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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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