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This course 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.
- Hey gang, this is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques. This week, we are gonna take that artwork that was inspired by the cover of Madonna's MDNA album, which was created, I should say in part, at least, by the fashion photographers Mert and Marcus, and we are gonna add this text set in the font Didot, as I'll explain in just a moment, and styled with this pattern of vertical lines. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. All right. Here's that text made entirely of vertical lines, just so you have a chance to see it large and on screen.
Now, for our purposes, we're best off using a font in the Didone family. And let me show you what that looks like. You can see the word Didone is spelled D-I-D-O-N-E. These are also known as the modern fonts, and they include examples like Adobe's New Caledonia, we've got Berthold Walbaum, and one of the best known fonts there is, Bodoni, which is available from a lot of different type foundries in a bunch of different styles. But the font I'm gonna use is Linotype Didot.
And incidentally, Didot is spelled D-I-D-O-T, and I'll specifically be working with this style right here, Headline Roman. Now, this is a commercial font that you can by either from Linotype or Adobe. If you're looking for a free font, then you might wanna check out a site like Font Squirrel, which carries Theano Didot. And you can download and use that entirely for free. But here's the deal: if you go with a different font, you are going to encounter different results. All right. I'm gonna go ahead and switch back to Photoshop.
And, just so we can better see what we're doing, I'm gonna turn off the model layer down here at the bottom of the stack, and then I'll scroll up to the top of the Layers panel and click on that topmost layer. Next I'll select the Type tool. And I'm gonna start things off by establishing a few formatting options up here in the Options bar. For starters, I'll click inside the font name and then I'll type in "D," followed by i, d, o, t. And that will allow me to see all the variations of Didot loaded on this system.
The one I'm looking for is this guy right here, Didot LT, which stands for Linotype Standard Headline. Next, I'll change the type size to 134 points, which I just happen to know works inside this image, and I'll select the Center Text icon. Then I'll click inside the image window and I'm gonna enter some strange letters, tknqz, not only because that looks like the word techniques, but also because these five characters allow me to uniquely demonstrate how this technique works.
Now I'll press control a, or command a on a Mac, to select all the text. And I'll bring up the Character panel by going up to the Window menu and choosing the Character command, or, when text is selected, you can press the keyboard shortcut control t, or command t on a Mac. Now I'll drop down to this kerning option right here. That's found below the type size. And I'll change it to Optical, just so that we have better character spacing. And then I'll turn on this All Caps icon, which, again, when text is selected, also has a keyboard shortcut of control shift k, or command shift k on a Mac.
And now I can hide my character panel. Now, to accept what I've done so far, under Photoshop CC, I can press the Escape key. If you're working with Photoshop CS6 or earlier, you'll need to press the Enter key on the numerical keypad. All right. Now I wanna position my text. And it's gonna help to have a guideline. So I'll go up to the View menu and choose New Guide. And I'll change the orientation to horizontal, as you see it here, and then I'll dial in a value, a position value of 89%, which may seem weird, but obviously, I came up with this through trial and error.
And now I'll click okay. And we have a horizontal guide near the bottom of the image. The next thing is to switch to the Move tool. And then, just go ahead and drag the text down until it snaps into alignment with that guideline. Now, it doesn't matter at this point if the text is horizontally centered, because the best way to horizontally center text is to press control a, or command a on a Mac, to select the entire image. And then go up to the Options bar and select the second to last Line icon, Align Horizontal Centers, and we have now managed to exactly center our type.
All right. Now I'll press control d, or command d on a Mac, to deselect the image. Now, this next step is the most technical, which is why I've created a diagram to demonstrate how it works. And that's this guy right here. So you can see we've got this big letter N because it is the most illustrative of the letters in terms of trying to figure out what our vertical line pattern looks like. Because, after all, the N gives us two stems that are very thin. So they've got to be filled with white. And so imagine that we've got this alternating line pattern of white and black vertical lines, like so.
We've got to have those white lines fall inside the stems of the N. Meanwhile, the black lines can go pretty much anywhere they want. So what we've gotta figure out is, how thick are the white lines, and then how thick are those black gaps between the white lines? And the best way to figure this out is to use the Rectangular Marquee tool. And now I'll go ahead and draw around this stem, the one over here on the left-hand side. You can use the right-hand one, if you want. Doesn't matter. And notice the heads-up display is telling me that the width of this line needs to be 8 pixels.
And so that's something that you probably wanna write down. Just make sure that you understand that your white lines are 8 pixels wide. Now we need to figure out the distance between this white line and this one right here. So we've gotta figure out the distance between the stems. And to understand that, you wanna drag from the left side of this first stem to the left side of the other stem. Now, it seems like you'd wanna take it all the way to the right side of that stem. That's wrong because after all, we need this pattern to repeat within this range, between the left side of one stem and the left side of the other stem.
And that range, as you can see indicated by the width value there in the heads-up display is 255 pixels. So, in other words, the white lines plus the black lines have to fit right inside this space right there, as indicated by this red rectangle. And so what we need to know in order to figure out how these guys are gonna repeat is what is the factor of that distance, the mathematical factor of 255? Now, a factor is a number that divides into 255.
