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This chapter is from the book

Multicolor Glow

Although we're doing this effect on type, it really isn't a type trick, because you can apply this multi-color glow to any object on a layer. This is an easy technique, thanks to Photoshop's Layer Styles and a few little tweaks by you.

Quick Tip: Viewing only your active layer and hiding the rest

If you have a multilayered document, you can look at just the layer you're working on (or any one layer for that matter) by holding the Option key (PC: Alt key) and clicking on the Eye icon in the first column next to it in the Layers palette. This immediately hides all other layers from view, leaving only your chosen layer visible (and any Layer Styles you have applied to other layers). To show all the layers again, hold the Option key (PC: Alt key) and click on the Eye icon again for your layer, and the rest will instantly reappear.

  1. Open a new document in RGB mode at 72 dpi. Press the letter "d" to set your Foreground color to black, and fill your Background with black by pressing Option-Delete (PC: Alt-Backspace).

  2. Figure 8.19

  3. Using the Type tool, create your type. It will appear on a layer above the Background, but because they're both black, you'll have to hide the Background layer to see your type. So click on the Eye icon next to your Background layer to hide it from view. Position your type as you'd like (as shown) and then click in the column where the Eye icon used to be to make your black background visible again.

  4. Figure 8.20

  5. Go under the Layer menu, under Layer Style, and choose Outer Glow. When the dialog box appears, click on the light yellow Color Swatch (okay, I admit it—it's beige. Yecch!), and when the Color Picker appears, choose white as your color and click OK. In the Outer Glow dialog box, change the Blend Mode to Normal and click OK to apply a white glow to your letters.

  6. Figure 8.21

  7. In the Layers palette, make a copy of your Type layer by dragging it to the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette. Drag this copy layer below your original Type layer. Then double-click directly on the little ƒ that appears right before the words Outer Glow (in your copy) to bring up the dialog box's current settings. Click on the white Color Swatch and change the color to yellow.

  8. Figure 8.22

  9. Increase the Size amount to 8, Spread to 25, and click OK to apply a yellow glow that extends beyond your original white glow.

  10. Figure 8.23

  11. Make a copy of this yellow glow Type layer by dragging it to the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers palette, and drag this new copy layer below your yellow Type layer. Double-click directly on the words "Outer Glow" in the Layers palette to bring up its dialog box with its current settings. Click on the yellow Color Swatch and change the color to purple. Increase the Size to 12 and click OK to apply the final glow. Now it appears that your glow starts with white and then radiates out to yellow, then to purple, creating a multicolored glow.

  12. Figure 8.24

Quick Tip: Copying Layer Styles to other layers

Once you've applied a Layer Style to a layer, you can apply that same effect (with the exact same settings) to any other layer. The slow sloth-like way is to go under the Layer menu, under Layer Style, and choose Copy Layer Style. Then go back to the Layers palette, click on the layer where you want the effects, then sloth your way back under the Layer menu, under Layer Style, and choose Paste Layer Style.

A much faster (and more fun) way is to hold the Control key (PC: Right-click) and click-and-hold on your layer in the Layers palette. A pop-up menu will appear and you can choose Copy Layer Style. Hold the Control key (PC: Right-click) and click-and-hold on the layer in the Layers palette where you want to copy the effect. Choose Paste Layer Style from the pop-up menu that appears. Try it once, and you'll never go digging under the Layer Style menu again.

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