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Using layer styles

From: Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training

Video: Using layer styles

Layer styles are special effects like Drop Shadows or Bevel and Embosses or Inner Shadows that are applied to one layer at a time and that affect the edge between the content and transparent pixels on that layer. Many of the layer styles that come with Elements add some dimension to an image. Getting part of the image up off the page. In this case, I'd like to use a layer style to create a framed look around this photo. So, the first step is to add some transparent pixels to the single layer in this photo.

Using layer styles

Layer styles are special effects like Drop Shadows or Bevel and Embosses or Inner Shadows that are applied to one layer at a time and that affect the edge between the content and transparent pixels on that layer. Many of the layer styles that come with Elements add some dimension to an image. Getting part of the image up off the page. In this case, I'd like to use a layer style to create a framed look around this photo. So, the first step is to add some transparent pixels to the single layer in this photo.

In the Layers panel, you can see that the single layer is a special background layer that comes with a lock on it. I'm going to change this to a regular layer by double-clicking the Background layer name here. I'll give the layer a name. I'll call it car, and I'll click OK, and now it's a regular layer, and so one thing I can do to this layer is to expand the canvas around it, adding some transparent pixels. I could do that using the Image > Resize Canvas Size command that I covered in an earlier chapter. But there's an alternative way to do that that's even faster and that's to use the Crop tool to add some Canvas around an image.

Before I do that, I'm going to expand the document window. So that I can see the entire photo. I'll click in the bottom-right corner of the document window, and I'll drag. Now this gray area that you see out here is just part of the document window. It's not part of the image. I'm going to select the Crop tool in the toolbox. I'll go up to the Options bar, and make sure that all the settings are null; in other words that there's no restriction on Aspect Ratio and there's nothing in the Width, Height and Resolution fields. Then I'm going to come into the image and I'll click-and-drag outside the top-left corner, and drag diagonally outside the bottom-right corner, and then I'll release my mouse.

And that creates the Crop bounding box around the entire photograph. Now what I want to do is make that bounding box bigger than the photograph, because I want to add to the size of the photograph. So I am going to move my mouse over one of these corner anchor points. I'm going to hold down two Modifier keys, the Shift key to constrain and the Alt key to grow this bounding box from the center-outward, then I'm going to click-and-drag diagonally. And that expands the bounding box on all sides of the image. And I'll release my mouse and those modifier keys.

Now, I can tweak this bounding box by clicking on any of the anchor points and dragging, so I can make the bottom a little longer if I wanted to, maybe the top as well. And when I'm done I'll click the green check mark here to apply the crop. As you can see, that has added transparent pixels around the photograph and those transparent pixels are now part of the image. They're located on the Car layer. I'm going to add another layer underneath the car layer, just from some background color down there. So I'll go to the Layers panel.

I could create a new layer above the selected car layer by just clicking the Create New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and then I could drag that new layer beneath the car layer. But I can do that all in one step by holding down the Ctrl key as I click on the Create New Layer icon, and that's a shortcut that tells Elements to make a new layer beneath the selected layer. I'm going to rename the new layer by double-clicking its default layer name. I'll call this one bg for background, and I'll press Enter on the keyboard. And now I want to fill that layer with paint.

I have the layer selected in the Layers panel and I'm going up to the Edit menu, I'll go to Fill Layer, and I'm going to fill using White. I'll click OK. So, now that entire background layer is filled with white, and it looks like a frame here, because the photo on the car layer is covering part of the background layer. But just to remind you of that, I'm going to turn the eye icon off on the bg layer. You can see that the car layer above has just the car and the transparent pixels. So, I'm going to be able to put a layer style on the edge of the car photo on the car layer.

I'll turn the bg layer back on and I'm going to select the car layer and then finally, I'm going to add a layer style. I'll up to the Effects panel. If yours isn't open, you can open it from the Window menu at the top of the screen. I'm going to click this second icon and that reveals a number of thumbnail images, each of which represents a different flavor of a Bevel layer style. I'm going to click on the first Bevel layer style and then I'm going to click the Apply button at the bottom of Effects panel. And you can see the results here in the Layers panel. There is now beveled edge around the photo between the content of the car layer, and the transparent pixels on the car layer.

Now let's say I wanted to try a different layer style. Well if I added another layer style at this point, it wouldn't replace the bevel. It would just be cumulative, so there would be multiple layer styles on the car layer. So, I'm going to delete the current layer style by going up to the Undo button at the top of the screen and pressing Undo. Now and this is important. I have to select the car layer again, because I want to add another layer style to the car layer and this time I'm going to go up to the Category menu here in the Effects panel and I'm going to choose a different category of layer style.

I am going to choose Inner Shadows, I'll click on the Low Inner Shadow style, and I'll click Apply and that adds this subtle inner shadow around the photo making it look as if it's pressed back into the white frame. I mentioned that layer styles are cumulative, so I can add another layer style in addition to this Inner Shadow layer style. I'll go to the back to the Categories menu in the Effects panel and I'll choose the Strokes category of layer style and then I'm going to click on the second Black Stroke icon and click Apply.

So, now I have not only the Inner Shadow but also a Black Stroke around the photo on the car layer. And once again, I'm going to turn off the bg layer by clicking its eye icon. So you can see that those effects are on the car layer. And I'll turn the bg layer back on for you. I've shown you only a few of the many layer styles that are available in the Effects panel. I urge you to explore some of the other choices on your own. My favorites are the ones that add dimension like the Inner Shadow and the Drop Shadow, and Bevels and Glows.

