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Transforming layers

From: Photoshop CS5 Essential Training

Video: Transforming layers

So, continuing on with our postcard project here, I want to make these four images here, the Lily, Mixed, Tulips and Dahlia layers, I want to make them a lot smaller and create little thumbnails of them. Now I'm not quite sure, or I'm pretending I'm not quite sure how big these images are going to end up finally. I might end up scaling them down, but then need to change my mind and make them a little bit larger, right. So, when you're transforming pixels inside Photoshop, that's a destructive action. If I make these layers smaller, I'm throwing away those pixels. And then if I want to go back and make them a little bit larger, I'm not going back from the original source data.

Transforming layers

So, continuing on with our postcard project here, I want to make these four images here, the Lily, Mixed, Tulips and Dahlia layers, I want to make them a lot smaller and create little thumbnails of them. Now I'm not quite sure, or I'm pretending I'm not quite sure how big these images are going to end up finally. I might end up scaling them down, but then need to change my mind and make them a little bit larger, right. So, when you're transforming pixels inside Photoshop, that's a destructive action. If I make these layers smaller, I'm throwing away those pixels. And then if I want to go back and make them a little bit larger, I'm not going back from the original source data.

I'm basically making a small image bigger again, which is typically going to make your image not look so good. Well, fortunately, you can convert any layer into something called a Smart Object, and what does is that captures all the original information of that particular layer and embeds a copy of that in the Photoshop document itself. So, then you're free to transform and scale that image layer as much as you want, because you're always going back to the original image and re-sampling it from the original source data. Now, you can't make t much bigger than the original, but you can certainly go down and then back up to its original size with complete freedom and not having to worry about losing any pixels.

Now the easiest way to convert any particular layer into a Smart Object is to right-click on the layer name in the Layers panel and say Convert to Smart Objects. I'm going to go ahead and do that to all four of these. I had to do it one at a time, right- click and Convert to Smart Object on each of these layer names. The reason you've got to do one at a time is if you'd selected all four of those layers together and then right-click on the selected layers together, you would have turned all four of those layers into a single Smart Object and I'd be able to scale each one of those independently. Okay, so I've got the Lily layer selected. Now in this particular file I've actually got some guides that I've already drawn, so I know where I want these things to end up.

I'm going to go ahead and turn my guides. There's a keyboard shortcut, but I'll go ahead and use the View menu. And under Show, I will say Show Guides. Okay, so there's the grid I've already created. To create a guide, it's just as simple as turning on your rulers. So, lets go turn that on. We'll turn View > Rulers. And as you might imagine, you keyboard shortcut people, it's Command or Ctrl+R and you just drag from a ruler. So, either a vertical ruler or a horizontal ruler. You click in the ruler itself and start dragging out, then position that guide wherever you wanted. When you let go, you've got a new guide. I want to go ahead an undo that, Command+Z, Ctrl+Z, and I'll turn my rulers back off.

Command or Ctrl+R. And I'm back to where I was, just having my guides visible here. All right. So, we're going to scale or transform the Lily layer into one of these squares we've created with my guides here. And to open up the Free Transform mode or switch you into that mode, it's Command or Ctrl+T. That puts a bounding box around all the pixels on that particular layer. In this case, just around the Purple Lily layer. In Free Transform, I can go ahead and reposition that to where I want the upper left-hand corner to be the intersection that guide there, just by clicking in the middle and dragging anywhere.

And then to scale this proportionally, I'm going to go to the opposite corner. I'm going to hold down the Shift key and then click and drag that to the opposite corner there and just kind of line it up with the guides that I created. And then I'll press Return or Enter to lock that in and I've scaled or transformed that particular layer. Okay, when I move on to the next layer. This is the Mixed layer here, and I want to just select that layer very quickly. I'm going to hold down the Command or Ctrl key and click right on that layer to select it. You'll see in the Layers panel the mixed layer is now selected. I can now move that around freely wherever I want it. Kind of line that up there in the upper left-hand corner.

