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Photoshop CS4 offers an abundance of helpful shortcuts and hidden tricks that allow designers and photographers to get more done in less time. In Photoshop CS4 Power Shortcuts, Michael Ninness reveals hundreds of tips to boost productivity, including the top 20 power shortcuts every Photoshop user must know. He covers strategies for better document and panel management, and offers techniques for becoming quicker and more nimble when using layers, adjustment layers, and layer masks. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download the keyboard shortcut guide from the Exercise Files tab.
From time to time you may go off unattended in a document and experiment and try something else and then realize that you need to mask your result. In this case, I'm going to experiment here and try a different blend mode with a duplicate of this layer to see if I get a different effect that I like. So I'm going to turn off this layer here, the top layer, and there's the original layer where we started. So I'm going to duplicate the layer, Command+J, Ctrl+J, just call it Background copy here and again, we are going to go do our Blur > Gaussian Blur and we'll go with 10 pixels. Sure, why not? Click OK. And this time instead of the Screen blend mode, which this image was set to, we're going to change it to Darken. It's kind of a grungy, gritty effect.
But now I realize that I don't like what it's done with the eyes, right? I have lost detail in the eye. Again I've lost some detail in the blue makeup here. So rather than create a layer mask and repaint that layer mask, I just want to steal the layer mask from this layer and apply it to this layer instead. Well, it's easier than you think. Just click on the layer mask and drag it from the layer that you want to borrow it from to the layer that you want to apply it to. So now you can see if I Shift-click on the layer mask and turn that off, you can see that it's now protecting the eyes and so I retain the original detail of the eye.
So pretty simple. You want to borrow or steal a layer mask from one layer to another, just drag it from layer to layer.
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