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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, I'm going to show you how and why you modify the Fill value. I'm still working inside of Sky & statue.psd. When you first compare the Opacity value, when you're first working in Photoshop and you try out the Opacity value and it makes sense, and then you try out the Fill value, the problem is it seems to do exactly the same thing. For example, I'll go ahead and select the Opacity value. Here's an Opacity of 50% applied to the Statue layer. Fair enough. Let's go ahead and restore that to 100% by pressing the 0 key.
I'll now select the Fill value and change it to 50%, press the Enter key, and we have exactly the same effect. We just changed the Opacity of the layer to 50%. So why does this value even exist? Well, to give you a sense for what it's doing, because once you understand it, it makes perfect sense. Let's go ahead and restore the Fill value to 100% and double click on the thumbnail for the Statue layer. That will bring up the big old Layer Style dialog box and you'll start off in the Blending Options. Notice right there is your blend mode, then your Opacity value, and then your Fill Opacity value; that's the full name of that little Fill value right there. Then we have some other Blending Options available to us as well.
Now, in order to get a sense of what's going on, I want you to turn on the Outer Glow effect, go ahead and select it. We'll change the Opacity to 100%, just so we have a really strong effect. Click on the yellow swatch, change yellow to white, like so. Really, you just need to make sure the Saturation value is 0 and the Brightness value is 100%. Click OK. Then I'm going to raise the Size value to 60, 60 pixels right there, and that's the extent of it, that's all I'm going to do. Then I'll go back to the Blending Options, and I want you to see how things work. If I reduce the Opacity value to 50%, you can see how we're changing the Opacity of the layer and the Layer Effect at the same time. Let's restore that to 100%.
Now I'll take Fill Opacity down to 50%, like so, and I've changed the Opacity of the layer, i.e., the pixels inside the layer which is the Fill of the layer after all, would also be the color assigned to the text or the color assigned to some other layer, and you would change that Fill color but you will leave the Layer Effects alone. So the Layer Effects remain as bright as ever. That gives you independent control over layer and layer effects inside Photoshop, which is really a great thing.
You can see, I can take this value down to 0 so that we're not seeing the layer at all, but we are seeing the effect quite clearly, which can be really great for text, as you might imagine. All right. I'm going to cancel out. Now, if I can change the Opacity value from the keyboard, can I possibly change the Fill value from the keyboard? The answer is yes. You just have to do everything I showed you in the previous exercise with the Shift key down, so Shift+5 reduces the Fill Opacity to 50%. I am a nincompoop because I just canceled out of that dialog box and I lost my Outer Glow, which I have to recreate. That is a really bad idea. It's something definitely to pay attention to. You want to make sure that when you're assigning a Layer Effect from the Layer Style dialog box, that whatever else you do here in Blending Options, that you don't forget you went ahead and assigned a Layer Effect, so you need to make sure to click OK.
All right. That's better. Now, Shift+ 5 will change the Fill value to 50%, Shift+2 makes it 20%, Shift+0 makes it 100%. If you want to enter a more specific value, you press two numbers in a row; Shift+85 makes the Fill value 85%, as you can see right there. Shift +01 makes it 1%. Again, if you want a Fill value of 0%, you need to enter it manually, like so, because Shift+00 just gets you a Fill value of 100%. Obviously, all of those keystrokes work only if any tool except for this second group of tools is active, because notice, if I go ahead and select the Brush tool and I press Shift along with a number, I change the Flow value up there, as I believe I told you in Chapter 9.
So the alternate Opacity value, however it works, is always Shift and a number, while the main Opacity value is just the number by itself. Shift+0 will restore that value to 100%, which is what I need. Then I press the M key to return to the Rectangular Marquee tool. So there you have it, Opacity versus Fill Opacity here inside Photoshop.
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