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Layer Styles

Lesson 6 from: Advanced Adobe Photoshop Techniques

Dave Cross

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Lesson Info

6. Layer Styles

Lesson Info

Layer Styles

I want to talk a little bit about layer styles but in ways that perhaps a lot of people don't think about most people of if I had a room full of photo shop users and I say what's a layer style I'd probably here drop shadow bevel on boss stroke like everything in this menu because these are all considered layer styles and that's what they are the problem is that's what most people see where they stop thinking about layer stiles is I'm going to do a bevel on boss and have it look like I'm one of the top right and conical air and you know change some settings and that's the end of it I click okay and now I have this thing that says bevel on boss layer styles one of the advantage of them as you can save layer styles as presets and you can also copy them from one layer to another so for example in this case if I simply I said well now that I've done this very subtle little bevel boss let's make it a lot a little less subtle so we can see something that I've actually done here I want the res...

t of the type to look this way then several options one would be our good friend option all drag and each time I do I can just copy it onto these other layers that would be one option which although it works now I have one two three four five separate type players each with a version of that layer style but if I want to change one I don't do that over again because it's not going to duplicate so in the long run that's probably not the best idea a better choice would probably be to copy the layer style take all of these layers put them in a group and then paste the layer style to the group so that way everything inside the group is now got that same style except I copied it earlier slummy but this other things you can see it again so now the advantage is I still have five separate type players which I want to be able to move but now if I decide to edit the setting as you just saw there I'm editing it for the entire every layer inside that group and one of the advantages of group based layer stiles is if I decide at some point toe add a new layer and here and let's just take our paintbrush for the sake of argument in hand put something in there than it automatically has the style applied to it so I don't have to worry about because anything inside that group will automatically have the style the other potential ied often if I just have a couple of layers I may decide to just drag and drop that layer style but here's the meet of what I want to really talk about with this with what also is concerned part of a layer style if I double click on here you see not only do I have all of these typical things most people think of four layer styles I also have blend mode is considered part of a layer layer style so is opacity so it's phil opacity so's knockout so it's blended sliders so if you had a particular effect that you created that was a combination ofthe overlay blend load of fifty percent capacity with this knockout in this blended slider you khun save that as a preset and then just apply it with one click toe other layers so let's do that with one just so we're talking machines the phil opacity put a devil in boss back on but that also changes to multiply rapacity and take this underlying layer it's gonna be pretty subtle but hopefully can see what's happening up there of some different things are happening if I now click this button that says new style I can save this is a preset for layer styles I'll show you where these are in a second was call it something for now so now up here in the styles panel here all different styles and the one I just created is right here so now I can just go to any one of these other layers of my click on it it applies everything not just thie bevel on boss but everything inside their blend mose you see that's got that phil opacity so the key thing I wanna make sure we all understand here is that most people I talked to when they think layers style they think the traditional you know evelyn boss drop shadow stroke which is fine but if you think I have an effect where all mall we changing the blend mode where I'm always changing the blend of sliders or some combination that is also part of a layer style so if you had ah whole bunch of effects you're doing where you needed to every single layer replicate the same thing instead of having to go back and look and see how you did it and then do it over again you just save it as a style and then this style becomes one that you can very easily apply just by a clique you it's hard to tell on here but as a side little thing let me get two different type player normally when you have styles if I for example click on this style it adds a drop shadow if I click on this style which has changed the color to green it says okay so you don't want to drop show anymore you want to just add inside switch to a different one each time you click on a different one of these styles it's saying override whatever it was and now do something else so one of the nice little things we can do here and I discovered this one I love these things right it was completed by accident I did this I was trying something else obsolete wait a minute so I went through when I made a style that on lee has a drop shadow and on lee has green and I could obviously have a lot more than just these two just want to show you the idea if I click on the add drop shadow but then hold down the shift key and click on the green that means add to it so instead of saying never mind the drop shot now make it a green layer style you can add on them so if you think about it if you have particular looks used all the time you could make a single laywer style presets for just a drop shadow just a bevel of boss just or whatever and then combined them just by going shift click click click now the only challenge or a warning label here is when I first tried in my head I was thinking well of shift ads that may be optional removes the problem is it removes it all right from the layer style dollar loss completely so it doesn't take it off the layer it deletes it from the style panel so don't do that so unfortunately is the only way to do that would be to go with an individually take off any styles you didn't want just as an aside by the way these built in layer styles a lot of them are no lie just goofy they're just odd I don't know why they're there except for one thing if you click on a layer style and you kind of go really this is thies air layer styles that adobe have provided to you but what it does do that I would say is if there's any good thing to it is if you're like I'm not sure how it did that you can go on looking it'll tell show you well this effect was done by using these settings so even though some of them at first glance and I often make jokes about how weird and crazy some of these are at the very least you can still might be able to learn something from them because a preset one of his manages you click on it it applies it but it's still not permanent meaning you can go in and still keep working on it from there so bottom line for that whole discussion is please don't limit your thinking of layer styles on ly two thie discussion of things like drop shadows and everything else all right here's another example of something that I've talked about quite often but it still surprises me and this is why I keep coming back to this this is not a new function it's been around for a while and almost every time I show it high percentage people like oh that's really useful and I know that the next time I'm working on a similar project they complete forget about it because it's not obvious but it's for me there's some great benefits to it in different circumstances I'm going to start off showing it this way because it's probably the most common way I would use it is often when I'm tryingto put together a series of layers I'm not exactly sure what I want in terms of positioning I want to give myself options so I'm going to temporarily change the display of my layers pals was much more agency I have a bunch of different layers and they're different options for me so I might want one version where the film strip is on this side another version where it's over here and have another one where it's kind of curvy doubt the bottom so set of me spending all my time going in and saying hi this show this move this I take advantage of this function called layer camps which allows me to in effect record what layers are showing their visibility their position how they look so for example I'm going to say for now that I want this to be my first look that I want to preserve now I've already done a whole bunch of to show you um so let's see if I have one okay so I'm going to just click this new button and name it something that makes sense to you because you're going to look at the name is going to somehow remind you so I'm gonna put film strip left small photo bottom left white type and I have I don't want him to be too long so I used different little short forms notice it's saying I will remember the visibility position and appearance and now we know appearance layer style also means blend modes and all those things and there you can put comments if you want so if you want to put something in here you could then you click okay and eventually you end up with something that looks like this that's a big long list so now if I was showing this girl or her parents hey here's the different options you could have for that nice big print you're going to make instead of me having to go well hold on a second while I show on hide all these layers and move things around all I do as I click on one of these layer comes so this is the most simplest one and there's one looks like this and then there's one that has text here for fifty percent or this is one with the filmstrip they're the angle