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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

LAYER TIPS

by Trevor Morris

  1. You can cycle through layer blending modes by using Shift+Plus ( + ) (cycle forward) and Shift+Minus ( - ) (cycle backward). Also try Alt+Shift+Letter (where Letter is one of letters listed below) to quickly change the blending mode.

N = Normal

I = Dissolve

M = Multiply

S = Screen

O = Overlay

F = Soft Light

H = Hard Light

D = Color Dodge

B = Color Burn

K = Darken

G = Lighten

E = Difference

X = Exclusion

U = Hue

T = Saturation

C = Color

Y = Luminosity

Q = Behind 1

L = Threshold 2

R = Clear 3

W = Shadows 4

V = Midtones 4

Z = Highlights 4

Only applicable to: 1. Paint tools 2. Indexed mode 3. Dodge and Burn tools [O] 4. Line [N] and Bucket [K] tools on multi-layered images Note: The above hotkeys also affect the blending mode of the currently active paint tool, so if you wish to change the blending mode of the active layer, be sure to switch to the Move tool [V] or one of the selection tools first.

  1. Change the opacity of the currently active tool or layer by using the number keys (on the keyboard or on the number pad). Press "1" for 10% Opacity, "5" for 50%, and so on; use "0" for 100% Opacity. Numbers pressed in succession such as "85" will result in an opacity of 85%. Note: The above hotkeys also affect the opacity of the currently active paint tool, so if you wish to change the opacity of the active layer, be sure to switch to the Move tool [V] or one of the selection tools first.
  2. Increase / decrease slider bars by 1% using the left and right arrow keys. Add Shift to increase / decrease by 10% increments.
  3. Hide / Reveal all layers by Alt-clicking on the visibility icon (the eyeball) of the desired layer.
  4. Unlink all layers from the current layer by Alt-clicking on the current layer's paintbrush icon.
  5. To clear (remove) all layer effects from a particular layer, hold the Alt key and double-click on the layer's effect icon ( f ); or from the menus, choose Layer » Effects » Clear Effects. Tip: To disable an individual effect, hold down the Alt key and select it by name from the Layer » Effects submenu. Alternatively, you may uncheck its Apply flag in the effects dialog box.
  6. Alt-click between layers (in the Layers palette) to group them together. This is handy when several layers are linked together, and you only want to group specific layers together (since Group [Ctrl+G] (Layer » Group with Previous) changes into Group Linked [Ctrl+G] (Layer » Group Linked) when the current layer is linked to other layers).
  7. Here is a real time-saver for adding adjustment layers (Layer » New » Adjustment Layer...): simply Ctrl-click on the New Layer icon (at the bottom of the Layers palette) and select the type of adjustment layer you wish to add!
  8. Alt-click on the Trash icon (at the bottom of the Layers palette) to quickly delete layers (without confirmation); also works with channels and paths.
  9. Instead of going to the Channels palette (Window » Show Channels) to edit a layer mask, simply Alt-click on the mask's thumbnail in the Layers palette [F7] (Window » Show Layers) to reveal it; Shift-click layer mask thumbnails to disable / enable them (a red X indicates a disabled mask). Alt+Shift-click a layer mask to view it in rubylith color (or press backslash [ \ ] ). Ctrl-click on a mask's thumbnail to load its Transparency Selection (or press Ctrl+Alt+ \ ). Tip: Press Ctrl+ \ to switch the focus from the current layer (image) to its mask.
  10. Click the Add Layer Mask button (at the bottom of the Layers palette [F7]) to add a mask which reveals the current selection (Layer » Add Layer Mask » Reveal All). Alt-click on the Add Layer Mask button to add a mask which hides the current selection (Layer » Add Layer Mask » Hide All).
  11. Turn off all paths easily by clicking on the empty area of the Paths palette (under the path layers). Tip: Toggle paths on / off by pressing Ctrl+Shift+H (View » Show/Hide Path).
  12. Alt-click on the Fill Path, Stroke Path, and Load Path as Selection icons (bottom of the Paths palette) to see a list of available tools and / or options.
  13. With the Move tool [V] as the current tool (or while holding down the Ctrl key), right-click anywhere on the canvas for a list of the layers under the mouse pointer (ordered from top-most to bottom-most): select a layer-name from the list to make it the active layer. Tip: Add the Alt key (Alt-right-click) to automatically choose the top-most layer under the pointer. Alternatively, you may turn on the Auto Select Layer option in the Move tool [V] Options palette. Tip: Add the Shift key (Alt+Shift-right-click) to link / unlink the top-most layer that intersects with the current layer.

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