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Using layer styles

From: Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training

Video: Using layer styles

Another kind of special effect that you can apply to an image is a layer style. layer styles can be applied to any layer that contains transparent pixels. You can have multiple layer styles on a single layer and those layer styles will be displayed around all of the content on that layer. In this case I have two layers that contain transparent pixels. One is the color truck layer. I'll show you its content. It's just the image on the right of the color truck and then I have the filter truck layer. This layer also contains transparent pixels.

Using layer styles

Another kind of special effect that you can apply to an image is a layer style. layer styles can be applied to any layer that contains transparent pixels. You can have multiple layer styles on a single layer and those layer styles will be displayed around all of the content on that layer. In this case I have two layers that contain transparent pixels. One is the color truck layer. I'll show you its content. It's just the image on the right of the color truck and then I have the filter truck layer. This layer also contains transparent pixels.

So it can take layer styles too. The Background layer is completely filled with the photograph. There are no transparent pixels on that layer. So I can't add layer styles to the Background layer as it currently stands. I'll start by adding some layer styles to the color truck layer. I'll select that layer in the layers panel and then I'll go up to the Effects panel. If your Effects panel isn't opened, you can open it from the Window menu at the top of the screen. I'm going to click on the second icon in the Effects panel which is the layer Style icon. Now I have a menu here with different categories of layer styles.

I'll start with the Bevels category of layer Styles and I can see icons for different styles of bevel here in the Effects panel. I'll click on the first one and then I'll click Apply. Now in the layers panel, if you look closely, you can see that there is an fx icon on the color truck layer indicating that this layer now has one or more layer styles and you can see the layer style around the content of the color truck layer in the image. I can experiment with other styles of Bevel layer styles by selecting them here in the Effects panel and then clicking Apply.

I can only apply one Bevel layer style at a time so these Bevel layer styles are not cumulative. I can experiment with different ones by clicking them and clicking Apply and I can go through all of them if I want. Now let's say I decide that I don't want any Bevel layer style. I could click Undo, but I would have to click Undo many times to go back through all the different Bevel layer styles that I had applied. It's more efficient if I want to get rid of all of the layer styles that I have applied so far, to go up to the layer menu at the top of the screen and down to layer Style.

Here, I find a number of commands related to layer Styles and one of those is Clear layer Style and that will remove all layer styles that I have applied to the selected layer. Now I'm going to go to another category of layer Styles. I'll select Drop Shadows. I still have the color truck layer selected. So to apply a drop shadow around the content of that layer, I'll select one of these Drop Shadows layer Styles, the low style and then I'll go down and click Apply. I'm going to stick with that one because I want to show you that I can apply cumulative layer styles as long as they're from different categories.

So if I go back up to the Category menu and I choose another category of layer Style say Strokes, I can click on one of the stroke layer styles, I'll choose the second one here and click Apply. Now I have a black stroke and a drop shadow around the content on the color truck layer. Now let's say that I'd like to customize the size of the stroke and the size of the drop shadow. I can do that for these particular categories of layer style by going to layer menu at the top of the screen and choosing layer Style and then choosing Style Settings and that opens the Style Settings dialog box which offers options for four of the layer style categories, Drop Shadow, Glow, Bevel and Stroke.

The other layer style categories don't offer options. Notice that there is a check mark next to Stroke and Drop Shadow. The check mark indicates that those layer styles have been added to the selected layer. Here are some options for the Drop Shadow that I've added. I could increase its size, its distance, I could change its opacity, I can even change its color and I also have options for the Stroke layer style that I have applied. So if I want that to be a little thinner, I could drag the Size slider to the left and there are some other options for the Stroke as well. From this dialog box, I can also add additional layer styles, Glow layer styles and/or Bevel layer styles to the selected layer.

So let's say that I want to add an inner glow. I'll put a check box next to Glow and that expands the Glow category where I have another choice. I can add an inner glow and/or an outer glow. I'm going to add an inner glow so I'll put a check mark there. There is a slight inner glow here. I'd like to make that bigger, so I'll drag my Size slider a little bit to the right and I'll leave the other settings at their defaults. At the bottom of this dialog box, there's a Reset button. If I click that all of the options that I have changed will go back to their defaults, but I'm just going to click OK to accept these changes and I now have a combination of three layer styles, Inner Glow, Stroke and Drop Shadow on the color truck layer.

