2017/10/18

Adobe Announces New Features for Photoshop CC 2018

I’m excited to announce new and improved features in Photoshop CC 2018!

Color and Luminance Range Masking in Adobe Camera Raw

In this video, Julieanne demonstrates how to make precise adjustments using the new  Color and Luminance Range Masking in Adobe Camera Raw.

New Brush Preset Management  in Photoshop CC 

In this video, Julieanne takes a look at several improvements made to the way we work with brushes in Photoshop CC including more powerful brush presets, new default brushes, drag and drop organization, and more!

Watch to find out more about:

  • New default brushes by Kyle Webster.
  • Renamed panels, the zoom slider and independent controls to display brush attributes.
  • Reordering brushes and organizing into Groups.
  • Saving tool options with Brush Presets.
  • Loading legacy brushes and tool presets.

Here are three additional shortcuts for working with Brush Groups:

  • Command -click  (Mac) | Control -click  (Win) the disclosure triangle next to a Brush Group to expand/collapse all Brush Groups in the panel.
  • Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the disclosure triangle to expand/collapse all groups nested within the current Brush Group.
  • Option + Command -click (Mac) | Alt + Control -click (Win) the disclosure triangle to expand and collapse all Brush groups (nested or not).

Brush Stroke Smoothing and Paint Symmetry in Photoshop CC 

In this video, Julieanne demonstrates how the new smoothing option can help create beautiful brush strokes with the Brush, Pencil, Mixer Brush, and Eraser tools as well as how to use the Paint Symmetry technology preview to make symmetrical brush marks in Photoshop CC.

Watch to find out more about:

  • Stroke Catch Up , Adjust For Zoom, Catch-Up On Stroke End, and Pulled String Brush Stroke Smoothing modes.
  • Brush leash preferences.
  • Selecting different Paint Symmetry axis.
  • Performance improvements when painting on large documents, HiDPI screens, and large brushes.

Here are three additional shortcuts for working with the Smoothing option.

  • Option -tap (Mac) | Alt -tap (Win) a numeric key to add the percentage of the tapped number (1 = 10%, 2= 20% etc.). 
  • Option -taping (Mac) | Alt -tapping (Win) two numbers quickly will give you that exact amount (5 + 4 = 54% , 00 = 0%).
  • To disable smoothing completely, use the Smoothing option in the Brush Settings panel.

Note: if you prefer to turn smoothing off for all brushes (when painting in a layer mask for example), click the lock icon next to the Smoothing option in the Brush Settings panel (locking the setting allows you to select different brushes while keeping the Smoothing locked).

The New Curvature Pen Tool in Photoshop CC

Discover how easy it is to draw resolution independent, scalable vector paths in Photoshop CC with the new Curvature Pen tool.

Watch to find out more about:

  • Creating paths by simply clicking points in the shape of the curve, rather than the click -drag motion the traditional Pen tool requires.
  • Adding, subtracting, repositioning, and converting control points using the Curvature Pen tool.  
  • Converting a path to a shape.
  • Using the Path Select or Direct Select tools to modify paths.

Note: To change the default color and thickness for paths, choose Preferences > Guides, Grid, & Slices.

Variable Fonts and additional Typographic Enhancements in Photoshop CC 

Discover the power of  Variable Fonts and additional typographic enhancements in Photoshop CC.

Watch to find out more about:

  • Quickly finding, previewing and modifying the attributes of variable fonts and transitional forms.
  • Enhancements to the Properties panel.
  • Pasting type with or without formatting.
  • Copy and paste multiple type layers at one time within Photoshop.
  • Paragraph-level composer switching.

Rich Tooltips and the Learn Panel 

Photoshop has two new features to help new customers get started – Rich Tooltips and the Learn panel.

Hover the cursor over many of the more popular tools in the Tool panel PS displays a description and short animation of the tool in action (the animations will play twice, then disappear).

