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Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 19 of 118

Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020

Ben Willmore

Adobe Photoshop: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

19. Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
2 Bridge vs. Lightroom Duration:06:39
3 Tour of Photoshop Interface Duration:18:21
4 Overview of Bridge Workspace Duration:07:42
9 Developing Raw Images Duration:30:33
11 How to Save Images Duration:03:37
12 Using the Transform Tool Duration:04:48
14 Selection Tools Duration:05:55
15 Combining Selection Tools Duration:07:37
17 Quick Mask Mode Duration:05:07
18 Select Menu Essentials Duration:21:28
20 Align Active Layers Duration:07:29
21 Creating a New Layer Duration:06:15
22 Creating a Clipping Mask Duration:03:02
23 Using Effects on Layers Duration:11:24
24 Using Adjustment Layers Duration:16:44
25 Using the Shape Tool Duration:04:39
30 Adding Texture to Images Duration:09:11
35 Understanding Curves Duration:06:18
36 Editing an Image Using Curves Duration:18:41
39 Editing with Blending Modes Duration:08:04
40 Color Theory Duration:05:59
41 Curves for Color Duration:16:52
42 Hue and Saturation Adjustments Duration:08:59
44 Match Colors Using Numbers Duration:16:59
45 Adjusting Skin Tones Duration:05:25
52 Clone Between Documents Duration:13:19
53 Crop Tool Duration:10:07
54 Frame Tool Duration:02:59
56 Paint Brush Tools Duration:13:33
57 History Brush Tool Duration:06:27
58 Eraser and Gradient Tools Duration:03:06
60 Blur and Shape Tools Duration:11:06
61 Dissolve Mode Duration:09:24
62 Multiply Mode Duration:15:29
63 Screen Mode Duration:14:08
64 Hard Light Mode Duration:14:54
66 Smart Filters Duration:11:32
67 High Pass Filter Duration:13:40
68 Blur Filter Duration:05:59
69 Filter Gallery Duration:07:42
70 Adaptive Wide Angle Filter Duration:04:43
71 Combing Filters and Features Duration:04:45
72 Select and Mask Duration:20:04
73 Manually Select and Mask Duration:08:08
74 Creating a Clean Background Duration:21:19
75 Changing the Background Duration:13:34
76 Smart Object Overview Duration:08:37
77 Nested Smart Objects Duration:09:55
78 Scale and Warp Smart Objects Duration:09:08
79 Replace Contents Duration:06:55
80 Raw Smart Objects Duration:10:20
83 Panoramas Duration:13:15
84 HDR Duration:11:20
85 Focus Stacking Duration:04:02
86 Time-lapse Duration:11:18
87 Light Painting Composite Duration:08:05
88 Remove Moire Patterns Duration:06:11
89 Remove Similar Objects At Once Duration:09:52
91 Replace a Repeating Pattern Duration:06:50
95 Warping Duration:11:03
96 Liquify Duration:14:02
97 Puppet Warp Duration:12:52
98 Displacement Map Duration:10:36
99 Polar Coordinates Duration:07:19
100 Organize Your Layers Duration:11:02
101 Layer Styles: Bevel and Emboss Duration:02:59
102 Layer Style: Knockout Deep Duration:12:34
103 Blending Options: Blend if Duration:13:18
105 Layer Comps Duration:08:30
106 Black-Only Shadows Duration:06:07
109 Create an Antique Color Action Duration:13:52
110 Create a Contour Map Action Duration:10:20
111 Faux Sunset Action Duration:07:20
112 Photo Credit Action Duration:05:54
113 Create Sharable Actions Duration:07:31
117 Scratch Disk Is Full Duration:06:02
118 Preview Thumbnail Duration:02:10

Lesson Info

Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020

And now it's time to turn our attention to layers layers of one of the fundamental features and photo shop where if you don't know layers, you really don't know Futter shop. And so let's jump into photo shop and look at the essentials for layers. If you end up getting the full complete guide, we'll eventually have another session, which will be on advanced layers, and that's well get in even deeper. But for now, let's look at the basics of layers in Photoshopped. I'm gonna start by creating a brand new empty document to start to construct a more complex image from I'll go to the file menu and choose new, and I'll go over here to a print preview or a preset, and I think I'll make this maybe about seven by five inch image. Choose, create, and then we'll just zoom up so it fills the majority of our screen. When you first start out in the Layers panel, which is on the left side of my screen at the moment, you're going to start off with a background layer, and it's only the things that appe...

