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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.
In this exercise I'm going to give you a sense of how you combine contours with your Bevel and Emboss effects. I'm here to tell you if you enjoyed editing a custom contour along with the Drop Shadow, or an Outer Glow, or any of the other effects my, my, my you're going to love them when combined with Bevel and Emboss, because, well, they just make your brain hurt. That's what. I've saved my progress as Box of bugs.psd, and just to give you a sense of what you can do here I'm going to leave my spiders layer active, and I'm going to double-click on Bevel and Emboss for the spiders layer of course.
Let's check out Gloss Contours, shall we? I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on my Spiders and scroll over a little bit so that I can see the S and P. All you have to do when you're working with Bevel and Emboss you can just drag inside the image window to scroll the image. You don't have to press the Spacebar or anything like that. Now, I was telling you where Drop Shadow is concerned as well as Inner Shadow, Outer Glow, and Inner Glow, the contour is ultimately an Opacity settings. So you're mapping the interior of the effect all the way to the exterior of the effect to different opacity levels.
Compare that to Gloss Contour, notice that it has the different name, which is ultimately mapping luminance levels along with opacity levels. So I'm going to click inside of this white and gray flag in order to bring up the Contour Editor dialog box. Now as we're looking at the Emboss effect notice it has an Input level of 100% and an Output level of 100%. This time we're talking about luminance. So I should warn you that it's not strictly speaking luminance by itself. It's a combination of luminance and opacity working together, but it does control the highlight edge right there.
So you can darken the highlight edge by dropping this right point down. By the same token let's go ahead and put that back where it was. You can lift the shadow edge, so you can brighten the shadow edge by dragging up the left-hand point, like so. We're also filling the interior with a bit of highlight as we go, and that's because we're raising the entire curve right there. If we didn't want to raise the entire curve, the whole thing, then we could just click some point in the middle of the curve and lift that. That's going to preserve the dark shadow down here in the lower left corner while we're raising that highlight.
We're lifting the highlight inside of the letters. That's going to be combined by the way, whatever you do with the Gloss Contour is going to be combined with your Altitude value, because that's going to change the angle of the light in sky, and you can end up lighting the surface of your letters in this case according to the shape of the Gloss Contour. Then we also have the Depth effect which is going to work in combination with Altitude and Gloss Contour to determine lighting as well. So if I were to offer you any advice, why then, just remember your highlights are upright, your shadows are down left, and you can control the interior lighting by adding a point right there in the middle and either raising it to create a brighter interior or lower it to create a darker interior.
Anyway, I'll cancel out of there. Your other option for modifying the contour is this Contour option right there. That's where I think a lot of people just give up hope, because it takes enough energy to come to terms even sort of with Gloss Contour. What in the world's up with the second Contour option? Well, this one if you turn it on by clicking on it, this one changes the shape of the letters themselves. So imagine that you're working with an actual beveled edge on the letter forms, and that's the contour that we have going here.
So right now we just have the smooth sort of bulbous letters imagine that are rising up from this wood surface. However, we could make them spike a little bit so that they go up and down and back up again. I'll return to Bevel and Emboss for a moment, and I'll increase the Size value so that we distribute that contour effect. So now you can see there is a bright edge, and we are dipping down into the shadows now, and then we go back up to brightness and we dip down again, because of that rippling contour that's actually engraved into the letter forms now.
That's why, by the way, this guy here even exists, the Rounded Steps. If you click on it you're going to assign these rounded edges that are actually sculpted into the letter forms. You can get some pretty darn nifty effects that way if you want. I'm going to go ahead, because this looks pretty darn good. I'm going to go ahead and click OK to accept this Contour. Now, notice I didn't change a Gloss Contour this time around. I just changed the Contour effect. And then, by the way, you've got this Range option right there and if you want to squeeze the area that is affected by the contouring effect there then you can adjust the Range.
I'm going to change it back to 100%, so we're evenly distributing that Contour effect. Then I'll click OK in order to accept my modifications. And that is the result of one form of Bevel and Emboss contouring. This is before I modify the contours as you can see, and this is after. In the next exercise I'll show you how to apply texturing.
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