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Discover how to use Adobe Photoshop, without any added fine art skills, to modify artwork and turn the ordinary into extraordinary. Author and illustrator Bert Monroy takes an unexciting photo and transforms it into an amazing dream sequence by combining it with other photos and techniques. His process touches on compositing, digital painting, masking, and other key image editing techniques. All you need is Photoshop, some images that could use a boost, and your imagination!
In quite a few of the movies, I use clipping groups to mask out parts of a layer. Here, I want to explain what a clipping group is. I have here three layers, red, green, and blue. Each one is set on a transparent background. There is the red, there is the green, and there is the blue. Now, right now they are on top of each other. I am going to use the red layer as the clipping group for the other two. What's going to happen there is that these guys will be confined to the live area of the red layer, the live area where the actual pixels are not taking into account what's going on in back with the transparency.
This will also take into account transparency along the edges for the anti-aliasing. It will take all that into account in preparing how these things are masked. Now, I am going to do it the way I do it throughout this series, and that is by the shortcut. I simply hold down the Option key and press between them. Now, if I don't hold the Option key, you see that the little hand is going up and down through the Layers Panel. But when I hold down that Option key, it changes the cursor when it gets in between. So, what I am going to do is I am going to click right here.
And you notice that the red suddenly became underlined, and the green became indented with an arrow pointing down. And you see that it's only visible inside the area of the red. I am now going to clip the blue. The blue doesn't seem to make a difference, but if I was to take the blue and move it around, you can see that, yes, the blue is being hidden inside of the red. And they are still individual layers that I can do things to, as you can see. I could take that green layer and reduce its opacity. I can even go in there and give it a drop shadow, increase the distance, and the size, so there is this nice little drop shadow right there.
I can go to the blue layer. There it is. There is the blue layer. We'll kind of bring it over to the side here a little bit, and I am going to go in there and give that a nice little drop shadow, give it a Bevel & Emboss. Nice depth, we'll make it a Chisel Hard, and we'll make it a little bigger. So, it's got this nice little effect going on in there, and I can even give it a filter, because it is a totally separate layer. So we'll give it some noise, we get a lot of noise, click OK, and there you can see.
I have affected all these layers and they are still individual layers. If I want to separate them from the group, all I have to do is Option-click between them. So, I can go over here, and I could just go in there, and Option-click between these two layers, and you can see that it get separated from it, Option-clicking again, and they'll come back and become part of the group again. Now, they are manipulated in any way I want, opacities, anything I want to do. Now, anything I do to the base layer will affect all of them.
There, I made the blue one transparent, didn't do anything to the green one. I will, however, go to the red one and reduce its opacity. When I reduce its opacity, you notice that they are all being affected. If I give a layer style to the base layer, I say we give that an Inner Glow which will make quite large. You see that it is affecting all the other layers, they are getting the glow as well based on the shape of what we are creating here. So that's what a clipping group is. It's a way of going in there and masking other layers with the live area of the base layer in that clipping group.
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