Shadow Like Me

Installation Guide for Photoshop Elements 7-10 Users

Shadow Like Me Layer Styles | One Little Bird

 

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The Shadow Like Me product is a set of layer styles and not actions – so they are not installed in the same manner as photo actions nor will they appear in the same place as your photo actions. Layer Styles will appear in the “Layer Styles” area (the second icon in the Effects palette) in Photoshop Elements.

These styles were tested by Photoshop Elements users in versions 7-10 and deemed compatible. They may also work in earlier versions but earlier versions were not tested.

The installation of these layer styles in Photoshop Elements may vary slightly depending on your version of the software, the directory you installed the software to and your computer’s operating system. I am not a Photoshop Elements user, myself, and I operate on the Windows 7 operating system so I am unable to troubleshoot any issues or questions that may arise as far as how to perform an operation in your operating system or how to locate files on your custom installation.

I offer instructions for the installation of these layer styles in Photoshop Elements versions 7-10 based on the default installation on Windows and Mac machines, but please be aware that any modifications you make to your particular installation will be made at your own risk. (That being said, it’s really not all as ominous as it sounds!)

Please click on one of the tabs above to view installation instructions for your operating system.

Step 1: View Hidden Files & Folders

Vista and Windows 7

  • From the Start Menu open the Control Panel, then choose Appearance and Personalization.
  • Under the title Folder Options choose Show hidden files and folders and verify that the radio button is selected (filled in) next to Show hidden files, folders and drives in the dialogue that appears.
  • Click OK and close out the Control Panel windows.

Windows XP

  • From the Start Menu select Control Panel, then choose Appearance and Themes.
  • Click on Folder Options and on the View tab under Hidden Files and Folders, click Show Hidden Files and Folders.
  • Click OK and close out the Control Panel windows.

Step 2: Copy the Layer Styles

  • IMPORTANT: Shut down Photoshop Elements if it is currently running on your system.
  • Navigate to the folder that contains your unzipped Shadow Like Me layer styles. The files for PSE users will be in a folder labeled “PSE7-10”.
  • Highlight the layer style files (.asl files) and the metadata files (.metadata.xml). You can hold down the CTRL key while highlighting each file in order to select multiple files. You should have four files highlighted if you want to install both the 45 degree and the 120 degree styles. If you only want to install one style set, highlight only the .asl and the metadata.xml files for the set you wish to install.
  • Once your files are selected, right click and select “Copy” from the menu or press CTRL+C on your keyboard to copy these files to the Windows clipboard.

Step 3: Install the Layer Styles in Photoshop Elements

  • Navigate to the PSE layer styles folder on your system
    • Vista and Windows 7 : Local Disk (C:) > Program Data > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > [your version] (7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0) > Photo Creations > Layer Styles
    • Windows XP:  Local Disk (C:) > Documents and Settings > All Users > Application Data > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > [your version] (7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0) > Photo Creations > Layer Styles
  • Right-click and select “Paste” from the menu to add the layer style files to Photoshop Elements.

Step 4: Rebuild the Database

  • Back yourself out of the layer styles directory by clicking the back button (or your Backspace key) twice until you arrive at the directory: … Adobe > Photoshop Elements >[your version] (7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0)
  • Navigate into the Locale > en_us folder
  • Locate the MediaDatabase.db3 file and rename it to any other filename (ex: MediaDatabaseOLD.db3) or delete it entirely
  • Close the window and restart your Photoshop Elements program. Select “Edit” when the Welcome Screen comes up and after the Editor Desktop appears a dialog box will appear saying “Building Content and Effects.” This process will take a fair amount of time – most sites say 5-10 minutes, but in PSE10 I found that the process took much longer (15-20 minutes). The amount of time will vary depending on how many third-party actions, styles and other effects you have installed in your software.
  • When Photoshop Elements completes the process of rebuilding the database, click on the second icon at the top of the Effect panel to view your layer styles. In the drop-down menu to the right of the icons you should now see an entry for each of the layer styles you’ve installed (OLB Shadows 45 and/or OLB Shadows 120 depending on which one(s) you installed).
  • After selecting one of the OLB Shadow styles options, the shadow settings will appear as icons in your Effects panel. Depending on your software settings, the individual names of each style may or may not appear beneath the icons. To toggle this setting go to the Effects Panel Settings menu (a icon with an arrow and four white lines on the top right corner of the Effects panel) and select Show Names or Hide Names to achieve your desired result.