Again, we go into Free Transform mode. It's Command+T or Ctrl+T. Again, to scale proportionally, we'll hold down the Shift key and we'll just drag up till we snap to one of those other guides there. And then I'll press Enter or Return to lock that in. Next, I am going to do the Tulips layer, so I am going to Command or Ctrl+Click right where I see the Tulips. That selects that layer for me. Go to Free Transform mode there as well. I'll hold down the Shift key again, drag in one corner up to the other end, and I might want to reposition that so I can line it up with a guide, and then hold down the Shift key again to continue scaling that to one of those squares that I've created with my guides.

When I've got it locked in, I hit Enter or Return and then we will do one more, the Dahlia layer here. Again, I'm going to Command or Ctrl+ Click right on the pink part of that layer that I can see. That targets that layer and selects it for me. And I'm going to go ahead and let's position it down here because I want to show you something else. Now you'll see that part of this layer is off the image window. If I do Command or Ctrl+T, you'll see I can't seen the bottom corner handle anymore because it'soff the screen. So, I'm going to use the Fit to Screen command or Fit to Window command. It's Command+Zero or Ctrl+Zero on Windows.

And what does is that it shrinks the view down just small enough so you can see the entire bounding box of the Free Transform mode. Very handy if you're scaling a very large image. And the bounding box is way off screen. Just do a Command or Ctrl+Zero to make sure everything will fit within your current view, so you can get to the handles that you want to transform. All right. So, I can see it. I'm going to hold down the Shift key, grab that corner handle, then we'll resize it there as well until it looks about right and press Enter or Return. And I'm going to go ahead and turn the guides off. I can do that under the View menu, View > Show, turn off Guides.

And again, it's where you want to learn keyboard shortcuts. So Command+Semicolon or Command+Colon will toggle those on and off. When you're first starting out, hunting and pecking with the menus is fine. Over time, you'll start feeling like that's cumbersome, so you'll pick up the keyboard shortcuts as you go. And then you can just go ahead and rearrange these freely. Because the Dahlia layer is the selected layer I can click and drag and move that anywhere inside the image window. Once you've got these smaller layers that are clearly defined and not overlapping each other, that's when turning on the Auto-Select Layer command or option may actually be something you turn on or leave on for a while.

Because then you can just click exactly where you want to grab something and just start dragging around freely. I don't have to use the Layers panel. I don't have to hold down any modifier keys and so forth, so I'm just going to arrange these wherever I want. And again, as a reminder, if you don't want to have this on permanently, then just Command of Ctrl+Click on the item that you want to move and then start dragging it once it's been targeted. Okay, so there they are. They're all kind of lined up where I want them and that's how you transform layers. You just target the layer you want to transform. Command or Ctrl+T to go into Free-Transform mode. Now there's one other bonus trick here. You can transform multiple layers at the same time.

So, if I select Lily by clicking on it in the Layers panel and I hold down the Shift key and click on the Dahlia layer, all four of those are going to get selected. I'm going to go ahead and deselect by clicking where there is nothing in the Layers panel to deselect those selected layers. Because as you might expect, there's actually a trick to select multiple layers in the image window itself as well. So I'm going to hold down the Command key or Ctrl key and click on the Lily that I see here. If I add Shift to that so Command+ Shift or Ctrl+Shift and start clicking on other layers, you will add that to your selection. Again, very common just like when you're using Illustrator or InDesign, you typically when you Shift+Click you start adding to your selection so that's what's going on here.

I'm just Command+Shift or Ctrl+Shift clicking on the layers that I see in the image window, just select all four of them in this case. And you can see in the Layers panel that all four are indeed selected. When you go into Free Transform mode it will put the bounding box around your total selection. So if I do Command+T now, you'll see you're getting a bounding box around all four of these. So, the point here is that you don't have to transform one layer at a time. You can transform multiple selected layers as well. If I want to scale all four of these, just hold down the Shift key and do it proportionately. And I can stretch them if I want, but I want to maintain their proportions, and you can see all four layers are scaling at the same time because they were all selected first.

