30 Days of Photoshop

Lesson 9 of 41

Day 5: Layers I

 

30 Days of Photoshop

Lesson 9 of 41

Day 5: Layers I

 

Lesson Info

Day 5: Layers I

okay today we get to start my one of my two very favorite topics and bill's right on the whole the concept of working non destructively and that is layers if you don't use layers honestly here working too hard and you risk that whole thing of painting yourself into a corner where you can't get out very easily so I'm going to start off we'll talk a little bit about layers and I'll show you an example that kind of puts it in some perspective here basically layers are there's really only one small downside to them and that is its going ultimate make your file size bigger but as all talk about repeatedly throughout thes thirty days I stopped caring about file size a long time ago if it meant it gives me more flexibility and more of that non destructiveness we talked about yesterday so yes I use layers as much as humanly possible even times where frankly it's probably not one hundred percent necessary but I've always got that little voice in my head going you sure you don't want a backup pl...

an here just in case I kind of look at layers like well this is going to sound maybe shamanistic but a lot of men I think I like to keep stuff in their garage or if you live in parts will have a basement in your basement and your spouse may say why you keeping that stuff and you're like just in case and realistically you may never really need it but it's good to know you have it just in case and I kind of think of layers the same ways there's there's built in backup plan where you can change your mind reuse work and it things do things and much easier ways when you have layers so first of all let's take a look at a little illustration put together with a series of images so you can kind of see if we were to compare this to the real world so let's take a look at this okay so imagine I had a photograph here and I took my sharpie and I started to actually write on the photograph but as I did oops I made a mistake well I've written directly on the photograph and when use a sharpie it's pretty permanent so my only option is to basically throw it away so instead what if I took a sheet of clear plastic a sheet of acid tate and put that on top of my photograph I can still see the photograph but now as I start writing with my sharpie I'm writing on the sheet of acid tate which means it's protecting my photograph so now I have the look that I wanted of writing on the photograph but it's not really on the photograph its on the sheet of plastic so I can move that sheet of plastic around I can't even take it off completely and just delete it and start again same thing applies if I wanted to start putting other photographs on top of my main photograph as long as that other photograph is on a sheet of plastic it looks like it's right on the background but it's not it's on that separate piece of plastic slash layer I have another photograph and now if I want to change the order them I just end up overlapping those sheets of plastic and I can reorder them simply by moving layers back and forth so compared to this using layers is better is that sheet of clear acid tate that's going to protect us now in real life and it's even better in photo shop because it's one thing to have a sheet of plastic covering up your photograph to protect it but there's only so much you could do for example if you use the sharpie with put words on that sheet of plastic you still can't edit the words whereas in photo shop you can edit them you can make them see through you can do all kinds of things so let's take a look at this in the perspective of photo shop and layers when you first open the document this is a standard document nothing unusual about it started life as a j peg you see over here it says background and as I mentioned in the last class this padlock symbol does not really mean it's locked except for moving so that's important toe note a lot of people well my background layers lockwood isn't really so if I took my pink brush and I attempted to start writing and all of a sudden I made a mistake I've use my sharpie directly on the background layer which is never a good idea luckily I can step backwards enough times in this case to be able to start again and the way we start again as by adding a new layer and that's that the equivalent of that sheet of plastic to protect the background player now some people would duplicate the background layer here but honestly creating a new layer is just azizi and in typical photoshopped fashion there's multiple ways to do that I can click on this button that says at a new layer or I could go to the pop up menu that says new layer or do it from layer menu which says new layer or even use the keyboard shortcut equivalent shift command and her shift control in so they're all the same thing all it's doing is saying I want to create a layer this is a blank layer which has nothing on it if I were to hide the background by using this eyeball you see checkerboard and we talked about preferences I mentioned one of the preferences that I usually change and I think I will change it for our demonstration in this class is I'm making the transparency darker you certainly don't need to do that that's just me making a change so you can see better what's going on so from now on if I add a blank layer it's gonna have that darker checkerboard just so it's easier to see that's the only real reason for doing that is just a visual display thing but in photo shop anytime you see checkerboard you have to think sheet of plastic so it's roughly equivalent values as you'll see in a moment there's lots of things that we can do with layers that you can't do with a sheet of plastic but that that's a good way to think of it is we're protecting the background layer so now if I take that same paintbrush and put something on there now it's on a separate layer so the way that the layers panel work is is it's like a stack from the bottom up just like in that little slideshow you saw the photos on the bottom and then she eats a plastic pile on top of each other and that's what determines the way that the order's display it's the same thing here the background layer by default is the bottom layer in the stack and then anything you put on top of that so for example if I added a new layer and let's just make uh circular shape and will choose some color you'll see that by default because the order in which I made them thie circle is on the top of the stack and the wall is underneath it well luckily I can change the order very easily just by dragging inside the layers panel so I can either drag the top layer down or I could have taken this layer and drag it up here look really close you'll see kind of a little line is appearing to tell me this is its new position the nice thing about this is when you're working of layers every single aspect of it fits into our non destructive description because I just moved the layer up but two days sir now I could decide I want to move it down or deleted completely or change it or move it or do whatever I want if you think back to our discussion on setting up photo shop and the work space this is the reason right now why I made sure that my layers panel was as big a zai possibly could make it everything else was small because I spent the majority of my time working in here with layers and less time in other areas now just so you know I have previously gone in here in the pop up menu for the layers panel as is with most panels there is an option called panel options and I have my thumbnails really large because I want you to be able to see them but frankly I want me to be able to see them too but you could go in and make smaller thumbnails if you wanted to if you're okay with that if you felt you're having a very large document I'm gonna put it back because I want you to be able to see what's going on but that is an option if you worry that your panel is