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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
In the next few movies, we will be working on this file shortcuts.psd go and double click that one and open it up in Photoshop. Now in this movie, what I want to do is talk a little bit more about Layers and particularly, I want to talk about creating new layers, about targeting, about moving layers. Also, I want to talk a little bit more about layer clipping mask. Then after we have gone over these final tips I'm going to review all the shortcuts that we have covered and we will do that in the next movie. Okay, well, for starters, let's go ahead and take this to Full Screen View mode, Spacebar to reposition this image. Now we notice that we have this wall background layer then we have a photograph of my daughter Sophia. We have a circle and then we have another photo of my daughter Sophia wearing a hat.
All right, well, these are the layers that we have so far. Well, as we can see things are a little bit cluttered here, so what I want to do is arrange these a little bit differently. So how then can I get to that circle there? Well, I can see that I have targeted that circle there which is fine. I can click on that in the Layers palette, select the Move tool and then click to reposition that. Well, now that I have repositioned that, I actually want to move the hat layer. How can I get there quickly? Right-click or Ctrl-click and as long as that layer has an opacity of higher than 50%, you can then select it from this menu, I selected Sophia hat. Notice it's now targeted, I can then reposition that there. How cool is that? A really handy way to navigate. Okay, well, so far, so good. We have seen how we can begin to organize our layers just a little bit. Well, how else can I target or move layers? I'm going to go ahead and cover up the background image of Sophia there, by clicking and dragging this on top of it.
Well, let's say I really wish that Sophia phone was on the top. Well, I can of course, click on that in the Layers palette or I could use this really interesting shortcut. Now first, I'm going to talk about the Mac shortcuts. For the Mac, it's Option plus one of the bracket keys to target a layer or Command plus the bracket keys to move a layer. On a PC, that's Alt+Bracket keys to target, Ctrl+Bracket keys to move. So let me show you how that works. So I'm on a Mac/so I press Option+left bracket. Notice how I'm targeting a different layer in my Layers palette. Now I press Command+Right Bracket. I'm moving that layer and I think of options saying, well, just show me different options. Let's see what our options are, right? Then Command is like, I command this one to move! Or on a PC again, it's Alt+Left bracket or right bracket to Target. Control and brackets is the one to actually move the layers. I'm going to go ahead and move the Sophia phone layer down below and now I want to target this layer Sophia hat, right click or Ctrl-click, choose Sophia hat, reposition it. Now I want to target the circle right-click or Ctrl-click, choose Circle and then reposition that.
Now I wish the circle was on top of Sophia. Do you remember the shortcut? On a Mac that's Command+Right Bracket, on a PC, Ctrl+Right Bracket. I'll reposition the circle so it's right on top of Sophia's face there. Okay, perfect. Now I want to push that layer underneath Sophia's hat and because these shortcuts can be confusing, I'm simply going to drag it underneath there, perfect. All right, well I'll click in the Sophia hat layer, now what I want to do is I want to turn this into a layer clipping group and I'm going to do that by navigating to my Layer pulldown menu and choosing Create Clipping Mask, there is a shortcut for that as well. Now this particularly image is confined or limited or applied to that circle shape below.
So I can modify that image there or I can click in the circle and modify that one there. Okay, great. Well, let's say I like that. I'm going to create a new layer and create a circle for the other photograph and I want to do something very similar. So go ahead and click in the Sophia phone layer and say OK, new layer. How can I do that? Well, I'm going to show you how you can create a new layer a couple a different ways. One way is of course is to click on the New Layer icon here. Okay, I have a new layer, great. Another way is to use a shortcut, which is Shift+Command+N on the Mac. Shift+Ctrl+N on a PC. That gives you the ability to create a new layer with the dialog. So I'll call this one New and click OK. And now let's delete that layer for a moment. What's the final shortcut? Well, the final shortcut is on a Mac/Shift+Option+Command+N; on a PC, Shift+Alt+Ctrl+N.
Now keep in mind, I know you are probably thinking, oh my Gosh! These shortcuts are crazy. I'm going to review the shortcuts in the next movie. So stick with me because I think it's worth it to at least see them this time. So I'll go ahead and press Shift+Option+Command+N on a Mac/Shift+Alt+Ctrl+N on a PC. Now I have a new layer. The layer isn't named. I didn't have to look at that dialog window. Now which technique is best? Well, it really depends on what you are trying to accomplish. All right, so I have this new layer. I'll go ahead and grab the Elliptical marquee, to make sure I have the elliptical one there, perfect and I'll click and drag and expand this out. Okay, that looks pretty good and then just to keep things really simple, I'll grab my brush tool and I'll make my brush bigger by pressing the right bracket key and I'm just going to fill in that circle with black.
Okay, great. Next, navigate to your Select pulldown menu and choose Deselect. Okay, well, now that I have this new circle shape, I need this to be underneath the Sophia phone layer. On a PC, press Ctrl+Left Bracket; on a Mac/press Command+Left Bracket. All right, we are then going to go to the Sophia Phone layer, hold down the Option key on a Mac/Alt key on a PC. Hover between these two layers, turn this into a layer clipping mask and voila! You have now successfully done the same thing as we did to your image. Now if you forget that shortcut, you can always find it here under the Layer menu. You can also turn this off or release this clipping mask by choosing that option here as well. I know I'm doing a lot at you, but I think this step is kind of worthwhile. Now what I want to do in the next movie is review some of these shortcuts that we have covered throughout this chapter because if you can learn these shortcuts and if you can learn how to use Layers well because it can really help you make progress as you continue to learn Photoshop.
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