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3.2 Creating Icy Textures

Once again we will start with creating a background effect to house our textured text. In this lesson we discuss the difference between creating realism and idealism. We also incorporate textures from surprising sources.

3.2 Creating Icy Textures

Hello everybody Kirk Nelson here, welcome back to Nature Inspired Text Effects. We're now on lesson 3.2, where we develop what appears to be some icy textures to fit into the background of our ice text. Let's begin with this brush metal texture. This is found in the course photos that we went through last lesson. And it is going to serve as the basis to rest the effect of our icy texture on. First thing I wanna do is unlock this background layer, by clicking on that lock icon. And it changes the name from background to Layer 0. We discussed before how we sorta naturally expect icy and cold elements to appear bluish. So let's add a layer style to this layer zero. And we're going to use a color overlay. But clearly we don't want our color to be red. Let's change it to a nice icy blue. Then let's set the blending mode to Soft Light. That creates a nice cold effect there. And we pull that opacity down just a smidgen, down to about 96%. Now let's add a new layer. And I'm going to fill this with black. Black is my foreground color, so I can hold down the Alt or the Option+Backspace. The color we filled this with, isn't particularly important, because we're going to use the fibers filter. It just needs some pixels to render onto, so Filter > Render > Fibers. The Variance and Strength don't really matter either. So just go ahead and click OK to fill it with what almost looks like icicles. They're a bit sharp for what we need, so let's soften it a little bit by going to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, using a radius of 3 pixels. And then let's rotate this and scale it so they're horizontal. Use the Edit > Free Transform, zoom out a little bit, so that we can see the transformation handles. Position the texture so it completely covers our canvas and commit the transformation. Then, let's set this to Screen, so we don't see the black areas. The white is just way too dominant now. Let's pull that Opacity way down to about 10%. Now that's a subtle effect, but I really like the way that looks. Yet I still want to remove this effect from the center of this texture. And because we're using the screen blending mode, any black pixels on this layer will be rendered invisible. So let's use our gradient tool. So it's a radial gradient, and make sure it's on the Foreground to Transparent preset. Just add a big black area right to the center of this, so it hides those fibered textures from the background. Another texture found in the course files, is this amazing texture here that is actually a scan of a dryer sheet. And I think it's got some great lines to it. It's a really gritty, almost spider-webby type of texture, and I think it does a good job of adding just a touch of grunge to any element. So I'm going to grab this, drag it over into our composition, and hold down the Shift key as I release it. So it places it exactly within the bounds of our canvas. Now let me rename these. On the dryer sheet layer, let's change this blending mode to Overlay, and reduce its opacity as well, not too low to maybe about 67%. Now that almost looks like a nice icy texture all ready. I'm going to add a layer mask. Go back to my gradient tool, and use the same type of gradient as before, to remove this effect from the center of our canvas. Things are really looking good here. Let's use one more texture from our bank of images, and that's this 0631, which is actually some snow and frost that's on a window. Drag this over into our composition. Drop it in. Comes in really large. So when we hit the Ctrl or Cmd+T for the transformation, we can't even see the transformation handles. So tap Ctrl or Cmd+0, to scale out so that we can see them. Then let's transform this in to fit our image. I'll commit that transform. And this already has a bluish tint to it, but this one I actually want to look more whitish. So, let's first go to Image > Adjustments > Hue Saturation, and we'll pull down on that saturation so it looks a little bit more white. Increase the lightness a little bit. It still looks a little bit dark, so let's run Image > Adjustments > Levels and adjust the handle to the histogram, which fully increases the contrast, and that looks pretty good. The next idea would be to let the rest of the texture show through this. Now you might be thinking, well, that's pretty easy, we've done this before. Let's just set this to Screens, so these black parts disappear. That doesn't really work. It gets all kinda muddled, and looks kinda muddy and washed out in there. And none of these blending modes work well for this. Lighten kinda does, but that's not exactly what we want. We're losing a lot of detail in this snow and frost texture. Here's the best way to do this. Go to Select > All to select the entire canvas, Edit > Copy. Now, we desaturated this before. So we know that this is mostly a black and white layer. Select > Deselect, let's add a layer mask. Now, here's the thing. If you hold down the Alt or the Option key and click on that mask thumbnail, we can see this now. This is the mask file that's defining the visible element of this layer. So, let's go to Edit > Paste. And it pastes it right in there, so what we're doing is using the layer to create a mask from itself. Then Alt click on the thumbnail again to stop viewing it, and this does a really good job of isolating that snow and frost. Let's get a little bit more contrast than this even, make sure we're still focusing on that mask layer, and run the levels command again. Image > Adjustment > Levels, and pull these handles inwards to get some great contrast, and a really good effect from that ice. As with the other textured effects, I want to constrain this texture to be mostly around the borders. So I'm going to use my Polygonal Marquee Tool, and begin selecting an area from the middle that I want to mask out. And I purposely tried to follow along with the natural outlines of the holes in the ice, so that I could include those borders, and it looks a lot more natural. Once again, let's focus on the mask and fill this selection with black, by holding down the Alt+Backspace key. Then we cancel that selection with Ctrl or Cmd+D. Now that does not look very natural. It looks way too hard of an edge, so let's grab our brush tool, open up our brushes panel. In the Brush Presets, let's look for as Spatter brush. We'll take that big one, Spatter 59. Back to our Brushes Panel, increase the spacing and turn some scattering on that too. Looks like we need to increase the size just a little bit more even. Pull down that opacity, maybe to about 70%, and just start working the edges of that mask, to make it look a lot more realistic. So it's much more natural, and much more ragged. The reason we're using a spatter brush, is cuz it creates almost that crystallized type of shape, that we notice when we're analyzing the textures. And continue working your way completely around the edge, until you get a really nice iced edge to frost. And here's how mine ended up. So I think this is a great background to start placing our iced letters into. And that brings lesson 3.2 on the ice texture generation to a close. Lesson 3.3 is next, where we begin generating some ice textures just for the letter shapes.

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