Layers in Illustrator can be confusing as they are not as straightforward as say in Photoshop or any other programs. What you might understand as a ‘layer’ can be something else in Illustrator’s terminology. But let’s just cut through that and review some of the most common ways you may achieve your goal.
Layers as they are understood by the Adobe Illustrator are containers for various objects that have a name, color, and several properties such as whether it’s visible, printable, etc. They are at the top of the objects’ arrangement hierarchy which can be viewed and manipulated on the Layers panel.
If you don’t see the Layers panel, go to Window > Layers menu, or press F7.
Layers have names such as Layer 1, Layer 2 by default, and their colors are represented in the objects’ vector paths when you select them.
If you want to merge those layers, Ctrl/Cmd-click to select them (Shift-click to select range) then click on the Layers panel’s Options button and select Merge Selected (or Flatten Artwork to merge all the layers).
You can move objects between layers by dragging and dropping, or if you have too many of them, here’s the easy way:
- Select the artwork you want to move.
- Create a new layer or click on your target layer on the Layers panel.
Note: if you click in the area to the right of the Layer’s name, you will select that layer’s artwork, which will be indicated by a colored square dot. Having selected artwork on the target layer will prevent the following step from working. Shift-click on that dot to deselect it.
- Go to Object > Arrange > Send to Current Layer.
Tip: you can click and drag colored dots to move selected artwork between layers.
Alternatively, click on the Layers Panel’s Options button and select
This will only change the arrangement of objects on the Illustrator’s layers, but they will remain separate objects. If your goal is to unite the objects into a single thing, there are different ways to do that.
- Select objects you want to unite using Selection Tool (V). Hold Shift and click to add objects to selection.
- Go to Object > Group, or press Ctrl/Cmd + G.
This will put your objects into a group that you can review on the Layers panel. Notice some of the selected objects already might be some forms of groups themselves, forming a hierarchy.
From now on, these objects will be selected as one by the Selection Tool and can share appearance (strokes, fills, and effects). Appearance shared by the group, such as the Drop Shadow effect, will be indicated as a filled circle to the right of the Group’s name on the Layers panel. This way the effect applies to the group as a whole i.e. objects within the group won’t drop shadows on each other.
Tip: use Group Selection Tool to select objects at the bottom of the hierarchy. You can use Direct Selection Tool (A) and hold Alt/Option key. With the Group Selection Tool active, each new click selects groups higher up the hierarchy.
If you need to merge two or more simple objects, such as paths into one, use the Pathfinder panel.
- Go to Window > Pathfinder, or press Ctrl/Cmd+Shift + F9 to bring up the Pathfinder panel.
- Select the objects you need with the Selection Tool (V). Hold Shift to add to the selection.
- Click the Unite button on the Pathfinder panel.
Objects will merge into a single path and any paths or points in the intersecting area will be removed. If your objects had different appearances, that is colors, strokes, or effects, the resulting object will assume the appearance of the object that was on the top.
If you Alt/Option-click the Unite button you will create what is called the Compound Shape (not to be confused with the Compound Path which is used for filling areas between paths, such as the outer and inner circle of the letter O). Compound Shape lets you preserve the initial paths and manipulate them dynamically while maintaining the Pathfinder effects on appearance. Click on Pathfinder’s options button to release the Compound Shape.
A quicker way to do Pathfinder operations is using the Shape Builder Tool (Shift + M). Simply select your paths and draw across them with the tool to unite. Hold Alt/Option to subtract.
Sometimes doing simple modifications in Adobe Illustrator seems very hard. But once you know the trick it starts to make sense. Knowing your way around raster and vector graphic tools is a solid skill in today’s world. A lot of jobs are available for creative people, so why not start a career and see where it gets you?
Equitable Language: We are replacing non-inclusive language from InDesign 2022 (version 17.0) onwards, to reflect core Adobe values of inclusivity. Any reference to Master page is replaced by Parent page in our Help articles for the English, Danish, Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, and Japanese locales.
Each document includes at least one named layer. By using multiple layers, you can create and edit specific areas or kinds of content in your document without affecting other areas or kinds of content. For example, if your document prints slowly because it contains many large graphics, you can use one layer for just the text in your document; then, when it’s time to proofread the text, you can hide all other layers and quickly print the text layer only. You can also use layers to display alternate design ideas for the same layout, or versions of advertisements for different regions.
Think of layers as transparent sheets stacked on top of each other. If a layer doesn’t have objects on it, you can see through it to any objects on layers behind it.
Additional layer notes:
Each document layer has a disclosure triangle that can be expanded to reveal the objects and their stacking order on that layer for the active spread. Groups, buttons, and multi-state objects also have disclosure triangles that can be expanded to display their contained objects. You can re-order these objects, lock and unlock them, and add or remove them from groups.
Objects on parents appear at the bottom of each layer. Parent items can appear in front of document page objects if the parent page objects are on a higher layer. (See About parents, stacking order, and layers.)
Layers involve all pages of a document, including parents. For example, if you hide Layer 1 while editing page 1 of your document, the layer is hidden on all pages until you decide to show it again.
For information on converting layers from Adobe PageMaker® or QuarkXPress, see Converting QuarkXPress and PageMaker documents.
When creating complex artwork, it’s a challenge to keep track of all the items in your document window. Small items get hidden under larger items, and selecting artwork becomes difficult. Layers provide a way to manage all the items that make up your artwork. Think of layers as clear folders that contain artwork. If you reshuffle the folders, you change the stacking order of the items in your artwork. You can move items between folders and create subfolders within folders.
The structure of layers in your document can be as simple or complex as you want it to be. By default, all items are organized in a single, parent layer. However, you can create new layers and move items into them, or move elements from one layer to another at any time.
The Layers panel provides an easy way to select, hide, lock, and change the appearance attributes of artwork. You can even create template layers, which you can use to trace artwork, and exchange layers with Photoshop.
For a video about keeping your artwork flexible and organized by using layers in your document, see Organize artwork with layers.
- You use the Layers panel (Window > Layers) to list, organize, and edit the objects in a document. By default, every new document contains one layer, and each object you create is listed under that layer. However, you can create new layers and rearrange items to best suit your needs.
- By default, Illustrator assigns a unique color (up to nine colors) to each layer in the Layers panel. The color displays next to the layer name in the panel. The same color displays in the illustration window in the bounding box, path, anchor points, and center point of a selected object. You can use this color to quickly locate an object’s corresponding layer in the Layers panel, and you can change the layer color to suit your needs.
- When an item in the Layers panel contains other items, a triangle appears to the left of the item’s name. Click the triangle to show or hide the contents. If no triangle appears, the item contains no additional items.
A. Visibility column B. Edit column C. Target column D. Selection column
The Layers panel provides columns to the left and right of the listings. Click in a column to control the following characteristics:
Indicates whether items in the layers are visible or hidden (blank space), or whether they are template layers or outline layers.
Indicates whether items are locked or unlocked. The lock icon indicates that the item is locked and cannot be edited; a blank space indicates that the item is unlocked and can be edited.
Indicates whether items are targeted for application of effects and edit attributes in the Appearance panel. When the target button appears as a double ring icon (either or ), the item is targeted; a single ring icon indicates that the item is not targeted.
Indicates whether items are selected. A color box appears when an item is selected. If an item, such as a layer or group, contains some objects that are selected and other objects that are unselected, a smaller selection color box appears next to the parent item. If all of the objects within the parent item are selected, the selection color boxes are the same size as the marks that appear next to selected objects.
