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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 we're going to use the Mixer Brush in order to shade an actual piece of artwork. And that actual piece of art, such as it is, is this guy right here, it's called Robot in color.psd. And notice right at the top of the stack is that enhanced piece of robot art, which is now called the line art layer. What I want to do however, because we've got so many Fill layers going on. I want to give you a sense of how this layered piece of artwork is built up because you will need to know that in order to shape things along with me. So I am going to Alt+Click the eyeball associated with the lowest layer in the stack, that's the Texture layer of course, that would be Option+Clicking on the eyeball on the Mac.
And then I'll turn on this Adjustment layer that lightens up the texture as well. Now in front of that we've got a group that's called Backdrop and it contains several different items, all of which are masked inside of the background. So the robot is masked out of the picture and I'll go ahead and turn on that group. And you can see there's a fair amount of layers going on here that are interacting with each other to create this a apocalyptic fire effect. Then we've got the Fill layers. So first there is no - and by the way I just painted these layers, I just went ahead and created new layers, set each one of them to the Multiply Blend mode incidentally, all but one that is, and then just painted inside the line.
So it's actually looking at the Line art at the same time, so if you want to see the Line art and how the Fill layers fit inside of it then you can turn that Line art layer on. And that's what I did so this is how I was baiting. I created layers behind line art, set them to Multiply and paint inside of them in order to fill in those lines. Anyway I am going to turn line art off for a second so that we can check out the other guys. There's the hands right there and I sort of cheated a little bit on the hands by the way because they are actually flipped versions of each other. The arms are going in slightly different directions, but the hands themselves, I only drew once and then flipped.
Then we've got the collar right there and we've got the head, that's where we are going to do most of shading incidentally. We've got the mouth which is just the tongue and a little bit of gum there, we've got the eyes, very important, the irises, and then that bandage on his head. We won't be doing anything with it but there it is. And then finally white stuff, if I click on white stuff notice it is not set to the Multiply mode because of course then the white we drop out. This layers is just set to Normal and then I've got the line art layer sitting on top of the whole deal. Now one thing you'll notice if you look carefully here is because the line art layer was painted originally in a dark red and then set to Multiply, why, we're are ending up with some darker blends of colors.
Notice If I go ahead and zoom in here on the side of the robot's face that this area is darker where the gray of the head layer and the red of the line art layer interact we have this weird sort of darkish edge. Well the easiest way to handle that is the way it's handled in the comics, which is all the line art is rendered in black. So let's go ahead and do that. Make sure the line art layer is active and press the D key in order to make sure the foreground color is black and then press Shift+Alt+Backspace or Shift+Option+Delete on the Mac and of course Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete goes ahead and fills layer with the foreground color, Black.
The Shift key ensures that we are respecting the layer's transparency. All right I am going go ahead and zoom out here a little bit and then zoom back in. And let's start things off on the head layer, so go ahead and click on the head in order to make it active. And then what I want you to do just so that we were all on the same page. Regardless of what tool is selected here on the toolbox I want you to go up to the tool icon in the Options bar, right- click on it and choose Reset All tools because I just want to wipe the slate clean. Now that's not going to get rid of any of your brushes or presets or any of that jazz, it's just going restore the tools to their default behaviors.
So go ahead and choose that command, you'll get an alert message asking if you really want to do this, click OK and now I want you to go ahead and select the Mixer Brush which you may have to get by choosing the tool from the flyout menu. And I am going to increase the size of my brush by pressing the Right Bracket key a few times. Notice that this is a soft brush this time around instead of a hard brush, so we'll end up getting smoother results. And my foreground color is black, so that's actually perfect. Now I want to setup my Options so that the Paint is very wet, so that I can paint into it very easily and we are getting a lot of mixing, a lot of interaction between the foreground color and the colors that are already there.
So for now I'm just going to go ahead and choose Very Wet and see what happens, the Very Wet preset, that is, which sets the Wet value to 100%, Load is 50%, Mix is also set to 50% so we'll see how that works. Now I'll go ahead and press the Escape key so that option up there in Options bar is no longer active here in the PC. And then I'll just go ahead and paint down in this region, and notice as I paint I'm making a big huge mess of everything. I am basically spreading out the colors inside of this layer and I really don't want to do that. Now that's not a function of Sample All layers, this time we were just working from the Color of one layer at a time.
However we do need to lock down the layers Transparency. So press Ctrl+Z if you had done along with me, or Cmd+Z on the Mac to Undo that modification. With the head layer active you can either click on this little icon, this Transparency icon right next to the word Lock at the top of Layers panel, or you press its keyboard shortcut which is the Slash key, so if you press the Slash key, you lock down the transparency like so, that's the forward slash that shares the key along with the question mark. Now notice if I paint inside of this area that my strokes are confined to the original Opacity.
The original definition of Opacity on this layer, the so-called Transparency Mask, for what that's worth. All right so I am going to paint in some darkness in these regions right there and you may look at what I'm doing and you might think, Well, this is tentatively interesting, but couldn't you do something really similar to that using the Burn tool, why do you need to Mixer Brush for this? Well, you might also wonder, if I press the X key in order to switch the foreground color to white, and then I paint the front of his face like so in order to add some terrified brightness right there, you may also wonder, Well couldn't you have done something very similar to that with the Dodge tool? The answer to both questions is, yeah, probably. Could've gotten a similar effect to this, I'm not sure we'd get exactly this effect but this is pretty easy to pull off, this is a pretty great way to work when you're creating this kind of hand-drawn graphical artwork, but not only that, we can do more then just darken or lighten using black or white.
We can also integrate all kinds of colors like for example, we ought to have some reflectivity from the fire on the robot's highly reflective metallic face and that's something that we'll add using the Mixer Brush in the next exercise.
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