Transform

You can ^0+click (right-click) to access specific transformations when you are in the Free Transform mode.

Just a few possibilities using the Distort Text feature. You can continue to modify the text with no quality loss, as it stays vector throughout the process.

Warped Text

Warped text is one of those cool features that you should reserve for special occasions like show or segment titles. The Warped Text command allows you to distort text to a variety of shapes, including Arc, Bulge, Flag, Fisheye, Squeeze, and Twist.

Step 1. To access Warped Text, select your type layer and choose the Horizontal Type tool.

Step 2. Click on the Create Warped Text button (a T above an arc) in the Options bar.

Step 3. Choose a style from the drop-down menu, and then adjust the options for a more precise effect.

Step 4. To apply, click the OK button.

To remove a warp, double-click on the type layer; then click on the Create Warped Text button, and choose None from the Style menu. Note that you cannot warp text that has the Faux Bold formatting applied or if the font is only a bitmap font.

Text on a Path

Have you ever needed to wrap type around a logo? Or maybe you want text to bend around an object? In the past, you had to jump over to Illustrator for this popular effect. No more! Photoshop CS added the long requested Type on a Path command.

Step 1. Create a path with the Pen tool or load a selection, switch to Path palette, and click Make Work Path from Selection.

Step 2. Make sure the path is active in the Path palette.

Step 3. Select the regular Horizontal Type tool and click on the path. The tool will automatically switch to the Path Text tool.

Step 4. Add your type.

Step 5. Press or the Commit button to apply the text.

Moving Type Along the Path

Step 1. Choose the Direct Selection tool or Path Selection tool and position it over the type. The pointer will change into an I-beam with an arrow.

Step 2. Click and drag to move the type along the path. Do not drag across the path.

Flipping Type to the Other Side of a Path

Step 1. Choose the Direct Selection tool or Path Selection tool and position it over the type. The pointer will change into an I-beam with an arrow.

Step 2. Click and drag the type across the path, which will flip the type to the other side.

Video Type Details

Help, I Have Diffikultie Speling

This may sound obvious, but the best way to avoid mistakes is to copy and paste text directly from the script. Ask your client or producer to provide you a .txt or .rtf file, and open it with your computer's text editor. You can now copy and paste titles directly. While this is not a foolproof solution, it does make it easy to figure out where the error occurred (and it usually will not be with you).

Spell-checker

Photoshop has become a freestanding graphic creation tool. It is now possible to proof your text in a number of different languages. If you are familiar with a word processor's spell-checker, Photoshop's will seem completely standard. Remember, you must set the language for a text field by using the drop-down menu in the Character palette. To launch the spell-checker, choose it from the Edit menu (Edit>Check Spelling). If it flags a word that you know is right, you can choose to ignore it or add it to your dictionary. There's no earth-shattering technology here, but the cries of Web and video designers have been answered.

Related to the spell-checker is a Find-and-Replace command. This allows you to go through all of your text layers and swap out words. Say that you've listed Williamstown Resort throughout your full-screen graphics. A few days later, the client calls and says it's actually Williamsburg Resort. You can have Photoshop scan through and replace all instances of the improper name throughout your composition. Again, the technology is standard, but it can be a time-saver.

Spell-check? Ewe Betcha

Photoshop 7 added a spell-check feature to the Edit menu.

Safe-Title Area

If you put a computer screen next to a television screen, one distinction should stand out: Computer monitors have black borders around the viewable areas, while televisions provide edge-to-edge viewing. On any given television set, up to 10% of the viewable signal is lost because the tube is recessed into a case. This viewable area is called the action-safe area.

All type must fall within the inside box (safe-title area) for traditional video. This region is approximately 80% of the fullscreen size. (Original template from Tools for Television.)

All type must fall within the inside box (safe-title area) for traditional video. This region is approximately 80% of the fullscreen size. (Original template from Tools for Television.)

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Even though the first image looks too loose, you must still follow safe-title area. When the video is viewed on a television, the outermost edges are lost.

We must move all text elements in an additional 10% (or 20% total from the outer edge.) By placing text within the safe-title area, we ensure that it is readable. If you are using Photoshop CS (or newer), then you have new safe-title area templates built into the application. If you are using an earlier version of Photoshop or would like to make your guides a little more robust, you'll want to manually create a safe-title area overlay. If you are in a hurry, these steps are recorded in the Video Actions set that you can load in the Actions palette; otherwise keep reading for a more thorough understanding.

