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Get the ultimate foundation in Adobe Photoshop CC, in this update to the flagship series Photoshop One-on-One. Deke takes you on a personalized tour of the basic tools and techniques that lie behind great images and graphic design, while keeping you up to speed with the newest features offered with Creative Cloud. Learn to open images from multiple sources, get around the panels and menus, and work with layers—the feature that allows you to perform masking, combine effects, and perform other edits nondestructively. Then Deke shows how to perform important editing tasks, such as cropping and straightening images, adjusting the luminance of your image, correcting color imbalances and enhancing color creatively, and finally, retouching and healing.
In this movie, I'll show you how to quickly work your way through a few organizational chores. Specifically, we're going to send this wall to the back of the stack here, and we're also going to rename our Layers and Masks, something that has become much easier to do inside Photoshop. I've saved my progress as Wall on top.psd found inside the 04_Layers folder. So-called, because the wall is on the top of the image stack. It shouldn't be there, it should be at the bottom of the stack, behind the artwork, but if I try to drag Layer 2 down to the bottom, notice that I can't.
And that's because the background is not actually a layer, and notice this background item right there, it's in italics indicating that there is something special about it. It also has a lock next to it and what that's telling you is that this is not a floating layer. This is essentially the flat base of the composition. If you want to turn it into a layer so that you can drag it up and down the stack and modify it independently like other layers inside your file, then you just double-click on its thumbnail and that brings up the New Layer dialog box.
At this point, you have the opportunity to name your layer. Normally, I would name my layer because it's a good idea. However, in this case, I'm just going to click OK to create the New Layer, and notice that I have now an independent layer called Layer 0. Now, I can grab Layer 2, which is a wall, and drag it underneath Layer 0, like so. Problem is I can't see the wall because my canvas is too small. As you may recall, I was telling you that the canvas, the physical perimeter of the image may be smaller than any of the layers in the composition.
If you want to reveal every bit of those layers, then you go up to the Image menu, and you choose Reveal All, and that will expand the canvas automatically to the dimensions of the largest layer. So, now we have our layers in the proper order, we can see all the layers. However, they don't have particularly meaningful layer names, which can get you into trouble later on when your compositions become more complicated when you start amassing 20, 30, or even 100 layers. If they all have these meaningless names, you're going to be in trouble.
So, we'll start things off, as always, by double-clicking on a layer name. Start with the top layer in the stack and I'll go ahead and call this one Swirls. And then, rather than pressing the Enter key or the Return key on a Mac in order to accept that name, press the tab key in order to advance to the next layer name. And then, I'll go ahead and call it paper back, and then I'll press Tab once again in order to select the next layer name and I'll change it to wall. Now that I'm done naming all my layers, I'll press the Enter key or Return key on the Mac to exit out. And that's how you convert the background to a floating layer, change the stacking order, expand the canvass to reveal the dimensions of all layers, and rename layers en masse here in Photoshop.
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