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Read This First About your layers panel


IamSam

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This is a a communal thread that anyone can contribute to it's content as long as it's associated with the layers panel.

I thought it might be nice to provide some information on the different layers and what they look like. I'm not going to go into the individual adjustments at this time. This is more to help you to identify the different layers.

Below. These are the most common layers you will encounter. Note the icons in the lower right hand corner of the Shape Layer and the Smart Object Layer.
You can add a new (normal layer) by hitting the Create a New Layer icon located at the bottom of the layers panel.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 2.51.56 PM copy4.png
You can also go to LAYER > NEW select from menu. The Keyboard Short Cut is (KBSC) is Shift + Cmd/Cntrl + N
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 7.50.35 AM.png

This is also very common. This is a Type/Text layer
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 9.30.47 PM.png

Below. This is a normal layer with a layer style attached. You can see the types of effects listed. In this case it's a stroke. You can turn the effects off using the eye icon next to "EFFECTS" or turn them off individually using the effect for example, "STROKE". You can also double click the items in the list to open the layer style interface.
The Smart Object Layer has had a Smart Filter attached. Smart filters can be edited at any time and it comes with it's own layer mask for you to mask out the effect if needed. In this case you can see the Smart Filter is a Gaussian Blur. You can also double click the items in the list to open and adjust the filters properties.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 7.53.57 AM.png

Below. This is a normal layer with a layer mask. You can add a layer mask to a layer by clicking on the Add Layer Mask icon located at the bottom of the layers panel.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 2.51.56 PM copy1.png
You can choose whether to add a Reveal all (white) or a Hide all (Black) layer mask by hitting the Opt/Alt key.
You can also add a layer mask by going to LAYER > LAYER MASK and choosing from the menu.

In order to work on a layer mask, it must be selected by clicking on it. You can tell it's selected when it shows white brackets around the mask.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 7.59.15 AM.png

Below. This is a normal layer with a Vector mask. You can tell its a Vector mask because when chosen, it will have the white brackets around it as well as brackets around the normal layer. You choose a Vector Mask by hitting the Cmd/Cntrl key while clicking the Add Layer/Vector mask Icon located at the bottom of the layers panel.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 2.51.56 PM copy1.png
At this time, you can choose whether to add a Reveal all (white) or a Hide all (Grey) layer mask by hitting the Opt/Alt key. You can also go to LAYER > VECTOR MASK and selecting a Reveal all (white) or a Hide all (Grey) from the menu.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 7.59.36 AM.png

On some occasions, you may have a Layer Mask and a Vector Mask on the same layer. The same rules apply as described above to selecting the different masks.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 8.01.32 AM.png

Below. The following are all adjustment layers with their corresponding Icons and layer masks.
You can create Adjustment Layers by clicking the half moon icon located at the bottom of the layers panel.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 2.51.56 PM copy2.png
You can also go to LAYER > NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER and selecting from the menu.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 8.03.47 AM.png

Below. The following are all adjustment layers with their corresponding Icons and layer masks.
You can create Adjustment Layers by clicking the half moon icon located at the bottom of the layers panel.
You can also go to LAYER > NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER and selecting from the menu.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 8.04.41 AM.png

Below. The following are all adjustment layers with their corresponding Icons and layer masks.
You can create Adjustment Layers by clicking the half moon icon located at the bottom of the layers panel.
You can also go to LAYER > NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER and selecting from the menu.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 8.05.33 AM.png

Below. The following are all adjustment layers with their corresponding Icons and layer masks.
You can create Adjustment Layers by clicking the half moon icon located at the bottom of the layers panel.
You can also go to LAYER > NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER and selecting from the menu.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 8.06.29 AM.png
 

IamSam

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Below. If you change the layer mask on a Color Fill, Gradient Fill, or a Pattern Fill adjustment layer into a vector mask, you get the following.

If you have an adjustment layer..............like a Solid Color Fill adjustment layer..........
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 12.26.11 AM.png

The Solid Color Fill layer has it's own layer mask when it's created, so you can only select a vector mask from the layer/vector mask icon located at he bottom of the layers panel.
So........if you have that layer selected, and you click on the layer/vector mask icon located at the bottom of the layers panel, you will get the following.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 12.28.21 AM.png

It turns the adjustment layers-layer mask into a vector mask, thus the shape layer icon and a path!
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 12.29.23 AM.png
 

IamSam

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Below. This is a layer that has been clipped to another layer, called a Clipping Mask.

To add a clipping mask you can right click the layer you would like to clip and select create clipping mask.
You can also hover your cursor between the two layers while holding down the alt/option key, you will see the cursor turn into a box with a black angled arrow pointing down, then click.
You can also go to LAYER > CREATE CLIPPING MASK
You can also select the layer to be clipped and use the KBSC of hitting Opt/Alt + Cmd/Cntrl + G (this is the easiest and fastest way)
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 9.13.35 PM.png
Canvas
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 9.22.55 PM.png

You can stack clipped layers. The only layer that will be visible on your canvas will be the uppermost clipped layer.
Once staked, they can be placed in a group.
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 9.25.10 PM.png
Canvas
Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 9.22.45 PM.png
 

SMOk3

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Very informative Sam, especially the KBSC's :thumbsup:
 

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