You can use the Layers panel to display some items as outlines and other items as they will appear in the final artwork. You also can dim linked images and bitmap objects to make it easier to edit artwork on top of the image. This is especially useful when tracing a bitmap image.
A. Object displayed in Outline view B. Bitmap object dimmed to 50% C. Selected object displayed in Preview view
Select one or more objects.
Select the Selection, Direct Selection, or Group Selection.
Alt‑drag (Windows) or Option‑drag (Mac OS) the selection (but not a handle on the bounding box).
You can quickly duplicate objects, groups, and entire layers by using the Layers panel.
Select the items you want to duplicate in the Layers panel.
Do one of the following:
Choose Duplicate “Layer name” from the Layers panel menu.
Drag the item in the Layers panel to the New Layer button at the bottom of the panel.
Start to drag the item to a new position in the Layers panel, and then hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS). Release the mouse button when the indicator is in the position where you want to place the duplicated item. If you release the mouse button when the indicator is pointing to a layer or group, the duplicated item is added to the top of the layer or group. If you release the mouse button when the indicator is between items, the duplicated item will be added in the specified position.
You can use the Clipboard to transfer selections between an Illustrator file and other Adobe software including Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign. The Clipboard is particularly useful for importing paths because paths are copied to the Clipboard as PostScript language descriptions. Artwork copied to the Clipboard is pasted in PICT format in most applications. However, some applications take the PDF version (such as InDesign) or the AICB version. PDF preserves transparency; AICB lets you specify whether you want to preserve the overall appearance of the selection or copy the selection as a set of paths (which can be useful in Photoshop).
To specify copying preferences, choose Edit > Preferences > File Handling & Clipboard (Windows) or Illustrator > Preferences > File Handling & Clipboard (Mac OS). Select PDF, AICB, or both. If you select AICB, select Preserve Paths to discard any transparency in the copied artwork or Preserve Appearance And Overprints to flatten any transparency, maintain the copied artwork’s appearance, and preserve overprinted objects.
Want to group layers together Adobe Illustrator?
After you work with Illustrator for a while, you’ll find that the number of layers in larger projects can become overwhelming.
Grouping layers together can save time when working on a project and will keep your layer panel cleaner.
Here’s how to do it:
- Open your Adobe Illustrator project
- With the Selection Tool (V) selected all objects you want grouped together (you can also select the object layers in the layers Panel)
- From the top Menu Bar, choose Object >Group, or use keyboard shortcut Command G (Control G on PC)
- To ungroup object layers, choose Object >Ungroup, or use keyboard shortcut Command G a second time
Why you need to group layers:
Grouping layers is an important skill when you are working with complex graphics or logos. Once you have a set of images or shapes in an order or placement you like, grouping them will allow you to move the layers as a single unit rather than have to adjust them individually.
Grouping layers are also important in larger projects if you are hoping to remove unwanted objects. If you find a portion of your project is no longer needed, it can be faster to group them and delete them as one rather than individually removing them.
How to group layers in Illustrator on IPad:
If you are working on an IPad instead of a laptop or desktop, there are some key differences to using Illustrator.
One of those differences is how you will group layers. While on a desktop or laptop, you can utilize the menu bar to group layers, the IPad does not provide such an option.
Here is how you can group layers in Illustrator on an IPad:
- Click and Hold the Modifier Key
- Select the layers you wish to group
- Select the Object Menu
- Click the Group Icon
For a visual representation of this how-to, click here.
If you want to learn more about the differences of using Illustrator on an IPad beyond grouping layers, check out this article here.
How to ungroup layers:
Once you are done with the now-grouped layers, you can easily ungroup them using the same method.
Here is how you ungroup layers after you’ve grouped them:
- Select the grouped layers you wish to ungroup
- In the Top Menu, click Object
- Select Ungroup (Shift + Command + G)
Protip: Once you’ve finished editing the layers you had grouped, you can also lock them in place to prevent any accidental changes. Simple select Lock under the Ungroup tab in the Object menu to lock the layer or layers in place.
How to merge layers:
If you want to merge layers or groups in a project, follow this simple key shortcut to easily merge two or more layers.
- Hold Command (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows)
- In the Layers Panel, click the layers you wish to merge
- In the top right of the Layers Panel, select the button with three horizontal lines
- From the pop-up select Merge Selected to merge your layers
If you wish to merge all the layers that you have in a project, you can streamline the merging process by simply Left Clicking and Holding, then drag your mouse over the entire Layer Panel to select all layers. From there continue to merge as shown above.
Protip: When you merge your layers certain aspects will not remain in the merge, such as clipping masks. However, all visible items and objects will remain no matter how many merges you do.
How to flatten layers:
Flattening your layers is extremely similar to grouping layers. The results are essentially the same but the process is a bit different.
Flattening takes all visible objects in an artboard and consolidates them into a single layer. Here is how you can do it:
- Hold Command (Mac) or Ctrl (Windows)
- In the Layers Panel, click the layers you wish to flatten
- In the top right of the Layers Panel, select the button with three horizontal lines
- From the pop-up select Flatten Artwork to flatten
It is important to emphasize that before you merge, flatten, or group your layers that you have the correct stacking order. You can easily Click-and-Drag your layers in the Layer Panel to change the stacking order. Once the layers are grouped, you cannot change the order without having to ungroup them first.
This is how to duplicate layer content in Adobe Illustrator. Sometimes when we’re in Illustrator, we want to copy multiple things that we may have on a layer. It’s much easier to just grab everything and put it in a new layer so that’s what we’re going to teach you how to do.
Let’s go over and we’re going to go to our tools panel. Click the rectangle tool. Just going to draw out some rectangles, maybe change their colors. Now, when we have all this stuff, it’s all on layer one. If you move to the right in your windows panel, you’ll notice that you have layers and then layer 1 is where all of this artwork is. If you were to expand it, you’ll notice that it’s all underneath here.
Now let’s say we create a new layer by clicking the “new layer” button at the bottom of the window. And let’s say we want all of this artwork to also be on the second layer. What we do is we can select all of it by clicking and dragging a marquee box around every item or to the right of the layer 1, we see a circle and it says, “Click to target and drag appearance.” If we click that circle, it will then highlight everything that’s in that layer. We either use or selection tool and highlight them or we just click the circle and then what we can do is command or Ctrl C (depending on whether you’re on a Mac or PC) and you copy all the content and then you click to select a new layer. Click the circle of the new layer and then you can Command F and it will paste all of the content on your new layer. So now if you hide that layer, it almost looks identical because everything is the same there, but you’ll notice when you move it, all the content that you wanted to copy is now in the new layer. And that’s how you duplicate layer content in Adobe Illustrator.
After creating multiple layers for different objects, now it’s time to polish them and work on the details. Be careful here, you might be drawing, erasing, moving around, or applying effects on the wrong layers.
In summer 2017, I took a creative Illustrator class in Barcelona. For most of the projects, I had to submit a digital version, so I would use the pen or pencil tool to trace my work and then use a brush or fill tool to color it.
So I created layers for the outline strokes, detailed sketch lines, and color parts. It’s hard to draw perfect lines, so I had to erase and redo quite often. Unfortunately, I didn’t lock any layers, so it got quite messy. I erased some finished outlines by accident.
Believe me, it’s no fun! Actually, it can be a disaster. So, lock the layers that you’re not working on! This simple step saves you time and energy.
Lock it and rock it.
Table of Contents
When to Use Layers
Working on layers in Adobe Illustrator can only bring you benefits. It keeps your artwork more organized and allows you to edit a specific part of an image without affecting the rest.
