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Learning how to use Adobe Photoshop efficiently and effectively is the best way to get the most out of your pixels and create stunning imagery. Master the fundamentals of this program with Julieanne Kost, and discover how to achieve the results you want with Photoshop and its companion programs, Bridge and Camera Raw. This comprehensive course covers nondestructive editing techniques using layers, masking, adjustment layers, blend modes, and Smart Objects. Find out how to perform common editing tasks, including lens correction, cropping and straightening, color and tonal adjustments, noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, sharpening, and retouching. Julieanne also shows how to achieve more creative effects with filters, layer effects, illustrative type, and the Photomerge command for creating panoramas and composites.
As you get more comfortable working with layers there are a few short cuts that will help you to be more efficient. Let's go ahead and start by double clicking on our composite PSD file in order to open it in Photoshop. Then I'm going to return to bridge using the Cmd key and the Option key, or the Ctrl key and the Alt key on Windows, and tapping the O key. Now, I want to load all four of these layers into that document, although I can't automatically load it into the composite document that's open.
I can at least open all four of these images into the same document, and I would do that by selecting tools and then Photoshop, and then load files into Photoshop layers. Bridge is going to hand off all 4 of these images. And it's going to put each one of these individual documents into a single multilayer document. We can see here, on the layers panel, that I have all 4 of these layers. Let's go ahead and zoom out once. I'm going to use Cmd+Minus so that we can see the full document, and then I'll toggle the visibility of these layers by just clicking off the eye icon. So we can see that there indeed all four layers.
Alright, we'll go ahead and make them all visible again, and I want to add all of these layers to my composite document. I'll go ahead and use the Window menu and Arrange, and then choose Tile in order to see both of my open documents. On my Layers panel, if I want to select all four layers I can select the top one, hold down the shift key and then click on the bottom layer. We can see that they're all now highlighted and selected.
But before I drag and drop them into my composite image, let's click on the composite image and see what layer's selected. I can see that the texture layer is selected. I just want to keep this in mind because when we drag and drop from one document to another, the layers will drop right on top of whatever layer is selected. So when I return back to this layered document. By clicking on it anywhere in the image area, and then click in my layers panel, and drag all four of those layers into the composite.
We can see in fact that they did appear right above the texture layer. All right, we no longer need the untitled document, so I'll click on it, and then click on the X in order to close it. I don't want to save it, so I'll click Don't Save. Now if I want to reposition all of these layers, well they're already all selected, so, I'll just click and drag them above the trunks layer. I can also reposition them in the image area by selecting my Move tool. If its not selected just tap the V key.
And then because they're all selected in my layers panel, I can go ahead and move them all at once. I'm going to change the stacking order of the logo layer so I'll select it in my layers panel and then click and drag it to the very top. I'm also going to hide it for now by clicking on the eye icon in order to toggle off its visibility. Now if I want to re-size the brown, white, and blue trees layers, and you'll notice that they all came in already named.
And in fact if we move back to Bridge, using Cmd+Option+O, or Ctrl+Alt+O. You can see that Photoshop actually took the name of the file, and that's what it named the layer, and it did that because we went to the Tools menu to Photoshop, and we loaded those files as layers. So that's a really nice feature that you automatically get when you choose that command. I'll click the boomerang in order to go back to Photoshop. Now, I want to resize all three of these layers, but, I want to do this in a flexible way. So I'm going to want to convert all three of these to smart objects. I can use the Layer menu, and then choose Smart Objects, and Convert to smart Object, but it would be easier if I select the next layer and then use the context-sensitive menus.
So that's a right mouse click on Windows, or the Ctrl key and click on Mac. So I'll select convert to smart object from the menu. Move to the next layer, and then right mouse click, and then again chose convert to smart object. Now there are a variety of ways that we can select different layers. So far I've been using the layers panel in order to select the layer. But if I position my cursor in the image area, I can actually use the context sensitive menus in order to quickly select layers without having to travel all the way over to the layers panel.