One thing that I really like is that I can copy this combination of layer styles from one layer to another. With the color truck layer selected I'll go up to the layer menu and down to layer Style and I'm going to choose Copy layer Style. Then I'll go back to the layers panel, I'll click on the Filter Truck layer and I'll go back to the layer menu again and choose layer Style>Paste layer Style and that adds the same combination of layer styles to the content of the filter truck layer over here. Now I mentioned at the beginning of the lesson that I can't add any layer styles to the background layer because that layer is completely filled with a photograph.

Let me show you a workaround for adding transparent pixels to that layer, so that I can add a layer style to it. I'm going to go down to the layers panel and the first thing I need to do is to change the Background layer to a regular layer because I can't add transparent pixels around a special background layer. I'll select the Background layer and then I'll click on the lock icon on that layer and drag down to the Trashcan at the bottom of the layers panel and that changes the layer from a special background layer to a regular pixel-based layer called layer 0.

Now I can add transparency around this layer. I could do that from the Image> Resize> Canvas Size menu here or a quicker way is to get the Crop tool in the toolbox and click and drag a crop boundary around the entire image. Then I'm going to hold down the Shift key to constrain proportions and the Alt key on the PC or the Option key on the Mac to drag from the center outward and with those two keys held down, I'll click on a corner anchor point and I'll drag outward to add a frame around the photo on this layer.

I'm actually increasing the canvas size when I release my mouse and those keys and click the green check mark. Now I can see transparent pixels around the photo on layer 0 and that means that I can add layer styles to layer 0. So with layer 0 selected, I'll go up to the Effects panel. I'll click on the Stroke layer Style and I'll click Apply. To finish off this collage, I'm going to add a layer of white beneath layer 0. I'm going to hold down the Ctrl key on a PC or the Command key on a Mac as I click on the Create New layer button at the bottom of the layers panel and that makes a new layer below layer 0.

With that new layer selected in the layers panel, I'll go up to the Edit menu and I'll choose Fill layer and I'll make sure that the Use menu is set to White and I'll click OK. Now if you look at the layers panel, you'll see that the color truck layer, the filter truck layer and layer 0 all have a small fx symbol indicating that each of those layers contains one or more layer styles. So that's how to use layer Styles to add yet another kind of special effect to your images.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 9 Essential Training

