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Adobe Photoshop 2020: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 100 of 118

Organize Your Layers


Adobe Photoshop 2020: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 100 of 118

Organize Your Layers


Lesson Info

Organize Your Layers

this time, let's take a look at advanced layers. There's so much you can do with layers. And earlier we had a separate lesson on Layer essentials. Now we're going to dive a little deeper and let's start off with how to organize your layers. Here's a complex Photoshopped document that I created decades ago. This was the back cover for a brochure that was sent out for a seminar tour that I did. Now I've blurred a lot of the pictures that are here, and that's because they were stock photos that I don't have the rights to give to you guys. And if you purchase the course, then you get this document to play with and I couldn't have those pictures. And so therefore, that's why it looks just a little bit different. But let's take a look in the layers panel. What takes to make this document? If I simply start scrolling through my layers, you can see that there's a whole lot of them. And if you look at the pictures and layers panel a lot of them, it's hard to tell exactly where something he's us...

ed within a document, and I'm not even halfway done going through my layers panel, and I could see this image has already been simplified because in one piece there, but it just keeps going and going and going. So if you create a complex document and you open it up months later and try to work with it, it could be tough to figure out what's happening in various areas. So let's figure out how we might organize these layers. So I'm gonna start turning off layers kind of one at a time in seeing which portion of the image defects so that top most layer looks to me to be a bolt that's near the upper right corner of the document. Turn off the layer below it. It's another bolt and I can see just by the layer names. There's a total of four of them. Then I see a type player that made the text disappear and then a little bar. All right. Those seem to logically belong together because they make up the top bar in this document. So I'm gonna turn their eyeballs back on and with the bottom. Most of those layers selected, Ah, hold shift and I'll click on the top layer to get all of those layers and then I'll go to the bottom of my layers panel and I'm gonna click on the folder icon. It's not actually known as a folder. It's known as creating a group. Ah, but if I click there now, those layers look like they almost got merged into one. But in reality, they're contained within this folder, and if I click on the little arrow next to it, I can expand it to see the layers that are contained within. Now, when you have a folder which is officially known as a group, then you got to think about the way the move tool is gonna work to reposition layers. If I have an individual layer highlighted active in my layers panel, then when I go in, click it within my image in drag. I'm gonna move one layer this layer right here, choose, undo. If I want to move more than one layer at a time, I can select more than one layer. In this case, I'll select both this layer in the layer above it. Then I would be moving both of those layers. But when you use folders, if the folder itself is active. It's as if all the layers contained within it are active in, therefore with just the name of that group active. When I click and drag, everything within that group moves. And so, therefore, if organized, my document in a logical fashion, those could really help me out. So let's look at some of the other layers here. I have some texts, and I see it on the right side of the picture near the top. Then I have the photo that is above the text, and I have the white background that's supposed to make it look like a Polaroid. Then I have a shadow layer. Have the photo that would be to the left of it the little base of yet. And that makes another logical grouping, which would be those two images that are supposed to be kind of a before and after image. So with the bottom most layer of that selected, I'll hold shift to get the top one, and I'll click on the folder icon. So now, if I used my move tool when that folder is active, you see those two moving together, and then I could continue doing that for the rest of the document and just grabbing each logical grouping in putting them into a folder. Well, I've already done that. I'm gonna close this document in switch to another one. I already have open here, and that one has extensively used the folder icon, just known as a group. And let's take a look at how the images now structured. So now I have one group, which is for the top bar, just as we had before. And then I have a separate one that is for all of the Polaroids that air here in the middle and then finally have another one for the whole backdrop. But you can put a folder inside of a folder, and so I further organized this image where if I opened some of these here is one called Digital