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Creating offset outlines with Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, and Fill Opacity

From: Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effects

Video: Creating offset outlines with Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, and Fill Opacity

Okay, we are going to have a look at creating offset outlines working with this beautiful C set in Adobe Caslon Pro. We have two approaches here. One is going to enable us to create the whole thing on one layer, completely live type, completely editable. It's going to involve modifying the contour curve of the Drop Shadow and adjusting the Fill Opacity of the layer. The second approach is going to involve duplicating the Drop Shadow and then offsetting it from the original. Then we'll have another hoop to jump through which is going to be putting the two into a group just so the blending modes work out okay.

Creating offset outlines with Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, and Fill Opacity

Okay, we are going to have a look at creating offset outlines working with this beautiful C set in Adobe Caslon Pro. We have two approaches here. One is going to enable us to create the whole thing on one layer, completely live type, completely editable. It's going to involve modifying the contour curve of the Drop Shadow and adjusting the Fill Opacity of the layer. The second approach is going to involve duplicating the Drop Shadow and then offsetting it from the original. Then we'll have another hoop to jump through which is going to be putting the two into a group just so the blending modes work out okay.

We'll also be looking at adding in some Inner Shadow just to add a little bit of depth to the whole thing. Here is our starting point. We have three layers. We have the C and we have this background texture and I've adjusted the hue on that background texture. This is working within a 750 pixel square and I've left some transparency around the edges just so that with certain letters, not with this one, but with others we can move into that transparency and have our letters overlap when we come to make the type poster.

Okay, let's apply the Drop Shadow. So I am going to double-click to the right of the layer name and we will click on Shadow. Now, I can adjust the Distance and the Angle or I can just come in and pull it around where I want it to go. And that's about where I want it to go. I think I do want to maybe increase its size a little bit. Oh! By the way, I think we need to go to Multiply blend mode here so that we can see the texture of the background coming through. With this shadow it would be nice if it was sharper than it currently is.

So, to do that, I'm going to whack up the Spread all the way to 100 and that really sharpens up the edges of the shadow. In fact, what we have here is we have no transparency in the shadow or very little. But if I want the shadow to function not as a shadow, but as an offset outline, then I am going to have to modify the contour curve. We have a Linear curve at the moment, so our shadow is, as shadows do, going from opaque to transparent.

I am going to invert that, so it's now going from transparent to opaque and we can see just the trace of the shadow around the edge there. And I am going to click OK. And if we now reduce the Spread value, we will see more of that shadow. Okay. Well, that's all right up to a point, but I want to have more of the opaque pixels in the outlines. So I am going to come back to my Contour Editor once again and go for a more dramatic drop-off here.

So the pixels are opaque all the way along here, all the way to about 80%, and then they suddenly drop off to transparent. So effectively we get this offset black outline. I am also going to add a little bit of Inner Shadow just to give some depth to the whole thing. The subtlety of this may well be lost on the video, but I'm going to do it anyway. If you're following along, you will see that adding just a little bit of Inner Shadow really helps things. I'm pretty happy with how that looks, click OK, and just to hammer home a point here, this is a live and completely editable effect.

So I can just go and change this C to whatever letter I want and it's going to update like so. Let's actually put it back to being C. Now, if we are happy with that then we can stop here, but I'm just going to show you an alternative approach which arguably might yield a better result, but is not going to be quite as convenient, because it is going to involve using two layers as opposed to one. So I am going to duplicate the layer that I have. Command+J or Ctrl+J. And I'll turn off the one that I've already done.

Now, here I am going to come back to my Layer Style dialog box by double-clicking to the right of the layer name and I'm going to turn down the Fill Opacity so that all we now see are the shadows, the Inner Shadow and the Drop Shadow. To do it this way, I no longer need that edited contour. I can just put the contour back as being Linear, so that it now looks like this, which gives me the opportunity of using more Spread to sharpen up that shadow like so.

Maybe I'll even darken it a little bit as well just by increasing the Opacity. All right! Now, what I want to do is make a copy of this layer. Command+J. On the copy, I will turn off the effects, but I will turn up the Fill Opacity. That puts that back to red. And now it's just a question of offsetting one of these two layers from the other. Since I am on this top layer I might as well offset this one. So I am just going to nudge it up a few pixels and nudge it over a few pixels. All right! That's looking great except-- and I know what you're thinking-- we are seeing the shape of one come through the other.