Layers are also useful for manipulating multiple objects within the layer. Such as changing colors and moving objects. For example, you want to change all text colors to red, simply click the circle next to the layer to select all, and change colors or move around the whole layer.
Why Should I Lock a Layer
It’s important to use layers when you are working on drawings and illustrations to separate your stroke and fill colors for easy edit. And you should definitely lock the layers that you don’t want to modify.
Imagine, you want to erase the excess stroke on the edge, but instead, you erase the filled area as well. Sad.
Lock the layer when you don’t want to move while moving around the others. If you want to delete everything except for one, lock that layer, select all and delete. It’s faster than deleting one by one. See? it’s time-saving.
2 Ways to Lock a Layer in Adobe Illustrator
Note: Screenshots are taken from the Illustrator CC Mac version. The Windows version might look slightly different.
Sounds pretty important right? So, there are two quick ways to lock a layer. You can lock the whole layer or you can lock specific objects on your layer.
Lock the whole layer
Find the Layer panel, you will see an empty square box between an eye icon and the layer name. Click on the box to lock the layer. You’ll know when it’s locked when you see a lock icon.
Lock objects on a layer
Sometimes you don’t want to lock the whole layer, maybe you are still working on some details of a specific part within a layer. You can lock the finished objects and still work on the others.
Select the objects you want to lock and go to the overhead menu, Object > Lock > Selection, or use shortcut Command 2.
You may also be curious about the following solutions related to layers.
What is a locked layer?
When a layer is locked, you cannot modify the objects within the layer until you unlock it. Locking a layer prevents you from modifying objects by accident.
How to unlock layers?
Want to edit something on the locked layer? Easy. Click on the lock icon to unlock.
Another way is going to Object > Unlock All.
Can I hide a layer in Illustrator?
Yes. you can hide or turn off a layer by clicking on the eye icon. Whenever you want to make it visible again, just click on the box, the eye icon will appear again, which means your layer is visible.
That’s All for Today
Layers are important for any design workflow. Create layers to organize your work and say bye to unnecessary mess and rework. Oh! Don’t forget to lock your finished creative work while working on different layers.
Adobe Illustrator makes it easy to show or hide certain sections of an image without deleting any objects. This allows you to go back and tweak the photo at any point in the creative process. To do this, you’ll need to learn how to make a clipping path in Illustrator to have total control over your workflow.
In the world of graphic design and art, sometimes circumstances change at the last minute, and you need a way to modify your work.
Clipping paths are used to isolate objects from their surrounding background. This can be useful if you need to make changes or if you’re just looking to create a unique presentation.
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Table of Contents
- What is a Clipping Path?
- Step by step guide on how to make a clipping path in Illustrator
- Step 1. Open you document
- Step 2: Create a clipping path
- Step 3: Create the clipping mask
What is a Clipping Path?
A clipping path is a line that can be drawn around an object, separating it from the background.
You may want to use a clipping path to cut out a specific object, like a photo of a flower, and place it on top of another photo.
The line, which is invisible once all is said and done, is called a path because it can be made into more than just a straight line.
Depending on how you want to cut out the object, you can make curved lines, zigzags, or even a maze-like shape.
It is another designer’s must-know tool in Adobe Illustrator.
Learning how to make a clipping path in Illustrator means that you will learn how to create text with a background, show the image in shapes, and much more.
When you use a clipping path mask, you can only see the under-part object within the clipping path area.
If you have a full-body body picture but only want to show your headshot, you can create a shape (clipping path) on top of the picture to clip only the head part of the picture.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a clipping path in Illustrator, along with some useful tips.
Step by step guide on how to make a clipping path in Illustrator
Step 1. Open you document
First, open a new Illustrator document; in this case, I have chosen a picture.
Select your preferred image
There are different ways to make a clipping mask.
Keep in mind that the clipping path must be on top of the object you wish to clip in all methods.
In this case, I want to show only the headshot of this image.
Step 2: Create a clipping path
You can use the Pen Tool to create this path in your document.
Make sure that the Fill and Stroke options aren’t selected. You can do that by unchecking them in the Control Panel.
Step 3: Create the clipping mask
Now select both the clipping path and the photo.
Go to the Object menu (on the top bar) -> Clipping and hit Make .
You also can make a clipping mask using a shortcut.
To do that, simply right-click on the document, then click on Make clipping mask.
Now you can use this image for different purposes.
- You can use it to create seamless patterns or textures for your designs.
- You can use it for clipping out vector shapes and elements from photos, allowing you to manipulate them further with vectors.
- You can use it to create cutouts of objects from photographs so that you can apply different color schemes or backgrounds on top of them without worrying about matching their colors perfectly.
- You can get rid of unwanted elements behind any object by using the clipping mask feature in Adobe Illustrator.
You have now learned how to make a clipping path in Illustrator!
Remember that a clipping path is a “mask” that temporarily hides sections of an image.
They are used as part of the process of creating a multi-layer image, also known as an image with a background.
The image can then be easily used in any design since only the specific parts of the image that you want can be seen.
If you know how to use this tool, you won’t need anything else to create multi-layered images.
That is why we recommend it to everyone who wants to create quality designs!
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Designing a font sounds like a difficult and complicated project, especially when you have no clue where to start. I’m saying this because I was totally in your shoes when I first started graphic design ten years ago.
After years of experience, I found some easy tricks that help quickly create fonts and icons by modifying existing sources, and making rounded corners is one of the most useful tricks for making vectors.
You can edit a simple shape or a standard font to make it something different and unique by changing the corners.
How does that work?
In this tutorial, you will find two super easy ways to make rounded corners for shapes and text in Adobe Illustrator.
Table of Contents
2 Quick Ways to Make Rounded Corners in Adobe Illustrator
You can use method 1 to create a rounded rectangle or modify it to create any rectangle-based shapes. The Direct Selection tool from method 2 is good for editing any objects with anchor points.
Note: the screenshots are taken from Adobe Illustrator CC 2021 Mac version. Windows or other versions can look different.
Method 1: Rounded Rectangle Tool
If you want to make a rounded rectangle, there’s a tool for it. If you haven’t noticed yet, it’s under the submenu of the Rectangle Tool together with a few other shape tools. Follow the steps below to create a rectangle with rounded corners.
Step 1: Select the Rounded Rectangle Tool from the toolbar.
Step 2: Click and drag on the Artboard to create a rounded rectangle.
You can change the corner radius by dragging the Live Corners Widget (the circles that you see near the corners). Drag toward the center to make rounder corners and drag out to the corners to decrease the radius. If you drag all the way out, it’ll become a straight corner regular rectangle.
If you have a specific radius value, you can also input it on the Properties panel. Click the More Options button on Properties > Rectangle if you don’t see the corners options.
When you drag the widget, you’ll see that all four corners are changing together. If you wish to only change the radius of one corner, click on that corner again, you’ll see the corner highlighted, and drag.
If you want to select multiple corners, hold the Shift key to select.
How about other shapes? What if you want to make rounded corners for a font?
Good question, that’s exactly what I’m going through in Method 2.
Method 2: Direct Selection Tool
You can use the Direct Selection Tool to adjust the corner radius of any shapes you create in Illustrator with anchor points, including text. I’m going to show you how to do it with an example of making rounded corners for a font.
Imagine I use the standard font, Arial Black, for the letter H but I want to round the straight corners a bit to create a smoother look.
There’s a very essential step to do before you start with the Direct Selection Tool.
Step 1: Create a text/font outline. You’ll notice that when you hover over the text you wouldn’t see any Live Corners Widget even with the Direct Selection Tool selected, because there are no anchor points on live text. That’s why you’ll need to outline the text first.
