OK, are you ready for layers inside Photoshop? This is a huge aspect of Photoshop; being able to create layers and manage layers inside your images and I'll explain exactly what layers are and how layers function in just a few seconds but this is really a big part of Photoshop overall and during our discussion on layers here I'm definitely going to show you a few of the enhancements towards layers that we now have inside Photoshop CS5. But you know, before all of that happens, I think we should probably get some sample files open here and what I'll do is I'll just double click once again on my gray background into my Project Files and I'm going to grab a file here called Clouds and I'll select them there of course and then I'm just going to scroll down and I'm also looking for a file called Status, so what I'm going to do here is hold down the Command Key on the Mac here or the Control Key on the Windows side and select Statues so both files are now selected and then I'll click on Open and we'll grab both of those guys so Statue and Clouds and of course what should happen here inside Photoshop is we should get both files open here in these document tabs there. I'm going to make sure that I'm on the Statue file there. The other thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to hit Shift Tab on my keyboard to close out of the panels on the right-hand side and then give this a try. I'm going to hit F7 on my keyboard and that'll bring back my Layers Panel. So F7 is a keyboard shortcut to bring back the Layers Panel. Now, inside the Layers Panel I can see a thumbnail graphic of my overall statue photo here and I see background. Now, what I want to explain here is when we bring in a digital photo, something we took with our digital camera or perhaps we download something from the web, we download a graphic from the web or we scan something into our computer and we bring it into Photoshop, it's going to be a flattened image and what I mean by that is it's going to simply have a background layer. And a background layer essentially is a completely flat image. Now, what I can begin doing and we'll do this in just a short while is we can start combining images together and actually create almost a stack of individual images and that's really what our layers are all about. So what we'll wind up doing is we'll take our clouds and we'll put the clouds behind our statue and this is all really going to happen inside the Layers Panel. Now, before we get to all that good stuff, maybe a quick tour of the Layers Palette is in order here. So I have my background layer as I mentioned and you notice the little padlock there as well suggesting that the background layer is locked so I cannot edit a background layer. In just a short while I'll show you how to convert a background layer into a regular Photoshop layer and above that I have some lock items. They're all grayed-out at this point and I have a drop-down menu which is grayed-out. We'll talk about that. I have some fields here, opacity and fill; again, all grayed-out because my background layer is not editableright? And then all the way down towards the bottom of the Layers Palette we have some additional icons and we'll definitely be making use of these guys here. Now, again, some of them are grayed out on me here but these icons let me view such things as apply affects, apply masks, get into some color correction via something called an adjustment layer. I can create new layers if I want just by hitting this New Layer Icon, this little page icon there if you can see that guy and I can create new layered groups via the folder there and I can also delete layers using the trashcan. So here's what we'll do. I'm going to go and create a new layer just by clicking on the Page Icon there and now what happens is above my background layer I now get Layer 1. Now, there's nothing on Layer 1. It's an empty layer but here's what I'd like you to do. Beside each layer inside the Layers Palette over on the left-hand side, you can see we have this column here where we have some eyeballs. Now try clicking on the eyeball beside the background layer and what that will do is temporarily turn off the background layer. So we just disabled the background layer visibility. It's still there, it's just hiddenright? I can turn it back on just by clicking back inside that area there. That's really all there is to it. Make sure your background layer's turned Off and now I have Layer 1. He's selected there obviously. But as I can see over inside the main image window, all I see is this gray and white checkerboard pattern. What's up with that? Well, in Photoshop, the gray and white checkerboard pattern is Photoshop's way of indicating transparency. So in other words, there's nothing there. It's not white, it's nothing. It's absolutely clear. Again, when I created this new layer I said that it was an empty new layer, right? With nothing on it. You and I could go and create some text on it or we could pull in other images onto this layer, this sort of thing. We'll get to tall that stuff. But notice now with Layer 1 selected, I now have all of the options up at the top of the Layers Panel available so let's quickly run through some of these options here. We have lots of different lock options. For example, I can lock my transparency, I can lock my transparent pixels if I want. I can lock my image pixels; in other words the opposite to my transparent pixels. I can lock the position of my layer, I can lock the position of the object that sit on this layer or my personal favorite, I can simply lock everything, so lock the position, lock the transparent pixels, essentially make the layer uneditable, which is great. As I'm working along sometimes I'll go and lock my layers once I get them to a suitable point. Now, just above all of these lock options we have this drop-down menu here and inside the drop-down menu there are tons of options here and this might seem kind of murky and a little bit too much but essentially these are called Blending Modes and we'll get to blending modes in just a little while. The short and sweet though for now, think of these guys as special effects or color effects if you will. We can manipulate and apply effects between our different layers and you'll see how this plays out in just a little while and then finally over towards the right, we have opacity and we have fill. So I can quite literally fade back the contents of a layer, almost make it semi-transparent if you will. Now, I can't really give you an example of this because we don't have anything on this layer but I hope this makes sense here and we'll see more of these options as we go along. So finally, here's what I'll have you do. Turn on your background layer, turn his visibility back on, make sure that Layer 1 is still highlighted there, selected there in blue and then all the way down towards the bottom of the Layers Palette, bottom right corner, click on the Trashcan Icon. This'll delete Layer 1 and we get a warning here. Are we sure we want to delete Layer 1? I'm going to say yes. Alright. So there's sort of a, a quick tour of the Layers Palette.
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