Why Work Non-Destructively Part 2

 

Adobe® Photoshop®: Productivity

 

Lesson Info

Why Work Non-Destructively Part 2

Continuing our why should we work non destructive and how do we do it and advantages and all that kind of stuff here's some examples of the reasons why I look at always look to the method that's going to give you the most flexibility so to me nondestructive also equals flexibility and reusability is you can say I like that look I want to reuse it somewhere else so here's an example of that I have this photo and I want decide I want to maybe try adding a vignette to it to darken the outer edges of the photograph so let me first show you the destructive way that I used to do it not not suggesting you do it this way so don't take notes on this part this's the what I would call old school way that while it's still works it's not the best so I add a blank layer and I fill that layer with black so let's just use phil black now I want to define an area to say, but this middle part I don't want to be black and I'm just sort of arbitrarily going I guess around this size now if I just hit delete...

I would get very hard edges I don't want that I want soft edges well here has been one of the age old problems of photo shop if you go to this command called feather this dialog box has not changed in the entire history of photo shop it looks just like that and people are like how much should I feather and the answer is who knows and there's no easy way to tell you honestly what and this this is one technique I've seen many people use they just stare at it for a while as if by divine providence we're gonna go sixty two and then they put that in like somehow they knew that I'm like that I don't know and even when you do that you still don't really know because now you have this rounded corner thing but until you actually hit delete now you kind of see the results of the feathering and that's not bad but the problem with it is if there's anything I don't like about it I can't really change it other than the leading and starting again so I'd much rather use a method will give me a similar and result but that I can edit every part about now in one of things you'll find as we start talking more and more about this whole non destructive way of working is very often the non destructive method might take you a couple of moments longer to create then it would using some other method but the payoff is that whole flexibility reusability and so on so I'm going to add a curves of justin they're not curves from the image menu but curves adjustment layer in the curves I just take the top of this line as I drag it down, it gets darker and darker and if I go far enough, it pretty much looks like I filled it with black so the net result is it looks like it's been filled with black never using adjustment lair you have a mask associated with it and this is the one part that often throws people off when I talk about this, so what I want to do is not have this middle area affected by that darkening adjustment and the way you do that is on the layer mask you fill it with black, so to get rid of the black, we fill it with black, which is kind of confusing at first until you look at and say ok, the way the mask works is black areas are hidden, so that's why it looks like this so the problem is I want that soft edge if I go back to kind of feather, I can't so instead I go to this properties panel and in the properties panel there's a mask and one of the options see where it says feather, but here's the important difference in that feather selection dialog box you enter a number, you don't know what you're going to get and you can't change it here this is non destructive feathering that I can change it anytime because if I put it up to say, I've been looking at the number, I'm just looking at it visually and saying there once again I don't click ok, I just leave it like that so this point I would say ok done but not really because if I say this is a psd, I can edit every single aspect of this. If I look at the edge and go kind of like the shape but it's a little too dark, I would go back to the kurds adjustment layer and make it not as dark, so you see as I'm moving this, I'm adjusting the outer edge or I could say, and maybe it needs to be not quite so feathered or even more feathered and I should be saying and or because you can change any of these and or I look at the shape I made and realize it's a little too big or too small, I do free transform and now I can adjust that as well, so every aspect of that effect can easily be edited how darker light it is, how soft the edges and how big the shape is it's just one layer that's doing that and because it's just one layer don't even know what other document have open let's use this I decide oh, I want to use that in another document said it remember how I did it? I use my move tool I drag and drop the adjustment layer from one photo to the other the chances are like in this case while the size is reasonably close but not quite so I go free, transform and scale this up and then I might also decide to make it darker or later, but the point is I'm not starting from scratch and just saying I already have this effect close to what I want now let me just move it over now often people look at that and say, you know what happens if you have photos that are completely different size? It doesn't matter because the only thing I'm enlarging is that mask shape, which is very blurry anyway so I don't care about making it larger or smaller is not like gonna lose inequality, so any time you can use adjustment layers it has thes built in advantages the fact you could edit the adjustment layer you could edit the mask and by nature you can also edit the properties of both the adjustment