Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
In this movie, I hope to give you a sense for just the monumental flexibility of layer effects. First of all, layer effects are part of a category of features in Photoshop that are known as parametric effects. And what that means is let's say I double-click on inner shadow in order to bring up its settings. I can adjust these parameters as much as I want, my changes will be reflected inside the image window, and nothing is ever set in stone. Better still they take up very little room and memory, and they apply very quickly to even extremely high-resolution images.
But possibly the best news of all is that they constantly update to suit your layers, so if you modify the contents of the layer, the layer effects update as well. And that's what I'm going to do right now. So, I'm going to double-click on the T for the craving layer, and I'm going to change the font from Myriad Pro here to Old English Text. Which may or may not be installed on your machine. If it isn't, then look for some other black gothic type face, and then I will go on and edit my text. And this time I'm going to press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac so I can better see what I'm doing.
And I'll take advantage of that keyboard shortcut that allows me to scale the text in large increments which is Ctrl+Shift+Alt or Cmd+Shift+Opt+>. And I went ahead and pressed that short cut a couple of times in a row. And then I'll press Alt+left arrow, or Option+left arrow on a Mac, in order to scoot those letters together. All right, now I'll press the Enter key, on the numerical keypad, to accept my changes. Now I want to center my text in the canvas, so, I'll press Ctrl+a, or Cmd+a on the Mac, and then I'll switch to the move tool, which I can get by pressing the v key.
And I'll go up to these alignment icons and click on each one of the center ones. So, I'll start by clicking on align vertical centers, which scoots the text downward. And then I'll click on align horizontal centers, which moves the text just a couple of pixels to the right. Press Ctrl + d or Cmd +d on the Mac in order to deselect the text. Now here's the thing. You and I have different fonts on our system. You may not have the font that I'm using here. But I want you to be able to open this document when I'm done. So I'm going to convert the text to a shape. And you do that by pressing the t key in order to switch back to the type tool.
Right click on one of the letters, and choose Convert to Shape. And the beauty of having done this is that, we've converted vector-based type to vector-based shapes. We can't edit the text anymore, however we could edit the shape outlines if we wanted to. And the text remains resolution independent. Furthermore, I could go ahead and add shapes to the shape layer. Which I'll do by going down to the shape tool here. Clicking and holding on it, and then choosing the custom shape tool, and you can see that I've already selected a shape in advance.
It's called leaf ornament two. If you went ahead and loaded all the custom shapes back in the previous chapter, then you can find it midway down the list right at this location there. Go ahead and press the Esc key in order to hide that panel. I want to add this shape to the existing shape layer. So I'll go up to the Path Operations icon and I could select Combine Shapes. You actually have keyboard shortcuts for both Combine Shapes and Subtract From Shape and let me show you what those are. To combine shapes all you need to do is tap the plus key, and notice you'll get a little plus next to your cursor.
To subtract a shape, tap the minus key, and you'll get a little minus next to your cursor. That's all there is to that one. Alt Tab Plus, and then I'm going to draw a leaf, right about there. I'm not really terribly concerned about its horizontal placement, but I do want it to be, more or less vertically centered inside of that slat of wood. Now I want to horizontally center it. So I'll press the A key to switch to the black arrow tool. And I'll go ahead and click on a path outline. And then I'll do something that I couldn't do in previous versions of Photoshop.
I'll go up to the Path Alignment icon, click on it, and choose Align To Canvas. And then I'll return to that same icon. And I'll click once again and choose horizontal centers. And I end up exactly centering that leaf. Now what I want to do is duplicate the leaf so I'll press the Alt key or the option key on a Mac and drag the leaf downward. If you want to constrain the angle of your drag to exactly vertical, you want to go ahead and press and hold the Shift key as well during the drag. And then go ahead and release that leaf.
Once it's more or less vertically centered in the bottom slat and I might tap the up arrow key just to nudge it up a little bit there. Then I want to flip it so I'll go up to the Edit menu choose Transform Path. And choose Rotate 180 degrees, and I end up getting this effect here. All right, now I'm going to click off the path outline to deselect it. I'll press Ctrl+h, or Cmd+h on the Mac, so I can see my letters without the outlines. So now I've made several modifications to my layer, and the layer effects have done a great job of catching up.
However, they're no longer necessarily imparting the effect I'm looking for. So I'm going to make a few modifications to both of the effects, starting with the drop shadow. So I'll double click on the Drop Shadow in order to bring up my settings. And I'll reduce the opacity value to 70% by pressing Shift+down arrow a few times and then I'll take that distance value down to one. So that in tucking the shadows still further under the letters and then I'll reduce a size value to 20 pixels like so. Then I'll go ahead and click on inner shadow in order to gain access to its settings.
And I want to open up the shadows a little bit inside the letters, so I'm going to take the distance value down to 10 pixels. And then I'll reduce the size value to 35 pixels, like so, which makes a big difference as you can see. Then I'll click okay in order to accept that change Just to give you a sense here, these are the effects we had a moment ago. And these are the modified effects. And to give a sense of what we've accomplished over the course of this movie, I'll press the F12 key to go ahead and revert the image to its original appearance.
Looks pretty disappointing, by comparison, to the image we have now. Which I can re-instate by pressing Ctrl +Z or Cmd+ Z on the Mac. And that, friends, is how you go about painlessly, and altogether overhauling the contents of a layer. And modifying its layer effects in just a matter of minutes, here, inside Photoshop.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
119 Video lessons · 49934 Viewers
117 Video lessons · 37233 Viewers
113 Video lessons · 81179 Viewers
65 Video lessons · 10543 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.