Layer styles - Tutorial

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Layer styles - Tutorial

This tutorial demonstrates how the layer effects work in all RealWorld Designer-based applications.

Narration transcript

Hello again, today's video is about layer effects, also known as layer styles in RealWorld applications like Photos or Paint.COM.

Start by creating a new image, about 500 pixels in size. Quickly draw something to the first layer, like for example a very simple house and a tree. I am using the rectangle, polygon, ellipse and eraser tools. It doesn't matter what you actually draw, we just need something in the layer to see how the styles work.

To apply an effect to a layer, click on the "Configure layer effect" button in the "Layers" panel.

Choose the "Raster Image - Bevel" filter and increase the "Amount" and "Blur" parameters a bit. As you can see, the image looks beveled. But the actual pixels in the layer stayed the same, you can display them by clicking on the "Show final image" button.

Let's go the layer effect configuration window again. To use more than one effect on a layer, select the Sequence operation. Then add 3 steps using the button with + icon.

Set the operation in the first step to "Raster Image - Fill". This allows you to fill the image with a gradient or a pattern. Configure a simple gray gradient.

In the second step, use our good know bevel filter.

Finally, use the "Raster Image - Drop Shadow" filter in the 3rd step. Increase the shadow size a bit.

Click OK and see the results. Add something to the drawing. The layer styles are being applied to the newly drawn objects. You can use any tool. Try the Brush. Lower its blur parameter to have sharper and therefore more beveled edges.

You can add almost any effect to the layer, including filters from installed plug-ins. I have the sample Dissolve plug-in installed and therefore I can use it as layer style.

The order of the effects is important, they are applied one after another. If I put the dissolve filter before drop shadow, the results will be different.

Dissolve is not the most useful filter, let's replace it with the Colorize filter and set its color to blue.

You can quickly copy the layer effect to clipboard using the Copy button. Then you can easily use it on another layer. Change the colorization to red for this layer and make the shadow color yellow to simulate a glowing effect. Try drawing into this layer. Seems to work all right. Put some text into this layer. The styles make the text look more fancy.

Add another effect to this layer - duplicate the Fill operation. Change the gradient to Radial and blending to paint over. With paint over mode the previous gradient will not be completely overwritten if we use semitransparent color.

It does not seem to have a visible effect. Can you guess why? Think about the whole sequence of operations. Its darker, but not green. It was the colorize operation! Move it up and you'll see the green color. Watch what happens when I move the text around. The green spot stays in the same place and does not move with the text. Try drawing with a brush. Happy? Check the raw layer pixels, they are pretty unimpressive compared to the styled layer.

Layer styles can also be saved to files and of course also loaded. Here is a polished gold style I have created before. If you have the Tagged library installed, you'll see previews of the styles when opening them.

A word of warning in the end: do not choose the print or export operation as layer styles. It does not make sense and nasty things will happen if you try it.

Recent comments

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user icon Vlasta site administrator on January 2nd 2015

Yes, now it is called "Modify style", you can find it in the "Layers" panel or menu under "Layer style".

user icon Anonymous on February 2nd 2015

I´speak czech. Jak uďelat amimace :-( ?

user icon Vlasta site administrator on February 2nd 2015

Je třeba nakreslit jednotlivé snímky, tady je video.

user icon Anonymous on January 2nd 2016

Ahoj Vlasto, jak udělat stín tak, aby se vykresloval jen pokud je jeho vykreslování zaškrtnuto ve vlastnostech ukazatele - "Povolit zobrazení stínu ukazatele" ?
Dík za radu

user icon Vlasta site administrator on January 2nd 2016

Jestli myslíš tu volbu we vlastnostech myši ve Windows, tak to jde mimo kurzorovy editor, přidává to samo Windows. Nejde to udělat na vyžádání, když je součástí kurzoru, už se nedá odebrat.

user icon Anonymous on March 29th 2016

Are there layers in the trial version? I can't find it

user icon Vlasta site administrator on March 29th 2016

it is in all apps, in RWPhotos, you need to switch to the advanced GUI layout in the upper right corner of the window

user icon Anonymous on March 30th 2016

That was easy! Thank you
You might want to mention that in the help file, unless it's there and I didn't see it

user icon PiTriangle registered user on April 27th 2022

really helpful tutorial

thanks! :-)

user icon Anonymous on October 19th 2023


user icon Anonymous
What about ICL files?
Vista & Win 7 icons