120 video lessons · 15431 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 11m 0s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Photoshop Elements?
      3m 47s
    3. Touring the workspaces
      5m 55s
  2. 54m 16s
    1. Working with catalogs
      5m 22s
    2. Importing and using the exercise files
      5m 13s
    3. Importing files from your computer
      7m 31s
    4. Importing photos from your camera
      8m 57s
    5. Importing photos from iPhoto (Mac only)
      4m 44s
    6. Importing files from external drives/CDs/DVDs
      4m 44s
    7. Scanning photos
      6m 50s
    8. Dividing scanned photos
      5m 51s
    9. Importing from watch folders (Windows only)
      5m 4s
  3. 39m 10s
    1. Touring the Organizer
      6m 41s
    2. Viewing thumbnails
      6m 15s
    3. Rotating photos
      52s
    4. Renaming photos
      2m 55s
    5. Fixing photo dates
      2m 28s
    6. Hiding and deleting photos
      4m 6s
    7. Stacking photos
      4m 22s
    8. Moving files
      2m 43s
    9. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 53s
    10. Using Help
      3m 55s
  4. 54m 22s
    1. Rating photos
      3m 58s
    2. Applying and organizing keyword tags
      7m 4s
    3. Searching by keyword tags
      3m 35s
    4. Tagging with People Recognition
      11m 3s
    5. Using Smart Tags
      5m 57s
    6. Creating albums
      4m 41s
    7. Creating Smart Albums
      6m 28s
    8. Searching by text
      5m 28s
    9. Using the Find menu
      4m 19s
    10. Using the Timeline
      1m 49s
  5. 30m 14s
    1. Viewing slideshows in Full Screen view
      4m 21s
    2. Working with photos in Full Screen view
      9m 20s
    3. Comparing photos
      5m 56s
    4. Viewing by date
      3m 18s
    5. Mapping photos (Windows only)
      7m 19s
  6. 38m 36s
    1. Applying Photo Fix
      9m 0s
    2. The Quick Fix interface
      7m 9s
    3. The Quick Fix controls
      5m 22s
    4. Adjusting lighting in Quick Fix
      3m 46s
    5. Adjusting color in Quick Fix
      5m 39s
    6. Using the Touch Up tools in Quick Fix
      7m 40s
  7. 43m 43s
    1. Guided Edit basics
      8m 13s
    2. Making an Out of Bounds image
      10m 17s
    3. Perfecting a portrait
      7m 43s
    4. Adding realistic reflections
      5m 26s
    5. Applying a LOMO camera effect
      2m 0s
    6. Making pop art
      1m 31s
    7. Using Style Match
      8m 33s
  8. 1h 20m
    1. Full Edit workspace overview
      6m 51s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      4m 51s
    3. Using tools
      7m 40s
    4. Arranging panels
      5m 18s
    5. Setting preferences
      3m 41s
    6. Using Undo History
      6m 39s
    7. Zooming and navigating
      7m 4s
    8. Creating a blank file
      5m 19s
    9. Photo resizing and resolution
      8m 9s
    10. Cropping and straightening photos
      7m 15s
    11. Recomposing photos
      8m 15s
    12. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 27s
    13. Saving and formats
      5m 46s
  9. 35m 4s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 17s
    2. Working in the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    3. Using layer masks
      7m 43s
    4. Using layer masks to combine images
      6m 27s
    5. Building composites
      8m 16s
  10. 20m 58s
    1. Selection basics
      3m 22s
    2. Manual selection tools
      3m 19s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      7m 24s
    4. Refining selection edges
      3m 30s
    5. Saving selections
      3m 23s
  11. 1h 21m
    1. Color managing
      7m 14s
    2. Applying Shadow/Highlight adjustments
      2m 42s
    3. Using adjustment layers
      8m 24s
    4. Masking adjustment layers
      7m 38s
    5. Adding a Levels adjustment layer
      6m 8s
    6. Adding a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      5m 56s
    7. Adjusting with Color Curves
      4m 14s
    8. Removing a color cast
      3m 37s
    9. Reducing digital noise
      4m 7s
    10. Sharpening photos
      7m 32s
    11. Processing multiple files
      7m 59s
    12. Working with raw photos
      15m 57s
  12. 18m 34s
    1. Using the Smart Brush tools
      6m 16s
    2. Dodging and burning
      2m 29s
    3. Retouching blemishes
      4m 29s
    4. Content-aware healing
      2m 31s
    5. Removing content with the Clone Stamp tool
      2m 49s
  13. 25m 53s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 36s
    2. Adding effects
      2m 34s
    3. Using layer styles
      7m 23s
    4. Using shapes
      4m 46s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 19s
    6. Converting color to black and white
      3m 15s
  14. 11m 25s
    1. Creating text
      7m 1s
    2. Editing text
      4m 24s
  15. 1h 25m
    1. Creating a photo collage
      8m 38s
    2. Fine-tuning a photo collage
      8m 3s
    3. Creating greeting cards
      8m 34s
    4. Creating photo calendars
      9m 28s
    5. Creating CD/DVD jackets and labels
      7m 43s
    6. Creating a photo book
      7m 44s
    7. Fine-tuning a photo book
      7m 11s
    8. Creating a slideshow (Windows only)
      8m 0s
    9. Fine-tuning a slideshow (Windows only)
      3m 23s
    10. Creating a flip book (Windows only)
      2m 47s
    11. End to end: Making a scrapbook page
      8m 15s
    12. End to end: Completing a scrapbook page
      5m 24s
  16. 49m 27s
    1. Printing photos
      8m 38s
    2. Contact sheets and picture packages (Windows only)
      6m 40s
    3. Sharing photos by email
      6m 38s
    4. Sharing photos by Photo Mail (Windows only)
      5m 8s
    5. Sharing to Flickr and Facebook
      4m 43s
    6. Saving images for the web
      6m 48s
    7. Signing up for Photoshop.com
      2m 55s
    8. Sharing online albums at Photoshop.com
      5m 4s
    9. Backing up
      2m 53s
  17. 38s
    1. Goodbye
      38s

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