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Mastering Photoshop Layers

Book Description

Photoshop's layers are arguably the most powerful aspect of the software's user interface and are the key to successful image editing in Photoshop. Layers allow for both global and local adjustments to images and can be used to create a number of special effects. Best of all, layers allow for nondestructive editing of your original image. New Photoshop users often see layers as too complicated, and they miss out on the program's full potential.

This book will remove the confusion factor by providing an in-depth introduction to layers. Clear, step-by-step instructions and illustrations help the reader quickly master the tools that are relevant for photographers.

In this book you will learn about:

  • Working with and building multiple layers
  • Blending layers and which Options to use
  • Using layers to enhance and retouch your images
  • Creating and using layer masks
  • Creating luminosity and saturation layer masks
  • Using Smart Objects and Smart Filters
  • Advanced layer techniques
  • Time-saving shortcuts, tips, and tricks

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Table of Contents
  5. Foreword
    1. The Tools We Use
    2. How to Use This Book
    3. Conventions Used in This Book
    4. Who This Book Is For
    5. My Thanks Go to ...
  6. 1 Using Layers to Make Global and Selective Adjustments
    1. 1.1 Reasons for Using Layer Techniques
      1. Global and Selective Adjustments
      2. Making Selective Corrections in Photoshop
    2. 1.2 The Photoshop Layers Concept
      1. What Are Layers?
    3. 1.3 Layers Panel
      1. Pixel Layers
      2. The Background Layer
      3. Adjustment Layers
      4. Fill Layers
      5. Vector and Shape Layers
    4. 1.4 The Layers Panel Icons
      1. The Lower Tool Bar in the Layers Panel
      2. Layer Filtering
    5. 1.5 Changing Layer Opacity
    6. 1.6 Blending Modes
    7. 1.7 Sample Layer-Based Processing Workflow
      1. Step 1: Basic Retouching
      2. Step 2: Darkening the Left Side of the Image
      3. Step 3: Creating a Layer Mask
    8. 1.8 Using Fill Layers
    9. 1.9 Understanding Different Color Models
      1. The Color Wheel
    10. 1.10 Some General Thoughts on Image Optimization
    11. 1.11 Best Practices When Working with Layers
      1. Keyboard Shortcuts
  7. 2 Editing Images Using Adjustment Layers
    1. 2.1 Adjustment Layer Basics
      1. Switching between Adjustment Layers
    2. 2.2 Adjustment Layers Overview
      1. More Ways Than One
    3. 2.3 An Example of a Curves Adjustment Layer
    4. 2.4 Selective Color Corrections Using Hue/Saturation
    5. 2.5 Converting an Image to Black-and-White Using Adjustment Layers
      1. Tinting Black-and-White Images
    6. 2.6 The Color Splash Technique
    7. 2.7 Adjusting Saturation Using the Vibrance Setting
    8. 2.8 Optimizing Skin Tones Using Color Balance
    9. 2.9 Adjusting the Mood of an Image Using Photo Filters
    10. 2.10 Color Lookup
    11. 2.11 Split Toning Using a Gradient Map
    12. 2.12 Image Analysis Using Adjustment Layers
      1. Image Analysis Using Hue/Saturation
      2. Using Curves to Identify Dust and Other Flaws
    13. 2.13 General Considerations when Working with Adjustment Layers
  8. 3 Working with Layer Masks
    1. 3.1 Making Selective Adjustments Using Layer Masks
      1. Layer Mask Facts
    2. 3.2 Simple Masks
    3. 3.3 Using Masks Multiple Times
    4. 3.4 From a Selection to a Mask and Back
      1. What We Have Learned So Far
      2. Replacing a Layer Mask with a Selection or Another Mask
    5. 3.5 Selection Tools Overview
    6. 3.6 Making Selections Using the Magic Wand, Magnetic Lasso, and Quick Selection Tools
    7. 3.7 Quick Mask Mode
    8. 3.8 Selecting and Masking Using the Color Range Command
    9. 3.9 Refine Edge
      1. Refine Mask
    10. 3.10 Saving Masks
    11. 3.11 Selections and Channels
      1. Luminance mask
    12. 3.12 Using Channels to Optimize Images
      1. Denoising the Blue Channel
      2. Sharpening Using the Luminance Channel
      3. Using a Color Channel as a Mask or the Basis for an Adjustment
    13. 3.13 Luminance Masks
      1. Creating a Luminance Mask Using the Color Range Dialog‹
      2. Creating a Simple Luminance Mask
      3. Editing a Luminance Mask
    14. 3.14 Saturation Masks
