Using the Type Mask Tools
Photoshop's Type Mask tools are fun to use and can create some really cool effects. Unlike the horizontal and vertical Type tools, which create type that you can fill with
To use the Type Mask tool, first select it. Set your font, size, and any other options you like. Faux Bold is often useful here, as big bold letters work best as
Figure 23.42. Now you have the letters as selection outlines.
What you do with your text selection from this point on is up to you. You can fill it with a pattern or stroke it just like any other selection. You can use the selection to cut the letters out of the image on which it was typed, essentially "
Figure 23.43. Don't be afraid to experiment.
Figure 23.44. I added a glow to help define the letters.
Working with Layer Styles and Text
Layer styles might not have been exclusively
A layer style is a special effect such as a shadow or glow that affects all the objects on a layer. You can combine layer styles, such as an outer glow and chrome, to create a complex effect. If you want to use a layer style to format just the type in an image, that type must be on its own layer. With the horizontal and vertical Type tools, that's not a problem, since Elements creates a new layer whenever you use the tool. But if you use the Type Mask tools to create a type selection, make sure you first create a new layer to put it on.
Once you have some type or a type mask on a layer, to apply a layer style, open the Layer Styles palette. If it's not in the palette well, you can display it by choosing Window, Layer Style.
When you apply a style, it shows up in the Layers palette as a
Figure 23.45. I suppose it's meant to be a "stylish" f.
The most effective layer styles to use with text include Drop Shadows, Bevel (which provides bevel and emboss styles), Wow Chrome, and Wow Neon, to name a few. For example, you can improve the appearance of most type with a drop shadow, which adds dimension. Just don't overdo it. In Figure 23.46, you can see what a difference a simple shadow makes.
Figure 23.46. This is the preset shadow, called Low.
You can vary the effect of these layer styles by changing the blending modes and varying the opacity. As always, the best way to see what they do is to experiment with different settings.
Editing Layer Styles
If a layer style gives you almost, but not quite what you want, you can go back and edit the settings. You can reach the Style Settings dialog box either by choosing Layer, Layer Style, Style Settings, or by double-clicking on the style symbol (the cursive
) on the Layer palette. The Style Settings box is shown in Figure 23.47. You can change the position of the light, which determines the direction in which shadows are dropped,
Figure 23.47. Items that don't relate to a particular setting are grayed out and can't be changed.
You can also apply global light, which is a very clever way of keeping your shadows in line. Global light dictates that the light setting (in degrees) that you make here, or in any of the other dialog boxes that deal with light or shadow direction, will
Task: Applying Layer Styles to Text