layer and of the mask so one of my colleagues calls this undue on a slider, which I thought was a good description because at any point you can go no, I want a little more a little less so when people ask me, well, how much do you feather my first responses? Which feathering do you mean? Because if you mean under the select menu, never if you mean here always because of any time I can say in this particular case, I'm gonna feather this much and I hardly ever frankly look at the number I'm looking at it visually because I don't care if it's forty four point three or sixty one point two I like the way that looks and his photo shop users many of us are very visual thinkers, so instead of using a feather, dialog boxes has enter some number blindly, why wouldn't you want to use a slider where any time you can move back and forth like this and edited, you're going to get tired of me saying this but it's important, as long as you save is a psd because if you don't, if you then now say now save us, j peg and that's all you've got that you're still back to square one. So in order to preserve all these layered capabilities, we need to do this in a way that preserves it and that way is photoshopped document so here's another example of that same kind of thought process, why do we do nondestructive stuff? So here's an example I ran into a while back a number of years ago where someone sent me a photo much like this and said, can you just make it look on our take our label and kind of mock it up on the top of the box and I was like, well, I could if I could actually see the box because they sent this harley horribly over exposed white box on a white background thing I'm like, how can I select the top of the box where I can't even see it? So selection tools and photo shop are really good, but they're not magical where they'll somehow figure out where the edges so my response was, well, I gotta figure out a way where I can make the job of my selection tool easier and one of the ways to do that would be temporarily wreck the photograph so my selection tool does a better job but the key and that senate was temporarily so instead of going over here to levels which would make it a permanent change once again adjustment layers and I pick something like levels and I just say let's, just adjust the heck out of this to the point where oh there we go now I can see the top of the box I don't like the way it looks, but at least I can see it down so now I could take whatever selection tool I wanted make my selection because now I can see what I'm doing this pretty quickly this and then take my quick selection tool with the option or all key to get rid of this little part and once I'm happy with it obviously if this was a real project I zoom in closer and be one hundred percent sure but just so you see the gist of it once I'm happy with and say that's the selection I want then I just throw away the justin layer because only purpose was to temporarily help me see what I was doing and it did that by in effect temporarily wrecking the photograph so for a particular purpose in this case the purpose was so that my was easier for me to see what I was doing from a selection standpoint so one of the expressions I use all the time and photo shop is I want to end up with whatever it is in this case I want to end up with a selection that works really well. Well, the easy way to do that was to temporarily make it look bad so I could have an easier job with my selection tool and that's one of the advantages off the whole non destructive way of doing things is you can't do that you consigned that temporarily make this change so I can end up with the effect that I want so I'm not worried about I'm kind of painting myself into a corner some way, so let's build on this idea little bit here's, another kind of a function and photoshopped that I love this concept, and I'm I think, for many people, it's just a wonderful idea, and it kind of revolves around working with layers and then changing layers in a way that's, very flexible. So let's say that I'm doing this layout for a senior photo project, and I want to be able to provide several different options. So what I'm showing, this is someone I'm not going to say, well, this is the only here it is. I want to be able to say, well, it will look like this, or these photographs could be in a different position or something, and this is this documents made up of a series of layers, and if I wanted to make different versions of them, what I used to do was save several different documents called, you know, lay out one, leo to lay out three, and then alter them. The problem with that concept is if you come back three months later and see files called layer we are, you know, lay out one layer to lay off three is like, how do you know which one is which? So instead, what I do is use a function called layer camps and it's another one of these kind of fits into our mold of being non destructive because I'm not going to really change my document, I'm going to change the view of it, so the way it works is you have a bunch of layers and basically ideally, you want to have all the layers you think you might need, even though there might be some you might hide and show and whatever so let's add one more layer just for the sake of argument will add a shape player using some shaped like a heart, maybe just for the heck of it now, I don't know yet where I want to put it, although I'm thinking I probably don't want to be black, that would be weird. Ok, so for now I'm just going it's stuck white on the front there, which is not really ideally where I wanted to go, but this is kind of show you I want to make sure have all the elements that I want to work with. The layer comes panel if it's not showing, you'd