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In this movie, we'll thicken up the letters using layer effects, which is a little bit tricky, because of the degree to which we've distorted these shapes. And I'll also darken up the background a little bit, with a gradient layer. So, if you're working along with me, bring up your Layers panel, make sure the martini hour layer is selected. And then click on the Effects icon and choose Stroke. Because that's the easiest way to thicken up anything in Photoshop. And I'm going to erase the stroke valued at 2 points.I want the position of the stroke be outside for this effect and I want the color not to be black of course but rather to match the letters so I'll change it to white And then I'll click OK.
And suddenly, the letters thicken right up. Problem is, they don't thicken up well. If you go ahead and zoom in on your image, you see that we've got a lot of chop going on here. So, we've got some jagged transitions, that are caused by the stroke, by the way. If you turn the stroke off, everything's nice and smooth. Turn the stroke on and we got problems. Alright, so I'm going to back out to 100%. The solution when that happens, is not necessarily a perfect solution, is to go with the outer glow effect instead. So I'm going to go ahead and turn off stroke and turn on outer glow.
And we definetly want the color to be white, and I'm going to the the opacity value up to 100. You can set the blend mode to Normal actually for this effect, and we want the size value to be quite low, just two pixels, but we want that spread to be pretty high, so I'm going take the spread value up to 50%. Make sure technique is set to Softer and you can see that we are making a big difference here. This is before, and this is after, so we're really thickening up those letters. We still have a few tricky areas.
But they're a lot softer, thanks to the fact that we're not taking the spread value all the way up to 100%. If you take it up to a 100 then you're going to have some jagged transitions there. So 50% is good. Now click on Drop shadow to both select it and make it active as well. I'm going to crank the opacity value up to a 100% Click on a color swatch. It shouldn't be brown, it wants to be, kind of, purplish. So I'll change the hue value to 285 degrees. I'll reduce the saturation to 30%, and I'll set the brightness value to 15%.
So, we've got a low saturation dark purple. Click OK. Now, you can leave the angle value set to 120 degrees. The global light is fine. Raise the distance value to 14 pixels and then take the size value to 16 pixels. And that is it, so go ahead and click Ok. And then I'll press shift+tab and zoom out there. And you can see that we have much thicker letters as a result of these effects. Click on the eye ball to turn the effects off. Very fragile letters at this point, and then turn the effects back on and we've got nice meaty letters.
Now I'd like the text to pop better from the background, and mostly we're having problems near the bottom of the image here. We're going to fix this problem with a gradient fill layer, which you create by first switching to the star maker layer, so that we create the layer on top of it, and behind the text. And then press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, drop down to the little Black/White icon, click and hold it, and then choose gradient. And that'll bring up the new layer dialogue box and I'll call this guy Dark Grad, and then click OK.
And we can see here that the gradient layer is coming up black to transparent by default. And it's filled with the foreground color which is a 15% brightness. Here's what I want to do. I'm going to cancel all the way out here, because there's a way to expedite this process so we don't have to create an elaborate gradient. You just need to go and dial in that same value we entered for the drop shadow into the color panel. So I'll change the hue value to 285, saturation 30%. And then a brightness value of 15% is just fine.
Now we run that same operation, press the Alt key, Option key on the Mac, click the Black/White icon, choose gradient, call it dark grad, and then finally click Ok. And you will see this time, that we have changed our colors to this dark shade of purple. (INAUDIBLE) see how there's two color swatches on either side? Both colors have changed to that dark purple, which is exactly what we want. because we don't want it fading colors while it's fading opacity. And the opacity is determined by these top stops. So, we've got 100% opacity on the left and 0% opacity on the right.
All right, anyway, cancel outta there. I want this gradient to go pretty much from the bottom up as it is. However, I want to increase that angle value just one degree though it's slightly leaning to the left. And then, I'm going to go ahead and drag this gradient downward to about here, so that it starts outside the scene and ends before we get to the top of the martini glasses. And then click OK. Then, the final thing to do is to go to the blend mode pop up menu in the upper left corner of the Layers panel and change it from normal to multiply in order to burn in that gradient.
Then, one more thing, I want to change the opacity of the forward martini glass This is just cleanup stuff. So I'm going to scroll down the list, click on Glass one in order to select it, make sure I've got one of my selection tools active, and then press the aid key to reduce the opacity of that layer to 80%. Now I'll press shift+tab in order to hide those panels. And so, we have made some progress here. If I press the F12 key, this is what the composition looked like before. Martini hour wasn't terribly legible at that point and if I press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on a Mac, here's how the composition looks now thanks to a combination of layer effects and a gradient fill layer working together here inside Photoshop.
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