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Lesson 14. Arranging Layer Objects in Im... > Creating a layer set and applying ch...

Creating a layer set and applying changes

A layer set is similar to a layer group, but there are a few functional differences between the two. (See sidebar, “About layer groups and layer sets,” after this topic.) Both help you organize the Layers palette. You can nest both layer groups and layer sets within other layer groups or sets.

In the Layers palette, Shift-click to select the three copies of the Group 1 layer group. Be careful to select only the copies, not the Group 1 layer group itself.

Drag the selected layers to the Create A New Set button () at the bottom of the Layers palette.

The three copies of the stone-image layer groups now appear nested under a layer set with the default name, Set 1.

Double-click the name Set 1 so that it can be edited and type Brickwork to rename it. Press Enter (Windows) or Return (Mac OS) to set the name.

About layer groups and layer sets

Layer groups and layer sets have much in common: You can select them and move them as a unit. You can transform an entire layer group or layer set, such as rotating, skewing, or scaling it. You can also apply opacity changes to a whole group or set. Either one organizes specified layers in the Layers palette into a hierarchy that can be collapsed to a single level or expanded to show its contents. Both can contain multiple levels of mixed layer sets and layer groups nested inside them.

The most important differences between them are:

  • You select a layer set by clicking it in the Layers palette, not in the image window. You can select a layer group either by clicking it in the Layers palette or by clicking in the image window. To do the latter, you must select the Move tool (with the default Layer Select option selected on the tool options bar) and click any object that is a part of that layer group.

  • Layer sets are available in both Photoshop and ImageReady. Layer groups are found exclusively in ImageReady. If you open an ImageReady file that includes layer groups in Photoshop, the layer groups will appear in the Layers palette as layer sets while you work on the file in Photoshop. When you reopen the same file in ImageReady, the layer groups are restored, so that the layer groups you defined as such in ImageReady appear again as groups (and those defined as layer sets remain layer sets).

    In ImageReady, you can convert an existing layer set into a layer group and vice versa. This process is controlled by the Treat Layer Set As A Group check box, which appears in the Layer Set Options or Layer Group Options dialog box that opens from the Layers palette menu. When the Treat Layer Set As A Group option is selected, the item is a layer group. When the option is not selected, the item is a layer set. To change from a set to a group or vice versa, just click to add or remove the checkmark.

    If you want to see this for yourself, try temporarily unlocking the Brickwork layer set that you just finished creating in the previous procedure. Then, click a blank area of the Layers palette to deselect that layer set, or choose Select > Deselect Layers. When you click any of the low-opacity stones in the image window with the Move tool (with the Layer Select tool option selected in the tool options bar), it selects one of the groups nested within the Brickwork layer set, not the entire set. If you want to select all three of these groups, you can either Shift-click to select them in the image window or you could select the Brickwork layer set in the Layers palette.

  • Be sure to relock the Brickwork layer set before you continue.

Click the arrow for the Brickwork layer set to collapse it, but leave the layer set selected for the next two steps.

On the Layers palette, change the Opacity to 75%, either by dragging the slider or typing 75 in the percentage box.

Click the Lock button () near the top of the Layers palette to prevent further changes to the Brickwork layer set. A lock icon appears to the left of the layer set name, indicating that it is indeed locked.

Why would you change the Opacity of the layer set now? You might do it for aesthetic reasons, or at the request of your client. Instead of expanding the layer set and the layer groups to adjust the opacity of the individual layers, you can make the change at the layer-set level. This means that you enter the change once instead of 17 times (once for each individual Stone layer).



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