Step 2: Select the Direct Selection Tool. Now you’ll see the Live Corners widget on the font.
Step 3: Same as in method 1, click on any widget to make rounded corners. If you want to round multiple corners, hold the Shift key to select the corners that you want to round, and drag.
See, you’ve just made the standard Arial Black to a new font. See, making a new font is not that hard.
Another magic trick that the preset Rounded Rectangle Tool cannot do is that when you double click on the widget using the Direct Selection Tool, it brings up the Corners window.
You can choose what type of corners you want to make and change the radius. For example, this is what the Inverted round corner looks like.
You can use this method to change the rounded rectangle corner style as well. After creating the rounded rectangle, select the Direct Selection Tool, double click the Live Corners widget, and invert the round corner.
Tip: If you want to straighten the corners, simply select the widget and drag it out to the corner direction.
The Direct Selection Tool is awesome for editing anchor points to create new shapes and making rounded corners is one of the easiest edits you can do. I often use this tool to create new fonts and design icons.
If you’re looking for a simple rounded rectangle shape, the Rounded Rectangle Tool is right there for you, quick and convenient.
Introduction to Illustrator Shortcut Keys
The interface of Adobe Illustrator is user-friendly and can be learned quickly with a little bit of practice. To make your work easy with Illustrator, we have collected an assortment of useful and handy Illustrator shortcut keys. You can make use of them to control things like creating a document, making quick selections, changing the size of texts, selecting tools for your design, saving your work and so on.
Try to use the below-listed Illustrator shortcuts gradually into your practice and transform your Illustrator experience.
3D animation, modelling, simulation, game development & others
Top 18 Shortcut Keys of Illustrator
Let’s look at the top 18 Shortcut keys :
1. Create a New Document
Use the shortcut Command + N for Mac and Ctrl + N for Windows. This is helpful while trying to create a new document to work on. It leads to the page layout, where you can select the appropriate document based on your preference.
2. Pick All The Objects On Layer
In Mac, the shortcut key is Option + Click layer, and in Windows, it is Alt + Clicks a layer. If you need to select all the components in the layer, all you have to do is hit the option key and choose the required layer. This lets you select all the locked and invisible layers.
3. Hand Tool
For Mac and Windows users, the shortcut key is the spacebar. In both the Mac and Windows, holding down the space bar lets you activate the hand tool. You can easily hover across your artboard without affecting your content. However, this option becomes invalid when you are editing texts.
4. Zoom In and Zoom Out Tool
In Mac, the shortcut key for zoom is CMD + Spacebar, and for Windows, it is Ctrl + Spacebar (A magnifying glass appears with a + symbol). It is CMD + Option + Spacebar for Mac and Ctrl + Alt + Spacebar for Windows (A magnifying glass appears with a – symbol) for zoom out.
While you are in the edit mode and need to use the hand tool, make use of the above keyboards respectively based on your device. You can make use of the mouse left click to toggle instantly between zoom in and zoom out of the scene.
5. Swap Selection or Direction Selection Tool
Mac shortcut is CMD, and Windows shortcut is Ctrl. It is a very useful shortcut and a real time saver that allows swapping between selection and direct selection tool.
6. Move Selected Objects Precisely
The shortcut key in Mac is Shift + arrow keys, and in Windows, it is Shift + arrow keys. Use this shortcut to precisely move any of your Illustrator elements in a fixed and even distance.
7. Select Multiple Objects
The shortcut key available in Mac and Windows is Shift + click. You can choose multiple objects and move them around and add them to a group for further design modifications.
8. Lock Objects in the Layers
The shortcut key in Mac is CMD+2, while in Windows, it is Ctrl+2. This is an effective method to avoid artworks that hinder your work while working on a complex project with multiple layers.
9. Unlock all the Layer Items
Mac shortcut is CMD+Option+2, and for Windows, it is Ctrl+Alt+2. Using this shortcut, you will be able to release all the locked layers at once. Else, you will have to individually scroll through the layer panel for doing so.
10. Clone Objects
The shortcut in Mac is Option + drag, and in Windows, it is Alt + drag. If you need to duplicate any object, simply use the above shortcut and create copies of the selected object. You can select multiple objects and clone them using this method.
11. Scale Proportionally with the Selection Tool
The shortcut Shift+drag bounding box is the same for both Mac and Windows devices. Scale the selected artwork uniformly while preserving the scaling proportion.
12. Eyedropper Tool
In Mac and Windows, press I for the shortcut key. This enables you to pick a color from a shape, image or gradient by activating the eyedropper tool.
13. Show/Hide Artboards
The shortcut key in Mac is CMD + Shift + H, and for Windows, it is Ctrl + Shift + H. The max possible printable area in Illustrator is bound by solid lines enclosing the canvas area. You can show/hide them using the above-mentioned shortcut command.
14. Display/Hide Artboard Rulers
The shortcut in Mac is Cmd + R, and in Windows, it is Ctrl+R. Toggle rulers on and off based on your need for aligning artwork.
15. View All Artboards
The Mac shortcut key is CMD + Option+ O, and the Windows shortcut key is Ctrl+Alt+O. This allows you to view all your artboards simultaneously.
16. Enhance/Reduce Font Size
The Mac shortcut is CMD+Shift+ and Windows shortcut is Ctrl+Shift+ . This is a quick and easy method to alter the font size in your work area.
17. Jump Between Screens
The F key is the shortcut in both Mac and Windows systems. It enables the users to view their artwork in multiple screen modes such as normal, full screen, menu bar, and just the full screen.
18. Save for Web and Devices
The shortcut for Mac users is CMD + Shift + Opt + S, and for Windows users, it is Ctrl + Shift +Alt + S. This shortcut saves the designer from dragging their mouse cursor through multiple options in order to save their file.
Introduction: Using Opacity Masks in Adobe Illustrator
The “Origin of the Species – wall hanging” project makes a nice use of opacity masks in Illustrator, embedding an image in a field of text by changing the opacity throughout. But pulling this off can be difficult to figure out. This guide will run you through the steps to embed an image in a field of text merely by changing the opacity of the text itself. In this example, a silhoutted image is embedded in the full text of Romeo and Juliet.
Step 1: Gather Your Image and Text
This guide will use a stripped down example because the actual sizes of text and images involved in a fullsize wall hanging will grind your system down to a crawl. You should experiment on a small scale before committing to a fullsize design.
*Obtain an image (it should be something that would look good as a silhouette)
*Obtain the text (Project Gutenberg is a great resource) and format out all the newlines and other whitespace (see the “Book Wall Hangings – Flatlands – cube” project for more info on this. )
I used the text of Romeo and Juliet with an image of Leonardo di Caprio and Claire Danes from the movie Romeo+Juliet.
Step 2: Process Your Image
Basically you must turn the image into a silhouette. In Photoshop you can go to Image–Adjustments–Threshold and drag the slider until you achieve satisfactory results.
Step 3: Vectorize Your Silhouette and Create the Mask
You must turn your silhouette into a vectorized graphic before you can turn it into a mask. Resize it in Photoshop, then copy and paste it into Illustrator (if it’s too big to copy/paste, just save it in Photoshop and open it in Illustrator. You should be able to copy it into the right layer if you at least get it open in Illustrator first). Using the “Auto Trace Tool” in Illustrator (I’m using CS. I believe CS2 does this a bit better with a different tool), click all over the silhouette until you’ve vectorized all the parts you want to include in the final design. There isn’t much to using the Auto Trace Tool, just lots of clicking. One note: in my example, my negative space is white, so I made sure to set the Fill Color to white in the palette before I started vectorizing. If it were black, vectorizing would turn the negative space black. When you’re done, Select All and then go to Object–Group to gather all the vectorized bits into a single grouping.