Step 5: Apply as Necessary

  • To apply drop shadows to your elements, double-click on any of the style icons in the Effects panel and those settings will be immediately added to the currently selected layer.
  • To adjust the shadow settings, double-click on the “fx” icon on that layer in the Layers panel and adjust the size, distance, opacity, direction and color of your shadows. (Note: in some versions of PSE the Lighting Angle will still read 120° even when using the 45° shadow style settings and even though the shadow has clearly been applied at a 45° angle. This is a glitch in the software that has to do with the ability to specify Global Light settings in Photoshop CS and not something that I can fix in the layer styles, themselves. As long as you don’t adjust the lighting angle in the fx dialogue box the shadow will be applied at the proper 45° angle. Changing this lighting source in the fx dialogue box will change the light source on your entire page in PSE, so proceed with caution. Using the 120° layer styles is recommended for PSE users.)

Step 6: Re-hide Hidden Files & Folders (Optional)

  • Hidden files and folders are typically hidden to avoid accidental modification and/or deletion of necessary system files. Should you wish to protect these files, return to the location in Step 1 and select the radio button next to Don’t show hidden files, folders and drives to protect these files again.
  • Click OK and close out the Control Panel windows.

Step 1: Copy the Layer Styles

  • IMPORTANT: Shut down Photoshop Elements if it is currently running on your system.
  • Open a Finder window and navigate to the folder that contains your unzipped Shadow Like Me layer styles. The files for PSE users will be in a folder labeled “PSE7-10”.
  • Highlight the layer style files (.asl files) and the metadata files (.metadata.xml). You can hold down the CMD key while highlighting each file in order to select multiple files. You should have four files highlighted if you want to install both the 45 degree and the 120 degree styles. If you only want to install one style set, highlight only the .asl and the metadata.xml files for the set you wish to install.
  • Once your files are selected press CMD+C on your keyboard to copy these files

Step 3: Install the Layer Styles in Photoshop Elements

  • Navigate to the PSE layer styles folder on your system
    • Hard Drive > Library > Application Support > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > [your version] (7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0) > Photo Creations > Layer Styles
  • Press CMD+V to paste the layer style files in this directory.

Step 4: Rebuild the Database

  • Back yourself out of the layer styles directory until you arrive at the directory: … Adobe > Photoshop Elements >[your version] (7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0)
  • Navigate into the Locale > En US folder
  • Locate the MediaDatabase.db3 file and rename it to any other filename (ex: MediaDatabaseOLD.db3) or delete it entirely
  • Close the window and restart your Photoshop Elements program. Select “Edit” when the Welcome Screen comes up and after the Editor Desktop appears a dialog box will appear saying “Building Content and Effects.” This process will take a fair amount of time – most sites say 5-10 minutes, but in PSE10 I found that the process took much longer (15-20 minutes). The amount of time will vary depending on how many third-party actions, styles and other effects you have installed in your software.
  • When Photoshop Elements completes the process of rebuilding the database, click on the second icon at the top of the Effect panel to view your layer styles. In the drop-down menu to the right of the icons you should now see an entry for each of the layer styles you’ve installed (OLB Shadows 45 and/or OLB Shadows 120 depending on which one(s) you installed).
  • After selecting one of the OLB Shadow styles options, the shadow settings will appear as icons in your Effects panel. Depending on your software settings, the individual names of each style may or may not appear beneath the icons. To toggle this setting go to the Effects Panel Settings menu (a icon with an arrow and four white lines on the top right corner of the Effects panel) and select Show Names or Hide Names to achieve your desired result.

Step 5: Apply as Necessary

  • To apply drop shadows to your elements, double-click on any of the style icons in the Effects panel and those settings will be immediately added to the currently selected layer.
  • To adjust the shadow settings, double-click on the “fx” icon on that layer in the Layers panel and adjust the size, distance, opacity, direction and color of your shadows. (Note: in some versions of PSE the Lighting Angle will still read 120° even when using the 45° shadow style settings and even though the shadow has clearly been applied at a 45° angle. This is a glitch in the software that has to do with the ability to specify Global Light settings in Photoshop CS and not something that I can fix in the layer styles, themselves. As long as you don’t adjust the lighting angle in the fx dialogue box the shadow will be applied at the proper 45° angle. Changing this lighting source in the fx dialogue box will change the light source on your entire page in PSE, so proceed with caution. Using the 120° layer styles is recommended for PSE users.)