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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, 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 CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, we are going to finish off the project by assigning some layer effects to our letters. These layer effects will blur the cast shadow, and that will also add some lighting, some highlights and shadows to the title text. So that things look a little more photo-realistic, so that the letters look more integrated into the composition. I've gone ahead and saved off my progress as a file called Harsh cast shadow.psd. The file is so called, because after all these letters are casting a very harsh, unrealistically black cast shadow. Make sure the Cast Shadow layer is selected inside of the Layers palette.
Now you may recall back when we were discussing creative applications of adjustment layers back when we were building up the End of the Road book cover. I told you that you can soften live type, because this is still live editable type using an Inner Glow effect. Well, that's not really going to work for our purposes here because our letters are so very stretched. We are going to get some weird results out of inner glow. And we are going to have to switch over to drop shadow instead, and I'm going to show you exactly how that works right now. So make sure the Cast Shadow layer is active. Let's go up and change the Fill Opacity from 100% to 0%. This is the same approach we were taking in the End of the Road book cover. Press the Enter Key in order to accept that modification, Return Key on the Mac. Go down here to the FX icon, and then I want you to choose Inner Glow.
That's going to bring up the Inner Glow panel of the Layer Style dialog box, and we'll get an effect that doesn't look anything like a shadow of course. Let's go ahead for the moment and raise the Opacity to 100%. We are going to change the color, Click on this Color Swatch, we are going to change it to Black, just to sink that down to black and Click OK. Now, our effect completely disappears because it set to Screen. You may recall screen is a blend mode of glows, and black is the neutral color, so it drops out completely. We need to switch to the blend mode of Shadows by choosing Multiply. Then we will restore the black shadowed edges right there.
Now, that we want the blur to be occurring from the inside out, not the outside in, so we are going to switch the Source to Center like so, and we'll get some fairly blurry type but that's not blurry enough, and if I start to raise the Size value in order to blur things up more, notice that I'm not only losing a lot of the information that's associated with my cast shadow, I'm really losing the chief executive line up there. But not only that I have some vary harsh edges still left over. So we are blurring inside of Sharpness and it just doesn't work. I don't know, I'll change it to a Size value of 20 or something like that, and we get this effect here, Boo! Let's just go ahead and turn it off, and switch to Drop Shadow instead.
So turn on the Drop Shadow item right there. Multiply is already the blend mode, that's great. Black, of course is the color, fine. Well, let's leave it that way. You can change it to some other color if you want, but I'm going to leave it black. I'm going to go ahead and increase the Opacity value to 100% for now, so we can really see what we are doing. Let's reduce the Distance to 0, because the letters are the shadow. They are casting the shadow, these empty letters are not casting the shadow, they rather basically embody the shadow. So we don't want any distance going on. Change it to 0, and then I'm going to take the size value up to 14 pixels like so.
All right, so problem is we have this nice shadow, but we've got these letters cutting holes in this shadow. So it's like that doesn't look right at all. Look at this check-box right there, Layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow, check this out, turn it off, there you go. That's all it takes. Now, the letters are their own shadow, they are no longer knocking up the shadow, they are the shadow, everything is working together. The Opacity is too high, so let's reduce it right here, take it down to 40% let's say for a softer shadow, or if you want a harsher one, let's take it up to 45%, why don't we. That looks pretty darn good. No weird edges, everything looks absolutely hunky dory. So go ahead and Click OK in order to accept that effect. Does that not look brilliant? Let's go ahead and style the actual letters themselves. I want you to go ahead and move up to the Body Copy layer there. Go ahead and Click on it, to make it active. Then I want you to turn on the Style Holder layer.
Now, we are not going to see we are so zoomed in, but we want to be zoomed in so we can really see the effect applied to the letters. So I'm zoomed into the 100% zoom ratio. But I'll tell you what, I'm going to go upstairs here to the top-right corner of uncle Ted's head, and you'll notice we've got this little briefcase just sitting here, just a Style holder, just keeping track of some settings that we are going to apply to the text. So the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and grab my Eyedropper tool which I can get by pressing the I key, and then I would Click inside of the briefcase to lift that color of yellow. Now, I didn't change the color at all, it's still blue. What's the deal? Click, Click, Click, nothing is happening. That's because I have this new Sample option in Photoshop CS4 up here in the Options Bar set to Current Layer.
If I want to be able to sample the suitcase, I have then need to switch to that layer and Click, which works fine. That works actually beautifully then. I get 35, 65, 95 which is what I want, or I could be on some other layer and I'd have to change Sample to All Layers, but I'd have to make sure to Click right in the center, so that I didn't sample the layer effects. So the way I did it is the better way to go. Just to sample from Current Layer is the safest route. Let's now go back down to Body Copy. Let's go ahead and move down to the text down here at the bottom of the image. I'm going to switch over to Chief Executive Nephew. That's the layer that we want to have selected.
Now, let's press Alt+Backspace or Option +Delete to get the much more desirable effect that we are seeing on screen. Now, the Style Holder Layer, you may recall have those beveled edges, let's go ahead and transfer them over to the Chief Executive Nephew letters by just grabbing this FX right there, and dragging in and dropping it down. Now, on the Mac, you won't see this lovely little FX preview, that's a Windows thing. Go ahead and drop it, and you will get the effect. But on the Mac, you will get the same effect. It will look like this. You'll have these beautiful letters.
And we just strip Style holder of its layer effects. Let's get rid of it though, we don't need it anymore. Just turn if off. How about that? We now have the final version of the composition. We are zoomed in a little bit too far in order to really check things out. So let's go ahead and zoom out. Now, the letters don't look right at the 50% zoom ratio. That's because Layer Effects don't always resolve correctly at lower zoom ratios. That's okay, it would print beautifully, but just to give you a sense of what things are more or less going to look like, I'm going to press the F Key a couple of times in order to enter in the Full Screen Mode and zoom in and there we have it folks, the final version of this advertisement of this print ad for this Made for TV movie, we need to turn on the logo group right there as well.
So go ahead and turn that guy on. That adds some logo elements down here in the lower-right corner, which we will see if we press Tab to get rid of the palette. So there it is, an Original TV Family Movie Premiering This Fall. Whichever fall is coming, it's premiering then. And this is the final version of our Layer Composition that includes both point text and area text, all kinds of different formatting attributes, and finally, the specialty lighting effects that you can achieve inside Photoshop much, much better than any competing application.
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