    15. 3.15 Other Masking Techniques
      1. The Masks Panel
    16. 3.16 Paths, Shapes, and Vector Masks
    17. 3.17 Tricks and Tips for Selections and Masks
      1. Learning to Navigate Efficiently
      2. Using the Brush Tool and Other Tip-Based Tools
      3. Brush Tool Settings
    18. 3.18 Other Considerations When Working with Selections and Masks
  9. 4 Blending Modes
    1. 4.1 Photoshop Blending Modes
    2. 4.2 An Overview of the Main Blending Modes
    3. 4.3 Using Overlay Mode to Brighten an Image and Increase the Contrast
    4. 4.4 Dodging and Burning Using Layers
    5. 4.5 Sharpening without Altering Colors
      1. High-Frequency Sharpening
      2. Low-Frequency Sharpening
    6. 4.6 Simulating a Pencil Drawing Using Divide Mode
    7. 4.7 Dull + Lifeless × Blending Mode = Powerful Image
    8. 4.8 Adding Clouds to a Landscape
    9. 4.9 Merging Multiple Images Using Blending Modes
    10. 4.10 Applying Makeup Using Color Mode
    11. 4.11 Adding Texture
    12. 4.12 Enhancing Texture Using Individual Channel Luminosity
    13. 4.13 General Thoughts on Blending Modes
  10. 5 Merging and Blending Layers
    1. 5.1 Merge or Flatten
      1. Creating a Combined Layer
    2. 5.2 Blending Layers
    3. 5.3 Loading, Aligning, and Blending Layers
      1. Loading and Aligning Layers
      2. Blending Layers
    4. 5.4 Creating DRI Effects Using Blending Techniques
      1. Other Uses for the Blend If Options
    5. 5.5 HDR Merging Techniques
      1. Tone Mapping in Photoshop
    6. 5.6 Merging Layers in a Panorama
  11. 6 Smart Objects and Smart Filters
    1. 6.1 Smart Objects
    2. 6.2 Copying Smart Objects
    3. 6.3 Smart Filters
    4. 6.4 Sharpening Using the High Pass Smart Filter
    5. 6.5 Converting Smart Objects
    6. 6.6 Replacing Smart Objects
    7. 6.7 Using Smart Objects to Create Multiple Borders
    8. 6.8 Merging Multiple Versions of a Raw Image
    9. 6.9 General Information on Smart Objects and Smart Filters
  12. 7 Layer Styles
    1. 7.1 Creating Borders, Drop Shadows, and Bevels
      1. Applying Effects to Irregular Shapes
    2. 7.2 Adding Bevels and Emboss Effects to Text
    3. 7.3 Filling Text with Image Data
    4. 7.4 Using Layer Styles to Create Watermarks
    5. 7.5 Copying Layer Style Effects to a Separate Layer
    6. 7.6 General Thoughts on Layer Styles
  13. 8 Organizing Layers
    1. 8.1 Organizing Layers
    2. 8.2 Naming Layers
    3. 8.3 Layers Panel Options
    4. 8.4 Layer Groups
      1. Blending Modes in Layer Groups
      2. Nested Layer Groups
    5. 8.5 Color Coding Layers
    6. 8.6 Limiting Layer Effects Using a Clipping Mask
    7. 8.7 The Layer Filter
    8. 8.8 Merge and Flatten Layers
      1. Deleting and Applying Layer Masks
    9. 8.9 How to Adjust Corrections without Using Layers
    10. 8.10 Saving Disk Space Using Data Compression
    11. 8.11 The Layer Context Menu
    12. 8.12 Rasterizing, Exporting, and Replacing Layer Content
      1. Replacing Pixel-Based Image Data
    13. 8.13 A Recommended Layer Sequence
    14. 8.14 Tips and Tricks for Working with Layers and Masks
      1. Adjustment Layers and Color Space Conversion
      2. Preparing Images for Sharing and Presentation
      3. Showing and Hiding Multiple Layers
      4. Copying Adjustment Layers
      5. Saving Adjustment Presets
    15. 8.15 Selecting the Right File Format
      1. Compatibility Settings
  14. 9 Alternatives to Photoshop Layers
    1. 9.1 Choosing a Raw Converter or Photoshop
      1. Raw Converter versus Photoshop
    2. 9.2 Making Selective Corrections Using a Raw Converter
      1. Darkening the Sky
      2. Correcting Skin Imperfections and Adding Makeup
      3. Our Recommendation
    3. 9.3 Selective Corrections Using Viveza
      1. Other Control Point-Based Plug-ins from Nik Software
    4. 9.4 Other Solutions
  15. 10 Sample Edits
    1. 10.1 Railroad Car
      1. Using a Raw Converter
      2. In Photoshop
    2. 10.2 Sunset in Monument Valley
      1. Using a Raw Converter (Adobe Camera Raw 7.4)
      2. In Photoshop
    3. 10.3 Wilting Tulip
    4. 10.4 Adding Atmosphere Using Textures
      1. Using a Raw Converter
      2. In Photoshop
    5. 10.5 Death Valley in Black-and-White
      1. The Steps in Adobe Camera Raw
      2. In Photoshop
  16. A Resources
    1. A.1 Recommended Books
    2. A.2 Useful Resources on the Internet
  17. Index