Posts tagged "Layer Styles"

November 8, 2016

Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: Design – Now Available on!

I’m excited to announce that my new Photoshop 2017 Essential Training: Design course is now live on!


Photoshop is a deep, complex, and at times intimidating product. If you’re using it for design, there may be many features you never want or need. In Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: Design, Julieanne Kost filters out the noise and complexity for designers, so that you’ll end up empowered and able to quickly get the results you want.

Photoshop CC and its companion app, Camera Raw, are loaded with tools and features for tonal adjustments, type and graphics treatments, and creative color, so you can always produce the highest quality output. This course gets you up to speed with Photoshop and shows the most efficient ways to perform common design tasks, including layout, image editing, drawing shapes, and working with type and fonts. Along the way, you will learn the secrets of nondestructive editing and mastering features such as layers, adjustment layers, filters, blending modes, layer effects, typography, custom brushes, and much more.

Topics include:

•Working with Smart Objects

•Warping images

•Reshaping images with Liquify

•Using filters, including blur and patterns

•Creating shapes

•Applying blend modes

•Applying layer effects and layer styles

•Working with type and fonts

•Painting in Photoshop

•Using and sharing libraries

•Exporting and sharing Photoshop files

If you’re looking for more information, you can check out all of my courses here including:

Bridge CC Essential Training

Adobe Camera Raw Essential Training

Photoshop 2017 Essential Training: The Basics

Photoshop 2017 Essential Training: Photography

Introduction to Photo Compositing

The Art of Photoshop Compositing

Photoshop CS6 Essential Training

And did you know that you can watch these videos off-line by using the desktop or mobile app?


5:09 AM Permalink
October 13, 2016

Changing Layer Effects Global Lighting Default Settings in Photoshop CC

To change the default Angle and Altitude for the Global Light feature (which is used by several of the Layer Effects / Styles), close all documents, then select Layer > Layer Style > Global Light and make your desired changes. These new setting will become your new defaults.

5:25 AM Permalink
October 11, 2016

Moving and Duplicating Layer Effects and Styles in Photoshop CC

To move Layer Effects from one layer to another, drag the fx icon (or the word Effects). To copy Layer Effects from one layer to another, Option -drag  (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) the fx icon (or the word Effects).

To move an individual Layer Effect from one layer to another, drag the name of the individual effect (Stroke, Drop Shadow etc.). Add the Option  (Mac) | Alt  (Win) key to copy the individual effect from one layer to another.

5:22 AM Permalink
October 10, 2016

Displaying Layer Effects in Photoshop CC

When Layer Effects are applied to a layer, the effects are displayed in a list under the layer in the Layers panel. Depending on how many effects are applied, as well as how many layers have these effects, the Layers panel can quickly become crowded.

To collapse the Layer Effects stack, in the Layers panel, click the disclosure triangle to the right of the fx icon.

To collapse all Layer Effects, Option-click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the disclosure triangle to the right of the fx icon.

To  collapse Layer Effects when they’re added, from the Layers panel fly-out menu, select Panel Options and uncheck Expand New Effects.

5:21 AM Permalink
September 17, 2015

Adding a Keyline Around an Image in Photoshop

Discover how easy it is to add a keyline around an image in Photoshop with this free video (Adding a Keyline Around an Image in Photoshop), from!


5:41 AM Permalink
June 15, 2015

Julieanne’s Top 5 New Features in Photoshop CC 2015

There are a lot of great new features in the Photoshop CC 2015 release. Here are my top 5 for photographers!
1) Dehaze

The new Dehaze control in Lightroom CC and Adobe Camera Raw can help you to dramatically improve an image by removing haze. The Dehaze technology is based on a physical model of how light is transmitted, and it tries to estimate light that is lost due to absorption and scattering through the atmosphere. For the best results, you’ll want to set the white balance for the image before using Dehaze. Then, in the Effects panel, move the slider to the right – to easily remove the haze from the original scene. Move the slider to the left to add a creative haze effect.You can choose to make very subtle to very significant adjustments – if you’re pushing the slider to the extreme, you might want to refine the image using the Basic panel (increasing the shadow detail or refining the Vibrance slider) in order to achieve the exact look that you’re after.

Original image and with the addition of the Dehaze feature (slider set to +68).

Original image and with the addition of the Dehaze feature (slider set to +68).

