Put Layer Effects on a Separate Layer


Sometimes layer effects get in the way. Especially in documents with multiple parts that wrap around (book cover, CD packaging, etc.) you may need a layer effect to stop on one side. But Photoshop applies a layer effect to all sides of a shape. What you need to to do is apply a layer mask, but only to the layer effect. Here's how to separate a layer effect from its layer:


  1. Open your file in Photoshop. Select the layer with the layer effects you wish to separate.

  2. Right click on the drop down Layer Effects menu. Select Create Layer (almost all the way at the bottom).

  3. If necessary, load a selection of your original layer and add a layer mask to the newly created effect layer to hide the fill area of your original layer. Load other selections or paint on the mask to hide any unwanted effect.


Note: This particular example that I created could have also been solved with some layer reordering but there are many cases where layer reordering won't solve the problem and this technique is required.

That Isn't Art


In need of a good laugh? That Isn't Art sarcastically pokes fun at typography and photography.

Using Apply Image for Signatures and Black and White Illustrations


Here's an easy way to convert a black and white signature scan or illustration into a layer masked graphic which you can then recolor and use on any background. The trick is that the image is its own mask.


  1. Open your image in Photoshop. Apply Sharpening and Curves if needed.

  2. Add a new Layer Mask. With the layer mask selected, select Image > Apply Image. In the dialog box, use these options: Source: (your file name), Layer: Merged, Channel: Gray with Invert checked, Blending: Normal with 100% Opacity and click OK.


Signature is Joan of Arc's from wikipedia commons

Creating Quick & Easy Automatic Center Guides

Here's a quick time saving tip for automatically creating vertical and horizontal center guides in Photoshop.


  1. Open Photoshop. In a blank document or other document, select View > New Guide.

  2. In the New Guide dialog box, enter 50% for Vertical Position and click OK.

  3. Select View > New Guide. Enter 50% for Horizontal Position and click OK.

My Work: Orchid Card


Sometimes I take a break from my day to day work and do something extra pretty just because.

Modern Collages by Cristiana Couceiro

I like the interesting use of shape and form.