Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Getting Into CS4
Among the useful features in the latest version of Photoshop are the new Adjustments panel and the Masks panel
|In figures 5 and 6, you can see the alignment and blend controls for Photoshop CS4’s Deep Focus control. Deep Focus allows you to use multiple shots to create a final image with essentially unlimited depth of field.|
If you want an adjustment layer you’re working on to affect only the layer directly below it on the Layers panel, there’s no longer a need to hold the Alt/Option key and click on the line between the two layers. Simply click the Clip to Layer button on the Adjustments panel to put the adjustment layer into a clipping group with the layer directly below it.
When it comes to seeing a “before and after” view of your image, you now have a couple of options. You’re probably already familiar with the Eye icon to the left of each layer on the Layers panel, which allows you to turn off the visibility of an adjustment layer (or any other layer) to see what the image looks like without that layer applied. In CS4, you have access to that same capability on the Adjustments panel by clicking the Eye icon at the bottom of the panel. This may not seem like a very big deal, and you might even feel like it’s just redundant, but I can assure you that when you’re in the middle of making an adjustment, it’s very convenient to have the Eye button right there at hand so you can see what the image looked like before you applied the current adjustment layer.
|The process can be time-consuming, as the progress bars in figures 7 and 8 show.|
Layer masking is certainly nothing new to Photoshop, but the Masks panel breathes new life into creating—and especially refining—layer masks. In many ways, the Masks panel simply consolidates a number of features related to masking into a single location. But it also adds some powerful capabilities you’ll put to use frequently with your layer masks.
When it comes to adjustment layers, you’ll probably either start with a selection and add the adjustment layer (so the mask for the adjustment layer reflects the selection automatically) or you’ll create an adjustment layer without a selection and paint on the layer mask to block or reveal the adjustment as desired. As a result, you’ll probably only use the button to create a layer (or vector) mask when creating a composite image.
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