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The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CS6 One-on-One follows industry pro Deke McClelland as he plunges into the inner workings of Adobe Photoshop. He shows how to adjust your color, interface, and performance settings to get the best out of your images and the most out of Photoshop, and explores the power of Smart Objects, Shadows/Highlights, and Curves for making subtle, nondestructive adjustments. The course dives into Camera Raw to experiment with the editing toolset there, and returns to Photoshop to discuss toning, blur, and blend modes. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details and reducing noise, as well as creating quick and accurate selections with Quick Mask, Color Range, and Refine Edge commands.
All right, gang. So as I mentioned, Normal, the item at the top of the blend mode pop-up menu, and the default setting here at the top of the Layers panel; that's the equivalent of having the blend mode turned off, which makes Dissolve the first true blend mode. We'll be examining how Dissolve works, and exploring one possible use for Dissolve in this movie. So I am going to switch over to this file. We're going to take this white text right here, and we're going to turn it into this kind of carving, as if the text were hand-burned into the sign. So I will start things off by creating a new layer that I am going to create above the sign layer, and below go away layer. I will press Control+Shift+N, or Command+Shift+N on the Mac, and I will go ahead and call this layer black, because ultimately that will be its purpose.
But we're going to start things off by filling it with a circle. So if you've got your Rectangular Marquee tool selected, you can press Shift+M in order to switch to the Elliptical Marquee, and I am going to drag from some place toward the center of this signpost, and I will press the Shift+Alt keys, or the Shift+Option keys on the Mac, to draw from the center outward, as well as constrain the shape to a circle. Then once I've drawn the shape, I will press the D key to make sure that black is my foreground color, and I will press Alt+Backspace or Option+ Delete to fill the circle with black. All right! Now I will click off the circle to deselect it, and then I will go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and choose Gaussian Blur, or if you loaded DekeKeys, then you can press Shift+F6.
And I am going to enter this huge Radius value of 100 pixels, and click OK. So when we're working with Normal, and the Opacity level is set to 100%, then the central portion of the shape is 100% opaque. It drifts away, thanks to the fuzzy edges that we created using Gaussian Blur, to complete transparency, so 0% opacity, and it goes and drifts through all the levels of translucency in between. Now, if I were to, say, press the 5 key to reduce the Opacity setting in the upper right corner of the Layers panel to 50%, then the most opaque pixels at the center of the circle will be 50% opaque, and then, of course, they drift off to transparency, just as before. All right.
I am going to press 0 to reestablish an opacity level of 100%, and then I will go ahead and click on the word Normal here to bring up the blend mode pop-up menu, and I will change the blend mode to Dissolve. And notice what we get instead. I'll go ahead and zoom in on my text, and I will scroll over a little bit as well. So wherever the circle is 100% opaque, we have absolutely opaque pixels. Anywhere where it's 100% transparent, such as up here in the upper left corner, we don't see any pixels at all. In between, we see varying levels of pixels.
So for example, let's imagine this area here is roughly 50% opaque. In that case, half the pixels will be turned on, and the other half of the pixels will be turned off. As the pixels grow more translucent, we'll see fewer and fewer of them. As they grow more opaque, we'll see more and more of them. So instead of having translucent pixels, we now have pixels either turned on, or turned off. And so the result is a kind of poor man's airbrushing effect. Notice if I press the 5 key to reduce the Opacity of the circle to 50%, then at most we're seeing half the pixels turned on, and then fewer and fewer are turned on, until we see absolute transparency in the upper left corner, for example. All right! I will go ahead and press Control+D, or Command+D on the Mac, to deselect the image.
I will also go ahead and turn off this black layer for the moment. We'll come back to it later. So I will be honest with you; Dither is not a blend mode that I use very often, but it can sometimes come in handy. For example, let's say I want to take these hand-drawn letters right there, and I want to give them some texturized edges in order to achieve this effect here. I will go ahead and zoom in on these letters, so that we can see what I am talking about. Notice, if you examine the outlines of these characters, you can see that they're actually etched into the grains of wood, and that's an effect that we can achieve, at least in part, with Dissolve.
So I will go ahead and switch back to my starter image. And not only can you apply Dissolve as a blend mode here inside the Layers panel, but you can also apply it to any of the layer effects. So, let's say I want to soften these letters using that drop shadow trick that I showed you back in Chapter 16 of the intermediate course. The first thing I do is make the text invisible by setting the Fill value to 0%, and I can achieve that from the keyboard just by pressing Shift+0+0. Now I'll drop down to the fx icon, and I will choose Drop Shadow, and I will start by switching the drop shadow color from black to white, because we want white text to pull off this effect.
