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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Alright, now let's go ahead and create a couple of custom layer comps of our own. I am going to go ahead and twirl close these folders that I have got open here, these layer groups, so that we save a little room inside the Layers palette and I am going to turn on the Interlacing layer which conveys those TV lines and I am also going to turn on the Reddish layer so that we have the nice blood red action going here inside the composition. Now, how do we go about saving this as a layer comp? Well. let's hide the Layers palette from view by pressing the F7 key so that I can get to the Layer Comps palette.
Notice, of course, that the page icon now appears in front of last document state indicating that we have a custom state that has not been saved yet. And we can save that state by clicking on the little new icon, the little page icon here at the bottom of the Layer Comps palette. Notice, that brings up the New Layer Comp dialog box. So this time around, whereas in order to display a dialog box in the Layer palette, you have to Alt-click or Option-click the little page icon. Here just clicking the little page icon displays the dialog box and allows you to name the new layer comp.
If you were to Alt or Option-click, you would skip this dialog box. It's another one of those cases of when in doubt, press Alt or Option here inside Photoshop, it always changes the behavior of something or other. Anyway, I am going to go ahead and name this layer comp Red Version. Now, I want to direct your attention to these three checkboxes right here. It says apply two layers, visibility position and/or appearance. What this means is you are going to save certain attributes that have been assigned to the layers along with this layer comp and you need to decide which ones you are going to save.
Now, when in doubt, I suggest you turn all of them on and that's what I am going to have you do in this case. But what they mean is this visibility determines which layers are visible and which layers are invisible, so it's all about those eyeballs inside the Layers palette. Position is where the layers are located vertically and horizontally inside of the image. It doesn't have any effect on stacking order. Alright, so none of these options control stacking orders, it turns out, the layers are always stacked the way you last left them. And then finally, we have appearance which is the Blend mode and the opacity value and the layer effects such as drop shadow and glow and so on.
You can also enter a comment, if you want to, just to remind yourself why you made this comp in the first place. I am not going to worry about that in this case, I am just going to click on OK in order in order to create that new comp. And now, I can switch between the comps. I can see the stretch version of the image. I can see the version of the image that appears green and has white type in front of it, and then I can switch to the red version of the image as well. Now, let's say gosh, I am wondering what this composition is going to look like if the zipper text is at the top of the image window.
So let's go ahead and return to the Layers palette here. Here is the face-off text and here is the bar, they go together. Of course now, the first thing I need to do is I am going to click this little down-pointing arrowhead on the right side of the face-off layer in order to twirl it open so that we can see the effects that have been applied to this layer. Now, currently, the effects are hidden, hence it's little dimmed eyeball and no eyeball in front of the word effects. And if I click in front of effects or if I were to click on that dimmed eyeball either way, I would create a dark sort of a dark glow in the background here, even though it's called outer glow and by default, outer glows are sparkly they are light.
They can be dark. Layer effects are quite flexible as it turns out. And I've got a dark glow assigned to this text. And you can see that glow darkening up the background here. Alright, now, I am going to twirl that close down I've turned it on. And I am going to grab the bar layer as well by Ctrl-clicking on it although strictly speaking, that's not necessary because I've already linked these two layers together. Notice that they've got little chain icons next to them. This is an old way of working inside Photoshop as it turns out. Inside Photoshop CS and earlier, you had to link layers together in order to move them together.
Whether or not you weren't linking on is a function of this little link icon down here at the bottom of the Layers palette. I am mostly just telling folks who've used previous versions of Photoshop and have gotten in their habit of using of layer linking, I am wondering where it's gone, it's right here. It's not strictly speaking necessary though as I say and I am going to turn it off because both layers are active. I am now going to press and hold the Ctrl key here on the PC or the Command key on the Mac in order to get my Move tool on the fly here and I am going to drag at this text along with the bar up to the top of the screen, and it should more or less snap into position here.
And by the way, I am also pressing the Shift key in order to ensure that I have an exclusively vertical drag going, so I am moving the text upward only and not to the right or to the left. And I will go ahead and release the Mouse button and then release the Ctrl and Shift keys or the Command and Shift keys on the Mac. Alright, now I am going to click on the bar layer by itself and move it upward a little bit by pressing Ctrl+Shift or Command+Shift up arrow about four times in row. You may need to take it down a little bit from there, something like that. So at any rate, I am just moving this text to the top of the screen as zipper text and it should align nice and tight to the corner up there.
Alright, let's just go ahead and save this out so we can see what its looks like. I will go ahead and close the Layers palette from View here, hide it from View and then I will create yet another new Layer Comp and I will call this one Final Version. And I do want to save visibility position and appearance, all those attributes. A position will save the fact that the texts at the top of the screen as well as the bar of course. Appearance will save the fact that I turned on that outer glow effect that appears behind the text and darkens the top of the screen.
I'll click OK in order to accept that modification. Just to make sure that all my Layer Comps are in order, I am going to move them so I am going to move the Red Version to the top and then Final Version even above that like so because I was creating these Layer Comps in opposite order starting with the oldest one at the bottom and the newest one at the top. Now, check this out, you can use these little arrow icons to flit back and forth between the comps. So I am going to start at Base Layer here, then I am going to click the left arrow to advance to stretch and then to white type and then to Red Version with the text of the bottom of the screen without the layer effect and then to Final Version with the text at the top of the screen and with the layer effect.
It's amazing what you can do with Layer Comps inside of Photoshop. It really will, given time, change the way you work inside Photoshop.
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