Course Code: nc6
Layers add a new world of possibilities to using Photoshop. In this lesson, you'll create, view, and hide layers. Why do layers matter? Well, they open so many opportunities for fine-tuning your images. You can edit a layered image nondestructively, so you don't have to start over if you make a mistake or need to change something.
In this lesson, you'll focus on the clues Photoshop gives to explain exactly what you're doing to a layer as you're working. You'll create, move, duplicate, lock, unlock, cut, and paste layers. Knowing this information will let you alter images quickly and nondestructively, and the lock commands will help you prevent others (and yourself!) from accidentally altering your work.
Take advantage of Smart Objects—the most awesome and significant innovation in Photoshop since the layers feature was introduced. You can place a RAW-format photo (or JPG or TIF) file inside the Smart Object and re-edit it in Camera RAW anytime you want. You'll discover how to crop and resize photos nondestructively using Smart Objects, and you'll love the way they let you make a protected package out of an image.
In this lesson, you'll see how you can make an individual layer in an image larger or smaller, rotate it, and use the amazing Warp command. From there, you can reverse your changes anytime you want—if you make them on a Smart Object layer. You can even use filters nondestructively, so long as you apply them to a Smart Object. You'll also create a pear that, when cut open, has an orange inside it.
Each time you edit the exposure in an image, you lose image quality. But what if there were a way to edit the exposure as much as you wanted and not hurt the quality? There is! An adjustment layer makes no permanent change to the image, and you can stack up these layers as you wish. You won't ever want to apply a regular Levels command or Adjustment command directly to an image again.
In this lesson, you'll find out about layer masks—another way that Photoshop lets you have your cake and eat it too. If you bring a picture of little Johnny onto a new background image, and you erase all the stuff that was in the background, what happens if you change your mind? You'd better hope you have the original image somewhere, and then you're in for a lot more work. However, if you use a layer mask, you'll keep every pixel that's in the original image and hide the parts of the original that you no longer wish to see.
Did the dog eat Grandmother's portrait? Or did time and water do that damage? No matter. Using layers makes it easier than ever before to restore some of your treasured family heritage. Like before, the goal here is nondestructive editing, which means working in layers so that you can always change your mind about a correction without having to begin again.
What happens if you want to place a person into a swimming pool or the ocean using Photoshop? To make the composite realistic, you need to transition from total opacity above the water line to total transparency below it. You'll learn that skill in this lesson as you work with grayscale and gradient masks. You'll also experiment with vignette edges and other edge effects, plus you'll create a web page header.
One of the most common ways to lose sleep while using Photoshop is to try to add a new background behind a model with wispy, flowing hair. Hair and fur have always been the bane of Photoshop users. Photoshop can help, however. You'll learn some new tricks as you explore the commands on the Masks section of the Properties panel.
Have you ever wondered how to put images inside text like those old postcards for various cities? It's called a clipping mask, and it's a digital version of spreading glitter onto a paper that has a design drawn in glue—the glitter only sticks to the glue. In this case, the new layers only stick to the base layer in the clipping mask. Making a clipping mask is easy, but it provides one of Photoshop's "wow" moments.
Photoshop can use the values in an image to correct the image. That sounds scary and mysterious, but it's actually easy to do. In this lesson, you'll create luminosity masks and use them to correct images and to develop false duotone images and wonderfully creative image composites. This lesson should nurture your creativity and yet give you some solid ways to add punch to an image or to create stunning sepia tones.
In this course, you've created composites in so many ways. But there's still more to learn! In this lesson, you'll create an image that has a different photo in each color channel. You'll use Content-Aware Scale to make unusual adjustments to your image size. You'll try a wonderful stained-glass framing technique. And you'll finish the course with a fun assignment that lets you put together everything you've learned.
Sherry London is a noted Photoshop and Illustrator expert, an artist, a writer, and a teacher. Her fiber art has been featured in magazines and exhibitions. Her published works include Photoshop CS2 Gone Wild, Photoshop Magic, Photoshop Effects Magic, Photoshop In Depth, Photoshop Textures Magic, and Illustrator f/x and Design. She wrote the Tips and Tricks column for Photoshop User magazine for many years and is a two-time nominee to the Photoshop Hall of Fame. She has taught for the prestigious Thunder Lizard Photoshop Conference and the Professional Photographers of America seminars, as well as for Drexel University, Moore College of Art, and Gloucester County College. Sherry holds a Master's Degree in Information Systems and has taken doctoral-level courses in curriculum design.
You need to have completed Introduction to Photoshop CS3, CS4, CS5, or CS6. If you have not taken one of these courses, you need to have a good working knowledge of the basic tools in Photoshop and be able to make selections, use the Clone Stamp tool and Healing brushes, and do elementary color correction. You need to know how to create a new file folder and locate files on your hard drive.
The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.
A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.
Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.
The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.
The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.
The two courses that I have taken in Photoshop 6, like a great show, have only left me begging for more. Thank you for all of the exciting and fulfilling lessons and your ongoing support. I wish you all the best and hope that someday, you will have time to create more advanced classes for Photoshop."
I loved this course. Sherry is a great instructor and Beth is a great teaching assistant. They both gave me plenty of encouragement and great feedback whenever I posted anything in the Discussion Area. I have told my friends about this course and how great and useful it is."
Adjustment layers have really opened my eyes to nondestructive editing. I used to always do my changes on the image itself, now this makes it way easier to undo and add more!"
Everything about this course was outstanding - the instructor, the teaching assistant, the material and the instructions."