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Photoshop has a number of built-in non-destructive effects, like the drop shadow, which can be applied to a variety of different kinds of layers. So first, we are going to add a drop shadow to this photograph. In order to do that, we need to scale the photograph smaller or add canvas size around it. In this case, we'll just scale it a little bit smaller. To do so, I need to convert the background into a layer. So I'll double-click on the background, and then we'll rename this photo. Click OK, and now I can go to the Edit > Free Transform. If I hold down the Shift+Option key, or the Shift+Alt key in Windows, and I click and drag in.
You can see that I'm constraining the proportions, and I'm dragging in from the center. So, I'll go ahead and just make it a little bit smaller like that. And then, tap enter or return in order to apply that. Now to add a drop shadow at the bottom of the layers panel there's an effects icon. I'll select that and then choose Drop Shadow. We can see that the Layer Styles dialog is broken into two areas. On the left we have all of the different styles and then here we have all of the attributes. So while I've got the drop shadow selected we can see those attributes.
If I were to click where it says outer glow then we see all the attributes for the outer glow. If I move back to the Drop Shadow you should notice that the outer glow is still applied. If I wanted to turn that off, I need to actually uncheck it. Alright, so let's take a look at some of the settings for the Drop Shadow. You can change the angle of the drop shadow. You can also change the distance, but it's probably easier if you simply click in the image area and then drag in order to change both the angle and the distance at the same time. I want to make this drop shadow a little softer, so I'll increase the size of it. I also want to add a stroke to this image so I will click on the word stroke and then I am going to change the options for the size. I wanted to be a 2-pixel stroke and I want the position to be on the inside not the outside because watch as I increase the size. When the stroke is on the outside I get a rounded edge. If I change the position to the inside, now I get a nice, sharp square edge. I'll change the size back down to 2.
And if this is something that you want to apply all the time, instead of having to always come in here and refine the default, I'm going to make these my new default by clicking on make default. When I click OK in order to apply this, we can see on the Layers panel that I now have effects and, in fact, I have both the Stroke and Drop Shadow. If I want to hide all of the effects at once, I click the eye icon next to the word effects. I click it again in order to toggle it on. To hide only the Stroke, I can toggle the eye icon next to the Stroke effect and the same for the Drop Shadow. If I want to collapse my effects I can click on the upward pointing arrow next to the word effect.
If I wanted to reveal them I click on that again. If I want to edit a specific effect I can double-click on that effect and it brings that up as the targeted effect so that all of my options are readily accessible... I'm just going to decrease the size a little bit and click OK. Let's go ahead and add a type layer tot his image. I'm going to tap the T key, which will give me my Type tool. And then to reset the Type tool, I'm going to use the context-sensitive menus, so I'll Control+click on Mac, or right mouse click on Windows on the T and choose Reset tool. Then I'll click in the image area, and I'll type in CALIFORNIA. If I wanted to scale this, I could hold down the Cmd key so that I get the transformation handles.
And then after I start scaling, I'll hold down the Shift key in order to constrain the proportions of the text. I'll release the cursor, an then commit to that type. If I need to re-position the type, I can tap the V key, to access the Move tool, an then reposition the text in the image area. Now if I want to apply the effects that I've applied on the photo layer, to the type layer, I can do so, by using the layers panel. If I simply click Effects and drag it to the California layer, it actually moves the effects. So they're no longer on the photo layer.
Instead, they're on the text layer. I'll undo that by using Cmd+Z or Ctrl+Z on Windows. In order to make a copy of the effects, I'll hold down the Option key or the Alt key and then click on the word Effects and drag it to the Type layer. Now we can see that all of the effects have come over. But if I didn't want all of the effects. Let's say, I only wanted the Drop Shadow. Well, let's undo what we just did, so I'll use Command+Z or Control Z. And this time, instead of dragging the word effect, I'll hold down the Option or the Alt key, and I'll just drag the word drop shadow. That will only make a copy of the drop shadow effect. Now the drop shadow looks a little wrong on the type, so I'll double-click where it says Drop Shadow.
And you'll notice that if I start dragging around the Drop Shadow for the text layer, the drop shadow for the bottom most layer also moves. So you would think that these two might be somehow connected. Well, they are, but it's only the global light that's connecting them both. So, let's go ahead and make sure that the drop shadow looks good for the photo layer. Then, if I want to unlink the angle, I can uncheck the Use Global Light. Now when I click and drag, I can move the drop shadow for the text independently of the drop shadow for the photo layer. So it's up to you whether you want them to move together or not. If you do, just enable that again.
I will change the Opacity for the Drop Shadow on the type. By dragging that down, you can see that by reducing that, it's not changing the drop shadow that's around the photo. Excellent. I'll apply that. And I want to show you one more thing. I'm going to add a number of layers. I'm going to use my Shape tool here. And I'm going to select the Custom Shape tool. Then to make sure that we're all starting in the same place, let's use the context-sensitive menu and reset the tools. Then for my shape I'm going to select just one of these shapes on the top row.
Maybe the arrow. And I will click and drag out an arrow. We can see that Photoshop created a shape layer. Now I'm going to duplicate that shape layer four more times, by using the keyboard shortcut Cmd+J on the Mac, or Ctrl+J on Windows. So I'll tap the J one, two, three, four times, so that I have five shape layers total. Now, I'll select my Move tool, and then I'm going to move the topmost shape layer over to the right. And if I want to limit it to a horizontal move, I can hold down the Shift key while I drag.
Now I can quickly distribute the other shape layers. The top layer is already selected, so I'll hold down the Shift key and then select the bottom most layer. Then with the Move tool still selected, I can click the distribute icon. Now instead of adding a layer effect to each one of these shape layers individually, I can place them in a group and then add the effect to the group. So we can use the keyboard shortcut Command+G or Control+G. Or I can choose Layer > Group Layers.
Now, that these layers are in a group, and we can see the contents of the group if we want to by using the disclosure triangle, but we don't need to. I can add an effect to this group. So, from the bottom of the layers panel, I'll select the effects icon and then we'll choose Drop Shadow. You can see that I'm adding the drop shadow, to the group, so that all of the layers inside that group are affected. Now that's a little hard to see, so let's also add a stroke. I'll change the color to white.
Click OK. And now we're certain that we've got some layer effects on there. I just want to make sure they're really bold because when I click OK, I want to show you that if I remove any of the layers from this group, if I drag this shape layer, and I drag it to the top, so I see that single solid line there. When I release the mouse, I have taken the shape layer out of the group. Because it's no longer in the group, it doesn't have the layer effects applied to it, because the layer effects are only being applied to all of the layers within that group.
In order to put that shape back, I just need to drag it on top of the group and let go. One last keyboard shortcut, if you want to collapse all of the layer styles in your layer panel, so if you don't want to see the effects, strokes, and drop shadows, you can hold down the Option key on the Mac or the Alt key on Windows. And click to the right of the Effects icon in order to hide all of those at one time. Excellent. That wraps up this overview of Layer Effects and the Layer Styles in Photoshop.
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