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When deciding upon the name for this blog post,  I just could not resist playing off the song title, ” The Shadow of your Smile,” a beautiful piece that has been recorded by so many fabulous vocalists.  But today I will not be talking about songs, but rather about shadows on Photoshop Styles.

Some Photoshop Styles come with shadows, and some do not. There are reasons to create styles both ways, and it’s truly a designer’s preference.

If you want to use a Photoshop Style that does not have a shadow, if you are using a Style that has a shadow that is not quite what you are looking for, or if you want to create your own custom shadow, you can easily make those changes!

Today I am using Photoshop CS6, but these tips should work in most, if not all, versions of Photoshop. This works well with Photoshop Elements too; although paths may be different depending upon what version you are using.

Let’s start with this example.  I have applied a new style of mine, String Photoshop Styles, to the text and flourish below.    When I created the style, I elected to add a slight shadow to it.

 

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Photoshop users:

  • If you do not see all of the layer style effects visible on your layer, click on the down-pointing arrow to the far right of the layer to expand the effects panel.
  • If you do not want a shadow at all, click on the visibility eyeball near the Drop Shadow effect to turn it off.

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  • If you want to adjust the size, color, or other options of the shadow, double-click on the effects panel to open  the Layer Style dialogue box, then make your adjustments in the Structure area.

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  •  If you want to create a custom shadow:  As in most things with Photoshop, there are multiple ways to accomplish the same task.  This is my favorite way to add a custom shadow to  an element that has a style applied to it.
    • Expand the Effects panel, and click on the visibility eyeball near the Drop Shadow to turn it off.
    • Create a new blank layer below your element that you wish to create the custom shadow for.

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  • Click on the Thumbnail of the element you wish to create your custom shadow for.  This will select the element.  You will see “marching ants” around the element, confirming the element is selected.

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  • Click on the Blank Layer that you created to select it.  Go to the top Menu Bar and choose:  Edit > Fill > 50% Gray. Click OK. Click Control + D to deselect your element.  Now you have a “shadow” (the 50% gray) on it’s own layer, ready and waiting for you to manipulate in your favorite way to create your custom shadow. I used the Warp Tool on the shadow of the flourish, pictured below.

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For Photoshop Elements users:

  • In PSE you will need to double-click on the “fx” style icon on your layer to open the Style Settings box.
  • If you do not want a drop-shadow, remove the check mark in the Drop Shadow box.
  • If you would like to modify the shadow, you may do so here. You have the option of changing the size, color, distance, and opacity of the Style’s shadow.

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  • You may follow the same method, as described above, for creating a 50% gray layer to manipulate.   PSE does not have a Warp tool; however,  Kimberly, of Kimberkatt Scraps, wrote a tutorial “Creating Custom Shadows in Photoshop Elements,” that I’m sure you will find helpful!

Shadows can make or break a layout.  They can be tricky  to get just right.  I hope this tutorial has given you some tools to get started on your journey.

If you prefer not to go through the steps required to get a shadow on it’s own layer, Boop Designs has an Editable Drop Shadow Action available that works perfectly in both CS and PSE.

It’s Labor Day Weekend!  Visit both our Personal and Commercial Use stores where you will be able to choose your favorite kits and tools to practice with, and save while doing it!

 

 

 

 

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Good morning!  Today I would like to share with you how easy it is to create your own inspirational stones!

Last week, I released Rocky Mountain Dreams, a personal-use scrapbook kit.

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One of the kit extras was Inspirational Stones.

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As I was choosing which words I wanted to use for this project, I kept thinking that the words which were important for me to use might not be the words that YOU want for your own scrapbook pages.  So I went out into my yard, found some of the most interesting stones I could find, photographed, extracted them, and put together 3 sets of Stones.

Using the Stones in combination with my (or any) Imprint Styles will allow you to create stones to personalize your scrapbook layouts, or make unique elements for scrapbook kits.  (These products are CU friendly, in case you are a designer.)

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Stones are available as individual products, (Stones, Set 1, Set 2, Set 3) but are also offered as a Collection with the Imprint Styles as a free bonus.

Okay, now let’s get to work! I am going to assume that you are familiar with getting Styles loaded or installed into Photoshop.  If you would like a refresher, here are 2 previous tutorials that will help:

How to Load Photoshop Styles

How to Load Photoshop Styles in Photoshop Elements  

Here is a stone from Set 2 (stone 7), with a layer of text on top of it.  It doesn’t matter what color text you use, as it will not be detectable after you apply the Imprint Style to it.