getting so big that you can't see what's going on you can switch too ah larger thumbnail now before we go any further let me make a couple of comments about best practices shall we say when you're working with layers there's not any technically don't have to name your layers you could just leave them as they are right now but at least when you're first getting started I think it's not a bad idea to get in the habit of naming your layers something that makes sense to you for a couple of reasons partially is sometimes you end up with unnecessary blank layers because you created a layer and then didn't put anything on it and it's just taking up valuable space in your display and doesn't serve any purpose so if you get in the habit of always naming your layers and then you see a layer of this called layer one that might be a clue to you that perhaps that layer isn't necessary now the reality is many people over time start naming their layers less and less once they get used to it and look at the visual way of working the other reason for naming layers is if you work with any other products for example in design or illustrator you may want to take this psd file and put it into those other programs and both of those have the ability to work with the layers and let me tell you it's a whole lot easier if you're seeing names of layers that make sense as opposed to layer one layer to layer three and so on so for our purposes now I'm going to name the layers just so we can keep track of it but again it's not technically necessary just not a bad idea so I'm going to call this layer painted words and by the way all I did was I double clicked here to name the layer and call it circle now the background layer is generally called background as we'll see later on if we do decide to work with it weaken rename into something else by default as I mentioned before it's not locked from a painting standpoint but is locked from positional standpoint if I tried for example for some reason to move the circle laywer further down is going to tell me you can't do that so that the background layer is locked not only from moving it around here it's also locked from changing its position within the layer stack so that's kind of important now in that demonstration video here are some things that you can do with layers and photoshopped that you can't do with a piece of plastic so a piece of plastic I could move it around and I can remove it but I can't do some of these things so for example you'll see here that all three of these layers have an ei icon beside them if I turn off one of them like in this case that means that layer is not visible it's still there it's just not visible if I go to this top layer and I used my move tool which is one of our main layer tools because it's the one where you can move things around you can see as I'm clicking and dragging I'm in effect moving that sheet of plastic around so that's the same but here's one thing that I could not do easily with a sheet of plastic I couldn't do something like go to a command like free transform and decide pulling down the shift key that I want to scale this to be a smaller size we're gonna undo that but that's the kind of thing that we can't do easily in real life but with layers we certainly can all right so first rule of using layers on thing that trips most people up is when you're working with layers you have to remember that analogy of the sheet of plastic because here's something that I see people do all the time if I turn this circle layer back on again as visibility and I think to myself ok I want to move this circle down little bit I've got my move tool very carefully positioned on top of the red circle and I drag the painting well if I undo that that's because it's not where I clicked with my mouth it's important it's what's active over here in the layers panel so because this top layer was selected even though I put my mouse on top of the red circle that's not the correct layer so rule number one part of that checklist concept look at your layers panel and make sure you're on the correct layer you wantto identified over there because where you click on the image got nothing to do with it watch this if I highlight this circle layer and this time I'm gonna very carefully click right on the word the once again I'm moving the circle so where your mouse is positioned is not important what's much more important is am I on the correct layer over here so that's kind of rule number one is make sure that you're identifying the layer that you want to work on now there is a function with the move tool that I want to talk about and well it's on option that's available but I would let's just say I would use it with caution when I first described it to you and I think oh well why would I want to use that that's awesome it's a great idea it's saving the trouble well yeah but as you start getting in maur into layers you may find it's more trouble than it's worth and there's a better alternative and the function I'm talking about is called auto select layer so if I go back to my move tool you see in the options bar there's a little check box as auto select laywer well what this means is I can in theory it lee speed up my work take a look at where I am right now the painted words layer is my active layer and the circle is the one I want to work on well in this case if I actually click on the circle layer you'll see it automatically selects it and now I can start doing all the work and if I want to work on this layer I just simply click on that one so as I mentioned at first glance you're like crop that's great but I wouldn't do that all the time well the problem starts to happen when you get many many layers and if you miss something by like a hair it's gonna go well what you talking about I can't select any layer because I can't move the background layer so sometimes auto select layer actually kind of gets in the way a little bit now it's a very personal preference some people turn on auto select layer and leave it on all the time because they find for their style of work it works really well that's fair enough it's kind of like a preference so you can decide to set it off or not personally I don't use it a lot what I tend to do instead as I turn this auto select layer off and then as you can see right now none of my layers are actively selected so if I want to activate a layer I hold down the commander control key and click and that's like temporarily invoking auto select layer both soon as I let go of that commander control key it's back to being a regular move tool so that means at this point no matter where I click it's going still allow me to move that lay around because going to stay activated until I pick a different one by one I work with this layer hole down commander control this is with the move tool active click and it selects the layer now let's do one more thing let's add another layer and make another circle smaller one which will fill with white and just to cause confusion take my move tool position at first so it's in a really awkward position where I can't even see it well let's look at this scenario now of course I could come over to my layers panel and click on this layer to activate it so that will be selecting it you know so I didn't bother naming this layer in this case but the other option is and this is one that I used quite often and it would actually make better sense if the layers were names so let me just nameless just so you can see okay so now I'm thinking that there's another layer I wanna work on ify right click on windows air control click on the macintosh wherever my mouse is going to say underneath your mouth these air the layers that are available to you painted words circle white circle background so in this case it's almost a step up from that auto select layer because now I can pick from a list of layers now if you don't have your innate layers name that pop up list would say layer one layer seven layer nine and so on