Some Rich Tooltips have links that, when clicked, display the Learn Panel. The Learn panel provides interactive step-by-step tutorials guiding you through basic concepts of Photoshop including: photography, retouching, combining images, and graphic design fundamentals. Note: You can also display the Learn panel by selecting Window > Learn. 

Selecting a tutorial, automatically opens a sample file. In addition to the instructions in the panel, pop-ups appear to help guide you through the steps.

To hide rich tool tips, select Preferences > Tools and uncheck Use Rich Tooltips.

Accessing Lightroom Photos from the Photoshop CC Start Screen

You can now use the Photoshop Start Screen to access photographs that are synced in the cloud via Lightroom. For those that want a more mobile workflow, this is another step towards device independence: sign on to any computer using your Adobe ID, launch Photoshop and choose LR Photos to see your synced photographs. The new LR Photos workflow in Photoshop works well  for customers that don’t necessarily have the Lightroom desktop application installed (in a classroom environment, or because they primarily use Lightroom on mobile for example) and still want to access their files in Lightroom’s cloud.

  • If you have imported photos using the all-new Lightroom CC, Lightroom on mobile, and /or Lightroom on web, LR Photos can access to the full-resolution photographs stored in the cloud.
  • If you have synced files using Collections in  Lightroom Classic, LR Photos can access to the lower resolution proxies called Smart Previews. Smart Previews have a maximum dimension of 2560 px on the long side.

Note: if you are using a computer that has either of the Lightroom desktop applications installed (the all-new Lightroom CC or Lightroom Classic CC), you may prefer to launch the desktop application, select the desired images, and use the Edit-In Photoshop command to hand-off a copy of the file to Photoshop. The advantage of this workflow is that, when you’re finished editing the image in Photoshop and chose to save and close the file, Photoshop will then hand the file back to Lightroom where it will be added to the Library automatically. 

To view additional images in LR Photos:

  • Click “See More” to view all Recently Taken photos in a flat view.
  • If you’re using Lightroom CC, you may see Folders containing Albums as well as “loose” albums. Click a Folder to view the containing Albums. Click on an album to view it’s contents.
  • If you’re using Lightroom Classic, you will see your synced Collections (Collections are called Albums in the Photoshop Start screen, in Lightroom mobile, and Lightroom web). Click on an album to view it’s contents.

When you select the photo(s) and choose Import Selected, Photoshop downloads and opens a copy of the photo.

  • Because Lightroom CC stores the original photo in the cloud, Photoshop downloads a full-resolution copy of the image and opens the copy.
  • Because Lightroom Classic stores Smart Previews in the cloud, Photoshop downloads a copy of the Smart Preview and opens the copy. To help identify Smart Previews, Photoshop displays a black/white striped circular icon in the lower right of the thumbnail.

  • Note: one exception, if a photograph originates in Lightroom mobile or Lightroom web and is synced to Lightroom Classic, the full-resolution original is stored in the cloud (as well as is downloaded locally).

The file type determines how Photoshop opens the copy of the file:

  • JPEG files that haven’t been edited in Lightroom (don’t have any edit settings applied), will open directly into Photoshop.
  • JPEG files that have been edited (have edits applied) in Lightroom, will open in Camera Raw.
  • DNG  and any proprietary raw files, will open in Camera Raw.
  • A layered PSD or TIFF file synced from Lightroom Classic (Smart Preview), will open as a flattened document.
  • A layered PSD or TIFF file from Lightroom CC will open as layered document.
  • A layered PSD or TIFF file with Lightroom adjustments from either version of Lightroom will open as a flattened document.

Saving Changes

  • When you are finished making changes, choose File > Save (in Photoshop) to save the file. (Because Photoshop downloads a copy of the original photo, changes made in Photoshop won’t effect the original).
  • To add the file to Lightroom (after saving), click the Quick Share icon and choose Add to Lightroom Photos. The new file will be uploaded to the cloud and will be synchronized across devices.

Lightroom Photos Image Search using Adobe Sensei.

  • Click the Search icon to take advantage of Adobe Sensei’s artificial intelligence and machine learning to quickly find photos based on image content.

