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Photoshop CC: Layers

Lesson 14 from: Photoshop and Lightroom Creative Cloud Additions in 2015

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

14. Photoshop CC: Layers

Next Lesson: Smart Object Usages

Lesson Info

Photoshop CC: Layers

Let's get into photo shop and start looking at some of the changes they've made relating to layers now some of the changes they've made are relatively simple and small but are nonetheless important because there's some things that you haven't been able to do for many, many years with layers that would just make you do multiple steps they seem unnecessary that they have since eliminated let's see what some of those are you might be familiar with the concept of the background layer that the background layer is a special layer that has some limitations to it. If you ever try to use the eraser tool to erase part of it, it never goes away instead of just gets filled in with whatever your background color is if you attempt to add a layer masks to it, usually it wouldn't let you in the past because you first have to change the name of the layer to make it so it's no longer a background later there many different things about the background layer that would force you to do extra steps in so ma...

ny of those have been eliminated so let's look at some of the changes they've made in the past if I no longer wanted to background layer the general technique was a double click on the name of the layer and type in a new one when you clicked ok, this little lock symbol would go away and it would indicate you no longer half a background where and that would be the case even if you double clicked on it and named it background because it's not the name of the layer that caused it to be that way it's the special little lock symbol and now there are many things that we can do where you no longer have to change the name of layer it will do it for you so let's, take a look at some of the first. The quick way to get rid of a background layer is just click on this lock symbol that means unlock it so now you no longer have a background layer so that's nice and simple. It used to be that if you had the background active and you went down here to the layer mask icon, it wouldn't do anything because you would first have to change the name of the background before you could do it. But now if you just click the layer mask icon, it just renames the layer for you just taking out one step in your process. There are a lot of other similar things that have changed over the recent versions of photo shop let's take a look at some of them here are bunch of layers and I'm going to select some of these layers will click on one of them ah hold shift and I'll click up here to get a series of them together, and I often organize my layers into what I call folders because the icon we used for creating them looks like a folder but are actually known is groups it used to be in previous versions of photo shop. If I click that folder icon, I would get an empty folder and it wouldn't care if I had more than one layer selected here it would create an empty folder. There was a trick with older versions where you could hold down the shift key and if you held down the shift key when you clicked on the folder icon if you happen to have any layers selected in your layers panel it would put them in the folder for you, but you had to hold down shift well now with the current version, if you select multiple layers and you just click the folder icon all by itself it will automatically put them in that no need to hold down the shift key anymore, which I find to be nice. It saves a lot of time now it was rare for me I just chose undue toe actually use that folder icon because that means I would actually have to move my mouth to the bottom right of my screen. There was a keyboard shortcut for doing it, which is command g control gm windows for grouping and you you still have to hold down the shift key to tell it to actually take the layers that are selected and put them in there now you no longer have to, so if you just type command gee that's the fast way of throwing the layers you currently have selected into aa folder no need to hold shift anymore there are a bunch of other things similar to that that they've added in the layers panel let's take a look it used to be that if I wanted to hide the layer I had to move my mouse over to the layers panel in click on a little eyeball icon in this case I'm hiding a layer that has the text search well in the current version of photo shop you can a fee if you do that a lot, you can substitute command and then the comma key command comma means hide current player and so you can come in here and if you want to hide multiple layers, you can select multiple layers, command comma and do its multiple is well then sometimes I would want to lock things because I didn't want those items to move so here if I have a a couple different layers here that I really need to stay in the same position all the time, I could select those and at the top of my layers panel we had a lock symbol well, now with that lock symbol uh I can hold down command and hit the forward slash when it leads to the right it's not actually afford slashes just slash and that will block the layer for me. So if I end up looking down here you see the little lock symbol and when I hit the keyboard shortcut it can lock or unlock. So if you're one of those people that just burn up the keyboard using every keyboard shortcut you can to be as efficient as possible when working in photo shop you a few new things that, um can help you out there then let's look and a few other layer related features in this image I have some text I'll turn on and off the later I'm about to work up he and with that text you see a black border around the text that black border was added by first typing in the text and afterwards going to the bottom of of my layers panel and down there I find the letters f x and there I can add things like a stroke and here I also have an inner shadow and I also have a drop shadow so I can do that when I choose that it brings me into this dialog box where I can control the settings for this so I can control things like the size of that stroke and that kind of stuff that's not new but there are some other new things that are in here remember I got to this dialog box by going to the bottom my layers panel I clicked on the letters f x and that's where I found this list just choose any choice from the list and you'll be sent in here well, here's what's new if you look at the list of what's called layer effects, you'll find that some of these choices have little plus signs next to them what those little plus signs mean is that I can have more than one of that particular effect attached to a layer it used to be that you could only have one stroke around the edge and if you wanted to different colors and your stroke you had to work around it there were some work arounds you could create something called an outer glow make it really big and make it so the edge was hard and it would look a cz if you had to but you really had to work around things, but in the current version of father shop you'll notice that some of these effects have a plus sign next to it if I click that plus sign that means now I have two strokes and when I'm working on that second stroke I can now come in here click on the color that shone and I'll choose red just to make it more obvious, maybe a dark red, or to make it more annoying, more purplish, and I'll bring this up. But you notice that this one I'm adding, that is this kind of pinkish purple is covering up the one that was already there and that's because we have two strokes and the one I just added went on top. Well, if I click on one of these, you'll find at the bottom of this dialogue you see little arrows that controls the stacking order of those effects. So if I want to take this stroke that I've added and move it down in the stack, I click this icon, and now you can see that it went underneath the other one. So this one up here is black. This one down here is whatever color you want to call that. And now you can add, I believe it's up to ten of these, you could have ten strokes, you can have ten inner shadows, you can have ten drop shadows, that type of thing in each one can have a different setting in that just opens up a bunch of new possibilities when it comes to these styles now, with that, we can also come in and disable some of these let's say, I'm experimenting with some design in here. I'm not sure if I want two or three or four these strokes on here, and in the end, I decided turn off the check box on that one I did added, well, this list of a fax is going to stay long, it's going let's say, I had a bunch of these added, and I just decided, no, I didn't want those, I'm going to turn them off. Well, this list can look a little cluttered if you've been experimenting a good amount, so at the bottom, they've added a little f x choice, and if I click on that your first off, see the ones where I can add multiples and you're going to find a choice in here delete hidden effects so if you ever find the list is getting cluttered because you've been experimenting, if you delete hidden effects, you'll find that the things you have not used, our just gone and that actually could make it really nice. So this looks clean and you don't have to search through everything that's there to find it. If you go back down here, there's also a choice of reset to default list, and that means the ones that are hidden right now because they're not being used. You can show up again and you can turn off is going to turn off the ones that were on there, but you could just turn on the check boxes again to get them yes, on the one image, or is that defaulted so we can open up another image? Are those changes made her? Those changes air just for this particular layer if I want to use them within another document or another layer. What I can do is you have a couple different options. One of them is when you look at a layer that has the effect supplied, you'll see the letters fx on the side and there's a little triangle next to that. If you click on it, you can expand it to see a list of effects or collapse it. And then just the letter fx tells you you have some of them. Well, if you want to apply this to another layer, you can just click on the word effects here in drag to another layer. When you let go, it will move them there, but you notice they're no longer on the layer there originally on if you wantto copy them instead of move them, hold on the option key, which is alton windows when you drag, then it will move a copy. But I don't believe you can drag them between documents that way so if you want to do it between documents you have a couple other options one is to go to the letters fx that is on any layer that has those applied and right click on it one of the choices you'll find within the menu that appears is copy later style then you could switch to any document that you'd like and click on any layer and if you right click you'll find the choice of somewhere in here paste layer style and now that's going to wipe off any layer styles that are already there and replace them with the ones that you copied earlier and so therefore you can easily get them between documents or the last thing you could do is there is a panel in a photo shop called stiles and those that equipment to presets for these things and so if I have a layer active right now that house when applied to it you need to have only one layer though then I can come here and click on the little icon here and that's going to save this is income into a pre set now what call it green jell culturally and click ok now it's a preset right there and if I ever want to apply to anything else in any document I click on the later I want to apply it to and then I just click on that preset. It'll apply. It got many different options.

