Posts tagged "Layers"

April 11, 2017

Content Aware Fill – Control the Source in Photoshop CC

When removing unwanted objects in an image, selecting the area to be removed and then choosing  Edit > Fill with the Contents set to Content Aware, can magically fill in areas using surrounding information. However, in some images, Photoshop may select and fill with areas that you wish it wouldn’t. In order to tell Photoshop to ignore certain areas of an image, add a layer mask and paint in the mask to hide the areas that you don’t want Photoshop to use as a fill source (in other words, if you can’t see the information, then neither can the Content Aware Fill technology). When finished, discard the layer mask without applying.

Note: make sure to run the Content Aware Fill on the Layer, not the Layer Mask.

5:01 AM Permalink
February 8, 2017

Video – Using Blend Modes to Emulate an Image Transfer Effect in Photoshop CC

Discover how to emulate an image transfer effect in this free video (Using Blend Modes to Emulate an Image Transfer Effect), from Photoshop CC  Essential Training on  (This video was free before and I didn’t include it in my training series).


4:46 AM Permalink
November 18, 2016

Advanced Photoshop CC Tips for Photography and Compositing

I wanted to share with you my “Advanced Photoshop CC Tips for Photography and Compositing” presentation from earlier this month at Adobe MAX. Enjoy!


5:03 AM Permalink
November 7, 2016

Photoshop 2017 Essential Training: The Basics – Live on

I’m excited to announce that my new Photoshop 2017 Essential Training: The Basics course is now live on!


Here are the details:

Learning how to use Photoshop efficiently and effectively is the best investment you can make to get the most out of your pixels. Photoshop CC Essential Training: The Basics filters out the noise and complexity so that you understand the basic features and concepts you need to use Photoshop effectively, whether you’re a photographer or designer.

Julieanne Kost reviews the basics of digital imaging, from bit depth to image size, and shows how to use different Photoshop tools to crop and retouch photos, while always maintaining the highest-quality output. She shows the most efficient ways to perform common tasks, including working with layers, making selections, and masking. Along the way, you will learn the secrets of nondestructive editing using Smart Objects, and master features such as adjustment layers, blend modes, filters, and much more—increasing your productivity every step of the way.

Topics include:
• Opening files in Photoshop, Bridge, and Lightroom
• Arranging your workspace
• Modifying keyboard shortcuts
• Changing color mode, bit depth, and document size
• Cropping and straightening images
• Working with layers and layer masks
• Using brushes
• Making detailed selections
• Retouching
• Editing images with the Content-Aware tools
• Using blend modes
• Creating Smart Objects
• Using adjustment layers to change color, tone, contrast, and saturation
• Applying filters

If you’re looking for more information, you can check out all of my courses here including:

Bridge CC Essential Training

Adobe Camera Raw Essential Training

Photoshop 2017 Essential Training: Design

Photoshop 2017 Essential Training: Photography

Introduction to Photo Compositing

The Art of Photoshop Compositing

Photoshop CS6 Essential Training


And did you know that you can watch these videos off-line by using the desktop or mobile app?


5:01 AM Permalink
October 31, 2016

Delicate Mask Clean-Up in Photoshop CC

After adding a layer mask to hide portions of a layer, it can sometimes be difficult to determine if there are any small bits of the layer that have been accidentally left behind. 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 now appear around any small areas of the mask that you may need to clean up. When finished, simply delete the layer effect).

5:38 AM Permalink
October 25, 2016

Double Check your Layer Mask in Photoshop CC

When working on intricately composited, multi layered documents, I often find it useful to check each of the layer masks before finalizing the image. To do this, Option  (Mac) / Alt (Win) -click  on the mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to display it. With the mask visible, check to see if there are any unwanted awkward transitional areas that might not have been visible in the complex composite (a sharp edge from a selection or hard edge brush for example).

5:05 AM Permalink
October 17, 2016

Making Selections on Layers with Masks in Photoshop CC

If you use a Smart Filter’s mask to hide the effects of a Smart Filter, Photoshop will still make selections based on the filtered content – even though it is hidden.

Here is the original photo of an Iceberg. I’ve converted it to a smart object so that I can add the Path Blur filter as a Smart Filter.


Below shows after adding the Path Blur (listed as Blur Gallery on the Layers panel) as a Smart Filter. Notice that the entire layer is blurred.


I drew a linear gradient in the Smart Filter’s mask to reveal the Path Blur in the water, but hid it from the iceberg.


Using the Quick Select tool, I expected Photoshop to easily select the sky, but it selected the iceberg as well (because Photoshop applies the blur to the entire layer – the mask was only  hiding the filter).


Hiding the Path Blur (by toggling off the eye icon next to Blur Gallery), enabled the Quick Select tool to easily select the sky.


In the final image below, I added the new sky layer, used the selection to add a mask so that they sky wouldn’t overlap the iceberg, and toggled back on the visibility next to the Blur Gallery to display the Path Blur filter in the water.


4:50 AM Permalink
July 11, 2016

Document Layer Count in Photoshop CC 2015.5

To quickly view the number of layers in a document, click the chevron to the right of the status box (at the bottom of the image preview area) and choose Layer Count.

