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Photoshop CC Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Organizing layers into layer groups


From:

Photoshop CC Essential Training

with Julieanne Kost

Video: Organizing layers into layer groups

As you work with more and more layers one of the things that happens is that your Layers panel get a bit out of control. In order to organize your layers you can use layer groups. Now not only do layer groups help you organize your layers, you can actually move all of your layers at one time if they're in a group. You can transform them. You can change opacity, and blend mode, and you can even mask all of your layers. And add layer effects. So let's go ahead and begin by opening up the composite01.psd file. If we wanted to select multiple layers, in this case I'll select the blue tree, hold down the Shift key and select the brown trees, so I've got all three of these small images selected.
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  1. 1m 42s
    1. What is Photoshop?
      1m 42s
  2. 2m 52s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      25s
    3. Installing Adobe Bridge
      1m 23s
  3. 40m 58s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      3m 3s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      6m 0s
    3. A tour of workspaces in Bridge
      8m 30s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      4m 42s
    5. Changing file names and batch renaming
      4m 39s
    6. Adding basic metadata with metadata templates
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      7m 1s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      2m 17s
  4. 27m 23s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejected images
      5m 32s
    2. Saving images in collections
      3m 52s
    3. Rating and labeling images
      4m 31s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      3m 7s
    5. Using smart collections
      3m 39s
    6. Viewing final selects in a slideshow
      2m 50s
    7. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      3m 52s
  5. 29m 57s
    1. Comparing raw and JPEG files
      5m 5s
    2. Starting in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      4m 1s
    3. Touring the Camera Raw user interface
      5m 29s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      3m 18s
    5. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings
      4m 44s
    6. Choosing output settings
      3m 34s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      3m 46s
  6. 57m 3s
    1. Using the nondestructive Crop tool: Door and window with ramp
      3m 42s
    2. Correcting a tilted horizon line with the Straighten tool
      4m 12s
    3. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      3m 52s
    4. Fixing blown-out highlights
      6m 38s
    5. Revealing hidden shadow detail
      4m 36s
    6. Reducing distracting color noise with Noise Reduction
      5m 55s
    7. Correcting lens distortion
      5m 17s
    8. Making perspective corrections to images
      5m 51s
    9. Removing chromatic aberration
      3m 32s
    10. Sharpening details
      7m 23s
    11. Making an average photo great
      6m 5s
  7. 1h 3m
    1. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      5m 39s
    2. Adding a radial gradient
      6m 35s
    3. Making local adjustments with the Adjustment Brush
      11m 19s
    4. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      4m 35s
    5. A quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      7m 49s
    6. Converting to black and white
      3m 17s
    7. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustment tool
      3m 56s
    8. Selective coloring effects with the Adjustment Brush
      5m 56s
    9. Easy sepia and split-tone effects
      4m 11s
    10. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 27s
    11. Adding vignettes and border effects
      4m 24s
    12. Saving variations within a single file with the Snapshot command
      3m 27s
  8. 19m 16s
    1. Copying and pasting settings across files
      1m 52s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      4m 22s
    3. Saving and using a library of Camera Raw presets
      5m 47s
    4. Saving multiple files in Camera Raw
      3m 36s
    5. Using Image Processor to batch process multiple files
      3m 39s
  9. 35m 30s
    1. Opening files from Bridge
      3m 9s
    2. Opening files from Mini Bridge
      4m 40s
    3. Customizing the Mini Bridge panel
      5m 11s
    4. Customizing the interface in Photoshop
      3m 49s
    5. Managing panels
      5m 1s
    6. Switching and saving workspaces
      3m 45s
    7. Switching tools using the keyboard
      3m 21s
    8. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      6m 34s
  10. 22m 49s
    1. Working with tabbed documents
      2m 51s
    2. Arranging documents
      3m 37s
    3. Stopping Photoshop from tabbing documents
      2m 49s
    4. Panning, zooming, and using the Rotate View tool
      9m 51s
    5. Cycling through the different screen modes
      3m 41s
  11. 26m 19s
    1. Understanding file formats
      8m 26s
    2. Choosing the resolution you need
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding Resize vs. Resample
      9m 40s
    4. How big a print can you make with your image?
      2m 58s
  12. 59m 15s
    1. Using Undo and the History panel
      6m 40s
    2. Using crop options
      4m 20s
    3. Understanding Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      3m 52s
    4. Cropping to the perfect print size
      3m 51s
    5. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      5m 2s
