Layers and Layer Types


Adobe® Photoshop® Intensive


Lesson Info

Layers and Layer Types

So now let's dive into layers and I have props for us here to explain this as well the concept of layers I'm always on the hunt for the latest analogy that will make it make sense. Okay, because this is it's an odd concept that you may not have encountered before, however well only to think of it is like a stack of transparency czar a stack of vellum when I was an elementary school our math teacher she had one of these old overhead projectors. Okay, so it had a flat area under which there was a light and then had that arm I think that's where that where is there light in both of them anyway had an arm and then she would put down pieces of transparency. So in math let's say she would write two plus two with a marker on this transparent sheet of vellum and she would put it on there and the kids would see that up on the wall or the screen two plus two and then we would discuss the answer, and then she would write the answer on another sheet of transparency so she would write equals four a...

nd she would lay that transparency down on top of the first one, and the projected image simply looks like a single image you see two plus two equals four but if you had watched the teacher lay down those pieces of transparency you saw that there were two pieces of transparent and therein because there's transparency it's like you're getting a bird's eye view down through however many she's she's stacked up so you can think of it that way as a stack of transparencies another way you can think of that if any of you have ever developed slides ever you can kind of think of it as a stack of slides you know how the slides kind of look like a negative you can see through if you held up a slide you could see through it ok, so there's some transparency going on so you can think of it as a sex slides my latest and favorite analogy thus far tune in next year I'll have another one for you is construction paper oh yes so you're saying the texas flag up on the screen and I also have cleverly may props of the same thing so we're going to use this to discuss layers okay? So layers just like a stack of transparency have the power to cover up for high whatever is underneath them and you can have as many layers as you want in a photo shop document ok, so let's say for example that you started out with a construction paper that's rid okay and if you put a white piece of construction paper on top of the red piece of construction paper the white one covers up the red one right? Is the red ones still back there? Of course it's still back there if you flip it like this if you rotate it and you look at it as a stack you can see that their two pieces of construction paper there however looking down with a bird's eye view you're saying it like this so you're only seeing one thing even though it's made of two pieces okay, so if you keep doing that you khun build what appears to be a single image from many different pieces and parts okay, so if you were just look at this, you would think, oh that's a nice texas flag but if you looked at it like this, you can see or maybe that ways easier you can see all the different layers pieces of paper that the thing is made from okay. So the important thing to remember and photo shop is that when you're looking at the layers panel on the right hand side of your screen, you're seeing it like this there's a hair you're seeing it like this ok? In the preview area of the document you're seeing the bird's eye view through the stack of layers transparencies slides however you want to think about it okay layers are incredibly powerful and photo shop and I mentioned at the start of the day that they are your key to nondestructive editing because you can throw one layer away independently of another layer you can resize one layer independently of every other layer that's in the document you can change the level of transparency or opacity of one layer independently of other layers and if you begin tio think about the sheer power that we're going to get into color correcting on individual layers so imagine if you did a color correction that was just a wee bit too strong the upstart over heck no if you've made the color correction itself happened on a whole nother layer which is kind of like a self contained thing in its own little space that doesn't mess with anything else then you could drop the opacity of just the color correction to make it look realistic this is hugely powerful stuff here so yeah that you've seen that let's take a look at this digital file which is the equivalent of our construction paper texas flag that we've got going on so over here in the layers panel you can see that I have one two three four different pieces that make up this texas flag these were all created by using photoshopped shaped tools okay, so you're shaped tools live over here and we're going to get more into these I think tomorrow but I'll go ahead and give you a sneak peek your shaped holes live down here kind of towards the lower middle quadrant of your tools panel and if you were to draw with these guys they would create they're a layer okay so just by default let's say I'm gonna go ahead and click my four grown colored ship and I'll make it a different color that we don't have going on in here like yellow and if I click and drag to draw a shape across my document then I get a layer filled with white which was not what I expected but nevertheless drawing with a shape tools creates layers for you ok, so that is one way to get layers but that's kind of how I created this flag is this with shape tools ok? We're not going to spend much time in the shape tools were going to use them more for masking than anything else in this class but that's how I did create the flag so let's say for example that I wanted tio move that star down to the red part I want to create a new country okay? So I'm gonna go grab the tool that I can use to move that layer around without messing with other layers so I'm gonna go over here to my tools panel and I'm going to choose the move tool ok? And if you hover over any of these guys that little tool tip would come back and tell you what the heck they are so go ahead and give that a click to activate it now I've clicked to activate my star layer over here in the layers panel, because you need to tell photo shop what layer you want to affect if you've only got one and whatever you do is going to happen to that one layer, but if you've got more like I do, you need tio click to activate the layer that you want to change. Okay, so now that I've got that layer activated and it's active, I know it's active because it's highlighted in blue, I think on pcs will be highlighted in a very, very light gray, okay, so as I click these other layers, see how they turn blue, so the currently active layer, which is arguably the most important later in your life at that moment, is the one that you've activated, and it will be highlighted in some manner. That's, easy for you to tell, hey it's active so now with the star layer active and the move tool active, I can click and drag my star, and I've made a new country, and I have not mess with any of the rest of it. Okay, so this is hugely important when we start making collages when we start adding many images to a single photo