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In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.
The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.
Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.
Here, we're going to take a look at how we can add, modify, and remove Layer Style effects. In this document, you'll notice we have a few layers. We have one layer which has a leaf on it. If I turn off the visibility of the Background layer, you can see that this leaf has been cut out from its background. Above that, I have these two text layers. Let's take a look at how we can add distinct Layer Style effects to these various layers. Well, the first thing you want to do is to target the layer you want to work on.
Next in the base of the Layers panel, you'll notice an fx icon. Click on that and you'll see a menu. Here, you have a number of different Layer Style effects you can choose. Let's select Drop Shadow. This will open up the Layer Style dialog with the Drop Shadow selected. In this middle area here, we can dial in how we want this drop shadow to appear. For example, we could change the Angle. In this case, the drop shadow now shows up off to the left. We can also control the Distance. Here it now appears further away, and as I change the angle, you'll see this a little bit more clearly.
We can change the overall spread and also the size of this drop shadow. And you can change these controls until you create a drop shadow which looks good with your layer. In this case, I'll make this one a little bit closer here and just bring that in. I think that looks nice. To apply that Layer Style effect, just click OK. You'll notice something different in the Layers panel. There is now an fx icon here and the effect listed below. You can turn this off by clicking on the Eye icon, or turn it back on by clicking there.
You can also collapse this view by clicking on this arrow, and that will either conceal or reveal what effects you have. Now if you want to go back, and if you want to change this effect, it's really as simple as double-clicking. When you do that, it reopens this dialog, and here I can go ahead and change the overall effect. So I can change the way that it appears. Well, let's click OK to apply that. What about these other layers? Well, with this layer here, my top layer, which is LAYERS, I want to add a Layer Style effect.
Another way to do this is to just simply double-click to the right of the layer name. This will open up the Layer Style effect panel. Here, I'll choose a Layer Style effect, Drop Shadow, click in Drop Shadow, and then I can customize that here. I also want to add, say, a brush stroke. I'll go ahead and click in that field and then click on that tab to open up my options for this brush stroke. Rather than black, I want something which is a nice bright color. So if you choose or click on that Color chip, you can then select the color there.
You can control the size of the brush stroke and also if it's on the outside of the layer or if it goes to the inside. And so, again, here you have a lot of options in this middle area. All right! Well, let's go ahead and click OK in order to apply that Layer Style effect. Now we have one layer left. Well, with this last layer, what I want to do is I want to add an effect which is already on one of my other layers. I want to copy and paste the Layer Style effects from one layer to another.
Well, how can we do that? Well, if you go to the Layer Style effect area, and if you hold down Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows, and then click and drag, you notice that you drag this little fx icon. You can then drop or let go and it will apply that effect to this other layer. Well, here in this case, this stroke doesn't really work. I don't want that here, but I do want the Drop Shadow. So I'll just turn off the visibility there, and we can see we now have the drop shadow beneath this text layer.
It's a little bit too far away. So you remember how to edit this, right? Double-click, that will reopen this, I'll go ahead and bring this in. Also, increase its opacity so it's a little bit darker, and then maybe add another Layer Style effect. I'll try Outer Glow to really make that text field their glow. Next I'll click OK in order to apply those adjustments. So here you can see we can modify these Layer Style effects in some really fascinating ways. What about getting rid of a Layer Style effect altogether? Well, we've already seen that you can turn off the visibility of the effect. Okay, that's fine.
But what if you're done with it, you're over it? You just want to get rid of it and trash it. Well, to do that, you can click on the effect and drag that to the trash can. That will then delete that Layer Style effect. We're almost done with this movie. There's just one more thing that I want to share with you here, and that is that you have the ability to collapse the view of all of your layers with Layer Style effects at once. We saw that we can click on these icons one at a time to open or close those. Yet if you hold down Option on a Mac or Alt on Windows and if you click on that icon, well, then it will collapse everything inside of your Layers panel.
This can be especially helpful when you have lots of layers and lots of Layer Style effects. If you hold down Option or Alt and click again, it will then expand the view so you can see all of the effects. So again, it's as simple as Option or Alt clicking on that icon in order to expand or collapse the view of those Layer Style effects on multiple layers.
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