Photoshop displays images for LR Photos that match your search criteria as well as images from Adobe Stock.  

To access and open additional files from Lr Photos when a document is already open, choose Edit > Search and click Lr Photos.

Complete spherical 360 pano workflow in Photoshop CC

This video by Russell Preston Brown  gives you a quick overview of the new 360 spherical panoramic editing capabilities found in Adobe Photoshop CC 2018.  


Hidden Gems in Photoshop CC

Copy and Paste Multiple Layers

  • You can now copy and paste multiple layers in Photoshop—within a document and between documents—using the Copy, Paste, and Paste Into Place commands (this includes any type of layer:  shape, type, smart object, etc. and will also include masks).

Expanded Sharing Options

  • You can now share your creations to several services directly from within Photoshop by selecting File > Share or, clicking the Quick Share icon. For most services and social media channels, Photoshop will automatically convert the document to the JPEG format before sharing.
  • The OS determines the actual list of services appearing in the Share panel so different operating system will display different options. To tweak these preferences on Mac, use System Preferences > Extensions > Share Menu to add/remove services to the Share panel.
  • Windows always shares the current size of open document. On Mac, you can choose to share the file at the original or small size (constrained to 1200 px on the long side). Note: when using Quick Share to Add to Lightroom Photos, Photoshop will always share the original size.  

Deeply Integrated Adobe Stock Content

  • Photoshop makes it easier than ever to work with Adobe Stock. In the Properties panel, you can now:
    • View the asset on stock.adobe.com by clicking the asset ID (Adobe Stock File #).
    • License a preview image directly from the Properties panel.
    • Click Find Similar to quickly find additional stock assets on stock.adobe.com.

Microsoft Surface Dial

  • Photoshop supports the Microsoft Dial on bluetooth-enabled computers running the latest version of Windows 10 as a technology preview. The dial enables customers to change tool parameters such as brush size, opacity, hardness, flow, and smoothing without taking their attention from the canvas.

Improved Image Resize

  • Photoshop has an improved image size algorithm designed to detect and preserve the most important details and textures in images when resizing images, without introducing over-sharpening of prominent edges or smoothing out lower contrast details.  In addition to skin tones and hair textures, the technology improves preservation of harder-edged details like text and logos. To enable the technology, choose Preferences > Technology Preview > Enable Preserve Details 2.0 Upscale. Note: when using Image Size, Photoshop uses Preserve Details 1.0 when the Resample option is set to Automatic, even if the technology preview is enabled.

Save As PNG

  • When saving as PNG, Photoshop applies much better compression in far less time.

High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF)

  • Photoshop now supports Apple’s High Efficiency Image Format (HEIF). If the HEIF file contains a depth map, Photoshop can read, edit, and utilize the depth map (an alpha channel) to create a depth-of-field effect using the Lens Blur filter (Filter > Blur > Lens Blur (for example). Note: Adding contrast to the alpha channel can improve the alpha channel for the Lens Blur effect.

Performance Improvements:

  • Photoshop has improved the performance of many common tasks including:
    • File > Open  and File > New launch times.
    • Startup performance on Windows.
    • Common blending and compositing operations, Surface Blur, and Noise > Median filters.
    • Virtual memory system.

Improved Retouching Tools

  • Face-Aware Liquify detects more faces and gives more accurate results in when heads are smaller, rotated/turned or have more of their forehead concealed.
  • Face details are more protected when using Content-Aware Move, Auto Levels, Curves, Tone, Brightness, Contrast, and skin tone color range.
  • Content-Aware Crop and Content-Aware Fill creates better results on edges.
  • Select and Mask task space improvements include:
    • Improved Refine Edge tool accuracy (especially when the foreground and background color are visually similar).
    • Improved blending of original selection and matting results.
    • Transparency settings are no longer shared between Select & Mask and Quick Mask view modes.
    • Overlay view mode transparency settings are now decoupled from On White and On Black transparency settings.
    • New Decontamination slider control.
    • Ability to change Hardness, Spacing, Roundness, and angle for the Quick Select tool.  

