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Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals is a concise and focused introduction to the key features in Photoshop, presented by long-time lynda.com author and Adobe veteran Deke McClelland. This course covers the image editing process from the very beginning and progresses through the concepts and techniques that every photographer or graphic designer should know. Deke explains digital imaging fundamentals, such as resolution vs. size and the effects of downsampling. He explains how to use layers to edit an image nondestructively and organize those edits in an easy-to-read way, and introduces techniques such as cropping, adjusting brightness and contrast, correcting and changing color, and retouching and healing images. These lessons distill the vast assortment of tools and options to a refined set of skills that will get you working inside Photoshop with confidence.
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 a stack here and we're also going to rename our layers and masks, something that has become much easier to do inside Photoshop CS6. 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 two down to the bottom, notice that I can't. And that's because the background is not actually a layer.
Notice this background item right there. It's in italics indicating that there's 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 a new layer. And notice that I have now an independent layer called Layer 0. Now I can grab Layer 2, which is the wall, and drag it underneath Layer 0, like so. The 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 on 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 and 30 and even a hundred layers, if they all have these meaningless names, you're going to be in trouble.
In Photoshop CS6, you have a new option. 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 the Mac, in order to accept that name, press the Tab key in order to advance to the next layer name. Then I'll go ahead and call it paper back. And then I'll will press Tab once again in order to select the next layer name and I'll change it to wall. Now that I am done naming all my layers, I'll press the Enter key or the 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 canvas to reveal the dimensions of all layers and rename layers en masse here in Photoshop.
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