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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.
Now let's say at this point I want to up the ante a little bit. By the way, I will be saving the results from the previous exercise as Shadowtype.psd found inside the 21_ layer_FX folder, as soon as I finish the following modification. Now let's say what I want is a kind of cast shadow effect, like the shadow is being cast by the letters on a glass door. Then with this text layer selected, I'd go up to the Edit menu, and I choose the Free Transform command, or press Ctrl+T, Cmd+T on the Mac.
Now I'll see these handles that are surrounding this bounding box. Now normally, dragging one of these handles would scale the text. However, if I press and hold the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac, and hover over one of handles, and then drag it, for example, like this left side handle right there, I'll skew the text as I am now. If I also press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, so I am now Ctrl+Alt+Dragging on the PC, or Cmd +Option+Dragging on the Mac, and as a result, I am skewing the text with respect to its center point right there.
Now I'm going to turn around after I release. I'm going to Ctrl+Alt+Drag, or Cmd+Option+Drag this bottom point to slant the text backward. Then once I've achieved this effect here, I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to apply my transformation. Now notice I can still edit my text. So I'll double-click on this T thumbnail here, and enter some new text in order to create this effect. So you can just imagine somewhere the letters DANGER appear on a glass door, and they are casting this shadow on to this wooden cabinet or whatever it is.
Now having finished this effect, I'll go up to the File menu, and update the file by choosing the Save command, or press Ctrl+S, Cmd+S on the Mac. All right, let's go ahead and take this same effect. I've switched back to the original version of Word processor.psd. I want to take the same effect, and apply a contour to it in order to achieve some dimension. So I'll select the carving layer once again. I'll drop down to the fx layer, choose Drop Shadow. I'm going to enter those exact same color values by clicking on this black swatch. I'll change the Hue value to 35%, the Saturation to 100%, and the Brightness to 20%, and I'll click OK, and it might dawn on me at this point in time that you know what, every single time I visit this darn dialog box, I keep changing the color value.
So it might be nice if I told Photoshop to go ahead and remember those values, because after all this will not be the last time that I'm applying a layer effect to the type against this wood background. So just for laughs here, let's change a couple of other values. I'll raise the Distance value to 10 pixels. Tab down to the Size value, take it up to 10 pixels as well. Let's say I'm pretty confident that this will be a nice jumping off point for at least a few different Drop Shadow effects. Then here inside Photoshop CS5, I can click on Make Default.
I'd like you to do that as well if you're working along with me. Now whenever I choose to make a new Drop Shadow, it will have these settings until I switch back to a different default. This is a really terrific timesaver where layer effects are concerned. For example, something that I find is when I go to Outer Glow, or Inner Glow for that matter; I almost never use this shade of yellow here. I don't know if you ever do. If you notice that almost all the time you'll end up using white instead, so I'll go ahead and click on this Color Swatch.
Then I'm going to go ahead and zero out the Hue and Saturation values like so, and leave the Brightness value at 100%. Click OK. Now I have a white Outer Glow. I'm going to also increase the Opacity value to 100%. I might as well take this Size value up to 10 pixels as well to match my Drop Shadow value. Now I'll click Make Default, in order to save these settings as my default Outer Glow. Then from now on, even by the way, if I Cancel out of the dialog box as I just did, my default settings are saved.
So I'll go back down to fx, and I will choose Drop Shadow. Notice now, that I have a 10-pixel Distance, a 10-pixel Size, and I've got that deep brown as my color. I didn't change Opacity, so it's 75%. I did change Opacity for Outer Glow. So if I check it out, it's 100%. I'm using white, and I have a 10-pixel Size value as well. All right, so fair enough. Let's make a few other modifications. I'm going to turn off Outer Glow for now. We will come back to it. I'm going to switch to my Blending Options.
I'm going to reduce my Fill Opacity value to 0%. Then I'll click on Drop Shadow. I'm going to turn off layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow. These are not going to be my default settings by the way. I'm just doing this so I can demonstrate how Contour works, in just a moment. Anyway, so I'll turn off Layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow, so that we can see through the text to the Drop Shadow below. I'm going to reduce my Distance value to 5 pixels, and I'm going to increase my Size value to 20 pixels. Next, I'm going to modify my Contour.
Now this Contour option right here, and it appears as a kind of little white and gray semaphore flag. Well, what we're really seeing is a curve. Recall, inside the Curves dialog box, that the curve starts off as a straight line from black in the bottom left corner to white in the top right corner. Well, what we're seeing here where Contour is concerned is we're seeing transparency in the bottom left corner, and opacity in the top right corner. Now I don't expect that to make any sense right away. Hopefully, it will gel soon.
But I do want to show you if you click this down-pointing arrowhead, you can choose from a bunch of different presets if you like. So a bunch of different Contour presets, including Linear, which is the default setting. Gaussian, which slowly slopes off the curve there at the beginning, big huge descent in the middle, and then slowly tapers off the end as well. And a few others that are available to you. You can try them out just by clicking on them if you want to. But I'm not sure they're going to make a ton of sense, like if I click on Ring, then I get this kind of double shadow effect or something.
What in the world is going on there? Well, to really truly understand how the Contour function works, and I want you to really truly understand it, we have to invent our own Custom Contour, and I'll show you exactly how that works in the next exercise.
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