The Geeky Stuff: Layer Comps
The geeky stuff it's usually for people are not the faint of heart kind of thing they need to really know how to get in and do the most with photo shop. If you ever want to get a client to be looking over your shoulder and they're going well, I'm glad I hired this person because I don't know what the heck they're doing, then some of the stuff we cover in this session will be what you need. Um, I'm just gonna jump in, get started uh, couple things, I'm going to start off talking about something called layer camps laywer calms, so karen made up for me. This nice little graphic is if she was making a business card or something else, and I told her to make more than one version of it. So let's say you're creating a design for a client in the client asked you to come up with five different concepts for you to show them, and you decide to make all five of the concepts in a single photo shop document, and if you do so, you will be able to have photoshopped keep track of which layers are visib...
le for various versions of that image. If you'd like to, michelle has done, I'm going to go to the window menu and come down there's, a choice in here called layer camps and cares already created. Some layer comes for me, I'll show you what they look like briefly, and then I'll see if I can possibly delete them and recreate them, so you have an idea of how they're made. But in this particular file, we have three different versions of this which might represent a business card. S o here we have one just click through the others and she's mainly using different graphics at the bottom, different colors, different layer styles, and so if I wanted to be able to show a client a few different possibilities, this could be a nice way to do it. Therefore, I don't have to show them the complexity of the layers panel, so let's, take a look at how you can create these, and then what can we do with them after we create them so let's, just take a look. I'm gonna go into my layers panel here and I'm going to turn on and off some of these layers to see if I can come up with a p taylor layer star, her layer comp I would like and so let's see here I'm going to first save this one because imagine these aren't here yet if this was empty. You set up your layers the way you'd like them to be, and at the bottom of the layer comes panel there's just an icon for a new layer comp it's the same icon you have for a new layer new channel or knew anything else at the bottom of a panel? Click on it. You give that layer comp name and I'll just call this blue card and you have three different things, so you can keep track of when it comes to your layers photoshopped can keep track of which layers are visible. It can also keep track of the position of layer. If you decide you're going to use the move tool and move a layer around in various versions. In this case, we're going to move those eyeballs around so the black part of the eyeballs would be in a different position. In each of these, you can also keep track of the appearance of each layer and by appearance it means anything that you could change by going to the bottom of your layers panel, where you find the letters f x that's, where you have things like bevel it in, boss drop shadow and there are other settings that air in there, but he can keep track of all those things, so I'm gonna click okay remember, I call it blue card. And now we have a new layer comp. Now I can start changing my image so let's say instead of coming in and using this particular look, I wanted to look a bit different so I come in and maybe I substitute a different layer can you tell that this layer has brown text in it instead of the other one which had in more of a bluish color? And then I might come in and change the look of what's at the bottom? Maybe I come in here and turn off some of these other layers so that I have a different graphic visible at the bottom then this is maybe my other version, so I got on to the bottom of the layer calms panel and before I even clicked this photo shop is telling me at the moment that the previous layer comp lit I have no longer reflects what this document looks like and the way it's telling me that is in the layer cops panel there used to be an icon right in here, which indicated that this particular layer comp represented what I'm looking at right now, but instead that icon which used to be in this area has moved up here and this just says last documents state it should pretty much say current documents state it just means that this is different than any of the cops I've saved meaning that what I'm looking at is not the same is this calm down here so I'm going to create a brand new one and I'll just call this what green yellow and I'll keep track of the same three choices click okay and now I have my second layer come now notice right after I created that icon is sitting right next to it meaning what I'm currently viewing matches this layer comp it the layers that are visible the position of the layers layer styles are consistent so I know I'm looking at the same thing the moment I make a change in the moment I come in here and turn off one of these eyeballs or move a layer or anything else that I come will go away and move up to the top again to say hey, we're not what you're looking at right now is not any one of these layer cops it's something different and so now I can come in here and see if I want to possibly put in that other owl peace here maybe you want to take the eyeball layer that's here and use the move tool move these guys because one of the things we can keep track of is the position of a layer and maybe I need to switch back over to something else I think this is similar to what we had before but the eyeballs are in a different position s so anyway, I could do that. We also can vary our layer styles, so I had a layer style applied to layer down here. This layer is called body and it's the one that is putting the shape in. If you look at my layers panel, you see that originally the contents of that letter were kind of brownish, and but if you look at the end result is kind of bluish that's because there was a layer style applied called color overlay I'll just turn that off therefore it's the original contents of the layer uh and let's see, maybe I do want to switch these at the top so that it matches so we have the brown with the brown ah, the other things I could do is I could come over here in this particular layer that says karen wilmore has a drop shadow underneath it in that drop shadow, I think, has a sigh inish color, which would be more appropriate for the other version of the card, so I'll turn off the layer effects there also there's a layer effect applied to this little kind of speech balloon that's adding the darker edge to it. So if I find that particular speech balloon, there is an inner glow, and, um I turn it off, so I'm just varying three different things the position of the layers did that with the eyeballs the visibility of of layers and I'm doing that by train off various characters that are in here and