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Learn how to use selections and layer masks in Photoshop to create composite images and apply targeted adjustments. After covering the key concepts behind selections and exploring Photoshop's selection tools, Tim Grey delves into a variety of advanced techniques that will help you make accurate selections, create seamless composite images, and apply adjustments that do exactly what you want them to do.
Creating composite images, of course, can be a lot of fun. I've certainly been having some fun adding this huge sparrow to the beach scene here, but I think the sparrow might be just a little bit too big, so I'd like to size it down just a little bit. And for that, I'll want to transform my image. And I can actually transform an individual layer. In other words I can re-size an individual layer, and I can even re-size an image layer with the mask intact. Here you can see I have a layer with a bird on it, and of course a layer mask that is allowing only the bird itself to be revealed. And the two are linked together.
You can see there's even a chain icon indicating that these two objects, the layer itself and the layer mask, are bound together. That means that I can move this layer around but also transform it. To transform this layer I'll go to the Edit menu and then choose Free Transform. Now you can see I have a bounding box around the image. I'll go ahead and hold the Shift key so that I constrain the aspect ratio, and then I'll drag any of the corners to resize the image. So, just resizing that one image layer. That looks to be a pretty good size.
I can then also move the layer around so I'll just click on that layer and drag it around in the image, and right about there looks pretty good. So I'll go ahead and commit that change by clicking the Checkmark button on the Options bar. I could also double-click inside the bounding box or press Enter or Return on the keyboard to apply that change. But there you have it. By utilizing that free transform, or for that matter any of the transform commands, I can adjust a masked layer so that both the layer mask and the image layer are being changed in exactly the same way, so that the masked object remains masked even as I'm resizing and moving it around.
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