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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.
In this exercise we are going to take a first look at what has to be the most elaborate of the layer effects. The most powerful as well, and that's Bevel and Emboss. There is just so much you can do with that. So I'll walk you through the options first, and then I'll show you how to create a really cool Liquid effect. And we will be doing that with this Splatter layer right here. Now, if you are following along with me, I have gone ahead and saved my progress as, Happy logo.psd. One of the things that I was telling you about Outer Glow versus Stroke is that, Outer Glow is better when you are working with pixels, as if to imply that happy juice with somehow a pixel based layer, it's not, it's a Vector layer, it's a Shape layer right there. So my apologies for that one.
But go ahead an collapse the layer effects so that we have more room inside of the Layers palette, and expand the layer effects for Splatter just below it, so the second to top layer, and then Click on that layer to make it active. I also want you to go ahead and turn on the effects; they are these, so our juice, currently includes a Drop Shadow, and an Inner Shadow. How in the world does that make you look juicy? It doesn't of course so far. It will once we are done. But we really need a beautiful colorful reflective Bevel and Emboss effect to really sell this juice right now.
So as I say, we are going to just see how Bevel and Emboss work first, and then we'll see about making it nice and reflective. All right, I'm going to go down here to the FX icon and I'm going to chose Bevel and Emboss. Oh, and another way by the way to apply new effects, to a layer that already has some layer effects assigned to it, is to just go ahead and Double-Click one of the existing effects, and then Click on the effect there in the list that you want to apply. All right, so here's a base Bevel and Emboss effect, let's go ahead and zoom-in, so that we can see things all the better here, and I'm going to scroll up a little bit just by dragging inside the image window. You don't have to press the Spacebar in this case. I'm going to discuss things sequentially. I'm going to sort of jump around here, just because it's easier to do that.
Let's start with the size option, that's going to control the size of your Depth effect, and bear in mind that Bevel and Emboss is ultimately a collection of highlights on one side, and shadows on the other, so it's a directional effect and you have control over both the Highlights and Shadows independently. So let's go ahead and crank those up to 100% each, just so that we have the most dramatic Highlights and Shadows possible, and then you can increase or decrease the size to taste. Let's leave this pretty high for now. I'll take it up to about 30 let's say.
You also have the option of changing the direction of the Bevel or Emboss effect. What that means is not so much that you are changing the angle of the light source. The angle is determined by these Shading options right here, but rather you are determining whether the thing that you're casting the light onto is convex as in the case of up. In other words, it's pointing up toward you, it's coming out at you, or it's going down. In which case it's concave, and it's catching the light on this side instead, and getting a shadow up here, much like an Inner Shadow effect.
I am going to change the back to up, because we already have an Inner Shadow effect going right now. In fact, I'm going to turn off Inner Shadow just for the moment, so that we can see our Bevel and Emboss effect a little better. I'm also going to turn off Drop Shadow for the moment. So we just have this blob of sort of plastic juice coming at us. All right, so what else do we have? We have this technique option right there, which is analogous to what we saw with Outer Glow where it could be Soft or Precise. In this case, it can be either Smooth, like what we were seeing here, or it could be some Chisel variation. Chisel Hard is going to get you the sort of serrated effect that you are seeing right there. Chisel Soft is only slightly softer, just have a little bit of Anti-aliasing built in, and that's about it.
So let's leave it set to Chisel Hard, so you can see the effect of soften. Notice if I increase the Soften value, I'm getting rid of some of that serration there. The serrated edges are blurring. This is essentially what's happening, and that sharp edge at the outset of the bevel is growing soft as well, it's also blurring. That's a function of this soften slider right there. I am going to crack it back down so that we have the serrated edges, because I want you to see the effect of the Style option. Right now it's in Inner Bevel, so the highlights and shadows are occurring inside the layer. It could be an Outer Bevel, so that the highlights and shadows are occurring strictly outside of the layer like so, which doesn't really impart much of a juice effect, but really nothing we have done so far it has. It's more like we have a bunch of islands that are protruding from the ocean's depth, or something like that.
Then we have Emboss which goes both directions; it goes both out and in as you can see here. So highlights on one side, shadows on the other side. If you want to flip the shadows and highlights around with the Inner and Outer Bevel, then you switch over to this guy, Pillow Emboss. So you would have a shadowed interior edge, and a highlight exterior edge this way, so that it appears that we are digging into the edges around the layer. Then finally you have Stroke Emboss. It's going hide the effects, because you have to have a stroke to make the Stroke Emboss work. So if we wanted the Stroke Emboss, we would then have to switch over to the Stroke option, and I'd have to go with the pretty thick stroke, so that we could see what we are doing. Now notice that the Emboss effect appears only inside the stroke, and that gives us control over where the effect is going to be, because we could move it inside, and we could center it and so on. It also allows us to assign a color or a gradient or something to that effect, to the beveled edge, but I'm not going to do that.
I am going to turn the Stroke off. Let's go back to Bevel and Emboss, and let's switch over to Inner Bevel. As much as Pillow Emboss is a really fun effect, I should say. When you are first goofing off with Bevel and Emboss, Pillow Emboss, man, it's a lot of fun, but it's really useful. I find that 90% of the time I go with an Inner Bbevel. All right, so then what else is that we've not seen yet? We know the highlight and shadow mode stuff, and I'll show you more when we discuss how to actually get the Liquid effect. Let's take a look at the Angle value. We know all about the Angle value. That's the angle at which the sun or really our faky light source is hitting the layer. We want Global Lights, or in other words, it's going to match the angle of all the other directional effects.
But Altitude determines the angle of the sun in the sky. So in other words, at zero degrees if I were to knock this down to 0, it would be right there at the horizon. And at 90 degrees, it's directly up above shining straight down at our layer. As a result, we are not really getting much of a lighting effect at all going, because it's hitting it straight down. By the way, we are the light source at this point, because it's coming out straight out of our eyes, because we are right above the layer, and it's true. By the way, I'm not just goofing, so you can get a sense that you won't see anything, because you are looking right down in it.
All right, so here's 10%. It is actually kind of interesting, and notice that it's affecting happy juice layers, its Altitude values, because the happy juice is affected, we can't see it right now, but it is affected by the Bevel and Emboss effect. So Altitude is going to affect that Bevel and Emboss. Altitude, however, is part of the Global Light, but it only affects Bevel and Emboss effect, none of the others. All right, and just to give you a sense here's what 40% looks like. So you can sit there and fool around with the Altitude to get a sense what you want. I want 67. We are not applying effects right now, never mind, but 67 is what we are going to ultimately go with. We also have some Contour and Texturing options. Just because those are fairly elaborated and difficult to understand, I'm going to save those for the next exercise.
So in the next exercise we'll take a look at this Contour, this Texture, and Gloss Contour. Stay tuned!
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