This is your mask. Rename the current layer (this should be the only layer you have right now) to Mask, and then in the Layer box’s drop down menu, duplicate the layer so you have a backup.
Step 4: Add Your Text Layer
From the Layer box’s drop down menu, create a new layer, and deselect all the layer views except for this new blank layer. Using the Type Tool, insert your text and adjust it for sizing. You should have your bed of text laid out just the way you want it. Now duplicate this text layer, calling the original layer Text and the duplicate Text Copy, or something appropriate. Select the layer views for the Mask and the Text layer with Mask being on top. Shift-click so both layers are highlighted as well (see the image provided in this step). Now do a Select All, and you should see both the text bed and the silhouette highlighted.
Step 5: Create Opacity Mask
If you didn’t follow the previous step exactly, you’re going to have lots of trouble. It is very easy to have something extra selected or deselected and ruin the entire process. this is why you make copies of your layers when they’re good, so you can just delete your errored layers and start over from a fresh point.
To create the opacity mask, find the Transparency window and select Make Opacity Mask from the drop down menu. Make sure you check “Clip” and uncheck “Invert Mask”
Step 6: Alter Opacity of Masked Text to Create Light-Text Layer
If your opacity mask went through properly, you’ll have something resembling this image where the masked region is all that remains (the layers are still highlighted, that’s why you see the horizontal lines in the enclosed image here). You can change the Opacity in the Transparency window to create the light text region of your final design. Now, deselect all layer views except this light text layer you’ve created and duplicate it for safekeeping. Drag these two layers down to the bottom of the layers box.
Step 7: Create Dark Text Layer
All you have to do now is create a layer with negative space where our previous light-text layer resides. Go back to your Text and Mask layers that you copied for safekeeping and duplicate 2 new working layers (one of each), and move these to the top of the layers box. Repeat the same procedure to create an opacity mask as in step 5, but this time after making the opacity mask, deselect “Clip” and make sure you check “Invert Mask”. You should have the inverse of the light-text layer. Again, in the image I’ve provided, the horizontal lines are due to having the layers being highlighted. Deselect all layer views except your dark text layer and duplicate it for safekeeping.
Step 8: Put It All Together
Select just the views for the Light Text and Dark Text layers. They should superimpose perfectly. Zoom in and check it out where the text transitions from dark to light. Pretty neat, eh? To clean up, shift-click both layers in the layers box and select Merge Selected from the drop down menu to create your final layer. You can delete all the rest of the layers now if you’d like, or simply deselect their views. Remember, in this example I’ve used much smaller scales for simplicity. In a real design this would look much, much better with the full text and full size images.
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Adobe Illustrator is one of the best vector graphics editors. It has almost no limits and can put into life the wildest ideas of your imagination. It is known for its excellent work and great results. Professional photographers, web designers can’t make head or tail without this programmer. In the beginning, it seems to be difficult to work with, but we are not scared and can’t miss the opportunity to master Adobe Illustrator. And common people also successfully use it, as there are no hardships in working, especially with this short instruction. Now we will start talking about down-to-earth things, particularly about resizing images in illustrator. There are three methods for this purpose and we will cover all of them.
Resizing images in Adobe Illustrator
The first way
The first way of resize images in Illustrator is great and simple to perform.
- Obviously you should launch Adobe illustrator.
- Click on the and choose . Now you have to choose a picture that you need to resize.
3) Click on the image.
4) Move on top, here is a control panel, on the right you see
5) As a rule we want to preserve the proportions of our pictures, that is the reason why we choose uniform. But you may also select non-uniform and decide the horizontal and vertical size of your future picture on your own. Besides you have an opportunity to switch previews so that you are capable to see reflections of your manipulations with your photo on the left. Confirm the changes by pressing .
It is a rather simple and quick way to change the size of the picture in illustrator.
The second way
One more idea of how to resize an image in Illustrator is wonderful, especially if you know the exact measurement of the desired picture.
Click on through submenu
The following window appears, you need to set desirable parameters of width and height for your photo and press enter.
This method is also good as it is easy to perform and the result is perfect.
The third way
The third idea is the most obvious as you can drag the corners of your picture on your own to a desirable state. With the help of the scale tool
Though in this case if you scale such an image, pixels will cover your entire photo, which looks really inaccessible.
But you may also use the following tip: on top choose on the right to Image Trace little triangle and click on High Fidelity Photo, the processing will take a couple of seconds.
Return on top and click on Expand. This action will allow dragging your images as we had done it before, but now it will keep proportions and allow you to get rid of pixels. It works really well with logos, but with faces or objects after scaling blurry effect appears which is also undesirable. That is why two previous methods will work better with real objects and people’s faces.
Benefits of Resize Image in Illustrator
- Probably you used to think about Adobe Illustrator as a super progressive editor for web designers and professional photographers, it is only one side of the coin. Adobe Illustrator is available for everyone who has passion to learn how to work with it, as illustrator is capable to perform even basic actions, and result and quality will satisfy you for sure.
- It is available for different IOS both Windows and Mac, which makes this programmer so accessible.
- Many people discovered Adobe Illustrator as a great helper where Photoshop can’t help. Besides these two usually complement each other.
You may also take advantage of Adobe creative cloud. I should mention it as while downloading Adobe Illustrator you will probably be recommended to try this service. It consists of a set of different apps which provide Adobe systems. Besides, it offers immediate updating of numerous apps dedicated to web designer, drawing, and photo editing. The most known apps are Photoshop, GIMP Photoshop Lightroom, and Adobe Illustrator. Creative cloud gives materials, and tips that help to start your work.
Membership of Creative cloud can be very useful for progressive web designers who value photo editing and are busy with it almost every day. What is also important is that students and teachers can get a discount on using it up to 60%! Beginners may also get membership in order to try it. In case you understand that it is not your cup of tea or that you have no need in using it, you can cancel your purchase within 14 days. And you will get your money back. More than that, you may use Creative cloud on several computers.
As you can notice, changing image size in illustrator is almost effortless and brings great results, especially if you know some tips on its usage. This programmer allows you to create real masterpieces to color your daily routine. Make the unique design of your website and change the size of photos with the help of an illustrator. Don’t be afraid of experiments and failures. We are sure that after this post you are an expert in resizing images in Illustrator. But this is only the beginning; step by step you will master this editor and be successful at your work and social media and consequently in your life.
Combine photos and designs to create original images, collages, and double exposures in Adobe Photoshop.
An artistic approach to photo editing.
Combining multiple images into one frame is easier than ever with apps like Photoshop. Whether you’re looking to create double exposures, composite photos, or collages, you can use blend modes and layer masks to create overlay images fueled by any inspiration.
Transform photos with image overlays.
By stacking multiple images, photos, or designs, you can create something new and unique. Begin your project by opening your base image. Next, add images or photos on new layers and arrange them over your original base image. Then you’re ready to merge and blend these layers into a single overlay image.
Experiment with blending modes.
Blending modes in Photoshop give you unique ways to combine and overlap images. Specifically, blending modes control how pixels in your image are affected by a painting or editing tool. Understanding the effect of each blending mode on your base color will help you get just the look you want in your final image. The blend mode is set to Normal by default, and if you adjust the opacity of your image, you can blend the layers. Choose other modes, like Darken, to blend the pixels differently.
Create any look you can imagine.
