Photoshop: Layers - FX and Masks


Photoshop for Photographers: The Essentials


Lesson Info

Photoshop: Layers - FX and Masks

all right so now let's just make this look a little bit better what I would like to do is add a drop shadow in between each one to get a little bit of separation between them so with the top layer active I'll go to the bottom of my layers panel and that's where I'm going to find the letters f x that's where you confined layer effects it actually has two names that are used interchangeably later effects in layer styles people use those terms interchangeably adobe started using one of the term switch to the other but never got the old reference completely out of photo shop so it's got two names so the letters affects our for layer effects also nana's layer styles in here we have a bunch of different effects we can apply I'm just going to use the one that's called drop shadow now it's going to look at the layer that's currently active that's where it's going to put the drop shadow and the drop shadow was going to be an accessory to that layer it's justa setting attached to the layer a set...

ting I can easily turn off again later in the drop shadow would disappear or if I change that layer look if I rotated scale it the drop shadow was simply update if I delete part of the layer it will update the drop shadow to reflect it it's just looks at where are the bounds of this particular layer where does the stuff that's in it end and that's where it starts adding drop shadow so I'll choose drop shadow from the fx menu when I do this dialog box comes up with a whole bunch of settings you can ignore most of the settings there is only two or three that are really important uh there is if you look in here opacity which is how much can I see through the drop shadow if it was turned all the way up to have a black drop shadow that you can't see through as he lowered the opacity it gets lightened up less and less because it just shows up less and less the opposite of opaque is transparent so it's the lower opacity you're saying more more transparent then I also have the size and the size is how soft the edges what size is the fade out the blurry part on the edge of the drop shadow and so if you want it to look as if it's really close to what's underneath it it's just hovering above what's underneath it the tiniest amount you want a relatively crisp edged drop shadow and as we wanted to look as if it's really floating far above what's underneath you want a soft edge drop shadow if you're not familiar with that just take your hand put it on the table in front of you you'll see that the shadow underneath your hand is relatively chris badged and if you raise your hand above he gets softer and softer is ugo so then there's also a distance in an angle and that means what directions light coming from but I never adjust the distance and angle in here because what I can do is just click on my picture I'm gonna click my picture will this dialogue is open and if I do watch what happens can you see my little drop shadow zoom up a little bit for it but that's the drop shadow right there and when I'm dragging around all it's doing is changing two settings in here the angle in the distance which means what direction should the drop shadow fall in and how far away from the original should be and I'm determining that by dragging so I'll choose a spot for it and then I'm going to control the edge with that size setting side is how soft is the edge and finally opacity is how much can I see through it the more I can see through it the less it could show up all right so now I have a drop shadow underneath one of those images can you see it there hitting the photo that's underneath and I simply want to get the same kind of drop shadow on all the other once now I could click on the next layer that's underneath go down to the letters fx and choose drop shadow but then I would have to manually go in and do those settings again well you can see in my layers panel on the layer that I already worked on there it is attached to this layer is just like an accessory to the layer it's not something that's permanent I could turn off the eyeball icon and it would go away temporarily well if I want teo I can click there on the word drop shadow and drag it to another layer and when I drag it you see it highlighting different layers well if I look weird let go that would move it you see how it's no longer on the top layer it's now instead on the layer below why don't if you remember or not but before when I was in bridge on the first day I moved in image from one folder to another and I mentioned there was a key could hold down to move a copy also yesterday people asked about masks and can I move one from one layer to another and we could but it would literally move it just like this did there was a key I could hold down that would instead copy it if I hold on the exact same key right now it would move a copy in the key that I was holding down I know it's always hard to remember them his option ultimate does so I'm gonna hold on the option can just dragged us to the top layer now I have it on two layers click on the word drop shadow again dragon town of the next and I could do that for all my layers that makes sense just hold on option that means a copy that's all time windows the only problem with that is what if I had fifty layers I don't know about you I wouldn't look forward to doing that fifty times so there is an alternative and that is if I have a layer active that has one of those effects attached to it I can go and there's actually two places where I could've added that drop shadow we went to the bottom of our layers panel two letters f ax to get to it that's how we added it but I could've instead gone to the layer menu and that's where I'll find a choice called layer style and this is the same list of effects I could've added it from there the advantage of going here is there are some additional commands available one of which is copy layer style all that does is it looks at what layers