have to go the window menu and choose layer camps minus here and the idea behind this is I can save almost like snapshots of what my document looked like at any given time. So for example, I want one where before he put the heart in there, I just want this sort of basic look, so I come down the bottom here click that infamous new icon it's a new layer comp, and I'm going to call this basic uh, no heart and this is just for me this doesn't appear anywhere there just for me to figure out what it is I'm doing and then I in here, I can choose I want you to remember the visibility, the position and appearance like layer styles if I want I usually turn those all on because I like those all to be there so that's my first example, then I think, ok, I think I'd like one perhaps where I don't show this middle photograph and instead I have the heart shape, but it needs to be over here so that's going to be kind of like version two so then I go back here and pick a differently or competent call something like heart, no middle photo, whatever you want, something that makes sense to you because eventually you're going to look at this list. You can also write comments here if it helps you to say in this one I hid the middle photograph and did this that's your choice now where it gets kind of interesting is not only can you record the visibility of layers like turn them on and off? I could also do things like, well, what if we had one where the text was over here? So I'm gonna create another one and call it loops moved text so let's pretend at this point that I've created three or four different options that aiken hide and show and do all these different things now when I'm ready to show the options to them instead of saying let the open these four different documents and switch between them I have one document and I say here's one option here's the second option here's a third option. Now watch this time look at the layers panel not over here and you'll see as I'm doing this it's turning layers on and off and moving them up and down and of everything else. So this saves me from the alternative, which is again saving multiple documents with the change I haveto open them all once again only works if you save is a psd file, but what it gives me is the opportunity to try all kinds of things remember when I click this button one of things that says appearance brackets layer style, one thing that a lot of people don't realize at first, but I think it's important to realize is when you think of layer style most people think of drop shadow devil in boss all that kind of stuff but let's look a little closer and see inside a layer style is also blend mode of capacity so if you wanted to create one version where the opacity was lower that's consider layer style so you could create a layer cop that included just that like just make this layer of semi see through and that becomes another option so let's do that so now I'm going to make another one and call it uh see through heart so now I say this document and again every time as I go through I can move around and changing turning layers on off making it very easy for me to try different options this say's me gosh so much time because in the past like is that I'm not kidding that I'd have like four documents and in my poor naming system called layout one leo to lay out three layout for I'm like I have no idea which one is which how do I know and even then you might say how but I really like that one I want to build on it this way it's one document and you're using taking advantage of layers to say turn these on turn these off move these the only thing you can't do and this is important with a layer comp is you can't change the contents of a layer meaning I couldn't for example change the typeface to a different font and make a layer comp because it means throughout this entire layer document I've changed the typeface so if you want to have two different fonts I'd have to take this type player duplicated change one to a different typeface and then include that as part of my layer cop by the same token if I wanted a smaller heart I'd have to duplicate the heart and make one of them smaller so you can change position visibility, order transparency all that stuff but you can't say but change the color or changed the fond or change that you have to make a duplicate but once you get that one little kind of exception this is a really powerful tool because it means in one document that everything I need and I could include adjustment layers and say you know here's one with the adjustment or turned on here's one with it without turned on I think that's important note by the way because some people see this and say, well I never really create that many layers even he just had a photograph and in that photograph you said I want to add a black and white adjusting layer a huge saturation and something else than your layer comes will just be different combinations of those adjustment layers they've really quick question from the internet claire asks can you change the order of layers and save it as a layer comp? Yes so the stacking order, anything like that can be changed so it's anything like position, visibility, blend modes, all that kind of stuff said the only thing you couldn't change is if, say, I wanted a yellow heart, I'd have to duplicate this layer, make one of them yellow and then turn the visibility on and off that's the only way I could switch contents of the layer itself but stacking order where it is on the page, you just can't change things like size, so you can't scale it up or down or things like that, but what it does, it means in one document get everything I need now, let's assume for a moment that I want to show my client these options, but I want to preserve