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Adding a layer style

From: Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

Video: Adding a layer style

When you want to add a little bit of dimension, or a little definition to the content of a layer, try Layer Styles. Layer Styles are common special effects like Drop Shadow, Glow, Inner Shadow, Stroke and a few more. In this movie, I am going to introduce you to Layer Styles and show you how to add a Stroke Layer Style to this photograph to define this edge here that's bleeding into the white matte behind. Take a look at the Layers panel and you see that I have just two layers in the file. If I turn the top layer off by clicking its eye icon, you can see that the matte layer here is just a plain white layer, and I will turn the eye icon on the photo layer on again, so you can see the photo above.

Adding a layer style

When you want to add a little bit of dimension, or a little definition to the content of a layer, try Layer Styles. Layer Styles are common special effects like Drop Shadow, Glow, Inner Shadow, Stroke and a few more. In this movie, I am going to introduce you to Layer Styles and show you how to add a Stroke Layer Style to this photograph to define this edge here that's bleeding into the white matte behind. Take a look at the Layers panel and you see that I have just two layers in the file. If I turn the top layer off by clicking its eye icon, you can see that the matte layer here is just a plain white layer, and I will turn the eye icon on the photo layer on again, so you can see the photo above.

I'll turn the matte layer off so you can see that the photo layer actually has some transparency around it. That's allowing you to see through to the matte below. I have set it up this way so I can easily add a layer style that affects just the photo. I will turn the matte layer back on and I'll make sure the photo layer is selected, and then I'll go down to the bottom of the Layers panel and I am going to click fx. That brings up this menu of available Layer Styles. You can see that there is Drop Shadow and Inner Shadow, Outer Glow and so on.

I am going to go all the way down to the bottom and choose Stroke. That opens the very large Layer Style dialog box. In order to get the whole thing on screen, I am going to move it over to the right, so you won't be able to see this area over here. But that's all right, because that's just where I say OK when I am all done with this. Over on the left is a list of the available layer styles with the Stroke style highlighted. When a style is checked, that means that it's been applied to an image. When the style is highlighted, then you'll see options in the next column for that style only.

If you look in the image, you can see that stroke has already been applied with the default options that you see here. There are a few things I might change. For example, I am going to make this a little bigger, so you can see the stroke. To show you that its corners are rounded now. If I want to have sharp corners instead of round corners, I will go to the Position menu and from there I will choose Inside. When the stroke is on the inside, it gets sharp corners like that. And then I will change the size so the stroke is smaller again. There are other options here that I could change like the Opacity of the stroke, the Color of the stroke and so on.

But I am just going to leave it as it is and click OK to apply the layer style, because I want you to see what the Layers panel looks like now. Now there is an Effects sublayer on the photo layer with another sublayer below that for the Stroke effect. And if there were more effects applied, because you can have more than one layer style on a layer, they would appear here as more sublayers. If you have lots of styles on a layer, it can take up a lot of space in the Layers panel. So you can collapse all of the styles by going to the arrow to the right of fx here on the layer and clicking, and you'll always know that you have layer styles on a layer, because you'll see this icon.

One of the advantages of using layer styles over using something like filters for special effects is that layer styles remain editable. So if I want to reopen the Layer Styles dialog box and tweak this stroke, I can do that by double-clicking on the photo layer. That opens the Layer Style dialog box and I can go and select the stroke style over here to get the options for the stroke showing in the middle column, and then I could change any of these settings. So I might alter the size of the stroke a little, and then I will OK again.

If you decide you don't like an effect, you can always delete it, you can expand the effects on the layer, and then you can click the eye icon to the left of an effect to make it temporarily invisible, or you can always just drag it to the Trash Can down here to get rid of it permanently. I am not going to do that this time now. So that's an introduction to layer styles, which add that little extra something to layer content. They're quick to apply and they can be customized to your liking. They also have the advantage of being nondestructive of the image itself, because they live on sublayers that are separate from the affected layer.