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Here is a copy of my Styles Panel, with the Imprint Styles outlined in red for you to see:

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There are 15 Styles available for you to choose from.  The fun part is simply applying each style to your chosen text to see what works best with the color stone you are using, the font you are using, and the look you are going for.

I have applied 4 different Styles to the word “explore.”

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I like the first style best on this stone color, so let’s work with that one (Style #11).

You have 2 method options now:

Method #1:

1. Rasterize your text (right-click on the Text layer and choose Rasterize Type).  (PSE users will “simplify” their text.)

2.  Right-click on either your Text or Stone layer and select Merge Visible (assuming these are the only 2 layers on your document). That’s it. You’re finished!

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Method 2 (and my preferred method because it offers more flexibility):

1. Rasterize your text (right-click on the Text layer and choose Rasterize Type).  (Again, PSE users will “simplify” their text.)

2. Rasterize the Imprint Style that has been applied to your text.  This will merge all of the effects.  To do this, right click  on your Text layer and choose “Rasterize Layer Style.”

3.  Having a rasterized text file to work with will give you increased flexibility as you search for the perfect look for your Stone. It will allow you to play with Blending Modes and Opacity Levels of the text layer, as well as duplicate that layer if you like for even more blending/opacity options.

In the image below, I duplicated the flattened text layer and changed the blending mode of the duplicated layer to Linear Dodge. I like how it gave a lighter edge to the left of the letters.  I’m happy with either of these results.

If I wanted to, I could duplicate the text layer yet another time for even more options, such as applying a 2nd Imprint Style to just that one duplicated layer.

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Method 2 is really important when using lighter colored stones. In the image below, you will see 2 samples.  In the top sample, I have created the stone using Option #1. When the Style is rasterized, due to the nature of the style, you will see the gray tint in it. On darker stones, we don’t notice that; on lighter stones, we do.

In the bottom sample, I created the stone using Method #2.  Because I had a rasterized text layer on it’s own layer, I could change the blend mode of the Text to Overlay – which looks better on the light colored Stones.

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I absolutely love this layout created by Norma, a member of my Creative Team, and also a member of the Studio CT.  She did use a Rocky Mountain Dreams Inspirational Stone – but if that stone hadn’t been perfect for her layout, she would have been able to create her own!

Norma-RMD

The key – and the fun – is just to experiment until you are happy with your results!

Here is a stone to add to your own stash! I hope you find the perfect layout for it.  Just click on the image below to download!

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(For the purposes of this tutorial I was using Adobe Photoshop CS6; however, this technique also works in Photoshop Elements.)

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Have you ever finished creating a layout and then decided you wanted to make a change on just one element? What process do you go through to do that?  I used to open the element from my kit file once again, make the change I wanted to make, move the newly-altered element into my layout, and then delete the element in my layout I didn’t want to use.  This could take time, and didn’t seem particularly efficient.

I found an easier way, and it has to do with Smart Objects.

If you are unfamiliar with Smart Objects, you might like to read one of my previous tutorials, How smart ARE Smart Filters, before proceeding.

Here is a layout, created by Renee (a member of my Creative Team). using Rocky Mountain Dreams.

SD Rocky Mountain Dreams. Fonts:

 I love all the choices Renee has made; but let’s change the color of the text, just to see how easy it can be to do that.

In the image below, Renee’s text, “Canadian Rockies,” is selected.  It is a Smart Object; and we can tell that it is because of the presence of the little square icon in the lower right corner of the layer.

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 (If your text and/or element was put on your document by using the Place command, it will be a Smart Object. If not, and you will need to make it a Smart Object by right clicking on its layer and choosing: Convert to Smart Object.)

If we double click the icon on the “Canadian Rockie’s layer, we will receive this message:

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 When we click “ok,” we will see the text, “Canadian Rockies,”  pop up on its own layer, ready for us to edit:

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I gave the text a green Color Overlay, then clicked on “Save,” as advised.

Not only do I now see the green color  in the pop-out text layer, but it is also reflected in the layout.

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I can safely close the text layer and enjoy the new green text in the layout!

That’s all there is to it!  I love it when Photoshop makes things simple for us!

(For the purposes of this tutorial, I used Photoshop CS6.  This technique is not available in Photoshop Elements.)

 

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