Working with Layers


Adobe® Photoshop®: Retouching and Collage


Lesson Info

Working with Layers

Well there's all sorts of other techniques you can use if we end up getting away from the normal retouching tools instead working with layers and other features and photoshopped sometimes I end up in situations like this one here I was making a panorama I was at like in my brain not think of the name of this arch no it's it's ah in kenyan lands the most popular arches amaze arch I think it's mates are usually people shoot looking the other way but I'm doing a panorama here in this guy doesn't matter how long I'm sitting there here's what he's doing what do dating you need and it was I didn't have the patience to sit there and wait for him so I just took more than one shot and so if you take more than one shot with your camera on a tripod you could take those shots select them in here in bridge I can say load files into photoshopped layers is gonna stack owes images for me and I should end up with one layer for each image so if he had five images you have five layers if you have two ima...

ges you know but two and so on what I would do then is as long as they have the same camera settings applied to them and they had the same exposure settings when I took the photographs the brightness of the images should be the same and what I could end up doing is just adding a layer mask so if I come down here the layer mask icon looks like a little circle inside of a rectangle the bomber your layers pound going to click on that that's going to attach a mask to whichever later I was working on let's start with the top player and if I grab my paintbrush tool now and I paint with black then I think my tool pallets are not updating yeah, I've noticed my layers panel I've had to expand or make a little wider or skinnier recently on this set up in something's going on with photo shop not updating the screen but in this case I'm just gonna paint with black what pain with black does in a mask because it hides the layer that I'm working on and therefore it's going to reveal the layer that's underneath it and so if the guy's in a different position on the layer underneath instead the arch uh is there then I should be able to just paint here get rid of him and unfortunately he was standing right there again but I get rid of part of them I go to the next layer down and I add a mask to it and I paint where the guy's still shows up it looks like he's still there and some where it might be in the layer above that he's still there yeah and so all I'm doing, if I turn off all these layers is the top player. I made a hole in it like this that hole is being filled in by the layer that's underneath, but that where that's underneath, he was still in there, so I made another hole in it and there's another layer underneath that's filling that in and so often times when it comes to tourists in a busy location or something, I don't want to sit there and wait for all the tourists to be gone. Sometimes they just put my camera on a tripod. I set the exposure to be consistent, I take a shot, and I just wait for people to walk around a little bit and then take another shot and then wait for people to walk around a little bit, take another shot, and I'll end up stacking them like this because there are some, like national monuments and things where you're almost never going to find him without people go to a frank lloyd wright house like falling water there's people everywhere, and I might need to take five or six shots in ableto in order to be able to composited like this and get a clean one, this isn't the most exciting image it's just the one I could find where I had an example of when it did it so you're just adding layer masks and painting with black that hides the contents of a layer you're working on revealing what's underneath, keep doing it until you drill down to the bottom layer or your object you're trying to retouch is gone all right. Other things, take me a minute to get this image open other things when it comes to layers, oftentimes I end up needing to composite a bunch of stuff this is a combination light painting where I paint with a flashlight to add detailed areas that wouldn't otherwise have it and just normal photo, but I want to show you one particular part of this that I ended up using I hadn't planned on it at the time I shot the photograph, but the fire usually would look like this with the exposure that I was using, and I ended up doing this in order to do that. What I ended up doing is capturing individual exposures, which I'll see if I can show you I happened to in the process of shooting this without really planning it took this shot because I wasn't sure exactly how big I wanted the flames to be in my end result, so I just took a variety of shots and I ended up with this siri's of images because I didn't know what would I like it to look like? But in the end I ended up not using those and I like this one the best, but what I really didn't like about the image when I was done with it is just this complete lack of detail there, and I wanted to get it to show back up like it was more when I was standing there, I could see the detail, and so what I ended up doing is I just stacked multiple layers that have the flames and I painted on a mask to say this particular one is only going to show up right there, that one little part sticking up then the next one is only going to show up in that little part the next one on lee here, the next one only here and so on, but the whole thing had completely to d'oh was simply painting unmasks to fill in all those gaps. And if you want to see the contents of each mask, if I hold down the option key when I click on a mask, it'll show me what's in it. So here's, you see really simple painting, don't click on the next one there. It looks like I threw in a copy of the flames, but all the black areas or where I'm hiding things. And so often times that's what I'll end up needing to do to sometimes create something that I hadn't thought of at the time that I shot the image I'll just go back and say, what are my out takes from that particular shoot? Is there any way I can incorporate them into the end result to help me out and in this case all my little test of how bright I want the flames to be what should my lengthy exposure be made it so I was able to have enough shots where I could end up putting in that flame detail but we can always with layer scale rotate and move them so it doesn't have to be in the original position this could be from even a different photograph of flames putting in the main thing is using the masks when you're doing it is going to help you blend it in I just want to show you that as a little example of of uh kind of a different way of thinking about retouching all right let's talk