Updates Layer Effects/ Styles in Photoshop CS6
In case you didn’t watch the video in yesterday’s post, here are some of the changes made to the Layer Effects/Styles in Photoshop CS6:
• The menu order of the Layer Effects/Styles has changed. Although it might not be obvious at first, they are now in the order in which they are applied to the content in the layer. For example, the Drop Shadow effect is applied (or will be rendered) below all other Effects, the Bevel and Emboss will rendered on top of any other Effects. This should help when visualizing how several effects are going to be applied to the contents of a layer or group.
• Layer Effects/Styles can be applied to Groups. As you can see in the illustration below, the layers on the left have a Stroke effect applied to each layer individually. The layers on the right have the Stroke effect applied to the Group. Applying the Layer Effect/Style to the Group has a different result because the layers are all treated as one (as if they are flattened) before the Layer Effect/Style is applied to the Group.
• Option -click (Mac) | Alt (Win) -click the disclosure triangle on the Layers panel to the right of the “fx” icon to hide/reveal all Layer Effect/Styles in the document.
• Both the Gradient Overlay and Stroke Layer Effects have a “Dither” option. Note: to apply a dither on a Stroke, first change the Fill Type to Gradient.
• There is a new command (Layer > Rasterize > Layer Style) which renders the layer effect into the layer (think of it as merging or flattening the Layer Effect/Style with the content of the layer).
• If any changes have been made in the Layer Style dialog under the Advanced Blending area, a new Blending Effects icon is displayed on the layer in the Layers panel.
Julieanne Kost’s Favorite 10 Shortcuts in Lightroom’s Develop module.
Since I’ve returned from Iceland last week, I have been using Lightroom’s Develop module every free moment that I have in order to finish my photographs. I use the term “finish” because it most accurately describes what I am doing. I’m not” fixing” things that I didn’t get right in camera I am finishing the image by refining it, sculpting the landscape to amplify it’s visual impact upon the viewer. Since I am by no means a photojournalist, I have no restrictions as to the extent to which I can enhance tone or color, globally or selectively to create the depth and atmosphere that I desire. And to this end, Lightroom and Photoshop are the ultimate artistic tools for creating photographs that go beyond what is possible at time of capture. They are the tools that enable me to construct what I envision.
With that said, I have been keeping track of the shortcuts that I use most often over the past week when finishing my images. Enjoy!
1) The Develop Module’s Interface
As a general rule, in the Develop module, Control (Mac), Right mouse (Win) -click the gray background behind the image to change the Background Color to Light Gray. This will help avoid underexposing images when making adjustments. If you know that you will be displaying the images against a particular background color, you could also use this feature to preview what that will look like.
2) Working with Panels
When working on a laptop or a small (low resolution) monitor, take advantage of Lightroom’s ability to automatically hide and show panels by using Solo Mode. Control (Mac), Right mouse (Win) -click any panel’s header to select Solor Mode. Or, Opt (Mac) /Alt (Win) -click the triangle on the right of the panel header to toggle Solo Mode. Note, in Solo Mode the disclosure triangles appear to be dots, in regular mode, they are solid gray. If you find that you prefer Solo mode, but sometimes enjoy viewing an additional panel or two, simply Shift -click the additional panel header to display it.
3) Working with Sliders
In order to reset any slider, double click on the name of the slider. Holding down the Opt/Alt changes a group of sliders name (such as Presence group in the Basic Panel) to “Reset Presence” in order to quickly reset the group of sliders with a single click. In addition, you can Opt (Mac) /Alt (Win) -drag many of the sliders to access various different behaviors. For example, in the Split Toning panel, Opt (Mac) /Alt (Win) -draging the Hue slider will preview the color at 100% making it easier to select the correct color, in the Detail panel, under Sharpening, Opt (Mac) /Alt (Win) -dragging the Detail and Masking sliders will display a B/W preview of the mask etc.). Each panel (except for the Basic panel) also displays a small icon (similar to a “light switch “) in the upper left of the panel’s header. Click the “light switch” on/off to hide/show any changes made in that panel. In addition, the “/” (Backslash) key toggles Before/After of all panel changes.
To quickly toggle between Loupe and Before/After view, tap the “Y” key. Shift Y toggles the split screen preview. Often, I find that the default “before” history state (automatically set to when the file is first imported) is too far back in time. Fortunately, to compare a different history state, drag and drop the desired state from the History panel into the “before” preview area. And don’t forget, if you reach a point where you like what you’ve done, but want to try a different direction, Cmd (Mac)/Ctrl (Win) + ‘ (apostrophe) creates a virtual copy of your photograph so that you can explore all of your creative variations.
5) Previewing “Clipped” Values
Positioning the cursor over the triangles in the upper left and right of the Histogram panel will display areas of the photograph that are clipping (to pure black or pure white) with a blue (shadow) or red (highlight) overlay. Although you can click and drag directly on the values that you want to refine in the Histogram panel, the clipping preview will be toggled off as soon as you move your cursor away from the icon. In order to keep the clipping warning visible, tap the “J” key to toggle on/off both of the shadow/highlight clipping preview at once. Note: an alternate way to preview clipping is to Opt (Mac) /Alt (Win) -drag the Exposure and Blacks sliders in the Basic panel. However, instead of displaying a blue/red overlay, the preview will display black/white.
To quickly swap the orientation of a crop, tap the “X” key. Fantastic.
7) The White Balance Tool
To quickly access the White Balance tool, tap the “W” key. Short and sweet.
8) The Point Curve
New to Lightroom 3 is the ability to work directly on a point curve - but this functionality can be easily missed! At the bottom right of the Tone Curve panel, click the square icon to enables the Point Curve and therefore, the placement of multiple targeted points on the curve.
9) Spot Removal Tool (Q)
When using the spot removal tool is is very handy to tap the “H” key to hide and show pins. Also, the Page up and Page down keys will navigate an image screen by screen so that you don’t miss any dust spots. Once the spots are removed from one image, select similar images (similar because they all have the same dust) and use the Sync button to apply it to others (of course you might have to check each image to make sure that the clone/heal is seamless as I’m sure that the content in the image changes from frame to frame!
10) Adjustment Brush (K)
There are a lot of shortcuts associated with the Adjustment Brush, but my favorites are:
• [ and ] (left/right brackets) decrease/increase brush size. Add the shift to change brush Feather (edge hardness).
• Opt/Alt toggles between the Adjustment Brush and Eraser tool.
• “/” (forward slash) toggles between brush A and B.
• Shift -drag constrains brush to a straight line.
• “A” toggles Auto Mask on/off.
• “O” Show/Hide Mask Overlay, Shift + O cycles Mask Overlay colors.
• “H” Hide/Show Pins.
• “Scrubbing” (dragging left or right) on the pin increases/decreases all attributes applied.
• After choosing the setting for a brush, save it as a preset if you might use it again.
Ok, so that might have been a few more than 10, but hopefully there was something for everyone from novice to advanced!