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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you one of the most exciting things that you can do with Smart Filters in my estimation anyway, which is to filter live editable text. Now I'm still working inside this composition called Effects unite.psd, which features a veritable justice league of parametric effects all working together in Kung Fu action. And I have only made one change, which is to link the Smart Object to its layer mask in order to get rid of that wonky drop shadow behavior so that everything is the way it should be inside of this composition.
All right, I would have you, go ahead and turn on this KILL, JILL layer which you will see is a layer of editable type as indicated by this big T thumbnail and the text is set in the font Impact which is common on both the Mac and the PC, so you should have no problem with this text, hopefully knock on wood. What I want to do is demonstrate to you how we can apply a filter to this live editable text. Now I have shown you ways in the past to create blur effects using an Outer Glow effect or a Drop Shadow effect, something along those lines and then you change the Fill Opacity of the layer to 0%, so that you can't see the text anymore and you can only see the blurry effect and that's it, which is great for standard everyday blurs. But what if you want to apply a more ambitious effect? Like for example, in my case, I want to apply a Motion Blur so that we have text that looks like it's being transported into the poster, something along those lines.
So it's radiating sort of this energy up and down from the letters and that's something that you can't achieve using a standard layer effects. You have to resort to filters and that's what we are going to do. So go ahead and click on this KILL, JILL layer and if you go up to the Filter menu at this point and choose Blur and then choose Motion Blur. Then Photoshop is going to say hey this type layer must be rasterized before proceeding. Its text will no longer be editable. Rasterize the type? No, we don't want to do that at all. We want to keep the text editable, so we are going to Cancel out of here and instead, we are going to go ahead and convert the text to a Smart Object.
So we are going to put it inside of a Smart Object container. So go up to the Layers palette fly-out menu and choose Convert to Smart Object and then you have a Smart Object built around this editable text. So you still have access to the text, as we'll see. Now let's go ahead and apply the filter. I will go up to the Filter menu, once again choose Blur, once again choose Motion Blur. I want a really high impact effect, so I'm going to change the Angle to 90 degrees and then I'll change the Distance to 200 like so and we are just going to wipe out those letters. That's fine because we can follow this up with some blending options. Go ahead and click OK.
Then you will see Motion Blur assigned to our Smart Object. I don't want this big old filter mask taking up this room inside the Layers palette. So I'm going to right-click on it and choose Delete Filter Mask and I would recommend you do that, any old time you like, because you can always reinstate a filer mask later if you want to. All right anyway, there is Motion Blur, I'm going to go ahead and double-click on its slider icon to bring up the blending options and I'm going to change the mode from Normal to Linear Dodge (Add) in order to create this hot effect right here, so that I can see both the Motion Blur and the underlying layers as well.
So the text is still nice and legible. All right, now I'll click OK and at this point let's see how we might go about editing the text. Let's say we don't want it to be Kill Jill, we want it to be Kill Phil. So I'll go ahead and double- click on the thumbnail that's associated with the KILL, JILL layer here and then that will take me into the Smart Object and you can see that we have access now to our editable text. I'll go ahead and press the T key to switch to the Type tool and I'll double-click on the word Jill and I'll type in Phil instead and Impact only has capital letters, so I can just go ahead and enter a lowercase Phil if I want to and I'll press the Enter key on the keypad in order to accept that modification.
Now notice that Kill and Phil are not in lined with each other. That was because notice before, when we had Kill on top of Jill, I had to indent that K a little bit in order to line it up with the J. If I click in front of the K there, that's the function of having added little bit of kerning actually. So I'll bring up my Character palette right there and I'll change that AV value which is the Kerning value to 0, like so and now if I go ahead and edit this text, by double-clicking on Jill and changing it to Phil, I'll get the K and P line up better and that looks good.
Okay, then I'll press the Enter key on the keypad in order to accept my modifications. Now there is the obvious problem where Phil is getting cut off and that will actually cut off the text in the larger composition as well. So the text would appear cropped which is not something we want. So go up to the Image menu and choose Reveal All, now that's all better and now let's go ahead and close this image, by clicking on its Close box. Do you want to save changes? Yes, you do or click the Save button on the Mac and you will return to your larger composition and you will now see Kill Phil, great! If you wanted it to be that way, I have no desire for this movie to be called Kill Phil, it's Kill Jill, darn it. So I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification. I just want you to see that it is possible to keep your text nice and live and editable even though you are applying filters to it, contrary to that error message that Photoshop gave you.
Thanks to a combination of Smart Objects and Smart Filters. In the next exercise, we are going to further modify our text so that it has a sort of engraving inside of it, you will see using some more filters.
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