Try using them to make a photo pop up off a frame like this.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows Essential Training

106 video lessons · 8477 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 10m 20s
    1. Welcome
      1m 13s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 35s
    3. Launching the Welcome screen
      3m 12s
    4. Touring Elements
      4m 20s
  2. 29m 45s
    1. Working with catalogs
      3m 16s
    2. Getting photos from your hard drive
      2m 49s
    3. Changing thumbnail display options
      4m 35s
    4. Getting photos from a camera or card
      9m 43s
    5. Getting photos from a CD/DVD or an external drive
      4m 46s
    6. Getting photos from a scanner
      4m 36s
  3. 43m 15s
    1. Touring the Organizer interface
      5m 44s
    2. Viewing photos
      5m 11s
    3. Selecting photos
      2m 58s
    4. Rotating photos
      2m 39s
    5. Renaming photos
      2m 7s
    6. Fixing photo dates
      2m 0s
    7. Hiding and deleting photos
      5m 24s
    8. Stacking photos
      8m 9s
    9. Moving files
      4m 43s
    10. Backing up catalogs
      4m 20s
  4. 52m 4s
    1. Applying keyword tags
      8m 33s
    2. Finding photos by keyword tags
      3m 41s
    3. Finding photos with the Keyword Tag Cloud
      1m 56s
    4. Applying Smart Tags
      4m 29s
    5. Automatically tagging people in photos
      7m 54s
    6. Applying star ratings
      2m 48s
    7. Organizing photos in albums
      4m 10s
    8. Organizing photos in Smart Albums
      6m 44s
    9. Finding photos with Text Search
      4m 31s
    10. Finding photos from the Find menu
      5m 10s
    11. Finding photos in the Timeline
      2m 8s
  5. 29m 18s
    1. Working with photos in Full Screen view
      11m 12s
    2. Viewing slideshows in Full Screen view
      4m 10s
    3. Comparing photos
      5m 22s
    4. Using Date View
      3m 41s
    5. Mapping photos
      4m 53s
  6. 56m 46s
    1. Applying Photo Fix options in the Organizer
      8m 22s
    2. Touring the Quick Fix workspace in the Editor
      6m 12s
    3. Applying Quick Fix controls
      11m 10s
    4. Using Quick Fix tools
      11m 2s
    5. Working in Guided Edit in the Editor
      4m 45s
    6. Fixing group shots in Guided Edit
      5m 57s
    7. Applying the Scene Cleaner in Guided Edit
      9m 18s
  7. 1h 12m
    1. Touring the Full Edit interface
      5m 5s
    2. Opening files in Full Edit
      2m 13s
    3. Working with tabbed documents
      6m 57s
    4. Using tools
      6m 11s
    5. Setting editing preferences
      4m 22s
    6. Adjusting color settings
      4m 18s
    7. Using Undo History
      5m 56s
    8. Zooming and navigating
      6m 30s
    9. Creating a blank file
      5m 58s
    10. Photo resizing and resolution
      9m 59s
    11. Using the Recompose tool
      3m 8s
    12. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 49s
    13. Saving files
      7m 47s
  8. 17m 36s
    1. Understanding layers
      3m 28s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      4m 51s
    3. Combining images with layer masks
      9m 17s
  9. 19m 54s
    1. Understanding selections
      2m 27s
    2. Manual selection tools
      7m 6s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      6m 27s
    4. Modifying and saving selections
      3m 54s
  10. 1h 0m
    1. Cropping and straightening
      3m 49s
    2. Applying a Shadows/Highlights adjustment
      2m 54s
    3. Applying adjustment layers
      7m 53s
    4. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      4m 12s
    5. Merging multiple exposures
      6m 33s
    6. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      3m 54s
    7. Adjusting with Color Curves
      3m 39s
    8. Removing a color cast
      3m 21s
    9. Correcting skin tone
      2m 34s
    10. Reducing digital noise
      4m 4s
    11. Sharpening photos
      7m 42s
    12. Working with raw photos
      9m 52s
  11. 24m 50s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tool
      7m 52s
    2. Using the Detail Smart Brush tool
      4m 26s
    3. Dodging and burning
      2m 18s
    4. Healing wrinkles and blemishes
      5m 17s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      3m 41s
    6. Removing red-eye
      1m 16s
  12. 31m 3s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 8s
    2. Adding effects
      3m 16s
    3. Running automated actions
      1m 51s
    4. Using layer styles
      6m 6s
    5. Using shapes
      8m 12s
    6. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      3m 13s
    7. Converting color to black and white
      3m 17s
  13. 9m 29s
    1. Creating text
      5m 8s
    2. Editing text
      2m 59s
    3. Warping text
      1m 22s
  14. 38m 50s
    1. Making a photo book
      8m 26s
    2. Making a photo collage
      9m 0s
    3. Creating a slideshow
      11m 25s
    4. Stitching a photo panorama
      4m 3s
    5. Preparing images for the web
      5m 56s
  15. 33m 54s
    1. Printing photos
      2m 58s
    2. Printing contact sheets and picture packages
      4m 58s
    3. Sending photos by email and Photo Mail
      5m 57s
    4. Burning photos to CD/DVD
      1m 17s
    5. Ordering prints and books
      1m 59s
    6. Signing up for Photoshop.com
      3m 15s
    7. Sharing photos online at Photoshop.com
      7m 40s
    8. Backing up and synchronizing online
      3m 40s
    9. Getting inspiration from Adobe.com
      2m 10s
  16. 26s
    1. Goodbye
      26s

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