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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'm going to give you a sense of how and why you might apply Puppet Warp to live editable text inside Photoshop. I've created a new sample file called Ideal distortion.psd, found inside the 23_distort folder. It allows us to compare the original version of the leaping guy in the photograph to a warped version. In order to see the two side by side, go up to the Window menu and choose the layer Comps command. That will bring up the layer Comps panel. I've gone ahead and created two comps; Original and Warped.
If you switch from Original, which we're seeing right now, to Warped, by clicking in this page column right there, to the left of the word Warped, then you will see a Puppet Warped version of the guy. So this is the Original version, once again, this is the Warped version. You can see, it's actually a fairly subtle effect, all things considered. I've just made them a little skinnier. I've stretched him out. I've turned him into a sort of elongated beanpole of a guy. So having switched over to the Warped version of this fellow, I'm going to click on the Text layer, which is called Jump, Puppet.
Don't double-click, because we don't want to edit the text right now, just go ahead and make sure that layer is active. Then I'm going to scroll down to these letters down here at the bottom of the image. This is live editable type. If you switch over to the Type tool, you'll see that it's set in Myriad Pro Condensed, which if you installed any of the Creative Suite variations, should be available to your system. Anyway, let's say that I want to go ahead and bend this text under this guy's leg, so we're basically following the contours of his body. Why then, one of our options is to apply a Warped text effect, which I can get to by clicking on this icon here in the Options bar, when the Type tool is active., or If the Type tool is not active, I'll switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool here.
Then I could go up to the Edit menu, and I could choose Free Transform or press Ctrl+T, Cmd+T on the Mac, and then I would switch to this Warp options. They're both the same, by the way. Clicking on that icon will switch you to the Standard Warp mode, not the Puppet Warp, by the way, this is the Standard Text Warping mode. Now I could choose anything but Custom. So I could choose something like Arc Upper in order to create this effect here. That's not entirely what I want. I can go ahead and drag this text upward, like so, but I can't drag the bottom of the text independently.
I can't fold the text under his feet. That's going to be a problem as well. Now, if I had converted my text to a Smart Object, I'd have a little bit more control, because then I could go ahead and choose this Custom option, but Custom does not allow you to essentially add intermediate points, which is what I need here in order to drag the middle of the text up and the edges here of the text down under his feet. So that's just not going to be possible using the Standard Warp function, instead I'm going to have to apply Puppet Warp, which by the way, gives me a lot more control, but it's also a lot more work, as we're about to see.
So I'm going to go ahead and escape out of the Free Transform/Warp mode, and instead, with my Text layer selected, I'll go up to the Edit menu, and I'll choose Puppet Warp. Now, as soon as I do, Photoshop will say, hey, this text has to be rasterized before proceeding. In other words, we've got to convert the text to pixels. It will no longer be editable, big surprise there, should I do that? This is Photoshop saying, should I rasterize the Text layer? I suggest you don't. So I would say Cancel out of here. What I recommend you do instead is go ahead and convert this text to a Smart Object.
So here inside the Layers panel, go ahead and click on the flyout menu icon, or If you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Ctrl+Comma Cmd+Comma on the Mac, and then that goes ahead and puts that live editable text inside of a Smart Object. Two advantages. one is that the text remains editable. That's not going to do you a lot of good, as we'll see shortly. However, it might prove to be helpful at some point in the future, you never know. The bigger advantage is that you can keep your Puppet Warp as a live effect, as we've seen in the past, just as it was, for example, for the jumpist layer, which we also converted to a Smart Object.
All right, now let's go ahead and apply the Puppet Warp command. I'll do that by going up to the Edit menu and choosing Puppet Warp, just the same as we did before. That goes ahead and invokes Puppet Warp on this layer. Now, I haven't done anything, because I haven't set any pins. So I'm going to start things off with this central P, the first P in Puppet, and I'm going to click at the top of the P, like so, and then click at the bottom of the P. Then I'll just go ahead and drag on that top pin. Now, notice something very curious here, Photoshop is not modifying the entire Smart Object.
It's just affecting that one P and nothing else. Why in the world is that? Because there are gaps between this P and the next letter. Anytime you have a gap of transparency between one portion of a layer and another portion of the layer, then Photoshop is going to treat each area as its own independent object, where the Puppet Warp function is concerned. So in other words, if his leg had been dangling off here, the dude's leg had been separated from the rest of his body, then we would have gone ahead and warped the leg independently of the rest of the body.
However, the body had no gaps, so we warped it altogether. Not true with Jump, Puppet of course. We've got a gap between every single letter, so we've got to modify each layer independently. All right, so having done that, I'm going to click there in order to set another pin, and notice, as soon as I do, I add some bending to that stem of the P. I could sort of undo that a little bit by dragging this pin over here to the right. Even a better idea, by the way, is to press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac. Don't click directly on the pin, because that will remove it; instead, drag near the pin, like so, in order to rotate that point a little bit, rotate the pin, that is, and that will change the angle at which the character enters the pin and exits the pin.
Then I'd go ahead and grab this pin, like so, press the Alt key or the Option key, and drag up a little bit in order to add some bend of that character upward, like so. Then if I end up bending the stem to the right, as I have, then I could click in order to set yet another pin and drag it over to the left. That takes care of the very first character. In the next exercise, we'll address the rest of the text.
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