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Deke's Techniques: 2011 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.
To find other courses in this series, visit Deke's Techniques and Deke's Techniques: 2012.
Note: Exercise files for this course are arranged quarterly (e.g. Q1, Q2, etc.) and also available as a single download.
Hey gang! This is Deke McClelland, welcoming you to my new weekly blog thing, in which on a week-by-week basis I will offer you a new self-contained technique. We're calling it Deke's Techniques, and I'm so excited about it. I created this wicked-cool logo on lined notebook paper. This week I am going to be showing you how to create a custom type effect inside of Photoshop, this one right here, with these icicles dripping off this ice type here. This is live, editable type inside of a Smart Object, by the way.
I created the icicles using the Wind filter. The Wind filter only operates horizontally, so we've got to do it this way at first and then rotate the letters back into place inside of a nested smart object. I created the sculptural effect using the Bevel and Emboss effect, and I also added a drop shadow, took the fill opacity value down to 0%, and that's it. Then we get this effect right there, and you can edit the letters anytime you like. Let me show you exactly how it works. In this movie, I am going to show you how to transform this very simple composition, which features a layer of editable type set against a photographic background--the latter of which comes to us from Allen of the Fotolia image library. And we are going to transform this composition into this classic ice effect here, where we have icicles dripping off each one of the letters.
Notice that the letters are also filled with the sculptural engraving effect. And despite the various effects that I have applied, my text is altogether editable so that I can change it anytime I like. I'm going to switch back to my starter image, zoom out, and press Shift+Tab in order to bring up the right side panels. Notice that my editable type layer is selected. Currently, it's more or less vertically centered inside the composition. I want to scoot it up so that we have some additional room for the icicles below, so I'll press Ctrl+Shift+Up Arrow-- that would be Command+Shift+Up Arrow on the Mac--two or three times in order to scoot that text upward.
Now then, we are going to create the icicles using the Wind filter, but you can't apply filters directly to editable type inside of Photoshop. So to accommodate Smart Filters, what we are going to do is right-click on that type layer right there, and then choose Convert to Smart Object. What that does is it places the type inside of a protective container so that we can apply as many nondestructive filters as we like. Now, the Wind filter only works right and left; it doesn't work up and down. So we're going to have to rotate the composition by going up to the Image menu, choosing Image Rotation and then choosing 90 degrees CW in order to rotate all of the layers to the right.
Then go up to the Filter menu, choose Stylize, and choose the Wind command. Now the settings that I want you to apply are these: Method should be set to Wind, and Direction should be set to From the Right. That way, we're creating our icicles to the left. Then go ahead and click the OK button in order to apply the Filter. Now, that's not enough in the way of icicles-- these icicles are too fragile so far-- so I'm going to reapply the Wind filter twice in a row by either choosing the first command from the Filter menu or by pressing its keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+F or Command+F on a Mac.
That will bring up the Wind dialog box. Just go ahead and click OK, and then I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+F or Command+F again in order to bring up that dialog box. Click OK again in order to apply three passes of the Wind filter, and you'll see the three passes right here inside the Layers panel. Notice Wind, Wind, and Wind. Now we don't need this filter mask, so if you want to get rid of it, right-click on it and choose Delete Filter Mask, like so. Now we need to rotate the composition back to left. But if we do so, Photoshop is going to kindly update my icicles on the fly.
So they will flow to the left, which is entirely wrong. So I need to place this Smart Object inside yet another Smart Object, by right-clicking on it and choosing Convert to Smart Object once again. Now, I'll go up to the Image menu, choose the Image Rotation command, and choose 90 degree CCW in order to reset my text, like so. Next, I want to apply the engraving and textural effects, and I'll do that using a Bevel and Emboss effect. So drop down to the fx icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, click on it, and choose Bevel and Emboss.
Then inside this dialog box, I am going to raise the Depth value to 150% and set the Direction to Down. I'm also going to increase the Size value to 10 pixels, like so. The default Angle and Altitude values of 30 degrees are just fine; however, I am going to change the Gloss Contour. Click the down-pointing arrowhead and select this ring contour right there, and then turn on the Anti-aliased check box just to make sure to resolve any harsh transitions. The Highlight Mode is set to White by default. I am going to raise the Opacity to 100% and change the Blend mode from Screen to something a little brighter: Linear Dodge (Add).