Removed Items

  • The preference option for controlling the Recent Files behavior has been removed as has the workspace (and extension).
  • The Device Preview extension has been removed.
  • The CC Libraries “Auto-create from document” dialog that often popped up when opening files has been removed but, you can still create a CC library from a document through the CC Libraries panel pop-out menu.
6:10 AM Permalink

Adobe Announces Updates for Adobe Bridge CC

I’m happy to announce that Adobe Bridge CC has a number of new features and enhancements!

The completely rewritten Output module enables quick and easy creation of PDF files within Bridge CC.


Select the Output workspace and chose a template as a starting point. Then, drag and drop images from the filmstrip into the Output Preview area, and drag to reorder images as needed. Use the panels to customize the following:

  • Document —define page size, resolution and quality, image rotation and background fill, thumbnail placement, and filename.
  • Grid and Margins —customize the grid layout, margins, cell size, and spacing.
  • Header and Footer —add page numbers and custom text blocks at the top and bottom of the page.
  • Watermark —add a text or image watermark and place on each image or at the top of bottom of the page. Customize the watermark’s size, placement, and opacity.
  • PDF Properties —add password protection and choose playback options for multi-page documents (including full screen and automatic advancement with transitions).

When finished, chose Export to PDF and, if desired, save your custom settings as a new template. Note: There are additional preferences (Bridge > Preferences > Output) which include options for viewing the PDF after export, preserving embeded profiles, using Solo mode, and cell size vs cell spacing priorities for layout.

Adding projects to Adobe Portfolio

  • Publishing your work to Adobe Portfolio has never been easier. In the Publish panel, click the Adobe Portfolio icon and drag and drop files from the content panel into the empty well.

  • In the Create Portfolio Project dialog, give the project a name, set your cover photo, and choose whether or not to include the project on Behance. Note: If you select raw files, they will be converted to JPEG files before uploading to Adobe Portfolio.

  • Once the files are uploaded and the project has been created, a dialog appears. Click Go To Adobe Portfolio to push your project live using the Portfolio editor.

Stock Contributor Workflow

  • To quickly contribute image to Adobe Stock, click the Adobe Stock Contributor icon in the Publish panel. Connect your Contributor account, drag and drop files from the content panel into the empty well, and you’re ready to upload!

  • Once the files are uploaded click Go to Adobe Stock to add additional information about the image and submit.

The Filter panel

  • The following criteria have been added to the Filter panel:
    • Author Name
    • Color Profile
    • Bit Depth

Support for CEP Extensions

  • Bridge CC now supports Common Extensibility Platform (CEP) so that developers can create and run HTML5\CSS based Extensions.  Visit https://github.com/Adobe-CEP to find Bridge CEP related resources. For detailed instructions, refer to the document CEP Extensions Cookbook for Bridge.

File Info Panel

  • The File Info dialog has been updated to display the same information in the  File Info dialog in Photoshop, and vice-versa.

 

6:00 AM Permalink
2017/10/10

3, 2, 1, Photoshop! Three Ways to Quickly Zoom in Photoshop CC

In this video, you’ll discover three ways to quickly zoom in Photoshop CC.

5:02 AM Permalink
2017/10/05

Publish to Adobe Portfolio from Lightroom Mobile

JK: Updated 10-18-2017: Collections have been renamed Album.

You can quickly pull in Albums of images from Lightroom Mobile to post in a photo grid in Adobe Portfolio. Here’s how:

In the portfolio editor (myportfolio.com), click the plus icon to add content.

Choose Lightroom Album.

 

Select your collection and choose Import Selected to import the images into a grid.

To make edits to the grid (such as reordering the images), click the pencil icon and choose Edit Page Content.

You can also add collections by clicking the Manage Content icon.

Under Mange Content, click Integrations, then click Add Albums.


