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Non-Destructive Editing

Lesson 10 from: Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics

Khara Plicanic

Non-Destructive Editing

Lesson 10 from: Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics

Khara Plicanic

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Lesson Info

10. Non-Destructive Editing


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Tips for Success


How To Undo Mistakes


Adobe Workspace


Using The Brush Tool


Using The Zoom Tool


Adobe Preferences


Correcting Exposure


Lesson Info

Non-Destructive Editing

previously, we talked about making these adjustments to images the real basic things, like exposure, some color adjusting. And I told you that those things were destructive at it. And I use that word carefully, I guess, cause they're edits. And but the truth of the matter is that they do become destructive, just in the sense that once you make them, you don't want to keep redoing them. Like if it's like cooking, like if you bake a cake, the cake is baked. And if you're like me and it's not maybe baked so well, you can't really like re bake it. It's already baked. So that's kind of how those at its work. But now I'm going to show you how you can get around that and do what's called nondestructive editing. And that is by making use of something called adjustment layers. So pretty much everything that we've done so far can be done non destructively by using these adjustment layers. So we'll talk more about the layers panel later, But right now, well, just look at the bottom of it and ther...

e's a bunch of little icons down here. This little one, that is I call it the union, even though it's not quite a union. But it's kind of close when you're looking at it this small. It doesn't really matter, as I call it, the union. But this is the adjustment layer menu options. So when you click on that, these are all the different types of adjustments that you can make non destructively right here in the layers panel. So I have this image here of my cute little niece, and I'm gonna make some adjustments to, For example, let's do levels so we'll pull up levels and the window looks slightly different because it appears here as a a panel instead of up here. But it's the same thing. It's just that instead of being applied directly into the image, the adjustment now lives in its own layer in the layers panel. So let's do the little adjustment here, so I think the highlights are OK. But the shadows, as we can see if we look at the history Ram, there's nothing that's really, like, truly a shadow on. That may be fine, but in this case I think the image could stand a bit of a contrast boost and one way that you could increase. The contrast is to bring those, uh, shadows in, so boost the shadows. So the contrast is the difference between the highlights and shadows. So in this case, we don't really have some kick in shadows. So I'm going to grab that slider and drag it inward just a little. I mean, really don't have to go far. Just bring it in. Basically to where this information starts. I've heard this referred to Is Heading for the Hill. You just drag the slider in for where the hills start and maybe we want to push the mid tones a little bit. So maybe something like that. Now, the difference here is unlike up here, where we opened the Levels command and there's an O. K button. There's no OK button here because we're never actually committing the adjustment. The adjustment is sort of free floating, always convey, edited. At any time we can tweak it, we can throw it away. We could increase that decrease it faded, whatever. So there's no OK button, so that's kind of weird for people to get used. Teoh. I still have a hard time not clicking, okay? And also because then I'm like, get this thing off my screen. I want it gone. So instead of okay, you can train yourself to come up here and click this little double arrow, and that will just collapse it, Okay, And then let's talk about what we have here in the layers panel. So, like I said, we'll cover this in more detail later. But right now we have our image, which is just called background, and on top of it, we have this funny looking thing, and over here I always think this looks like a crown, but it's really levels. So each of these different types of non destructive adjustment layers that you make over here they carry their own little icon that shows up here. So, for example, if we wanted to add another one to this like, let's say we want to tweak the color to this as well, so I'll go back down and add another adjustment layer. So for all the adjustments you wake, they get their own layers. So we'll click the little union again, and this time I'll select color balance just like we did earlier. And I don't know, I don't even remember I kind of like if I want a warm this up a little bit, I can push it a little more yellow. I guess when I do look at this, it does seem a little bluish. So I'll warm it up by just dragging the slider here to the yellows on may be a little more magenta smidge and all right, so maybe something like that, Very subtle. Not all of your adjustments have to be big, sweeping, life changing things that can be tiny. So again there's no OK button. So I will just click that little double arrow, and now we see another layer here, and this one is called color melons. So this is the adjustment that we just made to the color balance, and you can see that the icon is scales basically so there balancing. So that is just your little visual indicator that thistles the color balance adjustment layer. This one is really even though it looks like a crown, it's really like your hissed a gram. So this is levels. And what's cool about the adjustment layers is that we can topple them on and off any time we want. So if I want to see Wait, What difference did the color balance adjustment make? This little icon right here is like a little eyeball, its visibility icon, so I can turn it on and off. That's really subtle. If you can even see what it's doing to the image, it's super subtle, but we can toggle it on and off. Let's see what's happening here with levels that's that's more noticeable, the levels adjustment. So what's cool about these adjustment layers and what makes them non destructive is that they just are there, like isolated so they don't actually have anything to do with the background. So, in fact, I could take these adjustment layers and dragged them into another image if I wanted to, so I could take that adjustment and then just quickly drop it into another image, and it would take the same adjustment and apply it to that image. So, um, it has nothing to do with the background. It's all by itself. It's just an adjustment. It on Lee interacts with the background here in the layers panel, where, uh, layers tend to rain down where his leg like rain clouds so the adjustments do rain down and impact the background. When you combine them all, but they are separate, so that means we can talk with them on and off. We can fade their power or their capacity up here by selecting whichever one. And then you can come up here to the opacity setting. And if we click this drop down, I can drag this arrow and maybe I'm like And let's just fade that levels adjustment a little bit, I could fade it. It's hard to see. We'll make something more drastic than we'll do it, so we can also tweak it at any time. So to do that, if I just double click the little thumbnail, it'll pop open here again. And let's just do something. We'll do something really drastic. Like just you can see that is probably not a good choice, but that's OK. So we've done this now. So now I could fade it down. Up here, you can see you could make a drastic adjustment, and then you could sort of temperate by just fading it back. The opacity up here so there's a lot of different ways that you can use these, but the main reason that they are great is because they're not permanent. They're totally flexible. Um, and you just have so much more control. When we made the level adjustment up here, it gets applied, and that's kind of it. I mean, you can Commander Control Z, and you can undo it, but you can't work with it again. It's it's baked, but over here it's endlessly flexible. It's also great because it comes with this thing right here, which will talk more about later. But this is called a mask, and right now it's not doing anything. But you can use the mask to hide parts of that adjustment. We'll talk more about it later, but it allows you to adjust parts of an image without adjusting other parts of intimate. So it gives you a lot of control and flexibility and freedom. And who doesn't want that? Right? Okay, so that's a look at non destructively. So going forward in this course, that's how we'll be doing. Most of the adjustments will be over here with an adjustment layer for the simple fact that it's more flexible. I personally like when I'm working, if I just have an image that I'm popping open and I just need to do something quick and then I'm gonna I'm done with it. I'm not going to be like, Let me get my adjustment layer And you know, if I just have an image and I'm like, I just want to boost the contrast or whatever, I'll just open it. Pop open levels, make the change, close it, save it done. But if I'm working on something where I think you know I'm going to be working at it for a while, I might want to change it. I'm creating maybe a lot of effects, or if I'm making a composite or anything that's more involved than you definitely want to be using the adjustment, there's.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts
Photoshop Resource Guide
Practical Photoshop Basics (PS action file)
Word Art
Course Files

