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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

New! Layer Sets

New to Photoshop is the layer set feature. Layer sets enable you to pack away multiple layers so that they can't be seen cluttering up your Layers palette. You can organize all layers related to a specific item, for example, in one layer set. When you're working on the layer set, all layers are available to you. When you're finished with that set, you can hide the layers by closing the layer set. To get a feel for this, let's continue messing up the Pocket.psd image.

Packing Away Layers You Don't Need

We'll let you in on the ending of the Pocket.psd story here: eventually, you will be editing only the dart and the 15ball against the background. This means that the tiny hydrant, the screwdriver, and the ice cream cone serve no purpose other than to distract us.

Here's how to pack the three layers away in a layer set. You no longer need to worry about deleting superfluous layers, only to find out later that they weren't superfluous!

Using the Layer Set Feature

  1. On the Layers palette, click the menu flyout triangle near the top right of the palette.

  2. Choose New Layer Set from the menu, item 1 in Figure 4.6. A dialog box pops up, item 2 in Figure 4.6. Type Unused Pocket Items in the Name field, and because this is our first time using this feature, make the color of the layer set violet. Pass Through is a mode assigned only to layer sets. This means that any of the contents of the layer set that are activated (to activate, you open the layer set folder and click the eye icon) will appear in Normal mode. You also can do some weird stuff like assigning Color mode to the layer set, which causes every activated layer in the layer set to take on the "parent" Blending mode. Leave the mode at Pass Through and then click OK. Onscreen, the closed set entry on the Layers list will be violet...very easy to locate.

Figure 4.6Figure 4.6 Create a new layer set—a container for layers—as easily as you create new layers.

  1. Drag the Hydrant, the Screwdriver, and the Soft Ice Cream layers into the Unused Pocket Items title on the Layers palette, item 3 in Figure 4.6. The layers will disappear from the Layers palette, but you'll clearly see these layers again if you click the right-facing triangle next to the layer set name (the triangle toggles the layer set folder open and closed—for viewing or hiding the layers within the palette).

  2. Close the layer set title by clicking the down triangle to the left of its name, and the triangle then faces right. Hide the images in the layer set by clicking the eye icon to deselect it.

  3. Press Ctrl()+S to save the file. Keep the image and Photoshop open.


Seeing What's in a Layer Set You can see the contents of a hidden layer set in the image window by clicking the layer set title's eye icon. If you click the layer set title's triangle so that it faces down and the title expands to show thumbnails of the contents of the layer set folder, you can edit layers in the Layer Set exactly as you would do with layers outside the set. You must, of course, have the eye icon and the brush icon enabled for the selected layer title before you can do any work with that layer's contents.

Let's do something that's impossible in the real world. In the following section, you'll work with the layer mask feature to make it look as though the dart is harpooning the 15ball. And you'll do it without the need for woodshop tools.

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