Of course you can always use the on-screen remote to add additional images from Lightroom to your project, but this new ability to add an entire Collection from Lightroom Mobile to a single grid in just a few clicks should save some users a lot of time.

Note: Portfolio has also updated the concept of what a “Page” contains. Now, a page is simply a page. There isn’t a difference between a page that has an artist statement and a page that contains images.  And the concept of a project no longer exists (don’t worry, all of your projects have automagically been converted to pages for you!).

9:00 AM Permalink
2017/10/04

3, 2, 1…Photoshop! Five Tips for Working with Brushes

Learn five quick tips for working with brushes in Photoshop in this next installment of 3, 2, 1…Photoshop!

8:40 AM Permalink
2017/09/21

Adobe Spark – Branded Stories

You can now brand your Spark Pages with your own logos, colors, and fonts. If you are a paid Creative Cloud user, this premium feature is automatically included in your plan. I can’t wait to try it on my next Spark Page! (Customizing branded assets are also available for Spark Posts and Spark Videos).

For more information,  this article (How to Create Branded Stories in Adobe Spark), takes you through how these premium features work.

 

5:09 AM Permalink
2017/09/14

Getting Ready for Adobe MAX!

I’m going to be working on a special project the next few weeks, so I won’t be keeping up with my regular blogging schedule, but will be back in time to share new information at Adobe MAX – The Creativity Conference (October 18-20) as well as here, on-line.

Thank you for understanding. : )

5:32 AM Permalink
2017/09/12

3, 2, 1, Photoshop! Six Easy Ways to Select Colors in Photoshop

In this episode of 3, 2, 1, Photoshop! Six Easy Ways to Select Colors in Photoshop, you’ll discover how to select color in Photoshop using the eyedropper tool, foreground, background and heads-up-display color picker.

5:02 AM Permalink
2017/09/07

Tasmania – Island of Inspiration

I had the opportunity to visit Tasmania last month and spent the last weekend creating an Adobe Spark Page.

I really appreciate how easy it is to create a collection of photographs in Lightroom, sync it across my mobile devices, and use a beautifully designed Spark theme (template) to tell my story.

Click on the image below to view the images – I hope you enjoy the journey!

5:05 AM Permalink
2017/09/05

Setting Custom Develop Defaults in Lightroom Classic

(JK: Updated  12-2017)

To change Lightroom’s default processing setting to apply Enable Profile Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberration when importing images, use the following steps:

1) Select a raw file taken with your camera and remove any settings by clicking the Reset button in the lower right of the Develop Module.

2) In the Lens Correction panel, check both the Enable Profile Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberration options.

Note: changes are not limited to Lens Correction. You could, for example, change the default Profile used in the Camera Calibration panel or the amount of Noise Reduction applied in the Details panel – just remember that these settings will be applied to ALL future imported images from this camera.

3) Choose Develop > Set Default Settings > Update to Current Settings. Note: Although the dialog says that the changes are not Undoable, it only means that the shortcut Command + Z (Mac) | Control + Z (Win) won’t undo the settings. Don’t worry, you can return to the dialog at any time and choose Restore Adobe Default Settings if needed.

Once the defaults are changed, any images taken with that camera model will automatically have the Enable Profile Corrections and Remove Chromatic Aberration settings applied when the are imported into Lightroom (any images that are already in the catalog remain as they were). Because you are simply “Enabling” Profile Corrections, if you change lenses, Lightroom will automatically look for and apply the appropriate lens correction profile based on the EXIF data in the photo. Note:  For the small number of images that I don’t want to apply these setting to, I can easily disable (uncheck) the Lens Correction options or create a preset to apply both options in one click. 

Five Additional Tips:

1) If you are using multiple camera models, you will need to customize the default settings for each model (by following the above steps for each camera model).

2) It is also possible to save different setting for each camera based on serial number and ISO settings (Preferences > Presets). This can be useful when using custom camera profiles and/or customizing Noise Reduction options, for example.

