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2.5 Illustrating the Flag Ball (Part 2)

Here’s where the photo illustration really becomes something special. In this lesson we will discuss methods of selecting areas with the Pen Tool, and how to make creative use of blend modes and layer styles to create the illusion of flags printed on the patches of the ball.

2.5 Illustrating the Flag Ball (Part 2)

Welcome back to event flyer design. My name is Kirk Nelson. We are working our way through this sporting event flyer. And we find ourselves now on lesson number seven. In this lesson we'll take on part two of illustrating the flag ball. In lesson number six we cleaned up the photos of this ball and we removed the color information. We essentially prepared it for any type of photo manipulation that we're going to do now. Photo manipulation's probably the wrong term to use. I think photo illustration probably fits this better. Now the way ahead from here involves three stages. The first stage, we are going to create vector shapes that will be used as masks for each of the hexes within the ball fabric. Then we are going to layer in the different country flags, that's the second stage. And then the third stage. We will deal with some overall lighting tricks of the ball to really make it look good. To begin working with the pads, the first path that I want to create is a round circle that fully encompasses the contour of the ball. I'm going over the path panel cause this is where we are going to be working for right now. I'm going to grab my ellipse tool and make sure that it's set to path. Now as you drag out the circle, holding down the Shift key will constrain it to be the perfectly round dimensions. And if you hold down the space bar it let's you reposition the starting point. Ironically, this ball apparently is not perfectly round, or shall I say. The photograph of this ball is not perfectly round. That's due to some lens distortion. As soon as we let go of that shape, we get the shape properties window. That's not something we need to worry about at this moment. I'm going to grab my direct selection tool and Photoshop will allow me to start adjusting these points. But that turns it from a live shape into a regular path. That's fine. That's what we want, and I'm just selecting these points and moving them around until the ball is well isolated. Now, as you insert a path, over here in the paths panel it will say Work Path, and that's sort of a temporary holding spot. If you double click it and call it an actual name, it turns it into a regular path that will be saved, and you don't have to worry about losing it. The next step is to create individual paths. For the different patches on the ball leather. This isn't difficult to do. It's done with the pen tool. Make sure it's set to path, and I'm going to create a new path in the paths panel, for each one of these. And then, just begin tracing around them. The temptation is to just hit the corners, and assume that the straight lines will work. Don't do that, even though these seams should theoretically be perfectly straight. They're really not because it's a photograph of a round spherical object that we've already messed with when it came to removing the patterns on the seams. So you do actually have to go through and trace them, although it's not difficult at all to do. Once you have one of them done,. There's a good trick for making sure the other ones interlock with it perfectly, and the reason we need to make sure of that, is that if I go and attempt to now trace around an adjacent shape, how do I make sure I get these points to line up perfectly? And I get the tangents in exactly the same spot? It's pretty difficult to do that. So here's a good trick to help you. Select the Direct Selection Tool, and pick the control points that are adjacent to the new shape that you're going to outline. And go to Edit > Copy, create a new path layer, Edit > Paste. So now we have these adjacent points copied and pasted in exactly where they were before. Notice I grabbed the points just to the upstream and downstream of the control points that I selected. Photoshop really likes to do that, it has to do with the way the tangents work. So your options there are you can either. Just work with that like I'm doing here. I'm grabbing those extra control points and I'm moving them up to make them part of my new path line. Or when your select the points to copy, keep that in mind that it's going to copy one outside in each direction. So in that case it may have only selected the middle point, and then the copy and paste would've pulled in these three. Regardless. This is how you make sure the adjacent paths work together. Once I have these in here, I can go back to my pen tool. Make sure the Auto Add/Delete is engaged. And as I mouse over that end control point you can see the cursor has a little box with a line on each side of it. That's saying it's going to continue with the path that's already there. And then I've got that second path. You'll need to do this exact same technique for the rest of the patches on the ball. And that's what I've done here. I have eight separate paths along with the outer circle path and this will be sufficient to create the vector masks for each of the flag patches. Next, for Phase 2, in where we actually put the different flag images on these individual patches. You'll notice in the course files for this lesson, there are several flag images already available for you. These are public domain artwork so that you don't have any worries about using these for this project. Just as an example, I'm gonna grab the American flag. Pull that in. Notice it comes in as a smart object, so I'm going to rotate it down. And begin positioning it on the patch that I'm going to put it on. Let's say I choose this patch here. Now one easy way to be able to see what you're doing is to change the blending mode. I'm going to use linear burn cuz I like the way that looks against that ball leather, and it helps me to position it well because I can see the seams through the flag image, somewhat parallel to the bottom of the seam. And once you get the rough positioning in place, right-click and choose Warp. Now the great thing about the smart objects is it allows you to re-edit the warp as necessary. And because this is on a spherical object you don't want everything to be flat which is why we're going to warp it just slightly. I like to use the arch warp but not that extreme. Just a very, very slight, especially for these front facing patches. We'll commit that transformation and now we need to grab that vector shape that we created before. That path that's over here. Let's see that's this one. Path number four. Simply selecting it activates it. Go back to the layers panel and we go to Layer > Vector Mask > Current path. And it clips it exactly to the area that we need it to be clipped to. And speaking of clipping, we inserted this flag image in between the ball and the grass shadow that was already clipped to the ball. So let's just continue clipping it to here because things will work out much easier for us that way. So then using that exact same technique. I'm going to bring in the rest of the flags and use the different paths to create the masks for them. And there we go, we've got several flags layered in set to linear