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True Confessions

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There are certain special effects that have been used over and over again through the years and have become staples of the Photoshop effects industry. These are those “tried-and-true” special effects you see every day, which left me with two possible words to use in my chapter title: tried or true. I went with “true” because I could then use the title True Confessions from the 1981 movie starring Robert De Niro. Why True Confessions? I thought it kinda had a little bit of a naughty sound to it—true confessions—and naughty stuff sells books, right? In fact, the original working title for this book was Photoshop Naked Nudie Effects (now admit it—is that a title that would move some books off the shelves or what?). But my publisher thought it was a bit too racy and suggested I change the name to Photoshop Scantily Clad Effects, which frankly just doesn’t have the same punch to it, so I went with the more conservative title of Photoshop Classic Effects. But if you want to think of it under its original working title, I won’t tell anyone. It’ll be your own true confession.

Adding a Different Reflection to Sunglasses

Unfortunately, with studio photos all you get reflected in the subject’s sunglasses is generally the studio lighting, so it’s fairly common to add something else, especially for effect. You see this technique in everything from movie posters (like the reflection added in the movie poster for Natural Born Killers) to print ads to the Web, where you can put anything you want as a reflection in those shades.

Step One. Open a photo where the subject is wearing sunglasses (as shown here). In our project, we’re going to make it look like the subject is looking at a poker hand.
Step Two. Press the letter “L” to switch to the Lasso tool (or any selection tool you’re comfortable with) and make a selection around the inside of the sunglasses (as shown here).
Step Three. Open the photo you want to appear reflected inside the sunglasses (in this case, a poker hand). Press Command-A (PC: Control-A) to select the entire photo, then press Command-C (PC: Control-C) to copy it into memory.
Step Four. Return to the sunglasses photo where your selection should still be in place. Go under the Edit menu and choose Paste Into to paste the poker hand photo into your lens selection. It will probably be much too big, so press Command-T (Control-T) to bring up the Free Transform command. Hold the Shift key, grab a corner point (as shown here), and drag inward to scale the photo so it fits inside the lens selection. Press Return (PC: Enter) to lock in the transformation.
Step Five. To make the reflection look like it’s in the glasses (rather than stuck on top), choose Inner Shadow from the Add a Layer Style pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette. When the dialog appears, lower the Distance to 1, the Size to 3, change the Angle to 120° and click OK to add a thin shadow inside the poker hand photo (as shown here).
Step Six. To help the pasted-in card photo blend in with the sunglasses, go to the Layers palette and change the layer blend mode of the card layer from Normal to Screen (as shown here).
Step Seven. To help the reflection look less intense (and more reflected) lower the Opacity of this layer to 50% in the Layers palette (as shown).
Step Eight. The final step is to add some text to finish off the project. The type shown here is set in the font Helvetica Regular.
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