Adobe® Photoshop® CC® Bootcamp

Lesson 22/118 - Introduction to Layers


Adobe® Photoshop® CC® Bootcamp


Lesson Info

Introduction to Layers

Layers is a topic that is very difficult for a lot of people to wrap their head around. I had the fortunate, I guess, fortunate ability to get my degree in printmaking and sculpture, so I learned layers at a very early time, that's really helped my out with layers in Photoshop. So what we're gonna talk about today is layer demo, we're gonna actually do a physical demo where you're gonna see layers working on transparencies, we're gonna talk about how you can start envisioning layers in your mind, to set you up for success with layers in Photoshop, we're gonna talk about the types of layers, and then we're gonna talk about some practical application with those layers to get it all to kind of circle back to the very beginning of the basics of layers. So let's go ahead and start this layers demo. So if I told you to draw a smiley face on a piece of paper, you'd probably be looking at a sheet of paper like this here and you'd just draw your smiley face like this. And now we have a smiley f...

ace on a sheet of paper. This is not conducive for layered editing in Photoshop, because this smiley face is on its own layer, it's got an opaque background, and it doesn't really help us when we're thinking about layers in Photoshop. So the next transition for this is to think about layers in terms of actual transparency sheets. So I don't know if you're like me, but I learned math back when they had those old projector units, where they would draw the problem on the piece of transparency film, and then they would put the solution to the equation on top of it afterwards. And that's exactly what you need to think about layers in Photoshop as, is that you can slide these things in and out, you can build upon them, but you have to understand that each layer is it's own separate entity. So now, if I were to draw this smiley face on one transparent layer, this is a little bit more conducive for working in Photoshop, because now I have my transparency film. You can see through it. If we were to put this transparency on top of this piece of opaque paper, I did a pretty good job of getting that smiley face almost pretty close there, huh? We have one layer interacting with the other layer. But the even better way to do layers in Photoshop is to actually do each separate part of that smiley face on an individual layer. So we'll have the head will be on this layer, and then we would take our layer two, and maybe draw those eyes, and then our layer three, and now we have the smiley face. So each individual layer, then, can be modified. This smiley face, the smile of the smiley face, is on it's own individual layer, which can be edited or modified, and if I wanted to, I could then make him sad or angry with any other layer while still preserving the original eyes and the face. And that's the advantage with working with layers in Photoshop. So thinking about layers in terms of Photoshop, the transparency film helps, because you can see how they're individual, and the eyes are on one, the head is on the back of layer one, and then layer three also has a smiley face. And notice how they're all also very well labeled, one, two and three. And we can do this in Photoshop as well. So we can have those pieces of the smiley face individually compartmentalized in their own area with their own name, so we have a quick reference to them. So this is still a transparent layer, but it's a transparent layer with all of our individual pieces on it, and this is an opaque layer. And all of these actually do play into Photoshop. This would be essentially what we call a merged set of layers, that still has transparency to it. This would be a flattened document, which might be ready for print, and these would be your working documents. So envisioning this, envisioning layers, is the next piece to this. I've already kind of showed it with the transparencies, but you can really see how layers are now, we're taking a two dimensional thing that we think about, a photograph is two dimensional, and we print it out, all you see at the very end of it is a two dimensional object. But the building of that two dimensional object is a three dimensional, almost sculptural type of mentality, where you have to think of those layers as sheets that rest on top of each other, and actually pull them apart in your mind, to see how they're interacting with one another. So looking at the screen, it's just flat. You have your layers, and they're also flat, but if you think about that layer stack that we're gonna see when we get into Photoshop as each one of those layers being a physical object that can be moved around, it's a lot easier for you to understand layers than the paralyzing fact that you have multiple things going on in one layer stack, okay? So here's our smiley face. If we envision that smiley face as our three dimensional object, just like we saw on the transparencies, you can see how now the eyes and the mouth are pulled away from this object there. So the first object would be the face, the second object would be the eyes and the mouth, and they are separate. When you pull them apart, you can actually see a shadow on them too. That's thinking about this in three dimensions. So we have two layer qualities, and we've already kind of talked about those layer qualities. The first layer quality is an Opaque layer. And and Opaque layer is a layer that has an opacity of 100%. That's a fully Opaque layer. The second one is a Transparent layer, which would be a layer that has an opacity that is set at 99% and below. So it's somewhat transparent, it can be seen through. And some of these, we also have to understand that some of these layers can be opaque and transparent. So that's one of those things to wrap your head around, is that if you have a solid fill of that eye of the smiley face that's 100% opacity, but the area around it is transparent. So we have two layer qualities, but the third layer quality is kind of that hybrid mix of both of them. So let's talk about the layers in Photoshop. There are three main types of layers. Regardless of your layer styles that you have applied to them, which we'll talk about in the next lesson, the Opacity, the Blend Modes or the Fill, there are always three types of layers in Photoshop. And these are your basic layers that you're gonna also need to kind of wrap your head around when you're thinking about things in terms of layers. The first one is a Pixel Based layer. And a Pixel Based layer is any layer that is Rasterized. That's a big word that you probably right now just stumbled upon, but that's fine. We'll take care of that one. These are layers that contain pixel data. Think about a background layer, or an imagine right out of your camera that you pull into Photoshop. If you notice that when you pull it in, it's got a thing that says Background with a lock on it, that is a Pixel Based layer. It's a layer that's comprised of Pixels, because our camera sensors take Pixel Based images. The next one is a Vector Based image. Now, as photographers, we don't always see Vector Based images. Vector Based images are typically something that you would see coming out of Illustrator, or something that uses lines, shapes, and text to create an image. And Vector Based layers are separate and different from Pixel Based layers. Then we have Adjustment layers, and these are kind of the thing that turns all of it on its head. Adjustment layers are what I like to call Calculation Based layers. Adjustment layers will take anything that is underneath an Adjustment layer, and make a calculated representation in the layer above. Think of things like a Curves Adjustment layer. That Curves Adjustment layer is a calculation. It's looking at everything that's happening below it, it's calculating things based on curves, and then also levels, gradient maps, hue saturation, anything you see in the Adjustment layers that when we get to the end of this lesson here, you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. But these are all calculations. These are temporary things that are happening within that layer that are not destroying anything that's going on underneath your layers, because it's happening right within that Adjustment layer. So let's go ahead and hop into Photoshop, and we'll do a little bit of practical application with this. Take a look at layers, how layers are organized, how to organize them best, and also look at how we can look at Vector Based images, Pixel Based images, and Adjustment layers individually.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop® CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop® expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop®. Topics covered will include:

Week 1
• Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
Week 2
• Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
Week 3
• Smart Objects , Transforming, Actions, Filters and Editing Video
Week 4
• Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop® prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.

Software Used: Adobe® Photoshop® CC® 2018


1Bootcamp Introduction 2The Bridge Interface 3Setting up Bridge 4Overview of Bridge 5Practical Application of Bridge 6Introduction to Raw Editing 7Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface 8Global Tools Part 1 9Global Tools Part 2 10Local Tools 11Introduction to the Photoshop Interface 12Toolbars, Menus and Windows 13Setup and Interface 14Adobe Libraries 15Saving Files 16Introduction to Cropping 17Cropping for Composition in ACR 18Cropping for Composition in Photoshop 19Cropping for the Subject in Post 20Cropping for Print 21Perspective Cropping in Photoshop 22Introduction to Layers 23Vector & Raster Layers Basics 24Adjustment Layers in Photoshop 25Organizing and Managing Layers 26Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes 27Screen and Multiply and Overlay 28Soft Light Blend Mode 29Color and Luminosity Blend Modes 30Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes 31Introduction to Layer Styles 32Practical Application: Layer Tools 33Introduction to Masks and Brushes 34Brush Basics 35Custom Brushes 36Brush Mask: Vignettes 37Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn 38Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation 39Mask Groups 40Clipping Masks 41Masking in Adobe Camera Raw 42Practical Applications: Masks 43Introduction to Selections 44Basic Selection Tools 45The Pen Tool 46Masks from Selections 47Selecting Subjects and Masking 48Color Range Mask 49Luminosity Masks Basics 50Introduction to Cleanup Tools 51Adobe Camera Raw 52Healing and Spot Healing Brush 53The Clone Stamp Tool 54The Patch Tool 55Content Aware Move Tool 56Content Aware Fill 57Custom Cleanup Selections 58Introduction to Shapes and Text 59Text Basics 60Shape Basics 61Adding Text to Pictures 62Custom Water Marks 63Introduction to Smart Objects 64Smart Object Basics 65Smart Objects and Filters 66Smart Objects and Image Transformation 67Smart Objects and Album Layouts 68Smart Objects and Composites 69Introduction to Image Transforming 70ACR and Lens Correction 71Photoshop and Lens Correction 72The Warp Tool 73Perspective Transformations 74Introduction to Actions in Photoshop 75Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface 76Making Your First Action 77Modifying Actions After You Record Them 78Adding Stops to Actions 79Conditional Actions 80Actions that Communicate 81Introduction to Filters 82ACR as a Filter 83Helpful Artistic Filters 84Helpful Practical Filters 85Sharpening with Filters 86Rendering Trees 87The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters 88Introduction to Editing Video 89Timeline for Video 90Cropping Video 91Adjustment Layers and Video 92Building Lookup Tables 93Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type 94ACR to Edit Video 95Animated Gifs 96Introduction to Creative Effects 97Black, White, and Monochrome 98Matte and Cinematic Effects 99Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades 100Gradients 101Glow and Haze 102Introduction to Natural Retouching 103Brightening Teeth 104Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool 105Cleaning and Brightening Eyes 106Advanced Clean Up Techniques 107Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization 108ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits 109Portrait Workflow Techniques 110Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization 111Landscape Workflow Techniques 112Introduction to Compositing & Bridge 113Composite Workflow Techniques 114Landscape Composite Projects 115Bonus: Rothko and Workspace 116Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos 117Bonus: The Mask (Extras) 118Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!

Sonya Messier

I'm been using Bridge, Adobe Raw and Photoshop for 12 years. I thought I knew those programs until I started to follow Blake and do this Photoshop CC Bootcamp. This course is AMAZING. I love the way Blake teach, brakes down concepts and tools... excellent teaching qualities! I'm half way in this course and I change all my workflow already. Much better results and better use of what Adobe offer me. This course is an investment! When I will be done, I will listen it again. Great job and congratulations on your success Blake!