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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, so I am still working inside of Optimistic publication date.psd. I am in the middle of creating a fading arrowhead effect which I initiated using the Line tool. So I have got a vector-based shape layer combined with a gradient layer mask. Now let's go ahead and simultaneously integrate and offset this arrowhead using a combination of Blend mode and Drop Shadow, and there are some very specific settings I want you to apply here. So you can see my arrow layer is active, and I can see that gray vector outline right there.
That is a non-printing outline. It just shows you the edges of the vector mask. To hide that vector outline, just click right there inside of that gray thumbnail in Layers panel. Then I want you to go up to the Blend mode pop-up menu and change it from Normal to Hard Light, and that's I think tends to work the best assuming you are working with that shade of orange that I told you to dial in, in the previous exercise that is Hue 35, Saturation 100, and Brightness 100, or if you want to modify the Hue value you can increase or decrease the value in 60 degree increments, you may also have success combining Hard Light with different Saturation values.
The caveat is that it doesn't work with supersaturated red or orange or yellow. So you can't set the Hue value to 0 or 30 or 60 or any of the 30 degree increments. If you do, you will just get opaque results. All right, the next thing I want to do is assign a Drop Shadow. Because I am a big believer that the arrowheads ought to have some depth associated with them. So I will click on the fx icon, and I will go ahead and choose the Drop Shadow command. Here is the settings I happen to apply. You can go your own way if you want to.
But I would love the Blend mode set to Multiply I went ahead and clicked on the Color Swatch here instead of leaving the shadow set to black which results in a kind of muddy effect, I will go ahead and dial in a warm color. So a hue of 30 degrees, and this time it's okay, because we are not applying the Hard Light Blend mode, Saturation of 70% and a Brightness value of 25%. So again a dark by this time highly saturated brown for our Drop Shadow. I will click OK, and I am going to take this Opacity value slightly up to 80%.
My Angle value is fine. I do not want to change it because that would mess up everything inside of my composition, thanks to the fact that Use Global Light is turned on. I will tab down to the Distance value, raise it to 10. Tab down to Size, leave Spread alone, and raise the Size value to 10 as well. And then I want to show you a couple of other options that are available to you. First of all, notice because the arrow is translucent, and it actually fades away right there that we are fading into the Drop Shadow, and you can see the Drop Shadow revealed behind the fade in the background, and as a result we are not getting the crisp clear effect that I want, and I will go ahead and zoom in to 100% so you can better see what I am talking about.
The big issue here is that you can see this kind of line right there at this location, if you look closely, where the shadow is actually casting inside of the translucent portion of the arrowhead. I don't know, for some reason I just don't want to see that. I think that looks murky and a little bit sloppy as well. So you've got this option right here that says layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow, and so you might think, well, might as well experiment with this guy. If you turn it off, why then the effect gets even worse. You can see through the entire arrowhead to the Drop Shadow below.
So the idea is when the check box is turned on, the layer itself knocks out the drop shadows so you see the Drop Shadow exclusively outside the boundaries of the layer, which is the way you wanted to be. In fact, you want to magnify this effect. So I will turn this check box back on. I have to say, this is one of those really obscure options that I don't think you would locate without banging your head against the computer for a while. Go ahead and click on Blending Options which invariably says Custom, and that takes you to your general Blending Options, which include many of the things that we saw in the Layers panel like the Blend mode, currently set to Hard Light, the Opacity 100%, and so on.
But we also have these five check boxes right here, and basically what they are is ways of accounting for problems that you begin to experience when you mix blend modes and translucency along with layer effects. So you could try turning all of them on and off if you want to. However, in this case I know what I want. layer mask Hides Effects, and I want you to keep an eye on this fading area right there. If you turn that check box on then the fade cleans up, notice that, and the fade no longer has any Drop Shadow associated with it because the layer mask which is that pixel-based gradient mask that we applied is not only fading away the arrow, it's fading away the Drop Shadow effect as well.
So we get a much cleaner fade as you can see there. So I am going to show you that effect again, keep an eye on it there. This is what it looks like with that check box off. Pretty murky. You can see that bright edge followed by the shaded portion. Then turn the check box back on, and it cleans up, and we no longer have that double edge. All right, go ahead and click OK, and that is your fading arrowhead effect. In case you are interested that's how you go about creating such a thing. I just want you to know the huge variety of options that are available to you when you are working with vector-based shapes inside of Photoshop.
In the next exercise, we are going to take that tiny word Pout, and we are going to format it into a fully fledged logo.
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