shot file in order to make a piece of art, which we're going to do a lot of if I wanted to learn the opacity of that star I can do that I'll zoom in your opacity control lives at the very top of the layers panel there's three different ways to use it you can doubleclick in the field and simply type in another number and when when I do see how the star got a little bit faded out okay you can also use thie downward pointing triangle and you'll get a slider that allows you to change the opacity in the other way to change capacity which is my favorite way and actually it works on any text label when it's next to a field okay if you have your cursor over the text label for that feel that you want to change your males becomes recur sir becomes a double sided arrow it's a scrubby cursor so it allows you to click and hold on your mouse button on that fields text label opacity in this case and if you dragged the lift your decreasing if you dragged to the right you're increasing its a very fast and visual way to change it so if I zoom out so you can see that you can see how I can quickly uh no you know it's that good no let's go back up so it's a very fast way to change that opacity unless you know in advance the exact capacity percentage that you want okay and again that works on any field in a field of something you need to type in that has a text label beside of it even if it's in the character panel the paragraph panel even in the options bar for the text tool okay, any time you have a field in a text label however, your cursor over the text label and you get that scrubby cursor click drag lift while holding on your mouse button to reduce is that feels value or click and drag to the right to increase that fields value ok, I also mentioned that you can resize layers independently of each other and you can do that by using the free transform tool so again, you want to activate the layer that you want to change because otherwise finish up has no idea. Well, later you want to change, you know all of them tell me something you got to give it a little bit of input so we can go to the edit menu and you can you can remember that one by ok I want to edit that little piece of my image, ok it's all there the edit menu and you can go down to free transform or you can just remember the keyboard shortcut, which is probably the best way to go, which is command tea on a mac or control t on a pc and you could just think of that is transformed. Okay, transform you want to resize want to change the size? I want to rotate that kind of thing, so as soon as we invoke free transform, you hit that same kind of re sizing box that we had with the crop tool and content aware scale, and it works exactly the same way, except if you think about it, you're re sizing an object now, ok, so if I want to keep it proportional, if I want to keep the same aspect ratio, the relationship between with and hi, I need to hold down the shift key as I drag a corner handle. Ok, so let me show you the difference. If I want to make the star bigger, I could just click and drag it, but look what's happening to the star it's getting off poppy dot again, isn't it? Ok, so if you hold down the shift key, so I'm still holding down my mouse button from my original click and drag on that corner handle, and I'm dragging diagonally outward soon as I hold down the shift key, it'll snap to keep the proportion between within high through the aspect ratio rather okay, so you want to remember to hold down the shift key as your re sizing layers? Okay, so I can't hold in the shift key and I could make it itty bitty if I wanted and because photo shop has a one track mind you got to tell it when you're finished with one task before it'll let you move on to another task otherwise it will squawk it you in the form of an error message so we're going to go ahead and tell it we're finished by pressing return or enter on our keyboards okay? Another great thing that you can do with players and in these techniques and I'm kind of showing you briefly in the layers explanation are going to be techniques that were going to use for the rest of week okay, so you'll be seeing re sizing a bunch times as you saw earlier in the class we also can duplicate layers so if I wanted more stars I could go up to the layer menu and shoes duplicate layer it will ask me what I want to name it and now in my layers panel I can see that I have two stars but how come I don't see two stars on the red? Anybody know that's exactly right because they're on top of each other that is usually important to remember when you start working with layers I can't tell you how many people freak out because they think things have disappeared they're not if you don't see something in your image in the preview area that you think is really there ought to be there look in your layers panel and if it is underneath another layer then the other layer is covering it up it's still there? Ok, so with that duplicate layer active I still have the move till active in my tools panel I can simply click and drag and I've got my other star so it was back there I've just dragged it to a new location using the move toll now we use the layer mini to duplicate the layer but you can also use the icons enter the bottom of the layers panel hey saul zoom and down here so you can see it there's a set of icons down here um this one right here is for adding layer styles it is a cursive f x so that's what it stands for layer of fix fx get it, huh? The next one over is to add a layer mask we've haven't really talked about that yet and we will hear in just a little bit later mass allow you to hide part of whatever is on that layer. You can think of them as digital masking tape just like if you were going to paint the walls in your living room and you had fancy shmancy crown molding and baseboards would you remove all that before you painted the walls? Heck no what would you do your mask it off with masking tape witness which effectively hides that thing that you put the tape over to keep you from getting paint on it that's what layer masks are and photoshopped digital masking tape lets you hide parts of what is on that layer way safer than deleting erasing parts of what's on that layer because just like you can take the masking tape off of your baseboards your crown molding you can take the layer mask off and photoshopped those pixels will still be there not so if you erase or delete them okay and in the realm of the layer mask and again we're going to be talking a whole lot more about layer mass throughout the week if you paint with black best equivalent of putting the tape on okay, so what color is masking tape in your life? Either blue or cream color? Okay, so is black and photoshopped black tape ok? And to take the masking tape off you paint with white and there's a rhyme that creative professionals have memorized to help us figure out what color to paint with win and the rhyme goes black conceals flight reveals black conceals fight reveals and as long as I've been using the program which is ten, eleven, twelve years now I have to run that rhyme through my head every single time I am working with layer mask and it is just habit so I would encourage you to memorize that black conceals white reveal it does help you remember ok, the other little buttons down here this one right here is a half