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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.
Color Overlay is a very straightforward layer effect. It does what you'd expect. It applies a color to your layer. Now with the blending mode at Normal and the Opacity at 100%, it's going to mean that it's mutually exclusive with other blending modes like Gradient Overlay. If I click on Gradient Overlay we're not seeing that because the color is at 100%. But if I change the blending mode to Multiply we now see a combination of the Color Overlay and the Gradient Overlay.
Color Overlay has one particularly useful application and that is if you're working with Smart Objects, a logo for example, which you cannot in other ways color, Color Overlay can be used to change the color of the Smart Object. Let me show you what I mean. If I come and convert this dingbat to a Smart Object and it now has the Smart Object badge right there, if I try and change the color of this object, for example I have black as my foreground color, I would normally, if it were not a Smart Object, we ought to press Option or Alt and my Backspace Delete key to fill that with black.
It's not going to work. But I can now go to Color Overlay and apply a color to a Smart Object. So it has that very sort of specialized and sometimes very useful application.
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