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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Water Drops

This was one of the most popular techniques from the previous version of this book, so I wanted to include it in this update. We've come up with a faster, easier way to create the drop since then, however, so the new updated version is shown here.

  1. Open a new document in RGB mode and create a new layer by clicking on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Press the letter "d" then the letter "x" to set your Foreground color to white, then fill this new layer with white by pressing Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace).

  2. Figure 8.97

    Quick Tip: How to copy a flattened version in a multilayered document

    When you make a selection on a layer and press Command-C (PC: Control-C), Photoshop copies the selected area from that layer into memory. But did you know that you can copy from all your visible layers (as if from a flattened image), by adding Shift to that keyboard shortcut? That's right. To do that press Shift-Command-C (PC: Shift-Control-C), and it captures everything inside your selected area as if it was a flattened background image.

  3. Go under the Filter menu, under Noise, and choose Add Noise. For Amount enter 400%, for Distribution choose Gaussian, check Monochromatic, and click OK.

  4. Figure 8.98

  5. Go under the Filter menu, under Blur, and choose Gaussian Blur. Add a 5-pixel blur, and click OK.

  6. Figure 8.99

  7. Go under the Image menu, under Adjustment, and choose Threshold. When the dialog box appears, drag the slider slightly to the right until the rounded spots start to appear fairly large, and click OK. Press Command-F (PC: Control-F) to add another 5-pixel Gaussian Blur. Go to Threshold again and move the slider toward the right until you have even bigger raindrop-looking spots.

  8. Figure 8.100

    Quick Tip: Selecting just one letter, rather than the whole word

    We've been using the Command-click (PC: Control-click) on the layer's name trick to put a selection around your type throughout this book. But that puts a selection around all your text. What if you want to select just one or two letters? You can do it, but first you have to rasterize your Type layer by going under the Layer menu, under Rasterize, and choosing Type. You might be tempted to try selecting the letter with the Magic Wand tool, but don't—it'll leave behind little edge pixels if you move the type. Instead, try this: Draw a very loose selection around the letter or letters that you want to select (don't touch the edges of the letters, just make a loose selection). Hold the Command key and press one of the Arrow keys on your keyboard. Your letter will be immediately selected with no messy edge pixels, so now you can colorize it, move it, or do whatever.

  9. Switch to the Magic Wand tool, click it once on any white area surrounding your drops to select all the white, and then press Delete (PC: Backspace). Press Shift-Command-I to inverse your selection (which selects all the spots). Click on the Foreground Color Swatch to bring up the Color Picker. In the RGB fields enter R=181, G=181, B=181, and click OK to choose light gray. Press Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace) to fill your water drops with gray.

  10. Figure 8.101

  11. Deselect by pressing Command-D (PC: Control-D). Choose Bevel and Emboss from the Layer Style pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette. When the dialog box appears, increase the Soften amount to 6. In the Shading section increase the Highlight Opacity to 100% and click OK to add highlights and shadows to your water drops (as shown).

  12. Figure 8.102

  13. Choose Stroke from the Layer Style pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette. When the dialog box appears, lower the Size to 1, set the Position to Center, and lower the Opacity to 50%. Click on the Color Swatch and choose a dark gray, and then click OK to put a dark gray stroke around your water drops (as shown). Hold the Command key (PC: Control key) and click on the New Layer icon to create a new blank layer beneath your current layer.

  14. Figure 8.103

    Quick Tip: Setting shades of gray

    Photoshop is such an incredibly powerful program that surely there would be a little slider or pop-up menu for creating shades of gray, right? Well, there is one, it's just a bit hidden. Go under the Window menu and choose Show Color to bring up the Color palette. In the drop-down menu, choose Grayscale Slider. A slider will appear that goes from 0% to 100% and you can slide it to the percentage of gray that you want.

    Another popular way, though a bit more cumbersome, is to click on the Foreground Color Swatch and in the CMYK fields of the Color Picker, enter 0 for Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. Under Black, enter 40, and click OK. This gives you a shade of gray without any CMY in it, whereas the Color palette gives you a gray color build, with percentages of Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow.

  15. In the Layers palette, click on the water drops layer, then press Command-E (PC: Control-E) to merge your water drops layer with your blank layer. Next, Command-click (PC: Control-click) on your water spots layer to put a selection around the spots. Press Option-Command-F (PC: Alt-Control-F) to bring up the Gaussian Blur dialog again, but this time lower the Radius to 1, then click OK to slightly blur the inside of your water drops. Deselect by pressing Command-D (PC: Control-D).

  16. Figure 8.104

  17. Last, open the image where you want to apply the water spots, and change the Blend Mode of the water drops layer to Hard Light to make the gray center of the drops transparent, leaving just the highlights and shadows visible (as shown).

  18. Figure 8.105

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