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Photoshop CS4 offers an abundance of helpful shortcuts and hidden tricks that allow designers and photographers to get more done in less time. In Photoshop CS4 Power Shortcuts, Michael Ninness reveals hundreds of tips to boost productivity, including the top 20 power shortcuts every Photoshop user must know. He covers strategies for better document and panel management, and offers techniques for becoming quicker and more nimble when using layers, adjustment layers, and layer masks. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download the keyboard shortcut guide from the Exercise Files tab.
One of the great things about adjustment layer is that they all have a built in layer mask which means you can do local adjustments just by painting in the region that you want to have the adjustment be affected by. Now as a shortcut, you can actually create a selection before you generate the adjustment layer and that selection will turn into a layer mask. So for instance, let's say that you wanted to make this model's eyes green. Well, if I want to Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and turned on Colorize and then dial in a green Hue, you can see it's colorizing the entire layer.
And then you had to go through the process of reversing out the mask and then going back and painting in just the eyes. So I'm going to go ahead and delete this adjustment layer and I'm going to make a very loose selection before I create the adjustment layer. I'm just going to press L for the Lasso tool and I'm going to very carefully make a very quick selection. Not that I'm trying to be too accurate here. To add to my selection, I'm just going to hold down the Shift key and then I can drag over this eye as well. Great! And I know I have got too much selected. That's okay. I'm not going to worry about it for now. Now we'll go to my Hue/Saturation adjustment layer, do the same thing. We'll turn on the Colorize check box and we'll go over to the greens here in Hue slider and I might want to just dial back some of the Saturation here. But let's settle in all the green and then I'll play with the Saturation and that looks good.
Now, you will see that I have two little white dots on my layer mask. My selection got converted to the mask. If I hold down Option or Alt-click on the mask, you can see that very careful mask job that we did. Okay, so I Option-click again, now I'll switch back to the Brush tool, B for the Brush tool. And pick a larger brush. Right and left bracket keys. And I'm just going to paint with black to subtract the extra green where I didn't make a very good selection from the beginning. So this is just a little bit easier as you are making your adjustment, you don't see the whole layer turning green, you just kind of center it in on the area that you wanted to affect by making a loose selection before you go to create the adjustment layer.
So just a nice general tip. Start with a selection, it turns into a mask.
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