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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.
Now that we've made 28 letters, A through Z, plus the ampersand and the question mark, we're going to place those and make an alphabet poster and for the background we're going to use this coffee table. Not just any coffee table but my very own coffee table, which I'm very fond of. To aid us in doing this, I'm going to turn on my guides. I'm going to press Command+ Apostrophe or Ctrl+Apostrophe. That turns the guides on. Now I'm going to press Command+K or Ctrl+K to go to my Preferences. Guides, Grids, and Slices.
And I want to set the gridline increment. I'm going to make that be 650 pixels. Each of these letters was designed in a 750 pixel square and I have left 50 pixel borders around all four edges and in some cases the parts of the letters are going to extend beyond the 650 into that border and overlap with other letters. I'm going to use a subdivision of one. So that's what the grid now looks like Just before I start placing, I'm going to make sure that I have my Snap turned on, and I'm also going to make sure that I have Smart Guides turned on.
One other thing is that I have made a keyboard shortcut to speed things up. This doesn't always live there. If you want to make a keyboard shortcut, you can do so under the Edit menu right there. So I've added the keyboard shortcut to Place command and that keyboard shortcut is Command+Option+Shift+D. I'm going to come to the Finished Letters folder and we'll start with the A and I'm just going to drag that into place. And let's just increase the view size on that. So I'm going to press return to place that.
I'm now going to zoom in and just drag that into place, and you'll have to take my word for it, but that is just really snapping into that square. So now I'm going to repeat that step. Drag it into place, press Return. Now this is an example with the F where we've got a bit of interaction between the letters going on. We have a lens flare in this corner here and I want that lens flare to extend into the adjacent letters.
So here I need to make sure that that is above the B in the stacking order of the layers, and because it's placed more recently, it is. And here we have the stencil sticking out beyond the H of the grid. Now when we come to the J, we didn't create a J and that was intentional. That's because we can only see the effect of the J in the context of the poster itself, because what we want from the J is a deep knockout, but we won't see until we put the paper behind it.
So we're going to place the J for now and then when in the next step we put the paper behind the letters, we are going to knock through the paper to the coffee table, but until that is there, there is nothing to knock through, so we're just going to place it for the time being. Now here I want the K to actually go beneath the G, so I need to locate where there is on the Layers panel. I'm going to drag that down underneath the G so the loop of the G or overlaps the K.
Now as you're dragging these transformation rectangles around, make sure you're not dragging from the center point. That's just going off-center that and that's not what we wan to do. So drag from inside of the rectangle. And I want to make sure that the H is overlapping the L and indeed it is. That's because I had come down further in the layer stacking order. I wasn't aware of that, but that's not a problem. Here is another case where we need to change the layer stacking order. I want the M to come above the N so that the letter impinges on the square of the N.
Likewise with the O. That's going to overlap the K and the N. In the case of the U we want this to go beneath the Q, so I'm going to drag that down so that's underneath the Q and tail of the Q overlaps it. So there are our placed letters. Join me in the next movie and we'll put the paper behind them and we'll also punch through the J to the coffee table.
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