Original image and with the subtraction of the Dehaze feature (slider set to -72)

Original image and with the subtraction of the Dehaze feature (slider set to -72)

When moving the slider, there is very little change in the highlight area (on the right side of the Histogram), while the shadows and lower portion of the histogram is clearly being changed. If you are concerned that the darker values in the image are being clipped to pure black, Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) -drag the slider to see the black point clipping visualization. When you see black areas appear in the image, you know that you’re starting to clip to pure black and can back off. In addition, Dehaze can be added locally by applying ACR as a Smart Filter in Photoshop.

2) Restore Noise in Blur Gallery

As many of you have already discovered, Photoshop has the ability to add a number of different types of blurs to an image. However in previous versions, it was always a challenge to add noise back into the blurred area in order to create a more realistic effect. Now, when selecting any of the blur gallery filters, you have the option to add Uniform, Gaussian or Grain noise back into the blurred areas in order to closely match the restored noise with the original image. For the most flexible and nondestructive workflow, convert the layer(s) into Smart Objects before using Blur Gallery.

Path Blur without Noise applied.

Path Blur without Noise applied.

Path Blur with Noise applied.

Path Blur with Noise applied.

The Noise panel includes the following adjustments:
• Noise – this checkbox turns the Noise on/off. (It’s not just a preview, if you turn it off, the noise will not be applied to the result.)
• Type – select between Uniform, Gaussian, and Grain (this is the same Grain that is found in Camera Raw).
• Amount – the amount of contrast added to the noise.
• Size –  controls particle size for Grain. It is the same control as found in Camera Raw and is not available for Gaussian or Uniform.
• Roughness –  controls the regularity of the grain. A negative value makes the grain more uniform, a positive value makes the noise more uneven. It is the same control as found in Camera Raw and is not available for Gaussian or Uniform.
• Color – controls how much color appears in the grain (from monochromatic to highly saturated).
• Highlight – suppresses the application of noise in the highlight areas (for better highlight/shadow matching).
in addition, the Spin and Path blurs now also have the ability to save their own masks. (The Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift blurs are still combined in a single mask.)
Note: If the Noise panel is not visible, choose Reset Blur Gallery from the workspace menu in the top right.)

3) Improvements to Content Aware
• The Healing Brush, Spot Healing, and Patch tool are now faster (healing in real time!) and deliver higher quality results.
• The Content-Aware Move tool can now rotate, scale and flip images – allowing you to transform the object being moved. The tool’s Extend option includes the same “transform before dropping” capability as well.
• File > Automate > Photomerge has a new check box that enables automatic filling of transparent edges using Content-Aware technology (the fill is placed upon its own layer so that you can quickly refine if necessary).

Photoshop automatically applies Content-Aware fill in the transparent areas of the panorama.

Photoshop automatically applies Ccontent-Aware Fill in the transparent areas of the panorama.

4) Multiple Layer Styles
You can now add multiple strokes, color and gradient overlays, and drop shadows as Layer Styles in Photoshop. Click the plus icon to add multiple copies of these effects (each one can be applied up to 10 times). Use the arrows to reorder within the group with in the Layer effects panel (or reposition in the Layers panel).

Multiple strokes applied to the same layer using Layer Styles.

Multiple strokes applied to the same layer using Layer Styles.

5) The Glyphs Panel
Photoshop has a Glyphs panel! Choose to see all of the glyphs for the entire font, or any of the subsets from the list. If the character shows a black dot in the lower right corner, clicking and holding will display variances. Double-click on a glyph to insert it. At the bottom of the Glyphs panel, use the slider to zoom the glyphs, or use the scale-down/scale-up icons to zoom the preview within the grid.


If you’re a designer, be sure to check out this video to find out more about additional new features in Photoshop including Artboards, CC Libraries, Layer Styles, and Adobe Stock. Or, if you more involved in screen design/Web/UI/UX, be sure to check out this video to find out more about Adobe Stock, CC Libraries, Layer Styles, Design Space (Preview), Live Device Preview, and Quick Export.

9:30 PM Permalink
December 5, 2014

Applying Effects and Styles to Layer Groups in Photoshop

When you want to apply the same Layer Style (or Effect), to multiple layers in a document, try putting all of the layers into a Group and then add the Layer Style to the Group (instead of adding the Layer Style to each layer). That way, if you have to make changes to the Layer Style, you only have to  make the change to the Layer Style on the Group.

I the example below, I put all of the layers that needed the same Layer Effect into the “Fish” Layer Group.

Because the Layer Style was applied to the “Fish” Layer Group, the Layer Style is automatically applied to all three layers included in the Group. Notice how the large “fish” on the left has a gradient and pattern overlay while the two other “fish” (whose layers aren’t included in the group) do not.