Get total control over your blending and overlay images with layer masks and transparency settings. Block out specific areas of your image with masks. Then it’s easy to decide what’s blended and what’s not blended. You can also use masks to conceal or hide parts of an image layer.
Texturize your photos.
Create unique photo effects by layering images and adding texture and patterns to your original photos. Play with different textures and blending options like foliage and greenery or various paper textures to capture unique and unexpected results.
I want to have the same layers i have in illustrator, within photoshop, but not by copying and pasting – because when so i lose layer position and size -, or exporting to PSD -I lose the edibility in illustrator-. is there something else possible?
1 Answer 1
I’m not too sure if this will be exactly what you are looking for, but thought it might be helpful anyway.
If you’re exporting each layer as an individual image file (.jpg .png etc.) one way to maintain the position of objects for reassembling the layers in Photoshop is to select the ‘Use Artboards’ option on the export screen (at the bottom left corner of the first screen you are presented with). Doing so, and maintaining the same resolution for each layer-image on the second menu screen you are presented with (where you can also select the empty space to be transparent – particularly useful for this re-assembling task!) means that, on opening each layer-image in Photoshop you can copy and paste the layers into the same document (I usually copy the others into one and ‘Save As..’ a new file as then I don’t have to worry if I have the resolution and size settings right correct for a new document) safe in the knowledge that the default snap settings mean each layer will be arranged correctly in relation to the others.
While this is a bit arduous to begin with, assuming you maintain the separate layers in the Photoshop document, once this Photoshop assembly document is set up any changes you make only necessitate the exporting and copying in of the altered layer(s) from illustrator, rather than setting up an entirely new document.
Create beautiful vector art and illustrations.
Now Accepting Apple Pay.
Students and teachers save over 60% on Illustrator and 20+ Creative Cloud apps.
Free trial includes the full version of Illustrator
You won’t be charged until after your free trial ends
Illustrator is all around you.
Make anything you want, sharp at every size: online graphics, logos, icons, illustrations, billboards, even product packaging. Every day, Adobe Illustrator is the choice of millions of designers, artists — and people like you.
Here’s how to get a 7-day free trial of Illustrator.
- Click the Start Free Trial button.
- Sign in or set up your Adobe ID and download your free trial.
- After your 7-day free trial ends, your Creative Cloud membership will continue, unless canceled before free trial ends.
What can you do with Illustrator?
Make business cards.
Design business cards, letterheads, envelopes, and other personalized stationery with powerful design and layout tools for desktop and mobile.
Lay out brochures.
Create brochures, pamphlets, and product pages with the best brochure design software. Make print or digital promotional materials using desktop and mobile apps.
No matter what video capture device you’re using, it’s easy to create stunning film, video, and web content with Adobe desktop and mobile apps.
Video editing software
Create compelling content with motion graphics and compositing techniques. Export your finished video for social media or 4K movie releases.
Frequently asked questions about your free trial.
Can I download Illustrator for free?
Yes, you can download a 7-day free trial of Illustrator. The free trial is the official, full version of the app — it includes all the features and updates in the latest version of Illustrator.
Yes, this Illustrator trial works on macOS, iOS for iPad, and Windows. See system requirements
Your free trial starts when you check out and it lasts for seven days. The trial will automatically convert to a paid Creative Cloud membership when it’s complete, unless you cancel before then.
No, Illustrator is our most up-to-date version and the only version of Illustrator you can download for a free trial.
Do students get a discount if they decide to purchase after the free trial?
Yes, students and teachers are eligible for a big discount on 20+ Creative Cloud apps — 60% off. Learn more
No, this free trial is available only for desktop and iPad. Adobe does offer a collection of free mobile apps for both iOS and Android. Learn more
No, Illustrator is available only as part of a Creative Cloud membership. You can choose a Single App plan with Illustrator only or a plan that includes more apps. We offer Creative Cloud plans for individuals, students and teachers, photographers, institutions, and businesses. Learn more
Adobe offers hundreds of free tutorials for every experience level. Explore tutorials
Here I have a print-ready file setup – Now if you are not sure if your file is set up properly, please check our other video on How To Create A Print Ready PDF File Using Adobe Illustrator.
When incorporating images into illustrator, there are two ways to place them:
1. As linked image where the image has to be included along with the illustrator file.
As an Embedded image where the image becomes part of the Illustrator file.
As you can see we have placed our image in the illustrator document.
You are going to want to open your “Links Palette”
The links palette shows all of the images being used in your document.
Select your image in the Links Palette, click on the arrow in the top right corner of the palette and select “Embed” from the drop down menu.
You will now see a box next to your image in the Links Palette.
– This means that the image is embedded within your document.
– Additionally the “Linked Image” in your layers palette has been changed to “Image”.
And there you go, now your image is embedded within your illustrator document. We hope this video has been helpful.
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Forums › Adobe Illustrator › Can’t snap to an intersecting line when adding a new point to a line.
I’m not terribly good at explaining visual problems through text, so I made a minute-and-a-half video explaining the issue I’m having:
But basically, I have two intersecting lines (one horizontal, one vertical), and I would like to create a new point on the horizontal line where the horizontal meets the vertical line. While having snap enabled, Illustrator isn’t showing the prompt for placing a point on an intersecting line, and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to make it do so. Illustrator won’t allow me to do this on one computer, but it will let me do so on another. I’ve checked the preferences for Illustrator on both computers, and they’re completely identical. I’m running CC 2014 on both. Does anyone have a clue what to do?
Thank you so much for your time.
Silly question: do you have smart guides on? What version of AI are you using?
Save early. Save often.
Yes, smart guides are turned on. I’m running the 2014.1.0 Release, 18.1.0 on both computers.
Could you create a rectangle or horizontal path, then put it into the desired horizontal position. Then position the horizontal guide.
*Please remember to Rate our replies or check Solution if solved. If you get a good idea from the post, consider clicking the Kudos option.
The rectangles aren’t my issue. They were just a part of a setup that simplifies the issue I’m having. Ultimately, I just want to know why the same version of Illustrator with the same preferences would behave differently on two different computers. I should be able to make a new point on any line where it intersects another line. I’ve always been able to do that, except for on this new computer. It’s driving me crazy..
You don’t need a travel budget to find new backgrounds for your photos. See how graphic artist Erica Larson uses Adobe Photoshop to place the subject of a photo in an entirely new environment.
Erica Larson dreams up inspired designs every day as an Associate Creative Director on the Adobe Studio team. She makes stuff that makes others want to make stuff.
Before you start.
Need images? Use these sample images or practice with your own.
Step 1: Hide the wall
Larson’s first step is hiding the plain gray wall. Use the Quick Selection tool to select just the shape of the model. Choose Select Subject and then choose Select And Mask to enter the Select And Mask workspace.
Step 2: Remove rough spots
In the Properties panel of the Select And Mask workspace, move the Shift Edge slider to the left to refine the edges of the selection, and choose Output To Selection. Note: when leaving Select And Mask, the original background comes back; you’ll fix this in the next step.
Step 3: Delete the wall
With the model layer selected, click on the Add Layer Mask icon. Since Larson had output the model as a selection from the Select And Mask workspace, Photoshop masked (or hid) anything that was not selected so the gray wall disappeared and the selected model remained.
Step 4: Create a consistent look
Larson wanted to match the lighting of the model with that of the background. To do this, duplicate the New Background layer, move it above the model layer, and choose Filter > Blur > Average. Option-click (or alt-click) between the green layer and the model layer to create a clipping mask.
