The Five Forbidden Fruits: Erase, Delete, & Merge in Photoshop
I mentioned already that I'm not a huge fan of race and delete because they are way too permanent for my liking. So for example, in this case, I want to make it look like this little girl standing in front of all these soccer players because apparently her parents understand we too close to a soccer field when the game is going on. If I just took my racer tool and started our racing, you know, on the surface level, this seems like not a bad idea, except it would take quite a while or the other options some people would say, well, let's, take one of my selection tools and, like the quick selection tool, doesn't okay job, however I'm delivered, letting something happened that I know is going to be a problem just to make a point if I move first of all moved too quickly, I hit delete and I deleted some of the other white things that shouldn't be deleted. Obviously, I can undo that right away, but if I wasn't paying close enough attention and that three more steps once again in that boat of...
on, I've done three things have to redo, ok? So even if I fix that and say let's, get this part, I'm just holding down the option all key toe remove that from the selection ok, it looks okay thank you so you now if I press delete at first glance you're like, you know, that's not too bad the problem is if you wait there's more of her here so let's say, well, I'm just going to make this is line I know I'm not going to use this part down here, so we'll just delete that and move her back down again and I'm showing this because I have watch people do this because they're thinking at that moment in time they think I'm not going to need her anymore the rest of her so I just deleted it and they save it as layers which is that part's good because least they have a separate layer but then they showed the parents you know what actually let's have her the full body standing there you're like the full body you mean the part that I deleted yesterday so you hit free, transform and try and making and say, well, she's got a little gap in her but other nat let me just, you know, somehow clone the rest of her an artificially make her legs come back and you just don't want to go with that path because why it's way too difficult so instead let's step backwards here what I would suggest is I would probably do it this way another advantage of a smart object or let me say the other way before smart objects anytime you would scale something down and photo shop and hit enter that's was its new size so you scaled it back up again you would lose quality so in this case in my head I might be thinking well if I scaled her down to see all of her to help make a selection and hit enter that aiken scale are back up again well if you do the quality will go downhill because now you're that's now one hundred percent size if I scaled her back up again I'm artificially scaling and it won't look is clear and that was just a reality of layers we always had to deal with so we had to try and come up with some alternate solution when you convert a layer to a smart object the other advance it gives you is it remembers I was originally this big so if I scale her down to help me do something I can then scale her back up again without losing quality because this is going back to the size she was before you still can't go bigger than the original smart object is not magic so it can't fix that problem but it does mean now I could literally scale her down to make my selection scale are back up again I'm not to lose any quality because of smart object so that's exactly what I would do in this case used three transforming scaler down to see all of her like that and then I'll do this really fast with the quick selection tool, but it will be good enough for our purposes here. What I'm doing is I'm selecting everything else except what I need and I'm gonna invert selection miss anything okay, mr fuel pieces, but again, it'll be fine for the purpose of demonstration and then hit the adler mass pot or use that keyboard shortcut I made earlier she's apparently very small girl playing in a big soccer game, but that's ok, because now I can scale her now that I've got the mask, I could scale her back up closer to original size and not worry about losing quality because I'm not because the smart object allows me to do that. The bottom line if this was just regular pixels when you scale it down hit enter that's its new size when you scale a smart object, it remembers I was originally this big it's not your long you're not going bigger than the original you're ok now the only thing that could happen, as you can probably see here because I scale her down a back up sometimes you'll see see that little tiny line on the edge because the mask now sometimes that's just a delusion like here it actually is there sometimes you would have one hundred percent side you'll see it's not really there just a screen display in this case it is so I just have to go in and kind of on the layer mass just do a couple of areas toe cover those up but now what I've given myself the opportunity to do is that every part of this again even if I decide later on you know we are just going to go with the not that I would do this but just make a point we're just going to go with the head and shoulder kind of things so let's on singing maker smaller again now if before I made this selection and press delete I deleted those pixels because I have a layer mask if I fill it with black it looks like the rest of her is gone but it's still there I could just painted with white again not that I would probably do this but that's kind of the idea of why we use a mask versus delete or racing leading in erasing are a quick fix that is very permanent and can lead you to problems a mask lets you at any time today, tomorrow, two years from now open this up and go now I look at it I