3) If you import 1000 images but will only end up using 10 of them, applying these lens corrections to every file that you import will increase the amount of time it takes to render previews (how much time depends on your system, file size etc.). If you notice a significant decrease in performance,  you might prefer to create a preset to apply lens corrections, and apply it to only your best images.

4) Option (Mac) | Alt  (Win) toggles the Reset button to Set Default (in the Develop module).

5) Customizing the default settings in either Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw, defines the settings for both products.

5:22 AM Permalink
2017/08/31

Instinct and Intent – a Self Assignment

I found myself in Singapore last week with an afternoon free to make photographs. It’s a beautiful city, and I was staying near the Marina Bay – an area filled with modern architecture. Although this isn’t my typical subject matter, I decided to follow my own advice and give myself an assignment to photograph the surrounding buildings.

So, I started with the obvious – the prominent, glass high-rises. (The objective is to get out and start making images, which will, in turn, spark another idea and keep the momentum moving forward.)

Then, I started noticing interesting reflections in the surrounding buildings.

As I passed the ArtScience museum, I couldn’t help but stop to photograph some details of the building.

And the roof of the durian fruit-shaped building – The Esplanade, was quite interesting.

Then, I decided to change perspective (literally) by stepping into one of the buildings and taking the elevator to higher ground.

I found the port too interesting to pass up.

“I try not to limit myself too strictly to an assignment when I go out and photograph, because I never know what images might resonate at some point in the future. I might not understand the images that I make today, and it’s only in hindsight that I can discover their meaning and their relationship to my life at the time that I made them.”

FYI – the little white dots in the first image are cars!

On the walk back to the hotel, I decided to branch out and try to include some people in my images. I have enjoyed playing with my tilt-shift lens, and liked the way that I could include people yet hide their identity.

All in all, it was a great afternoon and the assignment enabled me to practice my passion and exercise my creativity.

Have a great weekend.  : )

5:21 AM Permalink
2017/08/29

3, 2, 1, Photoshop! 10 Tips for Working with the Layers Panel

Discover ten essential tips for working with layers in Photoshop  in this episode of 3, 2, 1, Photoshop (10 Tips for Working with the Layers Panel ), including unlocking the Background, renaming, adding, deleting and duplicating layers, changing blend mode, opacity, visibility, color and customize Layer panel preview options.

5:45 AM Permalink
2017/08/22

15 Layer Masks Tips for Photoshop CC

1) Adding Layer Masks

  • To add a layer mask to a layer, click on the “Add Layer Mask” icon in the Layers panel or, to create a custom keyboard shortcut for adding layer masks, select Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. Set the “Shortcuts For” to Application Menus and toggle the disclosure triangle for the Layer menu. Scroll down to Layer Mask> and add your own shortcuts by clicking in the blank area to the right of the command. Note that there are separate options for adding layer masks while ignoring/respecting the current selection.

  • Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the layer mask icon to add a layer mask to automatically hide the content of the layer (or the active selection).
  • Command + I (Mac ) | Control + I (Win) will invert a layer mask (or, click the Invert button on the Properties panel).

2) Deleting Layer Masks

  • Target the mask on the Layers panel and click the Trash icon to delete a layer mask. Or, Control -click (Mac) | right -click (Win) on the layer mask to choose between Delete Layer Mask or Apply Layer Mask from the context sensitive menu.
  • Or, on the Properties panel, target the Layer mask and click the Trash icon at the bottom of the panel.

3) Moving and Duplicating Layer Masks

  • Drag the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to move it from one layer to another.
  • Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to create a copy of the mask.
  • Option + Shift -drag (Mac) | Alt + Shift -drag (Win) the layer mask thumbnail to create copy of a layer mask while simultaneously inverting the mask. Note: if the mask’s Density or Feather sliders has been changed using the Properties panel, this shortcut will not work. In this situation, (Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) the layer mask thumbnail to duplicate the mask, then use the shortcut Command + I (Mac) | Control + I (Win)  to invert the mask (or click the Invert button in the Properties panel).