Mastery logo, and that's because the logo you see here at the bottom wasn't just one piece. It moves around us if it's one piece when that group is active. But within it is the text for the word digital taxed for the word mastery and the colorful base layer that's there as well. And if I go up here to the PLO rides those have been organized into Here are Polaroids that originally featured a picture of cars which are there here's ones that had a house and so on. So each grouping is in there. Then, if you want, you can get much more detailed, and it really depends. And how many people are gonna be accessing this document in needing to truly understand how it's made? Or how often are you going to need to do the same to figure out how many of thes groups you might want to use? But if I open this up here, the one called Khar Polaroids, which are these two are then divided up into the individual red car that was here in the yellow car that was there. And I don't think they go any more than that. Yeah, but you can see that you can put a folder inside of a folder. You just select multiple layers that were inside of an existing group and click that folder icon to create another. Now that also effects how another feature and Futter shop works. If I'm in the move tool, there's an option near the top of my screen called Auto select, and I mentioned in the lesson that was about layers that I prefer to have that turned off. And therefore, when I click within my image to drag, it does it never changes which layer is active without me purposely trying to do so and that I end up using auto select manually in the way you can do that is when you're on the move tool, you can hold down the command key that's control on Windows and click on something. And if you do, it's the equivalent. Having auto Select turned on just for the moment of time that you command, click on your image control clicking and windows in their four. I can target a layer, and it's nice. Could it expands all the groups down to where you can see that particular layer? But you should be aware that there is an option up here right next to the auto Select Check box is a choice called layer or group. If this is set to group, then when I command click on my image or you have Auto Select turned on manually. Then when I come over here and I command click instead of getting an individual layer selected, it's going to select the top most group that contains that layer, and therefore I could move this shoes undo. Or if I come down here and target one of these Polaroids, it's gonna grab the top most group. And that one contains all the Polaroids. And what that means is that sometimes you can use too many of those folders if you want to be able to very quickly target and move things. And in this case, I think having this many is a bit excessive. And so what I might do here is I might expand a few of these and get it so I can see the individual Polaroid groupings, and I can select them. If I hold down the command key control on Windows and click within my layers panel. I could select the deeper individual Polaroids and then dragged them up in my layers panel so that they're no longer in those sub folders, and I can grab that base sub folder and throw it away, and it looks like I didn't get all of them out of there. Looks like there was still one in there. Probably those Yeah, grab those and drag him out and then throw that away. So I think this is around the right level of organization because now when I have Auto Select set to group, I can come in here and grab these individual polarize and move them around, which is what I might want to do when working with this layout. If you see all those pink numbers and guides those air called smart guides and if they bother you because they're rather excessive in this particular document, feel free to go to the View menu and here under show. There's a choice called Smart Guides, and you could turn that off and now those pink lines wouldn't show up. But at this level, I think it's just right for me where I can adjust my layout as needed. And if I needed to move more than one Polaroid at a time and whenever you're using auto select. If you hold down the shift key, you could make more than one active. So, for instance, if I make this one active and then usually I click over here and separately get that one. If I hold shift when I click now, I'm getting both, or I hold shift and I grabbed. This is well in this is well, so I could easily really manage things and grab many different layers. I just have to keep in mind with Auto Select. Is it set to grab an individual layer, or is it select to grab a group? And if it is grabbing a group, it's always gonna grab what you might call the ultimate parent of whatever later you're clicking on. So if it goes back and finds the, um, you know, the kind of base level group that that layer is contained within, you can always hold, shift and click on additional areas and therefore select additional groups, so you'll see me switching between group and layer, depending on the document and what I really needing to do.

