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Learn how to use layers in Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended.
Tags:adobe,adobe photoshop cs3 extended,images,layers,photoshop,total training
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So here we are talking about the foundational concept of layers. Now, if you are not using layers to do your work in Photoshop then plain and simple, you are not working effectively.
Let me demonstrate what layers do and why they are so important. Let's go to the File menu and select New and create a new document and it really doesn't matter what size. So let's just go ahead and select the default Photoshop size from this list here and go ahead and hit OK.
Now if I were to go and select the Paint Brush Tool, now again, you don't need to follow along, this is just a little demo here, but I am going to make a paint squiggle, crazy little paint squiggle here, and I am going to click on the Foreground color. Now we haven't talked about color and changing color yet, we'll do that in the next lesson.
But for now I am just going to pick a different color here, and paint over that, and let's pick another color, how about a green here, and let's paint over that. And we could keep doing this etcetera, etcetera. But the point is, we have a bunch of paint squiggles all different colors. But as I look at my Layers Palette over here on the right-hand side, we see one horizontal bar that says Background, meaning that we only have one layer in our document, the Background Layer.
So all of these paint squiggles are essentially painted on top of or over one another. This is what's referred to as destructive editing. I can't go back and adjust the red paint squiggle, because where the green overlaps the red, the red is gone. We can't just move it around or change its color very easily, or change its opacity or anyone of a number of things we can't do to it easily because it's painted on top of each other.
Now, obviously of course, we can undo this. However, if we were to save this document and close it as it is, we'll be totally stuck. So we want to make sure that as we are creating these paint squiggles, we leave the door open for editability in the future. So watch this, I am going to hit Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac and then Ctrl+Alt+Z to undo all those paints squiggles.
Now let me show you the alternative. I am going to go down here to the Layers Palette, and down here at the bottom of the Layers Palette you will see an icon that looks like a page turning, and obviously from the Tooltip is the button to Create a new layer, and I am going to do that in just a second. But I want you to be aware of what this button looks like, this new page icon. You will see this all throughout Photoshop. You will see it in channels, you will see it in swatches all over the place. And basically this icon of a page turning is Adobe's way of saying make a new such and such, make a new whatever.
So in the Layers Palette, if you want to make a new layer, you hit that button. If you go to the Swatches Palette and you want to make a new swatch, you hit that same button but in the Swatches Palette. Same thing with Channels, same thing with Paths, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. So you'll see this is just standard across the broad, not only through Photoshop but for all Adobe products. So just keep in mind of what this icon represents. I am going to hit it, and it just creates a new blank layer and over here we have the Layer thumbnail.
So basically what we are doing here is it's giving us a preview of the contents of that layer. When you see a layer like this, that has a gray and white checkerboard, that is what we call the transparency grid. That's Photoshop's way of saying there is nothing here, there is nothing on this layer except for that it's all just transparency at this point.
So now I can select my Paint Brush and paint a little of green paint squiggle. And now instead of painting on this layer I am going to make another layer for my red paint squiggle. Let me change the color here briefly. Again, I am going really quickly here through this color stop, but I am going to explain it in detail later. I don't want to get stuck upon this, trying to explain layers.
So I am going to hit OK, and now again, let's paint all over that green mark. And let's make another new layer, and make a black mark as before. Squiggle, squiggle, squiggle, and there we go. We have three different colored paint strokes but we worked in a non-destructive way because each one of these paint squiggles is on its own separate layer.
So I can select the Move Tool, and with the black squiggles selected, I can click-and-drag and move that squiggle around, independently of the others. And what about that green squiggle, that was painted on by the red stuff. Well, I could go down to the bottom, click this layer in the Layers Palette to select it and now I can move around just the green layer. And notice that it wasn't distroyed with the red painted over it, because I used Layers. Folks you can see already that layers are the way to work in Photoshop.
In this lesson, we are going to go through the ins and outs of layer basics. We are going to talk about how to change Layer Opacity, and how to rearrange the order, how to rename them. As you can imagine here, Layer 1, Layer2, Layer3 are not very descriptive and sometimes you have contents of a layer that are so small and hard to see that this thumbnail doesn't do you that much good.
Right now we can see a little bit of the green, little bit of the red, little bit of the black, that's not always the case. So you want to make sure I name your layers. So we are going to talk about that, as well as, all the things that you need to know to get up and running with layers inside of Photoshop.