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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Now so far much of what we have seen, we could just as easy pull off inside of a vector-based program such as Illustrator or FreeHand or CorelDRAW or even InDesign, QuarkXpress. I could go on all day listing these applications, but I shan't because we are inside Photoshop and you might wonder well why are we inside Photoshop creating all of these text effects when we ought to be elsewhere inside one of those other programs. Well we oughten to be because Photoshop allows you to pull off special text effects that the other programs can't match. Because it's a pixel based editor, you can create naturalistic, organic, photographic almost effects.
We are going to take the words Fright Lights and we are going to light them up, so that they have light fringes around them and so that they are casting a shadow as if they are being backlit by this big old jack-o-lantern here. And here's how we are going to do it, for starters I want you to go to the Layers palette and click on the Fright Lights layer to make sure that it's active. Then I want you to hide that palette from view just because it's taking so much room on my screen and I am going to press Ctrl+Alt+T or Command-Option-T on the Mac in order to enter the Free Transform mode and create a duplicate of this layer.
Next I want you to go up to the Options bar up here, make sure that the center point is selected, this little guy is the reference point location. By reference point, it means the transformation origin point right there and currently it's set to the center of the object, the center of the layer which is good. Now notice that the layer outline is pretty big and that's because it includes any potential descenders that is part of letters that drop down below the baseline, but don't worry about that, all is well. Alright, just make sure that center point is active and then I want you to change the height value to -116% and then press tab and notice what that does, that goes ahead and flips the image upside down.
Then I want you to press the Enter key in order to accept that modification up in the Options bar and I am going to press Shift+down arrow 4 times in a row like so. So you should end up with text that looks like this, it's going to extend out of the canvas into the pasteboard down here that's perfectly okay, it's not a problem at all. And thanks to the fact that we entered -116 degrees for the height value, we have flipped the letters upside down and extended them just ever so slightly that extra 16 degrees that we gave it there.
Alright now I will press the Enter key once again or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that modification. Now I am going to go over here to the Layers palette and I am going to set the Blend mode from normal to multiple so that it burns into the background. Remember I was telling you that Multiply is the Blend mode of shadows that converts anything to a shadow essentially, because it's darkening the background as shadows tend to do. And then I am going to press the Esc key to unstick that option there on the window side and I am going to press 9 for 90% opacity, so we are just lowering the opacity ever so slightly there.
Alright, let's put that Layers palette away once again. Now what does the shadow need to be? It needs to be fuzzy, don't you know, it needs to be a little bit soft because this is defused light source back here. So let's go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur and choose Gaussian Blur and when you do that Photoshop is going to say, hey do you want to go ahead and rasterize that Type, meaning that it wants to convert it from editable type into pixels and it needs to do that in order to apply a filter now. Later on we are going to see how we can avoid this step using Smart Objects, but for now don't worry about it, just go ahead and click OK.
Simplest solution at this point is just to go ahead and rasterize the Type. We have got the original Type, if we ever want to go back to it that we can edit. Now I am going to apply a radius of 6 pixels that's really good actually then click OK in order to apply that modification. Now the text needs to go ahead and dilate toward us essentially and needed to sort of flare out toward us because the light source is smaller than the Type and it's casting shadows in various directions. So I am going to press Ctrl+T or Command-T again in order to enter that Free Transform mode and I want you to watch the Options bar, watch this H value, this H degrees value right there, which indicates this skew level.
I want you now to press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and drag that lower right handle and by the way, I am also pressing the Shift key so I am pressing Shift and Ctrl at the same time that would be Command and Shift on the Macintosh side. While I am moving this point, watch the Options bar, watch that H degrees value up in the Options bar at the top of the screen and you want to drag over until that value changes to 50 degrees, 50 degrees as it is right now. Now you couldn't have just entered that value because that would have skewed all of the text, we are stretching it, I am actually stretching the text over to the right and that's not something that Photoshop tracks properly inside the Options bar.
But you can watch a value in order to make sure that you achieve the same effect that I am getting here. Now while we have done here this 4-point distortion that I told you about when we discussed transformations a couple of chapters ago, this is not something that you can do to editable type. So the fact that it's been rasterized because applied the Gaussian Blur filter, it actually turns out to be a good thing. It affords us the opportunity to now turn around and 4-point distort this type. Alright, now I want you to press Ctrl and Shift again on the PC side or Command and Shift on the Mac and drag this bottom left handle over to the left so that we are flaring the text outward until the W value, check out that W value right under the word Window at the top of the screen there.
That W value in the Options bar changes to a 120%. So this time it's tracking our modification using a scale value. I was telling you Photoshop really can't do distortions numerically but anyway, that's still if you match those two values as you are dragging along the 50 degree, H value, and the 120% W value then you will get the same effect that you are seeing on my screen here. Then press the Enter key in order to accept that modification that looks pretty darn good I think it's going to look even better in the next exercise when we backlight this text.
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