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Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training
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Using adjustment layers and masks


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Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training

with Ted LoCascio

Video: Using adjustment layers and masks

The best nondestructive way to edit your images in Elements is to use adjustment layers. By doing so you can edit or delete your adjustments at any time. You can also control which areas of the image are affected by the adjustment by painting in its companion layer mask. I'm currently in the Bridge application and I'm viewing our exercise files folders. What I would like to do is actually access our Chapter 09, Working with Layers folder. Double-click on that to open it up. Then I'm going to double-click on this layered file, Enzo_ beach_layers.psd. Double-click that to open it up in the Elements' Editing workspace.
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  1. 2m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 20s
  2. 12m 1s
    1. Understanding Photoshop Elements
      2m 10s
    2. Using the Welcome screen
      2m 33s
    3. Importing photos from a digital camera
      7m 18s
  3. 1h 1m
    1. Viewing and selecting images
      2m 1s
    2. Creating and saving a custom workspace
      5m 29s
    3. Rotating images in Bridge
      3m 20s
    4. Renaming images in Bridge
      5m 34s
    5. Adding keywords to images
      7m 38s
    6. Applying ratings to images
      5m 17s
    7. Labeling images
      5m 17s
    8. Searching for images
      6m 38s
    9. Creating Collections
      2m 50s
    10. Sorting images with the Filter panel
      6m 36s
    11. Using image stacks
      7m 2s
    12. Hiding images
      4m 6s
  4. 31m 55s
    1. Opening images from Bridge
      2m 24s
    2. Working with palettes and the Palette Bin
      4m 53s
    3. Using the Project Bin
      6m 44s
    4. Zooming and scrolling
      8m 1s
    5. Fixing mistakes with Undo and Redo
      5m 3s
    6. Saving versions
      4m 50s
  5. 49m 38s
    1. Opening and viewing images in the Quick Fix mode
      6m 8s
    2. Understanding Auto Color and making tonal adjustments
      8m 50s
    3. Using the Lighting sliders
      5m 19s
    4. Using the Color sliders
      7m 1s
    5. Applying Auto Red Eye Fix
      3m 31s
    6. Applying Auto Sharpen
      4m 25s
    7. Using the Guided Edit mode
      6m 19s
    8. Processing multiple files
      8m 5s
  6. 10m 22s
    1. Understanding image resolution
      3m 23s
    2. Resizing images
      6m 59s
  7. 17m 8s
    1. Applying Auto Crop and Auto Straighten
      6m 22s
    2. Using the Straighten and Crop tools
      4m 10s
    3. Changing the canvas size
      6m 36s
  8. 30m 32s
    1. Why make selections?
      6m 3s
    2. Using the Quick Selection tool
      8m 37s
    3. Using Refine Edge
      7m 15s
    4. Saving and loading selections
      8m 37s
  9. 25m 58s
    1. Working with the Layers palette
      9m 45s
    2. Using adjustment layers and masks
      8m 37s
    3. Applying transparency and blend mode adjustments
      7m 36s
  10. 40m 56s
    1. Removing a color cast
      5m 53s
    2. Correcting skin tone
      3m 38s
    3. Enhancing color with Hue/Saturation adjustments
      6m 37s
    4. Balancing contrast and color with Levels adjustments
      7m 10s
    5. Correcting dark or light areas with Shadow/Highlight Adjustments
      5m 17s
    6. Improving images with Color Curves adjustments
      5m 55s
    7. Converting color images to black and white
      6m 26s
  11. 54m 14s
    1. Using the Red-Eye Removal tool
      8m 1s
    2. Using the healing tools
      7m 42s
    3. Whitening teeth and eyes
      6m 20s
    4. Cloning to remove contents
      8m 14s
    5. Adjusting perspective and correcting camera distortion
      6m 10s
    6. Using Photomerge Group Shot
      6m 17s
    7. Using Photomerge Faces
      6m 4s
    8. Using Photomerge Panorama
      5m 26s
  12. 16m 1s
    1. Creating a clipping mask
      7m 25s
    2. Creating collages with gradient blending
      8m 36s
  13. 22m 15s
    1. Reducing noise
      8m 7s
    2. Sharpening with Unsharp Mask
      7m 16s
    3. Sharpening with Adjust Sharpness
      6m 52s
  14. 17m 54s
    1. Understanding Camera Raw
      1m 46s
    2. Opening Camera Raw images from Bridge
      6m 37s
    3. Applying tonal and color adjustments in Camera Raw
      6m 23s
    4. Saving raw images
      3m 8s
  15. 40m 41s
    1. Painting with the Filter Gallery
      8m 7s
    2. Creating a pencil sketch
      7m 40s
    3. Customizing images
      7m 59s
    4. Adding artwork with the Content palette
      9m 39s
    5. Building and saving a multi-page photo creation
      7m 16s
  16. 37m 5s
    1. Creating a slideshow
      6m 58s
    2. Creating a photo book
      9m 1s
    3. Creating a photo collage
      6m 58s
    4. Creating a greeting card
      6m 31s
    5. Creating a web photo gallery
      7m 37s
  17. 31m 6s
    1. Choosing color settings
      7m 1s
    2. Printing to an inkjet printer
      8m 13s
    3. Using Picture Package
      4m 33s
    4. Saving for the web
      5m 55s
    5. Attaching images to emails
      3m 6s
    6. Burning to CDs and DVDs
      2m 18s
  18. 56s
    1. Goodbye
      56s

