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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.
I've saved my progress as Figure 365 in Red.psd, and in this exercise we're going to take these large red numbers, and we're going to style them using a series of layer effects that I've created for you in advance. Now, we'll look at layer effects in detail in a future chapter, but for now, I'll give you a sense of how they work, and they are uniquely suited to Photoshop. You'll find layer effects such as Drop Shadows and so forth inside the other Creative Suite applications, but none of them hold a candle to the vast array of options that are provided to you inside of Photoshop.
Now, you may recall ultimately we want 365 to look like this; this is the final Pout magazine.psd file. We've got shadows and highlights and rounded contours associated with these letters, we've got outlines, we've got these kind of patterns running through the letters; all of that stuff is thanks to layer effects. All right, so I'll switch back to the image in progress, and I'll press Ctrl+Semicolon, Command+Semicolon on the Mac to go ahead and hide those guides, and I'm going to scroll down my Layers panel. And notice down a few layers here from 365 we have this layer called info, and that is the layer that contains my layer effects ready and waiting for you.
But before I spring them on you, I'm going to go ahead and change the stacking order of 365. It shouldn't be on top of Fashion Formulas. It should be right behind it. So, I'm going to go ahead and grab 365 and drag it two items down the list behind Fashion Formulas and Mix and Match Colors, and technically it doesn't have to be that far back. It just has to be behind this layer right there. However, it might as well take it to and back of both those layers and closer to this info layer right there. Now I'm going to turn on info, and what we're seeing right there is a shape layer inside of Photoshop.
This is our first glimpse of shape layers incidentally, or I'm going to go ahead and zoom in a little here until we can see this i at 100%. If you see a gray outline, like so, right here inside of the Image window, then that represents the vector-based outline that was used to trace the body of the i and the dot as well. So this is not a piece of editable text, as much as it might look like one. It's actually a shape that's been drawn by hand. Now I didn't draw it, but I will show you how to create such a layer in the next exercise.
For now, I just want you to go to this layer which contains two items here in the Layers panel; we've got this red thumbnail, this little color swatch here, which indicates that this is a solid color layer. We'll see what that means shortly, and then we also have this gray thumbnail, which indicates a vector mask. So, you have two kinds of masks so you can assign to a layer inside Photoshop, a pixel-based layer mask, which is what we've been seeing so far, and a vector mask, which represents a shape outline. To hide the vector mask so we're not seeing these gray outlines here, which are nonprinting outlines, they're just like the guides we saw a moment ago.
To hide them, you just click on this thumbnail, and the heavy border goes away and so do those gray outlines. We can see that some layer effects have been assigned to this layer by virtue of this fx icon to the right of the layer name, and if you want to see what layer effects have been assigned then you click the down-pointing arrowhead, and that reveals a fairly long list of layer effects. What I'd like you to do is go ahead and from the eyeball in front of Bevel and Emboss, drag down, like so, in order to turn off everything but the Drop Shadow and the effects at large.
If you turn off that eyeball associated with Effects, then you turn off all of the effects. Otherwise you can turn off individual effects by clicking or dragging over their eyeballs as we just did. So, now you can see what we've got is red i - that's all it is - with a Drop Shadow assigned to it, which is one of the most basic layer effects you can apply. I'm now going to drag this fx onto 365. So you can either drag the word Effects over onto 365 or drag the fx icon onto 365.
Here in a PC, if I drag fx, I get a little preview of the fx. On the Mac you don't see that, but here on the PC you do, and then you can drop those fx in the place, like so. I don't want to do that because I just moved the layer fx. So I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. If you want to duplicate the layer fx then press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and either drag Effects or the fx icon, and I'll go ahead and Alt+Drag or Option+Drag the fx icon. You can see that I have a Double Arrow Cursor, which shows me that I'm cloning these effects, and that duplicates the effects, keeps them on the info layer right there.
I'll go ahead and collapse that layer so it's taking up less room onscreen, and I'll turn it off. All right, let's go ahead and scroll our way up to 365. It fits in the window here just barely at the 100% view size. I might scoot the panel over just a little bit, so we have a little more room to work. All right, let's see one other effects are available to us here, and I'm just going to run through the list. We're not going to inspect them in detail. If you want to inspect them on your own, you can by double-clicking on any one of these items. So, if you want to see the composition of this Drop Shadow, for example, you can double-click on Drop Shadow.