and I suppose at that point of course you could at least glance over at the layers panel and see what it looks like but I like the ease with which I do this because I've already named my layers so I'm just doing that quick little pop up menu and saying that's the one that I want so a very important aspect of working with layers is just making sure that you're working on the correct one so whatever you do next will apply to the layer that you want now you can do it with more than one layer so let's move this layer up on top this and let's say for the sake of argument I want to move both of these two layers at the same time well when you have one layer selected like this one are active because of that highlight if I hold on the shift key I can click on a layer beside it contiguous layers they would say and now you can see I'm moving both of these two layers but it's important note I'm keeping them independent and that's important because I don't want to merged them together and lose that edit ability like we talked about previously what I want to do is be able still able to move them at the same time but once I'm finished when I click on any other layer now there's no longer any connection between them we saw on the previous a class I could select these two layers and link them together but that's a little more permanent but it's more permanent so frankly I don't do that as much as I just temporarily say I want these two layers hold down the shift key if you want to select two layers that are not contiguous now there was beside each other and the layers panel we use command or control toe activate these layers so I've got the red circle layer I hold down the commander control key and very important I'm clicking off to the side here not on the layer thermal or anything I'm clicking over here and I say I have those two layers active so now as I move them those are the ones that'll move around so in each case I'm still doing the same operation of taking the move tool and dragging to reposition but first I'm spending my time making sure in the layers panel I have the correct layers active so that whatever I do next again will affect those particular layers now the other thing that often throws people occurred a little bit with layers is when do I need to add a blank layer and when do I not need to add a blank letter and there's really only a couple of specific instance where you need to add a blank layer much of the time layers get added automatically so it's about fifty fifty so for example let me hide all of these layers and maybe I'm working on my background layer and I decide I want to use a tool like my clone stamp tool to cover up some kind of a glitch that I don't like in this photograph well I could do that directly on the background layer and again of course we'll see how to use this tool in more detail later on but I do the cloning that I want and then the problem is it's painted right on there I don't I've been very destructive I can't change my mind so I undo that this would be a case where I would say let's add a blank layer and then in the clone stamp tool I've got up on the top gear test sample all layers which is adobe speak for put the results of this tool on the blank layer thus preserving the layer underneath so that would be an example where I'm still adding pixels so I'm going to choose to add a new layer so any time you're generally adding more pixels by either cloning or painting or anything like that then ideally want to do that on a separate blank layer when we get into our lesson on retouch and you'll see there's a very specific reason for doing this that involves how we can adjust people's facial features using that principle and it's much easier to do in fact that's on lee really easy to do if you have a blank layer so anything any painting type tool that's goingto adm or information we generally want to have a new layer a lot of the other functions we do in photoshopped layers are made automatically for example over here I have ah layered document and I want to use this same layer on my other photograph so I highlighted over here to say this is layer I want and now I'm gonna be moving this layer instead of moving in with in the document I'm going to move it by dragging up to the tab of my other document once it changes I dragged down and I let go I'll show you that I get in a second but you see now that I have in effect copied that layer it automatically was its only I didn't have to make a new layer first so when you copy or place or draggin or anything like that a new layer that automatically happened so let me review that part because this throws people off a little bit I've got two documents open and you can see that by the tabs at the top so I first choose whichever layer I want to say I want this one now I click and drag I'm gonna drag it right off the dock in window hover I haven't let go of my mouse yet or in this case my pen so it changes documents once I do that then I could drag back down and now let go so that's automatically added a new layer for me and as we'll talk about later on this particular has these things called effects which automatically got carried with it any time you don't want a layer there you can just press delete and that will delete that layer from your stack of layers the other time that layers automatically get added is when you're using the type tool now in this case of course I just painted ah fake those are just words I painted with my pen on my tablet but if I want riel type I would use the type tool in this case I do not add a new layer first I just start typing and you see a soon as I commit the type it automatically has created a new layer and this layers automatically named based on whatever type I put in now here's the interesting thing about type players even though there editable types with fonts and all those other things ultimately it's still treated like a regular layer meaning at this point if I decide is not in the right position I would take my move tool and move that piece of acid tate with the type on it to the position that I want and yet I can still edit the content of the type if I decide it's the wrong spelling or fond or color or anything like that so again type players automatically get at it we don't have to do anything so let's say in this case okay I do have some type on here and now there's something about this I don't like I can either double click right here and that will highlight the whole type that will allow me do things like change the color I can also go in here make the size bigger or pick a different font completely once I do that I have to use a smaller size now instead of typing in a font size you'll see here all I'm doing is dragging using this thing called scrubby sliders on position my mouse over letter t and just dragging to say I wanted to be around this big now if I was really clever I could just type in font size but I don't know and as we talked about in one of the early lessons one of the things you'll notice is in this case because it thinks I'm still editing type because I am I can't proceed until I tell it I'm finished so this little check marks or commit button allows me to say I've finished editing my type now I can move on so at this point again this is like a regular type of layer it happens to be the type tool but it's treated like a regular layer so if I had other layers on here and I moved it down hoops are in the wrong order so I moved the ty player up in the stack mortar so from that perspective it's exactly the same thing nothing is different in the way that it works it's just the way it's created we also have a siri's of shape tools now all of these have a couple of different options if I wanted to make some custom shape as an example in here there is a whole bunch of them these most of these coming photoshopped I've added a few others but for the sake of argument let's say that I wanted this arrow well when I do that I have to look over here and see how is this going