The objective of this tutorial is to explore different layer techniques in Photoshop

SCC 1 Week 5-LayersPractice_instructions.docx



Objective The objective of this tutorial is to explore different layer techniques in Photoshop. This tutorial has

been adapted from: Adobe Photoshop CS6 Classroom in a Book.

Asset List All images were taken from the ArtStor Digital Library. ALL SCC students have access to this

library of image resources to use for this course. ArtStor can be access from the Library

Resources link in the CANVAS classroom.

The following is a list of all images used in this tutorial:

• Robe Layer

o Noh robe (Karaori) with pattern of cherry blossoms on banded fretwork ground,

Japan, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.88.2)

• Woman Layer

o Woman with cherry [?] tree blossoms in background,Victor Keppler

(American, 1904-1987), George Eastman House

• Cherry Blossoms Layer

o Branch of Cherry Blossoms, early 18th century, Seattle Art Museum

• Wood Block Print Layer

o From the Illustrations to 100 poems by 100 poets: Gontchunagon Masafusa,

Katsushika Hokusai, Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives

Directions All Photoshop files contain one or more layers. Layers are like overhead transparencies. Images

are placed on individual layers and then manipulated. Layers can interact with each other or

remain separate from each other.

Layers that are at the top of the layer stack appear closest to you, the viewer. Conversely,

layers at the bottom of the layer stack lay underneath all the others above it.

2 Week5-LayersPractice_instructions.docx

When creating Photoshop files, it is considered best practice to give each layer a descriptive

name. Use layer folders (groups) to organize related assets. Use layer comps to create different

versions of your design in the same Photoshop file. Think of layer comps are like creating

snapshots of different versions of your designs.

Remember, like anything, learning these techniques takes practice. A lot of practice.

Background Layers When you create a new image with a white background or a colored background, the

bottommost image in the Layers panel is called Background.

• An image can have only one background layer.

• You cannot change the stacking order of a background layer, its blending mode, or its

opacity. However, you can convert a background into a regular layer, and then change

any of these attributes.

• When you create a new image with transparent content, the image does not have a

background layer. The bottommost layer is not constrained like the background layer;

you can move it anywhere in the Layers panel and change its opacity and blending


1. Download the start file for this practice and resave with your first and last name



3. Review the four layers that exist in this project file.

4. Make the Wood Block Print layer the active

layer. LOCK and then HIDE the other three


a. To LOCK a layer, select it and then click on

the lock icon in the layers panel.

b. To HIDE click the eyeball icon to the left of

each layer thumbnail image.

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Blending Modes Blending modes affect how the color pixels on one layer blend with pixels underneath. You will

get different effects when applying blending modes to individual layers verses layer groups.

A layer group is treated like a single layer. A layer group allows you file management control

inside your PSD file.

The blending mode specified in the options bar controls how pixels in the image are affected

by a painting or editing tool. It’s helpful to think in terms of the following colors when visualizing a

blending mode’s effect:

o The base color is the original color in the image.

o The blend color is the color being applied with the painting or editing tool.

o The result color is the color resulting from the blend.

Refer to HELP (F1) for a complete list of all Blending Modes and how they work in the program.

5. If your RULERS are not turned on, turn them by going to VIEW > RULERS. Right-click in either

ruler and change the measurement to PIXELS.

6. Double click the HAND tool to fit the image in the window. Open the INFO panel. Go to

WINDOW > INFO. You can also find it linked with the PROPERTIES panel.

a. This panel is great for seeing where you are at (x and y coordinates) in the image

7. Insert a new layer above the “Wood Block Print” layer and name it “Mauve Blend”.

8. Go do EDIT > FILL. Choose COLOR from the Contents drop down menu and then use the

COLOR PICKER to choose a light brown color from one of the upper branches around

825x/175y. Click OK twice.

9. Set the OPACITY of this layer to 50%.

10. Using the SHIFT key, select both the “Mauve Blend”

and “Wood Block” print layers and create a new


Name this LAYER GROUP “Postcard Base”.

11. Expand the “Postcard Base” layer group to see the two sub-layers (if needed). Select the

“Mauve Blend” layer and choose SUBTRACT from the BLENDING MODE drop down list in

the layers panel.

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a. The SUBTRACT blending mode looks at the color information in each channel and

subtracts the blend color from the base color.

b. Photoshop is subtracting the pixel value of the two colors.

12. If you want to experiment with different BLENDING MODES feel free.

a. Remember: a layer group is treated as if it were one layer when using BLENDING


13. Save your file.

Cloning The CLONE tool is one of many restoration tools in Photoshop. The tool works by painting one

part of an image over another part of the same image using a sampling points. This tool is great

for fixing defects in an image or for duplicating part of an image like making features likes eyes.

14. Right-click in a blank area of the LAYERS panel and choose medium or large thumbnails

to get a larger preview in your window.

15. SHOW and UNLOCK the “Cherry Blossom” layer and make it the active layer.

16. Go to EDIT > TRANSFORM > SCALE and enter 25% for the width and

height in the OPTIONS bar. Accept the transformation.

17. Select the MOVE tool. Use the MOVE tool to position the image in

the lower left corner so the left and bottom edges are

aligned with the lower left corner of the image.

