Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics
Illustration by John Hersey

Blending groups


Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Blending groups

In this exercise we're going to finish off our composition by adding the text elements and in doing so we'll learn how you blend the groups inside of Photoshop. Assuming that you've been working along with me inside of this skyandstatue.PSD image that's found inside the 15 blend modes folder, then your composition should look something like this one. I'd like you to go ahead and turn on the text elements group that's at the top of the layer stack right there. And by clicking in front of the folder, you should make visible both the editable text, the line of editable text, that says Michelangelo.
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  1. 1h 15m
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics
      2m 5s
    2. Selecting glass and water
      5m 23s
    3. Establishing a base layer
      3m 59s
    4. The Color Range command
      6m 45s
    5. Selecting sparkles
      3m 18s
    6. Setting sparkles to Screen
      4m 19s
    7. Selecting and compositing hair
      2m 59s
    8. When Color Range falls short
      7m 24s
    9. Selecting a base channel
      4m 25s
    10. Enhancing the channel's contrast
      4m 3s
    11. Dodging the highlights
      5m 54s
    12. Putting the mask in play
      3m 20s
    13. Reducing the edge fringes
      4m 20s
    14. Adding a layer mask
      4m 53s
    15. Creating a gradient quick mask
      5m 25s
    16. Blurring the layer mask
      5m 51s
    17. And that's just the beginning...
      1m 15s
  2. 1h 13m
    1. Edge-enhancement parlor tricks
      1m 29s
    2. The subterfuge of sharpness
      3m 14s
    3. The single-shot sharpness
      3m 46s
    4. Unsharp Mask
      5m 16s
    5. Understanding the Radius value
      4m 31s
    6. Gauging the best settings
      7m 13s
    7. Sharpening the luminance data
      8m 24s
    8. USM vs. Smart Sharpen
      6m 0s
    9. Smart Sharpen's Remove settings
      6m 23s
    10. High-resolution sharpening
      6m 4s
    11. Leave More Accurate off!
      2m 29s
    12. Turn More Accurate on
      2m 58s
    13. The Advanced options
      5m 17s
    14. Saving Smart Sharpen settings
      4m 18s
    15. Accounting for camera shake
      5m 59s
  3. 1h 24m
    1. Why the heck would you blur?
      1m 20s
    2. The "bell-shaped" Gaussian Blur
      7m 16s
    3. The Linear Box Blur
      2m 58s
    4. Median and its badly named progeny
      6m 3s
    5. Surface Blur and the rest
      5m 36s
    6. The Motion Blur filter
      3m 2s
    7. The Radial Blur variations: Spin and Zoom
      5m 55s
    8. The Captain Kirk-in-love effect
      6m 49s
    9. Averaging skin tones
      6m 2s
    10. Addressing the stubborn patches
      6m 0s
    11. Combining Gaussian Blur and Average
      4m 8s
    12. Blurring surface details
      7m 2s
    13. Smoothing blemishes while matching noise
      7m 52s
    14. Reducing digital noise
      8m 22s
    15. Smoothing out JPEG artifacts
      6m 0s
  4. 45m 24s
    1. Behold, the layered composition
      1m 13s
    2. The Layers palette
      5m 8s
    3. Enlarging the hand
      4m 40s
    4. Erasing with a layer mask
      6m 27s
    5. Moving a layer
      4m 2s
    6. Combining layers into a clipping mask
      4m 41s
    7. Hair and stacking order
      6m 12s
    8. Adding a frame and expanding the canvas
      6m 1s
    9. Adding a vignette
      7m 0s
  5. 42m 23s
    1. Organization: It sounds dull, but it rocks
      1m 7s
    2. The terrible battle
      3m 3s
    3. Assembling the base composition
      5m 45s
    4. Adding adjustment layers
      4m 55s
    5. Creating a layer group
      2m 23s
    6. Grouping selected layers
      3m 13s
    7. Making the TV lines
      4m 16s
    8. Introducing layer comps
      5m 52s
    9. Saving your own layer comps
      6m 40s
    10. Final footnotes
      5m 9s
  6. 1h 23m
    1. Parametric operations
      1m 3s
    2. The power of blend modes
      6m 44s
    3. Changing the Opacity value
      5m 35s
    4. Opacity vs. Fill Opacity
      4m 37s
    5. Meet the blend modes
      5m 37s
    6. Blend mode shortcuts
      5m 51s
    7. The darkening modes
      6m 12s
    8. Tempering a Burn effect with the Fill value
      3m 52s
    9. Saving a blended state
      2m 54s
    10. The lightening modes
      4m 55s
    11. The contrast modes
      7m 12s
    12. The comparative modes
      7m 25s
    13. The composite (HSL) modes
      6m 2s
    14. The brush-only modes
      8m 11s
    15. Blending groups
      7m 10s
  7. 1h 27m
    1. At this point, there is a great shift...
    2. Messing with the masters
      2m 28s
    3. Scaling a layer to fit a composition
      6m 38s
    4. Merging clock face and cardinal
      2m 2s
    5. Rotating the minute hand
      7m 41s
    6. Replaying the last transformation
      3m 50s
    7. Second hand and shadows
      5m 0s
    8. Series duplication
      3m 23s
    9. Skews and perspective-style distortions
      6m 43s
    10. The envelope-style Warp function
      7m 31s
    11. Introducing the Liquify command
      5m 9s
    12. Adjusting the brush settings
      4m 1s
    13. Viewing layers and the mesh
      4m 18s
    14. Incrementally undoing undesirable effects
      4m 5s
    15. Twirl, pucker, and bloat
      2m 2s
    16. Push, mirror, and turbulence
      4m 37s
    17. Protecting regions with a mask
      3m 40s
    18. Applying a digital facelift
      10m 53s
    19. Saving and loading mesh settings
      2m 30s
  8. 1h 18m
    1. Planes and perspective
      1m 6s
    2. The Blue Gallery
      2m 47s
    3. Introducing Vanishing Point 2.0
      5m 29s
    4. Drawing out perpendicular planes
      6m 53s
    5. Exporting the gridlines to a layer
      4m 45s
    6. Cloning an image from one plane to another
      7m 58s
    7. Blending the image into its new home
      6m 31s
    8. Healing away the sockets
      7m 47s
    9. Importing a new image
      6m 20s
    10. Masking and shading the image
      7m 26s
    11. Flat in, perspective out
      5m 57s
    12. Adding perspective type
      4m 49s
    13. Swinging planes to custom angles
      6m 2s
    14. Wrapping art around multiple surfaces
      4m 34s
  9. 1h 15m
    1. Type: The great imaging exception
    2. Creating an independent text layer
      6m 39s
    3. Editing vector-based text
      6m 38s
    4. Working with area text
      6m 14s
    5. Resizing the text frame
      6m 4s
    6. Obscure but important formatting options
      7m 25s
    7. Text editing tricks and shortcuts
      9m 37s
    8. Adding a ghostly cast shadow
      6m 19s
    9. Backlighting the text
      2m 48s
    10. Creating type on a path
      7m 36s
    11. Pasting text along the bottom of a circle
      3m 50s
    12. Flip and baseline shift
      3m 14s
    13. Warping text
      3m 58s
    14. Scaling the warped text to taste
      4m 18s
  10. 1m 12s
    1. See ya for now
      1m 12s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics
10h 47m Intermediate Apr 16, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.

Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.

Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Understanding what Photoshop CS3 is and what it can do.
  • Zooming, scrolling, and getting around an image.
  • Making the most of the new-and-improved CS3 interface.
  • Using Adobe Bridge to organize and manage images.
  • Saving workspaces for maximum comfort and efficiency.
  • Correcting colors using the Variations and Hue/Saturation commands.
  • Taking on the professional-grade luminance editors, Levels and Curves.
  • Resampling an image and selecting an interpolation setting.
  • Cropping and straightening a photograph.
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Blending groups

In this exercise we're going to finish off our composition by adding the text elements and in doing so we'll learn how you blend the groups inside of Photoshop. Assuming that you've been working along with me inside of this skyandstatue.PSD image that's found inside the 15 blend modes folder, then your composition should look something like this one. I'd like you to go ahead and turn on the text elements group that's at the top of the layer stack right there. And by clicking in front of the folder, you should make visible both the editable text, the line of editable text, that says Michelangelo.

Along with a little bit of Motion Blur trail underneath the text and I'll go ahead and show you how I created that Motion Blur trail. Twirl open the text elements group. Turn off for the Motion Blur layer for now so that we can create a new one. Then I want you to click on the editable text layer, which will look like a big T here in side of the layers palette and then go and press Control+J or Command+J on the Mac to jump to the text to a new layer and I'll also press Control+ Left bracket or Command+Left bracket on the Mac in order to move that new layer underneath the original and I'll rename it 'Mblurred' because we'll be assigning the Motion Blur filter to it.

