Posts tagged "Layers"

March 2, 2015

Merging Layers in Photoshop

• 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.

The three selected layers are merged into a single layer.

The three selected layers are merged into a single layer.

 

• Command + Shift + E (Mac) | Control  + Shift + E (Win) will merge visible layers.

The top two Layers aren't merged because they are not visible.

The top two Layers aren’t merged because they are hidden.

 

• 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)!

The information from the two selected layers are copied to an new layer and merged.

A flattened copy of the two selected layers are merged onto a new layer.

• 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.

A flattened copy of all visible layers is pasted onto a new layer.

A flattened copy of all visible layers is merged onto a new layer (regardless of what layer(s) is selected).

5:01 AM Comments (0) Permalink
February 27, 2015

Finding Similar Layers in Photoshop

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.

On the left, the Filter is set to only display visible layers. On the right, clicking the “light switch” toggles the filtering on and off.

On the left, the Filter is set to only display visible layers. On the right, clicking the “light switch” 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.

5:03 AM Comments (0) Permalink
February 26, 2015

Quickly Centering a Layer in Photoshop

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.

5:58 AM Comments (1) Permalink
February 20, 2015

Load Layer Contents as a Selection in Photoshop

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.

5:10 AM Comments (0) Permalink
February 5, 2015

Layer Panel Preview Options in Photoshop

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.

With the Thumbnail content set to Layer Bounds, we see the  shells as large as possible in the thumbnail.

With the Thumbnail content set to Layer Bounds, we see the shells as large as possible within the thumbnail area.

Select “Entire Document” to display the layer content in relationship to the entire document.

With the Thumbnail content set to Entire Document, we see the location of the shells in relationship to the entire canvas size.

With the Thumbnail Content set to Entire Document, we see the location of the shells in relationship to the entire canvas.

• 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.

5:04 AM Permalink
January 28, 2015

Insights into “How My Brain Composites Images Together”

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

5:33 AM Permalink
December 10, 2014

Using the Gradient Tool in a Layer Mask in Photoshop

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.

Dragging the Default gradient from white to black, hides the adjustment in the lower portion of the image.

Dragging the default gradient from white to black hides the adjustment in the lower portion of the image.

However dragging a second gradient replaces the first one.

By default, dragging a second gradient replaces 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.

Setting the Gradient to screen will add the lighter portion of the gradient while hiding black.

Setting the Gradient tool’s blend mode to screen (before dragging the second gradient) will add the lighter values to the mask. If you are hiding an area and want the darker values of the Gradient to show, then change the Gradient Tool’s blend mode to Multiply.

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!

2014_12_Grad04

5:07 AM Permalink
November 12, 2014

Adding New Layers to a Document in Photoshop

• 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.

5:46 AM Permalink
October 30, 2014

Repositioning a Layer Amidst Layer Groups in Photoshop CC 2014

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 layer would be added within the “texture” Layer Group. This was not what I wanted.

2014_10LayerGroup

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.

2014-0LayerGroupBelow

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.

5:36 AM Permalink
October 24, 2014

Video Tutorial – Adding Textures to Photographs in Photoshop CC

I’m sorry, I completely forgot to blog about this! I was asked to make another guest appearance on the Photoshop Playbook series, so here’s a short tutorial on how to add textures to photographs (both locally as well as selectively) in Photoshop.  I hope it’s helpful!

5:37 AM Permalink
October 21, 2014

Locking and Unlocking Layers in Photoshop CC 2014

Use the following shortcuts to lock and unlock layers in Photoshop CC 2014.

• Command + / (Mac) | Control + / (Win) toggles between locking and unlocking all selected layers. (Clicking on the lock icon will also unlock a layer).

• Command + Option +/ (Mac) | Control + Alt +  / (Win) unlocks all layers (except the Background layer).

• In addition, there is a new menu item Layer> Lock Layers.

Specific to locking Shape layers:

• If a shape layer is locked, it now behaves properly and cannot be selected (in previous versions it could).

• When a Shape layer is locked, the Shape Properties in the Properties panel will be disabled.

5:08 AM Permalink
October 20, 2014

Toggling Layer Visibility in Photoshop CC 2014

Use the following shortcuts to quickly toggle the visibility of selected layers in Photoshop CC 2014:

• Command + “,” (comma) (Mac) | Control + “,” (comma) (Win) toggles the visibility of the currently selected layer(s).

• Command + Option +  “,” (comma)  (Mac) | Control + Alt +  “,” (comma)  (Win) shows all layers (regardless of which layers are selected).

5:06 AM Permalink
September 22, 2014

51/55 But Wait, There’s More – Additional New Features for Photoshop CC!

Even though I have spent the past 10 weeks talking about all of the new features and product enhancements that the Photoshop team has added since Photoshop CC launched, there are still great features that I wasn’t able to cover! So to make sure that I’ve covered all of the topics, I’ll extend the project through the end of the week.

Today we will start with four hidden gems including:

• When creating new documents, the Background Contents option can be included as part of a script and will also be saved as part of a New Document Preset.

2014_09_14New

• Clicking the lock icon next to the Background layer on the Layers panel converts the Background to a layer.

2014_09_14Lock

•  The Swatches panel now displays the recently used swatches across the top of the panel.

2014_09_14Swatch

•  The Color sampler tool can now add up to ten different samples. You can click on the eyedropper in the Info panel to change the color readout values for each sampler individually, or Option (Mac)  |  Alt (Win)  click the eyedropper to change them all at once.

2014_09_14Info

If you prefer to watch a video, here you are:

5:08 AM Permalink
August 22, 2014

30/50 – How to Use Layer Comps for Multi State Mock-ups in Photoshop CC

Discover the powerful new abilities of Layer Comps in Photoshop CC including the new icons for options being saved, syncing changes across multiple Layer Comps, and accessing layer comps within Smart Objects.

5:31 AM Permalink
May 16, 2014

Masking Video for Special Effects – Photoshop Playbook

Lex and Bryan asked me to do a guest appearance on the Photoshop Playbook series, so here’s How to Mask Video to Create Special Effects.


Now let’s go make something fun!  : )

10:00 AM Permalink