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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right my friends, we are still recording our action. So this is the third exercise in which we are putting this action together. So I'm recording this action from scratch. It's identical to Chrome Maker 2.0 thus far, just so you know. And these images that we are working on, Precision anarchy.psd and Chrome Maker 2.0, they are both available inside of the 30_actions folder. All right, so I have a nice selection outline that has rounded corner so it's going to work great for creating a layer that we can then turn into a Chrome effect.
So what we need to do first though is take the original layers upon which we based our Selection Outline. We need to take them and keep them safe. We need to tuck them away. So I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+A or Command+Option+A to once again select all those layers except for the Background layer and that's why I have to get rid of the current layer. Another reason I had to get rid of it, we also didn't need it, is because I didn't want to select it. I just wanted to select the good layers, not that dopey layer that we were just using to get the original mask. All right, so now having done that, go up to the Layers palette and choose New Group from Layers and we'll call this one Originals or something along those lines.
So this will be the group that contains these layers right here, click OK, there they are. Now turn off Originals, and so you'll see that it makes a group and then it hides the current layer. All right, so it's thinking this is a layer. Well, it is a layer item and that's what the Actions palette is tracking. So we are still good. That's a good thing. We are in fine shape. All right, now let's make a new layer. I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac in order to make a new layer. And we'll go ahead and call this one Rounded, once again, just like the channel.
Now that's okay. That's not going to confuse the action, because it's smart enough to know the difference between the layer called Rounded and a channel called Rounded. So we are just fine here. Go ahead and click OK in order to create that new layer. Then just for laughs, I'm going to press the D key to reset my swatches to their defaults. You can see that right there. And then I'll press Alt+Backspace, or in the Mac Option+ Delete, to fill that selection with the foreground color at 100% mode, Normal, fine.
All right, and we have now created our base layer upon which we are going to build our effects. So I want you to press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to set the selection to None in this case, and we now have our base layer. As I say, might as well go ahead and turn the background layer back on at this point. So that we are seeing base layer and background together. And again, it says Show Background. It didn't switch to the background. It just showed it, because we clicked the eyeball in front of it. That's fine. That is our second reference now to the background layer, Hide Background and Show Background. So that's going to be one of the things we expect from the user.
There will have to be a background layer. If there is not, this action will fail, and it will fail right off the bat, because the very first step is Hide Background. All right, so, so far so great, actually. Now the next thing we want to do is we want to add a bunch of layer effects and the only way to add layer effects to an action-- I can't give you a style in advance and then add the layer effects that way, because if I did that then the action is going to be looking for that specific style and everything is going to fail. So we don't want that to happen. You have to build the layer effects manually.
But rather than make you work through that arduous process, because we are going to be applying four layer effects in all, with a bunch of different numerical settings. Rather than having you do that, I'm just going to have you grab that step from the pre-created action and drop it into this one, and I'll show you how that works in the next exercise.
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