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Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, updated for CS5, 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 CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
I've saved my progress as Built-up vector swash.psd. In this exercise we're going to assign a mask to our logo, so that we can see the model's head, and the logo appears to be in back of her. We're actually going to do this pretty easily, because I've already created the mask in advance. It's ready and waiting as an Alpha Channel. So the first thing I'd like you to do is go ahead and grab these layers, underline through Pout. So go ahead and click on underline, even though it's hidden right now. Then Shift+Click on Pout to select all of them. Then go up to the Layers panel flyout menu, choose New Group from layers.
Let's go ahead and call this logo elements or something like that. Then click OK in order to create that new group. Now we can assign a layer mask to that entire group. That layer mask happens to be ready and waiting here inside the Channels panel. It's this guy right there, half mask. Now you may kind of wonder what in the world is going on with this mask. The reason it's called half mask is because I lost interest at a certain point. There was no reason in going any farther. I went ahead and made the area inside of the model's head black and inside of her glove and elbow black as well.
Then I made the entire background white. You can see how the mask interacts with the RGB image if you go ahead and click the eyeball in front of RGB, like so. So then we get this rubylith overlay that tells the story I think. So wherever we're seeing red, that's going to be a protected area where the model shows through, and wherever we see transparent is going to be an unprotected area, where we see the logo instead. So again, white reveals, and we're revealing the logo in this case, black conceals. We're concealing the logo and revealing the model in the background.
Now I can go ahead and turn that RGB composite back off by pressing the Tilde key as you may recall. We'll see the mask by itself. All right, so that's basically it. I'm not going to go into detail about how I created this specific mask, because I will be sharing with you a wealth of alpha channel techniques when we visit masking essentials in the mastery portion of this series, but for now what I'd like you to do is just go ahead and press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and click on this channel, on the half mask channel, in order to load it up as the selection outline.
Then switch over to the Layers panel, and I want you to drop down to this layers Mask icon and click on it to add the layer mask. That's all there is to the effect. Notice now, if you go ahead and zoom out from the effect just a little bit, you'll be able to see that the model's head now appears to be in front of the logo element and a lot of this has to do with the direction of the shadows, her natural shadows that is, are being cast down into the left. We don't need to worry about any shading that's being cast by her head onto the logotype, because the majority of the logo elements are located above into the right of her head and her glove and her elbow and so forth.
The only point at which we need a little bit of shadow being cast by her arm is down here on the lower left side of her elbow as you can see, and that's why if I go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+Click on this layer mask thumbnail, that's why I went ahead and brushed in a little bit of soft black. I actually did that using the Brush tool incidentally. I would right-click in this case and set the Size value to something like let's say something fairly large like 50 pixels.
Leave the Hardness at 0%. That's very important. Then with Black set as my foreground color, I would brush in some shading right there, some blackness, some very soft blackness. As a result, when I press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on that layer mask thumbnail, again, I've introduced even a little bit of additional natural shading. So this is before the modification I just applied, if I press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, and this is after. If you feel like you want to apply a little bit more shading, then you can continue to brush into that layer mask.
But you don't want to go too far, because if you do, you're going to end up covering up that drop shadow that's being cast by the swash in the background. In fact, I dare to say that I've messed things up a little bit here, so you know what I'm going to do; I am going to zoom in another click. I'm looking at the image at the 200% zoom ratio incidentally. I'm going to press the L key to get my Lasso tool. I'm going to press the Alt key or the Option key. Press and hold that key, so I gain access to the Polygonal Lasso tool function. I don't have any other selection active. So I'm not going to end up subtracting from it. All right, so I'll just go ahead with the Alt key or the Option key down.
I'll go ahead and click my way around this region like so, and then click my way back. So I go ahead and select this area of the last drop shadow. I think I've selected a little high, so I'm going to press the Down Arrow key to nudge my selection outline downward. Then I'll go up to the Select menu. I'll choose Modify, and I'll choose Feather. I'll enter a Feather Radius value of one pixel. That will do me fine and click OK, because I just need a little bit of softness there. Then I'll press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac, so that I can see what happens in this next step as I press the Backspace key because after all white is my background color here.
I'll press Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete in order to fill that area with white. It looks to me like I have a little bit of a light edge next to that arm. So you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. As long as I'm here, I might as well be careful. I'll press Ctrl+H, Command+H in order to reveal the selection outline again. I'll press the Right Arrow key to nudge it just slightly over to the right. All right, let's try it again. Press Ctrl+H, Command+H on the Mac and then press Ctrl+Backspace, Command+Delete on the Mac. That is perfect by golly! I'll go ahead and zoom out. I now have a perfectly masked logo.
I have this wonderful integration of imagery and text. I have to tell you something here. Only Photoshop would be able to pull this one off this effectively, because Photoshop allows you to combine vector-based shape outlines along with vector-based editable type, along with pixel-based imagery in a way that no other Adobe program anyway can match. In the next exercise I'm going to show you how to create a tiny vector-based sparkle.
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