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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.
All right, here I am looking at the final version of the magazine cover called Pout magazine.psd, and we are zoomed in on this detail of the necklace that's curling around the model's finger. And in this exercise I'm going to show you how I made this sparkle as a combination of a couple of shape layers working together. Now, one of the things I was trying to do is emulate a real-world specular highlight. So I went ahead and found an image lying around, actually handful of images. This was one of them that had some real-world sparkles inside of it.
These are some photographically captured sparkles, in other words, I didn't do anything to this image. And the name of the image is Sparkles.jpg, and this is just a detail of a larger photograph of course, just actually a little bit of a junkie detail really. But what I wanted to do was simulate this effect right here to the degree that it serves the purposes of the image. In other words, this sparkle would be too big and glumpy to actually use as is, because it would end up covering up the details of the pearl. So I wanted to come up with something that had finer definition, but I'll go ahead and select it here and Ctrl+ Drag or Command+Drag and drop it into the other image window, like so.
Notice that it bears a fair resemblance actually. We can see the sparkle, the artificial sparkle that I have created over here on the left-hand side, and the real world sparkle from a totally different photograph albeit, over here in the right-hand side, and ultimately the fake sparkle has more definition associated with it, but I believe it's conveying the same basic effect. So let me show you what I did. I will go ahead and delete that layer that I just added, and I will switch back to my image in progress, which I have called Optical kerning.psd. Now, the first step is to go ahead and add a Starburst layer, and you can create such a layer using the Regular Polygon tool, which is one of your Shape tools.
So go down to the Shape tool flyout menu, choose the Polygon tool. And the Polygon tool not only draws things like triangles and pentagons by default, as you can see here and all sorts of other regular polygons, but it also allows you to draw stars. So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z. Apparently, I've got some weird effect automatically assigned here, Linear Dodge, notice that. Anyway, let's go ahead and wipe that out before we draw the actual shape. I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo the creation of that first polygon, and I'll click on this down-pointing arrowhead to the right of the word Style up here in the Options bar, and I'll click on this None guy, to make sure that we don't have any special layer Effects or Blend modes or anything else going on.
All right, and next, I am going to change my Sides value here to 12. Now, you could use 8 sides if you want to, and at this point, when we're talking sides, we're talking the number of points in our Starburst. That's what we will be talking in just a moment anyway. But anything from about 8 to 16 points tends to work out pretty nicely, and now I'll click this down-pointing arrowhead so I can change my Polygon Options. And the first thing I am going to do is turn on Star, so that I am creating a star shape. And as things stand, I would draw a star that looks like this, which is not going to look like a Starburst at all, as you can see.
Not just because it's black of course, but also because its sides aren't nearly pointy enough. So I will undo that star, and I'll go back to my Options here, and I'll change the Indent Sides value to at least 90. You want it 90% or higher for the best results. You don't want to smooth out your indents, that would be the inner corners in the star, and you don't want to smooth out your corners, which would be the outer corners. You want to leave everything nice and spiky. And now I'll close that panel, and I am going to draw a Starburst right about at this location here, and I will draw it up into this area, right between the i and M in Minutes, so right about at this location should work out pretty nicely.
You can press the Spacebar, by the way, to move that Starburst on the fly if you want to. But right about here should do it. And then I will go ahead and release, once I have drawn the star shape. And obviously I need to change the color of this shape to something other than black right here, and to get a sense of what color actually I want to use, I am going to click in this gray Vector Mask thumbnail to turn it off, so we're not seeing the gray edges right there. I might go ahead and rename this shape on here. I will call it star, and then I am going to change the Blend mode from Normal to Screen, so that we get a bright interaction.
When you're creating Glows and Starburst and that kind of stuff, Screen is your when in doubt mode, and we can adjust it from there, as we will, but that's a good place to start. Now, Screen treats black as invisible, so that's why we're dropping off black, because you can't lighten anything with blackness after all. So in order to cast a light inside of this star, we need to change the color. I am going to double-click on this Color Swatch to bring up the Color Picker dialog box, and I eventually lifted a color from the image itself using the Eyedropper, and then I finesse that color a little bit.
And notice, right off the bat, we're getting something resembling a Starburst right here. It's too spiky. It's too obvious. We will change that shortly. But for now I am going to change my Hue setting to 35 degrees. I just want to make it a little redder instead of quite so yellow. And then I am going to increase the Saturation value to 65, and I am going to take the Brightness all the way up to 100%. Then I will click OK. Now, it felt like that still wasn't bursty enough, so I've decided to switch from Screen to the Ultimate Lightning mode, which is this guy right there, Linear Dodge (Add), and that ends up giving me this very bright effect here.
All right, next I want to go ahead and soften these edges a little bit, and that's something you can do from the Masks panel. So if you bring up the Masks panel, either by clicking on the little Masks icon or choosing Masks from the Window menu, then you should be able to adjust your Feather value on the fly. That's a parametric modification, so it's not permanent; you can always change your mind anytime you like. Only problem is it's dimmed currently, and that's because I don't have the Mask selected. And I just hate this, because as soon as I do select the Mask, either by clicking on the gray thumbnail here inside the Layers panel or by clicking on this little icon right there, which selects the Vector Mask, then I see the darn mask, and I can't see what I am doing.
Thankfully, however, I can press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac to hide that Vector Mask for the time being, and so that way I can see what I am doing. So I'll go ahead and raise the Feather value to its lowest setting inside of this panel, which is 1, because notice any higher than that is really going to wipe out the effect. So 1 pixel of Feathering, Parametric Feathering, on-the-fly, applied, and bear in mind that this is a Blur Effect that's being applied to a Vector Shape here inside Photoshop, and then I will go ahead and close that panel.
All right, that's not quite everything we need though. If you check out that real-world Sparkles.jpg image, you can see that not only do we have that Starburst effect, we also have this very bright center, and so we need to fill in that center using a circle. So I will switch back to the image at hand here, Optical kerning.psd, and I am going to add another shape using the Ellipse tool, and I am going to draw from the center out there. So I am going to start with my cursor in the center and then begin dragging, before you press any keys, definitely begin dragging first and then press and hold the Shift and Alt keys like so, so that you are drawing a circle.
That's the function of the Shift key. And by virtue of the fact that you are pressing the Alt key, or you on the Macintosh press the Option key, you are drawing from the center outwards. So that's Shift+Alt on the PC, Shift+Option on the Mac and create a circle that's about that big. It should be automatically filled with that last color you used, which it is for me. It should already be set to Linear Dodge. That's awesome! Let's go ahead and call this new shape circle, and let's press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac to hide that vector outline, and then I am going to bring out my Masks panel once again.
The Feather value should be available to you, because your Vector Mask is selected, and I want you to raise this Feather value this time. I am just going to press the Up Arrow key until I get the effect I like, which happens at about 4 pixels right there. Now, you can go higher if you want to, but I like 4. 6 looks pretty darn good, but 4 looks better in my opinion, and that is the effect right there. It's that simple. And even though it's a blurry effect, it's fairly naturalistic as well, it's created entirely using vector-based shape outlines, which will scale of course along with the image.
All right, so I am going to switch away from those shapes for a moment. In the next exercise, I am going to show you how to export this final version of the magazine cover, so that you retain every single one of your vector-based outlines, your clean sharp editable text, along with your pixel-based photographic imagery.
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