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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 have saved my progress as Vector shape intersection.psd. You may recall, thus far we have drawn the swash layer, which I currently have turned off. So turn it on, if you're working along with me. Then I would like you to take that swash layer. Let's go ahead and reduce the Fill value this time to say 30%, so that we can see it just a little bit, but we'll still see through to the underline layer in the background, which is the layer that we're trying to trace. All right, having done that, go ahead and press the Enter key in order to accept that Fill value. I'm also going to select this Vector Mask by clicking on this gray thumbnail here inside the Layers panel.
I should be able to see the outlines for both of my ellipses out there in the pasteboard. Now, it doesn't matter, by the way, that your shape outlines are so dadgum big, and something else to consider is much of what we've been doing throughout this chapter; adding Text layers, adding Shape layers, adding layer Effects, and so on, all of those things, because they're either relying on vector outlines, which is the case with editable text and vector-based shapes, or they're relying on parametric settings like layer Effects. All of these things, because they're not pixels, take up very little room in memory.
So they're computationally easy for Photoshop, and they don't add much to the size of your file on disk. All right, anyway, I'm going to go ahead and zoom in here, so that we can see the composition a little more closely. Let's say that I want to add a new shape without creating a new shape layer. So I don't want to make the mistake that I made in the previous exercise. I don't want to create a new shape layer and then have to cut the shape and paste it into another shape layer and all that stuff. I just want to create my rectangles inside the proper shape layer in the first place. Well, here's how it work.
Go ahead and select the Rectangle tool for starters from the Shape tool flyout menu, and then change your Shape mode in advance up here in the Options bar. So currently notice that the mode is set to this one we didn't see before, which is Create new shape layer. That is the default setting. What we want instead is not add, of course, but rather we want to subtract from the shape area. So go ahead and click on that icon. Notice it does have a keyboard shortcut also. I just assume go up to the Options bar and click on this one. All right, so with minus selected, so we are going to subtract from our existing vector-based shape outline, and we can tell that's the case because we can see a little minus sign next to our cursor.
I'll go ahead and draw a rectangle, like so. That does indeed clip away that edge. Then I'll move over to this location. Then I'll draw another rectangle and use the Spacebar to reposition it slightly, and as soon as I release, I go ahead and clip away that edge as well. All right, so the next thing I want to do is I want to duplicate the layer effect that's already assigned to underline, so I'll go ahead and Alt+drag it, like so, so I'm Alt+dragging the fx icon. This would be an Option+drag in the Mac, drop it into place, and I now have the Drop Shadow applied.
I know I want a 50% Fill ultimately. So I'll just go ahead and change that Fill value to 50%. I'll tuck in my layer effects, and I will turn off underline, because we don't need it anymore. It was just there for the sake of tracing. Now, I'm going to make some modifications, because you know what, what I've done so far is I have visually centered my Pout logo, so that the weight of the P and the T make sense. Nothing about the Pout logo is exactly geographically centered. It's all a visual balance thing on my part.
But what I've done with the swash is I have exactly centered its edges. So this left edge is something like 30 pixels in from the left edge of the composition, and the right edge is at exact same distance from the right edge of the composition, but that doesn't make any sense when we compare the swash to the logo type itself. I think that the swash ought to begin with the Serif at the bottom of the P and end with the Serif at the bottom of the T. So I'm going to do exactly that by grabbing my Black Arrow tool. The Black Arrow tool allows you to modify the position of these vector outlines here inside the shape layer.
So I'll go ahead and click on this rectangle right there to select the entire thing. I'll just drag it over until it seems to snap into alignment with the beginning of Pout right there, which is perfect. This is exactly where I want it. Then I'll click on this rectangle, on the right-hand rectangle, and I'll drag it until it aligns to the end of the Serif at the bottom of the T. That is exactly what I want. To see how things are lining up, I'm going to go ahead and click on that Vector Mask thumbnail to turn off those path outlines and see how my composition is actually going to print.
All right, two more caveats that I want you to know before I wrap up this exercise. First of all, notice when I hover my cursor over the Vector Mask thumbnail, I see those mask outlines momentarily. However, this is what I want to show you. You can go ahead and combine everything. If you're getting confused, if you don't like all of these shapes interacting with each other, then you can click on that Vector Mask there to make it active. Then assuming that your Black Arrow tool is selected, you can go up to the Options bar, and you can click on Combine. That will go ahead and combine all those various path outlines into a single clean path.
Bear in mind though, while that's clean, and that's nice, and that's not going to get in your face. It's not editable either in the same way as it was before. So if you're going to want to make changes, then this is a bad idea. If you're absolutely sure you're done, then it's a great idea. Here's your other option. You can go ahead and convert this vector shape right here two pixels if you want to, which is what I did in order to create that underline layer, by going up to the layer menu and choosing the Rasterize command, and then choosing layer. Notice that I've given you a keyboard shortcut, if you loaded dekeKeys, of Ctrl+Shift+R or Command+Shift+R on the Mac to go ahead and rasterize any layer.
This could be a text layer, which will ensure that nobody has problems with your strange fonts, for example, if they transfer the image to a different system, this could be your shapes as well. However, while that is once again a tempting thing to do, don't do it unless there is a reason, because if you convert that shape layer to pixels, now you can't actually scale the text layer the way you could in the past. So this would be the kind of thing you'd want to do if you're going to start smearing the contents of the layer or applying filters to it or doing something that requires pixels in the first place.
So anyway, I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+Z twice in a row, because I don't want to do either of those steps, Command+Option+Z twice in a row on the Mac. I just wanted you to know that those are options. I'm going to go ahead and click on a different layer here, like September 2026, so I'm no longer seeing these shape outlines, and I can see my logo exactly the way it will print. In the next exercise, we're going to mask this logo in order to reveal the model's head.
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