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Working With Layer Styles In Photoshop - Tutorial
Here's a free Photoshop tutorial from Photoshop Daily on using layer styles in Photoshop.
When it comes to embellishing projects, layer styles are an absolute boon. These are basically one-click effects that will be applied to anything on a layer. In addition to the old favourites such as drop shadow and bevel, you can also manipulate ones such as pattern overlay to add quick textures or designs.
We are going to be giving away layer styles in the future and have compiled this short tutorial to show you how to load them and also how to tweak the settings to get the exact effect you want. You may not call upon the layer styles much in your normal workflow but we really encourage you to do so. Once you get used to making the tweaks, you can create loads of preset effects to call upon whenever you need.
To begin, a new layer
You cannot apply a layer style to a background, a locked layer or a group, so chances are your first task on your style odyssey is to make a new layer. Simply click the New layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette or go to the Layer menu and choose New>Layer.
Make your mark
With your new layer active, apply your design. This can be a shape, a brush… anything you fancy. Layer styles will not work on clear selections; so if you have a shape or a path, fill it with colour. This will be replaced by the style you are applying. If you are using type, a new layer will automatically appear so no need to worry about this step.
Your next task is a trip to the Window menu to call up the Styles palette (if it hasn’t already made an appearance). This is where all of the layer styles live. To load new styles, such as the delicious ones we will be offering on Photoshop Daily, hop up to the right-pointing arrow and scroll down to Load Styles. This will attach the styles to the currently loaded ones. If you want to just see the new styles, click Replace Styles.
Pick and apply
Make sure you are on the layer you want to apply the style to. Go to the Styles palette and click one of the thumbnails to apply that style. If you hover over a thumbnail, a description/name will appear.
You can tinker with a style once it is applied. Double-click on the layer it has been applied to. This will call up the Layer Style dialog. Anything with a tick in the left-hand panel indicates that it has gone into making the style. If you click on the title next to the tick (it should highlight blue), you bring up the options for that feature. Here we have clicked on the Pattern Overlay title and used the Scale slider to reduce the size of the dotty pattern.
Adding to the effect
Of course, you can also add to the existing effect using any of the options on the left panel in the Layer Style dialog. Simply click the one you want to access the options and then apply as you see fit.
Text and images © Imagine Publishing Ltd and Photoshop Daily.
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