currently active and is there one of those effects attached to it if so let's copy the settings for after doing so I could select all the other layers let's say had fifty of them I got the top players selected I'd scroll down to the bottom one hold shift and click on it so it gets all the ones in between then I could go to the layer menu go backto layer style you see paste layer style that's going to put it on all the layers that are currently selected so I could have one hundred layers or whatever and uh now they're relatively subtle here but we do have a drop shadows and every single one of those uh layers one problem though is that my drop shadows since they go beyond the edge of the photo itself I think the drop shadow is getting cut off on the bottom edge of my photo the document in on the right edge where it just goes off the edge a little bit so I might want to go over here to the image menu and see if reveal all we'll figure that out make the document larger so it's not cut off to make sense now that checkerboard that's there never prints out it just means there's nothing there it's empty when we try to print or if we try to put this in tow something alice that's going to get filled in with something we might as well fill it in here just to get a preview of what it looks like there are many different ways I could do that but one of them is to go to the bottom of my layers panel and yesterday we clicked on the half black and half white circle to create adjustment layers a curves human saturation but there are some special choices above the various adjustments that are available one of which is solid color solid color just means make a layer that's full of a solid color but it's a solid color I can easily change it any time which is what's nice about it so when I choose solid color a color picture comes up to ask me what color and I'm just going to choose white click okay and then if you look at my layers panel you'll see that layer sitting there and the only problem is it's obscuring our view of the bottom most layer you see this layer sitting underneath it so there's another photo in here that I can't see if I turn off the eyeball on that you'll see that it was just being covered up it's just like having a huge white sheet of paper sitting on top of something it's obscuring your view of it so what I can do is change the order of my layers if I just click in the name of one layer I could drag it up or down and I just put it at the bottom you could do that with any layer just click on the layer by click on the top one here and drag it down it's now underneath some of the others it's just like having a stack of books where papers on your desk and you could grab the bottom one slide it up to the top of the stack that type of thing but I just needed that to be at the bottom so it didn't obscure my view of anything else that was in there make sense all right at this point us so we don't lose any of our work because who knows if your computer's gonna bomb or not we might as well save the image will go to the file menu she's save as and I'll save it on my desktop and I'll just call it uh now here you can choose the file format in usually photoshopped file format or tiff file format and there's not a quality difference between the two sometimes you'll find tiff gives you slightly smaller file size so it's not a bad choice to use and just make sure that this little check boss called layers eyes still on it's on by default but if you were to turn it off it's going to automatically merge all those layers into one squishing together so you don't have individual layers anymore that you turn that off if somebody asked for a tiff file and you didn't want to give him the layers you just want to get in the end result uh but otherwise just make sure that's on click save in here I'm just going to use default settings uh all right so now we got to say if we can open it any time it's going to come back looking exactly the way it did right here hey quick question from a workflow standpoint sayyed asked what it is it just that small file size of a tiff that you prefer or like how often he's saving psd is opposed to tips with layers it's a personal choice between those two the main thing is tiff is what I would call a universal file format meaning that if you have a program designed for opening pictures uh you can possibly open a tiff file it's more common to be able to open a tiff file then a photoshopped file um and so if I'm going to bring this into another program that is a non adobe program the tiff file format it's maur there's a greater chance that that program's going to support that then photoshopped file format and so if that's what I'm looking for it if it is a little more compatible with more software uh but at the same time what I don't like about using tiff is tiff is a common file format for delivering high quality images that have no layers so if I look at my hard drive and I see a folder full of images and I see some tiffs just by glancing at um I don't know there's a bunch of layers in those files or if the layers have been all emerge together and it's what's called flat there's no layers at all I can't just visually tell so it used to be that I would only use file for uh photoshopped file format for layered files and I would on ly use tiff if it had no layers in therefore if I ever looked at a folder full of images if I ever saw the file extension of psd which is photoshopped file format I knew the only time I ever used that file format is five layers and so I could just glance in a folder and say oh these three files have layers because they're in photoshopped file format in a fiver sani tiffs I knew that for me personally my work flow is to never save layers into a tiff file instead I used to deliver high quality images that don't have layers then I could just glance in that folder and I'd know these have layers thes don't whereas if I intermix if I end up just sometimes using photo shop sometimes using tiff then I can't do that mentally just look at a folder and know