to be created the shape option will automatically create a new layer based on these options here what what's the phil color doesn't have a stroke outline all those kind of things so if I hold out my shifty to keep proportional and click and drag I can make it as big as I want and now I have this layer and you'll see by default is called shaped one the advantage of this type of layer is it's very editable so if I decide later on I want a different size of arrow or something I can still scale it and also if I take this tool you can see it has all the settings for phil strokes like this will edit those on the fly however there are other options for the shape tool so for example let's go back to the same one you see another option is pixels well in this case I'm getting this little symbol which is saying no you can't do that and the reason I'm getting that is because this is a shape player this option called pixels is basically the same as painting I'm adding pixels so if I want to make a pixel based shape layer that's another example would have to make a new layer first and now when I click and drag it will make this layer which is a regular layer they look kind of the same but there's an important difference the shay player has this symbol which means I am much more editable this layer is pixels which basically is saying this is pretty much the size I am same rule applies otherwise how I worked with him is the same way I still use the move tool too activate the layer and reposition it but the difference is this one because of the shape layer I can do much more editing on easily just by double clicking I can choose a different color very live whereas in this case I can't do that this is just pixels so these the situation with the shape tools is kind of unique because it gives you a couple of different options you can either automatically make a new layer so it just happens without you haven't even think about it and then the other option is to make just pixels but then you have to think about okay I need to add a layer first and the reasons for doing one of the other will really depend on the situation the advantages shape layer much more editable the advantage of a pixel base layer sometimes it's easier to work with for certain situations but going back to our non destructive discussion a shape player would be much more non destructive than using the shape tool with pixels so I'm going to delete that I think I'm going toe change this back to a more color that's more pleasing to me even made not look very good it's fine for what I want to do okay so I'm gonna put this up here but then move it down in the stacks what's underneath my type players like that and then we'll move this down here I don't have any real plan here and was trying to show you some different options okay so up until now all we've really done as we put things on these effectively sheet of plastic and removing them around on the image and also changing the stacking order by moving them up or down in that stack in order the other thing that we can do is give ourselves some options for how we can make these look and this is where again we start to move away from the realm of using a sheet of plastic is let's look at this red circle layer now that I look at I think well it's a little too obvious I wish it was almost more see through while in photo shop see through is called hope cassidy and opacity means take this layer that's currently one hundred percent see through and as I start lowering the percentage you'll see that this white circle which is later I'm on is starting to become more see through to the layers below so now I'm starting to see the red circle and the brick wall let's put that back up to one hundred again on you in that scrubby slider and this time click on the red circle and same thing applies she could go all the way down to a very low opacity but knowing that at any time you can always put it back right up to a hundred percent so one of the things that I would suggest that you consider is this I'm gonna hide all these layers for a second and add a new layer and I'm just going to continue using simple examples like circles and all that kind of stuff so I've just made a selection to say this is the size of circle and I want to fill that with a color like white well the temptation would be to say well I know I want this to be fifty percent see through and actually fill it fifty percent white and click ok which is nice because it cuts the chase and now I have a semi see through white circle but here's the problem if I look over at my opacity it says one hundred percent which means I can't go any higher I've set my ceiling at fifty percent so if later on down the road I think I wish that white circle wasn't so see through it's too bad because by filling at percent like that I'm setting the upper range that can't go any further than that let's go back a couple of steps here and say the same thing applies with a tool like the paintbrush right now my paintbrush is set two one hundred percent of pacify said oh you know what I don't need it that high let's set it to around fifty now I've got this nice see through brush stroke but the same rule applies if I decide later on I want to go higher I can't sew my recommendation is most of the time if not all the time I'm gonna always start off a one hundred percent capacity for painting and for filling things this that's going this way always put in one hundred because that way I can now use thie layer opacity to go down to the number I want knowing I can always come back up again so the bottom line is if you're working with any kind of layer where you're adding paint whether it's painting with a paintbrush or filling ah color or anything like that for the most part with very few exceptions I would tend to at least consider starting at one hundred percent and then using the layer opacity toe lower it down to the number you want that way when you save this document you will have that opportunity to go back up again because honestly there are times we're in photoshopped you do something anything well that looks great then you see the result after you've saved as a j peg and go oh that didn't print the way expected or didn't display the way I thought it would on my screen so having the ability to go back up again it's very important now speaking of saving this is a psd let's explore our situation right now because of the way I was demonstrating things I basically have on ly two layers visible the rest are not currently visible but they're still in the document so if I say this is a psd file it will save it exactly as you see it here it will have a bunch of layers and many of them are hit it'll have a type player that I can edit and have a shape layer I can edit but all of them are just sort of there but not visible so it doesn't really matter whether you turn on the layer visibility or not when you're saving the file it will say whatever layers are included in your stack in the order in which you left them so that means that gives you some great possibilities of saying any time I want to come back and I wantto edit this type or do anything of that nature could easily do that okay so that's a big plus now I'm going to take all of these layers and hit delete because I want to just get him away so we can kind of start fresh and spend a little more time talking about type one of things that we will explore a little more detail down the road a bit is things like resolution and image size and things of that nature and the type tool is kind of unique in photo shop because it allows me to really experiment a lot aiken dramatically increased the size of type and not have any worries about losing quality which is quite different than pixels if I were to take a photograph or a pixel based layer and blow it up dramatically the quality would not look very good let me show you what I mean take uh again a surprise a circle and now if I decide that it was too small and I decide to try