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Everything You Need to Know About Layer Styles in After Effects

Joshua Noel

In this video tutorial, learn how you can use the Layer Styles menu in Adobe After Effects for your next film or video project.

If you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop, then you may be well acquainted with Layer Styles. However, in After Effects the Layer Styles menu often goes unused because there are so many effects and parameters available. Each Layer Style offers a unique solution for your titles and layers. In this After Effects video tutorial, learn the purpose of each Layer Style and how to use them.


Gradient Overlay

Everything You Need to Know About Layer Styles in After Effects — Gradient Overlay

The Gradient Overlay style enables you to use multiple colors to create a smooth transition from one color to another across your title. Be sure to click on “Edit Gradient” to adjust the colors.


Color Overlay

Everything You Need to Know About Layer Styles in After Effects — Color Overlay

This is a very simple Layer Style — the Color Overlay option transforms the color of the title from one color to another.


Stroke

Everything You Need to Know About Layer Styles in After Effects — Stroke

Very straightforward: the stroke Layer Style creates an outline around titles and objects.


Bevel and Emboss

Everything You Need to Know About Layer Styles in After Effects — Bevel & Emboss

The best method for quickly creating 3D titles is using the Bevel and Emboss style. This Layer Style gives you the option to increase and control the depth of your title.


Drop Shadow

Everything You Need to Know About Layer Styles in After Effects — Drop Shadow

There’s a Drop Shadow effect under the “Effects” tab. However, you can easily group your Layer Styles together by using the Drop Shadow as a style rather than an effect. The Drop Shadow applies a nice shadow behind your title.


Inner Shadow

Everything You Need to Know About Layer Styles in After Effects — Inner Shadow

Similar to the Drop Shadow style, the Inner Shadow produces a thin shadow within your title. Using the Inner Shadow creates depth and contrast in your title elements.


Inner Glow & Outer Glow

Everything You Need to Know About Layer Styles in After Effects — Inner & Outer Glow

The main difference between the shadow and the glow Layer Styles is the blending mode option. The Inner Glow and Outer Glow styles allow you to create a glow around your title using using blend modes.


Satin

Everything You Need to Know About Layer Styles in After Effects — Satin

Lastly, the Satin effect darkens the interior portion of titles and objects and helps create undefined contrast.


Overall, Layer Styles allow After Effects users to create detailed titles and objects that stand apart from regular design. Each Layer Style is uniquely organized to stack among the other styles. So, there’s no need to worry about organization, like you would need to with effects.


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