the top and dark along the bottom. We'll bring the light over just a little bit to this side, and there we can see it. Now that we have that, I am going to click OK. I'm going to drag that effect over to the plate here, and you notice that it's creating the effect inside there as well, so I'm getting this nice little edge in there.

Now here I'm going to go into the layer style and make it just a little bigger. So I'm going to go in there and just make that a little bigger size, about like that, and I'm also going to soften it, so it starts to kind of round out those edges. Okay, just rounded the model a little bit, making it more like you will see on a real license plate. Now on top of this, I'm going to start to add my letters. So I'm going to pick a color that I want from my letters, like this nice deep blue right here, and I get my Type tool. Now I'm going to click right in here. Now I've picked Futura Condensed for this particular thing.

I'm going to save this is My State right there. I'll put that right about there like that. Okay, then down here, I'm going to put much bigger letters. I'm going to type in 'My Car'. This is going to be my license plate, right. So, I'm going to go in there and select that and make this much bigger. We'll go with say a 200, see what that's going to look like. Okay, we could always play with it afterwards, which is what I'm going to do right now. I'm going to put it in there and I'm going to just stretch it out.

Using Scale, I'm going to make it a little taller and bring it out a little bit like that and make it a little taller that way. There. Now if you look at a license plate, you'll notice that the state is usually printed right on the plate, but the number--or in this case the vanity plate--is actually embossed into that shape, making it kind of round it. So what I'm going to do here is that I'm go into that layer. I'm going to make My Car a selection, just like that, and I'm going to save it as an alpha channel.

Now I can deselect it and throw that away. I don't need that anymore, because I'm actually going to create it in the alpha channel, which is right there. Now I want this to be rounded. Let me get a little bit closer, so you can see what's going to happen next. I'm going to take this and I'm going to blur it, give it a little Gaussian Blur, just to soften those letters and round out those corners just like that. Click OK and now that I have the rounded corner, I want to sharpen it again. So I'm going to go into my Levels, and in Levels I'm going to push the sliders in.

If I move the black, the letters get thinner, and if I move the white, the letters get thicker. So I'm going to find a place where they're about as thick as I want them, and when I got it, I'm going to start to move these guys closer together to each other. And you can see that the letters are starting to sharp up, but they're not sharp in the corners like they were before. They're rounded. So now I have this nice rounded type that looks more like the real thing. So I go back to my image, I load that alpha channel, create a layer for my number, and fill it with that blue.

There we have the blue. Now I'm going to double-click on that to bring up the Layer Styles, or I can simply use the layer styles that were there before. Grab this, drag it on to here. But I'm going to have to adjust that, because I don't want to the layer style inside; I wanted it to be an outer bevel. So I'm going to make the size bigger and soften it up a little bit, and there you can see that now we have this nice- looking license plate that looks like a real thing.

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This video is part of

Image for Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools
Bert Monroy: The Making of Times Square, The Tools

61 video lessons · 9110 viewers

Bert Monroy
Author

 
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  1. 6m 34s
    1. Welcome to the tools used to create "Times Square"
      57s
    2. What is "Times Square?"
      5m 37s
  2. 1h 32m
    1. Using a Cintiq to control the brushes in Photoshop
      3m 33s
    2. Making the chain brush
      8m 49s
    3. Making the single loop chain
      6m 55s
    4. Creating a brush to make furry text
      8m 13s
    5. Creating the look of stitching on cloth
      5m 46s
    6. Creating a rough brushstroke look for the Tarzan sign
      3m 3s
    7. Creating a crochet look brush
      5m 32s
    8. Creating dirt and grime
      6m 16s
    9. Using brushes to create trees in Central Park
      6m 41s
    10. Using a brush to create the look of embroidery
      3m 3s
    11. Creating the stars on the wall of the Toys"R"Us image
      6m 24s
    12. Creating a fabric design
      3m 43s
    13. Creating the look of brick
      4m 27s
    14. Weathering bricks
      8m 23s
    15. Creating light bulbs
      6m 14s
    16. Creating the effect of a fading brushstroke
      5m 36s
  3. 15m 42s
    1. Creating a paper towel
      8m 5s
    2. Creating denim
      3m 25s
    3. Creating asphalt
      4m 12s
  4. 21m 3s
    1. Layer groups
      7m 59s
    2. Making the lights in the Toys"R"Us image
      3m 12s
    3. Understanding the layers in lights
      5m 20s
    4. Creating blinds with a 3D postcard applied to layers
      4m 32s
  5. 32m 55s
    1. Creating a bottle
      8m 50s
    2. Creating an iPhone case
      3m 35s
    3. Creating the iPhone icons
      3m 34s
    4. Creating a ladder
      6m 8s
    5. Creating the effect used on the Bubba Gump sign
      5m 7s
    6. Creating realistic glasses
      5m 41s
  6. 1h 56m
    1. Creating a fabric texture
      9m 46s
    2. Creating Julianne's pants
      9m 28s
    3. Creating a checkerboard pattern on a bottle cap
      6m 16s
    4. Creating a wood texture
      8m 26s
    5. Creating concrete and marble
      3m 14s
    6. Creating a brick pattern
      7m 12s
    7. Creating ribbed metal
      5m 40s
    8. Creating ribbing on T-shirts
      11m 18s
    9. Creating a lime
      8m 29s
    10. Creating leather
      2m 33s
    11. Creating rough animal skin
      4m 0s
    12. Creating a grill on a car
      6m 4s
    13. Creating a car light
      6m 2s
    14. Creating the windshield
      10m 39s
    15. Creating a metal screen
      4m 14s
    16. Creating a quilted metal effect
      3m 18s
    17. Creating wafer quilting
      4m 41s
    18. Creating a pattern on the wall
      5m 16s
  7. 6m 57s
    1. Making the clipping group used on the manga billboard
      6m 57s
  8. 10m 36s
    1. Applying a layer mask to create a reflection
      3m 53s
    2. Linking masks
      1m 35s
    3. Applying layer masks and layer styles to create a chain link in a necklace
      5m 8s
  9. 52m 35s
    1. Explaining channels
      4m 0s
    2. Creating a license plate with channels
      6m 47s
    3. Creating shadows on the cables
      5m 50s
    4. Explaining channel calculations
      3m 46s
    5. Understanding calculations in channels
      4m 32s
    6. Creating a manhole cover with channels
      15m 31s
    7. Creating wiring on lights with channels and calculations
      12m 9s
  10. 29s
    1. Parting words
      29s

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