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Adding, scaling, and aligning layers

From: Photoshop CC One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Adding, scaling, and aligning layers

Now there is a fair amount going on inside this composition. We have a total of eight layers. We'll be applying some blend modes as well as some layer effects, we will even employ a couple of clipping masks, which is my way of saying, I don't expect you to understand every single little bit of minutia, nor is it important that you do understand it at this point in the game. I just want you to have a feel for how layered compositions work inside Photoshop and I want you to leave this chapter with a sense of accomplishment. We're going to start things off by combining this image, which is called Big swirls.tif and combining it with this red and yellow artwork, which I am calling Paper art.tif.

Adding, scaling, and aligning layers

Now there is a fair amount going on inside this composition. We have a total of eight layers. We'll be applying some blend modes as well as some layer effects, we will even employ a couple of clipping masks, which is my way of saying, I don't expect you to understand every single little bit of minutia, nor is it important that you do understand it at this point in the game. I just want you to have a feel for how layered compositions work inside Photoshop and I want you to leave this chapter with a sense of accomplishment. We're going to start things off by combining this image, which is called Big swirls.tif and combining it with this red and yellow artwork, which I am calling Paper art.tif.

They're both found inside the 04-layers folder. Now one way to combine two images together is to just copy and paste. And let me show you what that looks like. We'll start inside the Big swirls image. Go up to the Select menu and choose the All command, which you can also access by pressing Ctrl+A or Command+A on the Mac, which is a fairly common keyboard shortcut. Then I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose the Copy command, which has the familiar shortcut of Ctrl+C on the PC or Command+C on the Mac. Now that we have the image in the pasteboard, I'll switch over to the Paper art image and then I'll go up to the Edit menu, and I'll choose the Paste command, which you can get by pressing Ctrl+V or Command+V on the Mac.

And the image comes in on an independent layer as you can see over here inside the Layers panel. So Photoshop always creates a new layer when you combine two or more images together. Now obviously the layer is too big to suit its new home, so we need to reduce its size and we can do that by scaling it. I'm going to back out a little here by pressing Ctrl+- or Command+- on the Mac, and then I'll go up to the Edit menu, which is where you will find your Scaling Options. You can choose Transform to bring up a list of the various transformations available inside Photoshop and then choose the Scale command.

But I'd like you get in the habit of choosing this next command up, which is Free Transform. It allows you to apply any of Photoshop's transformation functions, including Scaling, and it has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac, the T being for Transform. So now, I'll go ahead and choose the command and I end up with this bounding box surrounded by these corners and side handles. I can drag any of these handles in order to scale the layer like so. And you have one Undo by the way.

You can press Ctrl+T or Command+T one time while you're working inside the Free Transform mode. If things go too haywire for you, then just go ahead and press the Escape key in order to escape out. Anyway, things are fine for me. I'm going to go ahead and drag this corner handle here. Notice that you can scale the layer non- proportionally as you see me doing now. If you want to scale it proportionally, you press and hold the Shift key as you drag a corner handle. Now if you take a look up here in the Options Bar, you'll see that I so far have scaled my layer by 67%.

Your results will vary of course. And notice that both the Width and Height values read 67%, because after all I have the Shift key down and I applied a Proportional scale. However, I want to scale this artwork non-proportionally and I just happened to know the values I want to enter. If you click on a letter such as the W there for width, then you'll select the entire value, and I'm going to dial in a value of 70%. Then I'll press the Tab key to advance to the H value for Height and I'll change it to 59% and then I will press the Enter key in order to accept that value.

Then to accept your transformation, you press the Enter key again, that would be the Return key on the Mac, and you have now scaled your artwork. All right, I'm going to zoom back in. Now the problem at this point is that my new layer is off center. You can move a layer by switching over to the Move tool, which you can get by pressing the V key, and that's a useful keyboard shortcut to bear in mind. Notice that the cursor looks like a little arrow. Well, just some back story here. If you wanted to switch to the Arrow tool, which serves a totally different purpose, it allows you to select the path outlines, you press the A key for Arrow, which makes sense, or you can think of the V key as an upside down arrow, which is why it's a keyboard shortcut for the Move tool.

And then I could drag this layer wherever I like and I see this little Heads Up Display also known as a HUD, which is telling me the coordinate position of my artwork measured from the upper left-hand corner of the image. You might find that helpful or perhaps not. What I really want to do is absolutely align this artwork. Notice that we have these Alignment options that are available to me now up in the Options Bar. And the options in the Options Bar change according to the selected tool. But I can't get to them currently because they're dimmed. Well, here's what you do.

You go up to the Select menu and once again, choose the All command to select the entire image. And now, you have access to the Alignment options. I'll click on the Align Vertical Centers icon, the second one in, to align the layer vertically inside of the artwork, and then I'll go to that fifth icon, Align Horizontal Centers to align the layer horizontally. Now I can deselect the image by going up to the Select menu and choosing the Deselect command, which also has a handy keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac.

