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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise we're going to finish off our composition by adding the text elements and in doing so we'll learn how you blend the groups inside of Photoshop. Assuming that you've been working along with me inside of this skyandstatue.PSD image that's found inside the 15 blend modes folder, then your composition should look something like this one. I'd like you to go ahead and turn on the text elements group that's at the top of the layer stack right there. And by clicking in front of the folder, you should make visible both the editable text, the line of editable text, that says Michelangelo.
Along with a little bit of Motion Blur trail underneath the text and I'll go ahead and show you how I created that Motion Blur trail. Twirl open the text elements group. Turn off for the Motion Blur layer for now so that we can create a new one. Then I want you to click on the editable text layer, which will look like a big T here in side of the layers palette and then go and press Control+J or Command+J on the Mac to jump to the text to a new layer and I'll also press Control+ Left bracket or Command+Left bracket on the Mac in order to move that new layer underneath the original and I'll rename it 'Mblurred' because we'll be assigning the Motion Blur filter to it.
Now go up to the Filter menu and choose Blur, Motion Blur, like so and as soon as you do, because you have an editable text layer selected. Photoshop will ask you, "Hey, in order to filter this text layer, I need to rasterize the type in advance." Now this isn't the way you have to work. Thanks to Smart Filters inside Photoshop CS3, you can first convert the text to a Smart Object and then apply an editable nondestructive filter to it, but in our case it's just simpler to go ahead and rasterize that type. So I'll click OK in order to proceed.
And I'm going to change the values like you see here. An Angle value of 90 degrees and a Distance value of 100 pixels and I'll click OK in order to accept the modification and finally I've pressed Shift+Control, or Shift+Command on the Mac, Shift+Control+Down arrow five times in a row in order to get this effect right there. Anyway, I just wanted to show you how the effect was created. Let's go and get rid of it now because we don't need it. That's just a lesson in what I did, just in the name of complete coverage here. So I'll Alt+click on the trash can or Option+click on a trash can in order to delete that layer and I'll turn on my original Motion Blur layer here and I'm not deleting, notice I was careful not to delete the Motion Blur layer because I want to keep my layer comps happy. Any time you throw away a layer, the Layer Comps get grumpy at you. So anyway we've got this Michelangelo layer and we've got the Motion Blur layer. I want to make both of the layers a little bit translucent so I could go ahead and reduce the opacity settings for each one of the layers, but let's say that I want to reduce both layers to 70% opacity. The easier way to pull that off, as opposed to applying an opacity level of 70% first to the text layer and then to the Motion Blur layer, is to simply affect the entire group. Notice that it has an opacity value associated with it. Fill by the way is not available to you when you're working with groups. A little sad actually because that means you don't have access to some of those special blend mode functions. But anyway, I'd now press the 7 key in order to reduce the opacity of both layers to 70%.
Notice we also have a blend mode setting. You can choose from any of the blend modes to assign a blend mode to the group as a whole, or you've got this default guy called Pass Through. And what Pass Through does is it applies no special blend mode. It just goes ahead and accepts what ever blend modes you have assigned to the individual layers, but Pass Through isn't always your best setting. Let's imagine for example that I want to make this text blue. I want to make both the text and the shadow blue and I want to burn that blueness into the background.
How might I go about doing that? Well first I would click on the T here, on the Michelangelo layer, in order to make it active. And then I would go down to this little black-white icon and choose the Hue Saturation command. I'll turn on the Colorize checkbox in order to assign a color to the text as a whole and notice that I'm affecting not only the text, but the entire image as well because I'm creating an adjustment layer and an adjustment layer by definition affects all layers below it by default.
All right. Let's change the Hue value to 210, which is sort of a cobalt blue. I'm then going to raise the Saturation value to 50 and I'm going to raise the Lightness value to 30. Now I was telling you in an earlier chapter, way long ago, that you really don't want a use the Lightness value when you're working with the Hue Saturation command. One of the big exceptions is when you are colorizing something that starts out as black. Because this text was black, in order to make the text some other color, I need to raise its Lightness value.
Alright, so these are my values: 210, 50 and 30. With Colorize turned on. Then I'm going to click the OK button in order to accept that modification. Now as I say I've colorized everything inside the image so I need to bring up my Layers palette once again. And instead of having my group set to Pass Through, which allows the adjustment layer to flow through, outside of the group to other layers in the stack, I'm going to go ahead and click on the group, and I'm going to change its mode to Normal. Basically anything except Pass Through will contain the adjustment layer inside of the group. And notice right away, I go ahead and contain that Hue Saturation adjustment to just the text and nothing else inside the image.
But I really want to burn that text to its background, so I'm going to change the blend mode to Linear Burn like so in order to get this effect right here. Now as I say you don't have Fill Opacity control, when you're working with the group. It's too bad because it would be useful for some of these Burn and Dodge, and Vivid Light and Linear Light and Difference and all those guys. Alright anyway, let's go and hide that Layers palette so that we can focus in on the image here. And just because I want to be tidy as all get out, I'm going to go and save a final layer comp.
I'll go ahead and click on the little page icon. Make sure that the Appearance and Visibility checkboxes are turned on. And I will call this one 'final comp!' Then click OK in order to create that final version of the image. So this was the blend mode madness version that I showed you at the outset of this chapter, and this is the final comp that you and I have created together. Looks so much better then that blend mode madness version in my opinion. This is the final version of the image. I'm going to go ahead and Tab away my palettes so that we can focus in on just the image itself. Congratulations! You have created this amazing blended composition without harming a single pixel inside the image, thanks to the parametric capabilities of blend modes and opacity and fill levels inside of Photoshop.
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