Several alternatives to creating a safe-title area were discussed in Chapter 2, "Pixels: Time for Tech." Here is one additional method using Photoshop's built-in features: create an action for this item so that you can recall it for later use. There are several steps involved, so if you have a good template, use that. I present this so that if you are ever in a jam, you can build your own safe area overlay document. We are going to build a safe-title document for a D1 system, sized 720X486.

Step 1. Create a new document, and pick the NTSC D1 720X486 preset from the drop-down menu. Set the document to RGB mode. By default, Photoshop CS (or later) will add guides for the safe-title area. Let's make these a little more robust with an actual overlay.

Step 2. Choose Select All by pressing (X+Q (®+0). Then, choose Edit>Fill and fill with black.

Step 3. Create a new (empty) layer by pressing +©

Name the layer Safe Area Overlay. You should still have an active selection.

Step 4. Scale the active selection to 90% by choosing Select> Transform Selection, and then typing in 90% in the Options bar for width and height. Press ^^^ (fotct).

Step 5. Load a red swatch as the foreground color. Then choose Edit> Stroke and specify four pixels centered. This is the action-safe area.

Step 6. Choose Select All by pressing (X+Q (®+Q), and scale the active selection to 80% by choosing Select>Transform Selection. Type in 80% in the Options bar for width and height. Press ^^^ ( fl^).

Step 7. Choose Edit> Stroke and specify 4 pixels centered. This is the safe-title area.

Step 8. Lock the Safe Area Overlay layer by clicking on the Lock icon in the layer's palette.

Step 9. Save your work.

Anti-aliasing Revisited

In the case of type, anti-aliasing is the process of blending the edges to produce a smoother image. Anti-aliased text is less likely to "buzz" or "shake" on screen. You have five choices in Photoshop. These can be accessed easily through the Options bar or Character palette. You can change the anti-aliasing at any point in time, provided the fonts used in your composition are loaded on your computer.

Larger font sizes generallybenefit from anti-aliasing because it gently blurs the edges of the type, making it appear smoothly composited with the background layers. You will need to experiment with anti-aliasing because it will vary with fonts chosen and user's taste. Remember, many serif fonts will produce unsatisfactory results with or without anti-aliasing. There are five levels of antialiasing to choose from:

• None applies zero anti-aliasing.

• Sharp makes type appear the sharpest.

• Crisp makes type appear somewhat sharp.

• Strong makes type appear heavier.

• Smooth makes type appear smoother.

You can access anti-aliasing from the Options bar or Character Palette.

Smooth None

If you look closely at the smooth version, it is possible to see the impact of anti-aliasing. Anti-aliasing dramatically cuts down on "flicker" in video work.

Type on Pattern

Unlike most print designers, video artists must design type over diverse canvases. Often this background contains a full spectrum of color. Achieving sufficient contrast is the key to preserving legibility. When using light-colored type, it is essential to make it larger than if it were dark type. Don't be tempted to use all uppercase to make the letters stand out. Unfortunately, uppercase letters take more time for the viewer to recognize word shapes and process what they are seeing. This is generally time they don't have.

Applying a stroke, outer glow, or tight drop shadow is an effective way to getting a contrasting edge. The biggest problem with type and video is that there will always be light and dark elements in your scene. It is crucial to add a contrasting edge to any type that is going to be keyed over a full-chroma, moving background.

One way to test your contrast is to convert the file to grayscale. This can be achieved with several methods:

• You can print it out in Grayscale.

• Add a saturation adjustment layer, and desaturate (set to 0% Saturation).

• You can use the History palette to create a duplicate document that you flatten and desaturate.

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| Layers * | Channels | Pi[hs Normal_T) Opacity 10<W ;p

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A Hue/Saturation adjustment layer offers a nondestructive way to check contrast of type over a patterned background.

A Hue/Saturation adjustment layer offers a nondestructive way to check contrast of type over a patterned background.

Adequate separation between foreground and background elements will make for better viewing for your audience. Think of color as tonal value. Some combinations show very low contrast when desaturated.

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Photoshop Secrets

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