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Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training

Understanding layers


From:

Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training

with Jan Kabili

Video: Understanding layers

Layers are possibly the most important feature in the Full Edit Workspace. Layers give you the freedom to treat individual pieces of artwork separately. In the coming movies, we are going to be taking a look at what layers are, what the benefits are of using layers, and how to use them. I'm working in 07_01 beaches, which you'll find in the 07 Layers Sub-folder of the chapter 7 Exercise Files folder. You might think of layers like paints of glass, each of which has separate paint on them; stacked one on top of the other. Where a layer has no paint or no artwork, it's transparent and you can see through it to the layer below, or in this analogy, to the paint of glass below. Let's see how that works on this file. I'm going to the Layers palette in the palette Bin on the right, which is command central for managing layers in a file. I'm going to collapse the Effects palette, which is above the Layers palette, so that you can see all the layers in this file.
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  1. 9m 23s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. What is Photoshop Elements?
      6m 59s
    3. Using the example files
      1m 30s
  2. 22m 34s
    1. Understanding the Organizer's catalog system
      3m 17s
    2. Getting photos from files and folders
      5m 41s
    3. Getting photos from a digital camera
      7m 27s
    4. Getting photos from offline media
      3m 7s
    5. Getting photos from a scanner
      3m 2s
  3. 35m 0s
    1. Touring the Organizer interface
      5m 30s
    2. Viewing photos
      2m 19s
    3. Selecting photos
      1m 52s
    4. Rotating photos
      2m 7s
    5. Renaming photos
      1m 57s
    6. Fixing photo dates
      1m 56s
    7. Hiding and deleting photos
      4m 50s
    8. Stacking photos
      7m 33s
    9. Moving files
      4m 1s
    10. Backing up
      2m 55s
  4. 31m 50s
    1. Tagging photos
      8m 38s
    2. Finding photos by tags
      3m 57s
    3. Tagging face photos
      3m 1s
    4. Using albums and Smart Albums
      7m 43s
    5. Finding photos with Text Search
      3m 34s
    6. Finding photos from the Find menu
      2m 57s
    7. Finding photos in the Timeline
      2m 0s
  5. 16m 27s
    1. Reviewing photos in Full Screen view
      5m 28s
    2. Comparing photos
      4m 9s
    3. Using Date view
      2m 54s
    4. Using Map view
      3m 56s
  6. 33m 3s
    1. Automatically fixing photos in the Organizer
      7m 58s
    2. Semi-automatically fixing photos with Quick Fix
      10m 39s
    3. Using the Guided Edit mode
      4m 33s
    4. Fixing group shots automatically
      3m 44s
    5. Removing stray content with the Scene Cleaner
      6m 9s
  7. 57m 41s
    1. Touring the Full Edit interface
      4m 46s
    2. Opening a file
      2m 6s
    3. Creating a blank file
      4m 36s
    4. Using tools
      8m 5s
    5. Setting Edit preferences
      4m 31s
    6. Adjusting Color settings
      5m 18s
    7. Using the Undo History command
      3m 48s
    8. Zooming and navigating
      6m 7s
    9. Resizing photos and adjusting resolution
      8m 23s
    10. Enlarging the canvas
      3m 24s
    11. Saving files
      6m 37s
  8. 13m 36s
    1. Understanding layers
      4m 38s
    2. Working in the Layers palette
      4m 4s
    3. Using layer masks
      4m 54s
  9. 17m 50s
    1. Understanding selections
      1m 15s
    2. Manual selection tools
      6m 20s
    3. Automatic selection tools
      6m 25s
    4. Modifying and saving selections
      3m 50s
  10. 40m 53s
    1. Straightening and cropping
      2m 46s
    2. Using the Shadow/Highlight adjustment
      2m 41s
    3. Adjusting with Levels
      5m 0s
    4. Adjusting with Hue/Saturation
      3m 14s
    5. Using Color Curves
      4m 44s
    6. Removing a color cast
      4m 9s
    7. Correcting skin tone
      2m 20s
    8. Reducing digital noise
      2m 47s
    9. Sharpening photos
      6m 27s
    10. Editing raw photos
      6m 45s
  11. 25m 21s
    1. Using the new Smart Brush tool
      5m 50s
    2. Using the Smart Brush Detail tool
      3m 13s
    3. Dodging and burning
      1m 58s
    4. Healing wrinkles and blemishes
      3m 51s
    5. Removing content
      2m 9s
    6. Using the Red Eye tool
      1m 11s
    7. Using the Whiten Teeth tool
      1m 48s
    8. Using the Blue Skies Tool
      1m 28s
    9. Using the Black/White tool
      1m 13s
    10. Converting color to black and white
      2m 40s
  12. 22m 10s
    1. Applying filters
      6m 21s
    2. Applying effects
      3m 53s
    3. Using layer styles
      5m 13s
    4. Using shapes
      4m 49s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      1m 54s
  13. 7m 34s
    1. Creating text
      4m 6s
    2. Editing text
      1m 58s
    3. Warping text
      1m 30s
  14. 38m 38s
    1. Making a photo book
      10m 0s
    2. Making a photo collage
      8m 10s
    3. Creating a slideshow
      10m 11s
    4. Making a panorama
      3m 50s
    5. Preparing images for the web
      4m 6s
    6. Using automated actions
      2m 21s
  15. 9m 50s
    1. Using email and Photo Mail
      4m 42s
    2. Printing your photos
      2m 55s
    3. Using Quick Share
      2m 13s
  16. 19m 17s
    1. Signing up for Photoshop.com
      3m 33s
    2. Viewing and sharing your photos online
      6m 0s
    3. Backing up and synchronizing albums online
      6m 28s
    4. Accessing ongoing inspiration from Adobe.com
      3m 16s
  17. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training
6h 41m Beginner Sep 26, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop Elements 7 is packed with features to help amateur photographers with every stage of digital photo processing, from getting organized to sharing projects with family and friends. In Photoshop Elements 7 for Windows Essential Training, Jan Kabili shares workflow techniques for organizing, editing, creating projects, and sharing. She also demonstrates how to enhance photos with this budget-friendly software. Jan explains the latest updates to the Organizer and Editor workspaces, and also covers new features like the Smart Brush tool and Photoshop.com integration. Elements is very well known for its project features, and Jan shows how to create books, collages, panoramas, and more. Example files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Getting photos from a camera, scanner, or files
  • Organizing and finding photos with tags, albums, and Smart Collections
  • Using automatic and guided edit tools for common fixes
  • Mastering Full Edit mode for refining, retouching, and photo editing
  • Adding special effects and text
  • Sharing and backing up images on Photoshop.com
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop Elements Elements
Author:
Jan Kabili