4) Targeting the Layer Mask

  • Command + \ (Mac) | Control + \ (Win) targets a layer mask.
  • Command + 2 (Mac) | Control + 2 (Win) targets the layer.

5) Viewing Layer Masks

  • Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to target and view the mask.
  • Or, tap  “\”(backslash) to display the layer mask as an overlay (tap “\” again to hide the overlay).

6) Temporarily Disabling / Enabling Masks

  • Shift-click in the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to temporarily disable a layer mask. Click  the layer mask thumbnail again to enable it.
  • Or, Control -click (Mac) | right -click (Win) on a mask in the Layers panel and choose Enable/Disable Layer Mask.

7) Unlinking Masks from Layers

  • Click the link icon (between the layer icon and layer mask icons) to unlink the mask from the layer (allowing either to move independently of the other).

8) Pasting Content into a Layer Mask

  • To paste content from the clipboard into a layer mask, Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the Layer mask icon on the Layers panel to make it visible. Then, select Edit > Paste.
  • Or, on the Channels panel, click on the Layer mask to target it AND click in the empty well to toggle the visibility of the layer mask (the mask will be displayed as a red overlay), and choose Edit > Paste. To hide the red overlay, click the eye icon.

  • In this Quick Tip, Julieanne reveals a simple technique to paste content directly into a layer mask in Photoshop.

9) Delicate Mask Clean-Up

  • After adding a layer mask, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if there are any small bits of the layer that have been accidentally left unselected. In this case, it might be helpful to temporarily add a layer effect such as a bright red stroke (Layer > Layer Style > Stroke, and click the color swatch to choose a vibrant color). The stroke will appear around any small areas of the mask that you may need to clean up. When finished, simply delete the layer effect.

10) Create Layer Mask from Transparency

  • In order to automatically convert the transparent areas of a layer into a mask, select Layer > Layer Mask > From Transparency.
  • To create a mask on a layer based on the transparency of another layer, in the Layers panel, select the layer that you want the mask to be added to. Then, drag the layer that you want to become the contents for the mask to the Add Mask Icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Important: don’t click and release the mouse on the layer that you want to become the contents of the mask – clicking will select the layer, you need to drag that layer instead.

11) Non-destructive Edge Softening of Layer Masks

  • When working with layer masks, instead of trying to guess the feather value needed to soften the edges of a mask (because the feather amount will vary depending on the resolution of the image and the desired softness of the edge that is being feathered), use the non-destructive Feather slider on the Properties panel. If the image is resized or other adjustments are made at a later time, the feather can be appropriately adjusted.

12) Changing the Density of a Layer Mask Non-destructivly

  • Use the Density slider in the Properties panel to reduce the opacity (density) of the mask non-destructively.

13) Painting in a Layer Mask

  • Changing the blend mode of a painting tool can be very helpful when painting in a layer mask. For example, 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.

14) Blending two Images Together using Layer Masks

15)  Swapping Heads in a Family Portrait

5:06 AM Permalink
2017/08/17

Shortcuts for Working with Layer Groups in Photoshop CC

Here are some tips and  shortcuts for working more effectively with Layer Groups:

  • To create an empty Layer Group, click the Create Layer Group (the folder) icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. The Group will be added above the currently targeted layer. If no layers are targeted, Photoshop will add the group to the top of the layer stack.
  • Command + G (Mac) | Control + G (Win) creates a new Layer Group while simultaneously placing selected layers into that group. The group will be added above the topmost currently targeted layer.
  • Command + Shift + G (Mac) | Control + Shift + G (Win) will ungroup layers.

Adding Layers to Layer Groups

  • When adding a layer to a Layer Group, Photoshop positions the layer at the top of the layer stack (with in the group).
  • Adding the shift key when releasing the mouse will position the layer at the bottom of the stack (within the group).

Repositing Layers

  • 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.

2014_10_14Layers

  • 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 “paper” layer would be added within the “texture” Layer Group.

2014_10LayerGroup

  • Instead, if I position the curser a bit lower (below the baseline of the Layer Group), and release the mouse (as it’s positioned in the next illustration), the layer will be repositioned above the “walnuts” layer but not within the “texture” Layer Group.

