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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Now if you haven't gotten this sense already, let me assure you that working with blend modes inside of Photoshop can be a highly experimental process. Even if you know, for example, what the Linear Burn mode does, it's something of a surprise when you actually go ahead and assign the mode to a layer. Which is why I recommend that every so often when you're assigning blend modes to your layers inside Photoshop, you take a moment to go ahead and save out the state of your image as a layer comp, so that if you need to, you can always come back to it.
And that's what we're going to be doing, ever so briefly, inside of this exercise. So I've got my Statue layer here, I've assigned an Outer Glow effect, I've assigned the Linear Burn blend mode, and I've reduced the Opacity value to 40%. Let's go ahead and save out this state of the image as a layer comp. Bring up the Layer Comps palette if you will, which you can do by clicking on its tab or choosing the Layer Comps command from the Window menu. Then click on the little page icon at the bottom of the Layer Comps palette to bring up the New Layer Comp dialog box.
Make sure in addition to the Visibility checkbox that you turn on the Appearance checkbox. Now it goes ahead and tells you that Appearance saves out the layer style, so it will save out the Outer Glow, but it also saves out the Blend Mode, Opacity, and Fill Opacity settings. Those are all part of the Appearance option right there. If you don't turn on that checkbox, your Blend Mode and Fill and Opacity settings will not be saved. So make sure that checkbox is turned on. Then I'll go ahead and call this image Face to LBurn or something along those lines. I could assign a comment if I wanted to, but I'm not going to take the time to do that right now.
I'll just go ahead and click OK in order to save out that the blended state. Now I'm going to click on the Layer Comps icon again, and I will see that I have a new comp added to the bottom of the list here. Why don't we move it to the middle, so it appears right after Opaque layers? So I can switch between Opaque layers, which is the original version of this layered document, with all layers set to Normal and Opacity and Fill values of 100% each. Compare that to the layered state so far, Face to LBurn. Now even though we've done relatively little work to the image at this point, and we really haven't gotten an effect that looks super-duper great, it's going to look better and better as we work through these layers here, because we are going to achieve this in the end, which is a beautiful effect, don't you know? We still have this effect saved in case we need to come back to it and make some modifications to it at a later point in time. So remember to save out your blended states as layer comps, and then all you need to do is go up to the File menu and choose the Save command and all of your blended layers, as well as the blended states, will be saved along with that composition.
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