Creating Composites in Photoshop

Focusing adjustments with layer groups


From:

Creating Composites in Photoshop

with Tim Grey

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Video: Focusing adjustments with layer groups

There are a variety of ways that you can focus adjustments on a particular area of an image, or in the context of a composite image, on a specific image layer. You can use a clipping group, for example, in order to have an adjustment only affect a specific layer. In this case though, I actually have two layers that I would like to apply the exact same effect to. And that's because I have a Strawberry layer, where I had a series of strawberries, and I created a layer mask so that there were only one strawberry visible. And then I made a copy of that Strawberry layer in order to create a little bit of a Motion Blur effect for this admittedly zany composite image, where a strawberry is flying toward a brown Pelican with its mouth wide open.
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  1. 1m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 25s
  2. 12m 9s
    1. Creating layered documents
      3m 46s
    2. Working with image layers
      2m 36s
    3. Introduction to layer masks
      5m 47s
  3. 29m 5s
    1. Assembling a composite panorama
      5m 32s
    2. Creating an HDR image
      6m 52s
    3. Removing people with Photoshop Extended
      3m 22s
    4. Blending a logo with blend modes
      3m 36s
    5. Compositing based on luminance
      6m 3s
    6. Blending a photo into text
      3m 40s
  4. 1h 14m
    1. Blending with a soft brush
      4m 45s
    2. Blending along a gradient
      4m 37s
    3. Creating a filtered edge
      3m 59s
    4. Blending with a simple selection
      3m 22s
    5. Inverting a mask
      4m 5s
    6. Using a mask as a frame
      3m 28s
    7. Creating a mask for a range of colors
      6m 52s
    8. Creating a mask based on luminosity
      4m 26s
    9. Creating a channel-based mask
      6m 53s
    10. Putting a shape behind a subject
      7m 9s
    11. Deleting a layer mask
      3m 19s
    12. Creating a multi-image composite
      9m 13s
    13. Saving, loading, and combining selections
      7m 32s
    14. Blending an image into a texture
      4m 37s
  5. 27m 22s
    1. Reviewing a layer mask
      3m 5s
    2. Feathering a mask
      3m 21s
    3. Using the Refine Mask command
      6m 30s
    4. Mask cleanup
      5m 23s
    5. Dodging and burning a mask
      9m 3s
  6. 14m 16s
    1. Applying layer-specific adjustments
      4m 12s
    2. Resizing an image element
      2m 43s
    3. Adjusting perspective matching
      2m 45s
    4. Performing a reality check
      4m 36s
  7. 16m 59s
    1. Adding depth with layer effects
      4m 51s
    2. Using layer effects with text
      3m 52s
    3. Matching effects between layers
      2m 16s
    4. Adding a shadow
      6m 0s
  8. 14m 31s
    1. Using layer groups for organization
      5m 4s
    2. Focusing adjustments with layer groups
      4m 0s
    3. Adding multiple masks via layer groups
      5m 27s

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Watch the Online Video Course Creating Composites in Photoshop
3h 10m Intermediate Dec 03, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Putting together composite images is a great way to exercise your creativity, and in this course Tim Grey shares his tips for getting great results when you do so. After introducing the basic concepts and looking at some automated methods of creating a composite, Tim covers a wide variety of nifty techniques, from creating composites based on a gradient, to painting on a mask, to using a selection as the basis of a mask. Plus, learn how to clean up and improve the overall quality of your layer masks, apply adjustments to specific elements of a composite, add creative effects, work with layer groups, and much more.

Topics include:
  • Composite concepts
  • Creating automatic composites
  • Image compositing
  • Refining layer masks
  • Matching images
  • Adding effects to composites
  • Using layer groups
Subjects:
Photography video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

Focusing adjustments with layer groups

There are a variety of ways that you can focus adjustments on a particular area of an image, or in the context of a composite image, on a specific image layer. You can use a clipping group, for example, in order to have an adjustment only affect a specific layer. In this case though, I actually have two layers that I would like to apply the exact same effect to. And that's because I have a Strawberry layer, where I had a series of strawberries, and I created a layer mask so that there were only one strawberry visible. And then I made a copy of that Strawberry layer in order to create a little bit of a Motion Blur effect for this admittedly zany composite image, where a strawberry is flying toward a brown Pelican with its mouth wide open.

The strawberry however, is a little too saturated and I'd like to apply some adjustments in order to improve its appearance. But since I have two straberry layers, I can't really use a clipping group without duplicating the adjustment and I'd rather avoid that. But what I can do is create a layer group, so that I can constrain the effect of my adjust layers. So that they only affect the Image layers that are inside that layer group. Let's start by placing my two Strawberry layers into a layer group. I'll click on the top Strawberry layer, and then hold the Shift key and click on the Strawberry Blur layer.

And then, I'll click on the panel Popup menu, at the top right of the Layers panel, and choose New Group from Layers. I'll give the layer groups a name, I'll just call this Strawberry. And then I can click OK, to create that layer group. Note by the way that I'm skipping an important setting, but we're going to come back to that in just a moment. I'lI go ahead and click OK, and you can see that I now have a Strawberry Layer group. And if I click on the triangle to the left of the layer group icon, you'll see that inside are both of my Strawberry layers: the strawberry and the strawberry blur.

I'll then click on the topmost layer inside my layer group, that's the Strawberry layer, and then I'm going to add an Adjustment layer. I'll go ahead and click on the Add Adjustment Layer button, and then choose Hue Saturation from that Popup menu. And I'll just reduce the saturation for those strawberries, so for both the strawberry itself and the strawberry blur. It looks like the color might be just a little bit off as well, so I'll add a color balance adjustment. So, once again, clicking on the Add Adjustment Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. I'll now choose Color Balance from that popup.

I want to shift things a little bit further toward red, and maybe get a little bit of the magenta out of there by shifting slightly toward green. But as I'm working, you might notice that I'm also affecting the Pelican. Even though I have my Strawberry layers inside of a layer group, and I also have my Adjustment layers inside of that layer group, I'm affecting the Brown Pelican layer that is not in that layer group. And that's because by default, a layer group is set to the Pass Through Blend mode. That means that anything inside the layer group, meaning adjustments, can pass through to other layers that are outside of the layer group.

But if I want my adjustment layers that are inside the layer group to only affect the images that are below those adjustment layers, but inside the layer group. I can simply change the blend mode from the default of Pass Through for the layer group to Normal. And that will cause all adjustments that are inside the layer group, to only affect the image layers that are also inside the layer group and below those adjustments. So now, I will return to my Hue Saturation adjustment, and I'll simply shift the hue back and forth in order to see that only the Strawberry layers are being affected by that adjustment. Of course, I don't want to shift the hue in this case, so I'll make sure that I leave that hue value set to zero.

But I could continue adding additional adjustments if need be, in order to optimize the overall effect. So once again, by using a layer group and placing Image and Adjustment layers inside of that layer group, but changing the blend mode to Normal rather than the default of Pass Through. I am able to constrain a set of adjustments so they only affect specific layers.

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