ar above the background layer that are actually considered to be layers. The background itself is not truly a layer I can control how large the thumbnail images will be in the layers panel by right clicking in this empty area below the layers. So right now, if I press my right mouse button Warren Mac, if you don't have to must buttons control click in this area, you can choose how large these are going to be. So I'm gonna choose large just to make these easier for you to see. And you could do that any time you like by right clicking in this empty area or going to the side menu of the layers panel and you'll also find it here under panel options. Then I'm gonna go to bridge and let's look at various ways where I can get an image into a layer in photo shop. So I'm gonna open an image here, starting in bridge, just double clicking. The first thing I could do is copy this image. Now, copy will be grayed out because it doesn't know how much of the image I want a copy. So we'll first go to the select menu and select all. Then I can come up here and copy this when I copy it. The entirety of what had selected is being held in what's known as the clipboard. And so I can close this original image. And now I'm back into the document we had before, and I'm just gonna paste it when I paste. Watch what happens in the layers panel. There's our first layer now. The size of the document is based on the size of the original document. It looks at the width and height of the image in pixels, and then it puts that many pixels into this document. And if this document happened to have, ah, skinnier with or a shorter height, it'll filmore than the document itself. But let's look at other methods we could use for getting images into this document. I'll return to bridge and open another picture. This time, I'm going to use the move tool the move to us what you used to reposition layers. It's the top tool in our layers panel, and I'm just gonna click anywhere within this document. Then, with my mouse button held down, I'm gonna move my mouse over to the other tab. The tab for the document I created earlier. And then I'm gonna move my mouse into this document before I let go. A lot of people will end up messing up and letting go where their mouth is still on top of the tab for this document, and then nothing will happen. But I'm gonna let go right now. And so now we've moved that second image over here, so so far, we could copy and paste, or we could drag and drop. I'm gonna close the other document, the one that I just dragged over. It's the second tab that's here. We'll just hit the little X that's there to get rid of it. Let's go back to bridge. Now. There are other ways where it could be very useful to get images between bridge and photo shop. And that is I'm gonna click on the top edge of the bridge window and just pull it down like this so I can see what's behind bridge. Then I'll make my thumbnails in here a little smaller. And now if I want to get one of these images over to the other document, I'm just going to click on it here in drag up there to the Photoshopped document I can see behind Let go now. When I do that, it's does a couple things differently. The first thing it does is it scales down the image to make sure it fits within this document. And if I wanted to be even smaller than that, I can grab these corner handles in, pull a man to decide exactly how big it like that image to be. I can click within the image itself and reposition it. And then when it's the right size in the right position, I press the returner in Tricky. Now, if I want to get the other images to be sized and positioned, all I need to do is go over here in my layers panel, click on a different layer and then go to the edit menu in about halfway down. The menu is a choice called free transform. When I choose free transform, I get little handles on the corners of my picture, and if that picture extends beyond the edge of this document, I might need to scroll down to actually see ah, the handles. But there's a trick. There's a keyboard shortcut that usually means fit within window and it usually would cause the entire document you're working on to fit within your screen. But when you're transforming something, it thinks about the transformation you're performing. So if I come up here to my view menu and choose fit on screen or I take command zero, which is what I usually do, controls their own windows, it will scale it down until I can see those transformation handles. And then I can scale this down in reposition at now if I typed command zero. It's thinking about the document because the picture fits within it, and I'm just going to scale this until it's about approximately the same height as the other layer. Then to finish, I'm gonna press returner enter on my keyboard. I'll go to the next layer down again. I could go to the edit menu and choose for you. Transform where That's something I used so often that I usually use the keyboard shortcut, which is command t for transform control tm windows. So I'm gonna type that command t again. This image is taller than the document that I'm working with, so if I want to zoom out until I can see the little handles to pull on Aiken Type command zero that's controls their own windows. And when I move this around commands or to zoom up on the document, if I get this to line up with something else in the document, you'll see some pink lines appearing. And it's showing me what's lining up in this case, the bottom of this image or this layer with the images to left of it. If I move it up now, it's vertically centered on both images that it go, it's to the left of it. And if I get up here, it's now lining up with the top edges of them. Then I'll grab the corner here in Recife. But what if I want to get a bunch of images into this document? Well, then I can come over here to bridge and just select