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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.
In this exercise, I'm going show you how to create text on a path, which is text that follows the contours of a line or shape. Now, this could be a terribly complicated line or shape if you want it to be, but shapes with corners don't work very well where type on a path is concerned, because after all, as soon as that type hits the corner, it has to pucker, or it has to break outward. If it puckers, the letters start overlapping each other, and if it breaks outward, then the words break apart. So what you want is nice smooth contours, nice smooth outlines. We're going to work with the smoothest of all possible smoothies, and that's a circle.
Now, we're going to be working inside of this document right here, its called Space radio.psd, and it features this microphone I should say from the Photo Spin Image Library, but otherwise it's all artwork created by yours truly. It's beautiful as well, don't you think? Well, it's going to get better looking, believe me. Now, when you create text on a path inside of Photoshop; and I'm going to zoom in here so that we have a bigger image in our faces and sort of scroll down, when you're creating text on a path inside of Photoshop and the other Adobe applications traditionally, you don't take some tags that you've already created and adhere it to a path, the way you do in some other programs, instead, you create the path outline, you Click on it with the Type tool, and then you start typing away.
Now, you don't have to write down those steps, because I'm going to be showing them to you. That's the way it works. So we're going to start things off by creating a path outline, that's what we'll do in this exercise. Next exercise, we'll create to manipulate the text on that path outline and then we'll do some more stuff as you'll see. All right. So anyway, I want you to draw a circle, and I want you to draw it using the Ellipse tool, which is one of the Shape tools inside of Photoshop. So go down here to whomever is the default occupant of the Shape tool slot, right under the Arrow tool, and above the Hand tool, assuming of course you have a single column toolbox.
Now, the default occupant of this tool slot is the Rectangle tool, so that might be the one you see. But I want you to Click and hold and select the Ellipse tool from the fly-out menu. You could just start dragging inside of this photo illustration here, but I want you to get the exact same results as I'm getting. So I've created some guides in advance for you. To see those guides, go to the View menu, choose Show, and then choose Guides, or you can press Ctrl+;, Command+; on the Mac, and you will see the Guides. Then I want you to drag from corner to opposite corner.
Now, before you do that though, let me show you the mistake we might make. If you were to just start dragging, like so, corner to opposite corner; and I'm left handed, I typically go from left to right, you might go the other direction if you're right handed. Notice that I create this new layer here inside the Layers palette. That's not what we want, but just so you know what we've got here, we've got a vector- based mask that is clipping the contents of this dynamic black fill layer. We're going to learn all about that crazy stuff when we take a look at vector-based shapes in a later chapter. But right now, what you need to know is that's not what we want. So press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac to undo that modification.
The easiest thing to do is just to go up to the Options bar and Click on this guy right here. Notice this dude that's next to this dude; this icon right there results in path outlines, and that's what we want, so go ahead and Click on it. Then I want you to drag from one corner to the other corner, and when I say corner, I mean guide intersection to the opposite guide intersection, like so, and then release. Now, if you were just drawing free form, you would have to press and hold the Shift key in order to get a circle, but I have already set things up so this is an exactly circular area here. So we create a circle inside of it. So in other words, you don't have to press Shift, but just drag from corner to opposite corner, and you will get this nice path outline. That's not a printing element at all. It's just a mathematical construct onto which we will adhere our text, as you will see.
I want to get rid of my Guides now because they're in my face. So I'll press Ctrl+; or Command+; again in order to hide those Guides. We need to save our path. Where is the path? It's over here in the Paths palette. So if you don't see that Paths, the word Paths over here, that you can just Click on, then you would need to go up to the Window menu and choose the Paths command, it's another way to get to it. To save this path so that won't happen in the future, Double-Click on it, and then notice that brings up the Save Path dialog box, go ahead and name your Path, something very clever, like Circle, and Click OK.
Now, if you Click off the path and you draw a heart, you've got your heart and you've got your circle, you've got everything now, and then you would Double Click on it and save it if you wanted it, but you don't, so press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac, if you're doing the same thing I'm doing. Then Click on circle to make it active and then, my friends, join me in the next exercise when we create some text on this circle. Exciting stuff. Stay tuned.
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