Welcome to this Tutorial page of
Your Creative Source
Rendering Transparent Objects
Choose a background image, or create a new one at any size.
The background can be anything (and can be changed later on);
it serves only as something to look at through your
transparent creation. We'll cover our transparent (and
currently fictitious) web award from start to finish.
So... let's be about it.
First, open up the Gradient Editor (Cmd-G; double click "Edit.").
Next, choose two colors you'll like side by side by double-
clicking the color stops. (As an alternative, you could double-
click the foreground and background colors in the tool
palette to choose colors, and set the linear gradient to
"foreground to background." This works, but doesn't
preview your gradient.)
Here's the initial gradient, applied diagonally:
And now: Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Gaussian, monochromatic,
amount of 40.
Next: Filter>Blur>Motion Blur; about 35 degrees, distance
of 30 - 40 pixels for this image.
To add deeper texture: Filter>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask;
Amount 150 percent, Radius 100 pixels, Zero threshold.
To add a little more interest: Filter>Distort>Shear;
wrap around. Here's that dialog:
And the result; a finished background... maybe.
The fun begins.
Be careful; each step is a new layer.
Create a new layer (Layer one).
Using your selection tools, create a shape to render as
a transparent object. Glasses, a bottle, a marble...
(This one's going to look like cartoon toast.)
Fill your shape with any solid color (black shows best
in the layer palette preview).
Create another new layer (Layer two).
Modify the selection you just filled by contracting it a
few pixels. The difference between the first and second
selections will be the dimension of the bevel, so get it
right. Fill the new selection with black.
Now, turn off visibility on both layers - they're only
there to use as shortcut "load selection" tools.
Here's what I mean: If you're working in ANY layer,
and you want to create a selection based on the content
of ANY other layer, you simply do this:
Find the "selection source" layer and Command-click on it.
If you want to subtract the selection from a current selection,
add the option key, etc. Just as you use the modifiers
when working with the current layer selections, you can
add them to Cmd-click to load selections from the content
of any other layer. It may sound confusing, but try it -
it's really very simple, and you never have to change
the "working layer" to do it. Too darn handy!
Anyway, I digress...
Create another new layer (Layer three).
Command-click on layer one; Command-option-click
on layer two. This results in the bevel selection.
Fill this selection with white. Set the blending mode
(the drop-down menu in the layers palette) to Overlay,
40 percent opacity. Here's what it looks like:
Don't deselect yet, but create another new layer (layer four).
Using a soft brush, fill in with black shadows where needed.
Set the mode to Multiply, opacity 40 percent. This is
what it looks like before changing the mode to multiply:
Create one more layer (layer five).
Using a light greenish color, highlights are brushed
into the bevel. The mode is set to Screen at
about 40 percent.
Another layer (layer six).
Lighten the green to almost white and brush in
the brightest highlights. Set the mode to Overlay,
opacity of 65 percent.
Finally, you can deselect the bevel area.
Create a new layer (layer seven).
Command click on layer two to select the area inside
the bevel. Using the gradient tool, create a gradient
from light green to transparent and apply it to the
inner area. Set the mode to screen, 50 percent.
Create layer eight.
Do the same thing as in layer seven, but a
little bit more concentrated. Set the mode to color
dodge, at 20 percent opacity.
New layer (layer nine).
Now some text and line art is placed from a vector program.
(You can easily create it within Photoshop, too.)
It is filled with white; Filter>Stylize>Emboss is applied
with settings of 120 degree angle, four pixel height and
an amount of 90 percent. The mode is set to luminosity,
50 percent opacity. You may want to adjust the brightness
down some too, to add to the illusion of depth.
Well, that's about it. To finish, render a base.
But that background needs something...
A little tinkering, and here's the new look:
Flatten the image; add a couple of lens
flare effects, and now it's looking spiffy!
Here is the new Workdance Award.
All of the layers in this image could be added to, subtracted from,
duplicated, deleted and generally tweaked to get the result you
want. Experiment, experiment, experiment.
To download this tutorial (452k), Click here.
You will receive a text file and a folder with the images.
Click here for a printer friendly version.
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All content and images within this site (with the exception of
licensed characters held by their respective license owners) are
©1986-2002 Garry K. Williams / The Williams Studio, Inc.
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