then also the layer styles I can turn them on or off or I could vary them I could like adam bevell in boston or something similar now I'm going to create a new layer comp again so click here and just call this one brown card so now I have the three that I've created the bottom here and the three that karen created earlier now if I want to be able to view those I don't want to click on the names of them like this that's not going to switch between them instead I want to click where that little icon would show up because by clicking where that little icon would show up the icon is going to move you've to these various locations and show me what the image looked like at the time those particular choices were created so if I click up here I'm going to see the green and yellow version of the card look up here I'm going to see the blue version of the card and click back down at the bottom and I'm going to see the brown version of the card now you can end up messing this up the way you could mess it up is take a layer that was used within one of those layer cops and throw it away well then how could it show you what that particular layer camp looked like if one of the layers needed for it is no longer active they're no longer available it's even if you have a layer that just isn't even being used and you throw it away you're going to find a little warning symbol show up next year layer cops over here to just tell you that all the layers that were used when that layer camp was made are no longer available in that document you know there's a least one layer that isn't and if you mouse over it it will tell you cannot be fully restored meaning I can't make the document in the exact same state you can right click on that though and say you want to clear those warnings or clear all the warnings if you want to get rid of that little exclamation point so let's say I anyway I've made these layer cops now what the heck can I do with them? Well I can quickly switch between them using the arrow keys at the bottom of the layer calms panel so I could go next next next that'll go through both the three that karen created earlier and the three that I created so that could just be nice if a client sitting there I want to switch between them if you do this a lot there's a choice in the side menu called next layer comp in previous layer comp and in photo shop, you can assign keyboard shortcuts to the side menus of various panels. If you go to the edit menu there's a choice called keyboard shortcuts in within there, you can tell it to show you the side menu of various panels you could assign keyboard shortcuts. If you did that and use this a lot with clients, then you could set up a document with layer coms in simplify your screen. All I would do is you compress the letter f multiple times to get into full screen mode like this, and then if I had a keyboard shortcut to switch between the layer comes when I client is looking over my shoulder, I could quickly go through them when they decide they need a change. I could hit the letter f to get out of full screen mode, make the change in my layers panel and if I make a change in my layers, panel let's say the client says for this particular one, which is the one called brown card, why don't you come over here in move those eyeballs? I want him centered at the top up here? Well, once you've done that, photoshopped tells you that hey, what you're currently looking at does not reflect any of these later coms instead, it's up here it keeps the layer comp your last working on highlighted so you can figure out which one when you're working on last but now I want to update it so if I made any kind of a change and I wanted to update this one, all I need to dio is in my layer calms panel there's a little icon with two arroz con almost looks like a recycle icon and if I click on it it means update this layer come so that it reflects what the document currently looks like and therefore that little icon goes back down there so that means if you want to make a change to any of your layer comes, just click between the layer camps by clicking where that icon could appear then make the change that you want in your layers and then finally click that little update icon and then you'll update it so therefore if a client asks for a change, you could do so. But now let's say the client says lovett, I want all of him or I need to show it to the company president they don't have photoshopped, so give it to me in some format that they could use well if I come up here and go to the file menu ah one of the choices is going to be dealing with layer calms and it's under the scripts menu so go to file and then two scripts and I can say layer coms to files if I choose layer comes to files, I get this dialog box and at the top is simply wants to know where to save the image so if I hit browse, I'm just going to make sure that said to my desk top below that it means when I named these layer cops, what do you want to call the file names? And I'm going to call mine business card and then an underscore it's gonna put that at the beginning of each file name it says here we have a choice of selected layer calms only let's say the client was sitting here and they say I like the blue card in the brown car but none of the others well, I could select both of those in my layer comes panel so they were highlighted and then if I turned that check box on it wouldn't export all the layer comes, he would only export those that are selected, but in this case I'm going to export him also leave that off. Then I could tell what file size what I like to use, so if I need layers in my image techies photoshopped file format but if I want to quickly email these to a client probably gonna end up choosing j peg finally hit the run button in photo shops going to switch between all those layer calms and save amount of separate files so if I go and look on my desktop, do you see the various files sitting there? It's just created all those files for me but let's say the client doesn't want individual files one for each one of these that would be great if I'm going to send him off to a printing company they want to print them all, but if they just want to show it to somebody to get their approval like the president of the company, they might want him all in a single file to do that, I could go to the file menu and two scripts and there's a trois called cops to pdf now comes the pdf I'm not certain if it was in all the previous versions of photo shop I think what they did is they removed this teacher for a while and put it back in so there's certain versions of photo shop that might not have that available so if I choose layer comes to pdf this comes up at the top it's just asking, where do you want to put it so all brows and choose my dad's tom and it wants to know the name so appear I'll just call this business cards kids say again it wants to know all the layer cops or just the ones that are selected and then it can set it up. So it's automatically part of the slide show if you want or you could turn that off and then you hit