That's going to bring out the big layer Style dialog box set to Drop Shadow, so Drop Shadow will be selected on the left-hand list, and we can see that the Blend mode is set to Multiply, which is the standard shadow mode by the way and ensures that the shadows darken everything behind them. But the color is not black. Notice that I'm not working with an absolute black color because that tends to make for fairly muddy shadows; instead, I'm using a color drawn from the composition itself which is something of a very deep brown.
There's your Opacity value, there is the direction of the shadow, etcetera. Again, we'll examine those options in detail when we take a look at layer effects in a future chapter. I'm going to cancel out for now. Every one of these layer effects here is available as a separate panel of options inside of that layer Style dialog box just so as you know. All right, so I'm going to turn on Bevel and Emboss, and that creates these Highlight and Shadow effects right there which are fairly intriguing by the way, and create a sense of volume where these letters are concerned.
And in this case I am going to examine the settings just for a moment. I want you to see if I double-click on Bevel and Emboss, this is the most extensive list of options available inside of this dialog box, and we even have two additional panels that we'll dig into later, but for right now, I want you to see what a big difference the Gloss Contour makes. So, in addition to specifying an Inner Bevel, just meaning that the highlights and shadows fall inside the letters, and we're keeping things smooth, and this is our Depth value, and you can actually preview different Depth settings just by dragging this slider triangle around.
Anyway I had it set to 100, and you can adjust the Size, blah, blah, blah, all the way down here to Gloss Contour, notice by default, the Contour is set to Linear, and when you have a Linear Contour, you have a fairly typical Bevel and Emboss, you've got a light edge, you've got a dark edge; end of story. However, you have all these other Contours that you can work with and in my case I've selected Ring, which ends up creating a more interesting reflection pattern, and you can increase the Opacity of that Highlight right there to make it brighter if you want to, you could make the Shadow darker by increasing its Opacity as well.
I don't want to. I'm going to cancel out of here. I'm very happy with what I came up with there. Now, I felt like I wanted to re-invoke the colors at this point, plus I wanted to add a little bit of color variation so that the letters aren't completely flat, and you can per se fill letters with a gradient inside of Photoshop, not straight out. You've just got that solid color like we were seeing earlier when we changed the color up there in the options bar. So, if you want to assign a gradient, one workaround is to add a Gradient Overlay effect as I did here, and notice that the effect of the gradient is compounding the Inner Bevel that I assigned using the Bevel and Emboss effect.
I then decided to add a Stroke. I'll go ahead and select this last item next, and that creates this dark stroke around the letters just to set them off from their background a little bit, and then finally, I went ahead and created this Pattern Overlay. And Photoshop ships with a bunch of different patterns. I'll go ahead and double-click on this Pattern Overlay item, and we can see that I've assigned a pattern that's known as Zebra, and by default it would appear in the Normal Blend mode like this.
That is to say we have the gradient, which is appearing on top of the pattern, but otherwise we're covering up the colors underneath. If I want to get a better mix then I switch to that first and foremost of the contrast modes Overlay, in order to get this effect here. Possibly even more important though are the fact that I went ahead and scaled the pattern. So by default, it appears pretty small. This is the 100% size for this pattern. Not nearly big enough for purposes of this composition, so I increase the Scale to 400% and here is the thing you really need to bear in mind, when you're choosing patterns, a bunch of patterns ship along with Photoshop, and you can define your own incidentally using the Define Pattern command under the Edit menu.
But to get to that long list of patterns that ships with Photoshop, many of which are quite good, you click this down-pointing arrowhead and you look in dismay at the fact that there are only two default patterns inside the entire program. This peculiarity started up a couple of versions ago. I've no idea why they call their list down to these two. So what you do is this: you click this right-pointing arrowhead. You choose some other group of patterns here, and I believe I might have just chosen patterns, and then you're asked whether you want to append them to your current meager list of Patterns.
No, why would I bother, or just click OK in order to load up those patterns, get rid of those two for now. And you're still going to have Tie Dye actually, what am I talking about getting rid of anything, we still have Tie Dye, and we still have Bubbles, but we also have Zebra right there that you can choose along with a bunch of others, and there is all kinds of things available to you here, Artistic Surfaces and Textures and Rock Patterns, check them out. Anyway, I'm going to escape out of this guy because we haven't really done anything of merit.
We've just been turning on a bunch of styles, but I want you to get a sense of just how useful layer styles are when combined with live editable text inside of Photoshop. It's another army of formatting attributes that you just don't have inside of other programs. In the next exercise, I was telling you we've got a custom shape here. That's where I got the layer effects in the first place. I'm going to show you how to create your own custom shapes, stay tuned.
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