black, half white circle, and if you click that guy, it opens up a big pop it menu of adjustment layers now adjustment layers are another type of layer, and they allow you to adjust your image so think color and lighting and the adjustment itself happens on another layer that's how we're going to be doing all of our color correction in this class is through adjustment layers that way the color correction bit happens in its own little space, so it doesn't mess with anything else ok, throw it away if you need to. This icon right here next to it is for creating layer groups, so when your layers panel gets really long in the tooth, he could group some of those suckers together so that you can collapse a whole set of layers. If you're creating an ad, maybe all of your body copy or your text would be in a layer group, so he kind of collapse that and get it out of the way. While you're working with your image layers, the next icon over looks like a piece of paper with an upturn corners for creating a new layer a quick way to duplicate layers as one of our fabulous in studio ladies pointed out earlier, you can click and drag thie left portion of the layer, which is called your layer thumbnail this little left left hand some nail is a preview of what is happening on that layer ok, so if we zoom out and I look at that layer, I can see that's the layer that's filled with rid I get it ok, so if I click and drag that thumbnail on top of that new layer icon, it duplicates the layer ok, so that's another way to duplicate the layer you can't throw layers away by clicking and dragging the thumbnail into the microscopic trash icon that's at the bottom right of the layers panel that will throw layer away you can also throw a layer away by simply and all I'll click to activate our second star up here I'll single click to activate the layer I want to fix and this is my favorite new feature came along and cs four you can delete layers with e d leaky. Yea, we didn't have that before. Can you even believe it in all of these little things that you can do down here with the icons at the bottom of the layers panel are available in the layer menu okay, so if you just start now and you're overwhelmed by those icons, don't worry about it you can do all that stuff appear you can duplicate, you can delete, you can create adjustment layers you can do anything you want question yes can you turn layers often on yes, you can turn layers often on thank you for that so also over here I was in back in to the left of the layer thumbnail which is again a preview of what's happening on that layer you've got a little eyeball and that lets you show or hide those layers ok, so if you don't want to delete it if you just want to do before and after preview or if you're not sure if you really like that second star, what have you you could simply hide it by turning it off temporarily any layers that are turned off will not print okay, so if we send this file to the printer right now, then we're gonna print texas flag with no star, okay? And then to turn that layer back on you simply turn its visibility eyeball back on, okay, so that is a little bit about layers next we're going to get into duplicating, moving and a little bit more re sizing layers so going close that image and it all began making even more sense to you as we go along here real quickly before we do that, I want to show you a composite image that we're going to make and by composite I mean seemingly a single image made from many parts and pieces just like our construction paper texas flag made from many parts and pieces composite so here's a collage that we're actually gonna making class and I'm gonna go ahead and collapse my color panel by double clicking that light gray area to the right of all the taps you can see more of the layers panel and you can see over here that I've got a slew of layers going on, so there are layers of many, many types the ones with the big fat t in the preview, those air text layers or type players those air created automatically when you use the text tool and we're going to be all about text on friday. I love typography is from my favorite things in the world down here come in the middle of the layers panel we've got more image layers, which is the ones you'll be working with most often and again you're seeing a little preview of the things that are on that layer, so if I hide the visibility of my top two type players and I click on this layer and don't pay any attention to what I'm doing right now, I'll talk about that in a minute and I had decreased the opacity for the sake of collage and I had changed the way the colors on the layers air interacting with each other, which we'll talk about later, but you can see that that is indeed what's on that layer so this layer thumbnail is a miniature of the actual thing okay, so that's important to remember ok, now I'll turn off this one and I'll show you what's on this layer ok and again I'm just kind of undoing what I did here I see a layer that's filled with its orange starburst but what on earth is this thing next to it will zoom in so you can see it this is your layer mask this is your masking tape and masking tape and photo shop is black so everywhere you see black that's where the masking tape is on the image which means that part of this image is being hidden so this mask is also a miniature of the whole layer ok, so if I look at this mask and I think ok well everywhere I see black that's the equivalent of masking tape so what's on the layer which is this guy are orange starburst is being hidden and it's only being revealed in like this area right here it's the white part and remember our ryan black conceals white reveals so where you see why in the mask and if we translate that over to our image sure enough, I'm only allowing those weren't raised to be visible in that top part of the image because I don't want them to cover up our ski girl here okay, so keep going down this layer right here is an adjustment layer and I know it's an adjustment layer because it's got a funky little icon and it doesn't give me a picture ok there's no real previous just it's got a little hoochie appear some kind of pictograph from egypt and it's got a little slider ok so that is your clue that it's an adjustment layer slider a desperate layer okay there are no pixels in an adjustment layer and adjustment layer really you can think of it as a set of instructions okay so this adjustment photo shop knows what adjustment I chose in this case it was a levels adjustment for color correction and it's basically putting a set of text instructions inside that layer you can think about it like that okay there are no pixels in that layer you can have a slew of adjustment layers in your photo shot file size will not be honking big if you have a slew of image layers like this guy this guy and this girl right here then your file size would be very big because if each layer has a slew of pick sal's in it that as to your file size but adjustment layers you can think of those as just a little set of instructions so they're much more efficient to use for follow size sake and for flexibility as well. So several different kinds of layers you're going to be working with all of them throughout the course of this class, and will even look at how to create this collage. Which is a lot of fun.

