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Making a new background layer

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Making a new background layer

Let's start things off by opening a couple of images that are found inside the 10_layers folder. The first one is called Base layers.psd and this is the beginning point for our project, and the other one is Martini Hour banner.psd and this is the final composition that we're going to create over the course of this chapter. Now, something you should know about these two images as well as most of the other ones inside the 10_layers folder is that they use an Adobe font called Rotis Semi Sans, and unless you have that font which is unlikely, you're going to see this warning right here, that will tell you; Some text layers contain fonts that are missing.

Making a new background layer

Let's start things off by opening a couple of images that are found inside the 10_layers folder. The first one is called Base layers.psd and this is the beginning point for our project, and the other one is Martini Hour banner.psd and this is the final composition that we're going to create over the course of this chapter. Now, something you should know about these two images as well as most of the other ones inside the 10_layers folder is that they use an Adobe font called Rotis Semi Sans, and unless you have that font which is unlikely, you're going to see this warning right here, that will tell you; Some text layers contain fonts that are missing.

Don't worry about it, just click OK, but let me show you what's going on here. I'll press Shift+Tab in order to bring up my right-side panels including the Layers panel. If you don't see it, you can go to the Window menu and choose the Layers Command, or press the F7 key. And keep that keyboard shortcut in mind. We're going to be using it a lot in this chapter. And right there at the top of the Layers panel, our two text layers both of which are unhappy there, these little caution icons. And those are the layers that are using Rotis Semi Sans, but while it means you can't edit the layers, and you can't scale them neither of which I'm going to be asking you to do.

You can still see them just fine. They will look great on your computer because Photoshop goes ahead and automatically stores a pixel definition of those type layers. So any composition is going to look good on any machine. It's basically the idea as long as you've got Photoshop of course. This is a very wide image that we're working on here. It's a banner for this audio-only podcast that I do call Martini Hour. I usually work big like this and then down sample for the web banners. So, this image is four times as large as it will ultimately appear on my website.

But here's the deal because it's so very wide, I need to rearrange my interface a little bit. So, I'm going to take the Layers panel by itself, I'm just going to drag the Layers tab and drop it here inside in the empty portion of the Image window. And then I'm going to drag it up. Notice that I can move it on top of the Options bar if I want to, and I'll scale it down too, I'll make it nice and tall so that I can see as many layers as possible, make it wider too so that I'm not truncating those layer names. Then let's go ahead and move this out away for a moment. I'm going to grab the Adjustment and Masks panels and move them back into the right-hand stack here like so.

What that's going to do on my machine is it's going to go ahead and collapse the Channels and Paths panel down there, but that's not really anything to worry about. We can always bring it back later if we need them. But that allow me easy access to the Adjustments panel as we'll see. I'm going to go ahead and press Shift+Tab to get rid of those guys. Now everybody goes away including the Layers panel which is why I now need to press F7 to bring it back and now I'll just kind of move it over here so that's hovering above things. So now, a few words about layers, what's going on with them? Many compositions but not all have this thing called a Background.

Technically, that's not a layer. What that is, is just a flat image that's sitting behind everything else, you can't move it, and it's in utter and completely opaque rectangle, that's at the base of the entire layered composition. Anybody else could be any shape they want, they can have transparency and translucency and layer masks and all the advantages of floating independent layers. So, this final version of the composition happens to be a background along with 15 other layers on top of it.

And I'll show you how I made it of course over the course of this chapter. So, let's go ahead and switch back to Base layers.psd. And we're only going to be working with one actual photographic image, and that's this Martini glass right there that comes to us from gunnar3000 of the Fotolia image library about which you can learn more at fotolia.com/deke. Notice if I move the Layers panel over here for a moment, notice that we have this checkerboard pattern over on right -hand side, that is the transparency grid.

And by default, it's white and light gray like this which is not my favorite combo because white is a very common color inside of Layered Compositions particularly if you're working on print graphics, because presumably you're printing your images against the white background. So, I find this to be a little deceiving sometimes, also I like to have a little bit of extra behind my layers, so I can really see what's going on there. So, it's always going to be a checkerboard but you can change the colors or luminance levels of those checks if you like. And you do that by pressing Control+K or Command+K on the Mac in order to bring up the Preferences dialog box.

