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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.
Here is an interesting effect where we get to work with the Fill Opacity, as we have done before for some interesting transparency effects and we'll also be working with a Smooth Bevel and a custom contour. Here's our starting point. So I'm going to go to my Layer Style and the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to take that Fill Opacity all the way down. So it's going to disappear, then I'm going to go to Bevel and Emboss. I'm going to increase the size of that Bevel to about 21 and then I'm going to soften it about 5 pixels.
I'm going to change the angle of the light so that the light is coming from above and I'm going to make sure that Global Light is not used, which is going to require me to put that back to where it was. So to really get some interesting effects, I'm going to experiment by using a different Gloss contour. Currently we have a Linear contour but we can get some interesting results either by using a Cone, you see how it's going to distribute the Highlights and Shadows differently, or an Inverted Cone, or a Ring, and I'm going to go with an Inverted Cone.
I'm also going to turn on Anti-aliased. I'm going to change the Highlight Mode to Linear Dodge, just to make those highlights a bit stronger, and then I'm going to change the Shadow Mode to Color Burn, so that we really burn in the color of the sand beneath but I'm then going to take that way down. Now to give some definition to the letter shape I'm going to go Inner Shadow and again I'll turn off Global Light and I'm just going to increase the Size of that shadow to about 21 pixels.
Now here is what's really going to make that shadow give the letter shape definition. It's the Choke that I applied to it. So I'm going to increase the Choke just to introduce a bit more Opacity into that Inner Shadow, and it's really bringing back the definition of the letter shape. Now I'll go and add a small Drop Shadow. I am just going to pull that away from the letter and increase the Size of that a bit just to soften it, and finally I'm going to add an Outer Glow.
Now for the Outer Glow, I actually want to sample the color of the glow from the sand, so I'm going to click on the color box and then come and sample the sand. I'm going to reduce the Opacity of that, but I'm going to increase the Size of that Outer Glow, and I think that looks pretty interesting. There is our glossy Q.
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