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In Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.
The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.
As we work with more and more layers, one of the things that tends to happen is your Layers panel will get out of control. So there is a variety of different ways we can organize our layers, and I really use a lot of what are called layer Groups in order to put multiple layers together. Not only the groups help organize but they also allow you to do other things. For example, I can select a group and move all of the images in a group at one time or change the opacity. So there is a lot of advantages to groups. So let's go ahead and add a group.
Now at the bottom of the Layers panel, you can either click on the Folder icon to add a group, but then you have to drag each individual layer into the group and sometimes when you do that, it can change the stacking order. So what I prefer to do is simply select the layers that I want to put into a group and then I can either drag those layers on top of the Group icon or I can just use the keyboard shortcut Cmd+ or Ctrl+G on Windows and it puts all of those images into a group.
Now by default it closes the group, it makes it nice and tidy but we can use the Disclosure Triangle right here to show the contents of that group. And of course I'll want to rename this group. Maybe this will be Small Images so that I know what's in that group when I do close it. Now I also want to put the Cloud layer and the Logo layer into a group. Let's go ahead and toggle on the visibility of that so we can see it and then I will use the same keyboard shortcut Cmd+ or Ctrl+G, but you'll notice that something happened here.
Photoshop actually changed the stacking order of these layers when it put it into the group. I had one layer below the Small Images group and one layer above the Small Images group. Well in order to put them all into one folder, Photoshop had to pick somewhere to put the group so it put it on top. But you can see if I have my Move tool selected and I now reposition this, my Cloud layer is above the Small Images layer. So I am going to want to change that stacking order.
I am going to click on the Small Images group, and I am going to drag it on top of group one, not on top, on top. If I let go now, you can see there is a highlight all the way around that group one. This will drop my Small Images group into group one. So you can actually nest groups, but that's not what I want in this case. So I am going to move my cursor a little bit higher, until I just get that single highlight. Now when I release my mouse, you can see that my Small Images group is on top of the other group. It's not inside of it.
Okay, so now my Cloud layer has been moved behind my Small Images or underneath my Small Images. But my Cloud layer is looking very small. It's a good thing that I converted it to a smart object because at this point in time I'm going to use Free Transform, and I am going to transform it a little bit larger, maybe scoot it over to the left here and you can also use your Arrow keys to nudge your images up and down, and if you add the Shift key you will move those images in a larger amount.
All right, I've got it where I want, so I'll tap Enter or Return and now I want to move all of these small images over to the right a little bit. So I will just click on the Small Images group with my Move tool selected and scoot that over. I might also want to just move it up a little, so again I'm just using my Arrow keys to nudge those images up and I want to move my Logo into place, so I will target that layer on the Layers panel, using my Move tool, and we will reposition that right over there. As the final thing, I want to decrease the Opacity of the Water layer, so we will target the Water layer because I have that Move tool selected.
We will go ahead and just tap maybe the 5 key, I think that's a little too light, let's try 7 for 70. That could even still be too light, how about 80. I think that looks just great. So I will take one last look at my Layers panel. Oh! I see one more thing that I just want to tidy up before we save this. I will name this group, Cloud with logo and tap the Enter or the Return key. We can hide those layers by clicking on the Disclosure Triangle and now my design is the way I like it, my Layers palette is nice and organized and this also means that if I needed to hand this off to someone else, it's going to be very easy for them to make any changes, if necessary, because I've been so organized.
And I know it may seem like a little bit extra work to organize your Layers panel and rename all your layers in your groups. But it's really great if you're working in like a collaborative environment because by taking this extra time if someone else needs to open this file and make some changes it's going to be really easy to see which layers they need to work on. So at this point I will do another quick File>Save As because we are going to use this in another tutorial later on. I'll call it WindowSeat2 into the layers folder as a Photoshop document with layers and click Save.
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