Any layers that I add to that Group will automatically have the Layer Effect Applied.

layer Styles are automatically applied as additional layers are added to the group.

Here, all of the layers that make up all three of the “fish” have been added to the “Fish” Group, so they all have the same gradient and pattern overlay (because Layer Styles applied to a Group are automatically applied as additional layers as they are added to the group).

One word of caution: if you have layers within the Group that overlap one another, Photoshop is going to act as if all of the layers within the Group are merged and then applies the Layer Style. In the illustration below, see how repositioning the two shapes in the Layer Group so that they overlap creates a very different result than when the Layer effects are added to each individual layer.

Even though the three Seaweed layers are within the group, each layer has it's own Layer style applied and we get the same results that we would if the layers were not with in a group

In this example,the same layer Style is applied to each plant layer.

layer style

In this example, the Layer Style is applied to the Layer Group. Notice how it appears as if the three plant layers are merged before the layer style is applied.

Note: if you do need to apply the same Layer Styles to several individual layers, there are many different ways to do this. My favorite method is to copy and paste via the context sensitive menu: Control -click (Mac) | Right -click Win to the right of the layer name on the layer with the desired style and choose “Copy Layer Style” from the context sensitive menu. Then, select the layers that need the layer style applied and Control -click (Mac) | Right -click Win in the layer (to the right of the name) and select “Paste Layer Style”.

5:12 AM Permalink
October 8, 2013

Applying Blend Modes to Layers and/or Layer Groups in Photoshop

To be more efficient when working with multiple layers, you can drag multiple layers into a Layer Group and add a Layer Style or Effect to the group (instead of to each individual layer). But there is a slight difference that you should be aware of. When you add an Effect/Style to a group, Photoshop treats the contents of the group as if they are merged/flattened before adding the Effect/Style. As long as nothing is overlapping, this is not a problem, and the advantages is that if you want to change the Effect/Style, you only have to change the one on the group (not on each individual layer). Of course this might also be the look that you are trying to achieve!

Layer Effect/Style applied to Layer Group.

Layer Effect/Style applied to Layer Group.

If you do have multiple layers that overlap (and don’t want the effect to appear as if the layers are merged), then you can apply the Effect/Style to one layer and copy/paste it to others. To do this, add the desired Effect/Style. Then, Control -click (Mac) | Right Mouse -click (Win) on the Effect/Style in the Layers panel and choose Copy Layer Style. Then, select all of the other layers and Control -click (Mac) | Right Mouse -click (Win) and paste the effect.

Layer Effect/Style applied to each individual layer.

Layer Effect/Style applied to each individual layer.

5:25 AM Permalink
February 22, 2013

“Blend If” Sliders in Photoshop

One of the ways that Photoshop can help blend multiple images together is through using the “Blend If” sliders in the Blending Options of the Layer Styles dialog. In this example I want to blend the clouds from the first image into the sky of the rock image.




With the Cloud image selected on the Layers panel, I choose layer > Layer Style > Blending Options (or, you can use the fx icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Blending Options…).


In the Layer Styles dialog, I moved the black slider for the Underlying Layer to the right to hide the dark foreground values of the cloud image. In order to create a smooth transition, Option + (Mac) | Alt  + (Win) click and drag the black triangle to split it into two. The values to the left of the split triangle will be completely transparent the values between the split triangle will transition from transparent to opaque, and the values to the right of the second split triangle will be fully opaque.


It’s OK if the rock in the foreground is semi transparent at this point – you want to focus on the “transitional areas” – where the new sky (the clouds) will meet the  ocean and the top of the rocks.


To bring back the solid rocks in the foreground, I made a copy of the rock layer and moved it above the new sky (the clouds) layer in the Layers panel. Then, I added a layer mask and painted with black to hide the drab sky and reveal the clouds below, while keeping the rocks solid.


Because this example has a fairly straightforward horizon to mask, you might feel that I’m making this process or technique overly complicated. However, the Blend if sliders can be tremendously useful when masking detailed objects such as a tree against a sky. Notice that you can even change the Blend If options to blend individual color channels.

5:09 AM Permalink
January 23, 2013

Scaling Effect/Styles in Photoshop CS6

Selecting Image > Image Size and changing the size of an image will scale the Effect/Styles applied to layers within the image (as long as the Scale Styles option is checked in the Image size dialog box), keeping the Effect/Style in proportion to the layers to which they are applied. However, when using Edit > Free Transform to scale an individual layer that has a Layer Effect/Style applied to it, Photoshop will not scale the Effect/Style. For example, if you apply a stroke of 6 pixels on a layer, using Free transform to scale the image larger or smaller, Photoshop will not change the Effect/ Style – the layer will still have a stroke of 6 pixels applied. To scale the Effect/ Style, do one of the following:

• Note the percentage the layer was scaled using Free Transform and then enter that value in the Layer > Layer Style > Scale Effect dialog box. This is much easier than changing the values in the Layer Style dialog (especially when multiple effects have been applied).