what has layers and what doesn't the disadvantage of that is that the photoshopped file format has a limit on how big the file khun b tiff has a bigger limit so sometimes I work on ridiculous images some of my light paintings have one hundred twenty layers in him in the one hundred twenty full resolution captures from my camera in there in those I can get a four gigabyte file kind of figure to gig usually and sometimes I run into the limitation of how big a photoshopped file for maniche be so I'm forced to go to a different file format that supports something bigger but most people don't run into that so he used to be that I'd only put layers in a photo shop and I'd only used a flat version and a tiff in the on ly reason was easy file management so if I glanced in a folder I could easily just glance and tell you this one has layers this one doesn't based on file format so otherwise there's not really a technical reason teo choose from one or the other it's a personal preference in what other programs do you use and what file format today support do they force you to use tiff because they don't support the other thank you all right so when it came to those of facts you can have more than one effect to a layer it's just going to show more than one line underneath each layer to indicate it and if that's the case that's why you have two eyeballs here you have effects as a whole meaning if you have twelve of them added to this layer this would hide all twelve and then you'd have a list of all the effects applied here you could turn them off individually but that's why you have the word effects sitting there and if you have a bunch of these let's say there was a long list because you went at the bottom and there's also the choice of bevel in boss inner glow all sorts of things then this list can make it so your layers take up a lot of space so over on the right side you see the letter fx that's just an indication that you have some sort of effect applied in the little triangle that's next to it you could click on and collapse it down to make it take up less space so that means show me my list of effects or not and if letter fx isn't there you don't have any on that layer and so that's kind of the interface there and if you have a bunch of these you can collapse or expand all of the layers by holding on the option key when you click that so I'm going to click the little arrow if I just click it without option it just collapses down that one particular layer if I hold option it just collapsed all of them because if you have a document that has forty five layers collapse and every single one is a pain so option clicking on it oh clicking and windows means collapse or expand them all so when I look at it yeah fax right there means I got some effects applied and if I want to see him click on the little arrow and you'll see the bottom most layer is the only one that doesn't have the effects because that was the lair full of white all right one other thing haven't mentioned just overly simple thing as at least on a mac if you want to know if you saved your image or not to something popped into my head there's a red dot in the upper left if there's a it's like a red jelly bean or something up there if there's a dark dot in the middle it means you have unsafe changes if I type command us right now is save you see the dot goes away so if he ever just wondering I just realized that I find most people don't know it so figured I'd mention it so now if I move a layer change which layers active move it see the dark got up in the corner mean hey that's not saved all right I'm gonna close the this close this one as well I'm not going to save that one because I don't need to look at it again now let's see if we can do some little projects using layers because now we got some feeling for them and there's a whole bunch of things we might want to accomplish I end up creating some composites and so let's look at doing some of those and possibly doing something like replacing the sky uh or something similar all right here I was in africa shooting and I found these little guys but when I was actually out shooting I wasn't able to find exactly what I wanted at the same time I couldn't like direct my the animals they're out there so I just took a large number of images I shot this one where you know this monkey might be doing something interesting but these look like they're just un interested in what's going on in this one and this one and this one and what I did is I actually concentrated on one side over there and I just let's see if I can get something interesting eventually and they weren't always cooperating eventually got something once I got something on that side I swung my camera over a little bit to get what's on the other side and I started shooting him and I'm not on a tripod so move it around a bit but to see if I could find something that I thought was interesting but let's say it wasn't able to get both sides look interesting at the same time instead I captured them separate I can combine more than one of these together and so let's see how we might be able to accomplish that first I'm going to find one of these where I kind of like some of the elements and this one I don't mind this little guy holding this little branch of stuff looks kind of interesting and then and this one I kind of like the guy that's up on top but this guy maybe not he looks like he's contemplating something little thinkers pose but so anyway I might I prefer various versions maybe like that one but I don't like the little guy so what I'm going to do is just grab all these that we've been working on so far and I'm going to stack them so that means tools photoshopped load files into photoshopped layers and that's going to do the work for me too pop him on separate layers then I'm going to choose one of them as my base image to start with and I'll usually just put that at the bottom of the layers because I just kind of worked my way up it's just gotta mentally somehow keep track of things and you can either start at