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Photoshop is one of the world’s most powerful image editors, and it can be daunting to try to use skillfully. Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second part of the popular and comprehensive series, follows internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland as he dives into the workings of Photoshop. He explores such digital-age wonders as the Levels and Curves commands, edge-detection filters, advanced compositing techniques, vector-based text, the Liquify filter, and Camera Raw. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, and enhancing colors without harming the original image. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisite: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise I'm going to introduce you to a handful of checkboxes that are essentially layer effect helpers. They are designed to help you work out problems that occur sometimes when you are applying layer effects to layers, but they are incredibly difficult to suss out. Which is why I'm here to help, of course. I am still working inside the Yummy juice.psd image, because we haven't really done anything to it and I'm going to Double-Click on spokesboy, in this empty area, the spokesboy layer, because it happens to be selected and it's handy.
These are the checkboxes I'm talking about. Their whole reason for existing is to help you fix things that seem to be going wrong. Of the group, I'm here to tell you that the ones that I use most often are Blend Interior Effects as Group and I'll demoing that twice to you, because it's so useful and then Layer Mask Hides Effects. Those tips that you see when you hover over one of these options, they're actually pretty useful. They tell the story pretty well. Now the idea is Blend Interior Effects as Group is going to take any Interior effects which include your Inner Shadow, your Inner Glow and all of your Overlay options and Satin as well.
It's going to go ahead and apply them to the layer and then apply any blend modes to the layer and the effects as a group and then Blend Clipped Layers as Group is going to do the same both with clipping groups, with the clipping mask. So layers that are clipped inside of other layers. Transparency Shapes Layer, I have never in my life figured out a use for this checkbox. I have no idea why it's there. Basically, if you turn that off, notice how things go completely catawampus here and all of a sudden, all of the effects that we have applied including Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow and Color Overlay, they are all applied to the entire image, so that they are no longer tracing the outline of Max for example.
So this orange Color Overlay is not only appearing inside of Max, it's washing into the sky and so it's turning the sky kind of a gray color because the blue is being canceled out by the orange. Then the shadow is now a rectangular shape and so is the Inner Shadow. They are taking up the entire image, I tell you. Go ahead and zoom out and we should get the Inner Shadow some place, it should be up here some place inside the image. It's just ridiculous. I don't know why you would want that. Anyway, right if you find a use for it by all means, but normally you want that turned on, I think, because otherwise everything sort of defeats the purpose.
Layer Mask Hides Effect, that's a really interesting one. So basically if you've got a layer mask assigned to a layer, by default it's going to reshape the layer and so the layer effect is going to trace the masked area. But if you want to clip out that area of the layer effect, then you can turn the checkbox on. And I'll show you how that works and then Vector Mask, same thing, but using a vector mask instead of a pixel-based layer mask. So what I just told you so far probably came off as so much gobbledygook. I might as well spend a lesson going blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, because it's a little difficult to wrap your mind with the exception of my rant about the Transparency Shapes Layer checkbox. It didn't demonstrate anything, but I just wanted to set it up. So there you have it.
So it's what those five options do, in case you ever want to come back to this exercise and go, what in the world was he saying? That's what they do. In the following exercises, I'm going to show you two examples of Blend Interior Effects as Group, because it's so very useful and I'll show you one example of Layer Mask Hides Effects, because it's also very useful and then you will at least understand those and you will also have a sense of how the other ones would work, because Blend Clipped Layers as Group is pretty similar and to Blend Interior Effects as Group has a very similar purpose in life and vector mask and layer mask obviously are very similar as well.
Okay, so cancel out. If you care to learn anything about Photoshop, join me in the next exercise.
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