    6. Making the canvas bigger using the Canvas Size command
      4m 57s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      4m 21s
    8. Removing keystoning from buildings
      2m 6s
    9. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
    10. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      8m 29s
    11. Nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      3m 56s
    12. Warping images
      4m 48s
    13. Preserving important elements with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 49s
  13. 43m 18s
    1. Exploring layer basics
      13m 25s
    2. Loading, selecting, and transforming layers
      10m 51s
    3. Organizing layers into layer groups
      8m 47s
    4. Merging, rasterizing, and flattening layers
      10m 15s
  14. 1h 7m
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      11m 41s
    2. Combining selections
      6m 40s
    3. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      7m 40s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool and Refine Edge
      7m 12s
    5. Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge
      9m 28s
    6. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      5m 42s
    7. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      9m 9s
    8. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      4m 55s
    9. Combining multiple exposures with layer masks
      5m 5s
  15. 42m 5s
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      3m 29s
    2. Starting with a preset
      2m 36s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      7m 32s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      5m 7s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      2m 37s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      1m 56s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      5m 39s
    8. Making washed-out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 7s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      3m 32s
    10. Creating traditional darkroom toning effects
      2m 51s
    11. Controlling which layers are affected by an adjustment layer
      3m 49s
    12. Three different ways to add an adjustment layer
      50s
  16. 24m 41s
    1. Adjusting shadows and highlights
      5m 49s
    2. Replacing color using Selective Color
      5m 39s
    3. Using fill layers to create a hand-painted look
      7m 18s
    4. Using a gradient fill layer to add a color wash
      5m 55s
  17. 38m 11s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Healing Brush and Patch tools
      10m 21s
    2. A quick technique for smoothing skin and pores
      3m 4s
    3. Making teeth bright and white
      2m 47s
    4. Brightening eyes, to make a person appear more alert
      6m 31s
    5. Taming flyaway hair
      4m 53s
    6. De-emphasizing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      1m 53s
    7. Body sculpting with Liquify
      5m 13s
    8. Removing unwanted details with Content-Aware Fill
      3m 29s
  18. 22m 47s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      5m 50s
    2. Combining multiple frames of an action sequence
      6m 21s
    3. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      4m 3s
    4. Working with bracketed exposures (HDR)
      6m 33s
  19. 57m 22s
    1. Overview of filters
      3m 3s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively with Smart Filters
      5m 56s
    3. Straightening images using the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      5m 28s
    4. Creating a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      3m 23s
    5. Creating an infrared look with Diffuse Glow
      5m 4s
    6. Adding noise with the Add Noise filter
      7m 7s
    7. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen
      7m 22s
    8. Giving an image texture with the Texturizer filter
      1m 53s
    9. Using the Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift Blurs
      8m 32s
    10. Creating a painting with the Oil Paint filter
      2m 35s
    11. Applying the Camera Raw filter
      2m 48s
    12. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      4m 11s
  20. 24m 3s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      5m 24s
    2. Scanning or photographing paper to add a deckled edge
      4m 55s
    3. Adding texture with blend modes
      1m 58s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      5m 57s
    5. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      2m 49s
    6. Adding a realistic off-center vignette
      3m 0s
  21. 34m 43s
    1. Exploring character (point) type
      11m 4s
    2. Adding paragraph (area) type
      4m 7s
    3. Adding type on a path
      7m 3s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      3m 41s
    5. Warping type
      2m 36s
    6. Defining character and paragraph styles
      6m 12s
  22. 24m 13s
    1. Using the shape tools
      13m 45s
    2. Custom shape layers
      6m 15s
    3. Adding a keyline to an image
      4m 13s
  23. 24m 48s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      8m 57s
    2. Adding edges, textures, and color overlays using styles
      5m 11s
    3. Creating a transparent logo or watermark
      4m 46s
    4. Knowing how and when to scale layer effects
      5m 54s
  24. 11m 43s
    1. Creating contact sheets
      4m 29s
    2. Creating PDF presentations
      3m 25s
    3. Saving for the web
      3m 49s
  25. 23m 9s
    1. Working with video clips
      12m 14s
    2. Adding special effects to video files
      5m 56s
    3. Adding pans and zooms to still images
      4m 59s
  26. 1m 4s
    1. Next steps
      1m 4s

