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In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.
One of the most fun parts about working with layers inside Photoshop is the fact that you can play with each layer's opacity. So, you can blend layers into other layers just by manipulating and playing around with their opacity values. So, let's take a look at how easy that can be and how much fun it can be. So, I am going to go ahead and turn on the Option02 layer. Right now, it's turned off. I'll click on its eye or where the eye should be to bring it visible again. And you can see that this layer now completely covers up the daisy layer underneath it. That's the Option01 layer. And we want to play around with the blend of seeing these two layers at the same time.
So, if we take a look at the Layers panel in the upper right-hand corner, you'll see there is an Opacity field and yes, it's a pop-up slider so you can click on that to bring a slider to change the opacity of any given layer. This is the textbook method of changing layer opacity. I'm actually going to go ahead and hit the Escape key to cancel out of that. Because I am going to teach you a much more intuitive or fluid way to change opacity, and that's going to be with your keyboard. Yes, keyboard shortcuts. With the Move tool selected, all you have to do is press a number to go to 10% increments of opacity.
So, I have the Move tool selected. If you don't, just press v for the Move tool. Whatever layer that you have selected now, just type-in a number just a number by itself, no modifier keys, just a number, will change the layer's opacity to that particular percentage. So, if I type 5, that layer now is 50% opacity. All right. So, I can see a blend between the pink flower and the white flower underneath it. If I press a 1, it's 10%, so I can just barely see the petals of that flower blending into the daisy below it. Type 4, it's 40%. 8, it's 80%.
If you want to get back to 100% opaque, you just press 0,. So if you look at your keyboard it kind of makes sense. From 1 to 0 goes in 10% increments, 10%, 20%, 30% and so forth. So, if I press 5 again, that gets me back to 50%. If I wanted to do more controlled increments, single-digit increments, just press two numbers quickly. So if I type 55, it's now 55%. If I type 33, it's now 33%. You get the idea. If I type 66, just don't type 666 because that will reformat your hard drive. Just kidding! All right. To get back to 0 or back to 100%, just press the 0 key and that takes that layer back to the 100% Opacity value. All right.
I am going to turn that layer back off by clicking where its eye is in the Layers panel and as an added bonus you can actually change the opacity of more than one layer at a time. Just simply select those layers first. So, if I select the Dahlia layer, hold down the Shift key and click on the Mixed layer, because all four layers are selected, again, I have the Move tool as the active tool. Again just typing n number will change the opacity of all the selected layers at the same time. So, if I type a 5, you'll see all four of those layers have now been set to opacity of 50%. If I type a 1, they are all 10% and get them back to 100%, you just press 0 and they are back to 100%.
So, there we have it, very quick easy way just to play around with layer opacity. I find it much more intuitive and quicker to just use numbers on the keyboard rather than actually trying to play around with the Opacity slider in the Layers panel.
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