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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 a few different ways to record the application of layer effects inside of Photoshop. This time around I've gone ahead and created some catch-up documents for you, if you like. So if you are recording, let's take a break for a moment. Go ahead and click on the Stop button, and what I have done is I've saved the file called Rounded anarchy.psd, so there is my progress file. I have also gone ahead and put my chrome maker, the one that I'm recording here, inside of a separate action set and I have called it Chrome in progress. So both Chrome in progress and Rounded anarchy are found inside the 30_actions folder, just so you know, if you want to catch on up. All right, so let's say that I want to record the application of a bunch of different layer effects and all together we are going to have inner shadow, and an inner glow, and a bevel and emboss, and a gradient overlay. All these things mixed together, and this will create some luminance contours upon which we can build our chrome effect.
That's the idea. Well, I could tell you to start recording and then we would just sit here and build the effects manually together, which would be about as exciting as watching paint dry. There is no point in doing that because you can always investigate what's going on with the effects later if you want to. So rather I'm going to show you a few different ways to automate the process. All right, so if we want to continue recording our action, which we do, then you want to click on the step after which you want to begin recording. So for example, if I clicked on Levels, and then I clicked on Record button, I would insert my new operations right here between Levels and Set Selection.
Now that's not what I want to do. I want to record some operations at the end of the current action. So I would either click on Show background, the last step in the action, or I would just click on the action name. Either one is going to work for you. Then go up to your Styles palette. Make sure it's on screen. If not, you can go to the Window menu and choose Styles, and then go to the Styles palette fly-out menu, choose Load Styles, and I want you to load this group of styles right there, Chrome FX.asl, and it's really just one style. Then click on Load and by the way it's inside the 30_actions folder, but of course, click Load, and then I want you to go ahead and apply it, but not yet. We need to record the application of this style right here.
All right, so click on the record button once again and then I want you to click on Chrome FX to apply it and notice that it applies a bunch of stuff. We have got an inner shadow, we have got an inner glow, we have got bevel and emboss, and we've got gradient and overlay, just gobs and gobs of stuff going on. Instead, what Photoshop goes ahead and records is Apply style "Chrome FX," and we can see if we twirl it open to current layer, there is no information there. So in other words, if it doesn't find this Chrome FX style right there, we are in trouble. The action isn't going to work. It's going to fail.
And so that means we are going to have to tell the person to go ahead and load the style and even if we try to record the loading of the style, it would have to be in a very specific location, and that probably wouldn't work either. However, watch this. There is a little bit of work around. What you can do is you can double-click on the word Effects here, underneath Rounded, and then you can just look at it and if you want to, you can peer through the various effects that I have applied. There is the inner shadow settings right there, there are the inner glows settings, and I'll tell you what? I'll show you all of them, for those of you who don't have access to these files here. I'll go ahead and show you all the settings so that you can pause and write them down or enter them in or do whatever you want to. Here is Bevel and Emboss, these guys right there. Note by the way, back to Inner Glow. Sorry about this.
Inner Glow, I set the contour to ring and this sends up being pretty important actually. And then we have got Bevel and Emboss, so that's ring. Even though it show the bunch of other garbage there, it's just the ring contour. Then here are the settings for Bevel and Emboss. And throughout my angle value, thanks to global light, it's set to 54 degrees, and the altitude is 30 degrees, and then here is the Gradient Overlay. It's just a black to white overlay with an angle of negative 85 degrees and the scale value is 40%. So I didn't move it to any special location. It's just scaled to a smaller size.
All right, then you just click OK. You didn't have to click on each of these items if you didn't want to. You just have to click OK and then that for some reason wakes Photoshop up and makes it go, oh yeah, here is the styles I want to apply. Here's all the layer effects, and on and on and on and on and on. And it's just keeping track of those four layer effects. But ntice here is the items when it's telling you what effects you are applying, Gradient Overlay: gradient overlay, that kind of thing. So you will find four of those since there is bevel and emboss, and there is also the other ones though. What was it? Inner shadow and inner glow as well.
Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and twirl this guy closed and then I'm going to click on the Stop button right there, in order to stop recording the action, and I'm going to grab Apply Style "Chrome FX" and I'm going to Alt-click on the Trashcan or Option-click on the Trashcan there in the Actions palette to get rid of it. Now let's go ahead and get rid of this Chrome FX style here so that we can text things out and I'm going to do that by Alt-clicking, because you get the little scissors icon, Alt-clicking on that style or Option-clicking on it on the Mac, and then let's go ahead and throw all the effects away. So I'm going to grab the effects and throw them in the Trash and now let's just try applying that one step there by Ctrl+double-clicking on it.
Command+double-clicking on the Mac, just to make sure it works and sure enough it did. It didn't complain about the missing style or anything. So that's totally wonderful. Now there is one other thing you could do if you want to and that is you can perform a drag and drop. And that works like so. Let's say I'll go ahead and take this Set Layer Styles of current layer, I'll leave it there actually, but let's turn it off for a moment, just so that we can distinguish one item from the other. Then I'm going to pop-open Chrome Maker 2.0 and I could scroll down to right there, Set Layer Styles of current layer. That's our guy. And what you can do is you can go ahead and drag that step from one action to a different action.
And you have to drag it into the action. You have to drag it to exactly the location where you want to be, but you can scroll down, you can auto scroll down the list and I'll put it right there, right before the one I just recorded a moment ago, and then press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and release and that goes ahead and creates a duplicate. So Set Layer Styles of current layer to this big laundry list right there is still a step inside of Chrome Maker 2.0, it's still there, because we pressed Alt or Option, we duplicated that step and put it into My chrome maker as well.
So that's another thing you can do. Now I'm not going to do that. I'm just going to go ahead and Alt-click or Option-click on the Trashcan to get rid of that duplicate step there, but I just want you to see there are different ways to work. All right, wow, weezers! In the next exercise, we are actually going to turn this effect into Chrome using a Chrome gradient map layer. Stick with me.
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