about other things relating to layers here's another complex retouch this one course finished gas station in this particular one I actually own the bus that's in there um case you don't know I live in a tour bus we go around whatever we're not teaching it a place like this when I say we I mean my wife and I carry this hidden away in a in a room somewhere here making a handbook for this as we go on so she's not able to be in here because she is trying to document all this stuff whenever we're not teaching like this were around taking photographs of whatever we find that's interesting in one of my passions is vintage america so I go around taking pictures of all these vintage gas stations I thought it would be fun to do that in a vintage bus so I have a vintage bus the interior is being created right now and buy about winter time we should be living in that vehicle but well I've been driving around the country to some places I would take photographs of it here's one of them I would like to show you a little bit about what was done here retouching wise so let's take a look at what this looked like before the retouch so take a look on the right side of the photo right on the edge we got that whole canopy that's there and all those little pieces I got rid of uh the worst part of this thing over on the far left there's a sign usually says texaco on it but we can't show logos on the show so karen actually recession it out for me eso usually that low goes in there but of course they had to attach a huge elektronik sign teo the vintage of bowl that's there and that was not fun and many other things to retouch out so let's, take a look at how some of that was done so let's see there's a weeds be gone layer which got rid of a lot of it in a lot of that we've already talked about we talked about the telephone lines didn't win sever the ends, break it down into chunks and then you can do him easily same with the tower that was there that wasn't too difficult sever the end right here several wherever touches something else like the edge of the tree branches there may be severed at the very top on and then use thie um spot healing brush to get rid of it. Same with all these telephone lines going through the trees, we talked a little bit about that. First get rid of the lines, then go through make sure branches are consistent using darkened mode to try to fill that in so that's some of the stuff we've already talked about this other poll on the left side I would sever it wherever it touches stuff so it touches the edge of the sign here ceverett where touches the trees ceverett and then I could use spot healing to get rid of the top it's when you get down here into the trees with this that it becomes more difficult so that was one very difficult part and then on the right side working with this was very difficult so let's take a look at some of that so ah with this I got a little another de clutter there let's for instance look at this part here because that was not easy if I end up looking at what we have to copy from to put that in because if I just look at how much of it there was nothing there for the most part right so that had to be a completely constructed to be put in so let's look at what source material do we have to be ableto copy from right and looking at this center is all well this edge of it here is if I remember correctly this edge from over here right but it needs to curve over in end somehow so that end I believe is this end right here then we have the upper portion and I don't remember if I stole from here or from over here for that but it is pieced from all those particular locations does that make sense as far as where the original content came from but if you look at what we started with how the heck to even figure out where it goes seems to be kind of crazy well that's when I come in and first use my pen tool put in some guides to say where should this yellowish area go I'll add one at the very top here and I'll add one down here you know get it tow line up to remind me of where that should should run then you see the green uh based paint that's in here all out a a point on their hopes let me get rid of I'm just going to make it so this is no longer active grabbed the arrow tool in just click away from the path and it will no longer be active so had one here and then I'll go all the way over here and I just guessed in a where should this go by getting a tow line up with the one that's on the middle of the picture right in there so that should give me an idea of how high it should be over here on the right side to some make sense then I'll add another one of these I'm gonna put one on the white portion of the garage then I might take the bottom of the garage door because that might need to keep track of so I will but you see how those lines are overly helpful as faras reminding me of where all those kinds of things need to end I might also take the crack in the driveway kind of area the end come in here at a point on it put another one over here and get it to be the right angle all right, so those are all my little reminders of where do things need to line up? And so now it's a matter of where can we copy from two end up filling some of that stuff in now, what I will frequently do is if I need to work with large areas, I'll just grab my lasso tool. I'll come over here and just say, give me this thing, this area here, if my image is made out of multiple layers, which oftentimes it is, will have multiple retouching layers in it, uh, if I were to just cover here and choose copy it's only going to think about whatever layers active right now, and sometimes I don't know what layer that stuffs on or it's made out of multiple layers. So there's, a special copy command called cop emerged, which means copy what that looks like, regardless of how many layers it's made out of just give me what's there, I don't care if it's made out of nine layers are made out of one copy it, then I'm just going to choose paste, that's going to create a new layer with that content, and now I can move it over here, and I have those guides that I've created, so I need the top edge of the green to line up with the guy that's there you need the right edge that's here to line up with it vertical guide oh sues the arrow keys on my keyboard then they're approximately where I think it needs to go make sense so far, so that helped me out position in. Then I'll grab my selection tool again in this house say, well, how much of this might I need to use? Come around, they're all again copy emerged because otherwise when you choose copy, it only thinks about the layer that's currently active later is currently active has that piece I just moved over and there be nothing in this area but copy emerge says, grab that I don't care how many layers it's made out of