filmstrip this one and then the one I just made now all it's doing is the equivalent of me moving on my layers palin going hide show hide move two percent capacity but it's remembering that's recorded as part of the layer comes so it's a huge time saver when you're trying to look at different combinations in there decide for yourself or show someone else and say which of these do you like now I always start with a version like this with lots of layers but it could also be a simple as I'm trying to create a really nice looking black and white photo and it could be just the black and white doesn't wear or could be black and white and gray and map or could be those and hugh saturation and you give yourself three or four options and then just these two these two on ly that one instead of you having every time go through and click on and off the layer camps this is where it just gets a lot easier because of the way that it it's remembering all this this on lee works if you have of course multiple layers and you save it as a psd file laywer coms are packaged inside as very little to your file size does always adjust basically text instructions that say remember these settings but the alternative which I frankly used to do many moons ago before layer comes was end up with like we'll make one version of document called this and one version called that there were variations on a theme not have like five different jpeg file instead of one document with a whole bunch of different looks at the end if you're finished and now you want to or maybe the person isn't standing next to you there is a script called layer comes the files or layer comes to pdf which will make either separate j peg files or a pdf file with one page per layer comp so that's a really nice way if you're tryingto experiment and then compare them all and see what you do the only trick toe layer coms is for example here I had I have some white type and then I had another one that had black type that had to be two separate type players because the one thing layer comes does not record is the content of that layer in other words if the layer is black it's always black I can't make one layer compass say make that same layer white now make it black that's not gonna work so if you wanna have two different typefaces two different sizes of logos or anything like that you have to make two arm or separate layers and then showing high them with layer comes that's usually the biggest roadblock for people layer comes at first until you realize it and then it's like okay that's just the way it works but for me I use this gosh so often because it's just such a valuable time saver for me especially if I'm working with someone else and I want to say hey here's what this looks like now I got a bunch of keyboard shortcuts for you when you're working with layers and mostly I show these because I watched people and how much how long it's taking them to do something which should be fairly simple so I've got a bunch of layers here and I wanna work on a particular layer depending on what it is I might be able to look at it and go oh yeah it's this one here but if I had several versions of the same layer I'm not sure which one it is I can do a couple of different things with my move tool if I hold down the command or control key and I'm just gonna turn off thes guides for a second so even already have the move tool command or control click on a layer will automatically see what's happening the layers panel it's automatically choosing the correct layer for me so I don't have to remember which one it is I just it's the same is this auto select layer temporarily personally I don't like office leclair all the time because sometimes I just want to move something and by mistake I select the wrong layer so this way I'm controlling it by saying on ly auto select the layer when I tell you to so that's one option the other option is if you have multiple layers all in about the same location if you right click it will pop up and say these air the layers that are available right where your mouses now if you're one of those people who gets in the habit of not naming your layers then this might not be terribly healthy if you looked and said layer one layer to layer seven layer nine copy for and be like I have no idea so this is one reason if you don't currently name your layers not a bad idea to do it so it's a lot easier to do this kind of thing all right let's get our display back up a little bigger so you can see better what's happening if you are in the layers panel and you just decide I just want to pick a inappropriate layer there's a lot of keyboard shortcuts and hear that involved the bracket keys so if I do option or all brackett it's going to just go down and select the next layer down so I'm using left bracket he just looked at the layers panel see how it's going to the next layer down if I use optional on the right bracket it's going all I'm doing I'm not moving layers I'm just the equivalent me instead of taking my mouse clicking on a layer I want teo click using it this keyboard shortcut the reason this is valuable because if I only have five layers why wouldn't I just click on it is if you've ever recorded in action with layers here's the biggest gotcha with layers if you're recording an action and you click on a layer called team from now on that action is gonna look for a layer called team where is really what you probably want is select the next layer down whatever it's called so using the keyboard shortcut in the action all records is select the next layer below not by name and that's when the biggest roadblocks people run into with actions is they don't realise that and they go toe just click on the next layer down but it's now recorded from now on so they'll get an error message another document because there happens to not be a layer called that if you do want to actually move a layer up that's right come in I was to get this one mixed up so I don't use it as often so it's still the bracke but commander control in the bracket actually moves the position of the layer up or down in the layers panel so if you're experimenting I want to say I'm not sure which looks better up here or down there instead of you dragging it up or down this does the same thing is by using it with the keyboard shortcut one that I use all the time and it's just a simple laziness more than anything else I'm going to start a new document for a second just tow make life easier okay so let's just get something on here so you can see it good joke and matter okay so I have some text on here and I want to put on element behind the text by nature when you press the keyboard or press the button for at a new layer it's gonna add the layer above and they have to move it down so just to save time if you hold down commander control and click on the layer it automatically puts the layer below your current want to set him on top so it's not a huge time saver but it's one of those ones where I just it's quicker I mentioned earlier about using this short cut or the ability to hide a layer by turning off the eyeball that's still suggest that of course we have to take our mouths and move over and click on that eyeball but remember before I talked about that layer opacity shortcut one for ten to twenty etcetera photo shop cs six I am pretty sure introduced one new one which at first I was kind of like why would you ever want to do that I thought oh that's actually kind of interesting and that is and this sounds like a really bad tongue twister at first so one is ten zero was one hundred zero zero is zero so if I have this layer active and my cursor is way over here I just press zero zero and now that layer is invisible if I press zero it's visible so it was a shortcut to kind of toggle on and off a layers visibility don't have to go and click on it you press zero zero for zero zero for one hundred I love saying that was funny zero zero zero zero for one hundred when you try it it makes perfect sense just saying it out loud is kind of like um let's see the um oh here's a kind of an odd one uh let's see where I wanna make sure I'm doing showing us right when you press undo or step backwards it steps back through every function except by default it does not undo laywer opacity so if you change the layer to fifty percent and you went to undo it wouldn't go back to one hundred because they feel like that's an option you mayor not want personally I want to have a linear step backwards that ghost or whatever I did including opacity so in the history panel there's a thing called history options and one of them is allow you to make layer change visibility changes undoable so it's a personal preference personally once I had that on it just made sense to me to be able to include that but that's kind of a hidden things not obvious but if you want an option to do that you certainly can uh see I think that was okay I have to show you this one because it's just it cracks me up because it's just so funny that it's like the most bizarre keyboard shortcut in the world and I have to look at to make sure I'm doing it right okay usually when there's keyboard shortcuts to me it's usually like we talked before the brushes it's like the period the kama right besides other greater than less than something like that but one of things that we have to do in photo shop is when we have a layer with the mass we have either click on the layer or click on the mass depending which woman wanna work on so there's actually keyboard shortcut to do that it's just about the most bizarre shortcut ever so if I'm on the layer and I want to get to the layer mask I press commander control backslash and it's very subtly afters look at the I can see now the thumbnail the layer selected by command press command control to its the layer which is just I like to show that causes one the most bizarre that they decided back slash and to kind of opposite of each other not really okay that uh wraps up our session on layers including some shortcuts

