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In this movie, I'll show you how to create a custom contour, and here's the idea. The Contour function is associated with any of the soft effects. That includes the two shadows as well as inner, and outer glow and bevel and emboss. And what allows you to do is control the opacity of the effect on a point by point basis. So for example, I'm creating this boundary around the letters, using an inverted drop shadow. So in other words, it starts off translucent and becomes more opaque around the edges which gives us a kind of 4 3D look.
So, let's see how that works. I'll go ahead and switch to this starter file, and I want the fill value for the letters to be 0%. And you can achieve that by pressing Shift, zero, zero, so zero twice in a row. Next, I'll click on FX and choose Drop Shadow. And that brown that I establish is my default, it's going to work out fine. So HSB 35, 100, and 20, cancel out of there. I'll take the opacity value up to 100%. And then I'll take the distance value up to five pixels, and I'll turn off layer knocks out drop shadows, so we can see the shadow all by itself.
Now, I want to see the effect in detail, so I'll go up to the View menu, and choose Actual Pixels. And you may say, Deke, why aren't you using the shortcut? And the reason is, it doesn't work when you're working inside the Layer Style dialogue box. If you press Ctrl or Cmd one. You'll select the drop shadow, which in our case is already selected. If you press ctrl or cmd two, you'll get inner shadow, three gets you outer glow, four gets you inner glow, five gets you bevel and emboss, zero gets you stroke. And you may be wondering what in the world is the rhyme or reason, why are we floating all over the place? And the thing is the short-cuts used to be sequential, but then they reordered the list.
Anyway I'm going to press ctrl or cmd one, in order to select the drop shadow once again, and drag my image over so that I can see the first few letters. Now the noise value is going to create noise inside of your shadow. You probably don't want a noise value of 67% because it looks like a swarm of gnats. But you might take the value down to, let's say, 5% to match the natural noise inside of a digital photograph. I'm going to take it back to 0%. And now that takes us to the contour graph right here. Imagine it is a graph.
The grey area is the graph itself. The white area is the area outside the graph. And the left side is the outer edge of the effect, and right side of the graph is the inner edge of the effect, that is the area inside the letters. Down represents transparency and up represents opacity, so in this case we're saying, starting at the inside of the effect, we have an opaque effect and then going outward we have increasing levels of translucency. But you can change that. If you click the down-pointing arrow head, and select, for example, cone, we'll start transparent, then become opaque there at the top of the cone, and then become transparent again.
If you select its next-door neighbour, which is cone-inverted, you'll get the opposite effect. We'll start opaque on the right-hand side up there at the top, then we'll become transparent right there in the centre, and then toward the outside edge we're opaque again. So you can try out a lot of these guys. For example, there's ring double, which gives you this wacky effect here, and if by chance you see some jagged edges showing up inside of your image. Then, turn on the anti-alias checkbox to try to smooth them over. But we don't have any. I'm just going to click the down pointing arrowhead and switch over to linear once again.
And now let's create our own custom contour, by clicking on the little graph icon there in order to bring up the contour editor dialogue box. And at first it's going to seem a little imposing, but here's the idea. As I say, the right edge of the graph represents the interior of the effect, the point at which the effect begins. So if I drag this point down until the output level is 70%. What I'm saying is starting on the inside, the opacity will now be 70%. So read output as opacity. Therefore, we have these translucent letters.
Then, if I go ahead and drag the outside point upward to the let's say, something like 40%, then I'm saying make the outermost edge 40% opaque. Now we still have a little bit of softness. And that's because the spread value is set to 0%. If we wanted to totally get rid of the softness, we'd have to crank that value up to 100%. But what I want to do is just basically invert the effect. So I'm going to drag the first point all the way up, and I'll drag the second point all the way down, so that the interior of the effect is transparent, and the outside edge is opaque.
And then I'll go ahead and save out a custom pre-set. Now you don't do that by clicking the Save button. That'll save a file to your hard drive. Instead you click on New and then go ahead and give the pre-set a name such as invert, click OK and click OK again. And then, if you click the down pointing arrow head you'll see a new pre-set down here in the lower left corner called Invert. And you can get to it any time you like. This isn't exactly what I want. I want a little bit of opacity on the inside, so I'm going to click on that graph icon, and drag that final point there until I have an output that is an opacity of 20% on the inside of the letters.
And then I'll go ahead and click OK to accept that change. Now let's take the spread value up. And I'm going to increase that spread value, notice that I'm moving the effect outward to 60% as you see here, and then I'll turn on Layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow. And we end up getting this awesome sort of cut-out effect. Now that's a little bit subtle. I want to emphasize it by going up here to blend options, and I'm going to increase my fill opacity value to 20%. Which doesn't really do anything at first, but I can add a little bit of brightness now by switching to the opposite of the multiply mode, which as you know creates shadows, to the screen mode.
Notice it's second in the brightening list, and it creates glows. So that's going to use the letters to brighten up the back round. All right now I want to trace the letters, and I'm going to do that using outer glow. And even though I saved white as my default color, I don't want to use it. So I'll click on the white color swatch, and I'm going to dial in that same orange with a hue value of 35 degrees. I'll take the saturation value up to 65% and a brightness value of 100% is just fine. Click OK. Now, let's take this size value down to eight pixels and I'm going to increase the opacity of this effect to 100% and, finally, I'm going to change the blend mode.
Now, I was telling you with shadows, if multiply isn't strong enough, you want to drop two down to linear burn. The same is true for glows. If screen isn't enough for you, you want to drop two down to linear dodge add. And that's going to give us this really hot, intense effect. Now I'll click OK, in order to accept my effect. And I'll press ctrl 0 or cmd 0 on a Mac. Go ahead and centre my zoom as well. Now let's change the text. We don't want the word carving. So I'll double click on the t in order to select all that text.
And I'll type in some different text like so. Then I'll press control a or command a on a Mac. In order to select it all. And I'm going to change the style by clicking on the style and typing in bold again which should get me bold condensed. And I'll press the Enter key, or the return key on the mac in order to accept that change. Next I'll press control shift alt greater than sign, that's command shift option greater than sign on the mac. A few times in order to make that text big enough to fill up this frame. And then I'll press the Enter key on the numerical key pad in order to accept my change.
And now I want to centre baseball inside the seams, so I'm going to use my rectangular marquise tool to select this region right here. And then I'll switch to the Move tool And I'll click on align vertical centres in order to vertically align that text inside the selection. And I'll press Ctrl+D, or Cmd+D on a Mac, to deselect the text, and that is the final effect. Thanks to our ability to modify the opacity of a soft effect, using a custom contour.
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