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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you a few tricks for moving between layers inside of your composition. I've saved my progresses Bright on black. psd, found inside the 10_layers folder. Now I'd like to turn on the rest of the layers inside the Layers panel. There's Martini Hour which is a version of the logo that's not quite complete yet. Then we have the text layers right here that are set in that font Rotis Semisans. Now notice that glass 2 and 3 are selected inside the Layers panel for me anyway. I could click on another layer to select it.
But I want to show you some other ways to work. If you press Alt+Right Bracket or Option+Right Bracket on the Mac, you'll move up the stack. And if you get all the way to the top, and you press Alt+Right Bracket or Option+Right Bracket, you'll cycle back to the Background. You can also press Alt+Left Bracket or Option+Left Bracket on the Mac to go to the other direction. Now if you add Shift to the technique, you'll also select layers like so. This is Shift+Alt+Right Bracket or Shift+Option+Right Bracket on the Mac. I'll go ahead and Alt+Left Bracket to select a different layer.
And this is what happens when you press Shift+Alt+Left Bracket or Shift+Option+Left Bracket on the Mac. Alright, so those are ways to work, if you're looking at the Layers panel, pretty helpful. Another thing you might want to do is select layers directly inside of the Image window. So notice if I go ahead and grab the Move Tool for a moment, and I right-click, lets say on this green martini glass, if I right-click, that will bring up the shortcut menu that shows me every layer that's represented under my cursor. So there's something at that location in the colors layer, the invert layer, glass 1, glass 2 and Background.
And then you can just select the layer that you want to go to, which is a really great reason to name your layers, so that they make sense here inside of this submenu, because you might find that you use this a lot. Now if you don't have the Move Tool selected; no problem. I'll go ahead and press M to switch to the Marquee Tool. What you do is you press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and right-click. Alright, I want to show you another trick. This one allows you to go directly to a layer. I call it the Layer Express. But it's a wacky keyboard shortcut.
On the PC, let's say I want to go directly to this martini hour layer. I'd press Ctrl+Alt+Right-Click, that'll take me directly to it as you see here in the Layer panel. But it has to be a discrete layer. In other words, I'm not going to be able to get to any of the martini glasses, because they're heaped on top of each other. And they're step behind colors and invert. So if I Ctrl+Alt+Right-Click there at that location here on the PC, then I'd go to the colors layer because it's the top layer that's represented at that location. On the Mac what you do is you press Command+Option and you right-click or and I like this one better, you press all three of those neighboring keys on the keyboard.
So that is Command+Option+Ctrl right in a row, even though they'd be read Ctrl+Option+Command, but press them all, and then just go ahead and click. And if I Command+Ctrl+Option click on the G, then I go directly to the with special guest layer. So those are some ways to move around. I want to show you one more thing here. Let's say you want to check out the contents of each one of your layers by itself, without a bunch of other clutter going on, just so that you can inspect your layers. Why then go ahead and click on a layer inside of your image to make it active and then Alt+Click or Option+Click on its eyeball, so that all the other layers turn off.
Now, watch this with only one layer active and visible. If you press Alt or Option with one of the bracket keys, I'm going to go ahead and press Alt+Right Bracket or Option+ Right Bracket on the Mac, then you'll move between the layers like so. So you'll only see one layer at a time. Now we're not going to see anything where invert is concerned, but we will with colors and you'll turn off its Blend Mode too, by the way, because there's nothing for it to interact with, when you see one layer by itself. Then you can say, aha! That one's got the logo on it. This one has special guest.
This one has Time to unwind. And then we're back to Background, back to glass 3, and so on. So again, that's Alt with one of the bracket keys, Option with one of bracket keys on the Mac when just one layer is visible and active. To make all the layers visible again, you Alt+Click or Option+Click on the eyeball and what that actually does is it reinstates the previous visibility. So for example, if I had all the text layers turned off, and then I Alt+clicked on the eyeball or Option+ clicked on it, in front of glass 3, I would see just glass 3.
And if I Alt+clicked or Option+clicked on that eyeball again, I would restore the former level of visibility. So just things to bear in mind, you can also by the way, this is a great one. If you want to turn on or off a bunch of layers at once, then you drag across this first column. So I'll drag to turn on a bunch of eyeballs. I'll drag to turn off a bunch of eyeballs. So that's also a very handy way to work. In the exercise I'm going to show you how to create a field of stars inside Photoshop.
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