Digital Artist

Top tip: Make layer styles look natural

Tips & Tutorials
April Madden

Discover how to use low-opacity texture layers to add a natural look to layer styles

Texture effects on layer styles in Photoshop

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This before and after shows a background design from a tutorial on layer effects by Sally Jane Thompson, in issue 30 of Digital Artist. Because of their sharpness and regularity, effects can look cold and artificial, as in the left-hand image. You can adjust the opacity of a style, but to keep the effect harmonious with the objects it’s attached to and give yourself a few more options, lowering the opacity of the whole layer and allowing an unaltered one to show through underneath can give extra clarity. A low-opacity texture layer on top of this softens it further and playing with the opacity of all three layers leaves room for adjustment.

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