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Join Photoshop master Deke McClelland in the fourth and final installment of his popular Photoshop CC One-on-One series. In this course, Deke shares step-by-step tutorials and expert-level insights on the most powerful features, helping you make your own way to true Photoshop mastery.
In this movie, I'll show you how to apply a blend mode, as well as a layer effect to an entire group of layers. And in doing so, we'll create this effect here. So, I'm looking at the contents of the 7stages.psd document. And I've switched over to the base shapes comp here inside the layer comps panel. And you can see that we're seeing through the shapes to the template layer below. And I've also assigned a stroke around the contents of all of the shapes, as a whole, as opposed to each shape independently.
We're going to start off inside of this document. In which I've switched to the additional shading comp that we created in the previous movie. And I want you to notice over here on the layers panel. In order to make some of the other comps work that I created for you in advance. I've created this larger group called Arms, Body, Legs, Ears that contains the arms, body, legs and ears groups. So, I just want you to note that that's there. Alright, so starting from this vantage point I'm going to turn off the Highlights layer all the way down to the Clothing group.
So, I'm just clicking and dragging down the eyeball column. And I'll do the same for the Hair and Shadow groups as well. Then I'm going to turn on this Fade Adjustment layer located down here near the bottom of the stack. The next step is to go up to the Select menu and choose Find Layers, or you can press that keyboard shortcut, in order to activate the name option. And I'm going to enter the word fake, which brings up the two fake ear layers. And I'm going to turn both of those guys off. Then, I'm going to switch from name to effect.
And I'm going to change the effect to inner shadow, which is going to bring up a whole slew of layers here. Now I want to be able to see the layer effects. So I'll press the Alt key, or the Option key in the Mac, and click any of the down-pointing arrow heads on the right side of the panel in order to expand all the layers. And, then I'll scroll down to the bottom of the list. At which point, I'll see the outer ear R layer. I want to turn the Stroke on, so go ahead and do so before we turn the inner shadow effect off. And then turn off inner shadow. At which point that layer will go away.
Go ahead and turn off the inner ear R layer entirely, that is, turn off its visibility. Then go up here to outer ear L, turn on its stroke and turn off its inner shadow and it will disappear. Then turn off inner ear L entirely as well. And, again, there's a lot of busy work associated with generating these layer variations. But, in the long run, it's worth it. I'll go ahead and scroll up the list so I can see the leg layers and I'll turn off the inner shadow for leg R as well as for leg L.
And then I'll turn off the inner shadow for the body layer as well. Now, scroll up the list and turn off the Button layer as well as the two layers below it, which represent the belly and the sort of rippling abs. Alright. Now, we need to get rid of these shadow layers here. And the easiest way to do that is to change the search criteria in the upper left corner of the Layers panel, from effect to Color. And then, change the Color from none to Violet. Now, press Ctrl+ Alt+A, or Cmd+Option+A on a Mac, in order to select all of those violet layers.
Then right click in the eyeball icon, and choose hide this layer, in order to make all that shading go away. Now you'll want to clear your search criteria by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac, and clicking on the Switch icon. Alright, now that you can see all the layers and groups inside your document, click on that arms, body, legs, ears super group in order to make it active. And then change the Blend Mode in the upper left corner of the layers panel, to multiply in order to produce this effect here. So you're multiplying the contents of the entire layer group at one time.
Then you want to drop down to this template group and turn it on, so you can see the pencil drawing in the background. Then click on the template group to make it active. And assuming that your rectangular Marquee tool is selected, just tap the 3 key in order to reduce the Opacity of that entire group to 30%. Then go ahead and return to the arms, body, legs, ears super group and drop down to the FX icon and choose Stroke in order to apply a stroke to the contents of all of these layers at once.
Make sure Position is set to outside, here inside the layer style dialog box. The Blend mode should be normal, the Opacity should be a 100%. The color should be black. And now, just go in and dial-in a really big size value like 12 pixels. And you can see that you're stroking not each independent layer but rather the group as a whole, which is an extremely powerful option here inside Photoshop. Now, I don't want it to be that thick. So I'm going to drop the value down to six pixels. And then click OK to create the effect you see on screen.
Now let's go ahead and save off our work as a Layer Comp by clicking on the little Page icon at the bottom of the Layer Comps panel. Make sure that Visibility and Appearance are turned on and that Position is turned off. And go ahead and call this new comp, base shapes and click OK. We want the base shapes to appear right between template and facial features. So just go ahead and drag it up the list and drop it into place. And now, if you click forward here to Facial features, for example, you'll see that stroke disappear and you'll see that everything is working exactly the way it's supposed to.
Problem is depending on what version of Photoshop you're using you may experience a bug. Let me show you what that bug looks like. I'm going to switch back to my Bay Shapes layer. And I'll go up to the File menu and choose the Save As command. And then, I'm going to replace this file that I've created for you in advance called Baseshapesbug.psd. I'll go ahead and click the Save button and save over that file just so that I have that file saved to disk. And the reason this is so important, is that the way the file is created right now doesn't save properly.
And to see what that looks like, click in front of the Template layer in order to make it active. That will invoke the asterisk up here in the title tab, which is telling us that we have unsaved changes. In order to restore the saved version of the file and thereby demonstrate that what we've done so far didn't get saved properly. Go up to the file menu and choose the Revert command. And then, a moment later, you should see the stroked version of those shapes. Now, if you arrow your way through here by clicking on the Forward Arrow button at the bottom of the layer comps panel, you can see that that stroke is remaining in place.
For the facial features comp, for the white monster comp, for the additional shading comp and for the final artwork which obviously is no good. So what we've gotta do to solve the problem is click in front of Facial features in order to make it active. Then, go over to the layers panel, make sure that you can see the effects that are assigned to the group, and go ahead and turn off effects. Now, Photoshop shows you that you're no longer matching any of the comps because the little page icon doesn't appear inside facial features. To update that comp, drop down to the update icon and click on it.
Then advance to white monster by clicking the right pointing arrow down here at the bottom of the panel. Turn off effects again and go ahead and update that comp. Then advance to the next one, additional shading, turn off effects over here in the layers panel, update the comp and finally, go ahead and advance to final art work. Turn off the effect and update the comp. Alright, now just to make sure that those changes will get saved I'm going to go over to the 7stages.psd document and I'm going to close it.
And I don't want to save my changes, so I'll click no here in the PC. That would be the don't save button on the Mac. And then, with my file in progress up on screen, I'll go up to the File menu and choose the, Save As, command. And then I'll just go ahead and recklessly save over that 7stages.psd document. If you prefer not to damage that document, then you can give your file a different name. And I'll click the save button and click OK, in order to replace the previous version of that file. And after a few moments, when I see that the file is saved, I'll just go ahead and switch to any old comp, such as base shapes here.
That will invoke the asterisk up here in the title tab, which tells me that I have unsaved changes. So let's go ahead and load the saved version of the document by going to the File menu and choosing the Revert command. And a second or two later I'll see the final version of the artwork. I'll switch back to base shapes with it's thick stroke. And then I'll advance to the other groups, then sure enough those thick strokes are going away because I turned off the effect assigned to that arms, body, legs and ears group. So it's a little bit arduous where the layer comps are concerned.
But that's how you go about assigning a blend mode, as well as a layer effect, to an entire group of layers as well as save out a layer comp and trouble shoot your other comps. Here inside Photoshop.
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