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Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals is a concise and focused introduction to the key features in Photoshop, presented by long-time lynda.com author and Adobe veteran Deke McClelland. This course covers the image editing process from the very beginning and progresses through the concepts and techniques that every photographer or graphic designer should know. Deke explains digital imaging fundamentals, such as resolution vs. size and the effects of downsampling. He explains how to use layers to edit an image nondestructively and organize those edits in an easy-to-read way, and introduces techniques such as cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast, correcting and changing color, and retouching and healing images. These lessons distill the vast assortment of tools and options to a refined set of skills that will get you working inside Photoshop with confidence.
In this movie, I'll show you how to select a portion of a layer and duplicate it to a new layer to create a picture frame effect. We're going to base the frame on the paperback layer. So I'll go ahead and select it. And now we need to load the exact perimeter of this layer as the selection outline. And you can do that in one of two ways. The first way is to go the Select menu and choose the Load Selection command. And then you can pretty much ignore everything inside this dialog box because it's already set correctly by default. The document is our current document.
The channel, which means the thing upon which we want to base the selection is set to our current layer paperback and its so called transparency mask. Now you don't need to worry about that too much, but the transparency mask is what distinguishes the transparent areas of the layer from the opaque portions of the layer, so the outside of the layer from the inside, if you will. But if you don't want to really pay attention to the settings, you can just click OK and you'll get exactly the selection you're looking for. So that's one way to work.
There's an even easier way if you're willing to memorize a keyboard trick. Let me show you what that looks like. I'll press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. Notice if I hover my cursor over the Layer thumbnail, it looks like a little hand with the pointing finger. If I press and hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac, then I get this little marquee next to the cursor. And that shows me that I'm about to load the layer as a Selection. So you just Ctrl+Click here on a PC, or Command+Click on that layer thumbnail and you get the selection outline, like so.
Now we're going to base the frame on this selection, but we've got to scoot the selection outline inward. And you do that by going up to the Select menu, choosing Modify and then choosing the Contract Command. But I'm going to enter a really big Contract value of 200 pixels and then click OK. And that goes ahead and scoots the selection outline in as you see here. So far I've selected the area inside this marquee. I really want to select the area outside because that's the part of the layer I can use to create the frame.
So in other words I need to reverse the selection and you do that by going up to the Select menu and choosing the Inverse command. And now this area toward the center of the image is deselected, and the area out here is selected. Now we need to duplicate the selected portion of the layer. If you go up to the Layer menu you'll notice that there's this command called Duplicate Layer. But if you choose it, it will duplicate the entire layer not just the selected region. Instead, what we need to do is to choose New, and then drag down to this strangely worded command, Layer Via Copy, which has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+J or Command+J on a Mac.
I recommend that you memorize that command because it's going to save you a lot of effort instead of having to go the submenu. And you can think of Ctrl+J as standing for jump. Anyways, as long as I'm here I'm just going to choose the command. And notice that did go ahead and jump the selection to a new layer. You can actually see the frame there in a layer thumbnail. However, the layer is called Layer 1. What if you want to jump the layer and give it a name at the same time? Well I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that jump.
You add the Alt or Option key to the keyboard shortcut. So you press Ctrl+Alt+J or Cmd+Option+J on the Mac, that not only evokes the jump, but it also brings up the New Layer dialog box. And I'll go ahead and call this New Layer frame and click OK. Now that we have the frame, I'll drag it above the swirls layer. The problem is we can't really see the frame because it matches the layer behind it, but we can offset the frame and give it a little bit of dimension using layer effects. So I'm going to drop down to this FX icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and click on it and then choose the bottom-most command, Drop Shadow.
And that goes ahead and turns on a slight drop shadow as you can see. So in other words, there is a shadow directly behind the frame. I also want a little bit of bevel and mmboss, so I'll turn on this Bevel & Emboss check box and we get a little bit of a highlight along the inside edge of the frame as well. Now these effects are too subtle, so fortunately, I can customize the settings. I'm going to start by clicking on Drop Shadow in the left-hand list and I'm going to increase the Opacity value to 100%, I'll tab to that Angle value and change it to 115 degrees.
I'll increase the Distance value to 25 pixels which I'm doing by pressing Shift+Up arrow twice in a row. Then I'll press Tab twice to advance to the Size value, press Shift+up arrow three times to take that value to 35 pixels. Now for the Bevel & Emboss effect, I'll click on the Bevel & Emboss on the left-hand list, then I'll change the Size value to 10 pixels. I'll increase the Opacity of the Highlight to 100%, then I'll tab down to the Shadow Opacity value and take it down to 50%.
And finally, I'll change the Technique from Smooth to Chisel Hard, in order to create the effect you see here. Then I'll go ahead and click OK to close the Layer Style dialog box. Now of course, have faith, I will be devoting an entire chapter to layer effects in a future course. But for now, you have a sense for how you can jump a selected portion of a layer and build an entire effect on it to create a picture frame.
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