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Layer Style Effects

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This tutorial will cover how to use layer style effects in Adobe Photoshop.


Step one - Open Adobe Photoshop, create a new document, fill in the background black and add some text.

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Or download this set-up file.

Accessing The Layer Styles

There are a couple of ways to do this.

1. Right click on the layer and go to blending options.

2. Go to layer>layer style>blending options...

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All the features of the layer styles are pretty much self-explaining. Here are some tips to make things look better.

1 - When it says Use Global Lighting, that means use the same light angle for the entire document. If you uncheck this, it will only be for the specific layer.

2 - To remove the original layer's color, go to the blending options and set the fill to 0%.

3 - Layer styles are not affected by the color of the original layer. They're only affected by the transparency. Example: black text on a white background won't work, but if the black text is on a seperate layer with transparency, it will work.

4 - If you intend to import the PSD file into Maya or a similar application, the program may not be able to read the layer styles.

Example 1

In this part we'll cover how to make a simple chrome text effect.

Step one - Check bevel and emboss.

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Step two - Go down to shading and check anti-aliased (AA).

Step three - Double click on the gloss contour.

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Step four - In the contour editor window, we'll change how the gloss falls on the text.

Step five - To change the curve, click on the line to add an edit point which later you can move. To make a hard corner, check corner after selecting an edit point.

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Create this profile to get the chrome result.

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Step six - Check gradient.

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Step seven - Double click on the gradient to open the gradient editor.

Create a gradient like the one in the image below.

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Now you're done.

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Example 2

Step one - Check outer glow.

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Step two - Set the structure color from solid color to gradient.

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Step three - Double click on the gradient and use the simple black to white gradient preset.

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Step four - Set the blending mode to normal. Set the spread to 27, and size to 9.

Step five - Check gradient map.

Step six - Create the same gradient map that we created for the previous example.

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Saving A Layer Style

You can save a layer style so you can use it later. To save a layer style, click the "new style..." button in the layer style window.

Set the name to something that reflects what the layers results are.

To assign a preset layer style to a new layer, simply use the style's palette on the interface. Your saved layer styles will appear here. This will be here even after you restart Adobe Photoshop.

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Copy & Pasting Layer Styles

You can copy and paste a layer style from layer to layer or document to document.

Step one - Right click on the layer and go to copy layer style.

Step two - Right click on the layer you want to assign the layer to and hit paste layer style.

Hiding And Removing Layer Styles

To hide a layer style, click on the eye icon beside it listed in the layers editor beneath the layer.

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To hide all the layer styles in the document, go to layer>layer style>hide all effects. To redisplay them, go back and hit show all effects.

To remove a layer style from a layer, right click on the layer and click clear layer style.

To remove a layer style but keep the result it creates, create a new empty layer beside the layer with the layer style. Select both layers and go to layer>merge layers. Note: You will not be able to edit the layer style after this.


I hope this tutorial got you up to speed with layer styles in Adobe Photoshop.

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