And then you switch over here to Transparency & Gamut and there are your guys. You can switch between Light, and Medium, and Dark if you want to. And Medium it tends to be a good place to start sometimes, but here is what I'm going to do. I'm going to leave this lighter square the color it is, and I'm going to go ahead and click on the white one in order to bring up the Color Picker dialog box. And I'm going to change this Brightness value right here to something like 70, or you could go lower than that, you can go to 65 let's say.

But I don't want too much contrast between my checks. So, I'm going to go with 70, click OK. That way it's non-intrusive, it's just sitting there in the background. I can tell it's the transparency grid, I know what's going on, click OK. And what that means of course just in case you're unclear is that this area of the layer doesn't have any pixels. It is transparent and we're seeing through to utter and complete nothing is because this is the lowest layer inside the composition and the only one that's visible right now.

Now, let's say what we want to do is we want to add a background, because this image currently lacks one. You don't have to have a background with your layered compositions. But if you want one for whatever reason and sometimes it's helpful to have a background just to establish a composition so you can tell what's going on, or so that you have something to blend into if you're going to be using Blend modes. I'm going to go ahead and add a background layer, and it's kind of a weird process frankly. To add a new blank layer inside a Photoshop you go up here to the fly-out menu icon, click on it and choose New Layer or better yet, press Control+Shift+N, Command+Shift+N on the Mac, and that will allow you to name your new layer if you want to.

I'm just going to say OK, because I don't care what its name is because Photoshop is going to overwrite that in just a second. Another way to make a new layer by the way, I'll go ahead and press Control+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. You've got this little Page icon down here at the bottom of the panel, and if you click on it then you bypass the dialog box. You have to Alt+Click or Option+Click on it to force the display of the dialog box, but if you just click, you bypass the dialog box and Photoshop automatically names a layer for you. The next step is to go to the Layer menu, choose New, and then choose Background From Layer.

So in other words you can't just make a background layer, you have to go through these two steps to do it which is weird but anyway, now we have a new background and we have something to blend against which is something that we'll do in a future exercise. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how layers can be bigger than the overall composition.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals

195 video lessons · 73904 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 39m 52s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop CS5 One-on-One
      1m 49s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the DekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping Mac OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 8s
  2. 53m 36s
    1. There is nothing you can't do
      2m 1s
    2. The power of Photoshop
      4m 43s
    3. Duplicating a layer
      4m 49s
    4. Liquifying an image
      4m 43s
    5. Adding a layer mask
      5m 54s
    6. Loading an alpha channel
      7m 42s
    7. Selecting with Color Range
      4m 10s
    8. Making a Hue/Saturation layer
      2m 53s
    9. Luminance blending
      7m 21s
    10. Mask density
      5m 9s
    11. Making a knockout layer
      4m 11s
  3. 51m 23s
    1. The best way to work
      41s
    2. Setting General preferences
      5m 33s
    3. Changing the pasteboard color
      5m 41s
    4. File handling, performance, and units
      7m 25s
    5. Touring the Photoshop interface
      11m 5s
    6. Creating and saving a workspace
      7m 21s
    7. Changing settings and updating the workspace
      6m 4s
    8. Resetting the preferences
      7m 33s
  4. 2h 46m
    1. The amazing Adobe Bridge
      1m 17s
    2. Making a new image
      5m 11s
    3. Opening an image
      7m 7s
    4. Opening and closing multiple images
      5m 24s
    5. Opening a problem image
      4m 23s
    6. Adding file information
      8m 37s
    7. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      7m 37s
    8. A whirlwind tour of Bridge
      7m 21s
    9. Adjusting the interface and thumbnails
      8m 18s
    10. Using the full-screen preview
      8m 5s
    11. Rotating images on their sides
      5m 38s
    12. Assigning star ratings and labels
      8m 40s
    13. Filtering thumbnails in the Contents panel
      9m 13s
    14. Moving, copying, and deleting files
      6m 34s
    15. Creating and assigning keywords
      6m 38s
    16. Searches and collections
      7m 3s
    17. Batch-exporting JPEG files
      8m 57s
    18. Batch-renaming
      7m 15s
    19. String substitution and regular expressions
      8m 50s
    20. Grouping images into stacks
      7m 21s
    21. Comparing images in Review mode
      5m 58s
    22. Playing images in a slideshow
      4m 49s
    23. Customizing and saving the workspace
      7m 17s
    24. Using Mini Bridge in Photoshop CS5
      8m 36s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Learning to swim inside an image
      37s
    2. The tabbed-window interface
      5m 19s
    3. Arranging image windows
      4m 26s
    4. Common ways to zoom
      5m 31s
    5. New zoom tricks in Photoshop CS5
      4m 24s
    6. Hidden old-school zoom tricks
      4m 34s
    7. Scrolling and panning images
      4m 8s
    8. Viewing the image at print size
      6m 42s
    9. The Navigator and "bird's-eye" scrolling
      2m 56s
    10. Nudging the screen from the keyboard
      2m 39s
    11. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 41s
    12. The Rotate View tool
      3m 36s
    13. Cycling between screen modes
      6m 17s
    14. Using the numerical zoom value
      6m 14s
  6. 1h 6m
    1. Imaging fundamentals
      58s
    2. What is image size?
      7m 45s
    3. The Image Size command
      6m 0s
    4. Selecting an interpolation option
      4m 56s
    5. Upsampling versus "real" pixels
      5m 22s
    6. The penalty of pixels
      5m 35s
    7. Print size and resolution
      7m 26s
    8. Downsampling for print
      6m 39s
    9. Downsampling for email
      7m 28s
    10. Options for upsampling
      8m 13s
    11. Better ways to make a big image
      6m 1s
  7. 44m 43s
    1. Frame wide, crop tight
      1m 2s
    2. Using the Crop tool
      8m 8s
    3. Fixing out-of-canvas wedges
      5m 31s
    4. Crop tool presets
      6m 53s
    5. Previewing the crop angle
      4m 24s
    6. The Crop command
      4m 47s
    7. Straightening with the Ruler tool
      4m 18s
    8. Cropping without clipping
      5m 1s
    9. Perspective cropping
      4m 39s
  8. 1h 41m
    1. Making drab colors look better
      1m 20s
    2. Brightness and contrast
      4m 10s
    3. Adjusting numerical values
      4m 26s
    4. Introducing adjustment layers
      5m 17s
    5. Editing adjustment layers
      2m 51s
    6. Saving adjustment layers
      4m 35s
    7. Adding a quick layer mask
      4m 23s
    8. Introducing the Histogram
      4m 34s
    9. Working with the Histogram panel
      6m 27s
    10. Using Color Balance
      7m 18s
    11. Introducing the Variations command
      4m 51s
    12. Luminance and saturation controls
      3m 54s
    13. Fading a static adjustment
      3m 21s
    14. How hue and saturation work
      4m 28s
    15. Rotating hues and adjusting saturation
      6m 4s