need to miss part of her toe or whatever it is a mask is better so if you scale back up with the layer mask on, is it going to reveal her entire body or does it just moving proportional? What happens if you look at that? You see there over here, there's a little link symbol between the layer in the mask that means by default, if you scale her, the mask will scale with it. And what should happen ninety nine percent of the time is the mass scales appropriately so it's just scaling with it occasionally has happened here the outer edge. You suddenly see a little hairline, you have to go over, but if you look at her, the edges of her still pretty good, so by default, the layer and the massacre linked together, there are circumstances where you'd want toe unlinked. Um, for example, if you were pasting a new sky and you want to move the sky around, you'd want the mass to stay put and the sky to moves on those cases. You've been unlinked the two, but by default and most of the time you want layer, just like if I decide to move her over here, I want the mass to move with it. If it was unlinked, it wouldn't make a lot of sense, because now I'm not moving the right stuff. But the benefit of using larry mass there are many, not the least of which is you're never at a point of going oh, now I've that part of that person is gone, you know? Or now any circumstance where the race or delete function is a much more permanent, potentially kind of situation where is a masked by nature? You couldn't do everything, including throw away the layer mask and just not using it all. So if you're experimenting with different situations, this is how you khun kind of figure it out for example, this layout the original photograph was this one, and then I decided initially that put another photograph of her on here, so but it's still a photo with a layer mask because I, even though I was pretty darn sure I didn't would never really want the white part of her to be there at the same time who's to say that later on I might not want to use that photo with just a nice white background to put something else on there, so I'd rather give myself the opportunity to have those options than to be thinking that on I never want to feel myself going I wish I hadn't fill in the blank except, you know, I wish I hadn't sold that apple stock now, but within photoshopped you want to be saying that everything is possible because this document here someone looking and say well why you keeping those mass you probably never change them the answer yeah you're probably right but then again I don't want to miss that opportunity is it causing me any huge amount of grief tohave two layers with layer mass not really the on ly thing that is potentially at anyway even remotely negative about this approach is your file size will get larger and honestly I stopped working about worrying about file size about five years ago because like I said with the price of stories today you know get more storage thie the only thing I will say and I have had people mention this in his valid they're working on really large physical dimensions with lots of layers that got to do something and I'll know so the so called progress bar going hold on a second I'm almost finished because that's where file size becomes an issue it might start to slow you down a bit but even there personally I'd rather balance that versus well just merge these six layers and never have the option of working on them again individually for me I'd rather do that so remember this example with the boxes let's just go back to where it was before thiss so remember at one point this is what I had I had all these separate box layers some people would say you know take all these separate layers and then uh merged them together it seems like an okay thought, but I look at that and my heart beats a little faster and I get a little throw up my mouth a little bit because I'm like but if I do that, any questions someone asked like, can you just change? Not really so instead I would either put them in a group like I showed you before or just to show you the smart object version take all these layers and convert to smart object you could take multiple layers and convert them to one smart object. So now in this document that I'm working on, I'm going to close some of these other files was going to get confusing for a second here just close some of these all right? So I couldn't move him around I can apply filters into whatever I want, but now if someone says there's one box too many moping doubleclick there's all my original files and I take out that box and I move notice I didn't delete it, I just hit it because I want the ability to go back and change my line again so I can select all of these and again do that as soon as I hit save it updates over here it's a very different way of working because most people are used to focusing on this one document into suddenly introduce well your actual contents over here in the separate document that is the hardest part of smart objects that catches most people off because they're like but once you get used to it it really is quite amazing the level of things you can do things that I found road blocks used to run into that I have to try and come up with a solution and often there wasn't one I honestly can't think of a situation where I wasn't able to get the results I wanted thanks to smart objects now without boeing any brain vessels in anyone's brains right now you can even okay so have you ever seen like when you store tougher where you put the bigger tougher where you put the smaller tupperware inside and put on a smaller one side you could do that with smart objects I think put smart objects inside smart objects to get you even a higher level of editing which is kind of like the movie inception you know dreams within dreams and people are like I don't understand what's happening here there's a little