what later it's on, then I'll choose paste and I get a new layer that contains just that piece. I move it over here now, do you see it? A little vertical piece of green in there to see it right here, this little vertical piece of green that's where the wall would be so I'm going to line that up with the vertical guide that I put in this guide right here and then I'm just going to visually kind of line that up a bit that and I'm just trying to get them in there to be approximately where they should be, um see, I'm going to need to move this down further, though I think because this one guy was supposed to show me where the bottom of the garage door would be looks like it would be down a little bit further so I might need to find tune you see the bottom of the garage door where it is in this particular shot to see what happens if I bring it down there because that would line up but then this one doesn't, so I might need to make an additional piece to kind of connect these two together or to change the angle of this let's talk about changing the angle how the heck could you do that? I want the base, the green base to be up here but I want the bottom this part to somehow come down in match so what's there out well layered song but just by train layers on and off on this layer and here's one method I could use for moving stuff around, check this out. Not let me use either puppet war for normal warping shouldn't matter what tool I'm in. Um, make sure we got the right layer. We do just that layer uh, let me just try it on a normal image. I just created a brand new document see puppet warp is there s o I want not just has no pass don't matter you couldn't him just delete the past although I could just hide that good little learning moment here sometimes that was weird so it's available now maybe it was the paths shouldn't be the past but uh there's a small chance it was the paths and if so let's turn on the rest of this stuff although I wanted to pass but that could have been it all right let's see if it works hop up work it looks like having paths active at the same time it thinks I might have wanted to a warp the path instead of the layer so that could be it. So thank you for whoever gave that suggestion so puppet was alex sab lamb thank you very much. Awesome. Good is tio puppet warp when I choose puppet warp it's going to look at the particular layer I'm working on and it's going to put this mesh on top of it it's a weird looking mash uh you can ignore the mash if you care to in fact, you can type command each to hide it of control agent windows and you just see her picture and then you can click on your picture to add little pins and when you add these pins these air either areas that you want to stay stationary and not move at all or these will be points that you can click on in poland to reposition what I'm doing here is locking in the position of these areas because I don't want them to move around then I'm going to go to some other portion of my image like let's say here and add a pin and then start dragging it you see how I can move it around and I'm not sure if I'll be able to get this to look exactly the way I want we'll find out if you want to get rid of a pin if it's active just hit the delete key but see if I can pull this out and then click on other parts you can pull and this is a little constricted area so it's not being as friendly as I want it to be, but the thing is what I could do that let me hit escape to get out of this isn't gonna work on a duplicate of this piece we'll decide command j to duplicate that layer and then I don't have to worry about the wall that's above like this part up here because I could just not care what happens and just delete it later on and just care about what happens at the bottom because I duplicated it therefore I can use the one from the duplicate, so now let's try it again but warp I'm just going to pin the ends here where I don't want to change is that how you make people skinnier in photo shop that's one way in that air, the other one's called liquefy and see how I'm able toe get that to come out here to meet where I wanted it to and then I might try to pull this back up near where it was, but I think we're going to just run into a limitation when those air a little bit too close I'll get a press return her answer to say I'm done and now if I hide that underneath it is the original layer and so I could take this layer and just use the eraser tools or race part of it or use a mask tio mask it depending on what your preferences as forest what you're comfortable with in this case I'll use the eraser just keep it simple and I'm just gonna say what part of that newly warped thing do I not need it's to race it away revealing layer that's underneath? Okay? And then when I want to connect these together I can create a new layer and start doing things like healing across them or spot healing and there's a technique we covered when we did a color and tone session remember color and telling from a previous seminar um I don't know some of you guys were here there was a technique for making one area precisely match another in both color and brightness and if I use that technique, the color of these two would precisely match so right now, it's a matter of hiding different areas of little pieces of this, what I could do is take a little piece like, for instance, this piece and I could use a layer mask to hide this extra part of it, use a layer mask to hide this extra portion that I don't need over here in all of that kind of stuff to clean this up, but you get a sense for how some of the pieces were kind of thrown together and then after that it's just a matter of unifying it by putting on masks and hiding various areas turn some of that off as far as just getting the corner to be there that was just clone stamp tool copy from an area like right here figure out where the corner should be by getting like a huge brush and saying, ok, where would that edge be? Click she's undo because you're only clicking to define where it wass and then a smaller brush and come up here and put some of that in if that angle is off it's not what you need, then I can either clone from over here it's it's, a different kind of wood that I would need or when I climbed from up here change the angle so here it may be a copy from here I want to use it over here if I get a big brush though it's going to be on the wrong corner so I could go to my clone source flip it horizontally that's that little eye comical uh era now it's flipped and to get the angle for that bottom piece click on my down here and I'll use a keyboard shortcuts to rotate try to get the angle to be right bumping into that thing so he would have to grab another piece but give me a sense for all the things we talked about flipping rotating all that