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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, I'm going to show you how to make blurry text. Now the funny thing about showing it to you here is that I haven't showed you text, which I'm going to show you in a future chapter. I've got an entire chapter devoted to text. It also employs layer effects, I haven't showed you them. I have an entire chapter on layer effects. So this is just a preview of coming attractions in many ways, but it's a really cool technique. Now I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Invert & brighten.psd, and if you go over to the Layers palette, you'll notice that at the top of the stack is this folder called Text elements. Go ahead and click on the empty space in front of it to reveal the Text elements folder, and you can see that we've gone altogether if I twirl-open that folder, which is of course a layer group. It contains a series of three different text layers, are editable, and they're all going to remain editable as well.
So we want to start things off by creating a blur associated with a quote up here at the top. Yikes! Magazine, the name of the credit there, that's going to remain the same. I'm not going to change that. I'm just going to change old-fashioned suspensification. So here is what you do. Click on a text layer to make it active, as I have. Then go down here to the FX icon and I want you to choose Inner Glow. It's what we'll apply to this one and then I'll show you a different approach we can take on the bottom text. Anyway, we'll start here with Inner Glow. I'm going to change the color of the glow from yellow to this color. I want you to dial in for the HSB values, 220, 50 and 100 is fine for B. So 220, 50, 100 for HSB, click OK. Change the Opacity value to 100%, and change the blend mode to Normal, which sounds weird but we want to have a normal interaction between our glow and the background.
Then just so that we're not glowing the edges, we're glowing the center, let's change Source to Center right there, like so. Then I'm going to increase the Size value to 6, and I'm going to increase the Choke value to 30, which is going to pull in that effect a little bit, so chokes it inward. So 30% for Choke, Size of 6 pixels, and then at this point, you might think, well, you know that's a blurry effect inside of Sharp type, but we still have the Sharp type. Well, watch this. Let's switch over to Blending Options. I'm going to move the dialog box down so that we can see this happen on the fly. If I were to change the Opacity value right here, then I would change the Opacity of everything, both the text and the effect together. However, I'll go ahead and restore that to 100%. If I were to change Fill Opacity, I'll get rid of the fill of the text but I'll leave the effect behind, like so. So I went ahead and reduced the Fill Opacity to 0% and we have just blurry text left over. Ah! Isn't that nice? Okay, click OK.
Now let's see a similar but slightly different effect applied to the author's name down here at the bottom of the composition. I'm going to click on the fustav javbar layer right there to make it active. And I could actually Alt+Drag or Option+Drag this Effects item right here on to this layer in order to duplicate it. Well, I don't want to, I'm going to start from scratch as we're going to do things little differently. So click on FX, down here at the bottom of the palette, and I want you to choose Blending Options. For starters, we're going to start with Blending Options and then I'm going to reduce the Fill Opacity to 0% right up frank as we know that's what we want to do and the author's name turns invisible. Where is it? I don't know, it's invisible.
Now let's go to Inner Glow and all of a sudden we have the effect without the text, it's mysterious. Click on the Color Swatch once again. Let's just enter that stuff all over, 220, 50, and 100, fine, click OK. A 100% for the Opacity value, Center, we know we want that. We also know we want a Size value of 8 this time around because this is bigger text and we want a Choke value of 40%. Then I'm going to change the blend mode from Screen to Linear Dodge in order to create a different interaction between the author's name and the gravel and dirt in the background.
All right, that's one way to work, just so you know, notice what I'm doing is I'm choking the blur effect inward and that allows me to sort of round off the letters, make them thinner and create sort of a median effect. It's almost like combining median with a box blur or something along those lines. However, let's say that you want the text to grow as it blurs, but you would use Drop Shadow instead. Let me show you how that works. I'll turn off Inner Glow. The settings are still saved when you turn it off. Then go turn on Drop Shadow just by clicking on its words, change its blend mode again to Linear Dodge, so shadows can be highlights, click there on the Color Swatch, 220, same stuff, 50, 100, click OK. 100% is the Opacity value.
Let's change the Distance value to 0. We'll increase the Size value to 8 and now we can spread the effect if we want to, 240 to make it bigger, 40% Spread instead of a 40% Choke. Now you might look at the text and say well, this is pretty different Deke , because the invisible letters are cutting holes in the Glow effect. Now that you turn off this checkbox, they won't. Turn it off, wow! You've got yourself a growing glow instead of a shrinking glow. So it's totally up to you which way you want to go with your glow. I'm going to turn off Drop Shadow and turn on Inner Glow because that's what I want.
Get this effect here, click OK, and what's so great about this is this remains editable text. If your editor comes in screaming at you, its name is not fustuv, you philistine, it's Vatsuf, so then you could just go, Oh! Sorry about that, you know, I'll just type in Vatsuf and it's editable. So you can change it in the future. It has nothing to do with adjustment layers, nothing whatsoever. I'd just knock that in there, just because it's part of this beloved composition of mine, but I really, really want you to see how great that is. In the next exercise, we'll make use of Hue/Saturation and Darkness.
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