the top or started the bottom but the bottom I think of is the base and then the things I add on top of it obscures my view of what's under there so I could add things to it so I'm going to come in here and just see if I can figure out which one of these pieces I'd like to use for for sure and so I'll come over here just turn these off one at a time and see if I can find one and that's the bottom most one so I'm gonna have to pick one of these I'm going to pick that one for these two guys and I'm going to pick a different one for little little guy so I'll just take this layer that's currently visible I'm gonna click on its name and I'm going to drag it down in my layers stack I can't see the bottom most layer right now it's it's beyond the edge of my screen but if I just moved to the bottom edge it should scroll and I see feedback you see a little line in between the layers as I dragged up and down that's where is about to put this I want to get that at the bottom before I let go all right so it's about the bottom of my layers stack there is another layer turned on above it you see the eyeball turn on it's obscuring my view is going to turn off that eyeball so here is my base image I want to start with I know I want to use this guy up here this guy here but the little guy I'm going to see if I can find better position for him so I'm just going to turn on the layers one at a time this time only looking at the little guy to see if there's any particular one that I liked better so not that one maybe that'll remember number six that was the name of layer maybe number four six four or two I think those are the ones that to me looked interesting you could just drag down the column where the eyeballs are to turn off more than one at a time and so now I'll just turn on number six and I'll compare it to what we had already that's the layer that's underneath uh and I'm like kind of like the one underneath better for I like for a little bit better and then I think the other one was too I just gotta decide which one I want to use so in my case I'm going to use number four for the little guy and I'm going to use the rest of the image from what's underneath so a couple different ways I could do things first off if I used the eraser tool to erase things problem without us it's permanent if I save enclosed the image and decide to make changes later I can't because I've thrown away the information so instead of using the eraser tool to permanently erase part of the layer I'd use a mask now when we had adjustment layers that we used yesterday they automatically had a mask attached to every single one and if I painted with black on the mask it would remove the adjustment from wherever I painted black in this case I have to manually at a mask to this layer it doesn't come with one automatically but if I paint with black once I have a mask attached all it's going to do is hide this layer and therefore reveal what's under it so it's not no longer covering up what's under it so in order to add a mask to a layer that doesn't already have one let me show you how that's done first before I do let me move this layer so it's downright above the one that's down below just in case so I don't forget which layers I want to work with otherwise if I turn off its eyeball or something I'll say which one was that so now in order to adam asked to this layer that doesn't already have one come over here and click on this icon it looks like a circle inside of a rectangle and that as a larry mask there it is now we have a mask you grab your brush tool but when you paint photoshopped has to figure out where should the paint go should you paint on the picture itself where you see black paint covering up your image or should it put the paint in the mask and the way it figures that out is by whatever has the corners highlighted do you see that the mask has a little bracket like things around the corners if I were to click over here those brackets would move over so if I were to paint right now the paint would actually get on the picture you'd see it but if I click on the mask it would go into the mask instead in a mask black hide something it would hide this layer that makes sense so if ever click between the layers I gotta watch where those little brackets end up before I start painting or doing anything else to make sure that I'm actually gonna be working on what I expect to and so if I'm expecting to work on the thing that's going to show where hide this layer I needed to be on the mask so just tap on the mask just to make it easier to figure out what's going on it's not a necessary step but just to make it easier to see what's happening I'll turn off the eyeball in the layer underneath that way if I hide something on this layer you'll see a checkerboard appear to say there's nothing there otherwise you'd usually see the image that's underneath showing up and sometimes it's hard to tell did you make something disappear or not because what's underneath is almost identical to what's above so it's uh I'll just turn on that eyeball or off okay I only want the little guy on this particular layer I'll grab my paintbrush tool I'll paint with black and wherever I paint with black it hides the layer right now I have a soft edge brush ah probably want to get a smaller one in maybe a harder edge on it I don't know if you remember or not but I use the square bracket keys to change my brush size and if you want to change how soft the edges just add shift if you hold shifting you these the right brackett will make it a harder edge the left brackett will make it a uh right mac will make it a harder edge left bracco make it softer and so I could get a semi soft brush and I'm just going to come over here and paint around if you look at my layers panel you see where the paint is going it's in the mask and the only thing a mask does is where the mask is black it hides the thing that's in that layer wherever it's white it lets that layer show up damn all right now let's turn on the layer that's underneath it's going to fill in wherever