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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.
As well as being able to save your own layer styles, layer styles being a collection of layer effects, Photoshop also ships with a whole bunch of predefined styles. So this movie is all about taking a look at some of those predefined styles. These are all accessible through the Styles panel, which if you don't find it over there, you'll find right there under the Window menu. I'm going to tear off my Styles panel, just so that we can expand it, because we need to have a slightly bigger view of the Styles panel.
Now firstly, there are different ways of viewing your Styles panel. Currently, we're seeing a Small Thumbnail. I prefer, if room allows to go to a Large List, but depending on the size of your monitor, maybe you want a Small List, or maybe you don't want a list at all but just a thumbnail. But I'm going to go with a Large List. Now in addition to the styles that we have here by default, we can also add a whole bunch of other styles. Furthermore, there are lots of styles available on Adobe Exchange.
But just to add those that come with Photoshop, I'm going to add the Web Styles. Now do I want to append them, add them to what's already there, or do I want to replace them? I want to append them and then I'm going to go back and I'm going to choose Photographic Effects and I want to append those too. So now I have a list of styles that is much longer than it was before. And you can spend a whole lot of time applying these styles, and some of them are going to work great and some of them are not going to work at all. It all depends upon the context.
Now if I want to apply a style to a picture, I need one of the photographic effect styles, for example Duotone with Texture. Do I like that? No, not really. But I can just go and click on something else instead. So let's see how using this very quickly mocked-up web design, we can change the whole look of our design by applying some predefined styles. So if look at the Layers panel, this web page has been mocked-up using shape layers and I have over here four layer groups, each of which contains the link text and the bullet that goes with it. And that's in a group and I have got four of those and I have a separate layer for the Search field, another one for the Logo, and another one for the rule, and another one for the top navigation, which is actually white so we're not seeing that, and one for the sidebar, and then we've got the duck in the content area.
So what I'm going to do is apply a style to one of these links. Now this is particularly useful because once we've added our layers into groups, we can apply the same style to a group and all of the items in the group or indeed to several groups. I am going to hold down my Shift key so that I select all four of those groups and then try and find an appropriate style for them. And I'm going to go with the Red Paper Clip. And then I'm going to apply the same thing to the Logo style and now let's come down to the rule where we'll give that one the Blue Paper Clip maybe, and then to the sidebar I want to apply something else.
Let's see. What do we have? You'll see some of these have the word Button after them. That's going to mean they're going to have a beveled edge, which is not really going to be appropriate for what I'm after here. So I'm going to avoid those, and instead let's go with the Brushed Metal. And then on the image itself, I'm going to use one of those photographic effects, we'll Sepia Tone that. And finally for the Search field, there is the Form Button style.
I'm not by any stretch of the imagination claiming that this looks good or that you should make your designs look this way. But the point I'm sure to make here is that you can very easily, very quickly transform the appearance of your layout by applying styles, which are all nondestructive, continuously editable, and very, very quick and efficient to apply. One thing I should say though is that the word style, if you're from the world of InDesign or page layout concepts in general, you may be expecting more from the styles than they're actually going to deliver. Because what we don't know having applied style to this layer, say the duck for example, now it lists the effect that goes to make up that style, but nowhere does it tell us what style has been applied to it.
Furthermore, if I were to come and edit that style and I remember that it was the Sepia Tone style, then the appearance of my duck would not update. So these are not live styles in the way that paragraph styles are in Adobe InDesign. I just mentioned that because you may be expecting more of the styles than they are actually going to deliver for you.
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