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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 show you how to create this noise pattern that we've created so far using a combination of the Clouds Filter, Add Noise, and Gaussian Blur. That's it. I am going to show you how to convert it into a texture pattern that will then map onto our background butterfly image. I've saved my progress so far as Noise pattern.psd found inside the 16_smooth folder. Once you get done creating your Noise pattern, however you go about doing it, because you don't really have to necessarily use Clouds for example, and you don't have to necessarily use Add Noise.
You probably are going to want to use one or the other, but you don't have to use both combined with each other. Noise, however, does require that something be on the layer, in case you decide to use Noise by itself, but you could have used clouds by itself, if you wanted to. Anyway, once you get done creating that noise pattern whatever it may look like, then in order to convert it to a texture, you go up to the Filter menu, you go ahead and choose Stylize and you choose this guy right there Emboss and that's going to turn basically anything into a texture inside Photoshop.
Very simple command as we've seen earlier. Now the default settings I believe are 135, 3, 100, if you're following along with my instructions in the previous chapter, you may have totally different settings. The settings I am going to suggest for this project are 135 is fine or 45 degrees would work as well. Some diagonal setting, you could use -45 degrees even. I am going to stick 135 however. Then dropdown the height, let's go with a height of 2 pixels and then an Amount value of 500%.
I am just going to max it out, because we can always lower the opacity if we go too far with it. Anyway, then I'll click OK and we now have a surface texture as you can see here. So the trick now is instead of having this gray tarp of a texture on top of the butterfly, we need to map the butterfly onto the texture. The way that we are going to do that is just to merge the two using a Blend mode. So here in the top-left corner of the Layers panel I want you to click on Normal and let's go ahead and change it to Overlay for starters, because that's always going to drop out the grays and leave the highlights and shadows and sure enough we get this interesting merge of the butterfly and this texture, and I think that's too much.
That is to say we have too much texture. I could back off the Opacity value, but if we want a softer interaction the way to go is to choose Soft Light and that gives me this effect here, which I like quite a bit. What I really like about it, I'll go ahead and zoom in here. These contrast Blend modes have a unique ability to wrap a texture into an image. So in other words, where we have low detail like this background leg here, we basically transfer attention to the texture. So it looks as if this leg is really blending into the background texture there, even though the texture is in the foreground of course.
Then where we have detail inside of the insect with respect to this leg, the leg with all these little pieces of furs sticking out from it, all of which have survived amazingly. It's as if the leg is projecting out of that paper texture. So, just as absolutely fantastic interaction between the two elements. The only thing I have to say that I don't really like about it that much is that it still looks a little bit photographic for my taste. I would prefer to create a little bit more interaction.
I want the ink, let's say, that's associated with this butterfly, if we were to have really transfer the butterfly onto some sort of paper texture, then we would be using ink after all. I want that ink to bleed into the background to create an effect more like this final one here, that I have saved as Fly paper.psd. Notice by the way when I flip back and forth between these two, I am just wanting you to see this. This is the image I'm working on right here. Look at the texture in the background and this is the image I created in advance. We have different texture patterns, because it's always random.
You're always going to get different results out of Clouds and Add Noise, because they are entirely random filters. Anyway, in order to create this kind of interaction which I am calling a bleed, the ink is bleeding into the paper, we have to go ahead and average and blur the image just a little bit and I'll show you how to do exactly that in the next exercise.
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