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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 this week is create the effect of drops of water, sitting on a surface. Now that's going to take a couple of different filters, and layer styles to give us that effect. Now I filled the background color right now with a simple beige, and I'm going to go in there and give this a little noise, I'm going to say add Noise. And I'm going to give it about a 15, say just to give some nice little texture. Click OK. That's good enough. We'll double-click on the background to make it a layer. Okay. There it is. In fact, we'll even call it, we'll call it surface.
All right. So on a layer on top of that, we're going to create our little water. So I'm going to go in there and use white. In fact, we can even use a slightly, off white, we'll go into more of a, little bit more on the cool side there, kind of a light grey. Now I'm going to go in here and with a small brush, I'm just going to do the word water. We'll go in here and which is kind of make the word water. So water and water. And we'll put a little splash underneath it like so.
And then we'll put a couple of drops here and there. Just a couple of drops, and maybe we'll just kind of make this drip a little bit, and the same thing with this one, just give it a little extra little drip, and a couple of little spots right there and couple of little drops that just came off of the side of the letter here, and maybe a little drip down here. There we go. Just to give a sense of, of water. Alright so now, this is going to be the water. Now it doesn't look like water right now, but what we're going to do is go into our Layer Styles, and Layer Styles is going to start to give it the effect.
Now, what I'm going to do, right off the bat, is the fill opacity. Not the opacity, but the fill opacity, because I'm going to apply a lot of different layer styles, and if I bring down the opacity, everything will become transparent, but by doing the fill opacity, only those white pixels become transparent, but the new pixels for the layer styles will remain at 100% because the opacity's at 100. And I'll bring down the fill opacity, bring it down, way down so we can start to see that stuff underneath it. There it is like that. And now we'll give it a Bevel & Emboss. I see how to Bevel & Emboss is nice and strong, so I'll make it a little deeper so we get really strong tones, make it bigger, so it starts to get kind of rounded, about like that, and soften it up a bit.
Bring that white way up so it's a nice strong tone there. And then this color underneath here, let's bring this into a, kind of a, a warm tone, somewhere in this area here like this, and we'll put this in color dodge mode. See, whoa it got really nice and bright. We'll bring down its opacity a bit, so it just has this nice little hint. And you see what it's doing? It's adding this little refracted light inside that water edge right there. Now, it is raised from the surface so we'll give it a drop shadow as well. A nice little drop shadow.
We might extend the distance just a little bit. And soften it up a little bit, like that, and bring that into opacity, because water is transparent so we should be able to see through it. So we just want a hint of a shadow right in there like that. There, that's starting to look good. So we click OK, and we'll look at our water. Now, the one thing that's missing now is the fact that water also acts like a little magnifying glass. So what I'm going to do, is I'm going to take this background here. I'm going to take this background, and I'm going to duplicate it. I'm just going to go here to take my surface and make a duplicate of it.
There we go, and we're going to call this inside, inside water. Okay, I'm going to pull back a little. And what I'm going to do is take that layer, and I'm going to make it much bigger, make it much bigger. Okay. That's looking good, so you have much stronger grain than the stuff underneath. In fact, we might even want to make it even bigger. Let's just select this little area right here, and make it even bigger. There we go. Nice big grain behind there. So, let's get closer, deselect it, and what we're going to is I'm going to take that water, turn into selection, right there like that, and in this layer I'm going to say give it a mask.
So there. It gave it a mask, and now we see that the water's kind of like making a, a, a magnifying kind of an effect so that the grain looks a little thicker, or larger underneath. Now these edges, they also need to be distorting. A little bit of a distortion along these edges because right now it's fairly even all around. So what I'm going to do, is I'm going to take the water and make an inflection again. And this time, save it to an alpha channel. And when we go look at our channels, there it is. Now I've got a few in here that I've had from before.
Let me deselect this. Here's the one I just created. There it is. So what I'm going to do, is I'm going to blur this. I go to Gaussian Blur, maybe not that much, about like that. That should do it. Click OK. A little smaller, there we go. Click OK. Now, what's going to happen now is that this is going to be a displacement map. This is a filter that's going to, twist things the way I want it, based on the values that we're seeing here. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to take this, this and move it up a little bit.
Let's just move it up a little bit, about like that. That's good. And now I'm going to do a Select All, and copy it, then I'm going to say New. And the New is going to reflect the contents of the clipboard right now, click OK, and I'm going to paste it in here. Let's go in there, and we gotta do it with the menu, there we go, Paste. Now, I'm going to save this. I'm going to save it, and I'm going to call it map. And I'll put it right on my desktop. Save, click OK. Now we can think about it.
We don't need to have it open any more. So now, back here again. We can deselect and go back to our RGB. So, now, what we are going to do is effect this layer, right here. This is the water layer, I'm going to turn off the link to it, so it's going to effect only layer and not its mask because we want it to mask to stay and register with the actual water drops. And right there, in that layer, I'm going to come up and say Filter, Distort, Displace. Now the default is 10 and 10. I've brought it down to about 5 and 5.
Let's see what's that going to look like. I'm going to click OK. And I don't concern myself with this stuff down here. Stretch to fit. No everything's right in register, so these do not apply to what I'm about to do. Click OK, and it's going to ask me for the displacement map. And there's the map I just saved. I say Open. And there you can see that it's created a little stretching, let me undo that. And you can see how, see, the little bit of stretching right along all the little edges there. Giving me the effect that I want. If we want it to be a little stronger, well, we can go in there and let say we do a, a 10.
This might be a lot, but we'll try it. Click OK, there's the map, and say Open, and there we can see now the edges are really distorted in those edges in there. So maybe somewhere right in between would, would be perfect. Depending on the resolution of the file you're working on, but there we can see that now we have this nice little drops of water sitting on top of the surface. Now if they are a little too strong, which all they do seem to be a little bit, we can bring down that fill opacity even further. Lets bring that filipass further down, and there we can see that instead of a, a kind of a, watery milk, now it starts to look more like actual water.
And it's displacing all the texture underneath and enlarging it and everything that would happen with a situation where water is sitting on the surface.
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