this layer is empty because it's under it and so if this is empty around here and we put something underneath that's where we'll be able to see through to it and now I'll turn off the eyeball on the layer we've been masking and we'll see that he's heated difference we just got a layer that's on top that's obscuring our view of the original it's underneath the little doing little movement there all right yeah um now those other layers unless I need them right now they're just taking up space in this document I could click on each layer individually drag it to the trash can or select multiple layers and click on the trash but there's another method and that is if I go to the side menu of the layers panel you know the one the upper right corner there is a special command that should be called delete hidden layers it just means throw away the layers that aren't visible right now and so if I choose that that'll clear out the other stuff we had let's go back to bridge and now let's grow and grab something from the other side of the of this scene that was there this guy was on the other side of the scene and let's see there were here all right and we'll use this one I like his position I didn't have that layer selected at the time we stacked the others will have to somehow manually get it in there I'll double click on the that image to open it and I could either drag and drop with a move tool or copy and paste it's your choice so all you see is the move tool drag over uh dragged down in remember the old shift it will center it I'll close the other document just click on the exits on that other tab now I need to get this tow line up because I was shooting hand held and somehow I need to figure that out if I just turn off the eyeball here I could just see if it lines up and it doesn't look like it to me right so one way of getting it to line up is to somehow make it so you can partially see through this layer so it only just partially shows up and therefore I can see how it lines up with what's under it and I couldn't do that at the top right of my layers with opacity if I click on the word opacity and dragged to the left I'll start to be able to see through this a little bit and it might look a little confusing because now you're seeing two images kind of blending but it might be enough that if I use the move tool I can tell this little shape you see where it bends upward and I see the same shape bending upward here and I'll just click like right here where the kind of middle of that bend is and I'm going to drag it over here to where the middle of that bend is and see if I can visually get the two toe look like they're close toe lining up it's not something that will be an exact signs here when I'm viewing it this way but I'm seeing two images over late it's like having two transparencies almost in your hands that you're lining up and you're seeing two double image once I think it's close I might bring the opacity back up to one hundred so it's no longer seen both but now part of this document extends beyond the bounds of this document so I might go over here and choose reveal all so we can get a larger document that shows us that stuff that makes sense revealing and I'm going to add a mask so that we can limit how much of this shows up and reveal what's under it so remember to add a mask you go to the bottom of your layers panel you click on that circle inside of the rectangle that means a mask and then you can grab your brush in black hides things I'll use a soft edge precious so you don't see an abrupt edge and I'll just start painting over here I'm going to be hiding the layer and working on in revealing the stuff that's underneath because if I hide this has got to show something you see they're going to show a checkerboard if there's nothing under it or I'm just making it easy to see what's under it and I might have to be really careful right here because we got these two guys they're on separate layers this is on what's underneath this is on what I'm working on if I want both where joe I what we do right there I got to be careful there I like that consume out so I'm starting to get some of it together and the only thing is I think the brightness is slightly different this looks darker than that if you can tell if I hide the top layer let's see in his tail is getting cut off but you might just think the tail come behind now if it's too dark which I think it is a little bit is not what's going on top is darker than what's underneath it we can always adjust it we can go and just of course use curves maybe with curves remember the hand tool well I'm just gonna click right there where it's too dark and I'm going to drag up the only problem with curves is we haven't used it we had a multilayer document yet and with curves by default it affects everything that's under it and so not only when I drag up does that little chunk become lighter so does everything else and so you still notice its brightness difference but there's a trick and that is and curves there's an icon that looks like this and they changed the look of that icon in the newer versions of photo shop it used to look like two circles overlapping and they changed it instead so it has this down point of arrow it's not a very good icon overall but what it means though is make this adjustment on ly affect one layer the layer directly below so if I click that it's no longer going to affect the whole document it's on ly you know effect that one layer and so let's do it and when I do watch the layers pound look at the adjustment layer and it's going to visually change it's going to give me an indication that it's on ly affecting the layer directly under it so I'm gonna click this icon watch the layer see little down twenty narrow that means this is only affecting that thing whereas if I turned off by clicking the icon again now it's affecting everything underneath so now I can adjust my curve and it might be a little more effective where I can tell when it's light enough two I don't want to dots on it though I'll get rid