    16. Creating a quick and dirty sepia tone
      4m 42s
    17. Adjusting hues selectively
      5m 32s
    18. The Target Adjustment tool
      4m 24s
    19. Photoshop CS5 Target Adjustment enhancements
      53s
    20. Adjusting the color of clothing
      8m 44s
    21. Enhancing a low-saturation image
      4m 23s
    22. Refining saturation with Vibrance
      5m 1s
  9. 1h 57m
    1. Photoshop versus the real world
      1m 21s
    2. Meet the selection tools
      10m 26s
    3. Marking the center of an image
      4m 9s
    4. Drawing a geometric selection outline
      4m 45s
    5. Blurring a selection outline with Feather
      6m 8s
    6. Copy and paste versus drag and drop
      5m 31s
    7. Creating a graduated selection
      4m 29s
    8. Aligning one image with another
      4m 45s
    9. Accessing the Move tool on the fly
      3m 34s
    10. Invert and Match Colors
      5m 4s
    11. Matching colors selectively
      3m 52s
    12. Feathering and filling a selection
      5m 14s
    13. Dressing up a composition with effects
      5m 34s
    14. The incredible image rotation trick
      2m 18s
    15. The Magic Wand tool
      4m 12s
    16. Tolerance and other options
      7m 7s
    17. Grow, Similar, and Inverse
      5m 39s
    18. Quick selection and the Magnetic Lasso
      7m 27s
    19. Evaluating a selection in Quick Mask
      8m 52s
    20. Saving and loading selections
      6m 14s
    21. Placing an image with a layer mask
      3m 23s
    22. Eliminating edge fringing
      7m 43s
  10. 1h 58m
    1. Brushing to correct
      56s
    2. How brushing works
      4m 52s
    3. Working with spacing
      7m 32s
    4. Changing size and hardness
      7m 45s
    5. The heads-up Color Picker
      7m 17s
    6. Flipping a mirror image
      3m 33s
    7. Setting the source for the History brush
      3m 42s
    8. Brightening details with the Dodge tool
      7m 49s
    9. Darkening details with the Burn tool
      3m 5s
    10. The Sponge tool
      4m 29s
    11. Backing off edits
      8m 4s
    12. Patching eye bags
      8m 57s
    13. Evening out flesh tones
      7m 23s
    14. Smoothing away whiskers
      7m 41s
    15. Reducing shadow noise
      7m 0s
    16. How healing works
      4m 40s
    17. The enhanced Spot Healing brush
      4m 52s
    18. Using the better Healing brush
      4m 23s
    19. Introducing the Clone Source panel
      3m 49s
    20. Cloning from one layer to another
      5m 30s
    21. Working with multiple sources
      4m 44s
  11. 1h 23m
    1. The layered composition
      1m 0s
    2. Making a new background layer
      6m 58s
    3. Working with "big layers"
      6m 24s
    4. Move, Duplicate, and Scale
      4m 11s
    5. Transforming a copy and repeat
      5m 15s
    6. Stacking order and eyedropping a layer
      5m 15s
    7. Adjusting multiple layers at once
      4m 22s
    8. Switching between layers
      4m 56s
    9. Making a digital star field
      5m 9s
    10. Blend mode and clipping mask
      4m 50s
    11. Dragging and dropping from your desktop
      4m 38s
    12. Black + Lens Flare = glow
      6m 16s
    13. Locking transparency
      5m 42s
    14. Adding gradient layers
      8m 12s
    15. Stacking an adjustment layer
      4m 12s
    16. Adding shadow and stroke
      6m 9s
  12. 1h 17m
    1. Outputting from Photoshop and Bridge
      1m 32s
    2. Printing an RGB composite
      5m 31s
    3. Customizing the subjective print file
      3m 15s
    4. Gauging print size
      5m 35s
    5. Scale, position, and page orientation
      5m 6s
    6. Three important printing curiosities
      4m 41s
    7. Introducing the Output options
      5m 34s
    8. Establishing a bleed
      5m 52s
    9. Using the Color Management options
      7m 21s
    10. Generating a PDF contact sheet
      6m 18s
    11. Creating a contact sheet template
      6m 8s
    12. Saving and opening a PDF contact sheet
      4m 18s
    13. Introducing the Web Gallery
      7m 53s
    14. Exporting and editing an HTML site
      3m 58s
    15. The Airtight Photocard site
      4m 56s
  13. 1h 9m
    1. Rules of the web
      1m 1s
    2. Introducing web graphics
      6m 59s
    3. A first look at Save for Web
      5m 47s
    4. Scaling a layered image versus a flat one
      7m 30s
    5. Incremental downsampling
      3m 1s
    6. Adding text, bar, and stroke
      4m 24s
    7. Assigning copyright and metadata
      6m 21s
    8. Comparing GIF, JPEG, and PNG
      4m 59s
    9. Determining the perfect JPEG settings
      6m 31s
    10. Saving metadata
      3m 52s
    11. Working with an unprofiled RGB image
      4m 35s
    12. Downsampling graphic art
      4m 49s
    13. Saving a GIF graphic
      6m 1s
    14. Antiquated GIF versus the better PNG
      4m 6s
  14. 1m 37s
    1. Until next time
      1m 37s

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