Ratings and Reviews

Kim Williams

I tuned into this class hoping to glean what I cold since it was free. I ended up purchasing the class because it is FILLED with so much great information in a fun and easy to understand format. Khara is an amazing instructor - I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Worth EVERY penny. Thank you Creative Live for offering such great material, at even more amazing prices.


What an unbelievable teacher Khara is. I have wanted to learn photoshop forever but was intimidated, overwhelmed, then I watched this course. OMG I learnt so much, more then I imagined. I am so excited now to start using Photoshop, I can't wait to try out everything she taught us. With the skills we learnt over these two days I think this course provides everything I need to know to feel and more. She was outstanding, the absolute perfect teacher for someone who has never ever used Photoshop. Also great moderation by Kenna. Thank you for this awesome, amazing, wonderful course. I am sure anyone who watches this course will agree it is incredible. I couldn't recommend it more. This course was just Smurfy!

Roz Fruchtman

I would highly recommend Khara Plicanic's Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics. The name of the class, implies that the class is for beginners, but that's not exactly true. Most of us learn Photoshop by the features we need to know at any given time. As many will agree, there are a number of ways to get to the same end. I can only speak for myself, but... I would bet that many of us don't know all the strategies that are taught in this class! Check it out, I doubt you'd be disappointed! Khara brings a fun and relatable approach to everything she does. She is very entertaining, while being a superb instructor. Last, but not least... This class brings with it a ton of useful bonuses. Warm Regards, Roz Fruchtman aka @RozSpirations

Student Work