all of this nice, flexible stuff. So I would say this is a psd with all my layers and layers comes and then if I wanted teo, I could choose a command that says later cops to files which means turned the layer comes into separate j pegs, so then I could in fact generate flat little j peg documents to send to something if I wanted to. You can also turn it into a pdf presentation, which means one layer calm per page as a pdf file, this one is interesting layer comes to w pg which I thought, I hope that does mean word perfect, graphic, but it does not. There used to be a thing called web photo gallery, and this is kind of an interesting choice. I thought on adobes part you pick this option, what does this do? And it comes up says nothing, so basically the whole intent of that is to say, you can't do this anymore, so it's kind like, oh, thanks, I guess I'm not sure why that helps me, but so you can't turn into a website like you used to be able to. There is a way around that using bridge, but this is just an example where we're already going toe try to take advantage of the flexibility of using layers. On top of that, if we can use layer comes to help organize and figure out where things are just means one document, many layers, many options. So that's that's kind of one of the the flexibility kind of things that we want to do is to try and figure out ways where we can do this kind of stuff and were used and everything else so here's one more example, and I'm gonna talk more about this tomorrow, but I wantto what's your whistle a little bit dow for camera raw, this is the way cameron normally works, you make an adjustment you hit open image and it opens in photo shop the end it's a one way street you can't go back and say wait I'll change my mind that's the way by default it works I would suggest not working that way instead in camera there is a little very well hidden feature down at the bottom here where it looks just like information where it's saying adobe rgb size blah blah blah this should be a button that says click here this is very important but instead it doesn't look like that at all because in here there's all these options including things like size everything else but if I click on this button open and photo shop a smart objects and again we'll touch way more than world of smart obvious tomorrow now look what happens I hit open object it opens in photo shop I could do photo shop type stuff to it like start to adjust it and then think oh darn it all because that's what I would say if I made a mistake gosh darn it any who if I double click on it it goes back to camera raw and I can make further adjustments whatever I want and I would do something bad so you can see that I'm making a significant change when I click ok it updates so this has created a two way street between the ability edit in camera and photo show so it's no longer separate now you can go back and forth so even this as an example of that whole flexible nondestructive this is a really big change because what people used to do is go oh well, I've already adjusted in cameron now I can't touch anymore now you can it gives you this ability and we'll we'll touch way more on what smart objects mean and its advantages but that's one of things that that's really important to consider questions perhaps sure so me shock ass how are layer comes different than history snapshots theirs good question and there's one very important difference which is why use layer cops history is on ly I've always thought the history palin photo shop should be called today's history because when you have the document open you have history as soon as you close that history is gone, so I think it done in history including snapshots has gone layer comes air saved with the file so the next time you open it, the layer camps are still there so in a nutshell that's that's why I would use those because they don't go away they're always available cool thank you and raking ax asks any benefits of using curves and other adjustments in photoshopped versus light room can you address that? Yeah, I mean it's that's more of a workflow thing if someone's already using light room then I would say that's definitely the place to do your overall global adjustments because that's, where light room excels, then if you decide to edit and photo shop it's usually to do things that light room can't do. So there is an option and light room that says edit and photo shop is a smart object which creates a similar kind of a two way street, but I would say light room by nature is non destructive, so if you do things and light room, you know you can change your mind just the same his camera raw, so I would do as much as I can there and then curves becomes more of a secondary use it if you need it, and if I was going to use curves, I would of course do it as occurs adjustment layers so I could make ongoing adjustments there as well, but everything we've been showing, basically all your images could start in light room and then edit and photo shop and then build on them from there. And if you continue use nondestructive methods than when you save it and goes back to your light room catalog is still preserves all that ed ability here's a good question, dave so valerie asks, is it destructive to use flattened? Does it matter how many times I use flattened before saving my file? Ok, so that's a great setup for my favorite photos off joke ever perfect, because I talk about this all the time in my classes, so let's say I was working away and I've done all these things and I've got various layers happening with things going on, whatever it might be just have something in here so here's my response to flat and I like to say, and I've said it a zillion times you need to think of flatten as