Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks
Photoshop CS6 Essentials
By Scott Onstott
Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks
Layers
• Layers allow you to separate image content into
different “sheets” for organi...
Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks
The Background Layer
• The Background layer is a special
locked layer
• Nothing can be...
Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks
Layer Options
• You can assign layers a short list of colors
(Red chosen on the right)...
Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks
Locking Layers
• You can lock a layer’s pixels,
transparency, ability to be transforme...
Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks
Editing Layers
• Once you have developed
content on a layer it can be
edited independe...
Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks
Blend Modes
• Blend modes allow to you to see partially
through a layer and blend with...
Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks
“Blend If” Controls
• Use the Blend If controls to blend based
upon the tonal range
• ...
Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks
Using Layer Masks
• You can create a pixel and/or a vector layer
mask to hide a portio...
Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks
Clipping Groups
• Clipping groups use other layers as masks
• The indented layer is cl...
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Chapter08

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Chapter08

  1. 1. Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks Photoshop CS6 Essentials By Scott Onstott
  2. 2. Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks Layers • Layers allow you to separate image content into different “sheets” for organization and ease of image manipulation • Layers come in many flavors including raster, vector, 3D, video, and Adobe Illustrator smart object layers • The content of layers can be transformed and manipulated independently of other layers • Layers are not spatial as shown on the right but conceptual. Layers are stacked flat two dimensionally • Layer order is significant; layers on top obscure those below in the stack
  3. 3. Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks The Background Layer • The Background layer is a special locked layer • Nothing can be behind the Background layer by definition • The Background layer can’t be masked, or have reduced opacity, or be transformed, or have transparency • Double click the Background layer to convert it into an unlocked layer; you will be prompted to name the new layer
  4. 4. Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks Layer Options • You can assign layers a short list of colors (Red chosen on the right) to help you distinguish layers in complex documents; layer color doesn’t appear on the canvas, only in the Layers panel • Open the Layer panel menu and choose Panel Options to change the layer and mask thumbnail size. • Other important options are located at the bottom of the Layer Panel Options dialog box
  5. 5. Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks Locking Layers • You can lock a layer’s pixels, transparency, ability to be transformed, or all of the above • Locking pixels means you can’t alter the content of the layer; this is good for protecting final content • Locking transparency allows you creative freedom to alter anything that’s already on the layer (i.e. painting the green stripes on the yellow spiral) • Locking the ability to move a layer can be helpful in forming compositions
  6. 6. Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks Editing Layers • Once you have developed content on a layer it can be edited independently • The red spiral was created by copying the yellow spiral onto a new layer, flipping it horizontally and adjusting the pixels’ hue • You should remember to give your layers meaningful names as you work to avoid getting lost in complex documents
  7. 7. Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks Blend Modes • Blend modes allow to you to see partially through a layer and blend with the layers below • Each blend mode has subtly different characteristics • They are categorized into groups by the horizontal rules in the blend mode drop down • Normal, Multiply, Screen, Overlay, Color and Luminosity are the most commonly used blend modes • Press Shift= and Shift- to cycle through the blend modes
  8. 8. Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks “Blend If” Controls • Use the Blend If controls to blend based upon the tonal range • You can drop out an image’s shadows or highlights in any channel to create a conditional blend • Hold Opt and drag one half of the blend if sliders to separate them; a gradient smoothly blends between zero and full blend between halves of the slider • You can blend this layer or the underlying layer using two different sliders
  9. 9. Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks Using Layer Masks • You can create a pixel and/or a vector layer mask to hide a portion of the layer and thus reveal a portion of the underlying layers • Paint on a pixel mask in black to hide, gray to obscure partially, and white to reveal the underlying layers • Pixel masks can be feathered using the Masks panel to soften the edges (equivalent to blurring the mask) • Vector masks are drawn using paths mode; vector masks produce clean crisp edges
  10. 10. Ch 8: Working with Layers and Masks Clipping Groups • Clipping groups use other layers as masks • The indented layer is clipped by the underlined layer that it points to • In this example the Hue/Saturation layer is colorizing the linear “masculine” image red • The effect is clipped (limited by) the pixels present on Layer 1, which are modulated by the pixel mask that reveals the Background layer • The Background layer isn’t affected by the Hue/Saturation layer because its scope is limited by the clipping group

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