Now go up to the Filter menu and choose Blur, Motion Blur, like so and as soon as you do, because you have an editable text layer selected. Photoshop will ask you, "Hey, in order to filter this text layer, I need to rasterize the type in advance." Now this isn't the way you have to work. Thanks to Smart Filters inside Photoshop CS3, you can first convert the text to a Smart Object and then apply an editable nondestructive filter to it, but in our case it's just simpler to go ahead and rasterize that type. So I'll click OK in order to proceed.

And I'm going to change the values like you see here. An Angle value of 90 degrees and a Distance value of 100 pixels and I'll click OK in order to accept the modification and finally I've pressed Shift+Control, or Shift+Command on the Mac, Shift+Control+Down arrow five times in a row in order to get this effect right there. Anyway, I just wanted to show you how the effect was created. Let's go and get rid of it now because we don't need it. That's just a lesson in what I did, just in the name of complete coverage here. So I'll Alt+click on the trash can or Option+click on a trash can in order to delete that layer and I'll turn on my original Motion Blur layer here and I'm not deleting, notice I was careful not to delete the Motion Blur layer because I want to keep my layer comps happy. Any time you throw away a layer, the Layer Comps get grumpy at you. So anyway we've got this Michelangelo layer and we've got the Motion Blur layer. I want to make both of the layers a little bit translucent so I could go ahead and reduce the opacity settings for each one of the layers, but let's say that I want to reduce both layers to 70% opacity. The easier way to pull that off, as opposed to applying an opacity level of 70% first to the text layer and then to the Motion Blur layer, is to simply affect the entire group. Notice that it has an opacity value associated with it. Fill by the way is not available to you when you're working with groups. A little sad actually because that means you don't have access to some of those special blend mode functions. But anyway, I'd now press the 7 key in order to reduce the opacity of both layers to 70%.

Notice we also have a blend mode setting. You can choose from any of the blend modes to assign a blend mode to the group as a whole, or you've got this default guy called Pass Through. And what Pass Through does is it applies no special blend mode. It just goes ahead and accepts what ever blend modes you have assigned to the individual layers, but Pass Through isn't always your best setting. Let's imagine for example that I want to make this text blue. I want to make both the text and the shadow blue and I want to burn that blueness into the background.

How might I go about doing that? Well first I would click on the T here, on the Michelangelo layer, in order to make it active. And then I would go down to this little black-white icon and choose the Hue Saturation command. I'll turn on the Colorize checkbox in order to assign a color to the text as a whole and notice that I'm affecting not only the text, but the entire image as well because I'm creating an adjustment layer and an adjustment layer by definition affects all layers below it by default.

All right. Let's change the Hue value to 210, which is sort of a cobalt blue. I'm then going to raise the Saturation value to 50 and I'm going to raise the Lightness value to 30. Now I was telling you in an earlier chapter, way long ago, that you really don't want a use the Lightness value when you're working with the Hue Saturation command. One of the big exceptions is when you are colorizing something that starts out as black. Because this text was black, in order to make the text some other color, I need to raise its Lightness value.

Alright, so these are my values: 210, 50 and 30. With Colorize turned on. Then I'm going to click the OK button in order to accept that modification. Now as I say I've colorized everything inside the image so I need to bring up my Layers palette once again. And instead of having my group set to Pass Through, which allows the adjustment layer to flow through, outside of the group to other layers in the stack, I'm going to go ahead and click on the group, and I'm going to change its mode to Normal. Basically anything except Pass Through will contain the adjustment layer inside of the group. And notice right away, I go ahead and contain that Hue Saturation adjustment to just the text and nothing else inside the image.

But I really want to burn that text to its background, so I'm going to change the blend mode to Linear Burn like so in order to get this effect right here. Now as I say you don't have Fill Opacity control, when you're working with the group. It's too bad because it would be useful for some of these Burn and Dodge, and Vivid Light and Linear Light and Difference and all those guys. Alright anyway, let's go and hide that Layers palette so that we can focus in on the image here. And just because I want to be tidy as all get out, I'm going to go and save a final layer comp.

I'll go ahead and click on the little page icon. Make sure that the Appearance and Visibility checkboxes are turned on. And I will call this one 'final comp!' Then click OK in order to create that final version of the image. So this was the blend mode madness version that I showed you at the outset of this chapter, and this is the final comp that you and I have created together. Looks so much better then that blend mode madness version in my opinion. This is the final version of the image. I'm going to go ahead and Tab away my palettes so that we can focus in on just the image itself. Congratulations! You have created this amazing blended composition without harming a single pixel inside the image, thanks to the parametric capabilities of blend modes and opacity and fill levels inside of Photoshop.

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