photoshopped f word it's bad and should never use it. So just like dropping an f bomb is bad, flattening is a very close second. I wish it was called flatten image, thus throwing away any chance I ever had of changing my mind ever again. But that would be much too long and command so personally I don't ever flat in the file, I save a flattened copy and that's a huge difference. If I go into this menu and shoes flattened image, I'm throwing away the layered information they believe edit it. But what people say is you have, but I need a j peg version of this psd file that's what save as is for so when I go to save as let's just review here, I've got a multilayer document, I would say this is a psd that's my what I would call master file the one I'm working on that as all my layers, it's all my flexibility, all my non destructiveness. Then when I'm ready, I go save as and in this dialog box look what's happening here because it has layers it assumes photoshopped format, but as soon as I pick j peg, it says we can't have layers so it's flattening it automatically so in one dialog box, I'm able to see them able to say, make a copy that's flattened in this other file format in this other name. So when you look at my my hard drive, if I were to open it up and show you here is a typical scenario, you would see a whole bunch of camera files, a bunch of psd files on a folder called j peg, and I usually have final in quotation marks because it's never really final because you can always edit it. So that way the flattened copy is what I send to client, but if they come back and say, can you just change this one thing I know I can because I could go back to the ps defile or even all the way back to the raw file to re edit any time I hear someone say, well, I just flattened it and saved it I think I hope you mean I saved a flattened copy because that's a big difference when you shoes flattened and save your throwing away all the whole benefit of doing nondestructive stuff so I would say saving a flattened copy to as many times as you want as long as you're preserving the layered original I call my master file because that's got everything I need it so latin bad all right, so a question from signature now that flattening is bad can you still stack actions and get the same results? It all depends on what your actions do I mean if you record actions where the result of the action is all very non destructive layered than night I don't see why not but you'd have to structure your actions that you had an action that said flatten and move on then that would be bad so I want to have an action that said duplicate another document flatten that one or something so you're still doing in such a way that you're preserving that edit ability as much as you can and there's always going to be well should say always there may be occasions where you run into a situation where I don't have a choice that's when I would save a copy and then flatten and work from there but I still have that other master file sitting there waiting for me to tow edit work with cool so your workflow then you have to be really careful about duplicating the original image I mean there are cameras out now that do thirty six megapixel every time you duplicate the image you were doubling the size of that file and unless you along with your new camera have bought a brand new computer you can really get bogged down by file size so you have to be really right and I so my response is first of all I don't ever duplicate the document because the raw file by nature you can't save over the top of it so rob by itself or d n g is the epitome of non destructiveness so that I'm opening a version of that with layers so while it's double it's kind of two separate things because roy is raw and my layered files layers so yes, I'm building up mohr storage but without being sounding flipping storage is cheap my time isn't so I'm going to go buy more ram and mohr storage if it if that's what I need to keep the ability of editing everything on the fly. So I mean, obviously at some point it gets to a point we had I would need amore faster computer or something, but I'd almost rather get to that point and be like, oh, well, I've run into a roadblock where I can't do what I want to do jessica sometimes when I've received files that have multiple layers that have different blend modes if you save them out, it won't look like what it was looking like, right? Is there a way to preserve that? And then that happens sometimes that blend modes air so kind of math based that they're saying this is based on these colors on this layer compared to these colors on this layer, so sometimes there, if you need to do that, that would be a case where I might consider duplicating the whole document because one way to make sure that blend moz day is to actually merge layers together and to me, merge is very close to flattening and its badness, so I would only want to be doing that because I needed to if I tried flattening a copy and went, oh, this blend, moz didn't come across the way I wanted that I would manually go and say, ok, on this duplicate copy, I'm going to take these three layers and merge them and those two layers and merge them and then see if I if I flattened that copy, if it's any better, so sometimes you have to kind of do it in pieces, but again, I'll only be doing that if I had a back up where I still have my complete full master copy with all my layers and all my blend molds. Cool, thank you so along the same lines or could cue asks, I bought actions that only run on flattened images. How can you use actions while preserving nondestructive layers? Would you do it with layer? Comes that's a tough one, because if an action truly says, it's got to be flattened there's no way around