Layer Basics

Creative Computing Week 5

In our lecture we looked at Photoshop techniques in basic correction and learned about Halftone screen. Also covered were Colourisation,  Levels adjustments, Unsharp Mask adjustments and other filter effects such as posterisation and masking.

Layer Basics in Adobe Photoshop CS3 was the focus of this weeks workshop. Our task was to work with various layers, all of which contained images to be compiled to create a scrapbook cover that looked like this:

Scrapbook cover

After viewing the image above to see how the finished product should look, I then opened a file which contained all the elements of the composition on different layers.

Layer PaletteThis contained a type layer, a sea shell, a letter, paper texture and a background layer.

We were then instructed to open a file from the lesson folder which contained the picture of the parents holding the baby (see above). Renaming this layer to ‘photo’, I dragged this layer into the palette. Having successfully transfered this layer onto my working design and placing it above the background layer, I then used the ‘Magic Eraser’ tool to remove the excess white border from around the photograph, using a ‘Tolerance’ setting of 22.

At this point the photo layer was obscured by the layers above it so I moved the layer and dragged it up the palette so that it was above the letter and paper texture layers.

The next step was to change the ‘Opacity’ of the paper texture layer to 75% and change its ‘Blending Mode’ from ‘Normal’ to ‘Luminosity’. I then linked the photo and letter layers and decreased their size by selecting Edit > Free Transform > Scale and reducing them by about 20%.

With the layers linked, I repositioned them on the canvas to emulate the original image.

I then created a new layer by clicking the ‘New Layer’ icon at the bottom of the palette and named this layer ‘Gradient’. By selecting the ‘Gradient’ tool and setting it to ‘Linear’ and selecting ‘Foreground to Transparent’ in the swatches options. Chosing a shade of green for the foreground colour, I then dragged the gradient tool from the lower right corner to the upper left corner. I set the ‘Blend Mode’ to ‘Multiply’ and changed the ‘Opacity’ value to 75%.

Finally I created a new layer and selected the ‘Type’ tool to create the ‘Scrapbook’ text. This was then given an Inner Bevel and a drop shadow as well as a colour overlay and positioned on the canvas above the letter, just like the original image. The layer ‘2’ was also selected and changed to say ‘3’ after increasing the font size to 225 pts.

After completing these tasks, my image looked close enough to the original and all that was left to do, was to flatten the image by right clicking on an unlocked layer and selecting ‘Flatten Image’. A valuable lesson in the use of layers and tools in the fantastic Adobe Photoshop platform.

Please see the video tutorials below…

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About Roulette Revolver

Currently a first year undergraduate in Film & Media Studies.
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