Okay, I am going to go ahead and Escape. by pressing the Esc key on the keyboard, to just cancel that Free Transform mode.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 Essential Training
Photoshop CS5 Essential Training

154 video lessons · 93200 viewers

Michael Ninness
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 47s
    2. What is Photoshop?
      2m 49s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 34s
  2. 28m 29s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      1m 54s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      3m 39s
    3. A tour of the different workspaces in Adobe Bridge
      4m 58s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      3m 35s
    5. Changing obscure camera file names with the Batch Rename command
      2m 36s
    6. Adding basic metadata to every image with metadata templates
      3m 36s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      4m 6s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      4m 5s
  3. 23m 4s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejects
      5m 27s
    2. Protecting the keepers by saving them in collections
      3m 18s
    3. Rating images
      3m 15s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      4m 43s
    5. Viewing final choices in a slideshow
      2m 12s
    6. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      4m 9s
  4. 30m 50s
    1. Raw vs. JPEG files
      5m 13s
    2. Why you should start in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      5m 9s
    3. A tour of the Camera Raw user interface
      6m 44s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      4m 2s
    5. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings
      2m 37s
    6. Choosing output settings
      2m 45s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      4m 20s
  5. 41m 34s
    1. Eliminating red-eye with the Red Eye Removal tool
      1m 13s
    2. Improving composition with the non-destructive Crop tool
      3m 33s
    3. Correcting a rotated horizon line with the Straighten tool
      3m 5s
    4. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      2m 13s
    5. Fixing blown-out highlights with Recovery
      2m 36s
    6. Revealing hidden shadow detail with Fill Light
      1m 47s
    7. Reducing distracting color noise with Noise Reduction
      5m 37s
    8. Removing color fringes with Chromatic Aberration
      2m 36s
    9. Sharpening the details
      8m 59s
    10. End to end: Taking a so-so photo and making it great
      9m 55s
  6. 39m 5s
    1. Fixing blown-out skies with the Graduated Filter tool
      4m 34s
    2. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      5m 41s
    3. Making local adjustments with the Adjustments Brush
      4m 28s
    4. Quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      4m 33s
    5. Converting to black and white
      3m 36s
    6. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustments tool
      4m 18s
    7. Easy sepia and split tone effects
      2m 35s
    8. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 46s
    9. Adding vignettes and border effects
      2m 13s
    10. Saving variations within a single file with Snapshots
      4m 21s
  7. 15m 48s
    1. Copying settings from one file and pasting across another in Adobe Bridge
      3m 7s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      2m 28s
    3. Saving and using a library of Camera Raw presets
      5m 33s
    4. Using Image Processor to batch process multiple files
      4m 40s
  8. 30m 39s
    1. Opening files from Adobe Bridge
      3m 1s
    2. Opening files from Mini Bridge
      3m 28s
    3. Customizing the Mini Bridge panel
      2m 57s
    4. Changing Mini Bridge so it auto-collapses
      1m 20s
    5. The Application frame
      2m 16s
    6. The Application bar
      1m 16s
    7. Switching and saving workspaces
      4m 23s
    8. Panel management
      5m 31s
    9. Switching tools using the keyboard
      3m 18s
    10. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      3m 9s
  9. 16m 12s
    1. Tabbed documents
      2m 1s
    2. The Arrange Documents widget
      1m 38s
    3. How to stop Photoshop from tabbing documents
      3m 34s
    4. Pan and zoom
      5m 21s
    5. Cycling through the different screen modes
      3m 38s
  10. 36m 59s
    1. File formats
      13m 6s
    2. What resolution does your image need to be?
      10m 15s
    3. Resize vs. Resample
      9m 40s
    4. How big a print can you make with your image?
      3m 58s
  11. 42m 17s
    1. Crop options
      4m 12s
    2. Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      3m 30s
    3. Bringing back hidden pixels with Reveal All
      1m 34s
    4. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      6m 1s
    5. Making the canvas bigger by a specific amount with Relative Canvas Size
      1m 39s
    6. Correcting perspective with the Crop tool
      3m 5s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      50s
