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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
In this exercise, I explain how to use the Angle and Altitude values, which allow you to define the location of the light source in the sky. We'll also touch on this Use Global Light check box, which becomes very important when you're adjusting directional effects. By directional effects, I mean the big three, which are Drop Shadow - and notice I press Ctrl+1 or Cmd+1 to switch to Drop Shadow incidentally. Notice that there is an Angle value. It's dimmed, because the Drop Shadow is not currently turned on. We also have a Use Global Light setting.
So Angle and Use Global Light exist for Drop Shadow. They also exist for Inner Shadow, which I selected by pressing Ctrl+2 or Cmd+2 on the Mac. The reason I'm working from the keyboard, by the way, is so I don't end up turning these check boxes on. I don't want to do that at this point. I'll press Ctrl+5 or Cmd+5 on the Mac to switch to Bevel and Emboss. Not only do you have Angle and Use Global Light, but you also have Altitude. So what's going on here? Well, Angle is the angle of the sunlight, or it could be, you know, a light bulb, any light source, doesn't matter.
Because the sun is up and to the left, as defined by the Angle value, which is 135 degrees. So if we looked at one or the others, like Ctrl+1 or Cmd+1 for Drop Shadow. You can see that the Angle is up and to the left. So it's the exact same at 135 degrees across the board right now. So if I switch back to Bevel and Emboss, what that means is the near edge, because we're lighting a frame here, the near edge is going to catch the shadow, and the far edge is going to catch the highlight. If I was to rotate the sun like so, then the near edge would be down and to the left along with the light source.
The far edge, which is catching the highlight, is up and to the right, and so on. So you can just go ahead and drag that Angle value around, wherever you want it to be. I'm going to go ahead and reset it to 135 degrees. Now, what in the world is going on with Altitude? Altitude is the location of the sun in the sky. So in other words, if the Altitude value is down here at 1 degree, let's say. I'll press the Tab key to accept that for a moment. That means that the sun is right there on the horizon line.
It's just coming up in the morning, or going down in night, or whatever in the world it's doing. It doesn't matter what direction it's traveling; it's just right there at the horizon. As a result where this frame effect is concerned, we're getting a very dark shadow on the inside edge, because the light isn't catching that edge at all. We're getting a fairly bright highlight over here on the far edge. If I start raising that Altitude value, I'm raising the sun in the sky. So the sun is coming up.
As a result, it's swinging around, and it's starting to catch some of the shadow edge. So the Shadow edge is brightening up. The Highlight edge might alternately catch a little additional light or a little less light as you raise that value. By the way, you may also end up casting some light onto the surface of your layer. So that's something to keep an eye out for. I'm going to keep raising that Altitude value. It's right between 50-60 degrees that you really start seeing a difference. So instead of pressing Shift+Up Arrow, which is what I've been doing so far, I'm going to press the Up Arrow key to just incrementally raise that value.
You can see that the inside edge, the Shadow edge is getting more and more light, and the Highlight edge is just fading away, as it has now. We're up to an Altitude value of 72 degrees. So it's about 1 O' clock in the afternoon, if you will. The sun is almost directly overhead. For it to be directly overhead, that value would have to be 90 degrees. Now an Altitude of 90 degrees in our case is going to give us two Shadow edges, because basically, we're lighting this surface directly here, and the surface of the frame as well.
Then the edges are just losing a tiny bit of light and nothing more. You're not going to get much of an effect though at such a high Altitude value. Typically, you're going to want to keep this value some place between about 30 and 70 degrees. But there is a lot of flexibility inside of that range, a lot of different effects you can achieve. Now for this specific effect, I landed on an Altitude of 50 degrees. I should mention one more thing. We've got Direction Up or Down. If you click Down, then you're going to reverse the two edges, because now what you're saying is that the frame is going down.
We're actually sculpting the frame out from the wood. So the interior of the wood is high and so the highlight is appearing on the top left edge. That's the exposed surface to the light source. Then the shadow is now on the bottom right edge. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead, and Cancel out of all of this. You may notice that I skipped the Use Global Light check box. I will come back to it. I'm going to Cancel out of this dialog box here. Then I'll quickly turn on my other effects. Now because I'm creating a frame, I figured the frame ought not just to catch a shadow, but it also should cast a shadow.
So I added a Drop Shadow effect right there. Now it seems to me that we have a little more credible depth going on. Then I added this Gradient Overlay layer. Now all Gradient Overlay and all the Overlay layers, By the way, there is Color Overlay, there is Gradient Overlay, and there is Pattern Overlay. They allow you to assign either a solid color or a gradient, or a pattern on top of your layer. You can mix and match them as well. You can have a color and a gradient, and a pattern interacting with each other using different Blend modes.
Let me show you what's going on with the Gradient Overlay. I'll double-click on the effect to bring up the Gradient Overlay panel of the layer Style dialog box. I'll increase the Opacity value to 100%. I'll change the mode from Multiple to Normal. This is the kind of Gradient I'm applying right there. It's a black to white gradient, and you can see over here, the Angle value is -65 degrees. So it's heading from the upper-left portion of the image to the lower right at a slight incline. Now I didn't want that effect of course, so I started things off by reducing the Opacity value to 25%, which gives me a little bit of shading up at the top, and a little bit of brightening down at the bottom.
But the brightening, as you can see here is extremely washed out. That's not going to work for me. So if I want to integrate the gradient with the frame, I would either switch to the Overlay mode, if I want to keep both the Shadow and the Highlight. We would get this effect here, so you can see I have a rich shadow up left, and a very bright highlight down right as well, or I could just keep the Highlight using Screen or Linear Dodge, or I could just keep the Shadow using Multiply or Linear Burn. And that's what I wanted, was a Shadow. So I chose Multiply, and that burned in a fairly low saturation shadow up left.
Then I have neutrality down right. So in other words, the white portion of the gradient just drops away. That's what happens with Multiply. Multiply treats white as transparent. Screen, it's opposite there, treats black as transparent. Anyway, Multiply is the mode I selected. I'm going to go ahead and Cancel out of this dialog box, because that is my framing effect right there. I still have yet to explain what's going with Use Global Light, and you might surmise why, because I'm going to explain it in the next exercise.
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