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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.
All right, I've gone ahead and restored the original version of Black droplets.psd found inside the 21_layer_FX folder. That is to say, I went ahead and cleared away all the effects and if you been working along with me, and you applied say the water effect right there, then you can clear away the effects inside of your droplets layer by right-clicking in an empty area of the layer and then choosing this command Clear Layer Style, which will clear out all of the layer effects and all of the blend mode settings as well. So step number one is to grab that Fill/ Opacity value and change it to 5%, which you can do either manually if you want to just by changing the value to 5, or If you want to do it from the keyboard without selecting the value, you know that pressing Shift+5 will get you 50%.
So that doesn't take you all the way down the 5%. You can press Shift+05 if you want to. That works. So you can dial in two numbers in a row with both the Opacity value, and then if you press the Shift key with the Fill value as well and 05 gets you 5%. The lowest therefore you can go without actually selecting the value is 1% by dialing in Shift+01. That's by the way, 05 and 01, sequentially, not right on top of each other. So I can't even see the droplets anymore, because our Fill/Opacity value is so very low.
I want you to drop down to the fx icon here, click on it, and choose Bevel and Emboss, because that's where we''re going to start. That's where the majority of the work occurs. Notice we get something resembling kind of an aqueous effect right off the bat. It doesn't really look like water though. So here are a few settings that I'm going to adjust, and again, these settings happen to work wonders inside of this file. They also happen to work pretty wonderfully on a regular basis, but you can, of course, tweak them, again, given your interest in doing so.
So I am going to take the Depth value up to 120, and we are working from the default settings. So I am going to leave Styles set to Inner Bevel and Techniques set to Smooth. Direction also should be Up. So the only modification I've made so far is to raise the Depth value from 100 to 120. Now I will tab down to the Size value, and I am going to take it up to 15 pixels, just so that we can see the edges a little more clearly, and the water appears to have some surface tension associated with. Soften, leave that set to 0, because we have nothing to soften inside of this effect.
I'll drop down to Angle and Altitude, and you can adjust those if you want to. For me, they're coming up as 135 which is pretty standard by the way, for an angle value. That's basically coming in exactly from the diagonal in the upper left-hand corner. And altitude of 65 degrees works just fine for this effect. So I'm going to leave those settings as it is. I am, however, going to monkey around a little bit with the Highlight mode and the Shadow mode, and here is the reason. Let's start off by clicking in the white swatch and just confirming that it's white.
The reason that we want white this time, we don't want some highlight variation of the color scheme of the image, that is, some very bright orange. Nor do we want a complementary color, because what we're looking for here is specular highlights. That is, brilliant reflections coming off the liquid. These are to be very harsh highlights as well, by the way. That's what's going to convey that liquidy appearance. Anyway, white is what we want. So I will just click OK to accept that. We don't want black though. You're not going to have black shadows inside water, because it's the water that's casting the shadows in the first place and water just doesn't have that kind of density.
So I'll click on the black swatch, and I am going to dial in a color that's fairly indigenous to this image 35, 35, 35. And 35 degrees is a hue value in the orange range which as I say we could easily lift from the image. Then I have a very low Saturation value, 35%, and a very low Brightness value, 35%. And if you were working in an image with a different color scheme, then you might adjust this Hue value, you might change it so that it more or less matches the same, but Saturation and Brightness are well left at 35% apiece or something in that range.
Click OK to accept that color. We've got 75% for the Opacity value for the Highlight mode. However, our highlights aren't nearly brilliant enough. So we are going to switch from Screen to the more intense brightening mode Linear Dodge. You can see that that gives us much brighter, much more intense highlights right off the bat there. 75% is fine for the Opacity value by the way. Next, I'm going to switch to a more intense Shadow mode here. So I will switch from Multiply to Linear Burn, which is the most intense of the them all.
Notice what that does to the shadows in the background. They're too dark now. So let's go ahead and taper them off, but the intensity is exactly right. We need those kinds of sharp shadows. Anyway, I've reduced Opacity value to actually 15%. I am going to take it quite low as we see right there. The remaining issue is the Gloss Contour. This is a great use for Gloss Contour. We want a fairly complex Gloss Contour I am here to tell you; something that waves up and down and has a spike in it, and all sorts of stuff, and I think it has altogether 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 different points in order to draw this curve.
So that might make you think, oh my goodness, I'm not sure I want to do that, Deke. Well, it turns out it's very, very similar to one of the contours that ships along with Photoshop with just a slight modification. So I want you to click the down pointing arrowhead here and choose the guy, Ring. So go ahead and select that and notice you get something of a liquidy effect right off the bat here, but there is a slight problem. A slight adjustment that needs to happen. So click out the pop-up menu in order to hide it and then click right there in the side of the curve in order to bring up the Contour Editor dialog box, and there is our 9 points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.
Most of them, actually eight of them, are exactly where they need to be. Just one needs to be moved. See this guy right there at the top. What we need to do is add an extra flair of highlight, and remember the top right point represents our highlights, the bottom left point represents our shadows. So we've got to wig things out here considerably so that we are creating highlights right next to shadows and shadows right next to highlights. Both on the light and dark edges of our water droplets. However, in order to exaggerate the highlights and the bright edge I'm going to go ahead and take this right point right there, and I am going to drag it out, so that the input value reads 96%, and the output value reads 100%, just like that.
It's already a corner. You could turn on corner if you want to which ensures that this is a corner point. This is a corner inside the graph, but it's already corner. So you don't need to do that. It doesn't have any effect. Then what I want you to do is let's go ahead and save this off as a preset. So I will click on New, and I'll call this one Liquid like so and then click OK. That's it! Now I'll click OK again in order to accept the effect. You now have a new preset down here right next to Invert, if you've been working along with me, called Liquid. Great! Only one more thing I want you to do.
Turn on the Anti-aliased check box, because otherwise right at that corner you could end up with some harsh even jagged transitions inside of your layer effect, inside your Bevel and Emboss effect, and if you turn on Anti-aliased, that will just ever so slightly soften those transitions. So your highlights will be nice and smooth. And that, my friends, is the end of the Bevel and Emboss effect. No contour, no texture, nothing needed there. All that remains now is Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, and Color Overlay.
So the tough stuff is over. Everything else is smooth sailing, as you will see in the next exercise.
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