and free transform it up you can tell I think you can see the problem is that the edge of it it's not very sharp it kind of looked kind of soft and you think you could see it as I was transforming it that it just doesn't work very well because it looks all kind of pixel eyes so when I'm working with pixel based layers one of the challenges is you to be careful about sizing make sure it's the right size but with type we don't have that worry because I can say the type was this big and then later on use that same free transform option to scale it dramatically larger and all it happens when I press enter it says oh well now you're three hundred sixteen point whereas before you're at forty something or whatever it might be so working with the type to on photoshopped gives us a huge ability built in tow automatically change our mind because that's the nature of typed by nature type is more vector based wishes means it's it's sharper cleaner more editable than doing things with pixels and the last session talked about that whole thing about rast arising with type not a good ideas we saw because we lose the ability to edit and I want to edit as much as possible let's delete that layer for a second and talk about there's a couple of different ways we can add some type and I'm going to go for a more standard looking type if I want just a couple of words I click once and now I have the text that I want and once again I commit that type to finish it and now there's my layer however what if I want almost like a paragraph of text that automatically wraps around the next line well to do that I take my type to love instead of clicking once I'm going to click and drag is if I'm drawing a rectangle and now let's add a bit of type and then make it much smaller so you can actually see what's going on all right so what's happening here is now the boundaries of this text box is what's determining how the text goes because so if I come over here it looks like I'm doing kind of a transformation what I'm really doing is transforming the text box so it wraps around just like a column of type in any other program that works with type so same rules still apply it still we still once we're finished editing we still have to tell it yes we're committed to that and then it becomes another layer but the difference is this is called a single point type which means it'll just keep going and then go right off the edge of your document this one is paragraph type otherwise no difference it's still treated like a regular layer is still moving around and adjusted but the only difference is when you go to edit it using the type tool you will be able to see that box kind of appear that paragraph box so you can move it around the type tools quite unique in the sense that majority of tools in photo shop we have to that checklist thing of check the settings for the tool used the tool and if you don't like it undo or delete and start over again the type tool is one of the few where it's on ongoing process so I added this type quite a while ago I ca n't take my type tool and change it quite easily just by going in an editing and I won't be able to do that I am only able do that because I preserve the edit ability to type by not rast arising it so as I'm working with things here I can continue adjusted and make any change I want any point aiken either change things on the image itself as you saw by changing the the words themselves capitalizing everything else or and they probably should say and or I can change all these other settings font size alignment color anything we want we can change it to the point where it will stay that way now and commit the type and come back next time it will look just like this so the recurring theme you'll see here is everything is the same if you save it as a layered file and the next time you open it it will come in looking just as you left it so let's look at this example here is one that I created previously and as a siri's of layers these air stock photos and I just decided I want them in this position and I want to put this one on the bottom and I just created this kind of stack idea as we saw before now keep in mind I saved this previously so when I open it it came open like this and but I can still decide I want to change the order of layers in the stacking order I could take this layer and lower the opacity so that it's a little more see through but as we talked about before the same thing applies here I deliberately brought the photograph in at one hundred percent so that at any time I could decide do I want the opacity hire no one can always go all the way to one hundred percent now as we're working with layers there's a couple of options we can do for um from an organizational standpoint we already saw before that weaken turn layers on and off tow make their visibility showing hide and in this case I I'll say I deliberately didn't name my layers let's just go with that story but doesn't really matter because at this point I said okay now that I've done this and we'll talk next class about what's happening here with all these things like drop shadow so I'm going to just let you use this little twirl thing so we hide those someone so all you're seeing is just the layer so I have three shall we call them photo layers and one type player so I really like the position of how everything is I took my take my type player and move it to the top just so it's easy to see where it is even though it's not overlapping this one this is actually let me pause for a moment and make that point some people worry all the time about where layers are in the stacking order you only have to really worry about it if the layers are overlapping so because this type player call wish you were here is on ly overlapping this one layer here that's really all I need to worry about it could be in that place in the layers stack some people like to put it higher up this access they can see it and keep their layers organize that's fine too but you just have to think the only him have to really worry about the stacking order is where the layers overlap if there's no overlap then it doesn't matter where they are in the stack all right so back to our little discussion about organization I have three separate layers here if I decide I really like the position of all of those three relative to each other one of things that I might consider doing is I clicked on the first layer shift click on the top players we saw before selecting multiple layers but I'm gonna use the layers panel pop up menu and shoes new group from layers now when your group things in photo shop what it really means as you're putting things into what looks suspiciously like a folder but now instead of seeing three separate layers I'm seeing this one folder with a little theworld down that says out there's everything in that folder but from an organizational standpoint this could be really helpful considered having this big giant stack of layers where you're kind of getting lost in the shuffle of things of where things are you could for example I didn't at the time but let's call this photos and if I had fourteen type players I might put them all into a group so they're better organized but I still have the edit ability of each of the layers one of the other reasons for using groups is now I can very quickly say what does this look like without those three photos so instead of clicking on multiple eyeballs now I'm just clicking on the one to show the visibility of the group they've done a really nice job here about the way groups work because even at this point if I decided well I got them all in a group and when I used the eyeball it's hiding everything I could still look inside that group would say but I really only want to hide this one so you always have the option of twirling down to see what's inside this group and then decide from within their whether you want to show our high the individual parts of it but the other nice thing is also from a standpoint of