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Basics of Layers

Lesson 10 from: 10 Tools Every Beginner Needs in Photoshop

Colin Smith

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Lesson Info

10. Basics of Layers

Lesson Info

Basics of Layers

I've got a few things I want to show you in here. 1st 1 is we're talking about layers, so there's a few little tips and layers I want to show you guys, um, one of them is actually kind of useful here. I'm gonna start with this one. This is just something I made earlier. Let me just drag this out and I'll show you what I did. It's basically just a background. Um, I did this like donkeys years ago, because that used to be my logo K for Q B. Colin. Yeah, No one ever got that. But anyway, so this was like, you know that And what I did is that just made squares and it just cut him out. Do you like a design? Anything is what I call this. Just a design element of your option. Click on IBO. You can see what it is. It's the stuff that looks cool. And then I put these boxes in here because the idea was like to make a template. So, you know, like maybe you're doing an album, a greeting card, you know, invitation or whatever it is. And you just want to make something and, uh, and you just want to ...

kind of make this little shape. And then you put these little boxes in here, and what we can do is we can put photographs into those little boxes, and I'll show you how to do it. We're just gonna choose file open, and I'm gonna go to I didn't make it silly me. I should have made a what you call it, But I'll get here and we're going to creative life. 10 things, and we're gonna get a layers, and we need clipping. All right, so I'm gonna grab these three images and open them. All right, so we go photos open and what we want to do. Let me just collapse all the stuff down a little bit. We want to drop them onto our other thing. Let me just do this. Yeah, we got I can see it now. All right. So I'm gonna grab this, and I'm just gonna drag and drop. Put it into here. I was a lot bigger. Who? Drag and drop it into there and drag and drop it into here. And so now we got some images. Close the other two out. Do you know what I did, right? Just combined some image is pretty simple. All right, So I'm just gonna resize these control t Now, if you guys ever run into this problem when you go to resize a layer and you hit command to your control tea and you can see those little handles because the pictures, like, way, way bigger than where you were. If you had control zero, it will zoom it out and you can see your handles. And then you can drag these in shift option from the center. And constraint was one of constraints and in had entered the other way you can do this is me. Zoom up again. There's another way is if I hit here and I could control tea and I can't see those handles. And for whatever reason, you're just way too stuff and you don't want to zoom out. Hey, is the other way to do it. Usually I do it this way when I'm too lazy to see. Even though commands here is not that hard. If it being that lazy. Not good. Anyway. So you just dragged that. Make sure you linking the width and height you could drag it out there and you could get to those handles. And you could scale it this way as well. So I just dropped that on their 3rd This ghetto that went on this not be lazy. Let's go control T control zero. And we're just gonna have shifty bring it up, and we're gonna shrink it down, all right? And control zero fits the screen. Control one goes 100% better. All right, so here we get what we want to do now and yes, that's exactly OK. So let's go here. So the first thing we want to do is we want to take this one here. Maybe we want to drop it over that background. See that square? We got that rectangle. I'm gonna move this out the way, and I'm just gonna drag it out. So it's a larger than that thing, and then see, this is the rectangle I made there. So if I put it on here, the cool thing is she had dropped under the other layers. It's not cool. Um, bet if I hit the out of the option key and go between the two legs. You see that little arrow thing created clipping group. And if I click the clipping group, it now fits it within, and I could move it. See, that fits within that little shape. So that one works. Now we're gonna do the next one. Let's grab these and we're gonna clip these toe set at one underneath there and out option and notice it. Clips it in there. See that, and you can move it around. You can resize it and make it fit in there. So what we're basically doing is creating a reusable template for this layout that we can use for different photos. If we had the other one, we go here out Option, um, 10 or on so we can see it usually works better. And there it is, Over here. Drag it out there, you get the idea. So this is one of the things you can do If layers, this is called clipping groups, clipping groups A great Because not only do they let us to, you know, do these kind of, ah fund propositions like this, you know, like I can change this out Any photos I want. If you would have make like a number of these little templates, you could reuse them, and then you can create these layouts very, very easily. But the other thing that's cool about that is these layouts are completely non destructive Because of clipping groups, they're not really on this. See, that's I can reuse them, right? We've been on one other thing here. I wanna show to other things. Actually, one blending modes has ever heard of layer blending modes, layer blending modes make things awesome. So easy. Now, layer blending modes can be used to create really cool effects like we did when we first started with those textures. So they can also be done to save a lot of work. Like, imagine these two documents and I want to show him against the background. Okay, so we grabbed the first. When have you ever tried to grab the tragic warned over here and dragging on here and believe things that actually works pretty good. But it's not perfect. See the little smudges around the edges and the little goes to the big one? Is that those in the D's? And it was, imagine going in selecting all of those by hand, not fun. Okay, so don't do that. Um, but here's a cool thing is if I go here and I changed a lot of blending mode while layer blending modes are under layers, we drag it over here. See, I get really messy, but I'm a messy chef. Eso I go here and, like I've got laid a blending with where says Normal. Click on here and there's different groups. There's basically four different Catic, five different categories of motive. The 1st 1 is dark and dark in Will. You know all of these ones will darken the image. That means the darker colors will show us if I should. There see that and it hides white. All of these will do that, so multiply actually works better for that. But ah, so that's the first group the second group will lighten. So if I grabbed this one here and I want to hide the black, I'll choose something from the lighting group, like maybe a screen or a lighten. Yeah, kind of like the screen better and notice what we were able to do. There is just we can hide it very quickly by using those blending modes Now, the other blending modes here. If you go further down the overlay blending modes, these work on 50% gray and do different things. Then we've got the difference is a utilitarian blending modes and the ones at the bottom of color blending meant.

Ratings and Reviews


Colin is a Photoshop expert and shares answers to the top ten questions he's been asked, it was a great class!​


I really liked this class and enjoy Colin's teaching style. No, it's not the first course you do if you've never touched Photoshop, but it's a class that helps you to think about how to use the software non-destructively, efficiently and creatively once you're familiar with the basics. He crams a lot of wisdom and gems in each lesson from the perspective of someone who's used Photoshop from the very first version.

Rakhim R

Just watched the Live Class of this course, and it is by far the most entertaining and interesting class. There is no time for anything except to learn learn learn, Colin is a great instructor, he answered so many of my questions about Photoshop and explained every feature thoroughly (without losing my attention, mind). Thank you very very much!

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