Understanding layers

Layers are possibly the most important feature in the Full Edit Workspace. Layers give you the freedom to treat individual pieces of artwork separately. In the coming movies, we are going to be taking a look at what layers are, what the benefits are of using layers, and how to use them. I'm working in 07_01 beaches, which you'll find in the 07 Layers Sub-folder of the chapter 7 Exercise Files folder. You might think of layers like paints of glass, each of which has separate paint on them; stacked one on top of the other. Where a layer has no paint or no artwork, it's transparent and you can see through it to the layer below, or in this analogy, to the paint of glass below. Let's see how that works on this file. I'm going to the Layers palette in the palette Bin on the right, which is command central for managing layers in a file. I'm going to collapse the Effects palette, which is above the Layers palette, so that you can see all the layers in this file.

This file has three layers and you can see them here one on each bar: the sign layer, the palm tree layer, and the Background layer. In order to see what's on each layer, I'm going to make each layer invisible, one layer at a time and the way I'm going to do that is by clicking the Eye icon to the left of each Layer. I'm going to click the Eye icon to the left of the sign layer to turn that layer off temporarily. And when I do, the SAIL SURF sign, the flag, and the rocks are all going to disappear and now, you can see what's on the layers below.

I'll turn that layer back on by clicking in the Eye icon spot again and now, I go down to the next layer to show you what's on that the same way. On the palm tree layer, I'm going to click the Eye icon and the palm tree disappears. The palm tree is the only thing on this layer. I'm going to make the palm tree visible again by clicking in the Eye icon space again. Notice that the palm tree comes in behind the rocks that are on the sign layer because the sign layer is above the palm tree layer in the Layers palette.

Finally, I'm going to go down to the bottom layer labeled Background and I'm going to turn that one off and you can see that everything else except what is on the sign layer and the palm tree layer has now disappeared. In its place, you'll see this gray and white checkerboard, which represents transparency in Photoshop Elements. I'll turn the Background layer back on. So, what's the reason to make use of lots of layers in your photo compositions. Layers give you the flexibility to make changes to individual pieces of artwork without affecting the rest of the composition. For example, let's work with the palm tree and move it to the other side of the photo. To do that, I'm going to select the layer that has the palm tree by clicking right on the gray bar of the layer. With the palm tree layer selected, I'm going to the Toolbox on the left and I'm going to get the Move tool. You now can see this bounding box around the content of the palm tree layer and when I click inside that bounding box and move to the right, there goes the palm tree.

That may not be the most beautiful composition in the world but it makes the point that when I do something to the content of the palm tree layer, it affects only that layer; nothing else in this composition has moved. And that's not the only thing that I can do to the content of individual layers. Let's try something else. I'm going to select the sign layer in the Layers palette and then I'm going to go over to the Toolbox and I'm going to click and hold on the Brush tool and from the tool menu that flies out, I'm going to select the Color Replacement tool.

The Color Replacement tool is great for changing the color of items. I'm going to go to the foreground color box in the tool bar, click to open the color picker and I'm going to choose a color by clicking in this large color field. I'll take this dark red and I'll click OK. Now, I'm going to come in and start drawing on top of the flag here and notice that as I do, the color in that flag is changing from yellow to red and even though I'm dragging way up here with my brush tip, only the flag is changing.

The reason for that is that the flag is on a separate layer; the sign layer from the palm tree and the Background and all the other content behind it, so that only the flag on ad the sign layer changes when I paint there. So, you can imagine how useful this can be when you are creating complex photo compositions with different pieces of artwork on different layers. Layers give you the freedom to be a true digital artist in Photoshop Elements.

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