burn so that we can see a little bit of the ball showing through, particularly the seems seem to be coming through okay, but it's still looking rather artificial, it doesn't quite look real. Lets do a few lighting and effects tricks. To make this look even better. First of all, I want to add some different layer styles to these individual patches. Start out with a gradient overlay using the default gradient, and the blend mode sets a soft light. And that gives a nice gradient lighting over the entire patch. Then I'm going to add a Bevel & Emboss. My global light setting, I'm going to keep engaged, but I'm going to move it over to 135 degrees. Add an altitude of a little bit around 50. The depth, I'm cranking up about 235%. The size is increased. It's about 21. And that's where you can start to see things really coming in right. But. But it's a little sharp, so I'm going to hit that softening. Bring that up to about 9 pixels. And then, the last thing to adjust here is the shadow opacity. I'm actually going to zero that out, because I don't like the way it's adding this dark shadow on the reverse side of it. I really wanted that highlight gleam on the leather. And then if you right-click on that layer style and select Copy Layer Style, you could easily paste it on the other flags. In fat, you can grab the whole lot of them and right-click, and say Paste Layer Style. And applies it all the way through. And that helped a lot. But it still doesn't quite look real. It still looks very CG and artificial. That has a lot to do with the fact that the seams aren't very dark. Or I should at least say, if we darken the seams, it's going to help with that. And let's do that in a smart way here. I'm going to grab this blank ball layer that we're clipping everything to. I hold down the Alt or the Option key and drag a in a copy of that all the way to the top of at least the clipping stack. So we've got a copy of our blank ball sitting here. I'm going to clear the layers styles that came with that and clip it to our flag stack. Also, just for the sake of simplicity, I'm going to Apply the Layer Mask. Right-clicking on that thumbnail, selecting Apply Mask. Now I'm going to change this Blending mode to Multiply. And pull down on that Opacity a little bit, about 60%. And look at the difference that makes in those seams. You can also begin to see some of the cracks and crevices in the texture of that leather showing through. And that's really a great thing. So then let's accentuate some of the highlights. Some of these glean points that are on this ball. I'm just gonna make a copy of the blank ball that we just created by hitting Ctrl or Cmd+J. So keep it clipped, and this is gonna be the highlights one. All right, let's return the opacity to 100, and set this on Normal. Because what we want to do is really accentuate these highlights, and make everything else rather dark. So let's try a levels command. Ctrl or Command+ L, and pull that side slider up really, really far, until we get a nice isolation of just the highlight areas. And you probably know what's coming next. Let's change the blending mode to screen and reduce the opacity. I think the highlights are coming in a little bit sharp. Here, so let's use a Gaussian blur on it. Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, set down not very high, about three pixels or so. And that looks really good. That's starting to get those intricate tile. Lights and light scattering from the surface of that ball leather. And I'd really like to get a little bit more detail visible. Those little cracks and crevices, and even some of the seams in that ball leather. So, let's make yet another copy of that blank ball, copy two, and let's call this details. Set it to Normal. Full opacity for the time being. I'm going to Filter > Other > High Pass and put this, I think at about 20. And what the high pass filter does is it helps to isolate those details and makes the rest of the image a mid-tone grey which then disappears when you set the blending mode to overlay, and look how it pops those details, very nice. The next I wanna add some overall lighting to this. Going to create yet a new layer this time instead of a copy of the previous ones. Also, clip it to it, and this is just a lighting layer. I'm going to create a selection form that blank ball copy, so I've got the entire selected. And then I'm going to grab my gradient tool, make sure it's set to black to white. And on a radial gradient hit the reverse option so that it starts with white instead of black and just add a highlight to the top of the ball area. I can remove the selection by Ctrl or Command+D to deselect and then change this to soft light. It's a little bit harsh so we'll pull the opacity down. And that is starting to look really really good. In fact there is just a couple more last minute steps until I am happy with the appearance with this ball. That has to do with some additional glowing effect around the edges here because the composition we are working with has some kind of almost dream like or idealized type of lighting and settings. And this will help contribute to that effect. Another new layer. This is gonna be the topglow. In this case, create another selection and I'm gonna fill this one with black and then cancel the selection. Now I'm going to use a layer style to add sort of a top glow to this. But I don't want the pixels to show up. I just want the layer style to be visible. To do that I zero out the Fill setting. Then I add my layer style. I'm going with an inner shadow that's actually changed from a shadow to a glow by simply switching the blending mode from Multiply to Screen and setting it to a white color. Not gonna use global light because I want this to be. Pretty close to vertical. Increase the distance considerably here. And, increase the size, too. And, that gives a nice top glow to the ball shape. And, I want to use that same idea to create a little bit of glow along the top edges of each of these seams. Now, we have some from that bevel and emboss layer style that we had before. But, by adding yet another one, it makes the lighting effect look that much more realistic, because it's that much more complex. So, one last new layer. And this is going to be the patch glows. And I'm using the same technique as before by filling it with black and zeroing out the fill. And this time, my inner shadow, again set to screen, to white. This is gonna be dialed up to the mid 20s, not nearly as high as it was on the other one, and then the size is gonna be pretty high as well, about the mid 40s. I know we're not really seeing much here, but here's where the magic of this technique comes in. I want you to grab your eraser tool. I want it to be slightly larger than the seam with a nice soft edge to it. Now watch what happens as we trace along the seam with the eraser. See how it's giving us a nice glowing edge to those individual patches? That's a really cool thing. So just go through and trace along each individual patch to create this really nice edge glow to them. And there we go with our finished flag ball. Okay guys that's it for lesson seven. That was some really nice photo illustration work there. Next, we turn our attention from the flag ball to the surrounding stadium. That's coming up in lesson eight.

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