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Photoshop CC Essential Training
13h 46m Beginner Jun 17, 2013 Updated Jan 16, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Using Bridge to batch rename files and add keywords and metadata to photos
  • Viewing, rating, filtering, and creating collections to isolate your best work
  • Comparing raw and JPEG file formats
  • Retouching and automating workflow with Camera Raw
  • Navigating documents and the Photoshop interface
  • Understanding file formats, resolution, canvas size, and print size
  • Cropping, straightening, transforming, warping, scaling, and resizing images
  • Selecting, stacking, aligning, and grouping layers
  • Making precise selections using the Marquee, Lasso, and Brush tools
  • Using Refine Edge, Quick Selection, and layer masks to isolate soft edge objects
  • Improving tone, contrast, and color selectively
  • Converting to black and white and tinting images
  • Retouching blemishes, smoothing skin, whitening teeth, and brightening eyes
  • Retouching with the Liquify, Content-Aware Fill, Healing Brush, and Patch tools
  • Merging multiple exposures
  • Making nondestructive changes with Smart Filters
  • Adding texture, edge effects, and drop shadows with blend modes
  • Working with type
  • Creating, modifying, and combining shapes using the Shape tools
  • Adding layer effects
  • Saving and sharing images via contact sheets, web galleries, and Save For Web
  • Editing video and audio clips
  • Panning and zooming still photos
Subjects:
Photography Raw Processing
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Julieanne Kost

Organizing layers into layer groups

As you work with more and more layers one of the things that happens is that your Layers panel get a bit out of control. In order to organize your layers you can use layer groups. Now not only do layer groups help you organize your layers, you can actually move all of your layers at one time if they're in a group. You can transform them. You can change opacity, and blend mode, and you can even mask all of your layers. And add layer effects. So let's go ahead and begin by opening up the composite01.psd file. If we wanted to select multiple layers, in this case I'll select the blue tree, hold down the Shift key and select the brown trees, so I've got all three of these small images selected.

If I simply click on the folder icon here to add a group, it just adds a group but it doesn't put those layers inside of it. So let's undo that by using Cmd + Z or Ctrl + Z. And instead I'll either use the keyboard shortcut to add a group which is Cmd + G on the Mac or Ctrl + G on Windows. Or we can drag these three layers on top of the folder icon, and that will place all three of those layers in the group. Now, we can't see the contents of the group by default, but if we click on the disclosure triangle.

Sure enough, there are my three layers. And I know that they're inside the group because they're indented. Now, if I want to rename my group, I can simply double click on the word group and then we'll rename this small images. Tap Enter return in order to apply that name. Now because I have the group selected, you'll notice that if i wanted to reposition these layers, I could simply click and drag. And because the group it selected it assumes that I want to move everything in the group at one time. Likewise, if i were to choose Edit and then Free Transform, you can see that the transformation handles are all the way around all of the contents in the group. So, if I wanted to hold down the Shift key, and transform these a little bit smaller, when I tap Return or Enter, each one of the individual layers has been transformed.

If I want to nudge them down I'll just hold down the Shift key, and use the down arrow, and then I'll use the right arrow in order to move them to the right a little bit. Let's go ahead and show our logo layer. I'll select it and then toggle on its visibility by clicking on the Eye icon. And I want to put the logo, and the trunks layer inside a group. So I'll select them both. This time I'm going to hold down the Command key on the Mac, or the Control key on Windows in order to select two discontinuous layers. And then I'll use the keyboard shortcut Cmd + G or Ctrl + G. But watch what happens.

Because these two layers are not next to each other In the Layers panel. When I put them in a group, Photoshop's got to decide, does it put it at the top or does it put it where the bottom layer was and we can see that it added it to the top. Now, if we wanted to reposition this group, which obviously we do because now, this layer here that's called Trunks is above all of my small images. We can click on the group itself, and start dragging it down. If I were to let go of the group, in the middle of another group, it would actually nest this group.

