Layers – The complete guide to Photoshop’s most powerful feature
If you are a new user of Photoshop the concept of a layered file can be quite intimidating. Thinking of your flat image file in terms of multiple slices on top of each other like an overhead projector can help to realize the power of transparency and masking. This book is directly aimed at the beginner with a goal of demystifying the single most powerful feature of Photoshop – Layers!
Matt breaks down the use of layers in ten easy to read chapters. Not surprisingly from the Kelby Media stable this book is written in a step by step flow with each chapter building your level of understanding and improving your skills. For those who need to get the exact same results when following along there are sample files provided for each chapter, a huge bonus when entering values for selections, colors, and opacities. Also included is a link to video tutorials for Layer, Brush and Selection Basics, not to mention two videos showing how the cover was made.
Starting with Layer basics Matt explains why you might want to use layers. Theres even a picture of him holding a photograph and a sheet of acetate. If that doesn’t explain the basic concept I don’t know what does!
After the basics comes a series of examples showing how powerful Layers really can be in a photographers or designers workflow. Blending, Masking, and Smart Layers are all included. You could get through this book easily by completing one chapter a week or even one chapter a day but you’ll probably want to hold on to it as a reference for a while. If you don’t keep the book you’ll definitely want to keep the “How do I…” checklists at the end of each chapter for those times when you know something is possible but just quite can’t remember where you learned about it.
While its not billed as the definitive guide to Layers, from a beginners perspective its an absolute gold mine.
Available from Kelby Training for $35.99
NAPP members get a discounted price of $26.99
Published Oct 29, 2010 by Peachpit Press.
Dimensions: 7-1/2″ x 9″
is a Photoshop guru and author of nine books on Photoshop, Elements, and Illustrator. Matt teaches Photoshop and digital photography techniques to thousands of people each year. He co-hosts the top-rated video podcast Photoshop User TV and also hosts the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips and Photoshop Killer Tips podcasts. He’s built a massive library of DVDs and online training courses, and writes regularly for Photoshop User magazine. Matt is an instructor at the world’s premier Photoshop event, the Photoshop World Conference & Expo, and works in Tampa, Florida, at the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.