Global Light is Important

^ The Global Light of i-^'i a Layer Style affects important aspects like the direction of shadows and reflections. It is important to keep your Layer Styles consistent, so be sure to use a consistent global light setting to drive the effects.

More is Better

You'll find the Layer Styles shown in this chapter on the book's disc, as well as 55 styles from Action FX.

Inner Shadow

Inner shadows cause a shadow to be cast in front of your layer. This effect can be used to create a "punch-out" or recessed look. Inner shadows look best when they are soft. Play with the distance and size sliders to get a desirable effect. Inner shadows work well with other Layer Styles, but look distracting when overused. The controls of this effect are nearly identical to those of drop shadow. There is one new setting called Choke.

Choke: You can use a slider to shrink the boundaries of the Inner Shadow prior to blurring.

Go Softly

Soft-Edged Stroke? Sure—it's called Outer Glow. Adjust the size and spread for better appearance.

Outer Glow and Inner Glow

These two effects offer similar controls. Both enable you to set color, amount, and shape of the glow. The key difference is that the inner glow lets you set where the glow emanates, the edges of the layer or the center of the layer. Inner glows signify light coming from behind the layer. It is unlikely that you would need to apply a drop shadow and a glow simultaneously. Tweak the contour and quality for a variety of shapes to your glows.

Technique: You can choose to use the Softer option, which does not preserve as many details. Alternately, choose Precise if the source has hard edges (like s logo or text).

Source: An Inner Glow can originate either from the edges or the center of a layer.

Range: This helps target which portion of the glow is impacted by the contour.

Jitter: This will vary the application of the glow's color gradient. It affects color and opacity. Modify to make subtle changes to the effect.

Bevel and Emboss

This versatile effect enables you to access five different types of edge effects. These work very well for offsetting a layer. Bevels complement inner and outer glows to produce a realistic depth effect.

• An Outer Bevel adds a three-dimensional beveled edge around the outside of a layer; this is generated by adding a clear edge.

• Inner Bevel generates a similar effect inside the edge but uses the layer's own pixels.

• The Emboss effect combines inner and outer bevels.

• Pillow Emboss combines the inner and outer bevel, but reverses the outer bevel, causing the image to appear stamped into the composition.

• The last effect, Stroke Emboss, must be used in combination with the Stroke layer effect. These two combine to create a colored, beveled edge along the outside of a layer.

The beveled edges allow a great deal of control. It is possible to change the lighting source and direction of the bevel, as well as thickness, softness, and depth. It is also possible to use the power of blending modes to create extremely photorealistic effects, such as plastic or chrome.

Check Yourself it—| Don't over-bevel. A subtle I * I bevel helps a text or logo element lift off the screen and adds subtle depth. Overuse, however, looks amateurish.

Depth: This is the thickness of the bevel.

Direction: You can set the bevel to go up or down. This can dramatically change the look of the bevel.

Altitude: You can set the altitude of the light source between 0° and 90°. The higher the number, the more the bevel appears to go straight back.

Gloss Contour: Use this command to create a glossy or metallic appearance. The Gloss Contour is applied after shading the bevel or emboss.

Highlight Mode and Opacity: This specifies the blending mode and opacity of the highlight.

Shadow Mode and Opacity: This specifies the blending mode and opacity of the shadow used in the bevel.

Contour: The flexibility of the Contour controls is the bevel effect's best feature. There are many presets to try, or create your own. There are two contour settings: the first pane affects the lighting of the bevel, and the Specialized Contour pane alters the shape of the edge.

Texture: The final option is Texture, which can be applied to the bevel or entire surface. Many presets can be used by clicking on the triangular menus. Additional patterns can be loaded or created. Many textures exist at online creative sites; you'll also find a variety of textures included on the bundled DVD. Creating unique textures is also easy, as we'll see in future chapters.

Uncheck the Bevel and Emboss boxes to remove the bevel, and then click on the Satin box.

A Soft Touch

Satin is an underused effect that can add soft highlights to a layer.

Satin is an underused effect that can add soft highlights to a layer.


Satin is used to add regular ripples or waves in your Layer Style. With a little practice, you can create liquid effects and subtle highlights. This style requires some experimentation because its controls are very sensitive. Choosing different colors, contour settings, and blending modes will produce widely different results. Satin works very well in combination with other effects.

Uncheck the Satin box to remove the Satin effect, and then click on the Color Overlay box.

Color, Gradient, and Pattern Overlays

These three styles all serve a similar purpose: to replace the contents of your layer with new fill colors or textures. A great time-saver is the ability to quickly swap colors on a group of layers without having to repaint or edit each layer. It is possible to switch the color of text by applying a new color in the Layer Style. This same style can be applied to multiple layers simultaneously.

Step 1. Copy the Layer Style by ^0+clicking (right-clicking) on the small fx f) icon.

Step 2. Link all of the layers together.

Step 3. Then ^0+click (right-click) and choose Paste Layer Style to Linked.

Gradient and pattern overlays are useful in creating new looks, especially when using photorealistic patterns or seamless tiles. To create more believable effects, be sure to combine pattern usage with blending modes. All three of these overlay effects are useful in creating your own Layer Styles.


The Stroke effect places a colored border around the outside edge of a layer. This is a great replacement for using the Stroke command under the Edit menu. It is now possible to keep the stroke as an easy-to-update effect without needing to place it on its own layer. All of the needed controls are here: you can choose from inner, outer, or center strokes, as well as advanced controls such a blending modes, textures, and gradients. The Stroke effect can be further enhanced by combining it with the Stroke Emboss effect.

Designing with Layer Styles

Harnessing Layer Styles is an important part of a professional user's workflow. The efficiency and flexibility offered by styles are huge time-savers. They can also add consistency to a designer's techniques. Be sure to fully explore all the ways that styles can be useful to you.

Loading Prebuilt Styles

| Styles

- X



























I s

New Style... Text Only

Urge Thumbnail Small List Large List

Preset Manager...

Reset styles... Load Styles... Save Styles... Replace Styles-

Abstract Styles


New Style... Text Only

Urge Thumbnail Small List Large List

Preset Manager...

Reset styles... Load Styles... Save Styles... Replace Styles-

Abstract Styles


Sometimes the best way to start is with a preset. Photoshop includes some good styles to work with. The easiest way to work with styles is to call up the Styles palette, which by default is docked with the Color and Swatches tabs. If you've closed that window, look under the Window menu and call up the Styles palette.

You'll notice a small swatch that represents each style. To apply a style, highlight any layer (other than the Background layer or a locked layer) and click on a swatch. You can view these preset icons in many ways. Click on the triangular submenu icon in the upper right corner of the Styles window and choose from different sized thumbnails or lists. For the visually minded, I recommend a thumbnail view. If you have many presets to choose from, the large list view is helpful because it combines a name and thumbnail.

Accessing Additional Built-In Styles

When you need more styles to choose from, simply pick from the drop-down list in the submenu (Photoshop comes with 10 styles to choose from). When you select a new set of styles from the Preset list, you are presented a choice. You can:

• Append: Adds the new styles to the bottom of the current list.

• Cancel: Does not load anything new.

• OK: Replaces the current list with new presets.

Step 1. Open up the Ch06_Start.psd file in the chapter's folder. If you do not have access to this file, create a new document with a floating text layer.

Step 2. Select the Text layer so that the layer is highlighted. Call up your Styles palette. From the submenu, choose Text Effects 2. Click OK to add the styles.

Step 3. Click on each preset, pausing to study the end results. See how quickly the simple text layer changes from organic effects, to shiny metal, to jelly-like letters? This is just the beginning.

To fully appreciate the power of Layer Styles, have your Layers palette open. As you change styles on a layer, the palette updates. Double-click on each component to call up the dialog window. You'll discover how the effect was made. Better yet, these presets are merely starting points! You can modify them and save them for later use or sharing with others.

Accessing Additional Styles

If you'd like to load new styles that don't appear in the preset list, choose Load Styles from the Styles window submenu. For inspiration, we've included a large collection of styles in the chapter's folder on the DVD. If you'd like these to appear in your preset list, find the Presets folder inside your Photoshop application folder and look for the Styles folder. Any Layer Styles copied into the Styles folder will appear as a preset the next time you launch the program.

Technology is only as good as it is customizable. Fortunately, Layer Styles are infinitely "tweakable." You can create your own entirely from scratch, or build off an existing style. The practice of building styles is booming in Photoshop user groups. One of the best places to look is Adobe Exchange (http://www.adobe.com/ exchange). This popular site is free. (Don't be thrown off when it asks you to register.) Here you will find tons of content available for all Adobe products. On first visit, stick to Photoshop and look at the styles available. You will find that many users have been busy posting their own creations. Download a few styles to help on your next project and see what's possible with Layer Styles.

Sizing Styles

^ When changing Image Size (Image>Image Size), you can now specify that you'd like styles to scale proportionately.


Building Your Own Styles

Creating a style is a straightforward process. You can apply any combination of the previously mentioned 10 effects. Change the options, use a new texture, apply gradients and blending modes, and so on. If you are unsure how each Layer Style is applied, flip back to "Layer Styles" on page 141. Styles are quick to learn and easy to master; just continue to experiment with many options. Advanced customization through contours, gradients, and textures will be covered later on in this chapter.

Saving Styles

Once you've created an original style (or even modified an existing one), you will likely want to save it. Sharing styles can be accomplished two ways:

• First, you can give someone the project in which you used the style. The styles remain attached to the layered document. Choose a layered format such as PSD, Layered TIFF, or Photoshop PDF. This will allow the information to be called back up later. So six months from now, when your project comes back, you can open up your source files and start making changes.

• The second method is more efficient for the Web. You can save the styles as self-contained .asl files. These library files can then be shared between users and machines.

Sharing Styles

Whatever items currently appear in the Styles palette will be included in the style library. It is a good idea to remove unwanted or preset styles from the palette first. You can drag these into the palette's Trashcan, or click (^0+click) on the ones you wish to delete. When ready, choose Save Styles from the Style palette submenu. The resulting file is small and can easily be e-mailed to others. To prevent the file from being garbled in e-mail, make sure that you include the .asl extension.

Save Yourself

^ If you add new styles to a library, you must resave the .asl file to update it. Otherwise, the new styles will be cleared when you load another library.

Updating Your Presets

A good place to store styles is in Application folder>Presets> Styles. By using the default location, Photoshop will recognize the libraries on start-up. This will allow you to click on the Styles palette submenu and load them from the presets list.

Step 1. When you create a style worth sharing, load the library where you want to save it. It's a good idea to create a custom set for yourself.

Step 2. Select the affected layer in the Layers palette, and then click on an empty space in the Styles palette.

Step 3. Now choose Save Styles; name the file with the same name it had before, and save it to the same location.

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Understanding Adobe Photoshop Features You Will Use

Adobe Photoshop can be a complex tool only because you can do so much with it, however for in this video series, we're going to keep it as simple as possible. In fact, in this video you'll see an overview of the few tools and Adobe Photoshop features we will use. When you see this video, you'll see how you can do so much with so few features, but you'll learn how to use them in depth in the future videos.

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