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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, 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 CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to warp text inside of Photoshop. Now we have got this text right here called Radio-Free Space inside of my ketchup document. I have gone ahead and saved my progress as Radio-free text. What I want to show you is how to make it better because right now, it's horribly, hideously ugly. I mean it's set in Cyan, which is almost never a good color for text. Anyway, let's make it much better. First, by assigning some layer effects, go to this layer right here, Radio-Free Space, Click on it. Then Click the down pointing arrowhead in order to expand the effects and you will see we have got an Outer Glow, Bevel and Emboss, and Stroke. It's better even still if I showed them to you. I'm going to Click in front of Stroke and you can see, isn't that nice, isn't that a lovely effect? And then I'll throw in some Bevel and Emboss, so just a big red Stroke followed by Bevel and Emboss. Oh! That's nice. That's the bevel, that's inside of a stroke. You can do that inside of Photoshop and if you want to see how, you can just Double-Click on one of these items.
It brings up a dialog box. You would see that I have got a Stroke Emboss, that's why I had such a thick stroke to begin with, so I could put the Emboss inside of the Stroke. All right, cancel out of there and then finally, I have an outer glow. Now we are going to take this layer and we are going to change its blend mode from Normal to Overlay. And that's nice, so we have a little bit of colorization and some contrast, just a little bit of balance associated with that star background so that works up pretty nicely. What's going to work even better is if we warp this baby.
And to apply Text Warp, that is warp it to editable text, you want to switch to the Type tool by Clicking on it or pressing the T key, then you will see many of your formatting attributes up here in the Options bar as well as this guy right there. See that option, Create Warp Text, Click on it. Then you can experiment with different varieties of warping for example, you could try the Arch effect right there and you can either bend the text up or you can bend it down like so. So that's pretty nifty. And you can try, let's say, something like Flag. There is all kinds of different effects that you can play with here, different warps.
Now you can't create a custom warp unless you convert the text either to pixels or to shape outlines and I'll show you how that works coming up in a future exercise, but I just want you to know that. If you are going to work with editable text, you have got to choose one of these predefined warp settings. Fish, for example, which I don't think really belongs in space. The space fish, well, possibly you could use that I guess. Anyway, I'm not going to. I'm going to use Arc Lower, which looks like it's totally wrong if you look at the little icon. It looks like it bulges down, well because by default it does.
All right, the text bulges downward like so and it's flat on the top. I still want it to be flat on the top but I want it to bulge upward like that. And I actually want it to the tune of -40, it works out pretty well. But I want you to see something else. So I'm going to go ahead and switch this to 0% for now, so that you can see the results of horizontal and vertical distortion. So when you have the Bend set to 0, you are not going to see any style really, you are not going to see the effects of the Arc Lower style. You could have it set to anything now, and you are going to get the same effect.
I am going to leave it set to Arc Lower however because that's going to be the setting we want eventually. But I just want you to see the difference between the horizontal distortion values which positive is going to one way, and negative is going to go the other way like that, or let's go ahead and restore that to 0. Vertical Distortion which is really useful for space effects because if we go negative, you are going to create big top down effect, but if you go positive, immediately Star Wars. Notice that we don't have perspective associated with the texts. It's not a true perspective effect. Instead it's just a slanting warp effect. The letters are still as tall as they ever were. And that's something we are going to have to address before we are done with this particular sample document.
Anyway, for our purposes, let's go ahead and restore Vertical Distortion to 0. So we want both Distortion values to be 0 and the Bend value to be -40, just like that there, and then you Click on OK. You can always change your mind. This is a parametric effect. All you have to do is go back up to Text Warp, Click on it, and you still got your settings and you can switch to something different if you like, back to Bold or something oh! That's nice. Cancel out. Oh! You also have vertical option. So you can squish the letters the other direction either for example, inward with a negative Bend value, or outward with a positive Bend value. So note that, then cancel, we are not using that.
Now you may look at this and say, Gosh, gee whiz, it's still editable text, you could still select it and play with it, but it also happens to be very ugly. I'm going to go ahead and press the Enter key on the keypad in order to accept our effect so far. This isn't what we want, we need to apply some additional modifications including, I'll tell you, Type Size and Vertical Scale and finally Leading, and we are going to adjust those attributes in the next exercise.
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