And that's how you add, scale and align a new layer here inside Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CC One-on-One: Fundamentals

102 video lessons · 21351 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 35m 44s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 51s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop on Windows 8 NEW
      6m 16s
    3. Opening from the Windows desktop on Windows 7 or earlier UPDATED
      5m 48s
    4. Opening from the Macintosh Finder UPDATED
      7m 10s
    5. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      3m 52s
    6. Opening through Camera Raw
      5m 11s
    7. Closing one image and closing all UPDATED
      5m 36s
  2. 52m 47s
    1. Navigating your image
      40s
    2. The dark vs. the light interface UPDATED
      6m 2s
    3. Navigating tabs and windows
      4m 32s
    4. Panels and workspaces
      6m 20s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      6m 22s
    6. Zooming continuously
      2m 43s
    7. Entering a custom zoom value
      2m 25s
    8. Scrolling and panning images
      2m 31s
    9. Rotating and resetting the view
      2m 11s
    10. Cycling between screen modes
      3m 10s
    11. Using the Navigator panel
      3m 38s
    12. Using Retina and HiDPI displays
      4m 3s
    13. Adjusting a few screen preferences UPDATED
      8m 10s
  3. 1h 2m
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      6m 34s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 9s
    4. Common resolution standards
      4m 7s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      7m 59s
    6. Changing the print size
      8m 15s
    7. Downsampling for print
      5m 14s
    8. Downsampling for email
      6m 22s
    9. The interpolation settings
      6m 40s
    10. Downsampling advice
      5m 5s
    11. Upsampling advice
      4m 15s
  4. 53m 20s
    1. The layered composition
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing the Layers panel
      4m 12s
    3. Adding, scaling, and aligning layers
      5m 27s
    4. Dragging and dropping layers
      4m 36s
    5. Stack, reveal, and rename
      3m 1s
    6. Opacity, history, and blend mode
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating a selected portion of a layer
      5m 32s
    8. Applying a clipping mask
      3m 58s
    9. Blending inside a clipping mask
      4m 10s
    10. Finishing off your artwork
      3m 13s
    11. Creating a new layer and background
      4m 24s
    12. Layering tips and tricks
      7m 2s
  5. 26m 13s
    1. The art of the save
      54s
    2. Four things to know about saving UPDATED
      5m 59s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 34s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 40s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 32m 16s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      4m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      6m 29s
    4. Cropping to a specific ratio or size
      5m 57s
    5. Straightening a crooked image
      4m 44s
    6. Filling in missing details UPDATED
      6m 44s
    7. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 44m 51s
    1. First, there is brightness
      2m 12s
    2. How luminance works
      4m 18s
    3. The three Auto commands
      3m 27s
    4. Automatic brightness and contrast
      6m 5s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 4s
    7. Editing adjustment layers
      3m 52s
    8. Isolating an adjustment with a layer mask
      3m 31s
    9. Introducing the histogram
      4m 58s
    10. Measuring an adjustment
      3m 34s
    11. Using the Shadows/Highlights command
      6m 3s
  8. 44m 33s
    1. And second, there is color
      1m 31s
    2. Identifying a color cast UPDATED
      3m 34s
    3. Correcting a color cast automatically
      3m 57s
    4. Changing the color balance
      6m 10s
    5. Compensating with Photo Filter
      3m 11s
    6. Adjusting color intensity with Vibrance
      3m 29s
    7. Correcting color casts in Camera Raw
      5m 46s
    8. The Hue/Saturation command
      5m 26s
    9. Summoning colors where none exist
      4m 8s
    10. Making more color with Vibrance
      4m 27s
    11. Making a quick-and-dirty sepia tone
      2m 54s
  9. 55m 46s
    1. Making selective modifications
      1m 10s
    2. The geometric Marquee tools
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning one image element to another
      4m 59s
    4. The freeform Lasso tools
      3m 59s
    5. The Polygonal Lasso tool and Quick Mask
      5m 19s
    6. Cropping one selection inside another UPDATED
      6m 15s
    7. Creating rays of light
      4m 44s
    8. Quick Selection and Similar
      4m 11s
    9. Making it better with Refine Edge
      4m 56s
    10. Integrating image elements
      2m 39s
    11. Magic Wand and Grow
      5m 17s
    12. Refine, integrate, and complete
      6m 16s
  10. 53m 48s
    1. Your best face forward
      1m 0s
    2. Content-Aware Fill UPDATED
      6m 11s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    4. The more capable "standard" Healing Brush UPDATED
      5m 55s
    5. Meet the Clone Source panel
      3m 53s
    6. Caps Lock and Fade
      4m 57s
    7. The Dodge and Burn tools UPDATED
      5m 1s
    8. Adjusting color with the Brush tool UPDATED
      6m 35s
    9. Smoothing skin textures UPDATED
      5m 57s
    10. Brightening teeth
      4m 0s
    11. Intensifying eyes UPDATED
      4m 43s
  11. 49s
    1. Until next time UPDATED
      49s

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