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Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training
8h 22m Beginner Sep 29, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training, Ted LoCascio teaches casual photographers how to organize, edit, and share their digital image libraries using this powerful software package from Adobe. He tours the included Adobe Bridge application, used for importing and organizing photographs, and explores every feature of Elements itself. He demonstrates how to navigate the Elements workspace, which is used to correct and improve images, combine them into projects, and produce slideshows, photo books, web galleries, and more. Ted also explains how to get the most out of each editing mode, and shares tips for correcting, retouching, and sharpening photographs. Example files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Identifying photos by name, keyword, rating, and label
  • Locating photos with searches, filters, collections, and stacks
  • Using automated red-eye correction and sharpening tools
  • Making detailed color and tone corrections
  • Using Photomerge on faces and groups
  • Working with filters, artwork, and other image customizations
  • Scrapbooking
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop Elements Elements
Author:
Ted LoCascio

Using adjustment layers and masks

The best nondestructive way to edit your images in Elements is to use adjustment layers. By doing so you can edit or delete your adjustments at any time. You can also control which areas of the image are affected by the adjustment by painting in its companion layer mask. I'm currently in the Bridge application and I'm viewing our exercise files folders. What I would like to do is actually access our Chapter 09, Working with Layers folder. Double-click on that to open it up. Then I'm going to double-click on this layered file, Enzo_ beach_layers.psd. Double-click that to open it up in the Elements' Editing workspace.

One thing I should mention is if you're going to work with layers, when you're ready to save the file, if you want to preserve your layers, you must save it in either the Photoshop PSD format or Photoshop PDF format. You can also save in a layered TIFF format. If you choose to include layers in the TIFF. So those are the three formats that you can use if you want to preserve layers into your file. This one is a traditional Photoshop PSD, which is generally what you'll usually use if you're going to preserve layers in a saved file.

So what do we have inside of this file, we have a blue border, we have a white border, and we have the background image. Let's go ahead and take a look at the visibility here. I can turn off the blue border that reveals the white border and if I turn off the white border, now I can see I have the background image of my son Enzo playing with the sand on the beach. The next thing I want to focus on here is working with a different type of layer. That is called an adjustment layer. I'm going to go ahead and turn on the blue border. So we can see the blue border above our background. Now I would like to actually change the color of the blue border, but I don't actually want to do so inside of this layer. I would like to do so nondestructively using what's called an adjustment layer. So to do this, what I'm going to do first is hold down the Command key and then click inside of the icon here in the Layers palette for the blue border layer.

If I click on that icon, it makes a selection of the pixels that live in this layer. So now I have the selection of the border. What I want to do is select from the Adjustment Layer menu up here, click on that and we're going to choose Hue/Saturation. That's going to bring up the Hue/Saturation dialog box that's associated with this adjustment layer. Now notice that there is this big black thing next to the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer icon in the Layers palette. What this is called is a mask.

When I made that selection, it inverted it and it placed black in areas that weren't selected and left the areas that were selected white. So when you're dealing with a mask, black conceals and white reveals. So anything that's white inside of this mask is going to be affected by the adjustments that I make in this dialog box. Now keep in mind, if I hadn't made that selection and created this mask, all of the adjustments that I would make in this dialog box would not only affect the blue border, but the background too. Because if the adjustment layer doesn't have the anything in the mask, it's going to affect all of the layers underneath it.

