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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 the second project we're going to take a look at how to record a creative Action. The idea being, we're going to put together something that involves many, many more steps. And we'll start off in this exercise by loading the Action and playing it on this photo illustration right here. And then we'll turn around in subsequent exercises and we'll actually create this Action together. So what I want you to do is go ahead and load this image. It's called Precision anarchy.psd found inside the 30 Actions folder. And it features a couple of shape layers, and also two text layers. So this is live text inside Photoshop, this GOV and V20, right here.
And these text layers are just there to demonstrate that this technique works with text, and it's set in Myriad Pro, so hopefully you have the font. Even if you don't though, if you get the font warning, don't worry about it, you should be able to perform this technique without the font, it doesn't really rely on the font, because it's going to end up swishing all the layers together, as we'll see. All right, then I'm going bring up not only in my Layers palette, and you can see that I've got two text layers and two shape layers, and really the idea here is I'm trying to assemble creative technique that ultimately needs pixels, in order for it to work. But it's smart enough to accommodate non-pixel layers if need be.
The only thing it really needs is a background layer. It has got to have a background layer, and some other layers, whatever they may be, that define shapes that we'll then assign a Chrome effect to, as you'll see. All right, so go ahead and bring up your Actions palette. And make sure it's nice and tall. You're going to need the height. And then let's go ahead and load some Actions here. And the Actions that I want you to load is this is one right here, Best Chrome Ever 2.atn. If you see me assemble this Action before, where you and I together create the Best Chrome Effect Ever.
Well, I want you to know that this is quite different. This is Best Chrome Ever 2, so I decided the last chrome effect that I created. Although it might have been the Best Ever, it wasn't good enough. So we've got the Version 2.0 at our disposal right here. So go ahead and load it up. And it actually looks quite a bit better this time around I think. Anyway, there is Chrome Maker 2.0, if you twirl it open you're going to see, it's a lot of steps. So let's go ahead and play it by clicking on it, and then just clicking the Play button, and it will work through all of these steps right here as you can see.
And then we end up with this Chrome effect right there. I'm going to go ahead and hide those palettes once again, and if you zoom in on this text, and on this sort of very precise anarchy sign, which I think is kind of ironic. In the center here, you'll see that we have some very nice edges, some round, smooth corners right there, quite by contrast to our original shapes which had sharp corners. So I think the Chrome effect looks better when it's applied to smooth contours like this. And we have some wonderful highlights and some sort of shadow details as well, some reflections, some nice shadows in the background. And I should mention that the background layer here, the one that contains the red fabric, it comes to us from photographer 03:05 of iStockphoto.com Really cool image that helps it offer Chrome effect.
Now if at any point, it looks a little bit jagged, just bear in mind that is a function of the zoom level. So if you're going to zoom farther in, you're going to see smoother results right here. So at 100% we do have nice smooth contours. And that's the function of taking the Chrome Gradient that's included along with Photoshop, and fixing it, because it's kind of broken by default. Anyway, we're going to assemble this Action, you, and I together, beginning in the next exercise.
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