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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
This chapter is about layer effects and layer styles. The two terms are often used interchangeably, but while related they are not quite the same thing. Layer effects are dynamic color and contour attributes that let you add dimension, lighting and texture to otherwise flat, drab objects. They serve two opposing purposes, they set layers apart and they bring them together. For example, the most common layer effect, a Drop Shadow, suggests that one layer floats above everything behind it. This calls attention to the parameter of the layer and adds depth to the image, both of which help to distinguish the layered element from a busy composition. Meanwhile, say, a Color Overlay can blend a layer with its background. The independent layers appear not as discrete elements of a composition, but as seamless portions of a cohesive whole.
A layer style, in contrast, is a collection of layer effects that you can save and apply over and over again. So effects are the individual effects and styles are collections of effects. Both are amazingly capable, as you'll learn in the following exercises.
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