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Tuesday Top Tip – Make A Layer From Layer Effects

This week I am going to revisit one of my all time favourite tips in Photoshop. I first posted about this a while back before the website became the daily post thing it is now, so this time I’ll spend a little more time on it.

Make A Layer From Layer Effects

First off, here’s the set up. I’ve done a quick bit of type and added a bevel and a hefty stroke to it in a complementary colour.


Click To Enlarge

But now here’s the tip, I head up to the Layer Menu and choose, Layer Style>Create Layer


Looking at the Layers Palette we can see what happened;


Firstly it has sorted the shadows [1] and the highlights [2] from the bevel and emboss and put them on their own layer. The arrows [3] indicate that the layer is clipped to the layer below. This means that it will only appear within the pixels of the lower layer. These layers are above the text.

Below the text, Photoshop has created a layer for the Outline [4]. As we can see here, Photoshop doesn’t actually draw a stroke, it draws a big layer shaped blob that is x amount of pixels bigger than what it is stroking.

Now I could leave the tip there, but let’s not. As it stands it looks no different to if I hadn’t used the Create Layer menu option.

Because these layer effects are now layers themselves, they too can have layer styles, filters and anything else you care to mention, applied to them.

So in my example I’m going to add a Halftone pattern to the layer called Tippy’s Outer Stroke [4]. I find that under Filter menu, Sketch>Halftone Pattern.

I’ll have a bit of a play with the settings in there and click ok.


And then I’ll add a bevel to it too.


There is nothing stopping me now choosing to Create Layer from the menu again and start working on the layer effects I just created.

I used this technique to create the doorbell for a page of the original, never actually used, pages for TipSquirrel. (More of which you can find on my Facebook  page)


I added effects to the circle, created a new layer from them and then added layer effects. Then I made the circle smaller and repeated.

My memory is rubbish, but I think there is Drop Shadow, Bevel, and Satin as well as the Stroke effect.

About Eric Renno (435 Articles)
Eric’s background in video editing with Adobe Premier led to his interest, and then obsession, with Photoshop. Starting TipSquirrel.com as a hobby he is proud to have gathered together and be a part of The Photoshop Nuts. Known as only “TipSquirrel” for two years, Eric ‘went public’ when he was a finalist in The Next Adobe Photoshop Evangelist competition. He’s also been a finalist in Deke’s Techniques Photoshop Challenge. While still taking on some freelance work, Eric has recently become a Lecturer at Peterborough’s Media and Journalism Centre where he enjoys sharing his knowledge as well as learning new skills. This realisation that he loves to teach has made Eric look at altering his career path.

3 Comments on Tuesday Top Tip – Make A Layer From Layer Effects

  1. LOL! Would you believe that’s the tip I used to win the Photoshop Challenge Extreme during Midnight Madness at Photoshop World. Not widely known, but very useful.


  2. Greyson TipSquirrel // 21/10/2009 at 10:49 am //

    A pure coincidence, but if I’d have seen you do it, I ‘d have nicked what was probably a far better explanation.

  3. I use this feature to correctly separate what should be vector art from what should be bitmap. Illustrator can create the most common effects like glow and drop shadow, but if I’m working in a really big file with tons of effects, illustrator will take forever to update screen redraws.
    So I build my Illustrator file to the same dimensions as my Photoshop file. I copy and paste my vector art into my Photoshop file and apply my effects to the copied illustrator art inside of Photoshop. Then I use create layer to separate the vector art from the effect. Now I can turn off the illustrator art layer and save out my Photoshop file with the effects in place. Because I built the Photoshop and Illustrator files to the same dimensions, everything lines back up when I place it back into the illustrator layout.
    This is a great production tip for designers working in the print world, especially large format printing.

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