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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right gang, I've gone ahead and saved my progress so far as a document called Bad circle bad.psd found inside the 24_vector_shapes folder, because this circle needs work. I'll bring up the Layer Comps palette, I want it to look like final icon, like that, beautiful and pretty and lustrous and translucent. But instead, it looks like this here. So how do I get that effect? Well, I would use, Fill Opacity, you already know the answer but I just want you to see that vector-based shape layers are completely fully integrated into the Photoshop experience.
So you can apply blend modes, you can apply Opacity, you can apply Fill Opacity. So let's say, for example, that I decide I do want it to be less opaque and my Rectangular Marquee tool is selected, so press the 7 key to reduce the Opacity of this layer to 70%. But in doing so I not only reduce the opacity of the gray but I also reduce the opacity of all the layer effects. So, for example, if my Drop Shadow was set to an Opacity of 70%, let's see what it is set to, it's set to an Opacity of 100%, but my Inner Shadow is set to an Opacity of 50%.
So that would be compounded, right, it would be 50% times now 70%, which is 35%, so my Inner Shadow has gone down to 35% Opacity. So everything declines as a result of that overall so called Master Opacity value right there. I say it's a so-called Master Opacity value, not because it is anywhere inside of the software, except, one place that I know of anyway, here inside the History palette. So notice that I've changed my Master Opacity value, because the History palette says so.
It's true too, because it affects everything that's associated with this layer, and by the way, right now it's affecting also the opacity of the clipped layers. These guys right here, so coil and spikes, which are clipped to circle, are also reduced to 70% of their normal opacity and so are their layer effects. So you can see that Master Opacity really affects a lot of things, has sort of a domino effect, if you will. Compare that, of course, to Fill Opacity. So let's say I decide to take the Fill Opacity down to 35%, which is what I want.
Press the Shift key, type 35, and that changes that Fill value to 35%. Now, we are just declining the opacity of the gray, we are not affecting this time the layer effects, nor are we affecting or further affecting I should say, the opacity of spikes and coil. Now let's say that spikes and coil, bless them, they don't want to be reduced in opacity in any way, shape or form; we don't want them to be affected either by the Fill Opacity modification or by the Master Opacity modification. What do we do? Well, we take advantage of one of those checkboxes. Remember those checkboxes that I showed you way back in Layer Effects chapter, why. They are our friends right now too.
So double-click on the circle layer, some gray portion of the circle layer, not here and not here. Double-click here and that will bring up the Layer Style dialog box. Then what I want you do is turn off this checkbox, watch what happens on screen. Turn off Blend Clipped Layers as Group and then we increase the Opacity of those guys right there, spikes and coil. The reason that they go back to full opacity now, 100% of whatever they were, is because what Blend Clipped Layers as Group does when it's turned on is it goes ahead and applies that Master Opacity value as well as the blend mode to everything that's clipped to this layer.
However, if you turn it off, then they're set free of the blend mode and Opacity and they go their own way. More than anything, just know these guys are available to you and that they can solve some of your problems as I was telling you before. Now I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification, and now we have a good- looking Tip icon. So, if I were to press the F12 key to revert to what we were seeing before, looks bad, let's get rid of that outline too. Then I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac in order to reinstate the good version.
So you knew this stuff, you knew about Fill Opacity versus Master Opacity, you might have recalled the discussion of that checkbox there, the real point of this exercise is to show you that vector -based shapes are full partners in the image editing experience here inside Photoshop CS4. In the next exercise, we are actually going to start using the Shape tools.
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