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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 see how we work with blend modes when we are working with groups. We haven't really seen what's going on with groups or layer comps, and we have been employing them throughout this project. We are going to see how both groups and layer comps work in the very next chapter, so stay tuned for that. But anyway, in the mean time, here I'm working inside this image called Near-final composition.psd, and I'm sort of feeling like this texture is little out of control here. It's covering up too much of the image. Right now, it's set to the Linear Light mode.
I am going to press Shift+Minus to backup to the Vivid Light mode, which actually produces a much more appealing effect in my estimation here. So I'm going to bring back layer comps, and I want to update this almost done Comp right here, and I'm going to do that by clicking on it, not clicking in front of it, clicking on it, and then clicking on this little Update button like so. The deed is done, yes. All right, so we have made a little modification here, that's nice. Now we have this folder right here called Text elements. I want you to turn it on, or at least make it visible, so that we can see what's going on inside of these layers, and I'll move my composition over a little bit, so that we can see the letters, and of course the blur that's going on underneath there.
Now I want to show you how I accomplish the motion blur, but I don't want to get rid of that motion blur layer, because it will really irritate the layer comps, so I'll all be very sad if we do that. And I'll show you why that is, as I say in the next chapter, but I'm going to turn off motion blur. I'm going to click on the editable text layer, that is Michelangelo right here, and I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+ Option+J on the Mac to jump and name this layer. I'm going to call it Mblur like that, because we are going to be applying motion blur to it, and I'll click OK.
Now let's move Mblur down below Michelangelo, then with Mblur selected, the Mblur layer, go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur and choose Motion Blur. Now at this point you are going to get a warning that's going to ask you if you want to Rasterize the text, because Filters are only applicable to Pixels. Well, not any more. Thanks to Smart Filters. You can convert this text to a smart object, and then apply a light filtering effect if you want to, but for one thing we haven't gotten the Smart Objects yet; for another thing, it's not really worth it in the case of this effect. So we'll just go ahead and Rasterize, which means to convert the text to pixels. Click OK. No longer editable, look they are pixels as represented by this thumbnail right here.
Now if you were to click Cancel, you get your text back, but we don't want our text back, what we want is an angle of 90 degrees, and a distance of 100 pixels, and we are going to get a big warping blur as you see right there. Click OK, and then I pressed Ctrl +Shift+Down arrow. This would be Command+Shift+Down arrow on the Mac. Five times in a row, one, two, three, four, five, and that's all there is to it. So it looks like it's a reflection, but it's really not. All the letters are upright, but it ends up creating a cool little effect there. We are going to get rid of it, press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac, then turn on the motion blur layer once again, because we want to keep the layer comps very happy. Let's go ahead and check them out. They are all happy; there aren't Caution Icons all over the place.
If we got rid of that motion blur layer, look at how unhappy they are. Grumpy Guses, let's go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac to bring it back. All right, so I wanted to show you that. Now, notice that if I click on a group, the overall group here, that the blend mode and Opacity options are available. Fill Opacity is not, which means we can't take advantage of the special behavior of the Fill Opacity 8, but we do have normal Opacity, and all of our blend modes plus one called Pass Through, and what Pass Through does is it just enables the blend modes that are assigned to each of these layers that are inside the group, to pass through the group itself and interact with the other layers.
By the way, if I choose Normal and press the Escape key, then I can press Shift+Alt+P or Shift+Option+P on a Mac in order to access Pass Through. So that one keyboard shortcut that was otherwise lost to the airbrush for mysterious reasons is now available to us here inside the Layers palette. I'm just going to keep talking like Captain Kirk. Okay, so that's good. Now then, however, you don't always want it to work that way. Let's say we decided to colorize our text, and we are going to colorize the text using an adjustment layer, let's say, being one of the many options available to us, but one of the best also.
So I'll click on Michelangelo, the editable text layer, and I'll press the Alt key or the Option key in the Mac, click the black white icon, and I'm going to choose Hue/Saturation, which is going to bring up the warping big Adjustments palettes. I love this behavior. I'm glad it happened, because I just got a question for a user asking what in the world is going on with the Layers palette disappearing all the time, and so finally you can see it happen along with me, because it is one of the most irritating new features inside of Photoshop CS4. It happens to me when I'm sort of setting up the screen in advance of recording the exercises routinely, it's very irritating. Anyway, I'll just call this Colorize blue, because that's what it's going to do, and we could use the previous layer to create a clipping mask, but that means - of course, you can't see, you are just going to have to imagine.
Well, actually you know what? I think I can solve this problem. I think I can collapse the Color palette, that's what I want to do, and then expand the Layers palette. A-ha, nice, and there is the Michelangelo layer. If I were to use the previous layer to create clipping mask, I would only colorize Michelangelo and not motion blur. I want to colorize them both. All right, so Colorize blue, click OK, and we bring up the Hue/Saturation panel here, and the first thing I'm going to do is turn On the Colorize checkbox, and notice that's colorizing everything inside the image; red, as it just so happens. I'm going to change it to blue by changing the Hue value 210; it's kind of a cobalt blue now. Tab to Saturation, I'm going to raise the Saturation value to a bright 50%, and then I'm also going to increase the Lightness value, because I want to make even the blacks nice and colorful.
So I'm going to take this up to a Lightness value of 30%. Now it's telling you that you don't want to use Lightness normally inside Hue/Saturation, but when colorizing very, very specific layers inside of a composition, you may find it helpful, as I'm finding it helpful now. All right, go away Adjustments palette, you just crushed layers just a moment ago, I hope you are satisfied by that behavior, fairly rude. Now I'm going to click on the Text elements folder. Now I was telling you, I could go ahead and clip Colorize into Michelangelo by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking that line between Colorize blue and Michelangelo, and that settles everything down, so we are not colorizing the entire composition. We are just taking care of those letters, but we are not getting the motion blur, so that's not good.
So undo that modification. What I want to do is I want to burn in those letters, burn them in to the background, and why don't we go ahead and scroll over to the right ever so slightly, not quite as much as I did originally. So I can make sure that the adjustment layer does not go outside of this group, by selecting any mode except for Pass Through. So notice, if I go with Normal, it longer exceeds the group. If I go with Dissolve, it no longer exceeds the group, and so on and so on. All right, but what I want to burn it in, so I'm going to go with Linear Burn actually for this effect, and I get this nifty burn effect that we are seeing right now. And now, just for the sake of being Mr. Tidyman, I'm going to go ahead and save off the layer comp by clicking in Layer Comp icon to bring up the Layer Comps palette, and then I'm going to click on this new guy, and I'm going to call it 'We're finally done!' And make sure Visibility and Appearance are turned on, and then I'm going to add a little comment like, Should we do a blend modes series? Because I think it would be really wickedly fun, and we could explore these guys in so much more detail that we have inside this little chapter here, and then I'll click OK, and we have got it.
So this was my previous version of the image, blend mode madness right here, which is interesting, but I think this is one is so much better. We are finally done. It has the look that I'm looking for. I am now going to press the F key a couple of times to get rid of everything, and I'm going to zoom In so that we can take in this image in all of its splendor. This is the final version of the effect. In the next brief chapter we'll take a look at all the organizational stuff you can do with layers, including Groups and layer comps. Stay tuned.
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