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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.
In this final exercise of the chapter I'm going to how to create text that inverts everything below it. Now this has absolutely nothing to do with Smart Objects, except for the fact that anything that you can do to an image layer can integrate with Smart Object layers as well. So it does have that tenuous threat to Smart Objects as you will see and besides which I tell you what, it just a really insanely great technique. By the way, I've gone ahead and save my progress as Blended portraits.psd and I have got this text layer, it's rasterized text, text converted to pixels, because I wasn't sure if you had the same fonts that I'm using. But it would work just as well if this were a live text. So your live text, this is going to be great for.
The idea is I want this text to invert everything below it so that the text appears black in the white areas and it appears white when it overlaps the model's chin and the model's shoulder and so on. And I want it have just excellent contrast, either white or black, nothing in between. I don't want a lot of namby-pamby different gray values going on or weird colors or anything like that. I want a nice, solid, strong effect. So how do we get such a thing? Well, I'll show you. First of all make sure your text layer is active and then we are going to go ahead and fill the text with white.
That's step number one. Now if you would just working with regular old type and you had white as your background color, you could press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete. Since this is rasterized text, we need to protect the transparent pixels. So we are going to press Ctrl+Shift+ Backspace or Command+Shift+Delete in order to fill just the opaque pixels with white like so. So far so bad, right? It doesn't look like anything. It just looks like we are losing most of the text and it's not legible at all any more. Let's go ahead and move this over a little bit so we can see all of the text. The next trick is to go up here to the Blend Mode pop-up menu and I want you to choose the Difference mode right there in order to subtract white from all the colors behind it and what that's going to do. When you apply the Difference blend mode to something that's white, that white goes ahead and totally inverts everything in back of it. So the white turns black on the white area, because it's inverting white. So the opposite of white is black obviously. And it goes ahead and finds a complementary color of these other colors. So we get blue inside the orange flesh tones and a light blue inside the darker orange flesh tones.
That's not what I want. I don't want a bunch of blue. That's that namby-pamby stuff I was talking about that I do not want. So even though the Difference mode works beautifully for the black on white, we need to do something different. We need to increase the intensity of the effect here in the skin tones. So the first thing I'm going to do is leach out the color. So I'm going to get rid of the saturation and we are going to do that by bringing up the Adjustment palette. So make sure your Adjustment palette is up on screen. Then I want you to Alt-click or Option-click on the Hue/ Saturation icon right there to bring up the New Layer dialog box and we'll call this desat and turn on Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask. So we are clipping the effect just of the text because otherwise we would drain all the color out of her flesh and we don't want her gray, we want her nice and fleshy the way she is. She looks great.
So click OK and that brings up the Adjustment palette of course and I'm going to take the Saturation value and reduce to -100, and that did nothing. Now why in the world did it do nothing? -100, that's a big loss of saturation and yet we kept every single bit of saturation right there. And if I got rid of the clipping by Alt-click or Option-click on this horizontal line between desat and text, watch and notice that desat is working for us. It is getting rid of the saturation sure enough; it's getting rid of all the color inside of the model's flesh.
So it is working on the text, but why isn't it working on the text when it's clipped? Well, I'll tell you why. Let's go ahead and clip it again by Alt-clicking or Option-clicking this horizontal line. It's because desat is being applied to the text first and then the Difference mode is being applied to the text after that. We are desaturating white so that's not doing anything. So we need to change out the order. And you do that by going to the text layer, the clipping layer, not the clipped layer, but the clipping one. Double-clicking on it in the empty area in here to bring up the Layer Style dialog box and then we got our checkboxes. Remember those? We don't want to blend the clipped layers as a group, because that would apply desat to text and then Difference to text. We want it the opposite order. So we want to apply Difference to text and then desat to that. So turn that checkbox off and now we get gray. Aha! Nice.
Now I'll click OK, go back to desat, click on it again and here in the Adjustments palette I want you to click this left pointing arrow in order to return to your Adjustments list. Now we need to increase the intensity, basically increase the contrast of the text. So we have not only nice blacks, the blacks are great, but we need nice whites where the text appears over the flesh and we are going to get that with Levels. Now you could try to apply a Threshold modification, but if you do that, you are going to have a harsh transition between your whites and your blacks, really jagged cut off. We want a little bit of smoothness, so Levels is our guy.
Alt-click or Option-click on a Levels icon and we'll call this B&W and turn on Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask and then click OK and we have got this clipped layer right here. Notice we are seeing this little hump of light colors right there. These are blacks; the blacks are nice and strong. There is nothing to do about them. They are already black. But these luminance levels right here in the A and the top of the N and over here on the O, those are represented by these little mountains right there. So we need to move the white point on the other side of the mountains, so we are going to take it over to 110 and that gives us this effect. And we still have this range of grays between 0-110. Leave your gamma value alone and those are the grays in between. These nice little transitional grays. Nice! Now go ahead and hide that Adjustments palette. Let's go back down here to the text layer and I'm going to Ctrl+Drag it around, Command+Drag on the Mac and notice now the text is just inverting anything I drag it over. Isn't that amazing, the way that works? All right, go ahead and press Ctrl+Z and Command+Z on the Mac and this will work with your editable text. So if you wanted to make changes, if it were editable text, you could make changes, fix typos, completely change out the text, do whatever that you want to do.
All right, that's it for our initial Smart Objects discussion people. I'm going to press Shift+F to enter the Full Screen mode and zoom on our beautiful glorious composition. And then in the next chapter we are going to take off from where we left off with Smart Objects and we are going to go over to another thing that relies on Smart Object inside of Photoshop and that is Smart Filters. Stay tuned.
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