  • 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.

Duplicating Layer Groups

  • Command + J (Mac) | Control + J (Win) will duplicate the selected Layer Group(s).
  • Option -drag (Mac) | Alt -drag (Win) the Layer Group (in the Layers panel) to simultaneously duplicating and repositioning a Layer Group.
  • Control -click (Mac) | right mouse -click (Win) on the Layer Group and select Duplicate Group.

Deleting Layer Groups in Photoshop

  • With the Layer Group selected, tap the Delete key or Option -click (Mac) | Alt -click (Win) the trash can icon.
  • To delete a Layer Group but keep the layers, choose Layer > Delete > Group or click the trash can icon. Either method displays a dialog with an option to delete “Group Only” (which ungroups the layers within the group and removes the Layer Group while leaving the Layers in tack).
  • Command -drag (Mac) | Control -drag (Win) a Layer Group to the trash can icon to delete a Layer Group without deleting it’s contents.

Selecting Layer Groups

  • To automatically select Layer Groups using the Move tool, enable the Auto-Select box in the Options bar and choose Group from the pull-down menu.

Nesting Layer Groups

  • You can nest layer Layer Groups up to 10 groups deep. That should help organize even the most complex documents!

Displaying the Contents of Layer Groups in Photoshop

  • Command (Mac) | Control (Win) -click the disclosure triangle next to a Layer Group to expand/collapse all Layer Groups in the document.
  • Option (Mac) | Alt (Win)  -click the disclosure triangle to expand/collapse all groups nested within the current Layer Group.
  • Option + Command (Mac) | Alt + Control (Win) -click the disclosure triangle to expand and collapse all groups (nested or not).
  • Control (Mac) | right mouse (Win) -click the Group’s disclosure triangle and choose “Close/Open this Group” or “Close/Open all Other Groups”.

And, if you’re looking for eight reasons to use Layer Groups, be sure to watch this short video that I recently posted:

5:20 AM Permalink
2017/08/15

3, 2, 1, Photoshop – Eight Reasons to use Layer Groups in Photoshop

In this episode of 3, 2, 1, Photoshop, Julieanne demonstrates eight reasons to use Layer Groups in Photoshop in Photoshop CC.

The reasons are also listed below for those of you who prefer to read a list instead of watching a video!

  1. Layer Groups can help you to organize the Layers panel but putting similar layers in a group which can be collapsed/expanded as needed.
  2. Layer Groups can help when you want to effect multiple layers at once. For example, select the Layer Group and choose Free Transform to transform all of the contents of the group at once. Or, select a Layer Group and use Command + D (Mac) | Control + D (Win) to duplicate a Layer Group.
  3. Change the opacity of a Layer Group to effect the opacity of all layers within the group.
  4. Layer Effects/Layer Styles can be applied to a Layer Group. Note: when you add an Effect/Style to a group, Photoshop treats the contents of the group as if they are merged/flattened before adding the Effect/Style. As long as nothing on the layers overlaps, then the effet will be visually identicle to applying Layer Effects/Styles to individual layers (and if you only have one Layer style to update if you need to make changes). If you do have multiple layers that overlap (and don’t want the effect to appear as if the layers are merged), then you can apply the Effect/Style to one layer and copy/paste it to others.
  5. Blend modes can be applied to Layer Groups. (Similar to Layer Effects/Styles, if the contents of the layers within the Layer Group overlap, the Blend mode behaves differently than when applied to individual layers.)
  6. The effects of Blend Modes applied to individual layers within Layer Groups can be restricted to only effect those layers within the group by changing the Layer Groups Blend Mode to Normal.
  7. Layer Groups can be used as the base layer to apply Clipping Masks in order to “clip” or restrict the contents of a layer(s) to appear only where there is content within the Layer Group.
  8. Adding a layer Mask to a Layer Group enables masking of all layers within that group simultaneously.
5:09 AM Permalink