Step 5: Add a new background
With the green layer selected, set the Blend Mode to Soft Light, and reduce the Opacity setting. Larson applied a dark blue Solid Color adjustment layer to give each of the layers below it a finishing color cast. Set the Blend Mode to Soft Light and also reduce the adjustment layer’s Opacity setting.
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If you’ve ever seen a digital graphic that looked like it had dimension like a physical piece of art, then you’ve seen texture overlays before! The secret weapon of many digital artists and photo editors, textures give your work a tangible feel. They can unify unmatching color grades, make lighting mistakes look intentional, and make artwork a bit more interesting—sort of like filters on Instagram. The best part? You can add a texture to your photo or other file in only a few short steps. Before we begin, think about whether your work would benefit from some added dimension. Here are some situations where you should use textures.
- You’re working with a combination of different photos and you’re afraid their colors don’t necessarily work well together. A texture, especially one with a slight color overlay, would be helpful in giving the collage more cohesion.
- You created a digital illustration, but you think it looks too simple. Textures can make digital art look more complex and professional just by adding another layer to the work.
- You’re creating a document or image that’s meant to have a retro, vintage vibe. Textures were made for this! You’re in the right place.
There are also some situations where you should not:
- You’re making a social media graphic for Instagram. Textures on top of small text can look muddy, especially when distorted by Instagram’s file optimization. Photo editing is fine, but if you have small text on a graphic, avoid texture!
- You want the finished design to look modern and clean. Textures aren’t clean; they’re gritty. For something flat and sleek, skip ‘em!
- You are animating/working with video. Go ahead and add texture to any individual video assets, but a texture can look fake if it’s applied with moving pieces underneath. (This isn’t an exceptionless rule, so go ahead and try it out to see how it looks first! But in general, videos look best when the texture matches the motion of the piece.)
How to Add Texture to Photos
- Find your texture image. Textures are often added as layer overlays in Photoshop, though blending modes make it possible to do this in almost any Adobe software. For that reason, we’re looking for a simple .jpeg or .png to use. You can find textures online by searching on Google Images and adjusting the copyright in the settings bar. There are also a ton of nice textures on Adobe Stock. And finally, if you use textures often, you can consider buying a pack of them from a website, like Mextures. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, just type in “photoshop textures” or “texture overlays” and choose a few that interest you. (You might end up using one or a combination of a few.) Looking for something more specific? Here are a few search terms that might make it easier to look for the texture you need. Grunge: The most common type of texture! Search for “grunge texture” to find something a little edgy, imperfect, and messy. Grain: Rather than adding a layer of even grain over an image in Photoshop, a grain texture makes it look more natural by being harsher and softer in certain areas. Paper: The most subtle, search for “paper texture” if you want something that’s noticeable but not distracting. Film: Search for “film texture” to find something that looks like it was manually developed, like an old photograph. The imperfections make these textures realistic and often flattering. Pattern: More digital based, you can search for “halftone pattern” to get something with the feel of a ‘90s comic book.
- Drop it onto your file in Photoshop (or Illustrator and InDesign). Drag the image into your file and make sure it is on top of all other elements. Resize to fit the proportions of the document. (If you’re using Photoshop, press ctrl/command+T to use Free Transform.) You can use other Adobe programs as well, resizing the image by grabbing one corner and pulling outward.
- Change the blending mode and adjust opacity. On your Photoshop layer, you might see a drop-down box that says “normal.” This is the blending mode! We’re going to change it to something abnormal. (For those using InDesign, Premiere, or After Effects, the blending mode can often be found in the Effects panel under Opacity. In Illustrator, it’s in a window called “appearance.”) Your file should look like this: Texture layer on top, set to a non-normal blending mode, with an opacity less than 100%. (Since the texture in this example is mostly black, the blending mode chosen is “screen.”) To decide which blending mode is best, take a look at your image. If it’s mostly black, try using “screen.” If it’s mostly white, try using “multiply.” If it’s tinted with a color, use “overlay.” You’ll see an immediate difference! Feel free to browse through the other blending modes to see if there is another one that might look better. When you are satisfied with the look, adjust the opacity to make it less aggressive. Set the opacity to a level that allows you to see the added texture in the photo without it becoming distracting.
- Optional: Manipulate the texture’s levels, color, and intensity. If you don’t love the way your texture looks, you can edit that layer the way you would an image. Click ctrl/command+L to bring up the levels panel and shift the black or white arrows to get a more intense effect, depending on your blending mode. If your texture has a slight tint that you want to remove, convert the texture layer to black-and-white. You can even add a mask and paint in shades of black on areas where you think the texture is too aggressive. These small tweaks often make a big difference in the overall effect.
Want to add even more to this image or artwork? Click here to learn how to add doodles on top of your image for an Instagram-worthy edit. Looking for more fun and easy photography tutorials? Discover new ways to edit your sunset pictures and create a digital photo collage. Are you a current student? See how you can save over 60%.
Working with Adobe Photoshop can be more fun when you understand the tools it has to offer to its users. Some of the effects include strokes, adding shadows to the object you just drew, and rasterize. When you work on a layer in Adobe Photoshop, there are a number of tools which can be used on one certain layer to make your work look even better and to bring out the best of your work.
How Does ‘Rasterizing’ an Image or a Shape Help the Designer?
Designers, who work with Adobe Photoshop or are new to designing must know that in Adobe Photoshop, whatever you create, whether it is typography or a shape/image, it is formed in a vector layer. This means that if you take a close look at these vector layers, the edges of the object would be clear and very sharp.
By rasterizing a certain layer, you make the image/shape editable in a pixel format. Now, if you take a closer look at the image or shape, you will notice the small box-like edges to the shape. And once you have chosen to rasterize a layer, there are chances you might lose the quality if you continue to edit it. So make sure that you always keep the original layer saved, and work on a duplicate instead of such quality errors. And being a designer myself, working with layers is much easier as you can always duplicate the original layer and keep making the changes until you get the output you have been expecting.
How to Rasterize a Layer?
There are two ways to access the option for ‘rasterize’ when working on Adobe Photoshop.
- Open your already existing work on Adobe Photoshop, or open a new artboard. Opening your Adobe Photoshop file. I am using the Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 version
- Draw the shape as you wish. Or Type. Design as you have planned. Draw an object. write some text, or even import a smart object
- Now on the right, where you can see all the layers. Right click on the layer you want to rasterize. This will open a dropdown list of all the settings and options for effects you can implement on your design. This is where you will find the option for rasterizing. Click on that to rasterize a layer. Method 1 for rasterizing a layer in Adobe Photoshop
- The second way of accessing is by selecting the layer on the right panel, and then clicking on the ‘Layer’ option on the top toolbar. A dropdown list will appear which will show you the option for ‘rasterize’. Click on that for more rasterize settings, and you are good to go. Method 2 to access the option to ‘rasterize’ a layer
Why Do You Need to Rasterize a Layer?
As I mentioned earlier, when you rasterize a layer, you change the format from a vector layer to a pixel layer. Since everything in a vector is clear when you zoom in, this sometimes might not be the preferred effect that a designer wants. To play with their design, to make the design a bit more arty, pixel layers is what some designers need.
For instance, you drew a shape on Adobe Photoshop and wanted to add the ‘distort’ effect over the shape. But when you try to add this effect on the design that you created, a dialogue box appears which asks you to rasterize the layer. So for similar effects on Adobe Photoshop, ‘rasterizing’ the layer becomes a compulsory action for the designer. Some of the filters might not work if you don’t rasterize the layer. You can always try all the different filters and effects available in the program and experience the difference in the shape before and after you rasterize it.
