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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.
Okay, here we're going to see how we can make a cool neon letter. And we are also going to create an extruded Drop Shadow and work with creating an interior shape using Inner Glow, and then we'll finish it off by using the Pen tool to create our neon tubing. As our starting point what I'm going to do to begin with is create the extruded drop shadow and to do this I am going to get the effect I'm after using layer effects. So I'm going to duplicate that layer four times.
Then I'm going to turn off the visibility of the top one, select the remaining four, nudge them to the right, holding down the Shift key, nudge them down holding down the Shift key. I will then turn off the top one and repeat, turn off the top layer, repeat, and one more time. Now I'm going to select all four of those layers come to the Layers panel menu and I am going to merge them into one. I'm going to make black my foreground color and I'm going to fill that layer with black.
So that I've retained the transparency on that layer. I'm going to hold down Alt+Shift or Option+Shift and then press my Delete key. I now need to fix this stair stepping problem here. So I'm going to zoom in on that. Choose my Polygonal Lasso tool. Make sure that I do not have Anti-alias checked in this case. I don't want to smooth anything out. I just want a very clean crisp selection and I'll fill that with black. Zoom out there is my extruded shadow on top of my letter shape.
I'm now going to add a Drop Shadow to the extruded shadow. I'm just going to pull away slightly and I'll soften it by increasing its Size. Now I'm going to come to the letter B itself and add an Inner Glow, which will create the interior shape. I need to change the blend mode here to Multiply and I need to soften the color from the letter itself. Choose a lighter version of that red.
And I'm now going to increase the Size of that and here is what's really going to make it work. I'm going to make the Source the Center then I'm going to Choke it. So we have this independent-looking interior shape and I'm going to increase the Opacity on that up to 100%. And maybe dial the size down a little bit. End up with 24. The next thing I want to do is create the neon tube and I'm going to do this by working on duplicate of the letter B. So I'm going to press Command+J to duplicate that.
I'll throw away the effects on that duplicated version and then I'm going to right-click to convert that to a shape layer. Now that it's a shape layer, we see a pen path around the letter B. So I'm going to choose my Direct Selection tool and I'm going to click on that counter, press Delete twice, and then repeat that for the second counter, leaving me with just the outline. Then I'll come and choose my Path Selection tool, making sure that all of the anchor points are selected.
Press Command+T or Ctrl+T to get to my Free Transform and I want to transform this shape from its center point. So I'm holding down the Alt key and the Shift like so. So what I have here is a shape layer. I no longer need this shape, but I do want this path. So what I'm going to do is with the path selected I'm going to cut that, Command+X, or Ctrl+X, and I'll get this message. Yes I want to delete that layer, but then I will paste that path. Command+V, or Ctrl+V. I now need to modify that path.
So I am going to press P to go to my Pen tool and I'm going to zoom in on this left-hand part of the image. So I'm going to hold down my Command key, which will toggle to my Direct Selection tool, click on that path, and I can now move my pen cursor over the path and I'll see a Plus symbol appear next to the pen and when I click I make an anchor point. That anchor point comes in with Bezier control handles that I don't actually want. So I'm going to hold down the Option or Alt key and click again so that we have introduced now a corner point as opposed to a curve point.
I'm going to repeat that down here, click, and and Alt-click to remove the Bezier control handles. Now this next part is a bit tricky we want to delete this segment right here. So I need to hold down my Command key and just click outside of the path so that it's no longer selected and then holding down my Command or Ctrl key click back on the path, but just on that segment. I should now be able to press the Delete key and that segment alone is gone. So now I'm going to take my Pen tool and click on the first open endpoint and cut in and holding down the Shift key so I get a straight line there.
I need to let Photoshop know that I finished drawing that path, so I'm going to hold down my Command key and click, coming down click on this endpoint, and repeat the same thing. Now let's zoom out. There is my neon tubing. And I will just going to make one other amendment to the path over here. I'm going to hold down my Command key and slightly pull that in to the interior of the shape. My next step is to stroke this path, but before I can do so, I need to create a layer for the neon to go to.
So I'm going to come and create a new layer and I'm going to double-click on the layer name and I'm going to call it neon. Then I am going to going to get to my Brush tool. I'm going to check that I have a soft brush. I've got a Size of 23 pixels and my Opacity is at 100%. My foreground color is white. Come to my Paths panel and from the panel menu I will choose Stroke Path and I'm going to stroke it with the Brush and there is my neon tubing. So now back to the layer, I want to add a couple of effects to the layer.
So I'm going to come and add a Drop Shadow, just pull that slightly away from the tube itself, and then I'm going to add an Inner Glow. The color of the Inner Glow I want to be the color of the letter itself and the blend mode I want to be Multiply. Now I'm going to zoom in so that we can see what's going on here with this Inner Glow. I want to make the Inner Glow blend in with the color of the neon. So I'm going to choose Noise. It's kind of give this sort of fuzzy look.
And then I'm going to increase the Size on that a bit as well to sort of extend it into the color of the neon tube. Now let's zoom out and I'm just going to come to the View menu to my Show and turn off the Target Path so that goes away. And there is the finished neon letter.
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