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Ok something that I can't seem to get about layers

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  #1  
Old 03-12-2009, 03:18 PM
Biwa Biwa is offline
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Ok something that I can't seem to get about layers

I see people with these psd files with many layers . I consider myself still
a noob with CS3 even though I have used it for about 8 months there is so much more to learn.
Heres whats stumping me .

Is there a good "best practices with layers" guide somewhere?

Yes I know what layers do and how to think of them as acetate on top of each other. That makes sense. I know how to mask .
What I get into trouble with is when I do a selection when to jump it to its own layer vs not , when to work with just a blank layer or on the layer copy itself.
When I make some selections and work on it and then do any color adjustment I find sometimes that the selection underneath does not get affected or that sometimes only the selection is getting affected. I get lost in when to merge down layers and when not to . I would prefer not to merge stuff down in order to see what I have been doing and as I mentioned I see people with massive psd files with tons of layers and groups etc so there must be a way to keep it all a.

So , tips on best practices and do's and don't if anyone has them would be great to read.

I have read tons of books and even watched Lyndas videos but never have seen anything presented on layer management when things get tricky and where to have what be where. haha I hope I make sense to someone.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:37 PM
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Swampy Swampy is offline
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Re: Ok something that I can't seem to get about la

Hi Biwa! Welcome to RetouchPro! Explore and Enjoy!

I think every project has it's own layer management requirements so it's hard to say. What I like to do is as layers build up, put all the work into a layer group then do a "stamp merge" and name that merge layer "merge of group 1" then continue working from there grouping the next process layers.

Always start your work on a backup of your Original Background layer. I will duplicate it then do color corrections, cloning etc. and put it all in a group, stamp merge and continue.
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:43 PM
Biwa Biwa is offline
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Re: Ok something that I can't seem to get about la

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampy View Post
Hi Biwa! Welcome to RetouchPro! Explore and Enjoy!

I think every project has it's own layer management requirements so it's hard to say. What I like to do is as layers build up, put all the work into a layer group then do a "stamp merge" and name that merge layer "merge of group 1" then continue working from there grouping the next process layers.

Always start your work on a backup of your Original Background layer. I will duplicate it then do color corrections, cloning etc. and put it all in a group, stamp merge and continue.

When you do a stamp merge do you lose your layers in that group? I would like to not lose layers if thats possible
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:50 PM
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Re: Ok something that I can't seem to get about la

No, you don't loose the layers in the group. You don't have to put them in a group, but it just helps me organize and shortens the layer list.

I use the Keyboard Shortcut SHIFT+OPTION+COMMAND+E for Mac. I think for a PC it is SHIFT+ALT+CONTROL+E
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:58 PM
Biwa Biwa is offline
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Re: Ok something that I can't seem to get about la

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Originally Posted by Swampy View Post
No, you don't loose the layers in the group. You don't have to put them in a group, but it just helps me organize and shortens the layer list.

I use the Keyboard Shortcut SHIFT+OPTION+COMMAND+E for Mac. I think for a PC it is SHIFT+ALT+CONTROL+E
Will have to try that thanks.

I'm still hoping for a best practices list.
I as mentioned, am still trying to get a handle on PS but what I am talking about would be something like

1. Always make a copy of your image to work on .
2. First make color corrections
3. To work on a selection , jump the selection to a new layer / do not jump to a new layer unless you want to do blah blah blah ( I am making this up , this is what I dont know and want to see someone tell me )
... 11 . At some point make groups of your layers when ( again at what point do you make your groups??? this again I dont know )

18 . Sharpen last before printing .


Again I'm looking for a list of that sort if it exists. Yes I can see that every image will be a case by case situation but there has to be a "best practice" or theory for it all right?
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:34 PM
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Re: Ok something that I can't seem to get about la

I pretty much work along these lines

- noise
- Perspective adjustments
- Curves or Levels with adjustment layer
- Color correction
- Clone/heal
- Dodge/burn
- sharpen/blur
- flatten, conversion 16-8bits, adobe rgb to cmyk/srgb, save PSD
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:19 AM
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Steve Payne Steve Payne is offline
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Re: Ok something that I can't seem to get about la

I think is just really something you'll learn as you go along. I look back on some of my early early PSD files and they will only have about three layers in total?!?

I used to merge everything down or even worse work on just one layer for everything.
Not that there's anything particularly wrong with that, but it does limit what you can change and alter should you need to come back and work on it some more.

So I think you'll know when you want to change something but also have the option of going back. That's when to utilise layers. It's probably worth learning about smart objects and smart layers and layer masks and such.

To be honest though it will just come with time as you gain more experience.
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Old 03-13-2009, 06:11 AM
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Re: Ok something that I can't seem to get about la

There's no set process for this I'm afraid. It really depends on the job.

Keep your original and work from there

Do as much of your adjustments on seperate layers, for full flexability or so someone else can easily pick up your files. Also, label your groups.

We color code them for ease of use. Green for current work, Grey for stuff that should not be on etc.

Check the attachment for how my layer stack looks at the very moment. The image is not actually a pink blob, copyright etc.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Picture 2.jpg (86.5 KB, 57 views)
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:16 AM
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Soul_of_Kilik Soul_of_Kilik is offline
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Re: Ok something that I can't seem to get about la

or try making a group, then duplicate the group, then flatten the duplicate group...
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:48 PM
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Re: Ok something that I can't seem to get about la

About copying/jumping selections to a separate layer.
I'm not a big fan of that, as stacking layers of selections can look weird and "doubled".
Use masks.
I just usually duplicate the whole layer if I need to adjust only selected areas.
But it also depends on the amount of layers already in the project.
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