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Introducing the Layers panel

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Introducing the Layers panel

All right, so here's the Layers panel down here in the lower right region of the screen. If for some reason you can't see the panel, then go up to the Window menu which lists every single panel on the software and choose the Layers command. You also have a keyboard shortcut, which is the F7 key. Those of you working on a Mac may have to press the Function key that is the Fn key and the F7 key at the same time. In my case however, the Layers command has a check mark in front of it, so if I were to choose the command, I would make that panel disappear. To make it come back of course, I just go to the Window menu and choose the command again.

Introducing the Layers panel

All right, so here's the Layers panel down here in the lower right region of the screen. If for some reason you can't see the panel, then go up to the Window menu which lists every single panel on the software and choose the Layers command. You also have a keyboard shortcut, which is the F7 key. Those of you working on a Mac may have to press the Function key that is the Fn key and the F7 key at the same time. In my case however, the Layers command has a check mark in front of it, so if I were to choose the command, I would make that panel disappear. To make it come back of course, I just go to the Window menu and choose the command again.

And notice that brings back that whole group of panels including Layers, Channels and Paths. Each of these items here inside the Layers panel represents an independent image, one stacked on top of another. Now the great thing about layers is each of the images is isolated so that you could move them independently as well as scale and rotate the layers. And you can even blend the layers together without harming a single pixel in the actual image. In other words, layers are for the advantage of allowing you to apply non-destructive modifications.

Now over the course of this chapter, we'll be creating this piece of framed artwork by combining a total of six images and here they are. We'll start off with this piece of red and yellow illustration. We will add these black swirls against the white background and we will set the whole thing against this wall background. We'll also use this wood texture in order to build up the frame. We'll use this grunge Stucco texture to rough up the artwork a little bit. And finally, we'll add this photographic image as a kind of finishing touch.

Now when you assemble multiple images into a Photoshop document, it's known as a layered composition. And one of the best ways to come to terms with Photoshop if you're new to the program is to walk through a layered composition that someone else has created. Now notice these eyeball icons next to the layer names, if I click on the eye in front of the swirls layer, I'll hide that layer temporarily, meaning, I can turn it on anytime I like, and you can have as many hidden layers as you want inside of a Photoshop file. Photoshop goes ahead and saves hidden layers and saves them as hidden so that they don't suddenly reappear the next time you open the file.

To make the layer visible again, you just click on that square where the eye used to be. You can also hide all but one layer inside of a composition. So let's say I want to start at the bottom of this layer stack here and work my way up, and incidentally, you can scroll up and down the layer list when your cursor is hovered over the Layers panel just by using the scroll wheel on your mouse. I'm going to go down here to the bottommost layer, which is the wall layer and instead of clicking on the eyeball, I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click.

And oftentimes inside Photoshop, Alt or Option reverses the behavior of an icon. So as you know, when you click on the eyeball, you turn the layer on or off. When you Alt+Click or Option+Click on the Mac, you either turn all the other layers off, or if I Alt+Click or Option+Click again, I will turn all the other layers on. All right, I'm going to Alt+Click or Option+Click there in order to view the wall layer by itself. Notice that that same white wall we saw a moment ago, but has been colorized green using what's known as a Layer Effect and we'll see how that works in a future movie.

Now I'll go ahead and turn on the next layer up which is this red and yellow illustration, which will serve as the background for the artwork. Next is that grunge Stucco layer, and notice that I'm using a layer as I said, to rough up the artwork. And I've created an interaction between the grunge layer and the artwork below using what's known as a Blend mode. Again, I'll show you how that works shortly. Next comes the swirls layer which is that black and white artwork. I've got the photographic image layer on top of it, again set to a Blend mode.

