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There have been some updates to the panels that are available in Photoshop CS6, especially as it relates to working with layers. Let's take a look at some of those basic changes. You'll notice first off that the Layers panel looks a little bit different. And not just because Photoshop has gotten a little bit of a face lift as far as the colors and the icons that are used but there are more controls here. In fact, an additional row of controls, and they help us filter down layers to just the ones we're looking for, for situations where you have many layers in a document. But let's start off by taking a look at the changes to the Adjustments panel as well as to introduce you to a new panel, the Properties panel. I have both of those panels here.
I'll switch to the Adjustments panel. In prior versions, the Adjustments panel is where you actually applied adjustments to your images. That's been changed in Photoshop CS6. Now, the Adjustments panel simply has quick shortcuts to the individual adjustments that you can add. So,, for example, if I want to add a Brightness Contrast adjustment, I can simply click the button for Brightness Contrast. The Adjustment settings themselves are found on the new Properties panel. So, you can see as soon as I add an Adjustment layer, in this case, a Brightness Contrast Adjustment layer, I'm taken to the Properties panels.
And there, I can manipulate the various controls that are available for that particular adjustment. In this case, of course, Brightness and Contrast. I could then return to the Adjustments panel if I wanted to add an additional adjustment, for example. In this case, a Vibrance adjustment, which allows me to boost the overall intensity of colors in the image. But I can also, as usual, add an Adjustment layer by clicking the Add Adjustment Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel. Let's assume I'm also doing some image cleanup work on a separate image layer. I'll go ahead and click on the Background Image layer, and then click the Add New Layer button, and rename it to Cleanup, for example.
I'll then grab the Spot Healing Brush tool and adjust the Brush Size and I'll just go ahead and paint away some of the glare from the background here. There we go, that looks a little bit better. I'll clean that up just a little bit. And we'll call that good enough for now. But now, I have a couple Image layers and a couple of Adjustment layers. You can probably appreciate that after a while, you might get a large number of layers added for a particular image or for a particular document. I can filter those layers. For example, I can filter based on the kind of layer that I'm working with. I can choose to filter only Image layers, for example. Or I can also see Adjustment layers, or Adjustment layers without seeing Image layers, as well as Type layers, Vector layers, and Smart Objects. At any time, I can turn the Filter off or on using the switch at the top right of the Layers panel.
In addition to filtering by the kind of layer, I can also Filter by name. So, for example, if I'm looking for my Cleanup layer and can't seem to find it, I can simply type, Cleanup, and I'll see only the layer that matches that text. In addition, I can filter based on Layer Effects that have been applied by modes. In other words, a Blend Mode that has been assigned to particular layer, as well as the attributes of the Layer, whether they're visible, whether the layer is empty, has a Layer Mask attached to it, etc. And finally, I can filter based on the color.
So, if you assign a color to an individual layer or multiple layers, you can filter based on that particular color. I'll go ahead and turn the Filters off for now. Returning to the Properties panel, you'll see that we can also adjust Layer Masks on the Properties panel. So, gone is the Masks panel, that allowed us to adjust a variety of parameters related to Layer Masks and Vector Masks. Now, all of these adjustments, both the adjustments for an Adjustment layer as well as the controls for our mask, are included on a single Properties panel.
So, you can see there are quite a few changes on the panels that relate to working on multiple layers. It might take you just a little bit of time to get accustom to these changes. But I think once you do, you'll find that it actually represents a little bit better organization with the various controls you need to work with, while optimizing your images.
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