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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.
I've saved my progress as Evil middle manager.psd. In this exercise, I am going to share with you a little treat that is essentially unrelated to Smart Objects, except that it happens to work with Smart Objects as well as any other layers inside the program. What we are going to do is we are going to create a layer of live editable text that inverts everything below it. That text is here at the top of the Layers panel. I'll go ahead and turn it on and you can see that it's a layer of white text that we could edit as much as we like. Now, that's very important it has to be white text to start with.
Now, where there is a pixel-based layer, we could employ it as a layer mask for an invert adjustment layer, a layer of inversion that is to say. But you can't fill text with an adjustment layer; that's not possible. So if we want our text to remain editable as of course we do because we might want to change the text or the font or any of the formatting attributes then we need to work with blending instead. So, I'm going to click on that layer to make it active and then I'm going to apply the foremost inversion blend mode. Here, from the Blend mode pop-up menu I'll switch from Normal to Difference.
You may recall where Difference is concerned white inverts absolutely and that's the only thing you have to know because all we have is white associated with this text. So, go ahead and choose Difference and now we have text that goes ahead and inverts everything behind it as you can see if I drag it around onscreen. The problem is that some of the inversion is colorful so wherever we had flesh tones we are now seeing blues and also the inversion doesn't work that well against gray because it's not high enough contrast. So, we want to desaturate this text, get rid of all the colors and increase the contrast so that we have some nice rich blacks and some nice rich whites as well.
So, I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac in order to undo that modification. What we are going to need to do is apply a couple of adjustment layers just to the text and nothing else. One that desaturates the text and the other that increases the contrast. So, I am going to drop down here to the Black/White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Press and hold the Alt key on the PC or the Option key on the Mac click and then go ahead and choose Hue/Saturation. Because you have the Alt or Option key down that forces the display of the New layer dialog box. Let's go ahead and call this new layer desaturate and then I'll click OK.
But before I do very important, you have to on Use Previous layer to Create Clipping Mask. That way you're not desaturating the entire image, you're just desaturating the text. All right, then click OK and inside the Adjustments panel I want you to reduce the Saturation value from 0 to -100 and that appears to do absolutely nothing to the text whatsoever. What in the world is the deal? How can it still have saturation when I just crank the Saturation value all the down. Well, let's look into that. First of all, I am going to Alt+Click or Option+Click on this horizontal line between desaturate and Beware of Symmetry, so that I release the clipping mask.
Sure enough, now that I apply desaturate to the entire image everything goes great including the area inside the text. So, why as soon as I clip it again by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking on that horizontal line, does the color come back here inside the text? Just to be clear let me go ahead and switch to that text layer. I'll Ctrl+Drag it upward into his head where we get some major saturation values right there in the forehead and sure enough we are not getting grayscale text. What's happening? Well, for starters I'll press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to move that text back down and I am going to move it up just into the face region a little bit here.
Let's put it across the center of his face and I went ahead and Ctrl+Shift+Drag this time or Command+Shift+Drag on the Mac. The reason being that I wanted to exactly vertically move the text so that it remains centered inside the composition and I'm going to double-click on this layer. So, double-click on an empty portion of the layer in order to bring up the Blend Options dialog box. If you have loaded dekeKeys, you can also press Ctrl+Shift+O or Command+Shift+O on the Mac. Then inside the layer Style dialog box remember the Blend check boxes right here which allow us to fix perceived problems.
So, if this was a layer effect which it isn't, but if it were then we could fool around with this first check box, because we are working with a clipped adjustment layer. It's the second check box, Blend Clipped layers as Group that we should turn off. That way instead of desaturating the white text, it was just white in the first place after all and then blending the text with the background which is what's happening when this check box is on. If we turn the check box off then we first go ahead and blend the text and then we blend the clipped layers so that we remove the saturation as you can see here in the background.
So, just turn off that check box and click OK. Now, then what we want to do is click on desaturate and Alt+Click or Option+Click on this Black/White icon and then choose the Levels command. I'm going to go ahead and name this layer contrast this time around. Once again, Use Previous layer to Create Clipping Mask, click OK and I'm going to increase this Black value to let's say about a 100 here and I'll reduce the white point value to something like 150. I am just playing around these values to see what works and now we get a much more high contrast inversion effect in the background.
If that's not quite sufficient, I can move that black point value up a little bit so I've got 120 for black point, 150 for white. I'll go ahead and hide the Adjustments panel and then I'll click on the Text layer once again to make it active. I'll Ctrl+Shift+Drag it up into the dude's forehead and this is the effect I'm looking for. I just want a little bit of black popping off the forehead there in order to indicate just how evil he is of course. Then the rest of the text is appearing white against the otherwise dark background. That is how you create inverted text, inverted live text inside Photoshop.
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