more than one that won't select all these, and then just drag all of them over there. And if we try to do that, the first time brings in one image. And since I dragged and dropped it, it makes sure that that image fits within this document, so there's no need to type command zero to zoom out. I can reposition this wherever I find it useful. And then I press returner entered indicate I'm done in. Since I dragged more than one image over it instantly switches to the second image so I can start working with it. And I'm going to start a new row of pictures down here near the bottom of my screen. Press returner enter. And the next image comes in help make that fill the middle of my screen returner enter and the next one comes in F ever decide that I don't want to continue bringing mawr images in. Maybe I accidentally selected 200 pictures. Then I could always press the escape key and that would cancel. But here I want all these images so I will just allow them to be placed and scaled down. I wish it would show me guides when I'm transforming to let me know that this picture is the same height as the others. But that doesn't usually happen to squirrel around here. I have a track pad built into my laptop and I'm using two fingers on my track pad to scroll around. Looks like we have Hopefully, this is the last image. Otherwise, I'll end up hitting escape because I don't need Mawr images than this. All right, that was the last image, all right, so we have a bunch of layers now. You should know that the layers that I dragged over from Bridge, you remember that it automatically transformed them in automatically made sure it fit within the document was working on. But it also did one other thing. And that is, if you look at my layers panel, you'll see a bunch of layers here. But some of them have a special icon in the lower right, This icon here, that's something we're going to talk about. If you watch another lesson, I'm going to record. That's on advanced layers, and that indicates that that layer is special. It's what's known as a smart object, but that's beyond the scope of this particular class. Just know that when you drag from bridge, it does do one other thing, and it does something related to what's known as a smart object. All right, now let's organize these images in here. If I come in here and just click on an image I make that layer active, then I can use the move Tool the tool. Me very top of my tool panel to reposition things. Uh, and with default settings and Photoshopped, it's going to automatically switch which layer is active at the time I click. So watch my layers panel. I noticed the top most layer is currently active, and when I click right here, notice it changed and it changed the layer that contained the picture that was underneath my mouse. If I click on the next image the left, it'll automatically switch to layer that is contained within, and so I can very quickly switch between layers. For me personally, I do not like that. It does that. That's a change that Adobe made to Futter shop recently. And it's something where it messes me up quite a bit, because oftentimes I can have a layer that might contain a tiny object that I want to move. And I don't wanna have to click exactly where that object resides to prevent it from switching to a different layer. And so I wanted to not automatically switch layers unless I do something to tell it to switch layers. So let me show you how to make that change, and so therefore, you can have your photo shop set up similarly to mind. Ah, when the move tool is active, will come up to the top of my screen to the options bar. There's a check box right here called Auto Select in four decades in Photoshop that was turned off. But then recently well, not all that recently. A few years ago, Adobe decided to change the default, and they defaulted it to being turned on. So I'm gonna have that turned off when I used photo shop. And what that means when it's off is that it doesn't matter where I click on my screen. It will not change which layer is currently active. So if you look in my layers panel, you'll see that the layer that is currently active is a layer that is located near the upper left of the document. It happens to be the one that contains this picture, and it doesn't matter where I click on my screen. That's the layer that's active. And if I want a different layer to be active, I need to manually change it here in the layers panel. I'll show you ways of automatically changing which layer is active. And I think it will be very convenient for you. But the main thing is it will never change layers unexpectedly on you.

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)


Noel Ice

I am an avid reader of photoshop books, and an avid watcher of photoshop tutorials. I have attended (internet) several hundred of presentations. In the course of this endeavor, I have found my own favorite photoshop websites and instructors. Creative Live is probably the bargain out there as well as among the top three internet course sites. I have to say with great enthusiasm that the best Photoshop instructor is Ben Willmore. There are many great ones, but truly, he is the best I have come across, and, as indicated above, I have watched literally 100s of tutorials on Photoshop. I have seen all of Ben's courses, I think, and among them, this one is the best by far, and that is saying a lot, because that makes this course the best course on Photoshop to be found anywhere. I am going back and watching it twice. Not only is it comprehensive, but Ben is so familiar with his subject that he is able to explain it like no other. This is crème de la crème of Photoshop classes. I have been wanting to write this review for some time because I have been so thoroughly impressed with everything about this class!

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