bit of that going on but let me show you really quickly example without you can try toe show anything that's a little too wacky but here's an example er type any text doesn't really matter and like that let's use uh this spine okay all right so I have this tax and I'm working with a client who just long people say, hey, can you do this and they don't really know the implications yes or no so they want a stroke around the outside of this so that's fine because there's a layer style called stroke on let's pick center and make it black you can see there's a little stroke around right there you go stroke around like ok, cool now I've seen things where people put a second colored stroke around it can you put another stroke and as easy as that sounds to the non photo shop user and photoshopped, you can't have more than one stroke on one layer so the alternate would be well, I guess I could duplicate the layer and somehow make it hey, I mean, all the solutions were kind of like, you know, so it occurred to me whenever you put something in a smart object container it's like you're starting again, so if I take this layer with the stroke on it and convert to a smart object now, you see there's nothing that says stroke player style so I could add a stroke to that let's go outside to make it a different colors you can see it, I'm not going for aesthetically pleasing here this is mark to show what it looks like when I see there's a bit of red outside there like awesome let's do another one because that will look really nice I'm sure so you take that smart object and you convert it to a smart object because you're now starting again and if you really wanted to you could keep going to this the point where look really ugly but it would give them the result that they wanted I suppose and let's put this here e yeah lovely so now this is where the fun starts that hasn't already for you because you showed to the client there like that is awesome I love that so so much but I don't like the font well if this was any other way I would have done in past years I would have somewhere along the line either made a selection or rast arise the type so I would have been like no you can change the typeface but they really want to well remember the way you look at the contents of a smart object is double click on it so I double click on it it shows me there's a smart object but it's still not type so it's another smart object deep so I have to go down inside like russian dolls so look there's another doll and eventually you double click to the point you see that letter t and now aiken say well, they really want this typeface so I this is where it gets fun clothes and say that which updates the second one, which I then close and save and an update that one so even though it seemed at first glance you're like, wait a minute a smart up inside a smart dog inside a smart object it surprised me how often that actually comes up that first I never thought I would in the first couple times I was a little like what is happening here but if you just think use whatever comparison, whether it's russian dolls or containers of tupperware or plastic bag or something that reminds you each time you look inside it the contents but as soon as you convert to a smart object it's preserving what's already there and letting you build on top of that so it's been a solution for me for things like having dropped shadows that automatically update when I changed the typeface in ways that didn't before things that in the past if I think about what I used to have to go through to get end result that looked ok but was hardly editable at all versus now everything is this smart object method that means there is hardly ever a time when like my kind of stuck now and it has autos it sounds it might be by going several level steve now that's more unusual don't you think oh, I have to start doing that right away but making a layer into a smart object if nothing else making your filter smart right away that's better so the habits we need to talk about is thinking about ways where we're going to both speed up our work but not have it come back to bite us later so I can work in a way that's nice and fast but no that no change I've made is in any way permanent so later on I can come back and I can readjust the adjustable eric and we do the the filter that smart riken turn off completely and we just the layer mask and along the way I'm also trying to take evangelism is really about like keyboard shortcuts and everything else but overall the biggest couple of habits or that idea of thinking towards the end result not just the next step it's like you think wanting to end up with is text with all these lovely strokes around the outside not that you really would but if you did how can I achieve that in a way that's gonna let me get the result that I want but not paint myself into a corner where I can't change my mind? So uh nondestructive working to me is the overall theme want to think about and because again it's not just changing your mind but it's also reverse engineering repurpose ing we're using and allowing you just experiment is at this point I go ok I really don't like the red stroke so let's, change that to another color. I still can, because the wave that I've done it. So my question is, is there a limit to how many layers you can have, or how many justin layers or how many levels of smart objects? And the answer is? There probably is some technical limit that no one has ever reached. I already hear rumors once of a guy who had twenty thousand layers in his brain, exploded, if that's, true or not, but I think it was just more not attending limitation, but he just couldn't handle the thought of all these layers. But that's, you know, the on ly downside. If there is one it's, a tiny little one is file size will get bigger. I'd much rather trade that for all the ability to edit everything.