I will set the Opacity to 100%, I will change the blend mode, for now, to Normal, and I will reduce the Distance value to 0, and I'll take the Size value up to 10 pixels, and then I will turn off the Layer Knocks Out Drop Shadow layer in order to achieve this effect here. Now let's turn those soft edges around the text into dithered edges by switching the blend mode from Normal to Dissolve, and we end up with this dot pattern. Now, if you want more dots, then you can raise the Size value, like so.
If you want fewer dots around those edges, then you can reduce the Size value. And notice, even if I take the Size value down to 0 pixels, we're going to get a little bit of ratty edge action. Anyway, as I say, I came up with a size value of 10 pixels, and then I went ahead and clicked OK in order to accept that effect. All right! Next, I am going to press Control+0 or Command+0 on the Mac to back out, turn my black layer back on, and I'll change it back to the Normal mode. And incidentally, you've got a keyboard shortcut for nearly all of the blend modes.
As long as the Selection tool is active, you can press Shift+Alt, or on the Mac, Shift+Option, along with a letter key. So for Normal, it's Shift+Alt+N, or Shift+Option+N on the Mac. Then I press 0 to reinstate the Opacity to 100%, and then I press Alt+Backspace, or Option+Delete on the Mac, to fill that entire layer with black, hence its name. Now we need to go ahead and convert what we're seeing onscreen to a selection outline. So switch over to the Channels panel, and press the Control key, or the Command key on a Mac, and click on any of these items.
I went ahead and Control+Clicked or Command+Clicked on RGB, and what that does is it selects all the white stuff, and deselects the black stuff. So we're ` selecting the letters, in other words. Now I will switch back to Layers panel, click on this sign layer right there, and I am going to press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and drag the sign thumbnail up to the top of the stack in order to create a duplicate, like so. Now I will go ahead and turn off the go away, and black layers, because we don't need them anymore. Go over here to layer Mask thumbnail for the top sign layer, right-click on it, and choose Delete Layer Mask, because that's not the mask we're looking for this time around, and then drop down to the Add Layer Mask icon, and click on it in order to mask the sign inside the letters. All right! Now at this point we can't see any difference between the letters and the sign, because they're the same, so let's go ahead and differentiate the letters by adding a few layer effects.
So I will drop down to the fx icon, and I will choose Inner Shadow. I will click on the Color Swatch, and I am going to dial in a Hue value of 30, Saturation 100, and Brightness of 25, and then I will go ahead and change the blend mode from Multiply to Linear Burn, and I'll explain how both of these modes work in later movies, but for now, just go ahead and do it, and then I will reduce the Opacity value to 50%. I am going to take the Distance value up to 15 pixels, and the Size value to 25 pixels, Choke is set to 0.
Then switch to Color Overlay, click on its color swatch, and I am going to dial in a Hue of 30 once again, Saturation of 75, and the Brightness of 35; click OK. Change the blend mode to Hard Light, one of the big contrast modes; we'll see how it works in a later movie as well. And then I will take the Opacity value down to 40%. And finally, I'm going to add a dark outer glow, so I will click on the Outer Glow. I will change its blend mode to Linear Burn, and then I'll click on the white color swatch -- it may be yellow in your case -- and I'll change the Hue value to 30 degrees.
I will take the Saturation up to 100%, and I will change the Brightness to 25%, click OK, take the Opacity down to 55%, and then I am going to take the Size value down to a mere 2 pixels, then click OK. All right; let's go ahead and zoom in on this text. Now, this wood should technically sort of go down a little bit as it gets exposed, so I'm going to turn off the link between the sign and this layer mask by clicking on that little chain icon. Then I will click on the sign's thumbnail there in the Layers panel, and I will press Control+Down Arrow or Command+Down Arrow five times in a row in order to make the grains go downward.
Now we need to roughen up those edges, because if you zoom in, you can see that they're pretty garbagy right now. A lot of loose pixels; doesn't look right at all. So I'll click on the layer mask thumbnail to make it active, go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and choose Motion Blur. And I came up with these settings right here; an angle of -3 degrees, because there's not much of a pitch to these lines. And then I set the Distance value to 5 pixels, and that helped me achieve this effect here, click OK. I wanted to sharpen up things just a little bit, so then I went to the Filter menu, chose Sharpen, and chose Smart Sharpen. Make sure, by the way, that your layer mask, and not your image, is selected.
And I came up with these values here: an Amount of 100%, Radius of 1.0 pixel, and Remove set to Lens Blur. Click OK, and we end up with this final effect, with these character outlines that are actually matching the texture of the woodgrain. All right; I will go ahead and press the F key a couple of times in order to fill the screen with the image, and this is my final effect, achieved in part using the Dissolve blend mode.
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