that because, for example, there's one function in photo shop, which I not happy about, but it's just the way it is it's called hdr toning. When you try and use it, it says it must flatten the document and there's no work around, so if you have something where it says I've gotta flatten no two ways about it, then, aye, aye, I'd be unhappy and say, do I really want to use those actions? But you have to have some manual backup plan to say, well, maybe I'll run the action that flattens in this separate document, and then I can duplicate that into a letter or something. But unfortunately, if ah layer of fun action says it must be flattened, then you've got to figure out a way around that. So doing file management and filed back up maybe to a cd of all the original raws would be ideal for that situation and on ly bringing a copy of the raw that you're going to modify to this level yeah, a lot of people use external hard drives for that reason because they can get a big drive and just say there's all my raw files I'm just working on these two or whatever work clothes, a very personal thing I've seen lots of classic people say use this workflow and people trying and you've got to find one that works for you so my philosophy is at least if you're looking at the global concept of master copy and then flatten version, however you implement that whether it's on separate hard drives or whatever the key is just I my heart skips a beat when someone is why just flatten and save it? I'm like, oh and like well, because I know I'm like, how do you really know now? Maybe this is a man thing, but like when we were getting ready to move, my wife was like, why are you keeping that stuff in the garage in like, I might need it and I feel the same way about layers how do you really know after you've all heard of julianne cost you and cost wonderful instructor she has the best line ever, and I think I'm gonna I always give her credit when I steal it, but she says I use layers because I'm afraid of commitment that's perfect because it means you're never worried about I have to make a decision because for now make a decision but I'm making it knowing I can always back out of it later if I change my mind if my client changes my mind or I say, well, I could use that same layer over in this other document save myself time so everyone approaches it differently but as long to me as long as you're thinking as much as possible and I use terms like you should never flatten you should always but I mean there's always exceptions, but if you're a least considering how can I save myself by being on destructive saving a psd? Anything that gives me an opportunity I think that's the important thing as long as you're building that into your workflow one way or another to give yourself that possibility for people who just say off I'll just flatten and save it they're the ones that six months you're gonna go oh darling at all I can't do what I want to do because I don't have that anymore nice and speaking of layers marylin ask and I have the same question does psd are? I would say what does psd have an advantage over tiff with layers good question and technically very little to nothing but I'll tell you my it might sound silly at first, but it served me well for many years my concern over saving a layer tiff file is this when I look in a folder and I see something dot tiff, I have no idea if it has layers or not because a tip file could have layers but it might not for me I know if I save something with the name dot psd I did so because it has layers, so for a very non technical standpoint when I look in a folder and I see dot psd I know without exception that is a layer document if I see docked if how do I really know? And worst of all, if I send that tiff with layers unintentionally someone who doesn't have photoshopped that's not a generic tiff anymore they'd be like what do I do? I can't use this so for me even though technically there is no difference really between psd aunt, if that's why I do it that way, it's now when I look in a folder, I see rafael psd that I know is my master layered copy and then either docked if for dodge a peg, which I know is the flattened version now it's not because some people would argue, but if technically yeah, we're not talking technically here we're talking workflow make my life easier and for me that's the way my life has been made easier by looking and going I know ptsd is my layered version docked if is not some people say everything in layer tiff. That's fine, too. But then you have to know which one is layered in which one isn't to me. That's, a lot of work.

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Time means money. If you can work quickly and efficiently in the competitive world of professional photography, your dream of turning your passion for photography into a lucrative business are always within reach.

Adobe® Photoshop® master Dave Cross is teaming up with creativeLIVE to teach you practical techniques that you can use every day to be more productive, giving you more time to focus on interacting with and finding new paying clients. During this 2-day course, you will learn how to use built-in automated features in Adobe® Bridge and Adobe® Photoshop® and timesavers such as Layer Comps, Adjustment Layer Presets and Tool Presets. Dave will simplify all of the Adobe® Photoshop® Actions and show you easy ways to utilize this powerful automation tool. You’ll also get tips on how to take advantage of many outside the box methods in Adobe® Photoshop® that will give you additional ways to streamline your photo editing.

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Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS6

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