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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.
I have saved my progress so far as Talk balloon & tagline.psd; so called because we do have the tagline down here at the bottom, as well as this talk balloon. Notice that it's a great tasting non-nutritive liquid that makes kids cheerful and obedient. And there he is, being both cheerful in expression and obedient in words. So indeed I don't know what is big? But anyway the next thing that we are going to do is we are going to gussy up this logo up here at the top of the screen. And this is a pixel-based layer. If you go to the top of the layer stack, you will see this Logo layer right there.
And I want you to go ahead and expand the layer affects, so that you can see them by Clicking what was formerly a down-pointing arrowhead there and then go ahead and Click on the eyeball in front of the word Effects to display both it's Drop Shadow and Bevel and Emboss. Now we haven't seen Bevel and Emboss yet, don't worry about that. I'm going to show you how that works. But I went ahead and precreated this specific Bevel and Emboss effect, and if you want to see how it's put together, all you have to do is Double-Click on it and play around with the settings to your heart's content. All right, I'm going to cancel it out because my heart is content as it is. I have no desire to see what's going on with that Bevel and Emboss effect right yet. Now, the next thing that I want to do with this Logo. It's not quite done; it needs a gradient stroke that's going outward. It's basically kind of a Double-color Stroke effect. And I'm going to use Outer Glow to pull that off.
Now you may wonder why in the world I'm going to use Outer Glow instead of just playing old Stroke, because I was telling you in the previous exercise, strokes can include gradients. Well, let me show you what that looks like. We are going to scroll down to spokesboy. There is two reasons that we are not going to use Stroke. So I'll go ahead and select the spokesboy layer to show this off. Click FX. Click Stroke in order to bring up the Stroke options here. I'll move this over just a little bit. Increase the Size value to something fairly extreme. But actually let's keep it fairly low, because that shows of the imperfections better. Basically, here is the idea. If I drag the image around a little bit, you can see that we have these weird little edges along the Max's sleeve, and we didn't see them before. If I turned Stroke off, they don't really seem to be there. It looks like we have nice smooth edges.
Stroke will exaggerate any imperfection in the edges of a pixel-based layer, that's something to watch out for. All right so there is that, but also let's go ahead and increase the size of that stroke that starts getting rid of those imperfections, so as covering him up. But now let's say I want a Gradient. Well, if I change the Fill Type from Color to Gradient right here. Notice that I get a continuous gradient in one direction or other. And it could be Linear or it can be Radial. But it's not going to be a Double-color effect, the way that I want it to be.
So basically when it comes down to Stroke, it just isn't going to work for me. So I'm going to cancel out of here. Obviously, we don't want a stroke around Max, gee whiz. We want some sort of Stroke effect around Happy Juice. So let's go back to the top, Click on Logo, here inside the Layers palette. Go down to FX, make sure that you can see your effects right there. So make sure that all three of the effect's eyeballs are on. And then Click on the FX icon down here at the bottom of the palette and choose Outer Glow. And here are the effects I want you to apply.
Now we are not creating a Glow effect, we are creating a Stroke. So we just want this to be 100% opaque stroke. So I'm going to change the Opacity to 100% and the Mode to Normal. Then we are also going to increase the Size and Spread values a little bit here. So we are going to skip this Color value for now. You do have a Noise option, in case you want to match the Noise in your digital photograph. So that's an option right there. We are going to leave it set to zero. As I say, we are skipping the color and gradient, this is what we are going to take advantage of right there, the gradient option. But we will come back. I'm going to go ahead and increase the Size value quite a bit, just so that we can test out some of these other settings and I'll increase the Spread value. Notice that Spread is going to go ahead and fill up the size of the glow if you wanted to.
Obviously, we would want something a little bit backed off, I would think. I'll go ahead and actually change the Spread value all the way back down to zero. Notice that when the Technique is set to Softer that we get a very soft Gaussian style blur from our Outer Glow effect. If you want something that does a better job of tracing the corners inside of your layer, around the edges of your layer that is, then you want to switch to your Technique to Precise, which gives you something that's more analogous to a Box Blur effect, if you remember our Blur discussion from several chapters ago now.
