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Photoshop CS3 Training Module 2: Non-Destructive Editing

Main Topics:

  • Layer Masks
  • Adjustment Layers
  • Smart Objects
  • Smart Filters (Including Filter Masks)
  • Retouching in a Separate Layer

Layer Masks:

1) Command + Alt and click on the add mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette.

2) "Make selection..." in the paths menu allows for feathering of vector masks, but only CS5 can really deploy this function effectively.
Likewise true Smart Object masks are available only in CS5, where you can link the mask to the Smart Object layer..

3) Two really useful fill shortcuts are...
Alt + Delete = Fill with current foreground colour.
Command + Delete = Fill with current background colour.

(Alt+ Delete while text is selected will change the colour of the text!)

4) The point of the transparency lock icon in the layers palette:
It's a quick way to restrict any painting, etc, on a layer to those regions of it that are already occupied.
I've always Command-Clicked on the layer icon to select it's content but this feature may prove handy for some tasks.

5) News to me- JPGs can be saved with paths preserved in the file!

6) Trainer's Tip: "Layer Masks are commonly found to be the solution to many problems. If you're stuck for a method or having trouble with a technique, consider their use".

Adjustment Layers:

1) "Black & White..." adjustment layers are the best approach to converting coloured images to monochrome.

2) Vector layer masks are obviously very efficient but even raster layer masks are Greyscale, so add very little to the file size!

3) Layer masks do not survive colour mode changes so may prove troublesome in some contexts.

4) Colour management policies for integrated workflows using InDesign/Illustrator:
Choose "Export Press Quality PDF" > "Convert to Destination.." and it's advisable to check the extent to which our colour profile settings are synchronised.

5) Layer masks may be a handy alternative to Colour Replace (which I should've asked about during training). We're often asked to change colours as we rarely see the colours to be used before production begins.
The colour change techinique shown during the training might be best way to change colours.
* Improve this section asap.

6) In Indesign, a placed PSD file permits access to a range of "Object Layer Options", where you can turn layers in the source file on and off, etc.
You can do this in InDesign CS3.
You can see all the layers in a psd, turn layers off, make them ignore the psd transparency designation and set one in InDesign etc.
Repro have been doing this since going over to InDesign from Quark.

7) Smart Filters- are really cool but they only work on Smart Objects!

Type in Photoshop:

1) If you don't like the boxed form of text in Photoshop you can use the Text tool (T) to just click once on the screen and put a point there, from which you can start typing.
Moving this kind of text object around seems easier but the options available for it are few.
For multi-line text the box object will be advisable.

2) Drop Shadows (and some other layer effects) can be dragged around on screen if the Layer Effects dialogue is still open.

3) Alt Click the line between two layers to create a clipping mask.

4) Blending Modes: Pass Through as a layer blending mode is only available when the art layer you have selected is a group. If you choose to change the Group's blending mode to Normal the effects of the various layer modes, adjustment layers and masks within the group will be restricted to it alone.

5) Clipping an adjustment layer to the layer below (Alt Click the line between) restricts the adjustment layer to the layer it's "clipped to" (a useful phrase).


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