• Or, before using Free transform on the layer with the Style/Effect, convert the layer to a Smart Object and then transform.

5:32 AM Permalink
August 9, 2012

Animating Layer Style’s Global Lighting in the Timeline Panel

Style (or Layer Style) is one of the many attributes that can be changed over time using keyframes in the Timeline panel in Photoshop CS6. Most of the Layer Style options use directional lighting to create the desired effect (such as drop shadows, bevel and emboss, inner shadows etc.).

Depending on your image, you may have a number of individual objects (type layers, video clips, shape layers etc.) which you want to cast shadows at different angles. This can be accomplished by turning off the Global Lighting check box in the Layer Styles dialog for each layer. If, however, you want all of the objects to cast the same shadow at the same angle, then either turn on the Global Lighting check box in the Layer Styles dialog for each layer or, use the Global Light Track on the Timeline panel to change all layers lighting (and therefore the direction of the shadows) at once.  And of course the Global lighting direction can be changed, over time, using keyframes!

5:18 AM Permalink
May 1, 2012

Updates Layer Effects/ Styles in Photoshop CS6

In case you didn’t watch the video in yesterday’s post, here are some of the changes made to the Layer Effects/Styles in Photoshop CS6:

• The menu order of the Layer Effects/Styles has changed. Although it might not be obvious at first, they are now in the order in which they are applied to the content in the layer. For example, the Drop Shadow effect is applied (or will be rendered) below all other Effects, the Bevel and Emboss will rendered on top of any other Effects. This should help when visualizing how several effects are going to be applied to the contents of a layer or group.

• Layer Effects/Styles can be applied to Groups. As you can see in the illustration below, the layers on the left have a Stroke effect applied to each layer individually. The layers on the right have the Stroke effect applied to the Group. Applying the Layer Effect/Style to the Group has a different result because the layers are all treated as one (as if they are flattened) before the Layer Effect/Style is applied to the Group.

• Option -click (Mac) | Alt (Win) -click the disclosure triangle on the Layers panel to the right of the “fx” icon to hide/reveal all Layer Effect/Styles in the document.

• Both the Gradient Overlay and Stroke Layer Effects have a “Dither” option. Note: to apply a dither on a Stroke, first change the Fill Type to Gradient.

• There is a new command (Layer > Rasterize > Layer Style) which renders the layer effect into the layer (think of it as merging or flattening the Layer Effect/Style  with the content of the layer).

• If any changes have been made in the Layer Style dialog under the Advanced Blending area, a new Blending Effects icon is displayed on the layer in the Layers panel.

5:03 AM Permalink
October 17, 2011

A Dozen of my Favorite Little Known Features in PSCS5

In a recent presentation I was asked to share some “lesser” known features from Photoshop CS5. I have noted all of the following in my blog at some point, but here are a dozen of my favorites all together:

1) Changing Brush Size – With a painting tool selected, Control + Option (Mac) – drag left/right in order to decrease/ increase brush size. To decrease/ increase brush hardness, drag up/down. On Windows, Shift + Alt -drag left right to decrease/ increase brush size and up/down decrease/ increase brush hardness.

2) On Screen Color Picker – To access the new HUD color Picker, with a painting tool selected, Control + Option + Command (Mac) -click and drag to select a color. On Windows, Shift + Alt + right-click and drag to select a color. Or, if that shortcut is too much to remember, to display the color picker using a keyboard shortcut, choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Under the Shortcuts for “Tools” scroll to the bottom to locate the “Foreground Color Picker ” line item and enter in your own custom keyboard shortcut.

