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For the first installment of Photoshop for Designers, Nigel French shows how to create editable, non-destructive effects such as shadows, glows, and bevels with layer effects in Photoshop. The course covers the use of layer effects like Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, Bevel and Emboss, and Gradient Overlay, as well as how to combine effects with blending modes, transparency, and textures. With these techniques, designers can finesse type and graphics, control light, warp text, and extrude shapes, creating drama and adding depth to their compositions.
Bevel and Emboss, part two. In this movie we're going to be talking about the Shading options that relate to Bevel and Emboss. Let's start by increasing the Size of the effect and we're going to look first at Angle, Altitude, and Global Light. If my marker is in the top half of the circle then my subject is going to lit from above. Move it down below and it's lit from below. And we can see what's happening here if we look at the preview thumbnail.
If my marker is in the outside of the circle then I'm going to be casting a strong shadow. Think of this as early morning or late afternoon light. As we get towards midday with my sun overhead, my shadows are far more subdued. If I were to make the Altitude 90, we see hardly any effect whatsoever with the sun directly overhead. With Use Global Lights checked, if I now were to go to Drop Shadow or to Inner Shadow, both of which also use Global Lights, and change the Angle, in this case I've changed it to 85, then when I come back to Bevel and Emboss we see that its angle has also changed.
Sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes it's not. Just something to be aware of. Let me put that back down to somewhere around 130. So next we come to Gloss Contour which maps the light across the effect and there is much to be said about contours and I am going to be addressing them in a movie in their own right, but for now I just want to point out that if I were to come to the top right of the contour, I can affect the highlights. We have the highlights currently playing at the top left of the effect here.
If I want to soften the highlights, I can drag that down a bit so that they are less pronounced. On the other hand if I want to soften the shadows, I'll bring up the bottom of the curve. If I've applied a contour that causes any artifacting or any jaggedness in my pixels, I can check Anti-aliased to mitigate that. We then have the Highlight and the Shadow Mode which by default are Screen and Multiply both at 75%.
Feel free to change the blending modes, feel free to change the colors, and sometimes you may want to only have one or the other. In which case you can drag the opacity of one of them down to 0 or close to 0. The more diffused that you want to lighting to be, the lower you want the Opacity of the effect to be. But typically if you're working with a sharply lit subject these default values and blending modes work just fine.
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