Filigree with Alien Skin Software


Filters and Smart Objects


Lesson Info

Filigree with Alien Skin Software

So I think now what we're gonna take a look at is using Alien Skin and Eye Candy for objects. And I had a occasion to use this on a job and he's gonna show you another job in a minute and it's often I think overlooked for this kind of thing. Eye candy, especially the chrome, is very ubiquitous for type, we all use it for type and it's awesome for type but it can also be used for element. So, for example, there are home DIY die cutters that you use and you can cut Mylar out and whatnot and put signs on your wall. You know when you have poetry on the wall? Well, companies that advertise that who sell that they wanna show examples of that. Well I will tell you right now that if you have a shiny sign and you're photographing it in a room, everybody, the photographer, the assistant, the lunch that they're having on the side, is reflecting into that lettering and it's a nightmare. So I recently got hired to do some DIY clean up and I'm not, well, occasionally I'm an idiot, but I wasn't an id...

iot that day. And what I decided to do, instead of hand cloning out all of those items, is I traced out the items, I'm gonna show you this as an example, and I used Alien Skin on it and I just redid the lettering and it took me two minutes. Show us how you did that. Well, I'm gonna show you with this without tracing it. Alright. However, on a business note, I recognize the value of what I'm producing and I charge more than two minutes. That a girl, I'm proud of you. That's good, right? Know the value of your work, I think it's important and just because I know a trick or two doesn't mean that I should get-- Just 'cause you can charge less doesn't mean you oughta. You know, that should be the theme of the day I think. It's getting there. Alright I'm gonna close this tab group real quick. Alright, so what I have here is a filigree, it's just a Adobe stock you can get for $10 or something like that and I just wanted to utilize this as a sample. So, because we're here and we have a couple extra minutes, I'm gonna go ahead and show you how to do a channel pull to get a selection. I'm just gonna delete that real quick. So, we talked about this a little bit with the water in the flood plugin section but when you have channels in Photoshop and they're black and white, they're also stored selections so I'm just gonna make a copy of this and I'm gonna invert it, command I, and right there I have what can be a selection so I can make a floating object. Now, in Photoshop, white is available, black is not, gray is sort of available, right? Kind of in between depending on the level of the gray. This is gray so Lisa is gonna suggest you do command L for levels and my purpose is I just wanna make that object white. So I'm just gonna make that white. You can slide it further. The further you get, the more crunchy the edging is gonna get so I'm just gonna go to that line. Now histogram's gonna basically tell me how far to go. For this demo, I am not gonna worry about this kind of thing, these lines, these cut lines. If you wanted to, you could fill that in. So once I have a selection in Photoshop, any channel, any single one of them here, if you hold the command key down, you get your hand icon with the marching ants around it and you can click command, click and that has now loaded the selection. I'm gonna go ahead and close my channels. I'm gonna go to a new layer and I'm gonna say floating, I don't even wanna try to spell filigree so I'm just gonna say floating fil and I'm gonna fill that. Now, white happens to be my foreground color which is not a problem so I'm just gonna invert that. And now I have this floating layer, okay? Nicely done. Why thank you, I went to school for that. Actually, no I didn't. Alright, now I have a thing about doing beveling and Alien Skin in type, I tend to not like to do it on a black layer. Not for any good reason other than habit so I have a tendency, rather than to fill it with black, I would usually start with a gray layer. There's no rhyme or reason, it's just the way I like to work. Alright, so that's basically how I would start. So given that, I'm going to go to my chrome layer I have here and there is the gray layer. Now, what I would normally do is go to Eye Candy, Alien Skin, Eye Candy, but I've already started that so I'm just gonna go ahead and click on it and show you what I've done. Ah, look, chrome, glorious chrome. I love this setting, I love this. I'm gonna zoom up here, if it'll let me. You got me into this, I blame you 100% for this. He was seriously filter dude. So, in the chrome setting, and if anything, it depends on what you do for a living but for me, this is hands down, the most handy, handy plugin I have in my arsenal and have for, Jesus, a really long time, right? So right here you can change the bevel width and I'm hoping you guys can see that on the screen. I'm gonna take this moment to remind you the beautiful thing about Alien Skin is there is that trial. So, today, right now at home, you can download this for free and just give it a go and see if you like it. It is so awesome. You're gonna make yourself crazy. I think what's gonna happen is you're gonna make everything you own beveled and everyone's gonna get, logo's gonna be beveled and all this stuff's gonna happen and you're gonna be like, "Ah, look at this." You may not make that face but that's what you're gonna do. And voila, there you have it. Now, as it's doing it's thing and rendering, it's only gonna take a second, what you'll notice, because this is a smart filter, which means it's smart object with a filter which makes it a smart filter, is I have the Eye Candy and then I added a drop shadow because I'm extra tricky. So, these effects down here, you can add them as you like. So I just added a drop shadow. That really handy dandy drop, oooh, oh, it takes two seconds, it's nothing. And it just adds a little je ne sais quoi and what's really nice about this is it's flexible so you put this away, you open it up in two weeks, you can change your mind and make this as bevel-y or non-bevel-y as you want. Bevel-y? It's that kinda day. Yeah, it is that kinda day. Alright, rock on. Simon's gonna show you an extra tricky different way of doing this. I do not believe this is in the handout, it's a good thing he speaks slower than I do. So for those of you following at home or when you watch this, take some notes because he's gonna show you a different way of doing an extra cool drop shadow. So, I'm gonna have Lisa's filigree, it's already chrome. I'm gonna make a new layer just in case. We're cautious. Drop shadow, yeah it doesn't take too long to learn a lesson, boy. Yeah. So I'm back under filter to Alien Skin, Eye Candy and we saw the drop shadow Lisa did on the winter scene with those winter scenes. The trees, that's right. It's killer, so-- It's the same plugin only used completely different. So, this drop shadow, there's a bunch of different controls but what I really dig about it is it gets blurrier and fadier the farther away from the object which is really hard to reproduce. We have our own language, blurrier and fadier. Yeah, yeah, yeah, blurrier and fadier. It in of itself is awesome and then you can manipulate it as you will but there is one trick and I was just sitting playing around one time and Lisa called me and go, "Oh, that's killer, how do you do that?" And I tried to explain it and couldn't. I figured it out for this and I'll show you how to do that. We'll just drop this initial one in first and then I'll show you how the tricky, tricky bit. It is a good tricky, tricky bit, I'm gonna give you that. And that's a double, tricky, tricky. Where is that shadow? Ah, it's not gonna do it, huh? Alright, I'm gonna, so the tricky bit is, with the drop shadow, it starts at the bottom, gets darker, and then fades off. But it looks at the bottom part of the image. If we have another one where, it gives it, I don't even know how to explain it, but it makes it look-- Actually I don't have it. It makes it look like the image is sitting there and you pulled what it's resting on away from it and the way it's done is the shadow starts at the top of the image, gets darker and more in focus and then fades off from there. And it's a goofy little effect. I'm gonna show this, I'm not sure if this is quite what you're talking about but hopefully you'll be able to render it soon. So, it actually can make it look like the item is tilted off. Maybe you have it on your Creo logo. See this logo down here? It's this kind of look. And it's really cool and it's just using the drop shadow function in Alien Skin only he flipped it. So he's gonna run through his demo. I'm kinda putting you on the spot here for that, sorry. No sweat. Okay, so put the drop shadow there. I'm gonna load up your filigree. So what he's doing on his file is he's leaving all his working elements underneath and just putting a file on top. We often do this when we're doing a job, is you'll have your working file, you'll have everything going on and you wanna try an experiment. Hang on, I'm sorry about this, I think this is a good work topic. So when you're trying to figure out how to do a function, leave your job, leave your file, leave everything underneath, move your experiment to the top and do your work so that you're not trying to find it in between layers. Do you know what I mean? Just put it on top, find it, once you get it sorted, put everything that doesn't matter away, and move it down. So with this one, when I do this drop shadow it's gonna look at the bottom of the image and start at that little pointy bit. That's where it's gonna start the shadow. I'm gonna trick it by flipping the selection. So I'll go selection, modify, transform, I'm sorry, and I'm gonna flip it vertically. He's holding the control key down, control. Return that, and with that, I'm gonna try to trick Alien Skin into drawing it backwards. I believe it's here though, no? You think? Let's see, Alien Skin, Eye Candy. Drop shadow. Okay. Yeah I think you have to get in that layer. No, I got it. Oh, you did? Yep, so now we told it to do it backwards. So you just deselected, right? Yep, so the drop shadow is now here. And hopefully this will work. Oh, look how it cut off 'cause it was outside the cameras. We'll cheat it in there. Well, you get the idea. We might be able to redo this in a minute. But the idea is, basically what happened was because he did it with the selection and it went beyond the border of the document, it got cut off. So in order to do this one accurately, he's gonna have to increase his canvas size first and then do it and then it wouldn't get cut off. I have another example. Yeah, we'll do another example of it later, but anyway, it's gonna be a great trick. We'll show it again in a just a minute. Alright, so what have we looked at? We looked at Eye Candy for the backlight, which is awesome. And even though we have shown it for a photograph, please consider it for type because it's pretty handy dandy.

