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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 we are going to take these beautiful paintings right here that appear to be backlit at this point. I mean that's the only thing that makes sense. They are so much brighter than the rest of this grim scene that they must be backlit in order for us to work it out in our minds. So that's actually perfect. Now we are going to make it appear as if the floor is highly polished and reflecting these backlit scenes right back up at us. And it's just going to look gorgeous by the time we are done with this. It's going to take us a couple of exercise to pull it off right, but it's a really beautiful effect.
I have gone ahead and saved my changes so far as Reimagined subway.psd. The top layer is selected in the stack there. I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac and I'm going to call this new layer Reflections and then click OK. And then I'm going to go ahead and choose the Vanishing Point filter again. I invite you to do so as well. So go to the Filter>Vanishing Point. Here we are inside this fairly familiar utility by now. Now let's say that I try to reflect the paintings as they are on the planes as they are. Well, things would go fairly awry as I'm about to show you. I'll go ahead and get my Marquee tool and then I'll double-click in this plane to select the whole thing. Now I'll Shift+Alt+Drag this plane of walls right there, and this is a Shift+Option+ Drag on the Mac. As soon as I drag this selection on to the floor, it doesn't look like it's reflected; it looks like the whole wall fell over. And so that's not the effect I want at all.
What I want is for these paintings to go directly downwards, straight down. And that means I'm going to have to get rid of the floor plane, which sounds likes a bad thing that we are going to totally delete it, which is what we are going to do. We have to, because we need to get access to the bottom handle for this plane right here and drag it down. It sounds like a bad thing to throw away a plane, but it's so easy to recreate it if indeed we would need it again. Because after all it's a perpendicular plane, so it's so easy to drag out, don't you know? All right, so let's press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac in order to undo that cloning and then I'm going to go up to this Edit Plane tool, click on it to make it active, click on the bottom plane to select it, press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac in order to get rid of it. Then click on this plane right here, now we have access to this bottom handle again. We had lost it, of course, because it had gone away since we had a perpendicular plane down here on the ground. But we have it now, zoom out, press Ctrl+minus, Command+minus on the Mac and drag this guy way down, all the way down like that and then let's go ahead and zoom in a little bit.
All right, now grab your Marquee tool, don't double-click this time, drag from this upper left corner like so and drag down to the bottom of the wall like that. And don't drag too far. If you go to the other wall, you will get a very unfortunate effect. You want to get a selection that looks more or less like this. All right, now we are going to do another Shift+Alt+Drag or if you are working on the Mac, this would be a Shift+Option+Drag of course in order to move that wall down like so. Now a big problem; it's not reflected, it's still upright. This wall is still upright. The perspective has changed, so that's why we are getting things at different angles and getting sort of an M. C. Escher effect with the stairway here.
But that's not what we want. We want a true reflection. So we are going to have to go to Transform, the Transform tool that is, this guy right there. And then we are going to have to choose Flip or Flop. Which is it? Well, this happens to be a Flop, because it's a vertical transformation, a vertical flip. And so there you go. But of course you know if you try one out like you try out flip at first and you go, oh, what's that, what is happening there, this can't be right. I guess, what is that, the stairs, I don't even know what that is. Anyway, that's wrong.
That's for sure. So it must not be Flip, it must be Flop. Good, so that's how you know that's how you can keep track of it. Try one, it doesn't work, try the other. They are might as called the mystery option A and mystery option B, because I think that would have been just as helpful. Anyway, go ahead and click OK in order to accept this reflected scene right there, and then I think I'll go ahead and press the 3 key in order to reduce the Opacity to 30%. Now at this point you are looking at and going, that is pretty cool, actually that's pretty darn nifty right there. And it's in perspective, the whole number and it's in the right perspective. This is how the reflection would really look except for one thing. The rear wall would be reflected as well and I'm not going to worry about the rear wall. You can do that on your own, if you want to. I'm just ignoring it for now because it's just more busy work.
But here is the thing that really matters where this wall is concerned is we would have a fade. It would start off strong at the top and fade away at the bottom here. And it would fade away in perspective, I can't just create a gradient layer mask right there and expect it to work out right, because the gradient actually needs to be in perspective. So how do we create a gradient layer mask? I have never seen anybody demonstrate this and I'm going to show you how to make it work in the next exercise.
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