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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.
So let's see how we can dramatically chisel a letter using a chiseled bevel, a hard chisel, and also get this cool looking metallic effect. We're going to be adjusting the Altitude and Angle of the light and we're also going to add some depth with a Pattern Overlay, Satin, Inner Shadow, Drop Shadow combination. Here's my F on a textured background. I'm going to begin by going to the Bevel and Emboss since this is the main event here. And I'm going to turn off Global Light.
I'm not really interested so much in creating a realistic effect as just creating a cool effect and I want to be able to affect the angle of light independently for the Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, and Bevel and Emboss. So I'm going to start out by changing the Technique to Chisel Hard and then I'm going to increase the Size of that chisel up to about 100 pixels. And that really adds dimension to the letters. Unfortunately, it also adds these chiseling artifacts and I'm going to try and mitigate those by now softening the amount of beveling.
Okay, that looks a whole lot better. I'm going to adjust the Depth down to about 50%. Now I want to come and adjust the Angle of the light and I would like the light to be coming in from the right so that it casts a strong shadow on the left of the letter and I'm going to reduce the Altitude so the sun is low in the sky so that shadow is stronger. Now I want to increase the highlights and the shadows, so I'm going to amp these up by changing the Highlight blend mode to Linear Dodge for a stronger effect, for brighter highlights, and then the equivalent Linear Burn for the Shadow mode for, well, these burnt-in shadows we really saw it bringing out the existing color of the shadow.
And I might also increase the percentage of both of those. Okay, now I'm going to go to Drop Shadow and I'm going to add a Drop Shadow. I'm just going to move onto the letter and pull the shadow away. Now I'm on a dark background, so we don't see it that well but it is just adding some dimension, and I will increase the size of that to soften the shadow. I'm just now going to add some Inner Shadow, and a little bit of Choke to that Inner Shadow.
Now for our wild card I'm going to add some Satin. Now when I click on Satin, we get this sort of cool looking metallic liquid gold like effect. And what Satin is doing is it's moving the object within the shape of the layer. So if I come and drag around on the letter, we can get some really interesting looking effects. I do just want to change the blending mode of that to Soft Light to soften the effect. Finally, I'm going to go and add a Pattern Overlay.
So when I click on Pattern Overlay, I get this, which is the default pattern, not what I want. So I'm going to come to my preset patterns and what I'm off to is in the Color Paper preset, so I'm going to choose Color Paper, and I'm going to append these, and then I'm going to choose this one, Gold Metallic. And I sort of like that effect, although it's having a rather dulling overall contribution, which we don't want, so I'm going to turn that down so we can just see a little bit of the texture there but we still keep the letter nice and shiny.
Okay, so there is my letter. As a finishing touch, I'm just going to add some lens flares to it. So I'm going to zoom out and with my Hand tool I'm just going to reposition my image within my window, and that's because I'm in the Screen mode that allows me to do that. If you need to change your screen modes, you can just press your F key to cycle through them. Okay, to add lens flare, I'm going to create a new layer above the existing layer and I'm going to fill that layer with black.
Black is my foreground color, so I'm going to press Option+Delete or Alt+Delete. Then I'm going to change the blend mode of that layer to Screen. Screen will neutralize the black. And then on this layer, I'm going to go to Render and choose Lens Flare. The lens flare that I want is Movie Prime, and I want the Brightness to be at 100%. Click OK. Now I'm going to choose my Move tool and I'm going to reposition that flare like so.
And I may want to resize it also, so I'm going to press Command+T or Ctrl+T to Free Transform, hold down the Shift key with the Alt key as well so that I resize from at center point, reposition it, and press Return. Now I'm going to mask that lens flare. So I'm going to choose my Elliptical Marquee tool, put that on the center of the flare, hold down my Option or Alt key and draw myself an ellipse around that flare, and then come and add a layer mask. And that's going to give me a hard edge, which obviously I don't want.
So I'm going to come my Masks panel and increase the Feathering on the mask edge to 25 pixels, I reckon. Now if I want some other lens flares, I can just duplicate this layer, Command+J, and then with my Move tool, reposition the flare, and I think I will also go to my Free Transform, and rotate it slightly as well and Alt and Shift, pull from one of the corners to reduce its size, press Return, and I'll just stay where I am.
This time I'm going to duplicate another one by holding down the Alt key and dragging that off and we'll put that on another area of highlight of the letter and we'll come down here I think, and I'll size that one as well. Press Return and there is our finished F, complete with lens flares.
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