Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating a soft, synthetic sparkle


Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Creating a soft, synthetic sparkle

In this movie, I'm going to show you how to create the synthetic sparkle effect, that's coming off the model's synthetic pearl necklace. And even though it's realistically blurry, it comprises a couple of razor sharp vector based shape layers. Now, the effect I was going for is this, I'm going to scroll up my list of layers here, and turn on this layer called specular highlight. And you'll see this is a true photographic sparkle. And while mine is more clearly defined. This was ultimately the effects I was going for, with these rays of light and this hot centre. So, let's see how it works.
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 4s
  2. 1h 1m
    1. The best of Photoshop automation
    2. Content-Aware Fill and Color Adaptation (CC 2014)
      7m 44s
    3. Combining two layers with a layer mask (CC 2014)
      5m 37s
    4. Content-aware healing (CC 2014)
      10m 17s
    5. Introducing the Patch tool
      3m 43s
    6. Using Content-Aware Patch
      7m 17s
    7. Retouching with Content-Aware Patch
      3m 45s
    8. Using the Content-Aware Move tool
      7m 41s
    9. Using Content-Aware Extend
      2m 4s
    10. The Content-Aware Scale command
      6m 35s
    11. Scaling in multiple passes
      2m 22s
    12. Protecting skin tones
      3m 31s
  3. 32m 55s
    1. Editing the histogram
      1m 50s
    2. The new automatic Levels adjustment
      4m 33s
    3. Customizing a Levels adjustment
      4m 53s
    4. Understanding the Gamma value
      2m 7s
    5. Opening up the shadows
      2m 48s
    6. Previewing clipped pixels
      3m 40s
    7. Retouching with Output Levels
      4m 25s
    8. Making channel-by-channel adjustments
      2m 19s
    9. Faking a gray card in post
      2m 51s
    10. Assigning shortcuts to adjustment layers
      3m 29s
  4. 57m 43s
    1. How sharpening works
      1m 38s
    2. Introducing the Smart Sharpen filter
      6m 56s
    3. Understanding the Radius value
      5m 20s
    4. Gauging the best sharpening settings
      5m 45s
    5. Addressing color artifacts and clipping
      5m 49s
    6. The Remove and Reduce Noise options
      4m 22s
    7. The Shadows/Highlights options
      7m 36s
    8. Correcting for camera shake
      6m 47s
    9. Sharpening with the Emboss filter
      5m 45s
    10. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      4m 44s
    11. Painting in sharpness
      3m 1s
  5. 1h 12m
    1. Vector-based type
      1m 35s
    2. Creating and editing point text
      8m 8s
    3. Font and type style tricks
      7m 58s
    4. Type size and color tricks
      6m 42s
    5. Kerning and tracking characters
      8m 9s
    6. Creating and editing area text
      3m 50s
    7. Selecting and formatting paragraphs
      6m 50s
    8. Setting text inside a custom path
      5m 34s
    9. Creating text along a path
      6m 12s
    10. Adjusting baseline shift
      4m 45s
    11. Creating and stylizing a logo
      6m 49s
    12. Masking text into image elements
      6m 14s
  6. 1h 9m
    1. The other vector-based layer
      1m 39s
    2. Dotted borders and corner roundness
      8m 14s
    3. Drawing and aligning custom shapes
      3m 55s
    4. Creating your own repeatable custom shape
      5m 43s
    5. Selecting and modifying path outlines (CC 2014)
      6m 5s
    6. Isolating selected layers (CC 2014)
      6m 39s
    7. Combining simple shapes to make complex ones
      6m 31s
    8. Cropping, adjusting, and merging shapes
      8m 49s
    9. Creating a soft, synthetic sparkle
      6m 22s
    10. Saving a resolution-independent PDF file
      6m 42s
    11. Turning a small image into a huge one
      8m 38s
  7. 1h 14m
    1. Depth, contour, and texture
      1m 28s
    2. Imparting depth with a layer effect
      9m 9s
    3. The power of the drop shadow
      7m 37s
    4. Modifying a layer and its effects
      6m 21s
    5. Saving custom default settings
      4m 12s
    6. Creating a custom contour
      8m 5s
    7. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      8m 8s
    8. Multiple effects and multiple layers
      7m 45s
    9. Global Light and rasterizing effects
      8m 5s
    10. Gloss and surface contour
      6m 4s
    11. Adding texture to Bevel and Emboss
      7m 21s
  8. 34m 48s
    1. Styles store settings
      1m 38s
    2. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      3m 41s
    3. Redefining a style and styling a word
      5m 38s
    4. Creating and styling a placeholder style
      5m 43s
    5. Applying and creating layer styles
      5m 45s
    6. Loading and customizing layer styles
      5m 42s
    7. Merging and saving layer styles
      6m 41s
  9. 56m 48s
    1. Meet the transformations
      1m 55s
    2. Transformations and Smart Objects
      5m 46s
    3. Adjusting the interpolation setting
      5m 10s
    4. Rotating a layer with Free Transform
      5m 22s
    5. Scale, duplicate, and repeat
      4m 30s
    6. Creating a synthetic star field
      5m 20s
    7. Warping a logo with Arc and Flag
      5m 34s
    8. Distort, perspective, and skew
      4m 15s
    9. Using transformations to draw and correct
      7m 0s
    10. Bolstering text with layer effects
      5m 43s
    11. Adding highlights with Lens Flare
      6m 13s
  10. 43m 36s
    1. Removing the weight that the camera adds
      1m 7s
    2. The Warp and Reconstruct tools
      6m 44s
    3. Brush size, hardness, and opacity
      4m 29s
    4. The Pucker, Bloat, Push, and Twirl tools
      7m 12s
    5. Saving and reapplying Liquify settings
      4m 9s
    6. Lifting and slimming details
      9m 42s
    7. Warping legs, arms, and fabric
      5m 33s
    8. Improving a model's posture
      4m 40s
  11. 58m 46s
    1. Shoot in color, convert to black and white
      1m 55s
    2. Three ways to grayscale
      5m 36s
    3. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 31s
    4. Simulating an infrared photograph
      6m 39s
    5. Creating a sienna-infused sepia tone
      5m 38s
    6. Creating a hyper-saturated image
      5m 26s
    7. Introducing the Black & White command
      3m 16s
    8. Customizing the Black & White settings
      4m 50s
    9. Black & White meets the Channel Mixer
      7m 29s
    10. Infusing an image with tint and color
      5m 9s
    11. Grayscale and Split Tone in Camera Raw
      5m 17s
  12. 41m 34s
    1. The many ways to print
      1m 41s
    2. Using the test document
      3m 18s
    3. Print, position, and size
      5m 57s
    4. Description and printing marks
      3m 3s
    5. Establishing a bleed
      3m 44s
    6. Getting reliable color
      5m 54s
    7. Special printing options
      5m 1s
    8. Previewing an image at print size
      4m 16s
    9. Creating contact sheets
      4m 49s
    10. Creating a multipage PDF
      3m 51s
  13. 31m 9s
    1. Making Internet imagery
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing Save for Web
      4m 39s
    3. Creating the perfect JPEG image
      5m 14s
    4. Creating a high-contrast GIF image
      6m 23s
    5. The two varieties of PNG
      3m 57s
    6. Downsampling for the web
      5m 59s
    7. Adding copyright and contact info
      3m 51s
  14. 1m 3s
    1. Until next time
      1m 3s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate
10h 37m Intermediate Aug 19, 2013 Updated Sep 18, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop CC One-on-One is back, and this installment teaches you how to build on your basic knowledge and achieve next-level effects with this premiere image-editing program. Industry pro Deke McClelland shows you how to seamlessly move and patch areas of a photo with the Content-Aware toolset; stretch the brightness of a scene with automatic and custom Levels adjustments; create intricate designs with text and shapes; and morph an image with layer effects and transformations. Deke also shares his techniques for sharpening details, whether addressing noise and highlight/shadow clipping or camera shake, and converting a full-color image to black and white. The final chapters show you how to best print and save images for the web, making sure all your hard work pays off in the final output.