moving by nature because they're in a group when you move the group the contents of that group move as well now until now I have been taking my move tool to sort of arbitrarily dragging around but at a certain point if you're getting close to an edge of something as long as the move tool selected you compress the arrow keys like right now present the up arrow key each time I do is kind of nudging things into position so that I'm saying that's where I want that to appear so it's a little more accurate than than using the move tool in a photo shop cs six unimportant change happened in previous versions of photoshopped groups have been around for quite a while but there was limited functionality in other words you there were certain things you could not easily do now that I have this group I can for example lower the opacity of all the layers in that group is if I change the opacity of the group it changes all the layers within that group I can also change other factors some which we haven't talked about yet but for example I could add a style to this group and everything within that group would have that style applied now make better sense when talking about layer styles next but from a functionality standpoint from on organizational standpoint groups just help us because visually it takes up less room in the layers panel and also it means for things like hiding and moving it's a little easier now let's assume for a moment that we got to a point where we suddenly realized that for whatever reason having these layers in a group wasn't so helpful after all how do we get him out of the group well when you do that is you notice one of the options is delete group you have to be careful with what you do next so when I choose delete group it asked me do you wantto delete the group and the contents which unfortunately it's prompting me to do which would mean everything would go away or in this case I say really I just want the group gone so on ly delete the group keep the layer so that puts me back to the step of having multiple layers in my display and like a lot of things we'll talk about throughout this whole deal there's really no let me start again there's often no really right or wrong answer for example people say should I use groups do I have to use them you don't have to it can be useful some people have no problems with looking at a layer stack with twenty seven layers in them other people liketo have organized by certain functionality now photo shop cc introduced a new feature recently that if you have that software do web design you could just rename the group and it will automatically export files like png and j peg so from a web design standpoint groups have become even more normal or more useful than they ever work but it's not a requirement so I hate to any have anyone ever feel well someone so told me or dave told me or I heard somewhere that I have to use groups or whatever it is you don't have to I suggest it is a good way to work because it gives you that organizational standpoint but it's certainly not a requirement it's important that we don't confuse groups in photo shop with grouping in other software for example and some software you group things together they operate as one object and you have to ungroomed them to work with them separately here as you saw I take these three layers I choose new group from layers and even though it looks like there kind of merged they're not and that's the big difference between emerging which should make them into one layer and put him into a group and that's why from a non destructive standpoint you're gonna get so tired of the word non destructive but it really is important that's why I do it this way because functionally it's easier I've got one thing to work with but I also can still edit all the individual pieces now it is also possible to make just a new group with nothing in it you see that little icon shows me it's an open folder and then decide I want this inside that group now when I did that now they're in the wrong order so I could take this group and drag it down below the other one for you that way around right this up either way to get the orders we're all still comes down to the stacking order whether you have individual layers and or groups that's completely up to you but it's always bottom up is kind of our approach we need to take most of the time we end up with a background layer that could be white or could be transparent but again we tend to build things up on top of that by using various layers of different kinds one of the things that will talk about in more detail at a later class but I wanted least introduce it because it is a type of layer is an adjustment layer and I kind of mentioned this in passing during our discussion on working non destructively and we saw some examples of adjustment layers but basically the difference is this if I attempted to do on overall adjustment to this photograph right now everything is great out as we talked about earlier whenever everything is great out that means something's wrong something in our circumstances means why can't I do that well in this case the reason is the layer that's currently active is my one type player but you can't adjust a type player that's just not possible however if I go to the adjustment layer it's a little different because one adjustment layers do is it says I will adjust every layer below where I add that adjustment layer so right now in my stack let's take a look at it I'm right at the very top of my stack of layers and I'm picking at a black and white adjustment layer when I do that you'll see even before I start really adjusting it everything turned black and white because by nature wouldn't adjustment layer does is it affects every layer below it so even though I have a type player and a couple of groups and one of those groups includes multiple layers it doesn't matter the adjustment layer automatically effects every layer below but this is where I cash I think this is just the the most fun part of photo shop is things like converting to black and white well I didn't really convert it I made it look black and white to me that's a very significant difference if I took this document and change the mode let's take a look over here there's a mod called gray scale when I do that it's saying do you wantto let's just be uh this way okay see how saying discard color information I'm goingto cancel that because I don't really want to do that because if I convert the mode I'm throwing away color here I'm making it look black and white but the color is one click away because I'm just showing her hiding the adjustment layer so when you're in a situation of going I can't decide between a couple of different looks here's another example of why layers are going to help us because weaken have that built in decision going to say this is a psd when I want to show someone to get their opinion I say which do you prefer this color version or the black and white version all I'm doing is showing in hiding the adjustment layer to get the effect that I want and like anything else at a certain point you can either leave it as it is right now kitten or I can say you know what never mind I'm just going to drag it to the trash and throw it away completely because I've just decided I don't want that at all so as we talked about before and we'll talk about probably multiple times before we're finished there's always multiple ways to do things but structuring everything with layers is goingto serve you best in the long run you can create different options from layers like if you worked on the web design you can create slices and use this new tool called generator and photoshopped cc or you can hiden show layers and manually save a copy so you have different options it's not unusual at all for me tohave a layer document that I have say three adjustment layers that are hidden and then I decide okay let's see what it looks like if I turn on this adjustment layer and then I might