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In Photoshop CS6 for Photographers, author, photographer, and teacher Chris Orwig explores Photoshop from the perspective of the photographer.
The course details the features and techniques behind enhancing and retouching photos, preparing them for print and online publishing, and much more. Chris demonstrates how to make basic edits in Camera Raw, develop and save color profiles, work with layers and selections, tone and sharpen, and retouch images while retaining their natural character.
Chris also shares some creative tips and project ideas, such as converting a photo to black-and-white and enhancing a portrait with hand-painted masks. The course also covers workflow details, such as organizing images in Bridge and Mini Bridge, optimizing Photoshop preferences, and calibrating your monitor.
This is going to be a fun movie because here we're going to focus in on how we can work with a Layer Clipping Mask. Layer Clipping Masks are fascinating. They allow us to make adjustments so that one layer only affects another layer rather than affecting all of the layers in your Layers panel. Let me explain. Well, here you can see I have this photograph that I captured of the surfer at sunrise. I also have a few other layers as well. Let's turn on the visibility of this layer. Here, you can see I have a smaller version of this picture.
Let's turn on the layer style effects, and this will help separate it from the background, and I can click and drag to move this around if we target that layer and use our Move tool. You can see that I can reposition this. Well, above all of my layers I have this adjustment layer. For now if we turn on the visibility, what we'll see is it that changes the overall color of all of our layers. Both layers are now blue. Well, if we want this adjustment layer, just to be applied to the layer underneath it, you can create what's called a Layer Clipping Mask.
To do so, you press Option on a Mac, Alt on Windows. Then you hover over this little dividing line between the two layers, and you'll see your cursor change. When you see that, go ahead and click. This will then add a new icon to the layer, which is showing you this is a clipping mask. Yet more importantly, you'll notice that this blue color, it's now only affecting the layer immediately underneath it. Well, this is kind of interesting, isn't it? You can imagine that if you have a lot of layers, well, layer clipping masks can help you have really specific control so that you can make adjustments which just apply to a certain part of your image, rather than to the entire document.
Well, let's take a look at another scenario where we can use layer clipping masks. This one's going to seem a little bit confusing at first, but the final results will just be kind of interesting. Let's turn off the visibility of these two layers for a moment. The next thing that I want to do is focus in on my text layer. Let's turn on the visibility of this text layer. What I want to have happen is I want my image to fill up this text. Rather than the text sitting on top of the photograph, I want the photograph inside the text, and I want to be able to edit or change or free transform the text.
Well, we can do this by creating what's called a Layer Clipping Mask. In order to do this, let's copy this background layer, sunrise surfer. One way to copy the layer is to click- and-drag this to the New layer icon. Next, let's go ahead and click and reposition this or click and drag this so that it's above the text layer. Now for a critical step we need to turn off the visibility of the background layer for a moment. Well, here I have my photograph, underneath that I have the text. I'm ready to fill the text with this photograph layer by creating a layer clipping mask.
Let's turn on the visibility. Next, hold down Option or Alt and hover over between the two layers. When you see the new cursor, just go ahead and click. Well, now you can see that this image is filling up this text field or this text layer. If we click on this layer and use our Move tool, well, we can go ahead and change its position. We could also go to our Edit pulldown menu and choose Free Transform and we could transform the text field. Again, this is completely dynamic, because these two layers are now connected.
We could use our Type tool, change the copy here. It's really flexible. Well, the one thing that I want to do is to click in the top layer and then click and drag this around. You can see that I can reposition this so that it looks good with this particular type. And by doing this, by creating this layer clipping mask, it could help me create sometimes some interesting effects. Let's go to the Type layer. With the Type layer, how about if we add perhaps a layer style effect? We could do so by clicking on the fx icon and then choosing something like Drop Shadow.
Here, you can see it's just separating that from the background a little bit. Or maybe we want to add a brush stroke, and by adding these, we're just modifying this text field. In other words, we can modify this in any way we want to. This is simply filling up what we have here. All right. What would happen if we were to change, say, its color a little bit? Let's double-click our fx, and let's go to this Color Overlay here. Here, when we click on Color Overlay, we're going to choose a Blending mode.
I know we haven't covered these in detail yet, but for now let's just go ahead and try this. If you go to Blending mode, you can then select one at the bottom which is called Color. Then with this Color chip active, let's go and select a new color, and I'm going to choose blue just to simulate the color that we had before and then click OK. Well, now here I have something fascinating, right? We have this Text field which has all of these different layer style effects, and really what's making the magic is that this image is filling up the text.
Now if we want to turn on our background layer, what will happen is we'll all of a sudden see that original document there in the background, and we could then click and drag this around in order to change how that's filling up that area. You can modify that so it's either aligned with that background or not. You can just create a little bit of separation or perhaps an interesting look. By doing this, it now looks like, well, that image is filling up the text field. Another thing that you might want to do is to turn off this background layer, and perhaps you just want to create a layer which is filled with a solid color.
To do that, click on the sunrise surfer layer and then click the New icon. Next let's go to our Fill command. We've seen this one before. If you go to Edit, you can then choose Fill. Here, I'll fill this up with a solid color. I'm going to choose white, and then click OK, and then again, I'm just trying to illustrate how you can start to get creative as you're picking up these new techniques. And the wonderful thing about all of this is that we can modify or edit this. We can change these different layer style effects which we have here.
We can also change the overall position or location, and we can modify these layers in some powerful ways. So as you're starting to get a glimpse, layers open us up to so many different possibilities and options. And to really reiterate what's most important about this movie, it's a whole concept, that a Layer Clipping Mask allows you to apply an adjustment to a layer so that the top layer only affects the underlying layer.
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