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Aligning one image element to another

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Aligning one image element to another

In this movie, we're going to blend and adjust and scale the moon. I'll also show you how to align a couple of image elements in Photoshop. Specifically, we're going to align the moon to the tree. Now if you've ever taken a look at the moon during the daytime, you know that it's brighter than the sky around it. You don't see any of the brownish coloring and the shadows of the moon don't actually darken the sky. So we need to apply a blend mode that's going to make the moon brighter than everything around it. By clicking on the word Normal in the upper left-hand corner of the Layers panel and choosing the most useful of the brightening modes, Screen and we end up achieving this effect. We don't have near enough contrast, so what I want to do is maximize contrast using a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. So I'll press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and then drop down to the Black/White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose the Brightness/Contrast command. Now because I had the Alt or Option key down, that forces the display of the New Layer dialog box. I'll call this new layer Contrast, and I'll turn on the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask check box, so that I'm affecting the moon and not the background. Then I'll click OK. You can see that the Adjustment layer is clipped inside the moon, because it's indented, and it has that little arrow. Now I'll increase the Contrast value all the way to 100, and then hide the Properties panel. So it's making a pretty subtle difference so far. If I turn the Contrast layer off, this is how the moon looked before. If I turn it back on, this is what it looks like now. Now I'm going to select the moon layer to make it active again. Let's say I want to move it to a different location. I could manually select the Move tool which you can also get by pressing the V key, but you can get the Move tool on the fly when another tool is selected by pressing and holding the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac. So if I have the Ctrl key down and I drag the moon, then I can move it to a different location, such as for example this upper-left region of the sky. We have a few remaining problems with the moon. It's too big, it's covering up some clouds, and it's bizarrely colorful. So we have some remnants of that brown mixing in with the blue sky. If you want to neutralize the colors of a layer, then go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments, and then choose the Desaturate command, and that will go ahead and leach all those colors away, so we're seeing the luminance of the moon mixed in with the blues of the sky. All right, now let's scale the moon by going up to the Edit menu and choosing the Free Transform command or you can press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac. If you want to scale the moon proportionally with respect to its center, you press both the Shift+Alt keys or the Shift+ Option keys on the Mac, and drag a corner handle. So it's the same keys that we used to draw an ellipse outward from the center in the previous movie. I want to go ahead and take the size of the moon down to 25% of its former size. So I'm going to click on this Chain icon between the W and H values to lock down the proportions. Then I'll click on the W to select its numerical value, and I'll change it to 25% and then I'll press the Enter key a couple of times in order to invoke that change. Now you can move this moon pretty much anywhere in the sky and it looks pretty darn natural as long as you don't put it in front of a cloud or the tree or on the ground or something like that. I want it to be somewhere over in this region. And just to ensure that you and I are getting the same results, let's go ahead and align the moon to the tree like so. Make sure your Rectangular Marquee tool is selected, then go up to the Options Bar and switch Style from Normal to Fixed Size and that allows you to dial in a size for your rectangle and pixels. I'm going to click on the Width value to select it, and then enter 420, then tab over to the Height value, and enter 580. You may wonder why these values? Well just because they end up working for this example. Now press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, and I'll click inside the image window. I'm actually dragging to move the marquee around, and notice that I can't change its size because it has a fixed size now of 420 pixels wide by 580 pixels tall. I'm going to move that marquee over until it surrounds the tree, and it aligns to the base of the trunk. And now with the moon layer selected inside the Layers panel, I'll click on the Move tool at the top of the toolbox to select it. Then I'll click on the first align icon, Align top edges to move the moon down, and I'll click on the last align icon, Align right edges to move the moon over. Now press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. With the Move tool selected, I want you to press Shift+Right arrow to nudge the moon to the right 10 pixels. And as you can see, if you look at the final composition, that is the exact final placement of the moon. That's how you go about blending a layer with its new environment, and aligning one image element to another here inside Photoshop.

