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Try out and save effects with Photoshop Layer Comps

You can save different versions of an image using the Layer Comps panel, and then choose one later. You may want to try on effects by enabling visibility, position, and appearance of specific layers of that image. A common example would be  where you want three or more versions of the same image; for example, one version may be black and white, one tinted, and one in full color.

image showing visibility of two layers in the Photoshop Layer Comps panel

image showing visibility of two other layers in the Photoshop Layer Comps panel  image showing visibility of two layers in the Photoshop Layer Comps panel

With Photoshop Layer Comps you don’t have to save three different images. Instead, as long as you save your changes in layers, you can save and compare each of these adjustments in the same image.

The beauty of Layer Comps is that when you save your document as a Photoshop document, you can always return to all your settings by returning to each of your saved Layer Comps. You may close the document and still return to all your settings later when you open the document. Layer Comps will remember some, but not all, of your modifications.

To start using Layer Comps, show the Layer Comps panel: from the Photoshop menu, choose Window -> Layer Comps.

With the Layer Comps panel in view, to save specific layer combinations, simply show and hide the layers you want in the Layers panel. With each variation, click the Create New Layer Comp button  Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 5.27.19 PM in the Layer Comps panel. The visibility of the layers will be saved just as you specified. Name each Layer Comp so you will know at a glance which set of layers will be viewed when you select them later.

Convert a frame’s shape in InDesign

If you want to try on shapes of image frames in InDesign, you don’t have to keep re-drawing frames and re-placing images.

From InDesign’s menu bar, choose Object>Convert Shape and choose the shape of your choice.

InDesign will convert your existing shape into the one you want.

image of flower stand in square frame

image of flower stand in elliptical frame

Spread one image through multiple shapes in InDesign

In Indesign, you can place a single image into several frames for a visual effect.

one image spread throughout 18 frames in InDesign

Here’s how:

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Use Photoshop clipping layers to create overlays and cameos

image_inset

In Photoshop, a clipping layer is a layer whose pixel or vector content acts as a mask for one or more layers above it. Where either pixel or vector content exists on the clipping layer, you can use the shape of the content to reveal what is on the layer above, while its transparent areas reveal what is on the layer below.

The result of the clipping action is that you don’t actually see the content of the clipping area; you are just using its shape like you would a cookie-cutter. One of the things you will do most with clipping layers is to make type or a shape look like it’s filled with a photo. You can do this over a transparent background, or over another image.

Here, we started with a simple river landscape, for which we would like to add an inset of eagles:

River image in Photoshop. One layer only at this point.

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Use a Photoshop clipping layer to confine an adjustment to a specific layer

Sometimes in Photoshop you need to apply an adjustment layer to only the layer directly beneath. In the example below, a few shots were taken from a mobile phone with the intention to fit them together later into a panorama using Photoshop. In this case, because of changing lighting conditions between shots, the topmost layer happens to be darker:

layeredTemple1

By applying an adjustment layer to it, you can now see that the entire scene is lightened:

layeredTemple2

This is not the effect we want. What we need to do is brighten only the top layer, leaving the rest untouched.

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it2go – Episode 77 – Andy’s IT Training Career

On this week’s episode, we’re talking about Andy’s career with IT Training as we bid him a fond farewell.

it2go – The IT Training Podcast

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Free Training from Adobe

Just received an email today about two free training opportunities from Adobe.

Sowing the Seeds for a More Creative Society is a webinar on September 17th at 4pm EDT. Learn how to prepare students to participate in a more creative society in this webinar, presented by Mitch Resnik of the MIT Media lab. For more information, go to: http://go.iu.edu/efZ

If you are wanting to build your first website, or help students create one of their own, check out this two-week online Muse CC immersive boot camp.  Learn how to design sites for web, mobile and tablet. The course starts on October 10th. Learn more at: http://go.iu.edu/efW

Oh and by the way, if you are part of the IU community, you have access to Muse CC through IUanyWare.

it2go Episode 76 – Adobe Creative Cloud

On this week’s episode, we’re talking about the Adobe Creative Cloud and when IU will have access to the new software.

it2go – The IT Training Podcast

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Need training for your class? Request it!

It can be hard to teach effectively if your students don’t have the basic technology skills they need.

Did you know that IT Training can provide workshops specifically for your class? All you need to do is ask. Most of our workshops are available for special request, which means we can teach your class (or any group of 10 or more IU faculty/staff/students) either in our classroom, online, or in another location that will accommodate your group. How much does it cost? Nothing!

Just go to http://ittraining.iu.edu/request/ at least 3 weeks ahead of time, and start by choosing your desired workshop from the drop-down list. Options include Microsoft Office tools like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access; Adobe software like Photoshop, InDesign and Dreamweaver; Web skills like page design and HTML/CSS; and much, much more. We can even help your students create ePortfolios in Oncourse, or get them oriented to our new learning management system, Canvas.

If your class or group needs a training workshop, request it and we’ll offer it just for you.

 

Delve into Photoshop’s tools with this collection of resources

Adobe Photoshop is a complex piece of software to tackle. If your goal is to become a Photoshop expert, plan on spending several years working at it. If you want to learn as little as you can to make it useful, I suggest you take our Photoshop CS6: The Basics workshop.  If and when you’re ready to go further, try the other workshops and webinars  that we offer.

Learning how to use Photoshop requires a hands-on approach, and once you’ve exhausted all of IT Training’s offerings, you’ll need to seek other learning resources. Luckily for you, the Internet is overflowing with free Photoshop tutorials. In this post, I share a few of them with you.

Photoshop is all about the tools. There are probably hundreds of them, and if you don’t know which tool to use for which task, you won’t be able to accomplish very much. That’s why I searched the Web for tutorials that really focus on Photoshop’s tools. It seems to me that learning what each tool can do is like learning the alphabet. Once you have the letters, you can build words, and then sentences, then paragraphs; you get the idea.

So without further ado, here are six tool-focused Photoshop tutorials. Click titles to view the tutorials.

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