I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Matt Kloskowski’s book, Layers: The Complete Guide to Photoshop’s Most Powerful Feature (2nd Edition)*. I plowed through the entire book in one day. I’ve followed Matt Kloskowski over the past few years. I’ve watched his videos on Lightroom and Photoshop on Kelby Training and I follow his blog, Lightroom Killer Tips. He’s a very good teacher and explains concepts clearly.
Understanding Layers Is Essential
As Photo Artists, Photoshop is one of our most important tools besides our camera.Working with textures is all about working with layers. Becoming Layer Ninja’s will free us in our work.
What’s In It For The Newbie
If you’ve been struggling with understanding layers, blending modes and layer masks, this book would be excellent for you. Matt breaks down these concepts with clear graphics so that they are easily understandable. The book is full of tutorials with image downloads which make it easy to follow along. He also has links to videos he has done on selections and brushes.
What’s In It For The More Advanced User
I know layers pretty well, so I was a little worried that I wouldn’t get much use out of this book. While I was pleased to confirm that I do know layers quite well, there were plenty of gems that made the book worth while. If you are already a Photoshop guru this book may be too basic for you. If you’re like me and know Photoshop well, but could stand to delve deeper, this book will fill in the cracks. I have 9 large post-its lined up on my wall filled with notes on short cuts and tricks I didn’t know. I was particularly happy to learn shortcuts for working with the blend modes. The book also covers some more advanced topics such as the Blend If blend mode in the Layer Styles and using Smart Objects. The last chapter in particular is devoted to Advanced Layer Blending and Compositing with a number of examples.
Tip From The Book
To quickly cycle through the various blend modes, use Shift and either the + or – to cycle down or up the blend modes. To select the opacity, just type the opacity desired in the keyboard. eg. 35 for 35% opacity.
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