Topics include:
  • Performing automatic retouch, scaling, and more with the Content-Aware tools
  • Editing the histogram
  • Customizing a Levels adjustment
  • Making channel-by-channel Levels adjustments
  • Sharpening with the Smart Sharpen, Emboss, and High Pass filters
  • Working with vector-based type
  • Kerning and tracking characters
  • Creating text on a path
  • Drawing and customizing shapes
  • Creating depth, contour, and texture with layer effects
  • Liquifying an image
  • Simulating an infrared photo
  • Adjusting print position, size, and color
  • Creating the perfect JPEG image
  • Downsampling for the web
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Creating a soft, synthetic sparkle

In this movie, I'm going to show you how to create the synthetic sparkle effect, that's coming off the model's synthetic pearl necklace. And even though it's realistically blurry, it comprises a couple of razor sharp vector based shape layers. Now, the effect I was going for is this, I'm going to scroll up my list of layers here, and turn on this layer called specular highlight. And you'll see this is a true photographic sparkle. And while mine is more clearly defined. This was ultimately the effects I was going for, with these rays of light and this hot centre. So, let's see how it works.

I'm going to switch over to my image in progress here, and go ahead just scroll down to the model's hand, and I'll zoom into the 100% zoom ratio like so. And then I'm going to close this logo group, so that we don't inadvertently create a shape inside of it. And I'm going to click on the fashion formula layer, so that we create our new elements underneath the teasers, which includes that black text above the hand. Now the first thing we need to create is a star. So I'll go ahead and drop down to the shave tool click, and hold on it and select the polygon tool from the fly out menu. And we need more sides then five of course, and you can either change the sides values by selecting and dialling in a new value.