Aligning one image element to another

In this movie, we're going to blend and adjust and scale the moon. I'll also show you how to align a couple of image elements in Photoshop. Specifically, we're going to align the moon to the tree. Now if you've ever taken a look at the moon during the daytime, you know that it's brighter than the sky around it. You don't see any of the brownish coloring and the shadows of the moon don't actually darken the sky. So we need to apply a blend mode that's going to make the moon brighter than everything around it. By clicking on the word Normal in the upper left-hand corner of the Layers panel and choosing the most useful of the brightening modes, Screen and we end up achieving this effect. We don't have near enough contrast, so what I want to do is maximize contrast using a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer. So I'll press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and then drop down to the Black/White icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose the Brightness/Contrast command. Now because I had the Alt or Option key down, that forces the display of the New Layer dialog box. I'll call this new layer Contrast, and I'll turn on the Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask check box, so that I'm affecting the moon and not the background. Then I'll click OK. You can see that the Adjustment layer is clipped inside the moon, because it's indented, and it has that little arrow. Now I'll increase the Contrast value all the way to 100, and then hide the Properties panel. So it's making a pretty subtle difference so far. If I turn the Contrast layer off, this is how the moon looked before. If I turn it back on, this is what it looks like now. Now I'm going to select the moon layer to make it active again. Let's say I want to move it to a different location. I could manually select the Move tool which you can also get by pressing the V key, but you can get the Move tool on the fly when another tool is selected by pressing and holding the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac. So if I have the Ctrl key down and I drag the moon, then I can move it to a different location, such as for example this upper-left region of the sky. We have a few remaining problems with the moon. It's too big, it's covering up some clouds, and it's bizarrely colorful. So we have some remnants of that brown mixing in with the blue sky. If you want to neutralize the colors of a layer, then go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments, and then choose the Desaturate command, and that will go ahead and leach all those colors away, so we're seeing the luminance of the moon mixed in with the blues of the sky. All right, now let's scale the moon by going up to the Edit menu and choosing the Free Transform command or you can press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac. If you want to scale the moon proportionally with respect to its center, you press both the Shift+Alt keys or the Shift+ Option keys on the Mac, and drag a corner handle. So it's the same keys that we used to draw an ellipse outward from the center in the previous movie. I want to go ahead and take the size of the moon down to 25% of its former size. So I'm going to click on this Chain icon between the W and H values to lock down the proportions. Then I'll click on the W to select its numerical value, and I'll change it to 25% and then I'll press the Enter key a couple of times in order to invoke that change. Now you can move this moon pretty much anywhere in the sky and it looks pretty darn natural as long as you don't put it in front of a cloud or the tree or on the ground or something like that. I want it to be somewhere over in this region. And just to ensure that you and I are getting the same results, let's go ahead and align the moon to the tree like so. Make sure your Rectangular Marquee tool is selected, then go up to the Options Bar and switch Style from Normal to Fixed Size and that allows you to dial in a size for your rectangle and pixels. I'm going to click on the Width value to select it, and then enter 420, then tab over to the Height value, and enter 580. You may wonder why these values? Well just because they end up working for this example. Now press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, and I'll click inside the image window. I'm actually dragging to move the marquee around, and notice that I can't change its size because it has a fixed size now of 420 pixels wide by 580 pixels tall. I'm going to move that marquee over until it surrounds the tree, and it aligns to the base of the trunk. And now with the moon layer selected inside the Layers panel, I'll click on the Move tool at the top of the toolbox to select it. Then I'll click on the first align icon, Align top edges to move the moon down, and I'll click on the last align icon, Align right edges to move the moon over. Now press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. With the Move tool selected, I want you to press Shift+Right arrow to nudge the moon to the right 10 pixels. And as you can see, if you look at the final composition, that is the exact final placement of the moon. That's how you go about blending a layer with its new environment, and aligning one image element to another here inside Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

100 video lessons · 56541 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 19m 15s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 27s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop
      4m 7s
    3. Opening from the Macintosh Finder
      4m 9s
    4. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      2m 45s
    5. Opening an image from Mini Bridge
      1m 16s
    6. Opening through Camera Raw
      2m 32s
    7. Closing one image and Closing All
      1m 59s
  2. 38m 14s
    1. Navigating your image
      40s
    2. The dark vs. the light interface
      3m 12s
    3. Navigating tabs and windows
      4m 32s
    4. Panels and workspaces
      4m 27s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      4m 29s
    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. Adjusting a few screen prefs
      4m 16s
  3. 45m 58s
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      3m 3s
    3. The Image Size command
      3m 27s
    4. Common resolution standards
      3m 20s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      4m 36s
    6. Changing the print size
      6m 16s
    7. Downsampling for print
      4m 12s
    8. Downsampling for email
      3m 11s
    9. The interpolation settings
      5m 22s
    10. Downsampling advice
      4m 36s
    11. Upsampling advice
      6m 10s
  4. 53m 17s
    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
      2m 58s
    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 19s
    1. The art of saving
      54s
    2. Four things to know about saving
      6m 0s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 38s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 41s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 19m 36s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      3m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      3m 1s
    4. Straightening a crooked image
      2m 29s
    5. Filling in missing details
      6m 44s
    6. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 42m 6s
    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
      3m 19s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 5s
    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
      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 cast 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. Polygonal Lasso tool and Quick Mask
      5m 19s
    6. Cropping one selection inside another
      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 49s
    1. Your best face forward
      1m 0s
    2. Content-Aware Fill
      6m 11s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    4. The more capable "standard" Healing Brush
      5m 55s
    5. Meet the Clone Source panel
      3m 53s
    6. Caps Lock and Fade
      4m 57s
    7. The Dodge and Burn tools
      5m 1s
    8. Adjusting color with the Brush tool
      6m 35s
    9. Smoothing skin textures
      5m 58s
    10. Brightening teeth
      4m 0s
    11. Intensifying eyes
      4m 43s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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