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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.
In this example we're going to create some diamond-encrusted bling text and this is going to involve creating a custom pattern from scratch and then embossing a stroke with a custom contour and building depths with Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, and Gradient Overlay combination. This is our starting point. We have this wonderful S in the font Mesquite. Because it's a very vertical character I've added some hyphens either side of it just to give it a bit of width.
So we've actually got three characters that we're working on here. First thing that we want to do is create a pattern and we're going to do this by using a very simple technique of creating a new layer and then making sure that our foreground and background colors are black and white. We are going to render some clouds. Filter > Render > Clouds, okay. Now with as our starting point we want to go to the Filter menu and down to Distort and the filter that we are after is Glass.
Once we are here this takes us to the Filter Gallery and we want to whack up the Distortion all the way. We want to change the Texture from Frosted to Tiny Lens. I'm going to bring down the Smoothness and I'm also going to bring down the Scaling. All right, now what we want to do is we want to make this pattern apply to a layer. Now we could define it as a pattern and then apply it as a Pattern Overlay. That would work just fine, but it wouldn't save as any file size necessarily and it would just be a lot easier to do this.
Hold down your Alt key and come and click on the line between these two layers. So there instantly we get this layer clipped to our text layer. I would like to amp up the contrast here is so we are seeing the blacks and the whites in this pattern a lot more distinctly. So for that I'm to going add a Levels adjustment layer. Now I want this adjustment layer also clipped to this layer. So when I choose it from the Adjustment Layer drop-down, I'm going to hold down my Alt key, and yes, I want to Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask.
And now I can bring the black points and especially the white point, bring that close to the center. Maybe the gray point will go slightly to the left. All right, so far so good. Now let's work on the layer of type itself and what we want to do is first of all, we'll add a Stroke. Now the Stroke that we want to add in this case is going to be a custom gradient stroke. I want it to be 10 pixels in its weight and I want that to go on the Outside, so we're actually adding a bit of width to the letter.
The Fill Type is going to be Gradient and then I'm going to click on my Gradient right here and I'm going to create a gradient that goes from yellow to white to yellow to white and back to yellow again. So if I change my color stop here and slide around until I get to my golden yellows, I'll use something like that one. Click OK. Right now I have yellow to white, so I'm going to drag the white gradient stop over, I'm going to hold down my Alt key and copy that yellow gradient stop, hold down my Alt key again and copy that white and hold my Alt key again and copy the yellow.
So I now have yellow and white stripes. I'll click OK to that and now I want to change the Angle of this. We now want to emboss this stroke. So I'm going to come to the Bevel and Emboss and for the Style we're going to choose Stroke Emboss. Now I need to really crank up the Depth slider about as far as it goes and I'm going to increase the Size also. Not too much with the Size.
Subtlety is not what we want use with this effect, so I want the Highlight Mode to have the most effect, so I'm going to use Linear Dodge and I'm going to use the equivalent Linear Burn for the Shadow Mode. Now it's going to shift the colors a bit but that's okay, I like the effect. Now to really give a metallic contour I'm going to change the Gloss contour to this one, the Ring contour, and maybe let's just crank this slider up a little bit more. All right, let's now give a Drop Shadow to the whole letter itself and I've got my Use Global Light on. I'm going to turn that off and then we also want an Inner Shadow and I'm going to sample the color for this Inner Shadow from the letter itself, a sort of midtown gray, and then I want to increase the size of that.
There is my bling text, but what I now need to do as a final finishing touch is just to add some sparkles to it to really catch those highlights. So I'm going to come to my top layer and we could do this with a Paintbrush. I'm actually going to do it with my Polygon tool. So I'll choose my Polygon tool and I'm going to draw a four-sided star. So I'll come up here and I want my Polygon to have four sides and then I can change the Polygon Options right here. I want to indent the sides quite dramatically. Let's go with 95%.
So now I'm going to draw myself a series of four-sided stars whenever there's a specular highlight on the letter. Okay, every time I did that, I created a new shape layer. I'm going to select through those layers. Command+G or Ctrl+G will group them altogether and we can name that layer sparkles and there is our diamond encrusted bling text.
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