Then I am going to change the color of my Shadow Mode by clicking on the color swatch. For the H, S, and B values, I am going to enter 190 degrees and then 35% for S and 35% for B; that's hue, saturation, and brightness respectively. I'll click OK in order to accept that modification. I'll change the blend mode from Multiply to something darker like Linear Burn, and then I'll take the edge off a little bit by reducing the Opacity value to 50%. Now you might look at this effect and think, "Wow! That doesn't look anything like what we were trying to create a moment ago," like that final effect that I had rendered out, and that's because the letters are currently absolutely opaque.
In order to make them transparent without losing the layer effect, you go over here to Blending Options. So click on Blending Options:Default, and then I want you to go ahead and change this Fill Opacity value from 100% to 0%. That gets rid of the white, but it keeps the Bevel and Emboss effect. Now let's add a texture by clicking on the word Texture underneath Bevel and Emboss, then click the down-pointing arrowhead next to the word Pattern, and click the right-pointing arrowhead to bring up a different library of patterns, specifically the one that's called Patterns, down here at the bottom of the list.
You can go ahead and click OK in response to the Alert message in order to replace the default patterns, and then I want you to select this pattern right there: it's called Molecular. You can experiment with one of the others if you like, but Molecular is the one I am going to use. Then click off the pattern in order to hide it. I am going to raise that Scale value to 150%. That looks pretty awful, which is why I am going to take the Depth value down to just 10%. So, a pretty subtle effect, as you can see here. Now, I am going to add a drop shadow by clicking on Drop Shadow to make it active. I am going to enter that same color value by clicking on the color swatch and then changing the Hue value to 190 degrees, which is just a little bit bluer than absolute cyan, and I am going to change the Saturation and Brightness values to 35% each. Click OK in order to accept that modification.
Then I am going to take the Distance value down to 5 pixels, the Size value of 10 pixels works out nicely, and then I am going to raise the Opacity value to 100%, and click the OK button in order to accept my effect. Now, the great thing about this is that it is a live editable effect. So I can change this text anytime I like. Let me show you how that works. Go over here to this thumbnail in front of your text layer and double-click on it in order to open up the larger of the two Smart Objects. Notice that it's cropped. Photoshop has gone ahead and automatically trimmed this embedded image to its exact pixel dimensions.
We want to open it up a little bit, so that we have some more room to work. So I am going to go up to the Image menu, choose the Canvas Size command, and I'm going to turn Relative off. That's very important. And in my case, I am going to change the Width value to 420 pixels and the Height value to 1200 pixels, because that's the size of my original composition. I just happen to know that. Then I'll click OK in order to accept that effect. And notice that uncrops the image, so that gives us some additional canvas size in which to work. Now, I'll go back to the Layers panel and double-click on its thumbnail in order to open up the original editable text.
Again, we need more room to work, so go to the Image menu. Choose Canvas Size. This time I'll reverse the values, because this is a rotated version of the image. I'll change Width value to 1200 pixels, and the Height value to 420 pixels. Click OK. Now, I can change the type as I like. I'll go ahead and double-click on the T thumbnail here inside the Layers panel to switch to the Type tool and select the type. And I am going to change this word to "CRYSTAL" like so, and press the Enter key on the keypad in order to accept my changes. Now, I'll just go ahead and close out of these images. I'll close the first one and then click on the Yes button to save my changes--that would be the Save button on the Mac.
Then click the Close box for the second one, click Yes again, click Save again on the Mac, and you have modified text here inside of your image window. So this was my original text before I modified it, and this is my new text. And I'm showing you the difference by pressing Ctrl+Z here on a PC, or Command+Z on the Mac. Now, I'll go ahead and press the F key a couple of times and zoom in on my image, and that is how you create a classic type effect using editable type and Smart Objects here inside Photoshop.
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