Class Description

In this special photoshop tutorial, you'll dig into Adobe® Photoshop® CS5 with Lesa Snider, author of Photoshop® CS5: The Missing Manual. There is so much to cover in Adobe® Photoshop® CS5 that we need almost a week to cover everything. In this special 4-day workshop you'll dig into Adobe® Photoshop® CS5 with Lesa Snider, internationally acclaimed instructor and author. Lesa is informative yet entertaining with a unique way of explaining difficult concepts so you understand the "why" behind the "how". Get ready to spend a fun, high-energy week digging into the power of Photoshop.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS 5.1


1Introduction: Nitty Gritty Basics + Layers 2Workspace Overview 3Q&A: Workspace 4The Truth About Resolution and File Formats 5Changing Resolution Without Changing Quality 6Q&A: Resolution and File Formats 7Resizing with the Crop Tool 8Cropping with the Ruler Tool 9Resizing with Content-Aware Scale 10Resizing for Print/Web 11Layers and Layer Types 12Duplicating, Moving, and and Aligning Layers 13Q&A: Layers 14Creating Reflections 15Layer Alignment Tools 16Simple Slimming Technique (Resizing Layers) 17Colorizing a Black and White Image 18Creating a Solid Color Fade with Fill Layers 19Layer Masks: Hand Painted Image Collage 20Layer Masks: Gradient Mask Collage 21Layer Blend Mode Collage (Include Load Images as Stack) 1Using Selections Part 1 2Using Selections Part 2 3Q&A: Selection Tools 4Color Selections: Fixing Animal White Eyes 5Tightening Up Layer Masks 6Painting Selections with QuickMasks 7Using Vector Drawing Tools 8Vector Shapes: Creating an Oval Vignette 9Vector Shapes: Rounded Edges to Photo 10Use Channels to Create Selections 11Tough Selections Around Hair & Fur 12Refine Edges Part 1 13Refine Edges Part 2 14Creative Edges on Photos 15Embellishing with Vector Art 16Creative Vector Photo Frames 17Editing Smart Objects 18Smart Objects Template: Creating Dark Edge Vignette 1Smart Objects: Selective Blurring 2Smart Objects: Selective Sharpening 3Sharpening with the High Pass Filter 4Q&A: Sharpening 5Auto Color Adjustments 6Shadows and Highlights 7Using Levels 8When to Use Smart Objects 9Using Curves 10Lightening and Darkening with Blend Modes 11Enhancing Eyes and Teeth 12Changing Colors with Hue/Saturation 13Changing Colors by Hand Painting 14Faux Dodge/Burn: Reduce Wrinkle 15Color to Black and White 1Healing Brush 2Content Aware Fill 3Using Text in Photoshop 4Designing with Baseline Shift 5OpenType Fonts 6Placing Text Behind an Object 7Barely There Text: Faded and Hollow Text 8Pushing Photos Through Text 9Adding Texture to Your Text 10Convert Text to Paths 11Combine Images using Advanced Blending 12Realistic Photo Aging 13Faking HDR 14Wrapping Texture Around an Object