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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.
In this exercise I'm going to demonstrate yet another application of Fill Opacity. That's in the creation of knockouts. So I've created yet another variation on this wrestler's image. It's called Propaganda.psd. It's found inside the 28_blending folder. What I want to do is I want to take this text and its border and I want to use them to cut a hole inside of my image, and burrow all the way down to the parchment below. So that Works on Paper and the border are actually rendered in parchment and I'll have a floating hole essentially that I can move around wherever I want to.
You do that by creating a knockout. So a knockout allows you to use a layer to burrow a hole through the stack. It's not necessarily an intuitive process. So the option doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense on first blush. But it's not hard to use and once you come to terms with it, you can create knockouts right, left, and center. They're really super effective inside Photoshop. So the first thing I need to do however, is take this border layer, you may recall that the border and the text are separate objects. We need to combine them into a single layer.
So I'm going to select border here inside the text elements group. I'm going to select Works on Paper as well, and I'm going to merge just those two layers together onto a new layer. So you may recall that if I go to the layer menu, and I choose Merge layers. That's going to merge them together. But it also turns them into a pixel based layer, rasterizes the layer. That means we no longer have access to the editable text, or the vector-based path outline. That's the mistake. So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac to undo that change.
Instead, what I want to do is, I want to take advantage of that keyboard shortcut right there. Ctrl+E, except we add the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac. So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Alt+E, or Command+Option+E on a Mac. That goes ahead and fuses those two layers together onto a new layer that is rasterized. Photoshop goes ahead and automatically names it border (merged), which is great. All right, now let's set these guys aside, so that we still have our editable elements available to us. I'll press Ctrl+G after selecting those two layers in order to group them together.
That would be Command+G on the Mac. I'll call this new group editable, like so. Then I'll drag it up, so that it's sitting at the top of the text elements group. Then finally, this is very important, you need to turn it off, because otherwise you'll still see it as you're trying to create your knockout. All right, so now here is how to make a knockout. Go ahead and select border (merged). Bear in mind, we got to burrow our way down like crazy. There is this scarlet layer that I added, which is this sort of scarlet box around the text. Then I've got the wrestler's layer; we got to go through that.
Then there is the stars layer. Below that, there is a darkness layer. It's a brightness contrast layer that's darkening the parchment below it. Finally, there is the parchment in the background. So we've got a dig our way through one, two, three, four different layers, including a group right there. So a couple of layers are nested inside of a group. So this seems like it's going to be a deep knockout. I say that because you have two knockout options to choose from, Shallow and Deep. So let's give it a try. Double-click on an empty portion of the layer there to bring up the Blending Options dialog box.
Then I've got this Knockout option right there. Notice that. I'll go ahead and change it from None to Deep. So we'll just burrow all the way down, and nothing happen whatsoever. It's like, do I have the right layers selected? Yes, border (merged), there it is. You can Cancel out. You can make sure that is layer you're seeing. In case there is any doubt, turn it off, turn it back on, that's it. All right, double-click again. Drag the dialog box out of the way. Change it to Deep. That didn't work. Well, maybe I'm going too deep with this knockout effect, maybe this is paper white in the background, or something. I'll go Shallow.
That doesn't do any good either. Well, the problem is that's just part of the instruction. The other part of the instruction is Fill Opacity, because currently, you're seeing the fill on top of the knockout. So what you need to do is take down the fill, so that the knockout is exposed in the background. I'm going to take that Fill Opacity all the way down to 0%. Now note, this is strictly a Fill Opacity function. If you try to do the same thing with Opacity, you'll eliminate the knockout along with any colors assigned to the layer.
So anyway, go ahead and reset Opacity to a 100%, very important and Fill Opacity all the way down to 0%. Click OK. Now I haven't quite done what I wanted to do. I've just burrowed my way through the scarlet layer, and nothing more. That's because I set, Knockout to Shallow. So I want to demonstrate the difference between Shallow and Deep here. Shallow is going to take you to the bottom of a group that you're working inside of, if you're working inside of a group. Otherwise, Shallow and Deep perform the same. But it's going to stop at the end of the group.
Deep is going to take you all the way down to the Background layer. You have to have a Background layer if you're going to work with Deep. So I could just decide, I was going to constrain the effect to a group, if I wanted to. I could drag the other layers into that group. For example, I could say, you know what; I just want to burrow down to the bottom of wrestlers. So I'll go ahead and drag wrestlers up, until it's inside the group. This should do it, this should put it in the group, and it did. Now we're also burrowing through wrestlers. But we're exposing the stars and darkness layers as well, which makes for a pretty illegible effect.
So instead of doing that, I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac to undo the movement of the wrestlers. I'll go ahead and double-click on that border (merged) layer once again and I'll change the Knockout from Shallow to Deep this time around. Now I go all the way down to the parchment layer below and I'll click OK. So we are now burrowing through scarlet, wrestlers, stars, and darkness, everything all the way down. Now for this Deep knockout to work right, you have to have a Background layer. If I were to take this layer and double-click on it, and convert it to a floating layer of parchment like so and then click OK, then I would burrow down to transparency.
That would not do me any good. Then I'd have to restructure my groups in such a way that I could do a Shallow knockout to get down to parchment. It just easier to have a Background layer if that's where you want to go. So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac to undo that modification. Now I'm going to scroll back up the stack. Click on the border (merged) layer. I want you to see that this is now a floating hole. Notice I can move it to any location and I'm exposing different portions of the parchment as I go. So I'm cutting live through all of these layers.
It's a kind of floating mask if you will. It's a very versatile one as well. All right, so I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on a Mac to restore the position of that Knockout group. That's how you work with the Knockout and Fill Opacity values inside Photoshop. In the next exercise, we're going to take a look at how you can turn layers on and off between channels.
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