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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, I am still working inside Black droplets.psd, found inside the 21_layer_FX folder. I've taken that droplets layer right there. I've reduced its Fill/Opacity value to 5%. Otherwise, the Blend mode is still Normal, Opacity is still 100%. Then I applied the Bevel and Emboss effects that you see before you inside of this dialog box, including a special Gloss Contour that's a variation of the Ring presets. Now we are ready to apply the other three layer effects, Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, and Color Overlay.
It's all pretty easy from here on out. I am going to go ahead and click on Drop Shadow, and that gives us a nice black drop shadow like water would never cast. So this is obviously wrong. Now we are seeing my customized default, but I am going to make some modifications. I am going to leave the Blend mode set to Multiply, click on the colors swatch, and we are going to dial in that same color I dialed in for the shadows where the Bevel and Emboss was concerned. That is 35, 35, 35 for this image. Click OK. It gives us this very low saturation orange as you can see here.
The Opacity value is fine at 75%. We are not to change the Angle, because everybody's dictated by the global light setting at this point, and we already established 135 as the angle inside the Bevel and Emboss effect. So I am going to drop down here to Distance and lower the Distance value to 5 pixels like so, and the size value is fine at 10 pixels. So once again we've got 5, 0, 10 where the Distance, Spread, and Size vales are concerned. That takes care of the drop shadow. I am now going to click on Inner Shadow and enter some pretty similar settings.
So the Blend mode is set to Multiply. That's fine. I will click on the colors swatch, dial in those same color values, 35, 35, 35 for Hue, Saturation, and Brightness respectively. Click OK in order to accept that color. I am going to reduce the Opacity value this time to 35%, so a very low opacity. We are talking about the shadow that's being cast by the inside edge of the water at this point. So we don't want a lot of shadow there. Just a little bit of firming around that edge. This time we are going to have higher Distance and Size values than we had for the drop shadow.
I am going to take that Distance value from 5 up to 10. Then I am going to take the Size value which is 10 with the drop shadow up to 15 here for the Inner Shadow. That's it! I am going to leave the Chokes value set to 0. We are not changing the Contour setting. Now we need just a little bit of color, and it really depends on what kind of liquid effect you're trying to create, how much color you apply. But where water is concerned, we just need a touch of coolness. So I am going to click on the Color Overlay effect to fill everything inside the layer with red, which of course isn't even kind of what we're looking for.
I am going to click on the color swatch to bring up the Color Picker dialog box, and here are the values I suggest you apply for water which is a cooling agent. So it's absorbing a tiny bit of the natural warmth of the sunlight. So I am going to change the Hue value to 210, and I will change the Saturation to 50%, and I'll leave the Brightness at 100%. Then I will click OK. Now you might look at that and say, wow Deke! That's absorbing a lot of the natural warmth of the sunlight at this point. Well that's because we need to change the Blend mode, and we need to change the Opacity value.
So I am going to change the Blend mode from Normal to Linear Light, which is the ultimate contrast mode, and this is analogous to my coolant style that I was showing you a couple of exercises ago; that is, it looks like radiator fluid, almost sort of ultra bright radiator fluid. Let's go and take that Opacity value down from 100% to 5%, like so. Now you can see we just have a little bit of coolness. This is without the Color Overlay layer. This is with the Color Overlay layer. Just saps a little bit of warmth out of that wood, and that's it. We are done.
Click OK, and we now have a series of four layer effects that are combining to create this wonderful liquid style, but there is a problem here. Let's go ahead and zoom in on one of these edges, and you'll see that it just kind of ends right there, and at the top, you're going to see a little bit of wackiness, a little bit of kind of a wacky edge where the top of the image cuts off the droplet, and as a result we get an extra highlight at that location. And it's most obvious here in the upper left-hand corner where we have a diagonal highlight edge emitting from this water droplet.
So there is no way the droplets would all of a sudden be cut this clean on the edge, which is why we need to go and crop the image. So what I am going to suggest is you don't use the Crop tool, because we want to take the image in the same amount on all sides without there being any chance of cropping anything. So the best command for this purpose is under the Image menu, this guy right there Canvas Size. You can also press Ctrl+Alt+C or Cmd+Option+C on the Mac. If you're working inside of my image, it's all tailored to remove a certain amount of pixels; X number of pixels from the image.
But if you're working on your own image, just make sure that all of your layers are independent like this. That you don't have a background layer. And if you do have a background layer, then cancel out, double-click on that background layer and give it a name like texture or something like that, whatever you want to call it, just to make sure that it's off the background, so we will not be clipped by Canvas Size. Then I recommend that you lower this value as little, by the way, as something like 40 pixels. So you would turn on the Relative check box by the way.
And then you could subtract out 40 pixels in each direction, if you want to. That should be enough to do the trick. However, this image is set to go higher than that. So I am going to enter -200 for Width and then -200 for Height. So you can do the same with your image as well. You just need to crop away something. And we only have a little bit of edge that's a problem. And bear in mind, if I were cropping away 40 pixels, if I had a Width value of -40 and a Height value of -40, that's -20 from the top and -20 from the bottom, 20 off the right-hand side, and 20 off the left-hand side as well.
With a Width value of -200 and Height value of -200, we are taking off 100 pixels from each and every side. I am going to click OK, and then Photoshop is going to lie to me and say, the new canvas size is smaller than current canvas size. All right, that part is the truth. Some clipping will occur. No, lie. Not true. We don't have a background layer, and we don't have an Alpha channel. So no clipping will occur, because this command cannot clip layered images. So click Proceed, and it goes ahead and clips away that bad stuff without reintroducing weird edges, because if real clipping were occurring, then we would have weird edges.
We would have those highlight edges over here in the far left side of the image and the top side of the image, and we would have weird shadow details down at the bottom and along the right-hand side. And we don't. So everything is hunky-dory. So, we now have this wonderful, incredible liquid effect. There is just one little thing bothering me, and that's that the liquid really should be distorting the scene in the background. In other words, there should be some sort of refraction going on. And I'm going to show you how to simulate that refraction using a very specialized distortion function inside of Photoshop in the next exercise.
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