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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.
Here is a very simple, very effective technique involving the use of a Drop Shadow to give this ghosting effect. Here is our starting point. So we just have the letter X on a field of black. What we want to end up with here is just being able to see the shadow and not the letter itself. So I'm going to double-click to the right of the layer name and come to Drop Shadow. The first thing that's interesting about this is we are going to have a shadow that is not black, but white.
Now, when I change the color to White, it's having no effect. No matter what I do with the shadow, no matter where I put it, we are not going to see it, because the blending mode is Multiply and Multiply neutralizes white. But when I change the blend mode to Normal, we now see the shadow. Okay. So I am also going to increase the Opacity to 100% and I'm going to reduce the Distance to 0 and the Size to 0. I am going to change the Angle to 180.
Now, I am going to come to my Blending Options and I am going to turn the Fill Opacity down to 0. So effectively, what we have now is our letter sitting directly on top of our shadow, which is at a Size of 0. So we can't see it. We can just see a slight hint of it. So what I am going to do now is I'm going to increase the Distance to slightly offset the shadow, and rather than use the slider, which of course would work, I am just going to put my cursor in the Distance field and use my up arrow to nudge the white shadow over to the right of the now invisible letter X.
And maybe we'll go about 8 pixels. Okay. That's looking good. Now, the only thing that we need to do now is just reposition this letter within the square, because it is centered, but the part of it that's centered is the currently invisible part. So I am going to just move the whole layer over a bit by holding down the Shift key and pressing my left arrow just to nudge it over a fraction.
Okay, and there we have our ghosted letter X.
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