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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.
We get to play with lots of good stuff here. We get to see how working with Smart Objects adds a whole new dimension to how we can apply layer effects and we'll be working with a Texture Bevel, Pattern Overlay, and Satin. And also we'll be adding some noise to a Drop Shadow. Here's our starting point. So what I have here is letter V on top of this heart and obviously the intent here is to create some sort of sweetheart candy type effect. And the heart is sitting on this background which itself has a Gradient Overlay, a vignetting effect created by Radial Gradient Overlay.
But you notice that this is a Smart Object. I just want to point out and as they say in those iPhone ads, some sequences have been simplified. So we are starting this work in progress. What I have here is a heart. I got this heart from Illustrator's basic shapes, one of its symbols I think. And then I applied a Roughening filter to it, just to bump up the edges a bit and then I placed this in Photoshop and I extruded manually this drop shadow from the heart shape.
And I've done that with other letters, notably the B, and then I made those into a Smart Object and that's where we're going to pick this up. So here is my smart object made up of these two separate pieces and the reason they are two separate pieces, why this is useful for us, is we can come and apply one Inner Shadow to one and then a whole different Inner Shadow to the other. Because in this case-- I'm going to turn off Global Light-- I would like the inner Shadow to be coming from the bottom, something like that.
Okay, now having done that I'm going to save that and then when I go back to my composition we see those changes take place in the context of the whole composition. My next step is to add a textured bevel to the Smart Object layer. So I'm going to come at Bevel and Emboss. First of all, I'm just going to change the Angle and I'm also going to increase the Size and then I'm going to add a Texture to that bevel. And the texture that I'm after is called Crepe.
It's in the Grayscale Papers preset. Now I'm going to increase the Scale of that and I'm going to reduce the Depth. Okay, so there is our texture applied as a textured bevel to the heart shape itself. So now I'm going to add some effects to the letter itself, beginning with a Drop Shadow. I'm going to turn off Global Light. I'm going to sample the color from the letter itself. Move into the letter and just start dragging that shadow away from it and then increase the Size of the shadow to soften it and add some Noise to the shadow.
Now I'm going to go Satin. I'm going to change the blend mode of the satin to Soft Light and I'm going to change the color of the satin to be sampled from the letter itself. Now this is going to be subtle, but if I drag around in there we can see the shape of the V being distorted within the letterform. So that's going to give it a sort of mottled effect. I'm going to mix things up a bit more by using a Cone contour curve and then increase the Size just to soften any edges.
So that's going to be a pretty subtle effect there. Now I'm going to come to Pattern Overlay and I'm certainly not going to use that one, but that's the default pattern. I'm actually going to use that Crepe paper that was used for the beveling texture. I'm going to change the blend mode to one of these lighting blend modes. Let's try Hard Light and see how that works out. And maybe reduce the Opacity on that and just adjust the Scale to your liking. I am going to go with 127%. Click OK to that.
As one last finishing touch I'm just going to apply a bit of warping to the type. So I'm going to select that letter. If I don't want to see those selection outlines, they're bit distracting, I'm going to press Command+H or Ctrl+H to hide them. Come to my Warp tool and I'll choose any one of these, because I'm going to ignore the actual effect and just apply a little bit of Vertical and/or Horizontal Distortion. And there is our sweetheart candy.
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