run! It is going to produce a pdf file where each page of the pdf is one of those, um, layer cops. So now if I go look at my desktop, I'll just hit the space bar. Kes, that gives me a preview on the mac. Uh, you can see here's a pdf in here are all the layer comes saved within it so it could be kind of nice. Nice little way tio bill to send something over to client. Now they're a couple things later cops can't do and just want to mention a few ways to get around it. If you scale a layer it's going to scale the layer in all of the layer comes because all can keep track of is a position of layer, the visibility of layer and the layer styles that are applied. So if you want to scale a layer calm, let's, say, to have smaller eyeballs in here or something like that, what I would do is before you scale the layer, I would duplicate the layer so that the original layer could be used in the other layer cops, and then you scale the duplicate down. And hide the original so you're just viewing a different version of layer one the smaller than the other but you still have the original sized layer in there then just double check your layer comes to make sure that that layer is not visible on the others and therefore you could have two different sizes it's really two different layers uh that kind of thing now one other thing about this is let's say we created a different layer come here's another one that karen made yesterday in here she made a counter so she has various folders full of images that have some text on him she has various counter layouts here and she just wanted to put these all in one file so it would be easier to do things like change the font for the the month because we're all one file he could select all those layers at once changed the settings and such then she ended up creating layer comes for each one of the months thes happens to be one for each national park that we've visited you know at least twelve of them and let's see if you go through them I'll just hit the arrow keys here so here we got yellowstone grand tetons uh katya yosemite and so on anyway she's got one for every month thes air all shots of karen took for this we have all the layer comes now there's a little more I could do with this not just saving it out as a pdf file which would be nice for a calendar you can distribute it to your friends that way or I could say these out of separate j pegs or tips to maybe have it printed on a printing press but there's more aiken d'oh so I'm gonna close this and not save it and I'm going to switch over to adobe in design in design is where I could do page layout so if I'm going to do a book or a magazine article or a brochure anything I could do it here in design all I'm going to do is create a brand new document in design of whatever size I want then I want a place the layer comp file within this so I'm going to go back to bridge just remember where the heck that is because I don't know where it is on my hard drive and I could I believe drag right here from bridge two in design and when I click it will place that so it's a file within indesign or if it was on my desktop I get dragged from my desktop to here or you can go to the file menu and I think there's a choice called place a bunch of different ways of getting an image in ah I can then come in and scale this and let's say what I want here is a brochure for the calendar that karen made I want to make it so we could just have like, a sail sheet so everybody can see what the various months looked like in the calendar, and this could be my little thing that I send out to try to sell the calendar if I want to duplicate something I could hold on the option key ultima windows when I move it and it'll move a duplicate, so I'm just going to create a bunch of these, maybe four across, I'll select those four across and hold option again, so I dragged down hoops. I didn't hold option pulled option track down now we got eight track down again, that should be twelve one for each month. Now. The problem is they're all showing the month of december. I want to be able to make it so each one shows a different month, so what I do is I click on one of these in in design, and if I press the right mouse button, I'll get a menu. One of the choices in there is object layer options, object layer options, how to right click on it to get to that that brings up a little dialogue box where I could toggle the visibility of individual layers in here. That doesn't have to do with layer calms you could do that anyway with layered photoshopped file but there's little pop up menu for lair comp so I can come over here and say let's make this one be february in a should update that click okay then I could go to the next one right click on it object later options and I'd say I don't want february there I need march oops I didn't switch which later was active let's make this one over here okay and then we're gonna go over to april and so on I'm not going to do this for all twelve it would be pretty boring to watch but you get the idea that we can place a single file within in design and we can tell it which one of the layer coms to show right so these are all pointing back to a single photo shopped file it's in photoshopped file format and I can place it in design and then tell it exactly which layer comes to show if I spent the time to do it I could have you each month shown here so that's pretty cool in that yeah, so later cops can be nice any general questions about layer cops before I move away from you know I was just taking a peek all right, you let me know if you uh yeah, so a lot of people do struggle a little bit with layer calms and we too have someone asking about the history and we're in your workflow do you use the history palette more or layer cops more? I don't think that the miss being equivalent equivalent, okay, the history panel is just going to show you the last twenty things you've done. Yeah, so layer compass is more like I want to open this next month and have these cards where is if you close the file and reopen it? The history panel is going to be empty. So the history panel is what I do if I mess up and I messed up five steps ago, right? Move back five steps and in fact, I almost never have the history panel open because there's a keyboard shark that I can use to go back multiple steps. Instead, most people are used to the normal keyboard shortcut for undue, which is command z if you just add the option key so option command z u go back multiple steps the same as having the history panel open and going back one step at a time in windows that's. The equivalent would be ault control z if you've undone too many steps and you need to go the other direction instead of adding the option key, add shift, so shift command z it would reapply cooling s o. I don't think of them as being equivalent, because the history panel is only gonna list twenty things. And if I did forty things to this image, or if I save, enclosed the image, thie history panel is going to be not useful. Eso layer camps is just if I need more than one version of this file.