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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, 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 CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right gang, I'm still inside the Happy logo.psd image and we're just goofing around with Bevel and Emboss and applying various weird effects to this Splatter layer. We'll settle that in the next exercise, the next exercise is where I'm going to show you a really great liquid effect. But in this exercise I need to tell you about Contour, Texture and then Gloss Contour. So we've got two different contour options, where Bevel and Emboss is concerned. Contour and Texture affect the shape and the texture of the layer and then Gloss Contour, that affects the contour of the shading that's applied by the Bevel and Emboss effect and it's kind of hard to make sense of that. So far, even when we're done with this exercise, it will still be a little vague about what I'm talking about, but by the end of the next exercise you'll get it, so just have faith.
Go ahead and let's start by turning on Contour here by Clicking on it, which will turn it on and switch to it. And we have this one Contour setting right there. And I want you to change it; you really guess that's what going on, if you change it to this guy right there, Rounded Steps. And notice we now have these rounded molten steps that are sort of tracing the edge of our layer. So, it's as if we're really stepping up like this on to the plateau of the layer right there. And then Photoshop is lighting it with you know that sunlight source and we're catching some highlights and some shadows all across the edges now. And things get really weird if we would now switch back. Make sure that you have a high Size value like we do, because the higher your Size value the more you're going to see that contoured edge right there and it now looks like big pillowy edges, like that we've got some kind of crazy life raft or something.
Things get really weird if we now switch over to Pillow Emboss. Good golly! What the heck is going on now? Isn't that amazing? Yeah, but not necessarily anything you're going to want to use, but still there it is. So that's what Contour does, you may need Contour for an effect sometime. I'm just not sure you want it through a Pillow Emboss on and then you have the Range option here. You can either move that contoured edge inward by decreasing the Range value or you can move it outward by increasing that Range value like so. So let's keep it at 50%, that is the default and of course you've got the Anti-aliasing that you can use as well.
Texture, goes ahead and throws a texture map over the entire layer as you're seeing right here and so Photoshop is lighting this texture effect. So light portions of this pattern are going to represent raised edges and dark portions are going to represent recessed edges so that's where the shadows will fall. And then when you would choose your Pattern, we haven't really looked at patterns inside Photoshop yet, the depth thing is that in CS4 for some reason they went ahead and took our default patterns down to two and they are two are the strangest patterns, they were Bubbles and Tie Dye. Like your Tie Dye, is that's a pattern? Whatever, so what you would want to do, if you thinking of seriously using some patterns that Adobe gives you, you are going to pretend those don't even exist, you can ignore them and you're going to Click on this right pointing arrowhead and you're going to choose from some of these Pattern Libraries right here and something like Artist Surfaces can be pretty useful.
And then you can either append them to these two ridiculous patterns so you can just overwrite those patterns. You can always come back to them by the way by choosing Reset patterns, but I'll just go ahead and Click OK so that we've got just our Artistic Surfaces and then you could try some of these Artistic Surfaces, no doubt, and you'll notice that you get this weaved texture right there that's getting lit up, that's pretty cool. So, so you know, interesting stuff. All right, let's go ahead and turn these guys off, both of them because we don't want either of those. And then switch back to Bevel and Emboss. Now the Gloss Contour, this is the one that's hard to understand and so far I think you're sort of tracking what's going on here. At least I would be and so I'm hoping you are. Gloss Contour is little more difficult to understand, it is the contour of the shading effect, you can play around with it and try different things and everyone of them is going to make you go what, until we finish with the next exercise. Because Gloss Contour is what we want for creating a liquid effect. It's going completely be perfect; it is that thing that is going to sell the effect you'll see.
So for now here is what I want you to do. Now that we've got to have rummaged around inside of the Bevel and Emboss panel, I want you to cancel, because we don't want anything resembling what we've done so far. In the next exercise, I'll show you what we want people, we want brilliant beautiful liquid and we're going to get it. Stay tuned.
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