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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Now as I was mentioning at the outset of the previous exercise, I want to share with you a technical detail associated with transformations inside of Photoshop. But before I do, we are going to have to align a couple of layers together so that we can see the difference between those two layers and this layer alignment trick is worthy of an exercise all by itself. In fact, it's worth its weight in gold. This is one of the true weird secret handshakes inside of Photoshop, because normally if you just align two layers to each other, and I'll show you in a second, they both move. What if you want one to stay still, because it's in the right location and you want the other to move into alignment with it, what do you do? Well, you would never discover this on your own. I swear to you it is so strange.
All right, so I've saved my progress so far as Clock face in place.psd found inside the 20_warp_liquify folder and I have gone ahead and renamed the clock face, face right there. Let's say the Clock face is not in the proper location at all, it's like way up here. So I just Ctrl+Drag it to a wrong location, Command+Drag it on the Mac and I want to center it directly inside the frame. How do I do that? Well, as I was saying, if I go ahead and Click on face and then Shift+Click on frame and I want to align those two guys together and I think there would be a way to Right-Click at this point some place and bring up the alignment commands.
But instead, you got to go up here to the -- this is a pain in the neck I tell you. You have to go up to the Layer menu, choose Align and you can't even get it done all at once. You have to choose Vertical Centers first and then Horizontal Centers second. I wish there was one command that did both. But anyway, let's go with what, let's go with Horizontal Centers, because that's going to really mess things up. Both layers moved. Did you see that? This was before. So the picture frame was here and this is after, now the picture frame scooted over a little bit. Now that means that the picture frame, if I turn off the clock face is no longer aligned properly to the cardinal. In fact, there is a little sliver that showing up back there. Boo to that. And then I would have to take both and move them back. That's insane.
All right, so you can fool around with different things like walking down one layer you would think would work, because you can't lock a layer. I can Click on face for example. Let's go ahead and undo actually that alignment. I can Click on a frame layer, because that's the one that I would want to lock and I would lock it down. But if you do that, now I have locked it in place and Shift+Click on face and then go up to the layer and then to -- align is not even there. So you can't do that. So that's ruled out, that's nice. All right, so let's go to frame and unlock it. By the way don't select the two layers go up to the Edit menu, here is another thing not to do and choose Auto Align Layers, because that's going mess up everything. So that's good for certain kinds of operations. We'll see that command actually played out in a future chapter, because it really is a wonderful command, but it's no good for what we are trying to accomplish.
Here is what you do. You select both of the layers as we have both frame and face and then go down here to this little Link icon. Now back in the old days, the only way to move two layers together and do anything with multiple layers was to first link them and then you would just scrub one of them and move them and the other ones would follow. Then they almost totally got rid of linking when they allowed us to select multiple layers at a time, and few people complained, I was not one of them, some other forward thinking people complained about that one and so they put it back in and thank godly they did, because otherwise this alignment thing I'm about to show you would not be possible.
So you link two layers together, and this is pretty much all linking is good for in my opinion, is this trick right here. Now Click on frame, just frame, just the one you don't want to see move. So after you link them both together, you Click on the one layer that should not be moving and so you could use this with three or four layers as well. All linked together, then Click on the one that should not move, then you know the rest. Go to Layer menu, choose Align, choose Horizontal Centers, just then to move the clock face. Then go up to the Layer menu, choose Align and choose Vertical Centers, just going to move the clock face, nice.
In the next exercise I'm going to show you even a deeper darker secret associated with transformations. Stay tuned.
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