hit print and I look at my president go yeah I'm not sure let me turn that adjustment layer often turn this one on and then try something different so that again is very very typical now another thing that that very often comes up in working with layers is let's say in this case we've got our type player and I want some more type that looks just like this with different wording instead of me trying to figure out that was a font called tall paul and it was one hundred forty five and all that kind of stuff instead I just duplicate the layer now again typical photoshopped fashion there's multiple ways to do that you can use the pop up menu and choose duplicate layer you khun take this type player and drag it down on top of the new layer I congress to me is aboutthe longest way there is but that is an option what I tend to do is use the keyboard shortcut commander control j ford well it's not really j for duplicate but that's perfectly what it does now you see I have a new type player that's called same name copy and at first it looks like nothing's happened that's because when I've duplicated it's right on top of the same one but if I take my move tool and drag it over you can see now I have a separate type player that I can edit independently so I can enter some type for example and I think I want to change the color and it looks pretty good I think all right except for the fact that it's on top of you can really see that I even put an f in their looks really weird let me I have a feeling I I thought I did but okay yeah it's just a weird combination of the fbl so that might not be the best choice of font in this particular case but you see anytime you duplicate a layer especially when it's type I shouldn't say let me we've let me re can't that statement much of the time when you duplicate a layer that's the right type of layer you can edit the settings if it's a straight pixel based layer like some of these photographs I'd be limited to what I could edit but in many cases easier than starting from scratch especially when it comes to type you might end up having four five type players that all are based on the same settings of font and size and alignment and so on and rather do that over and over again you can just duplicate a layer and work with it one of things that I knew as a photo shop cs six is now you can also duplicate a group with that same keyboard shortcut in the past you couldn't do that you had to do it a much more manual way but now you can also duplicate a group if you wanted to I'm going to show this group but really all they want to show is just this one layer so here's the layer and now I decide I want a cop even though it's within a group I could do it in one of two ways I could use that same met different methods of duplicating but one of the nice little hidden tricks of photoshopping anytime you want to make a copy of something that's already on its own layer I've got my move tool if I just drag it it moves it but if I hold down the option are all key the cursor changes now it copies it and you'll see within my group because that's where I wass it's going to say layer three copy and now I could edit this one and make it look slightly different or whatever I want so another option for working with layers is when you're not certain of which look you want now if I turn all these back on again I can say I'm not sure if I like this one or this one so it's giving me more choices but just by duplicating the layer making some minor modification may be slightly smaller or rotated or something all things will learn how to do but giving yourself more choices by having more layers than you need even though it sounds odd to say more layers than you need what I'm really meaning by that is more options through having more layers so just like that scenario I mentioned where I might add multiple adjustment layers in the top and then turn them on or off to see if I like it or not this is kind of the same concept is having more layers than you need and now you can decide do I want to have of both east high players or not easy to do and are ongoing scenario in every single case is I saved this file and when I do I'm saving is a psd and then building on and working one whatever layers that I want so let's discuss on idea for a little project for you and what I would suggest you do is initially do something really simple get yourself any photograph it all could be anything or you know what it could even be this make a new document and just make a blank document that's even easier you don't have to start with the photograph but if you have a photograph open it either way you'll have a background layer and just experiment with what happens if you take your paintbrush and paint directly on the background layer you can see there's no layers there versus I'm goingto give myself a blank layer paint something on it at another layer and either paint a different color or at a box or whatever you might want just so you can see ok now I have two layers of a new experiment with changing the stacking order hiding or showing layers and then lowering the opacity of the layer remember throughout that whole thing I might not have been saying this out loud but in my head each time I was thinking to myself I want to work on this layer make a change I want to work on this layer make a change now that's sort of the first easy example let's take it up a notch and say take three of your favorite photographs and try and combine them on layers now you don't have all the information really necessary at this point so let me give you a couple of quick little things teo mention here when you combine photographs like this together they will come in at a particular size and then you have do resize them a little bit and this is just giving you limited information that really probably won't help you a whole lot you probably hate me because you're like why did you tell us to do that but if you decide to explore bringing photographs in on layers the chances are they'll probably some of them will be bigger than you need and then to change that you have to use this command called free transform when you do that let me make sure I'm on one of my photo layers you can easily see it let's hide these other ones here okay so here's my type player scratch that sorry here's the layer I wanna work on I do free transform on again little handles on here and then I khun scale it down hold down the shift key to do it proportionately I can't really scale up very much without losing quality so that's something to be aware of so that probably wasn't the wisest choice of mind to give you an assignment to do with multiple photos since we haven't really talked about that a whole lot what I'm a do instead now that I think about it is I'll probably provide this one psd file this postcard as a downloadable file so you can use that as a starting point let's just pretend I said that ignore all those about use your own photos we'll talk about that later for now download this psd file and play a little bit with showing in hiding layers changing the order selecting layers and just get used to that concept that if I want to work on that layer that I need to click on it in the layers panel if I want to put things in a group I have to tell a photo shop which photos I want to put in a group and just use this as a little exercise too play around little bit if you really want to then I would suggest try adding your own type player because this one clearly the thought will not be probably one that you have try adding your own type player and adding some message of your own to your postcard and see what that looks like so that just gives you a little bit something to work on and don't worry throughout each as we progressed further down our thirty days your assignments and homework will be a lot more interesting and have more projects but we've got to get this kind of ground work out of the way first so with that said have a good day we'll see you tomorrow