18. ZOOM into the lower left corner of the image. You can open the

NAVAGATOR panel under WINDOW > NAVIGATOR to pan around the image from a

bird’s eye view.

19. Select the CLONE STAMP tool. Dial in the following settings on the OPTIONS bar:

a. Brush size: 32 px

b. Hardness: 45%

c. Mode: Normal

d. Opacity: 100%

e. Aligned: OFF (uncheck this)

i. This option will ensure that what we duplicate does not change as you

paint over the image

f. Sample: Current Layer

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20. Position your mouse over the red stamp and press and hold the ALT [OPTION] key over

the red stamp and left-click one time.

21. Let go of the ALT [OPTION] key and the mouse.

22. Start clicking on the wood block to add duplicates of the sampled area around the

cherry blossom. Each time you click you will lay down another red stamp. Because you

choose to NOT align the clone stamp, no matter where you click the same pixels (the red

stamp) are duplicated.

23. Use this HISTORY panel to remove changes you do not want.

Select the MOVE tool when you are done to deactivate the

CLONE tool. Your image may look similar to this:

a. Tip: Clicking another tool is a good way to deactivate

whatever tool you are currently using.

24. Save your file. Fit the image to the window.

25. With the MOVE tool selected, hold down the ALT [OPTION] key to make a duplicate of

the image which will be placed on its own layer. Move the duplicate so the top and left

edges are aligned with the top left corner of the image.

26. Repeat the previous step so you have placed a duplicate in each corner of the image.

27. Create a LAYER GROUP of these four layers named “Cherry Blossoms”. Remember to

select all four (4) layers first before making the layer group. Rename the layers as follows:

a. “Cherry Blossoms Bottom Left”

b. “Cherry Blossoms Top Left”

c. “Cherry Blossoms Bottom Right”

d. “Cherry Blossoms Top Right”

28. Save your file.

Layer Styles Layer styles are special effects you can add to different elements on a layer. They are non- destructive special effects that do not alter the original pixels of whatever layer they are applied too.

29. SHOW and UNLOCK the “Woman” layer and make it the active layer.

30. Go to EDIT > TRANSFORM > SCALE and set the width and height to 50% and enter 15° for


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31. Press the COMMIT button on the OPTIONS bar to set the


32. You can place an outline around this image to give it

more contrast. Click on the LAYER STYLE button at the

bottom of the layer panel and choose STROKE. Click on the COLOR box and use the

COLOR PICKER to select a color similar to the tree trunk, around 775x,100y (open the INFO

panel if you need to see locations). Set the SIZE to 12px and the position to CENTER and

press OK. You may need to move the LAYER STYLE panel around to see the image

behind it.

33. Using the same technique in the previous step, add a BEVEL & EMBOSS and DROP

SHADOW layer styles. Experiment with different settings and press OK when you are


34. Move the “Woman” layer to be between the “Cherry Blossom”

and “Postcard Base” layer groups. Use the MOVE tool to

position the image of the woman to the upper left area of the


35. Save your file.

Layer Comps Using LAYER COMPS is a great way to show different versions of your project without having to create multiple PSD files. Designers often create multiple compositions (or comps) of a page layout to show clients. Using layer comps, you can create, manage, and view multiple versions of a layout in a single Photoshop file.


37. Click the CREATE NEW LAYER COMP button at the bottom of the LAYER COMPS panel. The

new comp reflects the current state of layers in the Layers panel. Name this comp

“Postcard Comp 1”.

38. Check the options for VISIBILITY, POSITION, and APPEARANCE. In the COMMENT box type:

“Woman in upper left of postcard”.

39. Click OK. The options you chose are stored as defaults for your next comp.

40. Let’s create a second comp. Select the “Woman” layer and move the image to the

lower right of the postcard.

41. Repeat steps 37 – 39 and name this comp “Postcard Comp 2”. For the COMMENTS box

type: “Woman in lower right of postcard”.

7 Week 5-LayersPractice_instructions.docx

42. Click OK.

43. Toggle the layer visibility icon in the COMPS panel and watch how the woman moves

position in both the COMPS panel and your LAYERS panel.

(40 points) On Your Own Now it is time for you to have some fun. To earn the remaining 30 points for this assignment, I

want you to add to this project. You are required to add three (3) components:

1. (5 points) Text Layer

a. Add at least one (1) text layer. Apply at least one (1) layer effect to the text

2. (5 points) Additional Image Layer

a. Using the techniques you have learned to up to this point in the course either

manipulate the Robe layer OR use ArtStor to download an image that you can

use within this project. Manipulate the image layer by applying transformations

layer styles and any other effects you want to explore.

3. (5 points) Border

a. Add a layer that includes a border around the image.

b. Consider apply layer styles to enhance the appearance of the border.

4. (10 points) Comps

a. Create two (2) additional comps that show different versions of what you have


b. Use descriptive names and include comments.

5. (5 points) Proper PSD file management

a. All layers named

6. (10 points) All four (4) tutorial sections created correctly

Upload the completed PSD file to the link under the today’s in class practice section.

  • Objective
  • Asset List
  • Directions
    • Background Layers
    • Blending Modes
    • Cloning
    • Layer Styles
    • Layer Comps
    • (40 points) On Your Own

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