um I don't want to do every single thing in here it's just time consuming and its matter grabbing from a bunch of little pieces but it could be done just come over here and grab any other part you need you need this corner here we'll just say where do you have a similar corner and it could be right here no need to flip it this time so make sure you turn off any flipping yet turned on get a big brush secrecy where would that edge be? Gettinto lineup click to establish the position she was undue now you've established the position you can use a smaller brush actually put it in you know why am I getting that that's not what is underneath the crosshair darkened mode normal mode if you ever find that one of your tools and she's completely not acting the way you want, you can't figure out why they'll be whatever tool you're in, they'll be an icon for it in the upper left you see the icon right here there's a trick if you press the right mouse button on top of that icon, you can reset the tool, which means clear out any weird settings for this tool. And so if you only have a one button mouse so there's no right clicking with your mouse, that means you're on a mac and you got a simple mouse you instead would control click and you can reset this tool or all your tools if they all seem to be acting weird. So that way, if I didn't notice it was in darkened mode, if I reset the tulip would have cleared that out anyway, so hopefully that gives you some sense for how I might start constructing pieces out of a bunch of other parts. I know I didn't create the absolute end result that's there is just a matter of I don't want to spend the total amount of time it would take to do so, but the essence for what was done I showed you like where did the pieces come from then I need to extend this line by grabbing from the line that is here and just extended it in and the mains time is blending all those things together to make them look like a cohesive whole that is there other things that I think about when working with layers and photo shop is when you end up with a bunch of layers for retouching there's some things you really need to look out for and that is if you ever have the move to allow active in one of your layers unbeknownst to you gets moved let's say I have this weeds be gone layer that's retouching out all this stuff and I might be zoomed up on some part of my image of here not even thinking about that layer not realizing it's active and I happen to have the move tool available you know active and I just happened to click and move the little spit and not notice they did it now all made retouching no longer lines up with the original picture that's underneath because I just moved it I think it said three pixels when I moved it and so if I actually go and look I don't know if you'll notice that or not if I choose undo no I'm not noticing let me see if I move it further or oh the layer on working on hidden okay but if that gets moved a little a spit then all your retouching is no longer going to line up so you have to be overly careful to make sure that that layer never ever moves so here are a few safety measures that I use the first thing I do is I take the bottom most layer which is always my original picture and at the top of the layers panel there's a lock icon right here when you click that you are locking the position of that later so it cannot be moved and you are locking the pixels on that layer which means you will not be able to accidentally change that layer at all if you grabbed a retouching tool now when that layer is active you come over here and you say I want to be ableto to retouch it won't let you in that way you can ensure that the bottom layer is always your pristine original cannot be changed period any time you try it will tell you that later is locked right the next thing I would do is go to the layer that contains your retouching and lock not the whole thing because that would make it so you can't doom or be touching on it because you won't be able to change that layer at all but you could lock just the position that means this layer cannot be moved and so I might do that if, uh that is my main retouching layer what I call my weeds be gone layer where it always needs to align with what's underneath but sometimes I end up making composite images in the layer that I have there I need to have some re touching on it but later on I'm going to have to move it around it's part of a composite if that's the case instead of locking these layers return those things off what I would do instead is I would select my retouching layer and layer that there were touching lines up with and with both layers selected I would click this link symbol what that link symbol does is you will see a link symbol on the right side the link symbol on ly show up when one of those layers is active if you have other layers, he wouldn't see it only when one of those layers is active and that link tells it that if I ever move this layer with the move tool, it should also move all the other layers that are linked to it and that way if I'm happy to work on a composite where it's multiple images being put together, I'm creating some sort of creative composite image that if I ever move the layer that contains the original picture the retouching will move along with it so I could still move him around but they're going to move together and the way I did that again was to click on one layer hold shift to get another and then you can click that link symbol and that means if I move, or if I scale or rotate as well, it would do both layers. And you could do that with more than two, if you haven't, of three or four layers that make up the retouching. But that's, another protection to make sure that things don't move on you.

Class Description

Part of the Complete Photoshop Mastery Bundle.

Learn how to retouch any image, whether it be the simplest problem or the most complex and seemingly impossible task. Understand the difference between all the retouching tools and then learn how to supplement them with other Adobe® Photoshop® features. See how multiple images can be combined into a seamless composite that is much more than the sum of its parts.

  • Learn the difference between all the retouching tools and when to use each one
  • See how the Clone Source panel can help with difficult retouching jobs
  • Rid your images of telephone poles, power lines and pedestrians, even if they overlap complex backgrounds like trees
  • Discover how Layer Masks, Blending Sliders and Vector Masks are best implemented
  • Learn how Smart Objects can allow you to make almost infinite changes to your design without having to rework your image

  • This course is also part of the Photoshop tutorials series

    Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS6