The Bold New Layer Styles

Photoshop 5 introduced a series of layer effects that automate the application of shad ows, glows, and beveled edges. Now, Version 6 takes the metaphor several steps fur ther. In addition to dramatically improving the quality of the existing effects — now you won't find yourself cursing at them half the time — the new Photoshop adds effects that overlay colors, stroke outlines, and create textures and contours. Plus, you can define exactly how effects are blended with background layers. And you can save them as preset layer styles for later use. Photoshop 6 elevates layer effects from nifty tools to some of the most powerful functions inside the program.

To apply a layer effect, start with an image on an independent layer. In Figure 14-8, I selected the dolphin's head and pressed Ctrl+J to copy it to an independent layer. But you can use any kind of layer, including text (Chapter 15) or a shape layer. Then click the Add Layer Style icon at the bottom of the Layers palette — the one that looks like a florin (cursive f) — and choose any of the commands following Blending Options. Or double-click the layer name to display the Layer Style dialog box, and then select an effect from the left-hand list. Use the check box to turn the effect on and off; highlight the effect name to edit its settings. You can select from one of the following 10 effects:

4 Drop Shadow: The Drop Shadow command applies a common, everyday drop shadow. You specify the color, opacity, blend mode, position, size, and contour of the shadow; Photoshop does the rest.

Figure 14-8: Starting with an independent layer, click the Add Layer Style icon at the bottom of the Layers palette and choose an effect (top). Then adjust the settings inside the sprawling Layer Style dialog box (bottom).

♦ Inner Shadow: This command applies a drop shadow inside the layer, as demonstrated by the second example in Figure 14-9. The command simulates the kind of shadow you'd get if the layer were punched out of the background — that is, the background looks like it's in front, casting a shadow onto the layer. Inner Shadow is especially effective with type, as I explain in the next chapter.

Outer glow Inner glow

Figure 14-9: The first four examples above illustrate the effects of the first four commands under the Layer ^ Layer Style submenu. You can also combine multiple effects on a single layer, as demonstrated by the two images at bottom.

Drop shadow + inner shadow Outer glow + inner glow

Figure 14-9: The first four examples above illustrate the effects of the first four commands under the Layer ^ Layer Style submenu. You can also combine multiple effects on a single layer, as demonstrated by the two images at bottom.

4 Outer Glow: The Outer Glow command creates a traditional halo, like the one I applied to our aquatic friend back in the "Halos" section of Chapter 12. However, you have lots of additional controls in case you want to get fancy.

4 Inner Glow: This command applies the effect inside the layer rather than outside, as demonstrated in the second row of Figure 14 9.

Tip To create a neon strip around the perimeter of a layer, apply both the Outer

Glow and Inner glow commands. For an example of a neon edge, see the bottom right example in Figure 14 9.

4 Bevel and Emboss: The Bevel and Emboss option produces one of five distinct edge effects, as defined using the Style pop-up menu. The first four appear in Figure 14-10; the fifth one is exclusively applicable to stroked layers and requires the Stroke effect to be turned on. You can add a three-dimensional beveled edge around the outside of the layer, as in the first example in the figure. The Inner Bevel effect produces a beveled edge inside the layer. The Emboss effect combines inner and outer bevels. And the Pillow Emboss reverses the inner bevel so the image appears to sink in and then rise back up along the edge of the layer.

Tip Contour and Texture: The Contour and Texture options aren't actual effects, but rather modify the Bevel and Emboss effect. The Contour settings create waves in the surface of the layer that result in rippling lighting effects. Texture stamps a pattern into the surface of the layer, which creates a texture effect.

4 Satin: This option creates regular waves of color, as in the first example of Figure 14-11. You define the behavior of the waves using the Contour options. One of the stranger effects, Satin can be difficult to predict. But so long as you keep the Preview check box turned on, you can experiment with a fair amount of success.

4 Color, Gradient, and Pattern Overlay: These three options fill the layer with a coating of solid color, gradient, or repeating pattern, respectively. They work almost identically to the three dynamic fills available to shape layers, as discussed in the section "Editing the stuff inside the shape" earlier in this chapter. All three can be quite useful when defining your own style presets.

4 Stroke: Use this option to trace a colored outline around a layer. The Stroke effect is often preferable to Edit ^ Stroke because you can edit it long after creating it. By comparison, Edit ^ Stroke is a permanent effect.

The Layer Style dialog box is a vast labyrinth of options. So it's handy to know a few additional ways to get around. To switch between effects without turning them on or off, press Ctrl plus a number key. Ctrl+1 highlights Drop Shadow, Ctrl+2 highlights Inner Shadow, Ctrl+3 highlights Outer Glow, and so on, all the way to Ctrl+0 for Stroke. You cannot get to Blending Options, Contour, or Texture from the keyboard.

Figure 14-10: LayerS Layer Style S Bevel and Emboss permits you to apply one of four effects, demonstrated in the first four examples above. The last row of images shows what happens when you combine beveled edges with glows.

Figure 14-11: The five effects new to Photoshop 6 are Satin, the three overlays, and Stroke. Version 6 also adds an embossing option that works only with the Stroke effect.

Stroke Stroke emboss

Figure 14-11: The five effects new to Photoshop 6 are Satin, the three overlays, and Stroke. Version 6 also adds an embossing option that works only with the Stroke effect.

Learn Photoshop Now

Learn Photoshop Now

This first volume will guide you through the basics of Photoshop. Well start at the beginning and slowly be working our way through to the more advanced stuff but dont worry its all aimed at the total newbie.

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