Posts tagged "Layer Styles"

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.

08_JKost_Clouds

08_JKost_Rocks

 

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…).

08_JKost_layerss

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.

08_JKost_lsss

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.

08_JKost_BlendIf

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.

08_JKost_BlendIfCombo

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
January 18, 2011

Adding a Color Wash to a Single Layer Using a Layer Style

To add a color wash (or color overlay) to a layer using a Gradient Layer Style, simply select the layer and click the “Add a Layer Style” icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and select Gradient Overlay from the list. (Note: the Layer Style must be applied to a layer, not the Background, to turn the background into a layer, double click the word Background.) In the Layer Style dialog, in the Gradient Overlay area, 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). The advantage of using a gradient Layer Style over a Gradient Layer, is that this “effect” can be saved as a style (by clicking the New Style button in the Layer Style dialog) and then applied to any other image with a single click (using the Styles panel).

5:10 AM Permalink
July 29, 2010

Applying Layer Effects to Multiple Layers

To apply a Layer Effect (Style) to multiple layers, create the Layer Effect (such as a Stroke, Drop Shadow etc.) and save the Effect as a Style by clicking the “New Style” option in the Layer Style dialog or clicking the “New Style” icon on the Styles panel). Then, in the Layers panel, select multiple layers and click the desired Style in the Styles panel to apply the Style to all selected layers.

6:12 AM Permalink
June 2, 2010

Customize the Layer Style’s Defaults

PSCS5 – 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.

5:55 AM Permalink
March 5, 2010

Renaming in Panels

If you choose to view your swatches (or styles) as a list, you can double click on the name of the swatch to rename it (this is true for any panel that displays it’s items as lists (Actions, Layer Comps etc.).

6:24 AM Permalink
February 9, 2010

Delicate Mask Clean-Up

After adding a layer mask to hide portions of a layer, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if there are any small bits of the layer that have been accidently left behind. In this case, it might be helpful to temporarily add a layer effect such as a bright red stroke ( Layer > Layer Style > Stroke and click the color swatch to choose a vibrant color) . The stroke will now appear around any small areas of the mask that you may need to clean up. When finished, simply remove the layer effect by dragging the “fx” icon on the Layers panel to the Trash icon).

6:58 AM Permalink
September 22, 2009

Create Transparent Text While Retaining Styles

To hide the text (or any image information on a layer) but keep the layer style effects visible (a drop shadow for example), decrease the Fill amount on the Layers panel. Note: decreasing the Opacity amount will decrease the layer information as well as any Layer Styles applied.

3:53 AM Permalink
September 21, 2009

Setting Default Styles

While you can’t change the default style settings that appear in the Layer Styles dialog (although I have to mention how happy I am to see that the default Stroke color is black in PSCS4!), you can set them up the way you prefer, and then save them via the New Style button (on the right of the New Style dialog). You can see these styles in the Layer Style dialog (click the word “Style” in the upper left), and they are easily accessible at all times via the Styles panel.

2:26 PM Permalink
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