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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise we're going to finish off our composition, and we're going to do so by adding a couple of Layer Effects to the Martini Hour logo. I've saved my progress as Enhanced glasses.psd found inside the 10_layers folder. Notice that Martini Hour here which I've selected in the Layers panel is not a type layer. It doesn't have a T for example as the thumbnail, instead it has this white swatch and then it has this gray area in which you can barely read Martini Hour. That is what's known as a vector- based shape layer inside a Photoshop.
And we'll discussing those in the future chapter in the Mastery portion of this series, but right now what I need you to do is check to see if you can see these little lines inside the letters that I'm seeing on my screen. And if so, then come over here to this gray vector mask thumbnail and click on it in order to hide those lines. So, you should not see an outline around the vectors. And that will just make for a cleaner screen display, because this is what it's going to look like if you print it or export it to the web. Alright! The next thing I want to do; I want to thicken up these letters.
I went ahead and used Zapf Chancery for this text, and mostly I don't think much of that font. It's kind of a frilly menu font. But I found that when I started thickening up the letters, they work a lot better for this logo. And I'll show you how I accomplished that. I also decided I wanted a Drop Shadow. Now, I know a Drop Shadow doesn't make any darn sense. There is no way these letters floating in space would be casting a shadow on to space that's not even in anyway shape or form possible, but neither is the whole composition. It's all fairly far-fetched and I figure the Drop Shadow would help offset the letters, gives the composition a little depth, and I already gave the other text Drop Shadows as well.
So here is how you add a Drop Shadow to the layer. Make sure the Martini Hour layer is selected; go down here to the fx icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. And notice all these Layer Effects that you have available to you they are fantastically useful, which is why I devote the usual future chapter to the topic that'll be in the Advanced portion of the series. For now I'm going to choose the Drop Shadow command. And we're going to adjust some of these settings here. By default the Blend Mode is set to Multiply, that's a great mode for shadows, if you want a shadow stick with Multiply typically, and if you want a glow you usually set it to Screen.
Now I'm going to click on the color swatch right there, and I'm going to dial in the color that's pretty similar to the one that we used for the dark gradient, and that's 285 for Hue, Saturation 30, and the only change I'm going to make is to take the Brightness to 25%, and click OK. And then I'll increase that Opacity value to 100%, so that we get a pretty obvious shadow. And I'm going to increase the Distance value to 14, tab my way down to Size and increase it to 16 pixels like so. I'll stick with an angle of a 120 degrees and leave Use Global Light on, because I want the angle of this shadow to match those of the other text layers as well, because after all it's the same sunlight that's casting the shadow on to space, something like that, I'm not sure.
Anyway, I'm going to switch down to Stroke now. The Stroke function has a lot of different uses, but it's great for thickening up letters. Right now I'm surrounding the letters with the black stroke. I want a white one instead so that it matches the color of the letters themselves, so I'll click in the color swatch, and I'll change that Brightness value to 100 like so, then I'll click OK and then I'm going to take the Size value up a bit. Now I could like press Shift+Up Arrow in order to get a Size value of 13 pixels if I want a really super thick letters, but that's also we're going to start rounding off those corners a little bit.
So, I basically just kind of took it down to taste. I'm pressing the Down Arrow key at an about 4 pixels inside this image, I just started liking it. I think it looks pretty good. So, that's what I came up with. Now, those of you who have worked in Photoshop in the past I want you to see that every single one of these Layer Effects includes a Make Default button. So, if you tend to apply the same style of Layer Effect again and again, for example, if you're really fond of a 4 pixel wide stroke, click Make Default and then that's always going to come up.
Every time you call a new stroke inside of Photoshop, which could turn into a real timesaver. Anyway, I'm going to leave that alone. I'm going to click OK, and I have now stroked and added a Drop Shadow to my letters. Now the final thing I'm going to do here; I'm going to go ahead and click this up arrow right there in order to collapse those Layer Effects. And let's say that I want to keep all of my text layers together. I want to group them together. I'll click on one, I'll Shift+ Click on the other to select them all. And then I'll go to the fly-out menu up here, and I'll choose New Group from Layers.
Then I'll be invited to name these layers, and I'll call them text layers or something along those lines, and click OK. And you can see how that might help you manage your layers inside a complex composition. Then you just click that little arrow to twirl open the group. You can move things around; you can drag guys out of the group if you want to, or drag them back into the group, very easy to work with. Twirl it, close again, save room inside the panel. And if you want to go nudge you can. I might click on glass and Shift+Click on enhance in order to select this range of layers, and then I'll press Ctrl+ G or Command+G on the Mac, which is a keyboard shortcut for Group, and then I'll double-click and I'll call this group Glasses.
So, feel free to use those or not use those as much as you want. Inside of Photoshop CS5, you can now nest groups inside of each other. So you can put a group inside of a group, you've been able to do that for a while, but you can now nest them 10 levels deep. So if you really want to go and that's organizing your documents you certainly, can which can be really great by the way when you're working with multiple people inside of a single template file, for example, in Photoshop. Anyway this is the final composition for my Martini Hour banner. It's a total of 15 layers strong along with that 16th color layer that we turned off.
It doesn't really matter how many layers you use as long as you're able to get the effects you want, but I'm here to tell you, this is just where layers begin. Layers inform everything you do inside this program. And so you can rest assure that we'll be coming back to them again and again over the course of this series.
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