Or I want to show you a keyboard short-cut. Any time you have one of these values associated with a shape tool, you can change it from the keyboard, by pressing a square bracket key. So if you press the right bracket key, you'll increase the value. If you press the left bracket, you decrease the value. Anyway, I want to take that value up to 12, like so. And if I were to draw the star now, you can see that it's more of a burst than what we're looking for. So, we'll go ahead and press Ctrl+z or Cmd +z on the Mac to undo that. I'll click on this little gear icon, and then I'm going to change this indent size value.

To 90% now you want star to be turned on of course. Smooth corners you want off because that would just smooth the outside, corners and then if you were to turn on smooth indents you would smooth the inside corners. We don't want either of those things. So just go ahead and press the Enter key on a PC or the Return key on a mac in order to hide that panel, and then drag from the top-right corner of this uppermost pearl. And you want to drag all the way to the top of the m, so I'm between the m and the i right there and I'll go ahead and release in order to create that shape. Now obviously black is a bad colour for a sparkle so we'll need to change that, but the first thing I'm going to do is double-click on the name of this item which is polygon one, which couldn't really be less helpful.

And then I'll change this layer name to star. And next just so I can get a sense of how the star is going to look when I colour it properly, I'm going to change the blend mode from normal to the ultimate glow mode, which is screen. Now screen treats black as invisible. That's why we're seeing through the star now. I want to change the colour of the star to a custom colour that I'm going to lift from the image. And the easiest way to do that is to double-click on the thumbnail for that star layer and that'll bring up the Colour Picker dialogue box. Then move your cursor out into the image window, and click on one of the lighter colours inside that image.

Now, I ultimately adjust these values a little bit. I went ahead and changed the hue value to 35 degrees just to give the colour a little more redness. And I took the saturation value down to 35%, and then I cranked the brightness value up to 100% in order to come out with this colour here. Now it's really a shade of pale orange, but once it's set to the screen mode, which gives it more of a glow effect, then it turns kind of yellowish. Now I'll click OK in order to accept that change. Next I'll go ahead and blue that star a little bit.

So the first thing I'm going to do is press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on a Mac to hide the shape outline. And then I want to bring out the Properties panel. And you can do that by going to the Window menu and choosing the Properties cmd. And you'll see that there's this feather value that's available to us right there, and that allows us to soften even vector-based shapes. So I start by clicking inside the feather value, then I press Shift+Arrow up a couple of times in order to increase that feather value in one pixel increments. And then I press the Arrow up key a few times in order to increase that value in decimal increments, and the ultimate value that I came up with is this one here, 2.5 pixels.

All right, next, what we want to do is add that glowing centre. So, I'm going to hide the properties panel, and then I'll press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the mac in order to bring back my star. I'm going to create the glow using of course the ellipse tool, because it's circular. And then, I'll begin dragging from the centre of the star, about right there. And as I'll drag I'll press the alt key, or the option key on the mac. So I'm creating the shape from the center outward. And also press the Shift key, in order to constrain the shape to a perfect circle, like so.

And you might need to use the Space bar a little bit, in order to get that shape properly aligned. By the way, you want to press and hold the Shift and Alt keys, or the Shift and Option keys on the Mac, after you begin dragging. That's very important. Otherwise, you'll end up adding or subtracting from the current shape. Once you get a shape that's just a little bigger than one of the pearls, then go ahead and release the mouse button, and then release the shift and Alt or Shift and Option keys. And now I'm going to rename this layer circle, because after all, that's what it is. And it automatically comes in at the same colour as the star, but we lost the blend mode.

So I'll switch it from normal back to screen once again, in order to achieve this effect. And next I'll press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on a mac. In order to hide that edge. And I'll once again bring back up the Properties panel. And here's another way to get to the panel very quickly. If you've got a layer mask available to you, as you do in the case of logo group, just double-click on it's thumbnail. And that'll bring up the Properties panel, and also switches you to a different layer. Then, you want to go ahead and click on Circle, to switch back to it. And with any luck, the circle will still be hidden.

If for some reason, Ctrl or Cmd+H doesn't work for you, then add the Shift key. So press Ctrl+Shift+H, or Cmd+Shift+H on the Mac. And then, I went ahead and clicked on the Feather value again, and I pressed Shift-Up Arrow, a total of eight times, in order to raise that Feather value to eight pixels. And we end up with this effect here. Now looks pretty good I just felt like it wasn't quite hot enough, so I went ahead and selected both the circle and the star layer by clicking on one and Shift clicking on the other. And then I switched the blend mode to the brightest of the lightning modes, which is linear dodge in parenthesis add.

In order to achieve this slightly brighter effect. And that folks is how you create a synthetic sparkle, using shape layers combined with a feather value inside the properties panel.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate .

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Q: This course was updated on 09/18/2014. What changed?
A: Deke updated the course to reflect changes in the 2014 version of Photoshop CC. The updates are concentrated in "The Content-Aware Collection" and "Creating and Formatting Text" chapters, but there are new movies sprinkled throughout the course as well.
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