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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 today is to create a series of bubbles. Lots of bubbles like you would find say in a sparkling water. Tons and tons of tiny little bubbles. Now, to do this and to do it quickly, all we're gonna do is create a brush. A brush tip that's gonna be made up of little bubbles. So what we're going to do is right here, blank screen, I'm gonna create a layer. And the reason I'm gonna do the brush in a layer is because of the fact that we're going to apply some layer styles to it. Now normally if you're creating some kind of a tip, it doesn't matter to be in a layer because anything you stroke will be fine, and the white will be automatically transparent.
But in this particular case we're gonna do layer styles, so for those you need to have a layer. So I'm gonna go in there and call this Bubble. Just a single Bubble right there. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to use my elliptical selection tool, and holding on my Option button to draw from the center out, and the Shift to constrain it to a perfect circle, I'm gonna draw a circle like that. Now go ahead and fill it with this black. I have black there, so I'm gonna go ahead and fill it with Foreground Color at 100%, click OK.
So now I can deselect it. So there's my little black circle. Now what I'm going to do is I do want to see through it, the bubbles are transparent so you can see through them, so I'm gonna reduce the fill opacity. Bring the fill opacity down so it's a nice kind of a light gray, about like that. That looks good. You might say "Why didn't you just do the opacity?" Well, because it affected the layer styles that are what's gonna give this bubble its life, its depth, and the opacity will reduce the opacity for everything including the layer styles, whereas the fill opacity reduces the opacity for just the original pixels, which in this case are the black and they became a gray.
Any new pixels that are generated for the layer styles will remain at 100% 'cause the overall opacity is still 100%. So now I'm gonna go in there and apply some layer styles. So I double-click on the layer to bring up the Layer Style window. Keep in mind that a brush tip is going to be whatever color you choose, but there will be no colors within that tip. Only the areas that are black will be opaque, and anything other than black will be transparent based on that value, so if you use red inside your brush tip, well, it's gonna appear as gray when you actually use that brush.
And there won't be a red and a gray there'll just be a gray. So if you use a red brush, then there'll be variances of red. Okay, so you'll see that in a second. I'm gonna go in here and I'm gonna give it a little Inner Glow. That'll be the first one I do. And I don't want this to be a yellow, I want it to be a black, so I'm gonna click on that, and bring the color to black, Now it disappeared because of the fact that, since it's a glow, you notice the mode is set to Screen, so if I change that to that of a shadow, which is Multiply, there's our little tone on the edge.
So I'm gonna increase that a little bit, about like that, see? It's given some little edge to it. Then I'm going to give it a little Inner Shadow. A little Inner Shadow, which I want it to come from this side here, I want it bigger on the bottom. And I'm gonna increase the distance on it a bit and soften it up. Just to soften it up, just a bit like that. You could even make it a little bigger, about like that. There you go, and now we have our nice little dark edge. And let's bring that distance up just a little bit more. There.
Click OK. And we have the basis for our Bubble. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go in and select it, doesn't matter how you select it because as long as it's within the selection, and remember that white will be transparent. And I go up here and I say Define Brush. There it is. And we'll call it Bubble. Okay, so now that we have our bubble, we can turn that layer off. Let's deselect it. And let's just say we're dealing with a glass of beer, ok? So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna select the background here, and let's get a color for it.
So I'm gonna go in there and we'll pick a nice color for our beer. Let's say we pick this nice orangy-yellow right there. And I'm gonna go ahead and create a new layer, I'm gonna fill that layer with that color. There it is. So now in a new layer, this layer is gonna be the bubbles. And this layer will be called the Liquid. Okay, gotta get used to the concept of saving the names for these things so you'll find them easy.
So I'm gonna go in here and use that yellow, but use a slightly darker version of it. About like that. Click OK. And we get our paint brush. And right now it's going to do that, see? Just created one nice little bubble. So if I go like this, it gives me a nice little streak. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go into my brush engine right here, into the brush engine, I'm going to increase the spacing on those little bubbles, see? Give it some more spacing. And we'll bring the size down. Bring the size way down here, so they start to get a little smaller.
There we go. That's a nice size for our bubbles. And I'm gonna go in there and start to apply a little shape dynamics. I want the size to jitter. I want different sizes for my bubbles. And I want to set up a minimum so they don't get too small, bring it up to about 15%. So the smallest one will be about 15% of the largest one. Angles, we don't play with that one. It's not necessary, they're just plain circles. Same thing with roundness. Gonna leave it as-is. But I will go into scattering. And in scattering I'm gonna say on both axes, let's scatter them a little bit.
There we go. Now we might wanna increase the space, and let's just do a quick test here. And there we can see what our bubbles are starting to look like. Actually, that's not bad. We'll leave it just as-is. Let's undo that. And we're in that layer for our liquid. And I'm gonna go in here and start to draw all my little bubbles that are just floating around in this liquid here, see? What I could do would be to create another layer behind and, you notice that I put it in the wrong layer. I was supposed to do them here. No problem, so we just go back here and we just reduce all the, bring it back to the name change, and go into that layer.
And that's the beauty of history is that you can always go back there and erase your mistakes. So there they go. Now if you wanna give this a little depth, you can create another layer right behind it, let's just throw some bubbles right in here. Another layer right behind it, and bring down the opacity for the brush. I'll reduce the opacity for the brush to say maybe a 40%, and I can throw some bubbles back there. And you can see that it starts to get some depth going through it. Let's just concentrate on these guys for now. So now we see that we have our little bubbles.
So what I'm going to do now is I'm gonna go in there and have to add a little bit of a highlight. Now, I can't have a extra highlight in these bubbles, so we're going to do that totally in a separate technique. Now it's gonna take a little longer, so we're gonna leave that one 'til next week. So what's gonna happen next week is gonna add a little highlight on these little bubbles, which is gonna make them appear to reflect the light source from somewhere outside of our little glass.
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