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The wide world of layer enhancements

From: Photoshop CS6 New Features

Video: The wide world of layer enhancements

In this movie, I'm going to walk you through a bunch of minor but much-needed enhancements to layers inside Photoshop CS6, and I'm going to save my favorites for the end. So be sure to watch the entire thing. Let's start things off with the Eyedropper. I'll go ahead and click on it here in the toolbox. Now as many of you know, the Eyedropper by default is set to lift the composite color. So in other words, if I click on the model's forehead, I'm seeing the color of that pixel as it appears on screen, subject to all the layers working together.

The wide world of layer enhancements

In this movie, I'm going to walk you through a bunch of minor but much-needed enhancements to layers inside Photoshop CS6, and I'm going to save my favorites for the end. So be sure to watch the entire thing. Let's start things off with the Eyedropper. I'll go ahead and click on it here in the toolbox. Now as many of you know, the Eyedropper by default is set to lift the composite color. So in other words, if I click on the model's forehead, I'm seeing the color of that pixel as it appears on screen, subject to all the layers working together.

Now in previous versions of the program, you've also been able to select Current layer, which means you'll just lift the color from the active layer. Right now in my case, it won't do me any good because I have an adjustment layer selected. You can also lift the composite version of the color on the Current layer and Below so in other words you ignore all layers above the active layer, or here is my favorite. You can lift the composite color but ignore the Adjustment layers. So if I go ahead and choose that option and notice, I've got a total of six adjustment layers working together inside of this image.

If I now click at that same spot, on the woman's forehead, I get an entirely different, uncorrected color, as a result. Another interesting thing to note about the Eyedropper is it has for years had this Sample Size option. So in addition to Point Sample which lifts the color of a single pixel, you can average in the area that measures 11 by 11 pixels wide, around the clicked pixel. What few people know however--it's kind of a secret handshake--is that this option affects the behavior of, of all things, the Magic Wand tool, and so you could actually mess up the behavior of the Wand tool, if indeed you use it, by changing the Sample Size associated with the eyedropper.

Now however, Photoshop tells you that. If you switch to the Magic Wand tool, which you might need to select from a Quick Selection fly-out menu, then you'll see the Sample Size option right here at the beginning of the Options Bar, and notice it has been changed to 11 by 11 Average because the Sample Size setting operates in lockstep along with the Eyedropper tool. So I'll go ahead and change it back to Point Sample and that will affect the behavior of the Eyedropper as well. All right! I'm just going to switch back to the Rectangular Marquee and I'll switch to this image as well.

Now, when I take a look at the lightning layer here, I notice that it's set to the Screen mode, and here's something interesting. If I turn off the layer, I can still see that it's set to the Screen mode. So instead of seeing Normal, which is what you would have seen in CS5, we see the active screen mode, even those that are assigned to hidden layers. Still though, when I turn the layer back on, the effect that I'm seeing is not explained by the Screen Blend mode. Somehow I'm seeing the lightning masked and portions of lightning are disappearing, and yet I can tell by the layer thumbnail that that area outside the lightning is red.

Somehow it's just dropping away. What gives? Well, sometimes you run into that situation, where it's an image that you've worked on years ago or somebody else has worked on it. It's hard to figure out what's going on. Well now we have this so-called Badge over here that tells me that there are hidden, advanced Blending options at work and if I double-click on it that Badge then I can see, sure enough, there are settings associated with both of the Luminance sliders right here. And so the This layer slider is dropping out some of the reds on the active layer and then the Underlying layer slider is allowing some of the highlights from the clouds to show through.

So it's just a signpost to let you know what's going on. All right, I'm going to Cancel out of that dialog box. All right, a few other interesting things to note. You can rename layers in Batch. So imagine I want to convert this Background into an independent layer. Let's go ahead and double-click on it and I'll accept its default layer name. Now let's say I wanted to go ahead and rename the lightning layer and I'm going to call it advanced lightning and it dawns on me, wait a sec, I didn't rename the cloud layer. I can press the Tab key in order to advance to the next layer name and go ahead and call this one clouds.

