There are several ways to display a photograph within a shape in Photoshop.
• This first example uses a vector mask to control what portion of the photo is hidden or revealed. To create this effect, select the desired shape tool and set the Shape tool options (in the options bar) to Path. Then drag out the shape and choose Layer > Vector Mask > Current Path.
• The second example shows the photo (Layer 1) clipped by a shape layer. To create this effect, select the desired shape tool and set the Shape tool options (in the options bar) to Shape. Then drag out the shape, reposition it in the Layers panel so that the shape is below the layer with the photo and – with the photo layer selected, choose Layer > Create Clipping Mask. Note: you can achieve different effects by changing the shape layer’s fill and stroke.
• The third example shows that if you create a copy of the original photo and reposition it under the shape layer, lowering it’s opacity and adding a drop shadow can make it more interesting.
In addition to my top 5 favorite features (see video below), these little gems certainly help my workflow.
1) Load Swatch Files from HTML, CSS or SVG Document – use the flyout menu on the Swatches panel to choose Load Swatches. Then, navigate to any HTML, CSS or SVG document and Photoshop will find all of the colors used in that document and load them as swatches.
2) Support for Larger JPEG files – now save JPEG files up to 60,000 x 60,000 pixels.
3) Reposition Paths While Drawing – this one is subtle, but also really powerful. When drawing with the pen tool, pressing the spacebar will allow you to reposition the anchor point – while drawing. The key is that you have to still have the mouse-down for the spacebar to work. Otherwise you get the Hand tool (as expected).
3) Recent Files List – up the limit the “Recent Files” to 100.
4) Smarter Selecting of Layer Names- Photoshop has gotten smarter about the way it names layers when merging them. Instead of always taking the top layer’s name (in the group of layers to be merged), if any of the layers that are going to be merged have been manually renamed (i.e.you renamed them), Photoshop will keep that custom layer name and use it as the new merged layer name. As you can see in the screen shots below, when merging the three layers on the left, Photoshop 13.1 used the custom renamed “Rock” layer as the new merged layer’s name. In previous versions the merged layer would have been named Hue/Saturation 1. Note: if you have created custom names for multiple layers that are all being merged together, then Photoshop will take the top-most custom named layer.
• Clicking the eye icon next to any layer on the Layers panel will hide/show the layer.
• Option + (Mac) | Alt + (Win) -clicking on the eye icon hides/shows all other layers
• Control -click (Mac) / Right Mouse -click (Win) the eye icon shows both of these options as menus.
However, if I need to toggle the visibility of multiple selected layers at once, then these shortcuts don’t do what I need them to. Instead, I tap “V” to select the Move tool, and then tap 00 (zero+zero) in quick succession in order to set the opacity of the multiple selected layers to 0 (zero). In order to “show”the layers again, I tap the 0 (zero) key once to set the opacity of the layers to 100%.
In Photoshop CS6, not only can you use a Layer Group as the bottom of a Clipping Mask (so that you can clip the contents of a layer(s) to the contents of an entire group) but you can also add Layer Effects/Styles to a Layer Group to have the style applied to all of the layers in the Group (as a single unit).
• There is a new badge for shape layers in the Layers panel (Shape layers are no longer represented by a Fill layer with a vector mask).
• Although the Shape Layer icon (badge) has changed, you can still double-click the shape layer icon to change the color of the shape’s fill.
• Because shapes are often very small in relation to the entire image, the Layers panel displays the contents of shape layers as large as possible in the Layer thumbnail – ignoring the relationship of the shape to the entire document (as other layers appear by default).
• Selecting a Shape layer in the Layers panel automatically displays the path in the image area (making it easier to quickly edit the shape).
• Command + H (Mac) | Control + H (Win) hides the path.
• Clicking on a shape in the image area with the Path Selection tool will automatically select that layer in the Layers panel.
• If you delete all of the paths on a shape layer, the layer will automaticallly be deleted.
Take a tour of the new features and improved vector workflow in Photoshop CS6. In this video tutorial, Julieanne demonstrates how to quickly add custom strokes and fills to Shape layers, combine shapes without rasterizing layers, and use new alignment options and Pixel Grid for better rendering.