3) The Eyedropper Tool – Clicking in the image area with the Eyedropper tool now displays a sample ring. The “new” color (the one being sampled) is displayed in the upper half of the ring while the current (or foreground color before sampling) is displayed in the bottom half. The ring is surrounded by grey to help neutralize surrounding colors that may influence color choices. The sample ring can be toggled off/on by unchecking/checking Show Sample Ring in the Options bar. Or, if you’re an avid user of Tool presets, make one with the ring turned on, the other with it off. In addition Control (Mac) / Right Mouse (Win) -click to select the Sample Size or Copy the Color as Hex Code or HTML

4) Scrubby Zoom – With the Zoom tool selected, click-drag to the right to zoom in, click-drag to the left to Zoom out. This new feature adds the benefit of being able to quickly zoom in AND zoom out to a specific location, however, if you prefer the legacy behavior (click-drag over the area to zoom into), disable Scrubby Zoom in the Options Bar. In addition, when viewing multiple images simultaneously, Shift -drag with the Hand tool to pan all open documents. Similarly, shift -clicking with the Zoom tool will zoom all images simultaneously. To set this as the default behavior, with the Zoom or Hand tool selected, check the “Zoom all Windows” and/or “Pan all Windows” in the Option bar.

5) Saving 16 Bit Images as JPEG – If you’re working with 16 bit files and want to save them as a JPEG, you can now select the JPEG file format from the list in the Save As dialog box. However, you need to know that saving as a JPEG will convert the file from 16 bit down to 8 bit (as the JPEG file format does not support 16 bit). Note: it is also important to note if you’re saving a layered file as a JPEG, Photoshop will flatten the file as the JPEG file format does not support layers.

6) Saving Files to Their Original Folders  – By default, when saving files, Photoshop will automatically navigate to the folder where the last file was saved. To save files to their original folder, select Preferences > File Handling > and check on the “Save As to Original Folder” option.

7) Auto-Select Parameter for Adjustment Layers  – In order to automatically put the keyboard focus onto the first field in the Adjustment panel, use the fly out menu in the Adjustments panel, and select Auto-Select Parameter (this behavior was added as it is similar to the legacy way of working with image adjustment dialog boxes – as oppose to the adjustment panel). Return (Mac) / Enter (Win) + Shift is another way to put the keyboard focus onto the first field in the Adjustment panel. You can also use a keyboard shortcut to select the Targeted Adjustment Tool while using a Hue/Saturation, Curves, or Black & White adjustment layer, choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Under the Shortcuts for “Tools” scroll the towards the bottom of the list to locate the “Targeted Adjustment Tool” line item and enter in your own custom keyboard shortcut.

8)The Crop Tool Overlay – With the Crop tool selected, drag out the crop marquee and then, in the Options bar, choose Between Rule of Thirds, Grid or None for the Crop Guide Overlay. Note, you must first drag out the crop in the image area for this setting to appear in the Options bar.

9) Control Change the Opacity/Fill of Multiple Layers  – Simply select multiple layers in the Layers panel and use the Opacity and/or Fill slider to change the Opacity/Fill of all selected layers at once.

10) Layer Styles – In order to customize the default Layer Style settings, select Layer > Layer Style (or click the fx icon at the bottom of the Layers panel). In the Layer Style dialog, make the desired changes, and click the Make Default button. If you make changes to the style and want to reset the changes to your custom default, click the Reset to Default button.

11) Panorama Stitching  – When using the Auto-Align Layers command Photoshop now leverages lens correction profiles (if applied).

12) Non-rotating Brushes with Rotate View – When using the Rotate View tool to rotate the canvas for easier drawing and painting, the brushes will no longer rotate with the canvas rotation; instead they remain at the orientation of the original artwork regardless of the viewing angle.

4:54 AM Permalink
May 23, 2011

Scaling Layer Effects and Styles

Selecting Image > Image Size and changing the size of the image will scale the Effect/Style (as long as the Scale Styles option is checked), keeping the Effect/Style in proportion to the layers to which they are applied. However, when using Free Transform to scale an individual layer that has a Layer Effect/Style applied to it,  it will not scale the Effect/Style. To scale the layer style, note what percentage the layer was scaled using Free Transform and then enter that value in the Layer > Layer Style > Scale Effect dialog box. Or, before using Free transform, convert the layer to a Smart Object and resize.


4:30 AM Permalink
January 19, 2011

Adding a Color Wash to Multiple Layers Using a Layer Style

To add a color wash to multiple layers, create a new layer and fill it with any color (we will hide the color in a minute but you need the layer to be filled with something in order for this to work). Click the “Add a Layer Style” icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose “Blending Options” from the list. In the Layer Style dialog, in the Advanced Blending area  set the Fill opacity slider to 0 (zero).  Click Gradient Overlay to display it’s options, Set the Blend Mode to Color and choose a gradient preset (by clicking on the small downward facing triangle to the right of the gradient) or create your own (by clicking in the gradient area and using the Gradient Editor). Of course you can always experiment with other blend modes such as Soft Light, Hue and Multiply, Color is simply a starting point.

5:11 AM Permalink