Now that's not what I want, so I'm going to move it all the way down here until it's right above the texture group. We see that line going across. That gray line. And I'll release my cursor. So now you can see the group, and the small images are on the same level. If I had released it inside another group, you can see that it would go ahead and nest that group. And of course we know that these are in the small images group, because they're at this level. And then these two layers are in group one. But I don't actually want to do that, so I'll use Cmd+Z, or Ctrl+Z. I want both of my groups, at the same level.

And I can go ahead and double-click on group one, and we can call this large image, and also logo. And then we'll go ahead and just tap Return or Enter in order to apply that. So if I wanted to reposition the logo, instead of having the group selected, I need to go down to the Logo layer and then move that into position. Now I think that the Trunks layer is a little bit too small, so this is a good example of why it's really nice to convert your layers in the smart objects. Because, if I haven't when I wanted to re-size this up, I would be losing image quality, but because I converted to a smart object before I re-sized it down. That means that I can go ahead and use Cmd+t, or Ctrl+t on Windows, in order to re-size this up, using Free Transform.

And as long as I don't go over 100% in my width and height, we know that Photoshop is going to use. That original data and I will have a very high quality layer. To apply that, I'll tap Enter or Return. I also think that this texture layer in the background is a little bit too subtle. So I'll select it in the Layers panel, and I'll tap the 8 key. Remember I can tap the 8 key because I have the move tool selected. So tapping 8 will change my opacity to 80%. What I would like to get a little bit more separation between my three small images and the background. So I want to add a small thin stroke around each one. Now in previous videos, we actually selected the individual layers in order to add a stroke around it.

But because all three of these small images are in the same group, I can use the effects icon and select Stroke, and we can add a stroke to all of the images within that group at one time. So let's make the size a little bit smaller, I'm going to select two. And I want the position to be inside, and I'm going to change the color a little bit as well. So instead of just having a black stroke, I'll click in the color swatch, and then I could select a color here using the color picker, but what I would prefer to do is position my cursor over my image area, and click with the eyedropper in order to sample kind of a darkish brown color.

Of course I could go in here and refine that now. But at least that got me to the right color. And then if I want to make it a little bit lighter or darker, I can. I'll click OK and then OK again. And you can see that I have that nice brown stroke around all three of those images. When I resize that background layer, it kind of put these three images a little bit out of proportion. So because I have the small images group selected, it's really easy for me just to use Cmd+t or Ctrl+t in order to re-size that group larger and scoot it over. And one of the nice things is, is that even though I re-sized the contents of the group, the stroke didn't change.

So if I double-click where it says stroke in my layers panel, that will return me back to my layer style, and you can see that it's still set at two pixels. So it didn't change the stroke, it just transformed the photographs or the content within those layers. Alright, I also need to move the passenger seat logo. I'm going to right mouse click, or you can hold down the Command key on the Mac, and select the layer that you want. In this case, the logo. That way I didn't have to return all the way over to the layers panel. And then, I'll just drag that and reposition it up a little bit higher. So you can see as you want to start working a little bit more quickly with Photoshop and select layers and contact sensitive menus can really, really help. And let's just look at the Layers panel for one moment. You'll notice how nicely all of the layers in the groups are labeled, and I know it might seem a little bit.

Like overkill and it, it might take a little more time to actually make sure that all the layers are named, and the groups are all named, but if you are working in a collaborative environment, and you're going to be handing off your files to another artist or production team, or even if it's just you that has to revisit the files later to make changes, it's really to your advantage to keep track of all of your layers. At this time, I will select File, and then we'll choose Save As. I'm going to save this as Composite02 as a Photoshop document, my layers are going to be saved.

I'll go ahead and click save with the maximum compatibility turned on. And I think at this point, we can go ahead and just check this don't show again, so that we don't get this dialogue box every time. Instead it will just automatically default to maximize in the compatibility. Click OK, and then we'll choose File, and then close and go to Bridge.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CC Essential Training.


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Q: This course was updated on 01/16/2014. What changed?
A: When Creative Cloud applications are updated, we refresh our training to make sure it covers the latest features and interface changes from Adobe. This update covers changes to Camera Raw, including nondestructive cropping, workflow and output settings, and the ability to save multiple files automatically.
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