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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
I've saved my progress as palette knife on plaster.psd found inside the 30_smart_filters folder. In this final exercise, we're going to transform this image into a kind of bird's-eye view of some strange landscape. And we're going to have absolute control over whether we want to weight the landscape in favor of the sea, at the expense of the land, or vice versa; show more land masses and have the sea move away. Now, I should say something by the way, something that can happen, at least I've seen it happen a few times now.
When I'm working away with filter gallery filters things like Note Paper for example, when you open this document or one of your own, you might see a little warning icon down here that saying that the filter is not applicable. And yet you might even see the effects of the filter out here in a larger image window. What that means is that you've run into a memory error and you need to quit Photoshop and just restart it, that's all. At least again, in my experience it's a memory problem. All right, but if you don't have that problem, why then let's just work away here. I'm going to revisit that Note Paper filter and most of the filters you can't swap out for another filter, for example, you can't say, you know what I want to just somehow switch Gaussian blur to Unsharp mask.
You would have to apply that the Unsharp mask filter and then turn Gaussian blur off. However, if a filter lives inside the filter gallery, then you can swap it for one of it's filter gallery compatriots and that's true for Note Paper. So if I double-click on Note Paper, that brings up the filter gallery. And you might very well ask well how in a world should you know who is a filter gallery filter and who is not? Well it's mostly just the lame filters in my opinion that are filter gallery filters, that is the guys that live inside the Artistic submenu right there that create the sort of faux artifacts.
And I'm not a big fan of them. I don't think that they're particularly successful. There is also all the filters that live in the Brush Strokes submenu. These are submenus under the Filter menu by the way. There is a few Distort filters; three of them, none of which distort an image. So they're in the wrong place, but there they are. There is a Sketch filters which I quite like actually. They're great. And then we've got one Stylize filter, Glowing Edges, which is whatever, awful. And then we've got a handful of Texture filters which are halfway decent. Anyway, the best, I think, are the Sketch filters right there.
And so Note Paper is currently selected. I just have to click on a different thumbnail to switch it out for a totally different filter. For example, here is Bas Relief very interesting. Here is Chrome, if you want to try that out. You can click on Photocopy, although it isn't going to look like much in this case. Stamp ends up producing a kind of water droplet effect; you may recall how we made our own water droplets that were black-and-white like this, way back when we were looking at layer effects in the previous portion of this series. Here is Reticulation. So that's some kind of crazy hive of activity.
It looks very insect oriented. Finally though, what I am going to land on here for my land masses is Plaster, because we end up getting this kind of a effect here and you can use the Image Balance once again to decide if you're going to have more land masses. And now I'm deciding whatever is dark is the land mass, whatever is light is going to be the sea, or I could reduce the Image Balance command to create more islands essentially. Anyway, something, kind of in-between for now is going to work out well and I'm going with 24 I guess.
And then I'll click OK in order to accept that modification. Now then, I need to somehow colorize the land masses so the land is brownish I would assume, and then the sea is kind of a bluish green and I'm going to achieve that effect using a gradient map layer. So I'll go ahead and turn the color layer off for now, which is that Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer. Then I'll go down to the black-white icon, press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and this I'll choose Gradient Map. And because I have the Alt or Option key down, I end up seeing the New layer dialog box and I'll call this guy land & sea and click OK.
And I'm going to make a very simple gradient by clicking on the gradient bar right here. And let's switch out that dark key color by double-clicking on the color stop. And I'm going to enter a Hue value of 30 degrees let's say, and then a Saturation value 75%, and a Brightness value of 15. So we have some very dark land masses going on, click OK and then let's double-click on the final color stop the white one. And I'll change the Hue value to, let's say, 180, which is cyan of course. And then I'll raise the Saturation value to 50%, and finally set the Brightness to 100%.
And if you want more of a bluish sea, you can go ahead nudge this Hue value up a little bit if you like, but I'm going to leave it set where I had it, 180 degrees, click OK and then click OK inside the gradient editor and then go ahead and close the Adjustments panel. And now, to get a sense of what's going on, just go ahead and zoom out by pressing Ctrl+Minus or Cmd+Minus a couple of times. Currently we're kind of seeing through the land masses to some of the cloud pattern and that's because this Plaster effect is a little bit translucent.
You may recall when it was note paper I reduced its opacity to 75%, so you could restore its 100% Opacity by double -clicking on the Settings icon and that would bring up the Blending Options dialog box and you could take the Opacity value up to 85% or 95% or what have you if you want something darker. Then if you want to turnaround and reinstate some clouds, because let's say we're above the clouds looking down, we are so very high above this world, then click OK and create a new layer.
All you need to do is just press Ctrl+ Shift+N or Cmd+Shift+N on the Mac, and we'll call this guy clouds and then click OK and it's a layer of transparency. Now make that layer of transparency a smart object by going up to the Layers panel flyout menu, clicking on it, and choosing Convert to Smart Object. And now it's just a smart object full of nothing, but clouds doesn't need anything. The Add Noise does. If we try to use the Add Noise filter, it would get mad at us because Add Noise needs pixels to work with. Clouds does not, clouds will just replace anything it comes in the contact with.
So go up to the Filter menu, choose Render, and choose Clouds and notice, bang! All of the sudden we've got this layer of clouds here. We also, by the way, have an empty filter mask we don't need that. Right-click because we don't need anymore clutter inside the panel, Delete Filter Mask, then let's go ahead and drag this above land & sea. So land & sea is affecting the Base layer but not this new clouds layer. And I'm going to set the clouds to, let's say, Screen in order to keep the bright clouds and see through the dark once. That's still too cloudy for my taste.
So I want you to double-click over in this empty area of the clouds layer. Don't double-click on the thumbnail because it'll want you to open up the smart object and there is nothing there. Then go down to the This Layer slider bar there and drag the black slider triangle over to the right in order to reveal areas of the Base layer, which of course represents the land masses and the sea and all that jazz. And then Alt+drag or Option+drag these two halves of the triangle apart. So I'll go ahead and move this guy up and I'll move this guy down like so until I have some partial cloud coverage as we're seeing right there.
You could experiment with the Blend mode being set to Linear Dodge if you wanted brighter clouds. I think that's too much though so I'm going to set that back to Screen. And then that's fine. Click OK in order to accept that change. And then, of course, recall if you want to change your cloud pattern, all you do is you go down here to Clouds, double- click on it, it completely regenerates the clouds. I cannot tell you how much fun it is regenerating clouds. It's just set an easy thing to do, just double-click, and bang! You got different clouds going. All right, and if you want to change your land masses, now that you're reconsidering how things are working together, we'll go down here to Plaster; the Plaster filter that's associated with the Base layer, double-click on the word Plaster there and then, of course, adjust your Image Balance.
So I'm going to raise that Image Balance value if I want more land masses, like so. And if I want more sporadic islands, I would reduce that Image Balance value. That just gives you a sense of the kind of synthetic effects you can create using nothing, nothing whatsoever. This began as an absolutely empty new file to which we applied a series of different smart filters here inside Photoshop.
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