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Photoshop 7 Special Effects

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Scott Kelby toyed with other names like "Zowie-wowie effects," "Turbo-mondo spasmatic effects," and even "Intergalactic alien death-ray effects," but those names just weren't special enough for the effects he had planned for this sample chapter.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Here we are, sadly, at the last chapter of the book (I cried when I wrote it. Well, at least parts of it). But I don't want you to think, just because it's the last chapter, that I've run out of cool things to share. Au contraire (gratuitous use of French in everyday conversation, inspired by Frasier). I specifically saved this chapter for last, and I named this chapter "Special Effects" because that's just what these effects are—special. Oh sure, I toyed with other names, like "Zowie-wowie effects," "Turbo-mondo spasmatic effects," and even "Intergalactic alien death-ray effects," but those names just weren't special enough for the effects I had planned for this chapter. But before you launch into the chapter and begin creating effects with an unbridled zeal heretofore hidden beneath layers of conformity and years of ingrained neo-conservatism (I'm not sure what any of that means, but my publisher told me to use a lot of big words), I just want to thank you for spending these special moments with me. See, how could I name this chapter anything but "special effects?"

Stretched-pixel Backgrounds

This technique is very popular in those trendy Euro-collages that are showing up everywhere. They're great as backgrounds for collages and as collage elements where the tops and bottoms are cropped off, and then the Blend Mode is changed to blend in with other elements in the collage.

Quick Tip: Adding spot colors

For years Photoshop only wanted you to do one of three things: create a black-and-white image, a grayscale image, or a full-color image. However, back in Photoshop 5.0, Adobe introduced the ability to create spot color separations.To add a spot color to your grayscale image, make a selection of the area where you want to have a spot color, then go to the Channels palette, and from the drop-down menu choose New Spot Channel. When the dialog box appears, you can click on the Color Swatch and choose a PANTONE color to be your spot channel.

You can also add an extra spot color (or bump plate) to a four-color CMYK image in a similar fashion (giving you four color plates and a fifth spot color plate when you run your separations). There's even a special format for saving your image with spot colors: it's an EPS format called DCS 2.0 (which stands for Desktop Color Separation). There's a lot more to creating spot color seps, but at this point I just wanted to mention that they were there.

  1. First a little set-up. Go under the Window menu and choose Info to bring up the Info palette. Click-and-hold on the + icon at the bottom left-hand corner of the dialog, and a pop-up menu of measurement units will appear. Choose Pixels to have the Info palette display measurements in pixels (as shown).

  2. Figure 8.1

  3. Open an image you want to use for the effect. Images with lots of variation in color seem to create the most interesting stretched pixel effects. Press "m" to switch to the Rectangular Marquee tool. Draw a tall thin selection that's only 2 pixels wide (the "W" setting in the bottom right of the Info palette shows you how many pixels wide your selection is as your drag it).

  4. Figure 8.2

  5. Press Command-J (PC: Control-J) to put your selected area on its own separate layer. Then press Command-T (PC: Control-T) to bring up Free Transform. Grab the right center point (as shown) and drag to your right.

  6. Figure 8.3

  7. Continue dragging until your pointer extends beyond the edge of your document window. You'll see what appear to be seams in your stretched pixels, but they'll go away once you lock in your transformation.

  8. Figure 8.4

  9. Press Return (PC: Enter) to lock in your transformation. Your stretched pixel effect is on its own layer above your image, so you no longer need the Background layer. Now you can delete it by dragging the background into the Trash icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

  10. Figure 8.5

  11. You can then use your stretched-pixel image by dragging it out farther (I did the same thing again in the example shown here—I just stretched it some more using Free Transform). To see a stretched-pixel effect in use, turn to the Interface chapter, go to the tutorial for creating hi-tech grids, and look at the illustration in Step 6. There, you'll see a stretch pixel effect clearly used in the background.

  12. Figure 8.6

Quick Tip: Running filters on CMYK images

The next time you convert a file to CMYK format, take a trip under the Filter menu and you'll find something that may surprise you. Many of the filters are grayed out (unavailable). Once you've converted to CMYK, you don't want to convert back to RGB to use these filters, because when you convert back to CMYK again, it's going to re-separate your image and cause untold horrors to your separation (okay, it's not that bad, but it's not a good thing to do).

Instead, here's a trick that lets you apply any filter to CMYK images. Go to the Channels palette and click on a color channel (for example, Cyan). Now, look under the Filter menu—the filters are back, baby! You can now apply the filter to each individual CMYK channel. It takes a little longer, but it'll get the job done. Here's a tip to speed up the process: Run the filter on the Cyan channel, press Command-2 (PC: Control-2) to switch to the Magenta Channel, and then press Command-F (PC: Control-F) to run the filter again. Repeat this for the Yellow and Black channels.

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