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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Alright, in this chapter, we are going to scrap it up here with the Layers palette. We are going to learn the many machinations of what has got to be the most important palette in all of Photoshop. To that end, I want you to open an image that is the beginning of a project that will carry us over a few exercises here, it's called stsebastian.psd and it's included inside the 13 Layers folder. And what we are seeing here is a multilayered image of the layers but the background are turned off right now because we are going to use the other layers to build the remaining portions of the composition as we will see.
But we are starting things off with a painting of St. Sebastian as imagined by High Renaissance Artist Raphael. And we are going to take this image and we are going to transform it into this image right here stdexter.PASD is what I am calling this one. There is not really any reason for you to open this image, I do include it however in case you later want to see how it's put together, if you are going to confuse as you work through the exercises. But this is the final version, this is what we are going for. And you can see there is a fair amount of differences going on.
For one, my face of course is being substituted for that of St. Sebastian. Also, the hand has been made bigger. Notice that wee little hand that St. Sebastian has. When he hadn't raised it to a more normal sort of ratio where my hand and face are concerned. Also, I put a frame around the entire image and added a black vineyard around the edges, and we will be doing all of that as well over the course of these next few exercises. The reason I came out with this project in the first place was not to show you. It was actually because I was called upon to serve as the speaker at an event that had a Renaissance theme associated with it and they wanted a photo, of course, of me for the brochure or what have you for the website, and I came up with this.
So, that's what we are seeing here and it just happens to be something of a fun project I think. But I would, it's me. Alright, anyway, so let's switch back to St. Sebastian here, the moon faced St. Sebastian with this tiny little hand. Alright, I want you to make sure that the Layers palette is open on screen. If it ain't, then click on the Layers tab or go up to the Window menu and choose Layers command or press the F7 key and that is not a keyboard shortcut that I have included for you, that is one of Adobe's predefined shortcuts by the way.
Now, you will see that we have the Background layer active and it's turned on, so the eyeball appears in front of the Background layer. The other layers are all turned off and inactive right now. Now, Photoshop is kind enough to show me these tiny itsy-bitsy little thumbnails associated with each and every one of my layers. I prefer to see larger thumbnails than these. So, I tell you what we are going to do here. First of all, if necessary, you can make your Navigator palette even smaller by dragging this horizontal bar upward, and that should give you some room to see this blank area at the bottom of the palette.
So at that point, you should be able to right-click and then just choose Large Thumbnails, that's one way to work. The other way to work, I will just go ahead and show you, is to click on this little Menu icon right there and then choose Palette options from the Layers palette menu, and then you will get this dialogue box here from which you can choose larger thumbnails, and you can see these are little tiny Merlins on a little Paint palette. Back in Chapter 10, I was showing you when you change the size of items in the Channels palette, you see a little silhouette of this very graphic, and you may say how do you know they are Merlins, Deke.
Well, let me show you. I will click OK after selecting the largest one and now we can see big thumbnails as you are seeing here inside the Layers palette. How do I know they are Merlins? Check this out, press and hold the Alt key or the Option key in the Mac, then choose Palette options once again and you will get this little teeny Easter Egg that's been inside Photoshop for ever and ever, that says Merlin lives if there is enough room -- the entire title bar, it's Merlin Lives and there is Merlin, that's how we know it's Merlin because I am assuming the flower ate Merlin, although you never know.
And then you click the gun, that's all that's going on there, not a feature really per se, just kind of an Easter Egg once again. Alright, one other thing you can do if you like, notice that the thumbnails are scaled according to the size of the full graphic, so that you are seeing transparency and imagery inside of a layer. If you just want to focus in on the pixels that are associated with the layer and get rid of the transparency, then go back to that same palette, just choose Palette options, don't press Alt option this time around, and make sure the thumbnail content is set to layer balance instead of entire document, make it layer balance and then click OK, and you will see much bigger thumbnails now inside of the space.
So Photoshop is going ahead and cropping each one of these thumbnails to make it its absolute biggest. Some of these thumbnails are very scary admittedly, but that gives you a sense of what's going on inside the image. In the next exercise, we will set about actually creating our first layer inside this composition that is and that layer is going to convey the larger more manly hand.
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