And layer styles can be reopened at any time if you want to change them.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 Essential Training
Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

103 video lessons · 67331 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 4s
  2. 25m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 25s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      5m 15s
    3. Using tools efficiently
      3m 51s
    4. Arranging panels
      3m 53s
    5. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      2m 50s
    6. Saving a custom workspace
      3m 0s
    7. Changing screen modes
      2m 0s
  3. 19m 3s
    1. Touring the Bridge interface
      6m 31s
    2. Opening images from Bridge
      1m 20s
    3. Reviewing images
      4m 42s
    4. Finding images
      6m 30s
  4. 44m 53s
    1. Setting preferences
      4m 23s
    2. Choosing color settings
      8m 11s
    3. Zooming and panning
      5m 27s
    4. Resizing and image resolution
      3m 17s
    5. Adding to the canvas
      2m 2s
    6. Rotating the canvas
      1m 44s
    7. Choosing color
      4m 49s
    8. Sizing a brush tip
      3m 4s
    9. Undoing and the History panel
      5m 0s
    10. Saving and file formats
      3m 29s
    11. Creating a file from scratch
      3m 27s
  5. 37m 58s
    1. Making geometric selections
      6m 14s
    2. Modifying selections
      4m 43s
    3. Combining selections
      3m 16s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      5m 34s
    5. Refining selection edges
      4m 12s
    6. Using Quick Mask mode
      2m 18s
    7. Selecting with the improved Color Range command
      4m 32s
    8. Selecting with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    9. Using the Background Eraser tool
      3m 7s
    10. Saving selections
      1m 34s
  6. 39m 56s
    1. Understanding layers
      5m 43s
    2. Creating layers
      5m 12s
    3. Working in the Layers panel
      2m 19s
    4. Locking layers
      4m 17s
    5. Working with multiple layers
      4m 6s
    6. Merging and flattening layers
      3m 55s
    7. Adding a shape layer
      4m 43s
    8. Basic layer masking
      4m 23s
    9. Using layer blend modes and opacity
      5m 18s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Cropping
      3m 26s
    2. Straightening
      3m 17s
    3. Transforming
      4m 42s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    5. Using Content-Aware Scaling
      5m 6s
  8. 1h 10m
    1. Reading histograms
      4m 21s
    2. Using adjustment layers and the Adjustment panel
      6m 4s
    3. Adjusting tones with Levels
      7m 49s
    4. Limiting adjustments with layer masks
      5m 40s
    5. Using masks in the new Masks panel
      6m 9s
    6. Limiting adjustments by clipping
      3m 6s
    7. Adjusting with Shadow/Highlight
      5m 7s
    8. Adjusting with Curves
      7m 37s
    9. Adjusting with Hue/Saturation
      3m 42s
    10. Adjusting with Vibrance
      2m 16s
    11. Removing a color cast
      4m 26s
    12. Using the Black & White adjustment layer
      2m 39s
    13. Using the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools
      4m 11s
    14. Reducing noise
      2m 39s
    15. Sharpening
      4m 42s
  9. 38m 0s
    1. Using the Spot Healing Brush tool
      5m 17s
    2. Using the Healing Brush tool
      5m 51s
    3. Using the Patch tool
      4m 52s
    4. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      4m 8s
    5. Enhancing eyes
      9m 29s
    6. Changing facial structure
      5m 0s
    7. Softening skin
      3m 23s
  10. 44m 38s
    1. What's a raw image?
      4m 25s
    2. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      7m 35s
    3. Working in the Basic panel
      7m 54s
    4. Working in the Tone Curve panel
      2m 21s
    5. Working in the HSL/Grayscale and Split Toning panels
      3m 46s
    6. Looking at the other Camera Raw panels
      3m 45s
    7. Using the Adjustment Brush tool
      4m 2s
    8. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 56s
    9. Working with multiple files
      6m 54s
  11. 21m 6s
    1. Using the Brushes panel
      8m 30s
    2. Filling with color
      3m 49s
    3. Replacing color
      4m 14s
    4. Using gradients
      4m 33s
  12. 16m 55s
    1. Working with point type
      9m 59s
    2. Working with paragraph type
      3m 17s
    3. Warping text
      3m 39s
  13. 25m 23s
    1. Adding a layer style
      4m 6s
    2. Customizing a layer style
      3m 35s
    3. Copying a layer style
      3m 5s
    4. Creating a new style
      3m 32s
    5. Using Smart Filters
      5m 22s
    6. Working in the Filter Gallery
      5m 43s
  14. 13m 14s
    1. Auto-blending focus
      4m 47s
    2. Creating Photomerge panoramas
      4m 2s
    3. Combining group photos
      4m 25s
  15. 23m 27s
    1. Creating an action
      7m 16s
    2. Batch processing with an action
      6m 36s
    3. Using the Image Processor
      9m 35s
  16. 29m 20s
    1. Printing
      11m 32s
    2. Making a contact sheet from Bridge
      6m 12s
    3. Creating a web gallery from Bridge
      7m 17s
    4. Preparing photos for the web
      4m 19s
  17. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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