Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video Creative layer effect styles, part of Photoshop CC 2018 Essential Training: Design.
- [Instructor] Most people think that layer styles are just for adding simple drop shadows but they're much more powerful than that. So let's take a moment to look at the different effects that we can add to these icons to completely change their appearance. I'll select the first icon, the plane layer, and from the effects panel I'll choose Color Overlay. Now by default the color overlay is gray so let's click in the color swatch and let's select a blue color, pretty muted, and click OK. Now you'll notice that as we move through the different layer effects a lot of them have the same options for blend modes and color swatches and opacity.
I could decrease the opacity if I wanted to but let's leave it at 100%. Let's also add an inner glow. I'll click on that. By default its blend mode is Screen and its opacity is set fairly low so let's increase the opacity. We don't see a lot happening though because the size is so small, so I'll increase the size in order to reveal a little bit more of the inner glow. This swatch here is the color swatch, so not only do I have the option to pick a solid color, but I could also select a gradient if I clicked over in this area.
I prefer the solid color for now so I'll click the radio button to the left of the white swatch. Alright, let's take a look at another icon. I'll select the car and from the bottom of the layer effects I'll choose the Bevel & Emboss option. Here we have a number of different styles that we can choose from. I'm going to move this over to the right a little bit so that we can see it better, and I'm going to increase the size. Now we can see that Inner Bevel being applied to this icon.
If I change this to Outer Bevel it's got a little bit more of an effect. We also have Emboss and these Pillow Emboss and the Stroke Emboss. I'm going to go back to the Outer Bevel. We can change the depth of the bevel as well as the direction. We can also change the contour of the bevel by clicking and then selecting from these different curves that we can apply. So we can go through these, see if we find one that we like a little better, or we can just go back to the original linear curve right there.
In addition to the Bevel & Emboss, let's add a Gradient Overlay to this icon. Here I'll click in the gradient strip in order to get the Gradient Editor. I'll double click on the color stop on the left and I'll select the same blue color by using the eye dropper and clicking over the first icon. We'll click OK and then double click the second color swatch in order to choose our second color. I think I'll sample the blue again, and then just change the hue down towards yellow.
Make a little bit of an adjustment, make it a little bit lighter and a little bit brighter so we can be sure to be able to see that, and click OK. If I thought I was going to use this gradient again I could give it a name, Blue to Yellow, and then click New. I'll click OK. Right now we have a linear gradient. I can change the angle of that gradient and I also can change the style. So maybe I want a radial gradient. I can also reverse the gradient and I can choose to align it with a layer or I can choose to reposition it by clicking and dragging in the image area.
Alright, I'll click OK and we'll select the bike icon. For the bike I want to start by adding an inner shadow so I'll select that from the layers panel, reposition this out of the way. I'll increase the opacity of the inner shadow and also increase the size as well as the choke. We can combine that with an Outer Glow in order to add a glow around the outside. Now I want to change the blend mode to do this. I'll select Normal and then I'll use the color swatch in order to pick yellow.
I'll click OK and then let's increase the size of that outer glow as well as the opacity of it. Alright, for our last icon we'll choose the Effects icon and add a Pattern Overlay. Now there are a lot of patterns that ship with Photoshop by default. You can load them using the gear icon and then selecting them from the list, but for now I'll just choose one of the defaults. In this case I'll select Dots and I'll scale them up to make them a bit larger.
I think that's probably a little busy for an icon but I'm okay with that for now. I'll also add the Satin effect. Now the Satin effect gets a little bit crazy. I'm going to bring up the opacity here of the Satin effect. I'll change the color by clicking in the color swatch and I'll select a blue again. Then I'll change the blend mode just to normal and we can change the contour here in order to get some pretty wild effects. Now I'm not sure if I would use this with those dots but for now that's alright.
I'll go ahead and click OK. Now before we wrap up I want to show one last thing. I'm going to scroll down to this gray layer. I want to use the effects to add a drop shadow because I want show you that if I start repositioning the angle and the distance of the drop shadow on this layer it changes on all of the other layers that have an angle and a distance slider, and that's because by default the Use Global Light is turned on.
If I uncheck that then I can reposition the angle and the distance for the drop shadow on this layer independently from any of the other effects that I've applied to other layers. As you can see, layer effects are much more powerful than just simple strokes or drop shadows.
Photoshop CC boasts tools and features for making tonal and color adjustments, applying effects and treatments to type and graphics, and distorting, filtering, and layering elements—all while maintaining the highest-quality output. In this course, Julieanne demonstrates how to efficiently perform common design tasks, including editing images, drawing shapes, and working with type and fonts. Along the way, she shares the secrets of nondestructive editing using Smart Objects, and helps you master features such as layers, filters, blending modes, typography, custom brushes, vector masks, and much more—increasing your productivity every step of the way.
- Working with Smart Objects
- Linked vs. embedded Smart Objects
- Creative transformations and warping
- Essential filters for designers
- Emulating traditional drawing techniques
- Working with shape and fill layers
- Pen tool basics
- Applying layer effects and styles
- Type essentials
- Creative brush techniques
- Working with libraries and artboards
- Exporting files and sharing images