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In this final installment of Photoshop CS5 Extended One-on-One, Deke McClelland creates a total of seven 3D type effects from scratch. This project-based course shows how to create and modify 3D type, craft hand-drawn effects, and design complex character extrusions. The course also explains how to color-correct and post-process 3D type in Camera RAW.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to create the wires that are holding up the sign, and if you scroll to the bottom of Layers panel you'll find a layer called wires. Go ahead and turn it on, as well as click on the layer to select it. All we're seeing here is a couple of very thin rectangles that are filled with gray. So, for example, let's say I wanted to add another wire. I'd go ahead and click on the Vector Mask thumbnail here inside the Layers panel to make it active. Then I would get my black arrow tool, which I can select by pressing the A key, and I would click on one of these rectangles to select it. And then I'd press the Shift+Alt keys, or the Shift+Option keys on the Mac, and then drag this line to a different location, and that would create a copy.
That's what I did, by the way. I drew one very thin rectangle, and duplicated it to create the other wire. Anyway, I just want two wires. So I'm going to press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on the Mac, in order to get rid of that clone. I'm also click on the layer mask thumbnail, once again, in order to hide those path outlines, and I'm going to zoom in quite a bit on this gray rectangle above the Y, so that I can keep a close eye on the layer effects that I'm about to apply. Press the M key to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee tool, and then drop down to the fX icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.
I'm going to start with an Inner Shadow, because I want to create little bit of a highlight along this left-hand edge. The Global Light angle is set to 120% for this file; that's just fine. I'm going to click on the color swatch, change the color to white, click OK, and change the Blend Mode from Multiply, to Screen, so that we get a bright edge. Then I'm going to take the Opacity value down to 55%. I'm also going to take both the Distance and Size values down. So I'll take the Distance value down to 1, and the Size value down to 1 as well.
So we have this very thin highlight. I want to call a little bit of attention to the wire. So I'm going to trace it with a slight Outer Glow, and it's really going to be a kind of shadow when we get down with it. Go ahead and click on Outer Glow to select it, click on the color swatch, let's change it to black this time around; click OK. Change the Blend Mode from Screen, to Multiply. So we're pretty much inverting all the effects so far. The Inner Shadow is actually a highlight; the Outer Glow is actually a shadow. I'm going to take the Opacity value down to 55% again, and I'm going to take the Size value down to 1.
So we get just a slight tracing effect around that wire. All right; now let's add a shadow. Move the Layer Style dialog box over a little bit. Click on the Drop Shadow in order to make it active, and you can see the default settings here. The shadow is black, it's set to Multiply, an Opacity value of 75%, the Angle is 120, the Size is 5 pixels; I'm going to leave all those settings alone. The only value I'm going to change is Distance, and I'm going to raise it to 20 pixels, so that we're creating a little depth in our scene. In other words, the wires are, perhaps, an inch away from that wall.
Finally, I wanted to give a sense of texture to these wires. So I clicked on Pattern Overlay to make it active. Click on the big, blue pattern. By default, Photoshop only offers you two patterns at all, but there are lots more to choose from. Go ahead and click on right-pointing arrow head and choose the Patterns library from the bottom of list. Photoshop will ask you, hey, do you want to append these patterns, or just overwrite the current ones? Well, the Patterns library includes these two guys, so go ahead and click OK in order to overwrite those two patterns; there they are. The one we're looking for is Optical Squares.
At least, that's the one that I thought provided the best effect. So go ahead and click on Optical Squares to make it active. And then I kind of dragged around inside of the image window here, and I ultimately came up with this effect. So in other words, we're seeing these kind of vertical line with 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 little horizontal stripes, and then another vertical line, and so forth. And I'm seeing three stripes at the top, and approximately -- let's drag this up a little bit -- three stripes of the bottom as well.
You can go your own way. You don't have to do exactly what I'm doing, but I just wanted to give you a sense of what I came up with. That actually ends up working out very nicely for the other wire as well. Let's reduce the Opacity value to 75%, and then I'm going to change the Blend Mode from Normal, to Multiply, so that we burn those lines into the gray wires. Click OK in order to accept the effect. Press Control+0, or Command+0 on a Mac, in order to zoom the image out, so it fits on screen. So that's my simulation of 3D wires using 2D layer effects.
Now, I am taking a fair amount of care, you may have noticed, to make the scene as realistic as possible, but here's something I'm overlooking. So just in case you have a keen eye, it's pretty interesting that we have a wire holding up the M and the Y as if all of these letters are connected to each other, but what in the world is connecting the letters together? Well, I played around with a few different treatments of bars in the background; I just didn't like them, and I just didn't feel like the scene needed that. So we're just assuming that the viewer of our scene is okay with some sort of invisible connection. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to create that crack in the R.
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