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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.
I'm still working inside Automation boy.psd, found inside the 22_warp folder, and I remain inside of the Free Transform command. So I have not applied my Transformation as of yet. And so far I have made some pretty random modifications here, including a little bit of a Skew value, and you can tell there's some skewing going on because these final H and V values represent Slant values as opposed to Rotations. I am going to go ahead and change that H value to 0, so that both the final H and V are zeroed out.
So we have no skew going on at this point. We do have some Scaling, as you can see also represented in the Options bar, and we do have some Rotation. Now then, I was saying that you can Alt+ Drag, once you've rotated your layer, Alt+Dragging or Option+Dragging, a corner handle is not only going to scale the layer. It's also going to skew it. However you don't have a lot of constraints, and you don't have a lot of Ctrl over what's going on. So what's a better way to work? Well, let's go ahead and scroll up a little bit and zoom in as well, so that we can take in this sign in detail, and here is the better way to work because this way you're only changing the Horizontal Slant, or the Vertical Slant at a time.
And by the way, insofar as we're concerned, the words Slant and Skew are synonymous. So if you want to be able to apply them independently, that is, the Horizontal Slant and the Vertical Slant, then press and hold the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac and then drag on one of the top bottom or side handles. So, for example, If I Ctrl+Drag, and notice, while I have a Ctrl key down or the Cmd key on the Mac, I get this little gray arrowhead, and that shows me that I'm either going to apply a Skew or a Distortion as we'll see later.
But where text is concerned Skew is our only option. So I will go ahead and Ctrl+Drag or Cmd+Drag, that top handle upward like so, and then I will Ctrl+Drag or Cmd+Drag that bottom handle as well so that it looks to me like we are matching the Angle of this post here that the robot is holding and if we want to check that out, I could actually move the text downward. So that we can see that sure enough, let's go ahead and nudge the text by pressing the Arrow keys a few times here. Notice that the bottom handle is right there in the center of the post, and the top handle is not quite centered, so I will Ctrl+Drag or Cmd+Drag it, so it is.
So now I know I've absolutely nailed the Angle of this post, and it's a straight line, so it's not going to change, therefore, when I bring my text up here - and it seems to be snapping into alignment with that sign. As soon as I drag it up, I should see that my text is exactly matching. If now at this point, I want to go ahead and adjust the Vertical Skew of this text layer, then I would press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac, and I would drag one of the side handles, either the right-hand side or the left-hand side, and I will go ahead and drag this right-handle outward, and the left-handle is actually fine where it is.
So what's going on - why can't I get this right? Well, the problem is that we have some perspective going on. The I needs the Slant more to the right, and the N needs a slant more to the left, so the letters actually have to get narrower at the top than they are at the bottom, and what you can do with most kinds of layers inside of Photoshop is you can press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key and drag a corner handle to move that handle independently of all the others, but if you do that with text, you are just going to get this messy skew right here. So what it comes down to is we cannot match this live text layer to this sign.
So what is our option? Well, our option is to convert the text layer to something that we can match, and I will show you how that works in the next exercise.
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