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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Ripped Edge Technique

While working on this book, I showed some color proofs of a page to a friend and he asked how we created the ripped edge effect we sometimes use when showing menus or the Options Bar (we "rip" the menu or Options Bar because sometimes they're too long and we'd have to make them very small to fit.) He thought I should include the technique in the book, so here it is.

Quick Tip: Apply changes to multiple layers

There are a number of changes and transformations you can apply to multiple layers at once. The first step is to go to the Layers palette and link together the layers that you want to affect. This is done by clicking in the second column beside each layer you want to link. A tiny link icon will appear indicating that the layer is now linked to your currently active layer. Once that's done, whatever transformation (such as scaling, rotating, etc.) you do to your active layer will also affect all your linked layers.

  1. Open the image you want to rip (in this case, I'm going to use a screen capture of Photoshop's Layer menu—the longest of Photoshop's menus) but this technique will work just as well on any image. As you can see, to display the entire menu here, the menu items are very small. You have to get this menu up on its own layer with none of the white background, so press "w" to switch to the Magic Wand tool.

  2. Figure 8.13

  3. Click once in the white area to the right of the word Layer to select that area (shown in fig. 1). Then press Shift-Command-I (PC: Shift-Control-I) to inverse your selection (which selects everything but that white area (shown in fig. 2). Now press Shift-Command-J (PC: Shift- Control-J) to cut just the menu out of the background and put it up on its own separate layer (shown in fig. 3).

  4. Figure 8.14

  5. Press "L" to switch to the Lasso tool, and draw a jaggy selection through the part of the menu that you want to tear away (as shown). I started drawing the jaggy part first, then I went outside the image window and went around to the point where I started making this selection.

  6. Figure 8.15

  7. Press Shift-Command-I (PC: Shift-Control-I) to inverse your selection, selecting the part of your image you no longer want visible. Press Delete (PC: Backspace) to delete this area (as shown). Then, press the Up Arrow key four times to nudge your selection up about 4 pixels into your menu (as shown).

  8. Figure 8.16

  9. Press Command-L (PC: Control-L) to bring up the Levels dialog. Drag the lower-left Output Levels slider to the right until it reads 220 (as shown). Then click OK. This lightens the 4-pixel-high selected area to almost white. Now press Command-D (PC: Control-D) to Deselect.

  10. Figure 8.17

  11. Choose Drop Shadow from the Layer Style pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette. Increase the Size to 8 and click OK to complete the effect. With the drop shadow applied, the area you lightened in the previous step is now visible, and that area helps give a more realistic rip effect. When cropped to size, you can see how much bigger we can now display the menu (as shown here).

  12. Figure 8.18

Quick Tip: Detaching a Layer Effect from its layer

When you apply a Layer Effect, the effect is attached directly to your layer. So if you apply a Layer Effects Drop Shadow to a Type layer, that shadow is attached to your Type layer. If you'd like to separate that drop shadow onto its own layer, you can go under the Layer menu, under Layer Style, and choose Create Layer. When you do this, a new layer is created that contains just the effect (in this case it would contain the drop shadow). If you try this when you've applied a Bevel and Emboss Layer effect, it separates the highlights to one layer and the shadows to another. However, in the case of Bevel and Emboss, they're still grouped with the original layer as a clipping group. To remove the clipping group, press Shift-Command-G (PC: Shift-Control-G). You'll see that you now have three separate layers.

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