And let's go ahead and take the Size value down just a little bit, so you can see it. And if I start increasing the Spread value you will also be able to see how we have corners in our Blur, which is something you don't get if your Technique is set to Softer, you don't have any corners anymore. They all get mushed together. And then you have a Contour option available to you, so you can create some outstanding wacky Glow effects if you want to. And those of course are going to change in terms of their behavior. If you switch to Precise you are going to get more of this kind of effect with Precise and more of this kind of effect with Softer. Gosh! It's nice just to see the effect on screen.
And then Range. All right, Range is set to 50% by default. That is the location of this 50% mark in the Contour. So let's go ahead and take Spread all the way back down to zero once again. If I want to move that 50% mark out, I want to move the Contour out, I would decrease the Range like this, that's going to shove it out there, and if I want to move it in there, I would increase the Range value like so. So now the Contour starts at the very beginning, not at the outside of the letters. And you also have this Jitter option. Jitter is specifically useful when you are using a Gradient style Outer Glow.
So we will see how that works in just a moment, but first I want you to make sure that your Contour is Linear. Anti- aliased is just useful, if you have got your spiky Contour there. And I want you to set Range to 50%. And I want you to set Size to 10 pixels, and then I want you to increase the Spread value to 40, like so, to 40% and that's looking good, except as I was saying, I want a Double-color effect and I'm going to get that Double-color effect by switching over to a Gradient which I'll do by Clicking on this Gradient bar, which will bring up the Gradient Editor dialog box. And actually, I'm going to cancel out just to make sure -- oh! It did, it does go ahead and select the Gradient, all right.
I wanted to make sure the radio button is switched over here. I'll Click on that Gradient Stripe once again. And then I'll Click on Load. I would like you to do this as well. You can choose one of these other Gradients if you want some bizarre affect. But notice that all these gradients result in multi-color effects that wrap evenly around the letters. So it's not a continuous gradient in one direction or the other. The way it is with Stroke, instead the gradient is going outward from the letters. All right so we want to use a different series of colors. So I'm going to Click on Load. Go to the 21_layers_styles folder, therein you will find this file right there, Logo gradient.grd, go ahead and load it on up, it's this one right there, then Click on it and you will get the effect that you see right here on screen. And that's all there is to it.
And notice that it disappears, it goes ahead and descends into transparency at the end there. And that allows the Outer Glow to drop-off right there at the end and get Soft on us, which is nice, and it also helps to accommodate the Spread and Size value. So if you were to play around this, you'd see that you are going to get quite different effects if you start moving this outward. Notice that we start to lose the gradient at this location. What was the location there? Let's go ahead and Click on this Happy Juice logo gradient to reinstate it. So we are right there at 50%. So I'll move the Opacity stop out here a little bit and you will see that things start getting harsher, our transitions start harshening up. All right, anyway Click on that.
So I've spent a fair amount of time designing this gradient to work with my values. Click OK and that is the effect. Now I do want you to see what Jitter does. Jitter is going to randomize the gradients. So notice as I bring up the Jitter value, I have all kinds of little nasty maggots in my gradient, which is absurd. I don't want nasty maggots. Let's get rid of that. It doesn't make me think of Happy Juice at all. It makes me think infected poison. All right, I'm going to go ahead and Click OK in order to accept this effect. Now something I also want you to notice and this becomes very, very apparent with this effect right here.
You are going to get the best sense of how an effect looks when you view the effect at 100% View Size or larger. Then you are going to see the actual affect. Notice how the affect looks, beautiful right? If you start zooming out, it's going to start getting weirder, this is 50%, what was formerly some nice bright whites right there, have kind of turned murky on us and that's just not accurate. So Photoshop starts having accuracy problems with layer effects when you start zooming out from your image. Obviously, it's going to print just fine, but it's something to bear in mind when you are zooming inside of the Image window.
That looks terrible, right? Anyway Ctrl +1 or Command+1 to zoom in to 100% and there is our bright beautiful logo right there. In the next exercise, we are going to simulate reflections with Bevel and Emboss, this you have got to see.
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