So, that's why I created that selection in order to have this mask. That's the beauty of working with adjustment layers. You control what's being adjusted using the mask. So now what I want to do is change the color of the border from blue to something else. I'm going to do that by moving the Hue slider. I can maybe make it purple or I can drag it further out here. It's sort of a pink color. I can go the other direction along the color wheel. We can go with green, maybe a brighter green. That's actually kind of neat. Or we can go into a yellow. That works well too.

I think something in there is cool because I think it matches the green here in this beach blanket. I have changed the color here. I'm going to click OK. Now keep in mind, this is an adjustment layer. It only contains an adjustment. Because it has the mask it's only affecting the border color. I can turn this off just like any other layer. That's the beauty of that. I can turn it on and off. Something else I can do is double-click on this icon, go back into the settings, and make a change. I'm not stuck with what I originally chose. I can maybe make it a darker green. Click OK and then there we have it. We have made an adjustment.

So lots of flexibility here, lots of control and it's all done nondestructively. I can turn that off, I can turn that off and we still have our original image. No pixels have ever been harmed on this original image. It's still there in the background layer. That's the beauty of it. Something else you can do, you can reposition adjustment layers. If I wanted to, I can move this guy down here. That makes the border blue again. Why, because the adjustment is not above it. If I turn off the blue border, now we're seeing it's applying that adjustment to the image underneath.

Now that's not a very cool effect, but I just wanted you to understand that these are not locked in place. You can move these around just like any other layer. At the moment it's not locked, by clicking that icon there -- if I click it again, it unlocks it. You can move it. Let's go ahead and move it back. Put it up above the blue border, turn the blue border back on and that, of course, makes it a green border. So lots of control in here. I love that you can do that. What else can we do? Not only can you apply adjustments to things like borders and solid colors, but also to your imageries. So I just want show you that really quickly. Clicking on the background layer now I'm going to go up in here in the Adjustment Layer menu. I'm going to choose Levels. When we do that, that's going to bring up the Levels dialog box. This dialog box is associated with our new adjustment layer, which is above the background layer.

So that means, because it's only above the background layer, it's only going to affect the background layer, not the layers above it. If I wanted to I could like in the midtones, I can drag this to the left or I could bring it to the right to darken things up in the midtone areas. I could increase contrast by moving these in closer in the histogram. Doing any of the kind of adjustments I would normally do with levels. If you're not following me with levels here, that's okay. I'm going discuss levels in greater detail in another movie. For now just understand that we can make this adjustment nondestructively using an adjustment layer. It's affecting the image.

I'm going to reset the dialog box. I think what I actually want to do is click this Auto button. That's going to go into the individual channels red, green and blue, as you can see in here, and make an adjustment in each of those channels in order to better the tonality and the color in the image. Click Auto. That's the same as if I were to apply the Auto Levels feature in the Quick Fix mode. But only here we're doing it using layers, adjustment layers. Click OK. Now that we have applied that, we can see it also has a mask.

That's the beauty of these adjustment layers. If I wanted to control which areas of the background that are being affected by this levels adjustment I can do so by painting in this mask. Notice that my foreground color is black. I can paint with black in here. We know that black conceals, white reveals. If I choose the brush tool by clicking out it over here, I can go ahead, click on the mask to make sure that I'm painting on the mask in that adjustment layer. Just go ahead and paint right in here and hide that effect in the sky.

Maybe I like it in the sand. I like what it's doing to my son Enzo here, but I don't like the way it was affecting the sky. I can hide that adjustment. You can see it has that black streak now in our mask. So that's again the power of adjustment layers. We can control how this levels adjustment is affecting the image underneath. This is great that we can do that. You can also lower its opacity. We can control how much of this adjustment is being used. We can bring it down to say 50%. So now we're getting half of an adjustment. It's great that we can do this kind of stuff.

So what we learned here is that adjustment layers offer you lots of flexibility. You can always change your settings on the fly as long as you save them with the file. You can change their layer order. You can change their opacity. You can change their blending mode. You can turn their visibility on and off. All of this can be done without harming any of the pixels in your image. So that's the benefit of working with adjustment layers and their companion masks.

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