Applying a layer style
You can enhance a layer by adding a shadow, stroke, satin sheen, or other special effect from a collection of automated and editable layer styles. These styles are easy to apply, and they link directly to the layer you specify.
Like layers, layer styles can be hidden by clicking their eye icons () in the Layers panel. Layer styles are nondestructive, so you can edit or remove them at any time.
Earlier, you used a layer style to add a stroke to the beach photo. Now, you’ll add drop shadows to the text to make it stand out.
Select the Island Paradise layer, and then choose Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow.
In the Layer Style dialog box, make sure that the Preview option is selected, and then, if necessary, move the dialog box so that you can see the Island Paradise text in the image window. A drop shadow is now applied.
In the Structure area, select Use Global Light, and then specify the following settings:
Blend Mode: Multiply
Angle: 78 degrees
Distance: 5 px
Size: 10 px
When Use Global Light is selected, one “master” lighting angle is available in all the layer effects that use shading. If you set a lighting angle in one of these effects, every other effect with Use Global Light selected inherits the same angle setting.
Angle determines the lighting angle at which the effect is applied to the layer. Distance determines the offset distance for a shadow or satin effect. Spread determines how gradually the shadow fades toward the edges. Size determines how far the shadow extends.
Because the Preview option is selected, as you make changes Photoshop updates the drop shadow preview in the document window.
Click OK to accept the settings and close the Layer Style dialog box.
In the Layers panel, the layer style appears nested in the Island Paradise layer. An Effects heading is listed first, and under that, the layer styles applied to the layer. An eye icon () appears next to the effect category and next to each effect. To turn off an effect, click its eye icon. Click the visibility column again to restore the effect. To hide all layer styles for that layer, click the eye icon next to Effects. To collapse the list of effects, click the arrow to the right of the layer name.
Make sure that eye icons appear for both items nested in the Island Paradise layer.
Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac), and in the Layers panel, drag the Effects listing or the fx symbol () for the Island Paradise layer onto the HAWAII layer.
The Drop Shadow layer style is applied to the HAWAII layer, copying the settings you applied to the Island Paradise layer. Now you’ll add a green stroke around the word “HAWAII.”
Select the HAWAII layer in the Layers panel, click the Add A Layer Style button () at the bottom of the panel, and then choose Stroke from the pop-up menu.
In the Structure area of the Layer Style dialog box, specify the following settings:
Size: 4 px
Blend Mode: Normal
Color: Green (Select a shade that goes well with the one you used for the “Island Paradise” text.)
Click OK to apply the stroke.
Now you’ll add a drop shadow and a satin sheen to the flower.
Select the Flower layer, and choose Layer > Layer Style > Drop Shadow. Then change the following settings in the Structure area:
Distance: 13 px
Make sure Use Global Light is selected and that the Blend Mode is Multiply. Do not click OK.
With the Layer Style dialog box still open, click the word Satin on the left to select it and display its options. Then make sure Invert is selected, and apply the following settings:
Color (next to Blend Mode): Choose a color that enhances the flower color, such as a fuschia hue
Distance: 22 px
The Satin layer effect applies interior shading to create a satiny finish. The contour controls the shape of the effect; Invert flips the contour curve.
Click OK to apply both layer styles. In the Layers panel you can see the two layer styles applied to the Flower layer, and you can use the eye icons to see what the Flower layer looks like with and without the layer styles applied.