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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, 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 CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
In this exercise, I am going to give you an example of how you can use a layer effect, specifically Inner Shadow, in order to achieve an organic effect inside of your composition. What I'd like to do is take this word, Carving, right here, and make it appear as if it's actually carved into the wood. So I've gone ahead and restored the original version of Word processor.psd, found inside the 12_layer_FX folder, and I'm going to switch to my carving layer, and you might notice that early on here, I am going to be working with text layers and shape layers and so forth.
Don't get the idea that layer effects are somehow strictly useful for those kinds of specialty layers. You can apply layer effects to any layer that has a boundary associated with it. So any layer that has distinctions between opaque and transparent pixels, and we will see examples of such layers in subsequent exercises. But for now, I am going to select that editable text layer, and I'm going to click on fx, and I am going to choose Inner Shadow. The reason I am going with Inner Shadow is because you can create a kind of carved out effect using it.
Notice if I raise the Distance value, I will take it up to, I don't know, 20 let's say for now, and then I will tab down to the Size value and raise it to 20 as well, and we get something of a stencil effect, as you can see right here, where these letters are cut out of the wood, and we're revealing this kind of weird beige background. Well, that is an effect. That's not the effect I am looking for. So I am going to apply a few more adjustments here. First of all, I am going to change out this color. Now, you can stick with black for your shadows which is the default setting, but I'm a believer that you either go for a color that's endemic to the image, or you go for a complementary color, and let me show you what that looks like.
I'll go ahead and click on this color swatch to bring up the color picker dialog box. And I might move my cursor out into the Image window and click on a color in order to lift it, and I see well, I have got a Hue value of 26 degrees. In the past, when I've been playing around inside of this image, I found that 35 degrees is a little more indicative. So I have to click around some more to figure that out, but I will go with 35 degrees for now, and then I am going to go with the Saturation value, just so we can see it pretty easily of 100%, and I am going to take the Brightness value down to 20% and we end up getting a deep brown shadow as you can see here.
The other option would be to go with a complementary color, that is, we take whatever Hue value we found inside the image itself, and we either add or subtract 180 from it, whichever is easier, and in my case, it's not obvious, how I would subtract 180 from 35 degrees. But I can add it, and that would take me to 215 degrees and then if I tab down, you can see that gives me a shade of blue which is a complement to the oranges inside of the composition, and I get a complementary color for the shadow which might serve me very well incidentally.
So you might want to play with that inside of your compositions, however, for my part, I am going to stick with that value I had a moment ago, 35 degrees, and then I am going to click OK. So I have got a brown shadow at work here. I am going to leave with the 75% Opacity value for the moment. Notice the Blend mode is set to Multiply, and we will be discussing blend modes in all sorts of exacting detail in the mastery portion of this series. I am saving it out because for now I just want to keep everything colloquial where blend modes are concerned.
In the future though, we are going to get down and dirty with these guys, but note for our purposes here that Multiply is going to result in the shadow effect. So if that's what we are trying to achieve, Multiply is our guy. The other guy we might try, the other mode that is is Linear Burn. Color Burn ends up giving sort of a hyper-saturated effect, so it doesn't usually work and then Darken is just lame for these purposes. Anyway, Multiply is your first and foremost shadow effect. If that's not enough, you move forward to Linear Burn. You never use Darker Color ever.
Anyway, I'll go ahead and escape out of there because Multiply is just fine. And then I will drop down to these options. Now we are going to leave Angle alone for now because we have Use Global Light turned on, and I'll explain what's going on with Global Light in a future exercise, but for now, let's just give it the slip. We have got a Distance value; distance is pretty obvious. If we increase the Distance value, then we will increase the distance between the shadow and the thing that's casting the shadow. I am going to take that back down to 20 for now. If we increase the size though, it seems like we are just increasing the fuzziness or the blurriness of the shadow.
Well, by default, we are, but the reason it's called size is because of this Choke option right here. So let's take Size down to 20 pixels for now. As I raise the Choke value, notice that I am filling in that shadow effect. So if I take it up to 100% then we have a hard edge shadow as you can see right there, and now, it's pretty obvious that the Size value is affecting the size of that shadow. We are filling in the area at 29 pixels. We are revealing some of that background color at a lower value.
Anyway, here's what I am going to do. I am going to take the Choke value up to 30%, and then I am going to take the Size value up to 55, and the reason is I am trying to get some sculptural edges going here, so that the letters truly appear to be carved into the wood. Now, they are never going to be carved into the wood if we're seeing this weird beige inside of letters. So I am going to switch over to Blending Options which takes me out of the layer effects. So the layer effects are these guys that have check boxes in front of them. Blending Options affect the layer as a whole, and the first three blending options are identical to those listed at the top of the Layers panel.
So we have the Blend mode which is the same as that Blend mode. They work together in tandem with each other. Opacity is that opacity value and Fill Opacity is that fill value right there. So you may recall from a previous discussion that if you change the Opacity setting, you're going to reduce the opacity in this case of both the letters and the layer effects as one, because you're applying translucency across the layer as a whole. So I am going to ahead and take that value back up to 100%. When you reduce the Fill Opacity value here inside the layer Style dialog box, or the Fill value over there in the LAYERS panel, then you reduce the interior of the layer, that is, the stuff that fills up the layer whether it's colored pixels or whether its color inside the text or what have you.
You change the color of that Fill independently of the layer effects. So the edges of the layer, the boundaries survive, and the layer effects go ahead and hang onto those boundaries. Anyway, I am going to take this Opacity value to about 20%, and then I am going to change the Blend mode from Normal to Multiply, so that we're burning in those letters as well. Even though they have a very low opacity value, we get a little bit of burn going there, and that's it for now. Now I am going to go ahead and click on the OK button in order to apply that effect, and we can get a sense of what we've accomplished here if I press Ctrl+Z because this was all one big operation here.
So I will press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z on the Mac in order to undo that modification. Those are the original letters. If I press Ctrl+Z or Cmd+Z again, these are the affected layers which is quite satisfying. So compare that to applying, say, the Fresco filter, and we're actually getting somewhere very quickly, and we can change our mind anytime we like, and because this is an editable text layer, I can switch to my Type tool, and I can edit my text if I like, like so. Press the Enter key on the keypad to accept my changes, and we end up with an effect that's satisfying.
It's flexible, low overhead, basically everything that creative filters are not.
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