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What are layer effects?

From: Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effects

Video: What are layer effects?

Layer effects are effects that are linked to a given layer. in this case, I have four layer effects linked to the Circle layer. That means that if I move the Circle layer around, the effects will move with it. I could if I wanted to come and right- click on that fx badge or hold down my Ctrl key and click on that and choose Create Layers, which would separate the effects onto individual layers. We will be covering this in a later movie, but for now we want to work with the effects linked to the layer.

What are layer effects?

Layer effects are effects that are linked to a given layer. in this case, I have four layer effects linked to the Circle layer. That means that if I move the Circle layer around, the effects will move with it. I could if I wanted to come and right- click on that fx badge or hold down my Ctrl key and click on that and choose Create Layers, which would separate the effects onto individual layers. We will be covering this in a later movie, but for now we want to work with the effects linked to the layer.

While they are linked, they are continuously editable, meaning that I can just double-click on any one of them and I can change the amount of the effect that has been added. These layer effects have a very low overhead, meaning that they will have very little impact on your file size. If I delete these effects, you'll see that the document sizes do not reduce at all. So the effects are adding very little to the file size.

The effects work on the boundary between the opaque parts of the layer and the transparent parts of the layer. Shadow effects, like Drop Shadow and Inner Shadow, work on the transparent pixels and interior effects, like Color Overlay, Gradient Overlay, and Satin, work on the opaque pixels. Because transparency is required by most of the effects, you need to have transparent pixels as we do on the Circle layer. if I turn off Layer 1, we can see we've got a checkerboard indicating transparency.

In all cases, the effects will not work if I flatten the image. You'll see that my effects, even though the image looks the same, I can't move this item around and I can't edit the individual effects. This is now just a one pixel deep image. Nor can I add any other effects to this as a background layer. So effects require the use of layers. Because they require the use of layers, if you want to edit the effects, you should save your document in a file format that supports layers, such as Photoshop or TIFF.

Two terms that are used somewhat synonymously are layer effects and layer styles. A layer style is just a collection of effects. So in the case of this Circle, its layer style is the Drop Shadow plus the Inner Shadow plus the Bevel and Emboss plus the Pattern Overlay. I can double-click on the empty area to the right of the layer name to access the Layer Style dialog box, and I could if I wanted to save this as a style. I could give it a name. I'll just call it Style 1 for now.

And I could now, if I drew any other object or had any other image layer, come and apply that style to it. One more thing I'd like to mention is that these effects also show up in Adobe InDesign and a lot of the same concepts exist in Adobe Illustrator. So things that you learn here you can also apply elsewhere.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effects
Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effects

60 video lessons · 18089 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      38s
  2. 13m 22s
    1. What are layer effects?
      3m 9s
    2. Using the Layer Style dialog box
      2m 25s
    3. Moving, copying and removing layer effects
      2m 20s
    4. Working with preset styles
      5m 28s
  3. 29m 46s
    1. Shadow effects 1: Drop Shadow
      7m 11s
    2. Shadow effects 2: Inner Shadow
      1m 2s
    3. Glow effects 1: Outer Glow
      3m 41s
    4. Glow effects 2: Inner Glow
      1m 35s
    5. Bevel and Emboss effect 1: Structure
      2m 9s
    6. Bevel and Emboss effect 2: Shading
      2m 46s
    7. Bevel and Emboss effect 3: Contour
      1m 44s
    8. Bevel and Emboss effect 4: Texture
      1m 29s
    9. Overlay and stroke effects 1: Satin
      1m 1s
    10. Overlay and stroke effects 2: Color Overlay
      1m 27s
    11. Overlay and stroke effects 3: Gradient Overlay
      1m 58s
    12. Overlay and stroke effects 4: Pattern Overlay
      1m 43s
    13. Overlay and stroke effects 5: Stroke
      2m 0s
  4. 25m 37s
    1. Blending modes
      2m 55s
    2. General opacity vs. fill opacity
      1m 16s
    3. Creating a knockout layer
      2m 37s
    4. Blending interior effects
      1m 35s
    5. Blending clipped layers as a group
      1m 18s
    6. Transparency Shapes Layers
      2m 34s
    7. Converting a layer style to image layers
      1m 45s
    8. Blending with the Layer Mask and Vector Mask Hide effects
      1m 56s
    9. Using the Blend If blending option
      3m 53s
    10. Working with contours
      5m 48s
  5. 29m 22s
    1. Placing multiple files as Smart Objects into the type poster
      1m 29s
    2. Creating offset outlines with Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, and Fill Opacity
      6m 19s
    3. Using Fill Opacity to create "ghost" text
      2m 19s
    4. Creating live (editable) blurred type with Drop Shadow
      1m 56s
    5. Creating an extruded shadow
      4m 42s
    6. Customizing a drop shadow
      5m 53s
    7. Reflecting a shadow and applying a displacement map
      6m 44s
  6. 28m 56s
    1. Inflating type by softening a smooth bevel
      3m 7s
    2. Creating a chiseled bevel
      6m 14s
    3. Embossing a stroke
      2m 31s
    4. Creating a soft bevel and customizing the contour of the inner shadow
      5m 20s
    5. Combining a smooth bevel with transparency effects
      2m 34s
    6. Embossing the contour of a bevel and adding an outer bevel with texture
      4m 13s
    7. Set in stone: Customizing a bevel with diffused light
      2m 22s
    8. Creating an embossed stamp
      2m 35s
  7. 19m 45s
    1. Working with texture: Pattern Overlay or Layer Mask?
      6m 25s
    2. Creating depth with Pattern Overlay and Inner Shadow
      1m 23s
    3. Creating and applying a custom pattern
      5m 57s
    4. Layer effects and Smart Objects 1
      1m 21s
    5. Layer effects and Smart Objects 2
      4m 39s
  8. 26m 7s
    1. Using Inner Glow to create interior shapes and neon
      7m 6s
    2. Choking an Inner Glow effect to create inline effects
      2m 4s
    3. Adapting an Inner Glow using the Contour, Range, and Jitter controls
      1m 30s
    4. Creating a stencil effect with Outer Glow and Shallow Knockout
      7m 41s
    5. Customizing contours to create multiple outlines
      2m 11s
    6. Combining Gradient Overlay and a gradient stroke 1
      1m 51s
    7. Combining Gradient Overlay and a gradient stroke 2
      1m 24s
    8. Using Satin with a custom contour
      2m 20s
  9. 9m 3s
    1. Building a type poster
      4m 26s
    2. Adding paper behind the letters
      4m 19s
    3. Goodbye
      18s

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