Discover how to Select Soft Edge Objects using the Refine Edge feature in Photoshop in my free video from Lynda.com.
Posts tagged "Layers"
Discover how to “Quickly Blend Two Images Together Using Layer Masks in Photoshop in my free video from Lynda.com
In this episode of The Complete Picture, Julieanne reveals her Lightroom to Photoshop workflow used to create the still life “Cyclical”.
In this Episode of the Complete Picture I demonstrate some basic compositing techniques in Photoshop, used to illustrate the feeling and mood of Iceland. In this tutorial, you’ll discover how easy it is to combine multiple images together using Layers, masking, blend modes, and transparency in Photoshop.
Discover the difference between duplicating a Smart Object using the Layers panel to create multiple instances of a layer and creating a copy of a Smart Object using the application menu for independent editing.
To select multiple layers from the Layers panel, Command (Mac) / Control (Win) -click to the right of the layer or mask thumbnail (in the name area) on multiple layers. (Shift -click to select a range of contiguous layers in the Layers panel.)
When multiple layers are selected, commands will be applied to all layers when possible (this includes, moving, transforming, aligning, distributing, applying styles, etc.). In fact, when selecting multiple layers with the Move tool, you have the option to check “Show Transform Controls” (in the Options bar) to have Photoshop display a bounding box around selected layers. Not only does this help to show which layers are selected, but can also be used to quickly transform multiple layers without having to use the Free Transform command.
• Command + E (Mac) | Control + E (Win) will merge the selected layer with the layer below and /or Command + E (Mac) | Control + E (Win) will merge the selected layers when multiple layers are selected.
• Command + Shift + E (Mac) | Control + Shift + E (Win) will merge visible layers.
• Command + Option + E (Mac) | Control + Alt + E (Win) creates a new layer and pastes a “flattened” version of the selected layers on it (the key to this shortcut is that you have to have multiple layers selected)!
• Command + Option + Shift + E (Mac) | Control + Alt + Shift + E (Win) creates a new layer and pasted a “flattened” version of all (visible) layers on it.
Option + Command + Shift + F (Mac) | Alt + Control + Shift + F (Win) will toggle on “Layer Search” (in the Layers panel), and automatically select Filter By Name. This is very convenient if you know the name of the layer that you are looking for.
The Layers panel has additional criteria on which it can filter including Name, Effect, Mode, Attribute, Color, Smart Object and Selected. Choose the criteria and narrow it down using the additional options that appear to the right. The “light switch” to the right of the Filter options toggles the filtering on and off.
Note: when filtering by Kind, you can click on more than one icon at a time in order to narrow down the search.
Using the Move tool with “Smart Guides” and “Snap” enabled (View > Show > Smart Guides and View > Snap), makes it easy to reposition a layer in the center of the canvas.
If, however, you have a very complex document with a number of overlapping layers near the center of the image, it can be difficult to “Snap” to the correct location. When this is the case, don’t forget that you can quickly Select > All (Command + A (Mac) | Control + A (Win) and, with the Move tool chosen, click the “Align Vertical Centers” and “Align Horizontal Centers” icons in the Options bar.
To load the contents of any layer as a selection based on the opacity of pixels in the layer:
• Command (Mac) / Control (Win) -click on the layer thumbnail on the Layer’s panel.
• Command + Shift (Mac) / Control + Shift (Win) to add additional layers to the selection.
• Option + Command (Mac) / Alt + Control (Win) to subtract additional layers from the selection.
• Option + Command + Shift (Mac) / Alt + Control + Shift (Win) to create the intersection of multiple layers.
You can customize the preview settings for your Layer thumbnails by selecting Panel Options from the Layers panel fly-out. These settings can make it far easier to see the contents of a layer – especially when viewing on screens that have limited screen area.
• Select a desired Thumbnail Size. Note: if your image is significantly wider than it is high, selecting the smaller thumbnail sizes might display the generic icon for Adjustment layers.
• Under Change Thumbnail Contents, select “Layer Bounds” to display a preview image of only the area in the layer that contains content.
Select “Entire Document” to display the layer content in relationship to the entire document.
• Use Default Masks on Fill Layers will automatically add layer masks to Fill layers.
• Expand New Effects displays the contents of layer styles when applied.
• Add “copy” to Copied Layers and Groups will add the word copy to the layer name when duplicating layers in the Layers panel.
Because so many people ask me how I come up with the ideas for my digital illustrations, I put together a short slideshow to demonstrate how I layer different elements together.
The video below provides a more detailed Photoshop tutorial demonstrating how “Isostacy” was created.
The video below provides a more detailed Photoshop tutorial demonstrating how “Twilight” was created.
For more complete training on how I use Photoshop to create these composites, you can watch either of my two training series on Lynda.com:
Introduction to Compositing
The Art of Photoshop Compositing
When drawing with the default gradient in a mask, if the mask isn’t quite right, it’s easy to draw another gradient to replace the first one.
If, however, you want to draw a secondary gradient that will add to or subtract from the mask (instead of replacing it), change the blend mode for the Gradient tool to Multiply (to add black) or Screen (to add white) and then drag the second gradient.
Note: in the example above, I selected Edit > Undo to undo the gradient that drew in the second illustration before changing the blend mode to Screen and redrawing the gradient.
Of course there are other ways to draw masks, but I find this to be straightforward. Plus if you use the radial gradient you can create a cool looking “bubble mask” by drawing multiple black to white radial gradients with the Gradient tool’s blend mode set to Darken – although I’ve never actually used a bubble mask like this for anything useful – but I’m sure that someone has!
• Command + Shift + N (Mac) | Control + Shift + N (Win) will add a new layer and display the New Layer dialog box (so that you can name the layer, change blend modes etc.).
• Command + Option + Shift + N (Mac) | Control + Alt + Shift + N (Win) add a new layer bypassing the New Layer dialog box.
When changing the stacking order layers in the Layers panel, I found it difficult to predict if the layer I was dragging was going to land within a Layer Group or outside of it. In the example below, I want to drag the “paper” layer above the “walnuts” layer, but I didn’t want to include it within the “texture” Layer Group.
If you look carefully at the next illustration you can see that the hand icon is positioned over the bottom layer in the Layer Group. If I release the mouse at that point, the layer would be added within the “texture” Layer Group. This was not what I wanted.
Instead, if I release the mouse as it’s positioned in the next illustration, the layer will be repositioned above the “walnut” layer but not within the “texture” Layer Group.
This subtle positioning behavior was lost on me for years. I thought I remembered someone telling me that the Eye icon also changed, but I wasn’t able to reproduce that. If you know the secret handshake, let us know! : )
Note: Another way to be sure that the paper layer wasn’t included in the texture Layer Group would have been to close the Layer Group before repositioning the layer.