And of course, there's gonna be a lot of them, and you may not know what they are offhand. I mean, who does? Which is why the Internet is such a fantastic tool. So if I go ahead and switch back over here to Chrome, or whatever your browser is, create a new tab, and then just go ahead and type in "factors of 255," and press the Enter key, of course, in order to bring up your results. And it appears there's, you know, 23 million plus to choose from. I'll just go ahead and click on this first one right here.
And it tells me, down here at the bottom of the screen, that the answers are 1, 3, 5, 15, 17 and so forth. Well, we want something that's roughly equal to twice eight because we want the black and white lines to be more or less the same width. And so we can either choose from 15 or 17. I decided to go with 15. And so I'll show you what that looks like. I'll switch back over to Photoshop here, and you can see now, if I switch to the next layer comp, that white + black = factor of 255 or, in our case, 15 pixels.
And so these increments, by the way, are represented by the distances between one green line and the next. And you can see that distance is 15 pixels there in the heads-up display. So now that we know how thick the white lines are, and how thick our factor is, that is, the white plus the black lines, we can subtract one from the other in order to figure out that the black lines should be 15-8, or 7 pixels wide. All right. Now that we've gotten all the nitty-gritty math out of the way, let's actually build that pattern by switching back to the image at hand.
And I'm gonna get rid of that guideline, just because it's distracting, by going up to the View menu and choosing Clear Guides. And now I'm gonna zoom in on the Q, just because it gives us a lot of black background to work inside of. And I'll select my Rectangle tool, which I can get from the Shape tool flyout menu, and then I'll press the d key followed by the x key, so that my foreground color is white. And I'll draw a rectangle that's eight pixels wide. And it really doesn't matter how tall it is. But I'll go ahead and make it 50 pixels tall, let's say.
And notice that we end up with this white rectangle. Now, Photoshop CC sees fit to display the Properties panel every time you draw a rectangle, which is really irritating, in my opinion. If you find it irritating, as well, by the way, click on this little flyout menu icon and turn this first option off. And then you can go ahead and hide the Properties panel, knowing that it won't automatically pop up in the future. All right. Now you wanna switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool, and you wanna select all of that white rectangle, like so, as well as seven pixels' worth of black.
So in other words, in that heads-up display, you should see a width value of 15 pixels. All right. Once you've selected this region, go up to the Edit menu and choose Define Pattern. I'm gonna go ahead and call my new pattern "V lines," let's say, "8/7," 8 for the width of the white lines and 7 for the width of the black lines. And then I'll click Okay. And now you can click anywhere outside the selection to deselect the image. All right. I'm gonna go ahead and rename this rectangle, something like "8 px line," let's say.
And then I'll go ahead and turn it off, because we no longer need it at this point. Next you wanna select your text and then just go ahead and zoom out a little bit so that you can see all of the letters. You might wanna zoom in just a bit. I guess I'll zoom so I can see, let's say, the last three letters. It's very important, by the way, that you see that N. And then drop down to the FX icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Pattern Overlay. And now you wanna change the pattern to the one you just selected, which will be the last one in the list.
And now you wanna move your cursor out into the image window and you wanna drag the pattern back and forth like so until you've exactly filled in the stems of the N. And notice at this point both of my stems are entirely white. And this is gonna be more evident when we bring back the image, which I'll do now by clicking Okay in order to accept that change. And then I'll go ahead and scroll down the list and turn the model layer back on, like so. And you can see that those stems in the capital letter N are completely filled with white.
Now, we do need to drop away the black. And the best way to drop away blacks when you have a layer selected is to change the blend mode from Normal to Screen. But in our case, that's not working. And that's because even though we dropped away the black text ... Which you can see by turning off the effects for a moment. Notice that that black text is gone ... We still have that black and white pattern sitting on top of it. So what you need to do is double-click in an empty portion of the layer in order to bring up the Layer Style dialog box, and then drop down to this first check box, Blend Interior Effects as Group, and turn it on.
And that way, you're applying the pattern before you apply the Screen Blend mode And the black portions of the pattern drop away, at which point you can go ahead and click Okay in order to accept that change. I'm gonna go ahead and press the f key a couple of times in order to fill the screen with the image. And notice that, in the end, we've managed to style our modern typeface, specifically Linotype Didot, using a custom designed vertical line pattern here inside Photoshop.
Now, if you're a member of the lynda.com online training library, my goodness, do I have a treat for you. Two follow-up movies. In the first one, I show you how to reshape those letter forms inside Photoshop so that they exactly match the intervals of the vertical line pattern. In the second movie, I show you how to use Smart Objects to swap one image for another, so that everything updates automatically. Smart Objects are an absolute wonder in this case. If you're waiting for next week's free movie, I'm gonna show you how to create a forgery of one of the most famous million-dollar stamps in history.
Deke's Techniques, each and every week. Keep watching.
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