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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right so here we are, people, in the 24th chapter of this gianormous series, 3000 movies inside of Photoshop CS4 One-on-One. We are in the portion of the series called Mastery, in which I purport to tell you how to master Photoshop. How to make it do anything you wanted to do. And I'm going to tell you with a straight face that this exercise is all about drawing a horizontal line. And it's actually it is an important little lesson because Photoshop doesn't handle lines like any of the other programs out there, like your Illustrators and your Flashes and your InDesigns and so on.
Instead it draws a line as a shape because it has to be filled in, and that's just the paradigm. I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as Field & stripes.psd found inside of the 24_vector_shapes folder. I want you to click on the election layer right there to make it active. And you might want to twirl it open too, so that you can see your drop shadow there, which tells you that we have a Drop Shadow layer effect assigned to this layer. Now it will become important in just a moment. Now I want to create an underscore, under the word election, using a horizontal line. And you might say, "Deke, if you wanted to do that, why didn't you just add an underscore type style to this text before you went and converted it to a shape layer? You could have done that, buddy." Well, here are two reasons I didn't. One, you don't really have control over an underscore. You don't have the control over the spacing. You don't have control over the weight. And I want this underscore to go all the way to the left edge of my photo illustration here.
So lots of reasons that we are going to draw it by hand. It gives us more control. We are going to go over here to the toolbox, click and hold on the Polygon tool, which happens to be the last tool I used. We are going to switch to the Line tool and I want to draw a thick line. That's going to have a Weight of 12 pixels. So I'm going to press Shift+Right Bracket. Notice that increases the Weight value by 10 pixels so up to 11. And then I'll press Right Bracket again for 12 pixels. And of course you could change the value manually, if you had a mind to.
Now something else to note about the Line tool. It's great for creating arrows. So if you click this down pointing arrowhead. You have the option of choosing to Add Arrowheads to your line. And it can be at the start of the line or at the end of the line, either way and you can set the Width, which is going to be how wide the arrowhead is. How long it is. By the way these percentages are with respect to the Weight value. So 500% of the line weight wide and 1000% of the line weight tall. So in other words you are going to have a 120 pixel tall arrowhead, because the 1000% is ten times. And then Concavity, you know let me show you that one.
Let's go ahead and draw an arrowhead at the start of this line for just a moment. So we can see what I'm talking about. And so there is our arrowhead right there at the start of the line. But notice that it has a perpendicular edge to it right there. So it goes from a diagonal line to a differently diagonal headline right there. But let's say you want a more standard arrow that actually pulls back this thing a little bit. So it's more of a spear. Then you would want to change the Concavity value and I'll show you how that works. Let's go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on Mac to undo the creation of that arrow line. And I'll change the Concavity value to something I like to use a lot, which is 20%. It turns out to work out pretty nicely. This is the value I just kind of default to and I don't like it so long. I want this more like 500% Length and let's go with something wider, like let's try 1000% wide.
Why don't we, just for fun? And then I'll drag. Oh! That looks terrible. But notice there is the Concavity right there. So we have some arching going on. That is just awful though. Let's go ahead and switch here to something better. Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. Let's change that Length value to 1000% as well. So 1000, 1000 and let's go ahead and drag once again. And that's more like it. I still think that arrowhead is way too big for this line, 500, 500 might have been better. But you get a sense for how it works. So there is your concavity going on right there. We don't want that, so Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. I want no arrowheads, so I'm going to turn off the arrowhead like so. And also I want to match the style and both the color that's associated with election, white, so we are not drawing these gray things all the time. And I want that exact Drop Shadow, how do I get it? Well you can come up here and click on this chain icon right there. Ain't going to work for me though. Notice I'm clicking on that chain. You can't really see me clicking away here, but I'm telling you I am. And it's not working for me.
The reason is because the mask has to be active. I don't know why that is, but the vector mask has to be active. So you have to click on that vector mask all the sudden, Ooh! It goes ahead and selects itself. A moment ago it wouldn't respond to anything I was doing, but as soon as it sees the vector mask -- Oh! Oh yeah, I get it. It goes ahead and selects itself, great. Anyway you can turn it off if you want to, if you want to go your own way. Anyway I want it on. Now because we have these guides up on screen, we are going to snap to the guide. I want it kind of keep it right there in the middle of the guides like that.
But I don't want the snapping to occur. So I'll press Ctrl+; or Command+; on the Mac, get rid of those guides. So they are not intruding on my ability to draw horizontal line. And now I'll draw like so. And notice it's going to be at whatever crazy angle you want to make it. I'm going to press and hold the Shift key, in order to get a horizontal line, or it could be vertical or diagonal, depends on the direction of your drag and draw all the way off screen. Far enough so that you are going off of the illustration and you get a line just like this one here. That's so very pretty. And then let's go ahead and name it something like underscore.
Now somebody who is paying attention might say "Hey, since you wanted the same fill and you wanted the same drop shadow and everything and this was already a shape layer. Couldn't have you just added it to that same vector mask?" To which I would tell you nice! Yes, that's there is no reason on earth to make this an independent layer. We could have done that. If I wanted to do that, well I would have done. Let's just go ahead and back step a couple steps or Ctrl+Alt+Z a couple times, Command+Opiton+Z a couple times on the Mac. Click on that vector-based mask right there, in order to make it active. So that you can see the outlines and press and hold the Shift key like so, so that we are going to add to that vector mask and drag like so, like that there. You can press the Spacebar in order to move the line on the fly if you want to, if you need to. Get it in exactly the right position like so. This looks pretty darn good to me I think.
And then release and now they are together, and notice that it is a filled shape. So just something to bear in mind. You are not going to change the Line Weight after drawing the line. Photoshop must be like the only program on the face of the planet that's left that after you draw a line you can't change the Line Weight value anymore. And that's because it's not a line with a Weight value with the stroke associated with it. Instead what it is is a shape. All right so there you have it. We drew a horizontal line in Photoshop.
In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to draw a custom shape and I'm going to show you how to load a world of custom shapes that are available to you that you would never know about coming right up.
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