Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Time to play!!!

Go to the filter menu at the top and have fun testing different the options. Do things, undo them, play with the sliders in the pop up windows, have a ball!

Any changes that you make will only affect that one selected viewable layer. You can use more than one filter effect on that layer too - use an artistic technique, followed by a texture, followed by a distortion technique. Try not to go over board though because you will be going wild on the other 2 layers as well - just make sure that it looks great and that you are happy with the results on the layer that you are working on!

This is what I did – just in case you are struggling... general notes in black, my notes in blue...

First layer 'layer 0 copy 3'

I used Filter> Artistic> Coloured pencil on the first layer.
Once you are happy with that layer...
  • Click on the name 'layer 0 copy 3' in the palette and label it something that you will relate to (click once until the actual name until it looks highlighted and simply type in a new name – I called my layer 'Coloured pencil').
  • Toggle the seeing-eye off on that layer (by clicking the eye on the left off) and move up a layer by toggling it's eye on.
Proceed with a different effect. (continued...) 

Don't forget to change the layer's name...
This is what my final layers palette looks like now.

More fun and games!

In the layers palette, you will notice a drop down menu on the left hand side with a whole lot of alternative filter effects. These are the Layer Modes, there is nothing taboo about using these ones ;)

Layer modes are pretty complex creatures and this is my attempt at explaining them..... This is the part that relies on playing and experimenting rather than teaching, because it's up to you, depending on what you want to achieve. There is a lot of trial and error involved.
Each mode can interact with the layer beneath it and that effect and interaction is further enhanced by the opacity and stacking order of that layer. Sometimes duplicating layers (by dragging it to the little page icon on the bottom right of the palette) and giving the new layer a different layer mode and opacity also creates tremendous effects. Layers can also be dragged into new positions in the layer stacking order.

Here are some general pointers on how I would tackle it...
  • Leave the original background layer at the bottom of the layers palette locked and on, you can always choose whether it is needed in the final image or not.
  • Work from the bottom upwards.
  • I always start off by toggling the layers that I am not working on, to off.
  • Remember that the darker more intense layers need to be at, or near the bottom in the stacking order, so as not to overpower layers above it.
  • When moving onto another layer, leave the one that you are happy with toggled on so that you can see how it interacts with the new layer modes that you are working on.
  • Remember that some of the more transparent layer modes like 'multiply' and 'overlay' can remain at 100% when interacting with the layer below, no matter where they are in the stacking order it makes sense to keep them closer to the top.
  • The more opaque solid layer modes need to be toned down with the opacity slider or shunted down in the layer stack, so that they don't overpower layers above it.
  • Create as many layers as you feel are necessary. The sky is the limit regarding the number of layers you can have (I lie, your computer memory is actually....;) .
  • As you fiddle with various modes and opacity, toggle the seeing-eye on and off - if the change to the image isn't obvious, then the layer is useless, either change it's position in the stacking order, toss it (by dragging the layer to the dustbin icon on the very bottom of the layers palette), or try a different mode and opacity.
Make use of the 'history palette' while you are experiementing, to backtrack steps if you feel that you need to return to a previous version that you preferred.

What I did...

Finishing touch: A brilliant tip that I learnt recently, is that once you are pretty happy with the final product and the layers are working well together. Unlock the original layer at the bottom (click on the lock icon near the top in the palette). Duplicate the layer by dragging it to the page icon at the bottom of the layers palette. Drag the new layer to the top of the stack. Set it to the 'overlay' mode and drop it's opacity. The effect brings out the contrasts in the image very well.
Below is what I finished with – which is a tame version of what can be achieved. You have a choice, either make minor enough amends to retain the original image as an interesting picture, or distort it into a fantastic unrecognisable background texture.

layer 0 copy = overlay layer mode @ 60% opacity
glass = screen layer mode @ 30% opacity
coloured pencil = difference layer mode @ 100%
rough pastels = hard light layer mode @ 100%
layer 0 = normal @ 100% (I chose to keep it toggled on)


Hopefully you will have saved your image throughout the process of working on it. The layered document creates a .psd file which is a fully editable Photoshop version of the image and can be worked on more as and when you want to. Go to File> Save As... and choose the file format that you would like to save it as from the dropdown menu.

1 comment :

nizaa said...

wahhh bagus tutorial mcm ni..sangat berguna...kipidap!


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