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Using Photoshop, Illustrator, & InDesign

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a Creativelive Student

I am an experienced photographer and retoucher and this Advanced Photoshop class with Dave Cross was exactly what I was hoping to find. I know how to accomplish everything I need in Photoshop, but was looking for the ways that I could update my workflow with the new features that have been added by Adobe. The complete use of Smart Objects and libraries is already changing my life and is incredibly useful and time saving. Dave gave a great explanation about the coarse at the beginning as to the fact that he just wanted to help users make their workflow better and he did just that...and in an enjoyable way. I highly recommend this class!

a Creativelive Student

While not highly experienced in PS I'm also not a newbie. I've done a few other online courses and am a member of other training sites but very quickly found I got information here that I hadn';t yet come across. Nesting smart objects and the non-destructive editing abilities they give me was one of those light bulb moments. Lots of other useful information in this course. Had to try the CC Library as a result. Very useful..... wish it saved the layer comps with your file though. Put some of these new learnt skills into a composite straight away.... did I say I'm loving nested smart objects!! A great course Dave.


Brilliant, love Dave's clear presentation style which is easy to follow, simply had to buy this one. I thought i had a pretty good grasp on photoshop but I'm delighted at how some of these seemingly simple tips and tricks have improved the quality of my final images and the speed at which I can work.

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