Skip to main content

Non-Destructive Editing Techniques

Lesson 28 from: Photoshop for Beginners: Essential Training

Mark Wallace

Non-Destructive Editing Techniques

Lesson 28 from: Photoshop for Beginners: Essential Training

Mark Wallace

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2000+ more >

Lesson Info

28. Non-Destructive Editing Techniques

Mark explains the specific tools and techniques you should use to edit non-destructively. Use Adjustment Layers, non-destructive cropping, masks, Smart Objects, and Camera Raw effectively.


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Introducing Photoshop


The Class Materials


How To Open Files


Using The Home Screen


Exploring The Interface


Getting Additional Help


Understanding Workspaces


Lesson Info

Non-Destructive Editing Techniques

Let's talk about the best practices for nondestructive editing. We're gonna talk about seven things that you can do to make sure you get the best use of Photoshop and you preserve all of those pixels and color information for future editing. And so the first one we've already learned about that is adjustment layers. Now I've opened an image here, this is concha, she's a fantastic model I met in cambodia, we're going to do these seven things on this image here. So the first thing is an adjustment layer to change things. So we've got this background layer. Let me unlock that. I want to d saturate this a little bit. So all I have to do is just add an adjustment layer. We're gonna do let's say black and white And that's I'll just take the default. They're almost take the opacity down to about 21%. So what that does is it removes a little bit of color, it's nondestructive, I can change that at it, I can increase the opacity, I can change the adjustment layer that I'm using. It doesn't matte...

r. It's totally non destructive. Now, the other thing that we can do if we zoom in here, so I'm gonna go at 100%. We can look and see that. Well conda has a fantastic skin but she's just got a few blemishes that need to be cleared up. Now what I can do here is I can go to this layer here. The original layer and start doing some skin retouching. But if I do that original image data is lost. So the better thing to do is to take this layer and then I'm gonna drag it down to the plus here, I'm gonna make a copy. Then I can rename this layer. I'm gonna say skin skin retouch. So I'm labeling all these different layers because as we said before you might have a bunch of layers, then I can go in here and then I can get my healing brush, we're gonna talk about this a little bit later and I can go in and start retouching her skin and if I make some kind of mistake or do something that I didn't want to do, I can always go back and get the data from the lower image and then I can compare and see what I did. And so it's a much better thing when you're doing retouching to an image to just create a different layer. To do that retouching, it's totally non destructive. The other thing that we can do is we can do nondestructive cropping. So let's say that I want to take this image and I want to make make it a 16x9. I want to take some of this headroom away. If I go to the crop tool And I'm gonna go and change this ratio to a 16 x nine ratio and I can crop in a little bit. That looks pretty good. Maybe I'll bring this up a little bit, I'll move her over to about right there. I think that's pretty good. Okay that's really good. Now we have two options up here. I can delete the cropped pixels or I can d select that and not delete the cropped pixels. I don't want to delete the cropped pixels. I want to keep them. So if I ever go and crop again in the future I can bring that data back. Let me show you exactly what I'm talking about. I'm gonna crop off half of concha so I'm gonna take and just do that. So it's not a very good crop. I'll do that. Okay. Whoa I wish I had more of concha there. Well the good news is I can go into my crop tool and now I can drag this out and because I didn't delete those cropped areas I can bring that back. I didn't delete that image data. So you want to make sure you don't delete those cropped pixels, do it non destructively. So you can have all the options in the future. The other thing that we can do here perhaps we want to change some of this background. Now what we could have done is I could go and select a part of the background and then I can delete that and if I go to this bottom layer I'll select that and delete that. Well guess what we've deleted chunks of our image that we can never get back. We don't want to do that. What we learned already before I'm gonna undo all that stuff as we can just add a layer mask. And so I could go in here, I could add a layer mask and the thing that I want to brush out, perhaps I want to brush out this left hand side. I'll just turn off this lower layer. I can get a big brush and then I can brush out what I don't want or I can select what I don't want. And then I can use my paintbrush tool right here to fill that with black. That gets rid of that if I ever want it back, it's on a mask. So I just go to the layer mask, select white. And then I can get a big brush, I can paint that stuff back in. So all those masks that we learned about earlier are totally non destructive. That's a better way to do this. Now we still have three more things to talk about. The first one is to open your images and Adobe camera raw. That assumes that you know what raw images are. And we're gonna get to that in a future session. We're gonna talk a lot about adobe camera. Raw. We've got almost an entire section on that. So we're gonna put a pin in that and save that for later. The other two items that we want to use for non destructive editing are using smart objects and smart filters and that is what we're going to do next.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Class Materials

Ratings and Reviews


Mark did a great job at explaining things and going over them multiple times throughout the lessons. My only issue was that sometimes it went a little faster than I could keep up and I needed to rewind it a bit and start again. But from someone who has never worked in photoshop before I 100% recommend this class to anyone trying to learn.

Student Work