So we get this subtle, almost reflective interaction. Finally, I converted part of that red and yellow artwork to the frame and I went ahead and added a couple of wood layers on top in order to create the grain. And that's an introduction, not only to the project we're about to assemble, but also to the Layers panel here inside Photoshop.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

100 video lessons · 57569 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 19m 15s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 27s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop
      4m 7s
    3. Opening from the Macintosh Finder
      4m 9s
    4. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      2m 45s
    5. Opening an image from Mini Bridge
      1m 16s
    6. Opening through Camera Raw
      2m 32s
    7. Closing one image and Closing All
      1m 59s
  2. 38m 14s
    1. Navigating your image
      40s
    2. The dark vs. the light interface
      3m 12s
    3. Navigating tabs and windows
      4m 32s
    4. Panels and workspaces
      4m 27s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      4m 29s
    6. Zooming continuously
      2m 43s
    7. Entering a custom zoom value
      2m 25s
    8. Scrolling and panning images
      2m 31s
    9. Rotating and resetting the view
      2m 11s
    10. Cycling between screen modes
      3m 10s
    11. Using the Navigator panel
      3m 38s
    12. Adjusting a few screen prefs
      4m 16s
  3. 45m 58s
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      3m 3s
    3. The Image Size command
      3m 27s
    4. Common resolution standards
      3m 20s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      4m 36s
    6. Changing the print size
      6m 16s
    7. Downsampling for print
      4m 12s
    8. Downsampling for email
      3m 11s
    9. The interpolation settings
      5m 22s
    10. Downsampling advice
      4m 36s
    11. Upsampling advice
      6m 10s
  4. 53m 17s
    1. The layered composition
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing the Layers panel
      4m 12s
    3. Adding, scaling, and aligning layers
      5m 27s
    4. Dragging and dropping layers
      4m 36s
    5. Stack, reveal, and rename
      2m 58s
    6. Opacity, history, and blend mode
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating a selected portion of a layer
      5m 32s
    8. Applying a clipping mask
      3m 58s
    9. Blending inside a clipping mask
      4m 10s
    10. Finishing off your artwork
      3m 13s
    11. Creating a new layer and background
      4m 24s
    12. Layering tips and tricks
      7m 2s
  5. 26m 19s
    1. The art of saving
      54s
    2. Four things to know about saving
      6m 0s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 38s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 41s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 19m 36s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      3m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      3m 1s
    4. Straightening a crooked image
      2m 29s
    5. Filling in missing details
      6m 44s
    6. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 42m 6s
    1. First, there is brightness
      2m 12s
    2. How luminance works
      4m 18s
    3. The three Auto commands
      3m 27s
    4. Automatic brightness and contrast
      3m 19s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 5s
    7. Editing adjustment layers
      3m 52s
    8. Isolating an adjustment with a layer mask
      3m 31s
    9. Introducing the histogram
      4m 58s
    10. Measuring an adjustment
      3m 34s
    11. Using the Shadows/Highlights command
      6m 3s
  8. 44m 33s
    1. And second, there is color
      1m 31s
    2. Identifying a color cast
      3m 34s
    3. Correcting a color cast automatically
      3m 57s
    4. Changing the color balance
      6m 10s
    5. Compensating with Photo Filter
      3m 11s
    6. Adjusting color intensity with Vibrance
      3m 29s
    7. Correcting color cast in Camera Raw
      5m 46s
    8. The Hue/Saturation command
      5m 26s
    9. Summoning colors where none exist
      4m 8s
    10. Making more color with Vibrance
      4m 27s
    11. Making a quick-and-dirty sepia tone
      2m 54s
  9. 55m 46s
    1. Making selective modifications
      1m 10s
    2. The geometric Marquee tools
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning one image element to another
      4m 59s
    4. The freeform Lasso tools
      3m 59s
    5. Polygonal Lasso tool and Quick Mask
      5m 19s
    6. Cropping one selection inside another
      6m 15s
    7. Creating rays of light
      4m 44s
    8. Quick Selection and Similar
      4m 11s
    9. Making it better with Refine Edge
      4m 56s
    10. Integrating image elements
      2m 39s
    11. Magic Wand and Grow
      5m 17s
    12. Refine, integrate, and complete
      6m 16s
  10. 53m 49s
    1. Your best face forward
      1m 0s
    2. Content-Aware Fill
      6m 11s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    4. The more capable "standard" Healing Brush
      5m 55s
    5. Meet the Clone Source panel
      3m 53s
    6. Caps Lock and Fade
      4m 57s
    7. The Dodge and Burn tools
      5m 1s
    8. Adjusting color with the Brush tool
      6m 35s
    9. Smoothing skin textures
      5m 58s
    10. Brightening teeth
      4m 0s
    11. Intensifying eyes
      4m 43s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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