Class Description

All individual classes that make up this bootcamp are also available here for individual purchase.


  • Develop an understanding of how Photoshop works
  • Create your ideal workspace
  • Configure the essential preference settings
  • Set up Adobe Bridge and Lightroom for optimal integration with Photoshop
  • Navigate multiple images seamlessly


Adobe® Photoshop® 2020 is a feature-rich creative force, perfect for turning raw ideas into audience-wowing images. With Ben Willmore as your guide, you can master it faster than you think and take on a new decade of projects.

Ben takes you step-by-step through Adobe Photoshop 2020 as only he can. With an easy pace and zero technobabble, he demystifies this powerful program and makes you feel confident enough to create anything. This class is part of a fully-updated bundle – complete with 2020 features and more efficient ways to maximize the tools everyone uses most.

Whether you’re a 20-year designer or you’re opening the app for the first time, this is the perfect way to learn and love using Photoshop. From retouching to masking to troubleshooting, Ben unpacks all the essentials and hidden gems, while giving you real-world examples to drive each lesson home. By the end of the class, you’ll feel eager to make serious magic with Photoshop 2020.


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)


  1. Introduction To Adobe Photoshop 2020
  2. Bridge vs. Lightroom
  3. Tour of Photoshop Interface
  4. Overview of Bridge Workspace
  5. Overview of Lightroom Workspace
  6. Lightroom Preferences - Saving Documents
  7. How To Use Camera Raw in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  8. Overview of Basic Adjustment Sliders
  9. Developing Raw Images
  10. Editing with the Effects and HLS Tabs
  11. How to Save Images
  12. Using the Transform Tool
  13. Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  14. Selection Tools
  15. Combining Selection Tools
  16. Using Automated Selection Tools
  17. Quick Mask Mode
  18. Select Menu Essentials
  19. Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  20. Align Active Layers
  21. Creating a New Layer
  22. Creating a Clipping Mask
  23. Using Effects on Layers
  24. Using Adjustment Layers
  25. Using the Shape Tool
  26. Create a Layer Mask Using the Selection Tool
  27. Masking Multiple Images Together
  28. Using Layer Masks to Remove People
  29. Using Layer Masks to Replace Sky
  30. Adding Texture to Images
  31. Layering to Create Realistic Depth
  32. Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  33. Optimizing Grayscale with Levels
  34. Adjusting Levels with a Histogram
  35. Understanding Curves
  36. Editing an Image Using Curves
  37. Editing with Shadows/Highlights Adjustment
  38. Dodge and Burn Using Quick Mask Mode
  39. Editing with Blending Modes
  40. Color Theory
  41. Curves for Color
  42. Hue and Saturation Adjustments
  43. Isolating Colors Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment
  44. Match Colors Using Numbers
  45. Adjusting Skin Tones
  46. Retouching Essentials In Adobe Camera Raw
  47. Retouching with the Spot Healing Brush
  48. Retouching with the Clone Stamp
  49. Retouching with the Healing Brush
  50. Retouching Using Multiple Retouching Tools
  51. Extending an Edge with Content Aware
  52. Clone Between Documents
  53. Crop Tool
  54. Frame Tool
  55. Eye Dropper and Color Sampler Tools
  56. Paint Brush Tools
  57. History Brush Tool
  58. Eraser and Gradient Tools
  59. Brush Flow and Opacity Settings
  60. Blur and Shape Tools
  61. Dissolve Mode
  62. Multiply Mode
  63. Screen Mode
  64. Hard Light Mode
  65. Hue, Saturation, and Color Modes
  66. Smart Filters
  67. High Pass Filter
  68. Blur Filter
  69. Filter Gallery
  70. Adaptive Wide Angle Filter
  71. Combing Filters and Features
  72. Select and Mask
  73. Manually Select and Mask
  74. Creating a Clean Background
  75. Changing the Background
  76. Smart Object Overview
  77. Nested Smart Objects
  78. Scale and Warp Smart Objects
  79. Replace Contents
  80. Raw Smart Objects
  81. Multiple Instances of a Smart Object
  82. Creating a Mockup Using Smart Objects
  83. Panoramas
  84. HDR
  85. Focus Stacking
  86. Time-lapse
  87. Light Painting Composite
  88. Remove Moire Patterns
  89. Remove Similar Objects At Once
  90. Remove Objects Across an Entire Image
  91. Replace a Repeating Pattern
  92. Clone from Multiple Areas Using the Clone Source Panel
  93. Remove an Object with a Complex Background
  94. Frequency Separation to Remove Staining and Blemishes
  95. Warping
  96. Liquify
  97. Puppet Warp
  98. Displacement Map
  99. Polar Coordinates
  100. Organize Your Layers
  101. Layer Styles: Bevel and Emboss
  102. Layer Style: Knockout Deep
  103. Blending Options: Blend if
  104. Blending Options: Colorize Black and White Image
  105. Layer Comps
  106. Black-Only Shadows
  107. Create a Content Aware Fill Action
  108. Create a Desaturate Edges Action
  109. Create an Antique Color Action
  110. Create a Contour Map Action
  111. Faux Sunset Action
  112. Photo Credit Action
  113. Create Sharable Actions
  114. Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 1
  115. Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 2
  116. Image Compatibility with Lightroom
  117. Scratch Disk Is Full
  118. Preview Thumbnail


a Creativelive Student

Wow. I cannot communicate the value of this course!! The true value in this course is how the instructor identifies workflows you'll need before you'll ever realize it, repeats important information without it becoming annoying, and explains the "why" behind the techniques so well that even if you forget the exact method, you can figure it out via the principles learned. Excellent value, excellent material, excellent instructor!!!


The short lessons makes it easy to find things. Clear explanations, structured content, great examples, handbook plus practice images - this class is worth x10 the price! I have seen many of Ben's classes and I'm so happy you created this one, love it

Madelaine Enochs

Ben's class has been extremely helpful for understanding how everything works in photoshop. I am so grateful for his classes. Easy to understand and thorough. Thank-you Ben!