Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Bunch Of Tricks (tweaking Glows and Shadows)

In this tutorial i will show you my technique on how to find the right color for stuff like Shadows or Glows.

Its quite simple !

I used a canvas of 800x400 and the font Yokawerad 226px in a dark red (#a10000).

Made a crisp highlight as shown in the last tutorial and now we need to add an Inner Shadow.

Here the problems begin, when i want to fill my inverted selection with a colour, what colour should i choose ???
The simplest way would be to make it black.

Another, better way is to open your colours, activate the text colour and then drag the slider so that you will get a darker shade of the same colour. This way i got #5f0000.

Next problem: how much blur should i apply to the inner shadow layer ??
I want my Inner Shadow blur to reach the highlight. Or almost.

So i open Gaussian Blur and judging by the preview i see that 5 is way to less.
Same with 10. So i go a little higher and choose 14.

Inner Shadows have an offset. My next problem will be to estimate what it will look like when i offset my layer.

Heres what you can do: alpha select your basetext and save it to a channel.
Click on the eye of the channel to make it visible. 
Now a grey haze is overlayed.

We want that to be completely opaque, so we double click the channel and the Channel`s Attributes Dialog will open.
Here we can change the opacity, but also the color.
For demonstration purposes i change the channel color to green.

Now we see the text clearly again and the shadow layer is confined to the inner text boundaries.

I changed the Mode of my Inner Shadow layer to 'Multiply' because i want it to darken the text.
Next i call up the Move Tool and drag the Shadow layer around. Also i use the arrow keys on my keyboard for fine tuning.
Because the green mask is on, i can see what it will look like in the end.
That makes the final offset 5px to the left and 1px up.

We can turn the channel off again and get rid of the Shadow outside the text boundaries so that we can see the original background again.
As usual i do this by applying a layermask from channel.

Maybe you now feel that the Inner Shadow needs a bit more blur or maybe less...

No problem ! Make sure the Inner Shadow layer is active, call up the curves tool and set the channel to alpha.
Drag the curve around to make the blur expand or contract.

And maybe you decide you want a completely different colour for your shadow.
Well no problem too. I changed the mode to normal again, so you can see it better.
Call up the 'Adjust Hue/Saturation/Brightness' Tool and play around with the values until you get something good.
The green looks quite cool, doesnt it ?!

Now lets see what happens when we use a different mode (Screen) with that green shadow.

Or invert the shadowlayer`s colour, then try some more combinations of Mode and Hue/Saturation/Brightness.
Here the Mode Grain Merge with pink (inverted colour) gave me this interesting blue kind of shade.

To be honest, this is no longer really a shadow, it has become some sort of glow or reflected coloured light but it adds a 3D effect to your text and im sure you get the idea, how you can find all kinds of variations for your effect easily.

Of course you can change the colour of your layer with other tools like Color-Curves or Levels.

That concludes this tutorial of my little box of tricks. Hope you found it useful.

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