    8. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      4m 12s
    9. Nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      4m 2s
    10. Warping images
      3m 40s
    11. Preserving the important elements with Content-Aware Scaling
      9m 32s
  12. 54m 42s
    1. The Background layer
      5m 14s
    2. Using a layer mask instead of deleting pixels
      4m 12s
    3. Loading multiple images into a single Photoshop document as layers
      1m 30s
    4. Naming, hiding, creating, and deleting layers
      4m 18s
    5. Changing the stacking order of layers
      2m 51s
    6. Selecting layers without using the Layers panel
      6m 28s
    7. Transforming layers
      7m 16s
    8. Aligning and distributing layers
      3m 51s
    9. Changing the opacity of layers
      2m 57s
    10. Organizing layers into groups
      2m 55s
    11. Saving variations with layer comps
      5m 3s
    12. When to merge and rasterize layers
      5m 0s
    13. Flatten vs. Save As (a Copy)
      3m 7s
  13. 1h 4m
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      7m 23s
    2. Transform selections
      2m 40s
    3. Quick Mask is your friend
      4m 31s
    4. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      6m 33s
    5. Using the Quick Selection tool
      3m 1s
    6. Re-selecting a previous selection
      1m 35s
    7. Improving a selection with Refine Edge
      4m 21s
    8. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      12m 7s
    9. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      2m 59s
    10. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      4m 53s
    11. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      3m 53s
    12. Combining multiple exposures with the Blend If sliders
      6m 26s
    13. Replacing the sky in an image
      4m 19s
  14. 1h 1m
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      7m 57s
    2. Starting with a preset
      4m 25s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      10m 28s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      5m 4s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      5m 56s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      2m 55s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      9m 0s
    8. Making washed out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 46s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      5m 49s
    10. Controlling which layers are affected by an Adjustment Layer
      7m 28s
  15. 11m 32s
    1. Shadow/Highlight
      9m 3s
    2. Matching color across multiple images
      2m 29s
  16. 34m 12s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Spot Healing brush
      6m 21s
    2. Quick technique for smoothing skin and pores
      8m 23s
    3. Taming flyaway hair
      4m 47s
    4. Making teeth bright and white
      1m 43s
    5. De-emphasizing wrinkles
      4m 41s
    6. Removing unwanted details with Content Aware Fill
      4m 26s
    7. Body sculpting with Liquify
      3m 51s
  17. 21m 6s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      7m 20s
    2. Combining multiple frames of an action sequence
      8m 30s
    3. Combining group shots with Auto-Align
      5m 16s
  18. 25m 36s
    1. Overview of filters
      4m 6s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively with Smart Filters
      4m 45s
    3. Giving an image a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      4m 41s
    4. Adding noise to an image with the Add Noise filter
      3m 34s
    5. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask
      4m 12s
    6. Giving an image more texture with the Texturizer
      1m 17s
    7. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      3m 1s
  19. 30m 44s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      4m 43s
    2. Three blending modes you must know
      6m 41s
    3. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      3m 33s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      4m 33s
    5. Creating a diffused contrast glow effect with Overlay
      6m 2s
    6. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      5m 12s
  20. 21m 39s
    1. Character (point) type
      8m 19s
    2. Paragraph (area) type
      4m 42s
    3. Type on a path
      2m 54s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      2m 24s
    5. Warping type
      3m 20s
  21. 20m 35s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      4m 43s
    2. Adding an outer glow effect
      3m 13s
    3. Adding a border around an image
      2m 53s
    4. Copying layer effects and applying them to other layers
      2m 3s
    5. Saving layer styles and applying them in other documents
      2m 42s
    6. How (and when) to scale layer effects
      5m 1s
  22. 16m 6s
    1. Creating PDF contact sheets
      6m 41s
    2. Exporting web photo galleries
      6m 8s
    3. Saving for the web
      3m 17s
  23. 1m 19s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 19s

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