If I press the Tab key again, I'll go back to the other layer name. You can also back up through layer names by pressing Shift+Tab. Photoshop has also reordered the layer effects so that they appear in the order in which they are really applied. I'm going to go ahead and switch over to this image right here and click on the shire layer to select it, and I will press Ctrl+H or Command+H on the Mac, so I'm not seeing those path outlines. And I'll go ahead drop down to the fx icon and you'll notice, instead of Drop Shadow appearing at the top of the list, it appears at the bottom.

Because the way things are organized is that the Drop Shadow is applied first, Outer Glow on top of that, then the three Overlays, then Satin, Inner Glow on top of Satin, and so on, all the way to the top effect, Bevel & Emboss. So what Photoshop is doing is showing you the way these effects are really applied. Unfortunately what you can't do is change the order of the effects. All right, now I'm going to show you one of my favorite little features of all. I've got this shire layer selected and I also have the Selection tool active.

So, you probably know this. You can press the 5 key to reduce the Opacity to 50%, or you can press the 0 key to take it back to 100%. If you press Shift along with a number, then you'll change the Fill value, that is to say you'll reduce the opacity of the layer itself, without affecting the opacity of its effects and you can take that Fill value down from the keyboard all the way to 1% by pressing Shift+01. But you can't go, all the way to 0%, until now.

You can press Shift+00 in order to make that Fill value 0% and now we're no longer seeing the effects of the layer. If I turn off the effects you can see it disappears. We're just seeing the layer effects by themselves. One final minor, but I think very think very important modification. You can now rasterize layer effects into a layer. And you do so by selecting the layer of course, then going up to the layer menu, choosing Rasterize, and choosing layer Style. Now as soon as I do that, we're going to lose all these effects here.

They will be merged into the layer itself and we'll see a different effect on screen. But we can fix that. So I'll go ahead and choose layer Style. That goes ahead and rasterizes the Drop Shadow and the Inner Shadow into this layer. The reason things looked different on screen is because our Blend mode has been changed to Normal. To make things better, we just need to change the Blend mode to Multiply and we get the same effect we are seeing a moment ago. And so there you have it, a long list of a bunch of very minor enhancements that are going to make a big difference in the way you work here inside Photoshop CS6.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 New Features
Photoshop CS6 New Features

38 video lessons · 41960 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 37s
  2. 2h 27m
    1. The secrets of the dark interface
      3m 55s
    2. Background and Auto-Save
      3m 22s
    3. The altogether revamped Crop tool
      4m 0s
    4. The consolidated Properties panel
      3m 58s
    5. The searchable Layers panel
      5m 2s
    6. Modifying multiple layers at a time
      4m 50s
    7. The wide world of layer enhancements
      6m 48s
    8. Content-Aware Move and Extend
      6m 16s
    9. Content-Aware Patch
      3m 14s
    10. Auto-Power color adjustments
      6m 3s
    11. The brave new world of Camera Raw 7
      6m 16s
    12. The new three-part Blur Gallery
      8m 9s
    13. The Adaptive Wide-Angle filter
      7m 7s
    14. Correcting wide-angle panoramas
      7m 14s
    15. Text enhancements & styles
      4m 48s
    16. Filling & stroking shape layers
      4m 37s
    17. Aligning and stacking vector-based shapes
      4m 17s
    18. Working with the Scripted Patterns
      3m 32s
    19. Erodible brush tips & airbrushes
      5m 44s
    20. The enhanced Liquify filter
      4m 20s
    21. The new Oil Paint filter
      4m 10s
    22. Selecting skin tones and faces
      5m 11s
    23. The new Lighting Effects filter
      6m 29s
    24. Editing videos in the Timeline panel
      10m 16s
    25. Making editable 3D type
      8m 8s
    26. 3D shadows and reflections
      6m 35s
    27. Aligning and distributing meshes in 3D
      3m 0s
  3. 50m 34s
    1. Introducing the first Photoshop Creative Cloud update
      1m 36s
    2. Liquify and Blur Gallery support Smart Objects
      8m 42s
    3. Creating conditional actions
      9m 51s
    4. Moving a point with the Pen tool on the fly
      3m 32s
    5. Autonaming merged layers
      4m 42s
    6. Creating global default type styles
      4m 57s
    7. Copying CSS code from specialty layers
      4m 54s
    8. Enhanced 3D lighting with 32-bit bit color
      6m 42s
    9. The new default 3D image-based light
      5m 38s
  4. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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