Class Description

Photoshop is an essential tool for all working professionals, no matter what industry. Join legendary Photoshop pro Dave Cross for an intensive 30-day series on everything you need to know about this unparalleled — and often overwhelming — program. Dave will teach one hour every day for 30 days, covering everything from setting goals to expert retouching strategies. Taught in bite-size chunks, this series will help you improve your skills, efficiency, and creative ability. At the end of this intensive series, you will understand basic techniques for every photo editing task, innovative hacks to improve your workflow, and which tools to use (and which ones you never have to learn). In addition, you learn how incorporating a non-destructive workflow will boost both your productivity and creativity. This is not just a passive, sit-back-and-watch class: you will be encouraged to actively take part by completing assignments and participating in live Q&A and feedback sessions. If you want to take your Photoshop skills to the next level, join Dave for 30 Days of Photoshop.


Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.1

Reviews

Melinda Wong
 

Very good teaching. I really liked how clear Dave was with everything, the order he taught the material, and I thought the stories were very helpful. I REALLY wanted to understand photoshop and extremely thankful for his wisdom and knowledge. Thank you so much! This is what was holding me back from getting my photography started! :) It just seemed so intimidating and now I have a greater understanding.

a Creativelive Student
 

I'm a beginner and have found that the information Dave gives is great, although a little to fast at times. I'd like to buy the course but am curious. If I purchase can I watch it and pause it and rewind it? That would be extremely important to me. Thanks for a great service CreativeLive...

a Creativelive Student
 

Lots of information! Initially I thought I'd just watch the free version as I already have several Creativelive videos on Photoshop but I really like how the classes are broken into subjects and shorter, 1 hour sessions-it will make reviewing much easier! I love Dave's teaching style-he covers everything very well. (Plus the fact that he's Canadian, eh?) :D Thanks for offering such a great course! I'd would love to see Dave do a similar one on Illustrator.