Class Materials

Bonus with Purchase

Ben Willmore - Class Handbook.pdf
Ben Willlmore - LayerComps Example.tif
Ben Willmore - Lightroon Dehaze Preset
Ben Willmore - DeHaze Preset Pack Quick Start Guide.pdf

Ratings and Reviews


Got to "know" Ben during Photoshop Week and a few other courses. He has consistently been one of my favorite Photoshop instructors. He is extremely easy to follow, stays on point without being cold or boring, and is immensely knowledgeable on just about everything Photoshop. He does not disappoint in this fantastic in-depth review of some great new features in PhotoShop and Lightroom CC 2015 ... there are some real hidden gems in there for you. Ben polishes them up and serves them to you with extra info, insight, and pertinent examples. He goes the extra mile to answer questions and delve into related subjects without going off the rails. GREAT, GREAT course. Thanks Ben, and Creative Live! -Tim K.

Jose A De Leon

I just purchased this course today and it's wonderful. Ben is one of the best Photoshop instructors I've encountered. I had purchased the complete Mastery course and this one is a welcome addition since it covers new features. Even though Photoshop and Lightroom will continue to evolve, the basic techniques and tools used are basically the same, so I find myself going back to the mastery course if I hit a bump along the way. Ben's knowledge is second to none, but his true gift is the ability to transmit all that knowledge in bite size and understandable portions that are never boring. Someday I will have the privilege to know him personally, in the meantime I will continue to buy his courses as they come out. Such a wealth of information. Thanks Ben and CreativeLive!


Ben is a wealth of knowledge and covers the material beautifully. Highly recommend his workshops to others!

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