We don't want that to happen. So let's see how we can fix that. Here is how we are going to fix it. I am going to set the blend mode of this top one back to Normal and then we just go back to that flat color. So that solves one problem, but creates another. And we are going to solve that other problem by selecting both of these layers by holding down the Shift key and then pressing Command+G or Ctrl+G to put them into a group. Now, they're in a group. We are going to change the blend mode of the group from Pass Through, which means that all of the blending effects are just being passed on to the layers below, to Multiply so that the blending only happens within the group and then the result is passed on to the layers below, and that solves the problem.

Then we have a very nice- looking offset outline effect.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effects
Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effects

60 video lessons · 18198 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      38s
  2. 13m 22s
    1. What are layer effects?
      3m 9s
    2. Using the Layer Style dialog box
      2m 25s
    3. Moving, copying and removing layer effects
      2m 20s
    4. Working with preset styles
      5m 28s
  3. 29m 46s
    1. Shadow effects 1: Drop Shadow
      7m 11s
    2. Shadow effects 2: Inner Shadow
      1m 2s
    3. Glow effects 1: Outer Glow
      3m 41s
    4. Glow effects 2: Inner Glow
      1m 35s
    5. Bevel and Emboss effect 1: Structure
      2m 9s
    6. Bevel and Emboss effect 2: Shading
      2m 46s
    7. Bevel and Emboss effect 3: Contour
      1m 44s
    8. Bevel and Emboss effect 4: Texture
      1m 29s
    9. Overlay and stroke effects 1: Satin
      1m 1s
    10. Overlay and stroke effects 2: Color Overlay
      1m 27s
    11. Overlay and stroke effects 3: Gradient Overlay
      1m 58s
    12. Overlay and stroke effects 4: Pattern Overlay
      1m 43s
    13. Overlay and stroke effects 5: Stroke
      2m 0s
  4. 25m 37s
    1. Blending modes
      2m 55s
    2. General opacity vs. fill opacity
      1m 16s
    3. Creating a knockout layer
      2m 37s
    4. Blending interior effects
      1m 35s
    5. Blending clipped layers as a group
      1m 18s
    6. Transparency Shapes Layers
      2m 34s
    7. Converting a layer style to image layers
      1m 45s
    8. Blending with the Layer Mask and Vector Mask Hide effects
      1m 56s
    9. Using the Blend If blending option
      3m 53s
    10. Working with contours
      5m 48s
  5. 29m 22s
    1. Placing multiple files as Smart Objects into the type poster
      1m 29s
    2. Creating offset outlines with Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, and Fill Opacity
      6m 19s
    3. Using Fill Opacity to create "ghost" text
      2m 19s
    4. Creating live (editable) blurred type with Drop Shadow
      1m 56s
    5. Creating an extruded shadow
      4m 42s
    6. Customizing a drop shadow
      5m 53s
    7. Reflecting a shadow and applying a displacement map
      6m 44s
  6. 28m 56s
    1. Inflating type by softening a smooth bevel
      3m 7s
    2. Creating a chiseled bevel
      6m 14s
    3. Embossing a stroke
      2m 31s
    4. Creating a soft bevel and customizing the contour of the inner shadow
      5m 20s
    5. Combining a smooth bevel with transparency effects
      2m 34s
    6. Embossing the contour of a bevel and adding an outer bevel with texture
      4m 13s
    7. Set in stone: Customizing a bevel with diffused light
      2m 22s
    8. Creating an embossed stamp
      2m 35s
  7. 19m 45s
    1. Working with texture: Pattern Overlay or Layer Mask?
      6m 25s
    2. Creating depth with Pattern Overlay and Inner Shadow
      1m 23s
    3. Creating and applying a custom pattern
      5m 57s
    4. Layer effects and Smart Objects 1
      1m 21s
    5. Layer effects and Smart Objects 2
      4m 39s
  8. 26m 7s
    1. Using Inner Glow to create interior shapes and neon
      7m 6s
    2. Choking an Inner Glow effect to create inline effects
      2m 4s
    3. Adapting an Inner Glow using the Contour, Range, and Jitter controls
      1m 30s
    4. Creating a stencil effect with Outer Glow and Shallow Knockout
      7m 41s
    5. Customizing contours to create multiple outlines
      2m 11s
    6. Combining Gradient Overlay and a gradient stroke 1
      1m 51s
    7. Combining Gradient Overlay and a gradient stroke 2
      1m 24s
    8. Using Satin with a custom contour
      2m 20s
  9. 9m 3s
    1. Building a type poster
      4m 26s
    2. Adding paper behind the letters
      4m 19s
    3. Goodbye
      18s

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