Just as tapping 00 (zero-zero) in Photoshop CS6 will change the Opacity of a layer to 0%, adding the Shift key will change the Fill to 0%. Note: this shortcut works only if you have a tool selected that doesn’t have an Opacity or Flow setting – for example, the Move or Lasso tool. If you have a tool selected that does have an Opacity and Flow setting (like the Brush or Clone Stamp), then using the numeric keys changes the Tool options, not the Layers panel options.
There are several new features in Photoshop CS6 that make working with layers more efficient.
• In previous versions of Photoshop, we could select the Move tool (or the Marquee, Lasso, Quick Select etc. – basically any tool that didn’t have an Opacity setting), and use the numeric keys on the keyboard to change the opacity of a layer. Tapping one number assigns the percentage of the tapped number (1 = 10%, 2= 20% etc. and 0 = 100%). Tapping two numbers quickly will give you that exact amount (5 + 4 = 54%). In Photoshop CS6, tapping 0 + 0 quickly will set the Layer’s opacity to 0 (zero). This works with either a single layer or multiple layers selected.
• With multiple layers selected, you can now change the Blend Mode for all selected layers.
• If a layer is targeted (selected) in the Layers panel, but hidden (the eye is toggled off) the Opacity and Blend Mode are now visible.
• With multiple layers selected, you can now lock all selected layers by tapping the lock icon.
• With multiple layers selected, Command + J (Mac) | Control + J (Win) will duplicate the selected layers. This shortcut works for Layer Groups as well.
• With Multiple layers selected, Control -click (Mac) / Right Mouse -click (Win) on the eye icon in the Layers panel to change the color label of all selected layers at once.
When renaming layers in the Layers panel, double-click the layer name to rename it. Then, without pressing the Enter/Return key to apply the new name, simply tap the Tab key to move to the layer below. This makes it much faster to rename a larger number of layers.
The ability to search (filter) layers based on a variety of criteria has been added to the Layers panel in Photoshop CS6 which should make working with multi-layered documents much easier. Choose a “Filter Type” by clicking the drop down menu at the top left of the Layers panel and choose from Kind, Name, Effect, Mode, Attribute and/or Color. Then, use the corresponding options that appear to the right of the Filter Type to narrow down the search. 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. Click an icon again to toggle if off.
In case you didn’t watch the video in yesterday’s post, here are some of the changes made to the Layer Effects/Styles in Photoshop CS6:
• The menu order of the Layer Effects/Styles has changed. Although it might not be obvious at first, they are now in the order in which they are applied to the content in the layer. For example, the Drop Shadow effect is applied (or will be rendered) below all other Effects, the Bevel and Emboss will rendered on top of any other Effects. This should help when visualizing how several effects are going to be applied to the contents of a layer or group.
• Layer Effects/Styles can be applied to Groups. As you can see in the illustration below, the layers on the left have a Stroke effect applied to each layer individually. The layers on the right have the Stroke effect applied to the Group. Applying the Layer Effect/Style to the Group has a different result because the layers are all treated as one (as if they are flattened) before the Layer Effect/Style is applied to the Group.
• Option -click (Mac) | Alt (Win) -click the disclosure triangle on the Layers panel to the right of the “fx” icon to hide/reveal all Layer Effect/Styles in the document.
• Both the Gradient Overlay and Stroke Layer Effects have a “Dither” option. Note: to apply a dither on a Stroke, first change the Fill Type to Gradient.
• There is a new command (Layer > Rasterize > Layer Style) which renders the layer effect into the layer (think of it as merging or flattening the Layer Effect/Style with the content of the layer).
• If any changes have been made in the Layer Style dialog under the Advanced Blending area, a new Blending Effects icon is displayed on the layer in the Layers panel.
In this video, you’ll learn time-saving techniques to boost your productivity as Julieanne reveals essential enhancements that will improve the way you work with Layers, Groups, the new Properties panel, and much more!
There are several ways to open multiple photographs into a single Photoshop document:
• From Bridge – select multiple photographs and choose Tools > Photoshop > Load Files into Photoshop Layers.
• From Photoshop – select File > Scripts > Load Files into Stack. Note: you can also choose to create a Smart Object out of the Stack – but this converts all layers into a single Smart Object, not each one individually.
• From Lightroom – select multiple photographs and choose Photo > Edit In > Open As Layers in Photoshop.