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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, 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 CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right, our next order is to offset this text here, both the quote at the top of the book cover and we're just interested in setting off the blue text right now. Also, the name of the legendary author down here at the bottom, Vatsuf Javbar. We're told that it just has to leap off the jacket. So, we're going to create some darkness; actually, we're going to apply a combination of Hue, Saturation and Darkness in order to create a dark area behind just the blue text as I say. All right, I've gone ahead and saved my changes as this document Blurry type.psd and I'm going to hide the Adjustments palette for a moment so that I can navigate more freely here. I'm going to switch to the Brighten screen layer right there. I want it to be active and we're going to add a Hue/Saturation layer that's going to achieve the effect we're looking for.
I could go back to the Adjustments palette and plow through everything up there, or I might as well work the old school way, it still works. Press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac, click on its Black/White icon and choose Hue/Saturation. Because you had Alt or Option down, you'll see the New Layer dialog box. Notice Photoshop goes ahead and automatically opens the Adjustments Layer but it's showing us the Levels options because the Levels layer is active right now. We don't have to worry about clicking this left-pointing green arrowhead to switch back or any of that jazz. We can just enter Color spin and click OK, because we are going to be spinning the colors.
In fact, let's spin them now. I'm going change the Hue value to -180 to spin the colors all the way around the wheel or halfway around the wheel, I should say. You can change this Hue value to - 180 by dragging the slider triangle all the way to the left or all the way to the right. It's totally up to you. You will get the same effect. Then I'm going to take the Saturation value down to -50 here, and that's it. Now I also want to darken things and I could try darkening with the Lightness slider, but I don't want to work that way because that's sort of like pummeling the image with a hammer, essentially. I mean we're making the lightest highlights very dark when we do this and I'd rather take a more new honest approach. So, let's leave the Lightness value set to 0 for now.
Next, in order to darken things up real good, I want to change the blend mode. So better than changing the Lightness value here, in fact, let's just go ahead and hide the Adjustments palette. I'm going to change the blend mode assigned to Color spin to the best darkening blend mode there is, which is Multiply, which we applied to the shadow layer in an earlier exercise, and now we're going to apply to this layer in order to darken up those tones in the background. It looks great. All right, now let's add a layer mask because we need to relegate this darkness to just the areas behind the blue letters. So we don't want this mid range of the image to be this dark, by clicking at the Layer Mask icon down here at the bottom of the Layers palette, there it is. Now I want you to go ahead and grab your Gradient tool, which you can get by pressing the G key, if you like, and you may see different options selected up here.
I am working from that real girl gradient; actually, it's the one that's selected here in the list. You can click on a different gradient to select it or I want you to see a few keyboard shortcuts that you should know if you're working with the Gradient tool on a regular basis. First of all, you can cycle through gradients by pressing the Comma key to go backward through the gradients, or the Period key to go forward through the gradients. Now why is it Comma and Period, because of the Less Than sign there and a Greater Than sign. So Comma takes you one direction, Period the other.
If you want to go to the first gradient, which is what I want you to do, press Shift+Comma and then Shift+Period would take you to the last gradient. But I want Shift+Comma for the first gradient and I also want to change the style of gradient. Notice that it's currently set to this guy here, for me, for you probably it isn't, but mine is set to Angle Gradient for whatever reason. I can click on Linear Gradient, which is what I want, or I can change the style of gradient by pressing a Bracket key. So [ takes you one direction,] takes you the other. I want to go this way or the Linear Gradient.
All right, I'm ready to go. I'm going to scroll to the top of my composition here. Go ahead and press the D key in order to establish your default colors here inside of this layer mask. Press the Shift key in order to constrain the angle of your drag-release and we've created a white to black gradient as you can see represented right here inside the layer mask called Alt+Click or Option+Click on its thumbnail. You can see its white at the top, black at the bottom. Why in the world does that make sense given if I Alt+Click or Option+Click again, that it's dark at the top and light at the bottom, once it's applied to the effect. Well, the effect is multiplied in where it's opaque, which is the white area, that's going to be darkness and where it's transparent, the black area, that's where it's going to be lightness.
All right, let's go to the bottom here and do something similar, but first we need to change the style of the gradient. I want you to press the Period key to advance to the next gradient, which goes foreground to transparent right there, white to transparent. Then I want you to drag from just above the letters, like so, to about this point right there and I'm pressing the Shift key once again. This is roughly the horizon line below the drive-in movie screen and I'll release. Make sure that you hold the Shift key down until after you release.
One more thing that I want to do, it's kind of silly that we're darkening on top of a brightening layer, so we are to use the same mask to mask the contents of the brightened layer too, except we're going to need an inverted version of the mask. We're going to need this area, this black area to be bright and this white area to be dark. That means turning the mask on its head. But first, I want you to press and hold the Alt key, Option key on the Mac and I want you to drag that layer mask thumbnail and see how my cursor looks like two arrows right there. That shows me that I'm going to clone the mask, because I have the Alt or Option key down, then release your mouse button in order to perform the clone and then release the Alt or Option key, then click on this layer mask, the one for Brighten screen and press Ctrl+I or Command+I to invert it.
After all this and cautioning you that you should go ahead if you can, and are you working inside of a layer composition to apply inversion as an adjustment layer. Why did I just invert by pressing Ctrl+I or Command+I which is the same as going up to the Image menu, choosing Adjustments and choosing the Invert command, which is a static modification. Well, when you're working inside of a mask, you can't put layers into masks. So masks can be assigned to layers, but layers cannot be assigned to masks. So you have to perform static modifications inside of masks and channels as well.
All right, so there it is and the great thing is now this is much darker than it was before behind this type right here, and just to give you a sense, I'll press F12 in order to revert the image to the way it appeared when we first started this exercise. This is the before version of those blue letters, this is the after version, and they are much, much darker where that is to say the area behind him is much darker, thanks to this mask Color spin layer and the inverted version of the mask applied to Brighten screen.
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