2016_07_10Layer Count

Or, use the flyout menu on the Info panel to enable Layer Count. In addition, the Info panel has the option to Always Show Composite Values.



5:02 AM Permalink
June 15, 2016

Blending Layer Groups in Photoshop

Layer Groups are, by default, set to display blending effects (such as opacity, blend modes etc.) just like any other layer in Photoshop. For example, if a layer in a Layer Group has its blend mode is set to “Multiply”, it will be multiplied (blended) with all other layers below it. In this default state, clicking on the Layer Group in the Layers panel displays “Pass Through” as the Layer Group’s blend mode (i.e: any blending applied to layers within the group is “passing through” the group to be applied to the layers below it).


Each Layer’s blend mode is set to multiply. The Layer Group is set to Pass Through.

Each Layer’s blend mode is set to multiply. The Layer Group is set to Pass Through.

To change this default behavior and limit the blending between layers to only those layers within the Layer  Group, target the Layer Group in the Layers panel and set the Layer Group’s blend mode to “Normal”. Note: the circles are still multiplied within the Layer Group (if each layer was set to Normal instead of multiply, all of the circles would appear the same color, but not the Background because the Background is not in the Layer Group).

Each Layer’s blend mode is set to multiply. The Layer Group is set to Normal.

Each Layer’s blend mode is set to multiply. The Layer Group is set to Normal.


5:05 AM Permalink
June 14, 2016

Clipping Masks in Photoshop

Clipping masks are most commonly used when an adjustment needs to be applied to a single layer (or Layer Group) in a document. For example, if you have a triptych of images (each on their own layer) within a single document and need to adjust only one of the images, you can add an adjustment layer and “clip” it so that it only effects the single image (layer).


The original document has three photos on three different layers. The middle layer needed to be adjusted independently from the ones on either side.

To create a clipping mask, add the adjustment layer, then click the Clipping Mask icon at the bottom of the Properties panel. As you modify the adjustment layer, it will only effect the layer that it is “clipped” to. Visually, you will know that the layers are clipped because the bottom most layer’s name will be underlined in the Layers panel, and the clipped layer(s) will be indented with an arrow pointing downwards towards the base layer. You can clip more than one layer to a base layer and you can clip layers to layer groups as well!



To isolate the effects of the curves adjustment layer, it’s clipped to the photo below it.

Another use of clipping masks is to clip content such as a photo to a shape such as type. In order to do this, put the type layer under the photo layer on the Layers panel, target the type layer (by clicking in it in the Layers panel)  and select Layer > Create Clipping Mask.

You can also create a clipping mask using the following shortcuts:

• Select the layer to be clipped and use Command + Opt + G (Mac) | Control + Alt + G (Win) to create a Clipping Mask.

• On the Layers panel, hold the Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) key and position the cursor over the line that separates the two layers in the Layers panel. When you see the icon switch to a downward pointing arrow next to a rectangle, click to create a Clipping Mask.

5:18 AM Permalink
April 26, 2016

Paste Into a Selection in Photoshop

If you have an active selection in your document (marching ants) and have content on the clipboard, selecting Edit > Paste Special > Paste Into will paste the content from the clipboard onto a new layer  and automatically convert the selection into a Layer mask!

Command + Option + Shift + V (Mac) | Control + Alt + Shift + V (Win) is the shortcut for Paste Into.


Image with active selection.



Selection converted to a layer mask after choosing Edit > Paste Special > Paste Into.

5:07 AM Permalink
April 25, 2016

Targeting a Layer Mask in Photoshop

Command + \ (Mac), Control + \ (Win) targets a layer mask.

Command + 2 (Mac), Control + 2 (Win) targets the layer.

4:54 AM Permalink
April 22, 2016

Pasting into a Layer Mask in Photoshop

To paste content (from the clipboard) into a Layer mask, Option -click (Mac)/ Alt -click (Win) the Layer mask icon on the Layers panel. This shortcut does two things – it targets the mask as well as toggles off the visibility of the mask. Then, choose Edit > Paste to paste into the mask.

Note: if you don’t want to use the shortcut, you can paste into a layer mask by clicking on the mask in the Channels panel and toggling ON the visibility.  Choosing Edit > Paste will paste into the mask, displaying the mask as a red overlay.04_22chanelVis

To hide the red overlay, click the eye icon.04_22chanelHide04_22_toggleVis

5:17 AM Permalink
April 21, 2016

Unlinking Masks from Layers in Photoshop

Click on the link icon between the layer icon and the mask icon in the Layers panel to unlink the mask from the layer (allowing either to move independently of the other).

04_20_Link Maks

5:15 AM Permalink
April 20, 2016

Temporarily Disabling & Enabling Masks in Photoshop

Shift-click in the layer or vector mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to temporarily disable the mask.

Click again on the layer mask thumbnail in the Layers panel to enable it.

For a vector mask, you must shift -click the thumbnail again to enable it.

You can also Control-click (Mac) / Right mouse -click (Win) on either type of mask in the Layers panel and choose to Enable or Disable a mask.

4:54 AM Permalink