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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.
All right; now that we're finished with our 3D work, it's time to get started with the 2D modifications, and these remaining steps fall under the headings of clarification, and integration. So we want to be able to clarify the existing details inside the image, so we get an authentic grunge effect, and we want to go ahead and integrate these 3D letters with the photographic background. Now, I've got a file open that includes a few layer comps. I'll bring up the Layer Comps panel so that you can see; I've gone ahead and clicked in front of the one that represents our progress so far. And now I'm going to walk through the other layer comps from the keyboard.
So our next step will be to outline the faces of the letters, so that we have a kind of seam between the faces and the beveled edges, and then I'm going to add some stains to the wall beneath the letters. I figured that the letters must be hanging from something, so I went ahead and added some heavy-duty wires. And what grunge effect would be complete without some sort of crack in the letters, like that crack right there in the R? And then here's my biggest frustration with this file so far: we've got these awesome shadows being cast by the letters onto the wall in the background, however, the wall itself has no shadows to speak of. So this stucco, or plaster, or whatever it is that's been cut away from the brick isn't casting a shadow, and that's because the original photograph had very flat lighting.
So we're going to have to step in and give the photograph some shading of its own by adding this shadow right there beneath the wall that's being cast onto the rock. And yes, that is a 2D effect. In fact, it's a drop shadow, believe it or not. And then lastly, inside Photoshop anyway, we're going to go ahead and elevate the contrast of the image. And then finally, we're going to take the image into Camera RAW, give it a vignette, and a little bit of sharpness. All right, so that's what's coming. Let's start things off with the easiest of the steps.
I've saved my progress as Rendered 3D letters.psd, found inside the 04_grunge folder. And I'm going to go the Channels panel, and Control+Click, or Command+Click, on the faces only channel. And that will go ahead and load that Alpha Channel as a selection outline, so we're selecting the interior of the letters, and nothing more. All right, now I'm going to switch back to the Layers panel, and now let's create a new layer by pressing Control+ Shift+N, or Command+Shift+N on a Mac, and I'm going to call this layer interiors, and click OK. Now I want you to fill this selection with some color; it really doesn't matter what color.
For my part, I'm going to press Alt+ Backspace, or Option+Delete, to fill the letters with black. And then press Control+D, or Command+D on the Mac, in order to deselect the image. All right; now take that Fill value, not Opacity, but Fill, and set it to 0% so that we're getting rid of the black fill. However, we can still add a layer effect. So I am going to drop down to the fX icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and I'm going to choose Inner Glow. And then let's go ahead and move the dialog box out of the way a little bit. I'm going to define a color by clicking on the color swatch, and the color I'm using is a kind of dull orange. So I'm going to change the hue value to 30 degrees, saturation to 50%, and the brightness value to 50% as well, then click OK.
Now, because the Blend Mode is set to Screen, we're not really seeing much of an effect at this point. Let's go ahead and burn in the effect by choosing a darkening mode, such as multiply, which would work pretty nicely, but you can see that things are fairly tepid at this point. I'll go ahead and take the Size value up to 15 pixels so you can see the effect a little better, but it just doesn't have enough punch to it, in my opinion. So I'm going to redouble the effect by stepping the Blend Mode up from Multiply, to Linear Burn, and that gives us a much darker, crisper effect. Now it's a little bit over the top, in my opinion, so I'm going to take the Opacity value down to 35%.
So there we have it; Linear Burn for the Blend Mode, 35% for Opacity, a kind of dull, orangish brown for the Color, and a Size value of 15 pixels. Then go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification. All right, so at this point you might figure, ho-hum, that was easy to pull off, but it was only so easy because we were able to mask the interior of those letters. Imagine if we didn't have that mask to work with in the first place. If I had to select those letter faces using something like the Quick Selection tool, I would go absolutely insane.
That would be an unbelievably time- consuming chore, and the results would look awful. So there you go. Create your masks early, and you're going to do yourself a big favor in the long run. In the next exercise, I'll show you how to add the stains underneath the letters.
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