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Finishing Interior
711 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Here are some Photoshop tips that I use almost daily at work and at home. Some I found by looking for a better and quicker way to do something, and others I found by pressing the wrong button at the right time. I always tell people to just play around and try different things. Hold down CONTROL, ALT, and/or SHIFT and see what they do.

Note: I am doing this in Photoshop 7 on Windows XP, but should be close to the same for all newer versions of Photoshop, Windows, and Mac. Mac users may need to use different buttons.

56K Warning: Large Pictures

Clipping Layer

Clipping layers work by using an underlying layer as a mask for another layer. It allows you to keep all transparency of a layer why brushing or stamping on the new layer.

I'll start with this file that already was silhouetted and has a gray background on a separate layer

Next I made a new layer on top and painted a lot of red right in the center.

To turn the layer with red into a clipping layer hold down ALT and place your cursor right between the two layers until the cursor changes to this

The result will look like this

Another way to add a clipping layer is in the new layer dialog box. Just check the "Group With Previous Layer"

You can than continue to work on this layer like you normally do with any other layer. You can add as many clipping layers to one layer as you want, but you can't add a clipping layer to a clipping layer.

Adjustment Layers and Masks

Adjustment layers allow you to apply Curves, Hue/Saturation, Levels, and others as a layer into your file. These layers can then be adjusted,turned off, or deleted without damaging other layers. If you change the color mode of a file from RGB to CMYK or something similar the adjustment layer will either be applied to a layer or discarded, so you will need to flatten the file before changing mode.

I'll start with the same file as before, but it already has all the layers, they are just turned off.

This button adds a Layer Mask so you can "erase" parts of a layer, but you can also add it back if you mess up. Filters also work on masks.

When you choose an adjustment Layer, like say curves, the dialog box will pop up and add a new layer to the file. Here I played with curves to try and add some contrast to the white. These layers already have a mask to preserve the windows and interior color.

Next I added a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer with Colorize selected to get a color I want.

This adjustment layer was to add even more contrast.

The grill is now almost completely black . So I selected, copied, and pasted it to a new layer. These are the steps I took to get the front end to match the rest of the body.

And here is the body all together.

Before I did anymore work I duplicated all these layers, merged them together, and continued to work on the file till I got what is posted in the "Contest 3" thread.

I hope that this helps make you better in your quest to becoming a Photoshop guru. Ask questions if you have them.

Remember to use CTRL-S often. Jesus saves and so should you.

182 Posts
DarrHoov81....thanks for teaching me something new today...I've always just made copies of my paint layer and then made the changes....this is awesome and a good way to see what was done instead of having to write down the steps in order to change the color of say a second view. I see a ton of advantages that could come of using this tip.
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