So if on Mac you hold down the command key. And then click you'll notice that wherever you click you can see all of the layers beneath where you clicked so in this case I'm seeing 5 different layers. If I instead hold down the Ctrl key and click over here on the Mac, or do a right mouse click on Windows, now I can only see these two layers. If I click way over here on the left, now I only get the texture layer. You can see that if I were to click, say, over on the brown tree with my context-sensitive menus, I can then quickly select the white trees.
Even though I can't see them because they are directly under the brown trees. Again, that's just your context sensitive menu, and selecting the layer that you want. If I have the Move tool selected, and I want to auto-select a layer, there's an option in the Options bar to auto-select. Now by default it set to group, and we haven't talked about groups yet, so let's change that to layer. Now wherever I click, if I click in the background area here, this texture area, you can see that the texture layer was automatically selected.
If I click here, the trunks layer is selected and if I click on top of the brown trees, we'll select that. It's a little more difficult though If the layer is not showing. So using this method I can't actually select the white trees or the blue trees. Alright lets turn that off for a moment. If you don't want the auto select on all the time and you just want to temporarily enable it as long as you have the move tool selected you can hold down the Cmd key on Mac or the Ctrl key on Windows and then automatically select a layer by clicking on it, so that might be an efficient way as well.
Alright, I'm going to select the 04, the brown trees layer here, and I'm going to transform it. So I'll use command t on the Mac or control t on Windows. That's the same as choosing Edit, and then Free Transform. If I want to transform this from the center and keep the aspect ratio, I need to hold down the Option and the Shift key. But did you notice that only the layer that I have selected is transforming? And I actually want to transform all three of the layers at once.
So let's tap the Escape key to get out of there, and then I'll select all three layers, and let's go ahead and do that on the layers panel. So the brown tree is selected I'll hold down the Shift key and click on blue trees. Now when I use Cmd+T or Ctrl+T on Windows, and I hold down the Option and the Shift key, or the Alt and the Shift key on Windows, and I transform this, all three layers are going to transform together. i can also reposition them while I'm in free transform. We'll make them a little bit larger than that and then tap Return or Enter to apply that transformation to each individual layer.
Now, I would like to spread out these layers, right. I don't want them all stacked right on top of each other. And there are some easy ways to align and distribute your images. If you want to do this in a little bit more free-form manner, then you can go under the View menu and under Show, you can show your smart guides. Let's select the white trees layer, and as I move it around when I move it to the left you can see the smart guides that the two layers are in alignment.
If I start dragging down, I lose the smart guides. When I drag up and it snaps into alignment, I'll see those smart guides. And of course I can also position it at the bottom, and then I would only see one Smart Guide. If I position it right at the corner we see two. If I come down here and position them in the center, you can see how the Smart guides are helping me to figure out what's in alignment. Alright, let's go ahead and undo that. Now the other way that I can do this is I could select the blue trees for example.
And then using the Move Tool, I'll just click and start dragging down. Now I would like for PhotoShop to automatically distribute these with an even space between them. So I'll hold down the Shift key, and then select the brown trees, so that all three of these layers are selected. And then with the Move tool selected, you can see that I have a number of options for alignment as well as distribution. So I want to distribute these evenly. So I'll go ahead and select this icon and now you can see that Photoshop has gone ahead and put an even amount of spacing between those three layers.
If I wanted to change that, all I would need to do. Maybe select the white trees, and move them up a little bit. Then, select all three layers again, on my layers panel, and then click to distribute again. While all of my layers are selected, I can also reposition them and I can use the arrow keys to nudge them to the left or to the right. And if I hold down the shift key and I tap an arrow key then you can see that it nudges in larger increments.
At this point if you wanted to turn off those Smart Guides, you would select View and then Show, and then select Smart Guides again to toggle it off. Alright, at this point we've done a number of things to our image. So let's go ahead and do a file. And I'm going to do another Save As, and I'm going to rename this Composite01, because I like to name my file sequentially when I'm working on them so then I know which one is the most current.
I'll save it as a Photoshop file with my layers, and click Save. We'll turn on the maximum compatibility, and I'll click Okay. And then I'll select File, but this time, instead of selecting just Close, I'll choose Close and go to Bridge. That will close my document and take me right to Bridge, where we can see the Composite01 file.
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