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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, applying layer effects, we do this through that Layer Style dialog box, and there's more than one way to get there. We can use the Layer menu Layer Style, choose any of the effects from here, or we can use the fx drop-down menu, choose any of the effects from here, or we can just double-click to the right of the layer name that gets us there. Now once we're there, if we want to change the size of our image, Command+Plus, Command+Minus, or Ctrl+Plus, Ctrl+Minus on Windows.
As you add effects, your layer style preview will update over here, so keep an eye on this. Usually, it's not that interesting or useful, but it can sometimes help you understand what is actually going on with the effect. Now to move through the effects, check the box that applies the effect, click on the name of the effect that applies the effect, and it takes you to the options for the effect so that you can change them if you want to.
So I now have a Drop Shadow and Inner Shadow. Having changed the values of in this case the Inner Shadow, if I want to capture those values as a default I can click on this button, or if I want to reset them I can click on this button. If I now go ahead and click OK, we'll see that these two values are listed beneath my layer on the Layers panel and I can turn them on and off individually. If I turn off the Inner Shadow, since that was the one that I changed, and return to my Layer Style dialog box and now press Command+2 to go to Inner Shadow, you'll see that it remembers the values that I had input previously.
It's just that this effect is currently disabled. If on the other hand, I decide that I want to remove the Inner Shadow completely by dragging it into the Trash, the next time I return to Layer Style and go to Inner Shadow, it has returned it to its default values. One last thing I want to mention, and that is that if you want to clear the layer style completely, get rid of all the effects that were applied to a layer style, the easiest way of doing it is right-clicking or Ctrl+Clicking on the fx badge on the layer and coming to Clear Layer Style, and that's going to reset all the effects to their default values.
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