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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've looked at the theory of layer effects. Now, we are going to look at the practice. To do so we are going to re- create a type poster like this one. 28 letters, A through Z, plus an ampersand, plus a question mark, each of which are re-created as separate files and then placed as Smart Objects. Take a look at the Layers panel over here. All of those letters are grouped in a folder and then below that we have three layers that make up the background: the paper, the shadow of the paper, and the coffee table texture of the background.
Each of these letters has a unique combination of layer effects and in some cases some other effects applied to them and they're all created with a border of transparency around them. For example, if I go to the Q and I'll double-click on its Smart Objects badge to go to it, we see that we have this transparent area around it and the tail of the Q goes into that transparent area, so that when we place it in the context of the poster, that tail is not confined to the square that the letter exists in, but can interact with other letters creating a really nice interaction between the different parts of the poster.
So roll up your shirt sleeves and let's begin with creating these letters and then in the conclusion chapter we'll get to place them one by one as Smart Objects to complete the poster.
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