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Using layer styles

From: Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training

Video: Using layer styles

A Layer Style is an effect like a Drop Shadow or a Bevel and Emboss or a Glow that is applied to just one layer at a time, and that will affect the edge of that layer, the area between the content on the layer and any transparent pixels around the outside of the layer. Many of the layer styles that come with Elements add dimension to a photo, helping you to get the photo look like it's up and off the page. Before I apply a layer style, I always check the LAYERS panel, and I make sure that I've selected the proper layer on which I want the layer style to appear.

Using layer styles

A Layer Style is an effect like a Drop Shadow or a Bevel and Emboss or a Glow that is applied to just one layer at a time, and that will affect the edge of that layer, the area between the content on the layer and any transparent pixels around the outside of the layer. Many of the layer styles that come with Elements add dimension to a photo, helping you to get the photo look like it's up and off the page. Before I apply a layer style, I always check the LAYERS panel, and I make sure that I've selected the proper layer on which I want the layer style to appear.

Let me show you what's on each layer in this image. I am going to hold down the Option key and click on the Eye icon to the left of the photo layer and you can see that that layer contains this photograph as well as some transparent pixels all around the photograph. Then I'll show you what's on the white background layer by holding the Option key and clicking in the visibility field to the left of the white background layer. This layer is filled entirely with white. So when I turn on the photo layer again by Option+clicking the white background layer icon, what you see is that where the photo layer is transparent, you can see down through to the white background below.

And that makes the white kind of look like a frame around the photo. But now to make that frame look even more realistic, I am going go to the EFFECTS panel, where I am going to click the second icon to display thumbnails of available layer styles. This menu offers categories of layer styles. So, let's say that I leave this at Bevels. I can select one of the thumbnails and to apply that kind of a bevel, I'll go down to the Apply button and click, and that's applied this Inner Ridge style bevel to the photo layer. I'll make the white background layer temporarily invisible by clicking its Eye icon, so that you can see that that layer style is on the photo layer, around the edge of the layer.

Once I apply a layer style to a layer, the layer gets a little fx icon on the right side of it here in the LAYERS panel. I am going to turn the white background on again by clicking the Eye icon to the left of the white background layer. Now let's say I want to try out another layer style. I really need to use a trial-and- error process because there is no real preview of layer styles. So if I want to try out a different layer style, I'll undo this one by pressing Command+Z. This time I am going to go to another category of layer style, I am going to choose Inner Shadows, and I am going to click on the second icon below Inner Shadow and apply that, but first, I want to make sure that I am on the photo layer in the LAYERS panel, which is really important.

So I've selected the photo layer, I have the Low Inner Shadow thumbnail selected in the layer styles area of the EFFECTS panel and I am going to click Apply. That put this Inner Shadow around the inside of the photo layer, making it look like the photo is recessed inside of the frame. Now layer styles are cumulative. I can have more than one on a layer. So with the photo layer still selected, I am going to go up to the Category menu in the EFFECTS panel and this time, I am going to choose the Strokes category.

Here I'll click on the second icon, Black Stroke 10 pixels. If I leave my mouse over that thumbnail, by the way, a tool-tip comes up and tells me the full name of that layer style. And then I'll go down and I'll click Apply. That applies this stroke around the outside of the selected photo layer. In addition to the Inner Shadow layer style that I had applied to that same layer. I've shown you only a few of the many layer styles that are available. There are lots of choices and I urge you to explore them on your own time. My favorites are the ones that add dimension, like the ones I have shown you here.

Try using them to make a photo pop up off of the frame, as I've shown you how to do.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 8 for Mac Essential Training

81 video lessons · 7171 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 2m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 17s
  2. 13m 0s
    1. Touring Elements
      7m 24s
    2. Starting from the Welcome screen
      5m 36s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Importing photos from a camera
      8m 48s
    2. Dividing scanned photos
      3m 52s
    3. Capturing frames from video
      3m 31s
  4. 23m 13s
    1. Touring Bridge CS4
      7m 44s
    2. Opening files from Bridge into Elements
      5m 1s
    3. Rotating photos
      1m 17s
    4. Moving, deleting, and hiding photos
      4m 11s
    5. Renaming photos
      5m 0s
  5. 29m 16s
    1. Tagging photos with keywords
      6m 28s
    2. Rating and labeling photos
      5m 55s
    3. Sorting photos by filter
      6m 23s
    4. Finding photos
      4m 33s
    5. Organizing photos in Collections
      5m 57s
  6. 52m 52s
    1. Touring the Quick Fix workspace in the Editor
      8m 34s
    2. Applying Quick Fix lighting controls
      3m 33s
    3. Applying Quick Fix color controls
      6m 30s
    4. Applying Quick Fix sharpening
      3m 44s
    5. Using Quick Fix touchup tools
      7m 43s
    6. Fixing group shots in Guided Edit
      6m 25s
    7. Merging multiple exposures in Guided Edit
      7m 24s
    8. Applying the Scene Cleaner in Guided Edit
      6m 31s
    9. Running Automated Actions in Guided Edit
      2m 28s
  7. 30m 57s
    1. Touring the Full Edit workspace
      6m 5s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      4m 28s
    3. Arranging panels
      4m 14s
    4. Using tools
      8m 15s
    5. Setting editing preferences
      3m 8s
    6. Adjusting color settings
      4m 47s
  8. 46m 0s
    1. Using Undo History
      6m 6s
    2. Zooming and navigating
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a blank file
      5m 43s
    4. Photo resizing and resolution
      8m 21s
    5. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 10s
    6. Cropping and straightening an image
      3m 12s
    7. Using the Recompose tool
      3m 23s
    8. Processing multiple files
      6m 16s
    9. Saving and formats
      4m 11s
  9. 23m 25s
    1. Understanding layers
      3m 30s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      8m 53s
    3. Combining images with layer masks
      11m 2s
  10. 22m 24s
    1. Understanding selections
      3m 39s
    2. Manual selection tools
      7m 36s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      3m 9s
    4. Refining a selection
      3m 59s
    5. Modifying and saving selections
      4m 1s
  11. 55m 51s
    1. Using adjustment layers
      9m 21s
    2. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      4m 49s
    3. Applying a Shadows/Highlights adjustment
      3m 24s
    4. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      5m 30s
    5. Adjusting with Color Curves
      4m 3s
    6. Removing a color cast
      3m 55s
    7. Correcting skin tone
      2m 10s
    8. Reducing digital noise
      3m 44s
    9. Sharpening photos
      9m 42s
    10. Working with raw photos
      9m 13s
  12. 18m 58s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tool
      5m 20s
    2. Using the Detail Smart Brush tool
      3m 30s
    3. Dodging and burning
      1m 49s
    4. Healing blemishes
      3m 51s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      3m 15s
    6. Removing red-eye
      1m 13s
  13. 26m 26s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 6s
    2. Adding effects
      3m 0s
    3. Using layer styles
      3m 36s
    4. Using shapes
      8m 25s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 54s
    6. Converting color to black and white
      3m 25s
  14. 7m 35s
    1. Creating text
      4m 7s
    2. Editing text
      3m 28s
  15. 27m 26s
    1. Making a photo collage
      7m 15s
    2. Stitching a photo panorama
      3m 43s
    3. Saving for the web
      6m 40s
    4. Creating web galleries in Bridge
      6m 47s
    5. Creating a PDF slideshow
      3m 1s
  16. 4m 34s
    1. Printing photos and contact sheets
      2m 49s
    2. Sending photos by mail
      1m 45s
  17. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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