of the dots that are my curve start over and say when is it bright enough have to look like it belongs there may be some around there see if I might be able to darken this guy nope he's the same brightness how do I know look at curves the circles and the exact same height is not so all right now I'm going to crop this image because you see some empty spots we just don't have enough data to fill that stuff because our our things have been moved so I grabbed my crop tool come in here pull down up here number how it snaps we'll just snap to the edges of those things and I might compose it a little bit bring it in just a little and this is where it's trying to snap to the edge I don't want to I want to cut off just the littlest bit I doubt you remember it but after you hold down the mouse key you could hold control and control means prevent snapping now before I press returner enter there's one important setting with the crop tool at the top of my screen you'll find a check box delete crop pixels means actually throw away that stuff so I couldn't re crop and get it back it's up to you if you want to do that or not I'm not going to delete the crop pixels just in case I later on decide to fill in those areas with something else and make it larger document that will buy leaving that information in there make my file size larger though two more stuff to keep track of so it's a personal choice but just so you know it's there I'll press returner enter and now you can see what we have so if you look in the layers panel let's take a look we have the base layer which we're using the whole thing of its just that part of it is getting covered up by the layers that are above just like if you have a sheet of paper covering up something that's underneath the whole sheets still underneath issues you only could see part of it because something's on top uh so then here we are only using a small portion of this there's a mask the only part of this that shows up was or the mask is white I see that it's white in the small area here it's also white over here but that doesn't matter because if you look at the contents of the layer what's over there it's empty right so we're letting the emptiness show up you know but it just shows me I'm using a small portion then on the layer that's above we're letting it all show up except for where this is black uh so it's that's causing it to hide this little edge that's in here and above that we have a curves adjustment layer the curves adjustment layer is on ly applying to what's down here that's what the arrow means now let's say that curves adjustment layer if I turn off its eyeball you see how it's making the guy in the far left get a bit bright I kind of liked him before well it has a mask the mask determines where applies so I could either really carefully paint just on him or possibly with a large brush soft one I might be able to paint on this whole background and what this is doing is removing the curves adjustment and I'm just going to make sure I don't paint all the way over because we needed it to be lightened where that log is there's standing on and so if I painted all the way over I would have undone that and I see the mismatch and brightness chews on do I'll just paint over however far I think I could get away with some like that um and if I turn off the eyeballs and all this stuff then we're looking at nothing right checkerboard so that I could turn on individual layers there's that little piece there's that piece and then underneath that will be what fills this in and then I see the brightness difference in the log so I need to turn on my curves to get it even that you get the idea so layers take a while to get used two but hopefully I'm showing you some of the ideas that will get you somewhat comfortable with it here we happen to have this is our subject matter but this could just as easily be a group shot at a wedding you know the technique would be identical uh it's just uh what's your subject matter you happen to like to shoot in on top of this you can just build curves adjustment layers toe optimize the image just like we did yesterday when we had a flat image where it was just one layer and we built up curves adjustment layers above it well I knew the exact same thing here if I want to optimize various areas of the picture I just adam always adding on top if you had anything new because it says if you're standing at the top of the layers panel looking down if you were standing at the top of the layers panel looking down your looking through this curve to see what's under it it's just like having a sunglasses or something between your eyes and the scene that's under it then you're seeing this layer which is obscuring your view of what's under that and so on you just need to get used to the masks because they influence what's visible questions comments all right then if you're done monkeying around I've got some it's a question that was very good they're going to save this thing but I've been working on that one for like five minutes you've been thinking like forty years can I say what goes on with those people at your wedding thanks s o jobe asks wanted to know a little bit about re site re sizing layers would you recommend converting them to smart objects before you reduce and and in large if you would like to yes that's not a bad thing to do I just don't want to introduce that concept yet okay we just haven't gotten their fantastic yes we'll talk about it great we have anything from in studio all right well I got another one appear so this was from earlier wanting to know is there a way in a photo shop and this is from sebastian is it possible to automatically crop a photo inside the image with no transparent pixels said that again automatically so it let's say you have some transparent pixels on the edge and you want to just automatically crop it too just crop out all the that's the command we use cold trim okay great yeah trim

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Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2