Class Description

Learn how filters and smart objects can enhance your images when you incorporate them into your retouching workflow. Make adjustments to your file without overwriting your original image. Professional high-end retoucher Lisa Carney will show you the many tools within filters and how to use them to improve and speed up your post-processing workflow. You’ll learn about:

  • Transforming edit functions
  • Camera Raw Techniques
  • Understanding Liquify
  • Blur and distort techniques
  • Adding textures and stylized looks
  • Incorporating third party plugins into Photoshop® like Alien Skin Software and Nik

Gain more control over your portraits or product retouching by understanding and incorporating filters and smart objects.


Pat Saizan

This is one of the best courses I have taken on Creative Live. Just amazing. This is geared towards intermediate to advanced Photoshop users. So happy to see an advanced class!! Very happy to see Alien Skin being used as a part of this course. Highly recommend this course.

a Creativelive Student

I can't say enough about this class. I am looking forward to watching this again and applying all I have learned at my leisure. Lisa Carney is am amazing instructor and I loved Simon as well, they did an awesome job! Just the handouts alone are well worth the price of the class. Thanks for another class filled with excellent content and lots of laughter. I own all of her classes and will certainly purchase any other's she instructs. Way to go Lisa! Well done and Exceptional!

Jeph DeLorme

Great class presented in a way that keeps your attention. This class is packed full of fun ideas with a ton of great take-aways for your 'bag of tricks! I would recommend this class 100%!