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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.
In this very brief exercise, I'm going to show you how to group a couple of layers and then how to move them as a group. I'm still working inside the Me masked.psd layer and note up here at the top, there is this group called Nippers. Go ahead and twirl it open so that you can see that we have a series of three different layers that are included inside of this group, and if you click in front of the group name right there, then you will show all of them and these Nippers include these dinosaurs down here, these toy dinosaurs and their little barks, and also it includes this sweat that's hopping off my head, the cartoon sweat.
Actually let's dissolve the group for starters, let's get rid of it. So Nippers is selected, I just clicked on it, and then I can right-click to the right of the word Nippers right there and I can choose this command, Ungroup Layers. Don't use Delete Group because that will delete all the layers inside the group as well. Just choose Ungroup Layers or you can press Ctrl+Shift+G, Command+Shift+G on the Mac and that will ungroup all those guys. To put them back in a group, I just want you to see how this whole grouping thing works. You click on one of the layers, you Shift+Click on another so that you are selecting a range of layers right there. So in other words, select all the layers that you want to add to the group. You can even Ctrl+Click or Command+Click on an empty area of the layer in order to add a nonadjacent layer to the selection and then it would become part of the group as well. We don't want that.
So Ctrl or Command+Click on that layer again to deselect it, and then you could either press Ctrl+G or Command+G on the Mac in order to place all the layers inside of a group, inside of this folder here, in which case, Photoshop will automatically name the folder Group 1, or if you want to name it on the fly, go ahead and undo that modification by pressing Ctrl+Z Command+Z on the Mac. Then go up to the Layers palette menu right there, because you can't get to this command by right-clicking. You go up to the menu and then you choose New Group from Layers, because if you choose New Group, you are not going to put the layers in it. You want New Group from Layers and that will bring up this dialog box and then you can go ahead and name it Nippers like so and then click OK.
Now one of the great things about having a group, not only can you control the visibility of these images altogether by turning off a single eyeball like so and then turning it back on of course, you can also manage all the objects together and of course, they are collected here inside the Layers palette, so there is less clutter going on. But let's say that what I want to do is I want to move these Nippers over a little bit so that we can see more of them right here, then I could go ahead and press and hold the Ctrl key to get my Move tool, Command key on the Mac, and I also add Shift so that I constrain my drag to some 45 angle whether it's horizontal, vertical, or diagonal.
I will drag these guys over until they are about here, until I start revealing the haunches of that Sailback Dinosaur, whatever those things are called, and you can see that the bark here, this Velociraptor, is now sort of eating into the Tyrannosaur Bronco, and that creates a little more tension I think in the scene. But my sweat has moved to an unfortunate location. Let's go ahead and fix that by twirling open Nippers, and if you want to move just a single layer then you just click on that one layer right there inside the group, and then all of a sudden, you can move it independently by of course Ctrl+Shift+Dragging in my case, or Command+Shift+Dragging on the Mac, and the deed is done. We have done it.
That's it. That's all we need to do inside of this exercise. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to establish a knockout layer, a layer that bores a hole through the layers underneath it. Stay tuned.
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