Should You Rasterize a Layer Before or After Adding Filters?
The requirements of every designer vary from one another. But you should understand the effect rasterizing a layer before and after adding a filter would have on the image/shape or text that you just added.
Say for example that you added a shape to your artboard, added an effect over the shape, and then rasterized the layer. This would keep the effects that you just added, and the shape that you added, as separate objects of your work, and still make the effects editable for you. While on the other hand, if you add some filters after rasterizing a layer, the filters will only be applied on the text and the shape that you added, and not the effects, which can turn out to be a disaster for you.
Using Smart Objects
Smart Objects, make a layer editable while keeping the quality of the layer intact. The option for converting an image to a Smart Object often appears when a specific filter has to be applied. You can choose the option ‘convert to smart object’ instead of clicking on rasterize.
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Forums › Adobe After Effects › Need help to convert image to shape in After Effects
Ok guys here is my problem…
I created this png logo image with different sections using photoshop. As you can see, each section has different mask colours, but I’d like to convert the png image to shapes so that I can create stroke outlines out of each shape.
I want to be able to stretch each “stroked outline section” like the video from this guy below:
There are two tutorials in his video and I am trying to learn the second one that starts from 6:24 on his video. In his video he was able to right click and create shape from text. But in my case im not using a text but an image. So I’d like to know how I can create shape from each mask sections of the png image so that I can follow the rest of the tutorial. I only need a step by step explanation to know how to covert the image to shape. So what do I do pls. Thanks
I’m kinda new to AE so forgive my ignorance
There’s no question about it: the Adobe suite of graphic design and illustration software isn’t going anywhere anytime soon as the industry champion. Despite its quirks and teething problems that come with nearly every version update, it’s also arguably the best suite that money can buy.
The problem is, it takes a lot of money to buy it. Purchasing any of the CS titles outright can cost anywhere between $300 to $2,000 depending on which version you plump for, and Adobe’s attempts to convince people to pay on its new subscription model can cost anything between $50 to $200 every single month.
Obviously, that’s not an issue for those at NYFA’s illustration school who have got full access to the CS suite as part of their tuition program, but these are prohibitive price tags for everyone else. As such, today we’ll be exploring:
Platform: Any modern web browser
What It Is: An editing suite that deals solely in SVG (scalable vector graphics), which may sound like a restriction but is actually quite useful given the versatility of the format. If you’re scared of getting into SVG editing, you’re missing out, and this will break you in gently. Being a web browser platform also sounds limiting, but again, the speed at which it operates as a result is often superior to desktop counterparts.
What It Is: As with SVG-Edit, Inkscape is also geared towards those who want to work primarily in the SVG file format. Featuring both a clean and intuitive user interface, but packed with advanced features (such as alpha blending, object cloning and very accurate bitmap tracing), Inkscape comes as a highly recommended free alternative to Adobe Illustrator.
What It Is: Full rasterizing controls, layer management, multiple file format support, infinite zooming and every vector drawing tool you could ever hope for… Affinity Designer could quite possible become a true Illustrator killer. At the moment it’s only available to Mac users and the full version comes with a small price tag of $49.99 with free upgrades for two years, but the trial version is still remarkably functional and worth a shot if you’re looking for a free editor. It’s even worth it just to play with the infinite zoom function (yes, infinite.)
Platform: All of them
What It Is: The one you’ve probably heard of. GIMP, an acronym for (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is more of an alternative to Photoshop rather than Illustrator since it its vector functions are limited, but what it can do in terms of image manipulation is second to none. Entirely free, open source, and loved by thousands (which have formed a very active online community since its release.). Have a look at the images on sosgame.com which used GIMP to create all the slot games images.
Platform: Windows, Linux, Mac
What It Is: While Apache’s flagship vector illustrator looks a little outdated these days, that’s purely a cosmetic concern. It’s still packed with features and is especially geared towards diagram and object manipulation. It also comes with the very handy feature of being able to create Flash (.swf) files from your document.
Serif DrawPlus (starter edition)
What It Is: The starter edition of Serif’s DrawPlus is aimed towards the amateur illustrator given that A) it’s free software, and B) it’s very much a scaled-down version of the fuller release, but don’t let that put you off. It’s not limited in any way, there’s no pressure to shell out for the professional edition DrawPlus X6, and it does a good job of emulating its heavy weight cousins.
You might find you need to use a combination of the above free alternatives to Adobe Illustrator to get the job done, but for many people it’ll be worth the cash it saves and you may even find a new favorite. Got any others we need to check out? Drop a suggestion in the comments below!
Are you interested in the visual arts industry? Check out NYFA’s graphic design and 3D animation programs!
Six Free Alternatives to Adobe Illustrator by
In this lesson we are going to look at how we can manage After Effects layers much easier using the Layer Manager 3 script from Videohive.
Layer Manager 3
So what is Layer Manager 3? It is a script for Adobe After Effects that lets you to quickly group layers together by name and color throughout your project. This can make it really easy to identify different things inside your project and can help ‘clean things up’ before you forward a project to a client or team member.
Organizing asset types by color.
Besides name and assigning colors to layer groups, you also have the ability to toggle on and off common functions in After Effects that will only affect the groups you specify. Functions such as:
- Solo Group
- Turn off Visibility for the Group in the Comp
- Use Group as Guide Layers
- Hide all Group Layers in the Timeline (Shy all of the Group Layers)
- Lock all of the Group Layers
- Turn off all FX for the Group Layers
You can also easily add more layers to a group at anytime (or remove layers) and you can add layers to a group that are in different composition timelines. (The script works for the entire project, not just one timeline.)
Whether you want to achieve a more balanced composition in your designs, add text to a picture, or create composite images, you need to know how to resize a layer in Photoshop. Every photo editor needs to know how to do this, as this is an essential step in almost any tutorial.
Fortunately, the process is super easy if you know how to do it right. Today, I’ll show you the best method, that will help you change the layer size without losing quality.
1. Select a Layer
Launch Photoshop. Import the image. Next, select the layer you want to rescale. It can be found in the “Layers” panel on the right side of the screen.
If this panel is hidden, you’ll have to activate it by going to the “Window” and selecting the “Layers” option. Alternatively, if you’re a fan of Photoshop keyboard shortcuts press F7.
2. Access the Free Transform Tool
The best tool for this tutorial is the Free Transform Tool. Go up to the “Edit” menu at the top of the screen and navigate to “Free Transform”. You can also use the key combination Cmd+T/Ctrl+T for quicker access.
3. Change the Size
The next step is changing the size. You should now see anchor points around the object.
Grab vertical and horizontal anchor points and drag them to change the layer’s width and height. Dragging away from the object will increase its size, while dragging towards it will reduce it.
Usually you’d want the resizing to be proportional, with no unintentional distortions of height or width. To maintain the aspect ratio, all you have to do it press and hold Shift. While you’re holding Shift down, drag the corners or edges until you’ve reached the desired size.
As a bonus, this tool also allows you to move, and rotate your layer. In order to do this, select and hold anywhere outside of the resize layer’s box and drag it clockwise or counter-clockwise.
4. Apply the Changes
Finally, press Enter/Return to confirm the transformation. Once you have done that, you’ll see that your layer has been resized.
5. Done! Save the Result
Problem solved! You’ve successfully learned how to resize a layer in Photoshop. Don’t forget to learn how to merge layers in Photoshop to become a real pro.
Check out other layering photo apps that also allow you to work with layers.
Within photographic editing and retouching, Adobe Photoshop is the most complete and professional program that we can find. This software, developed and maintained by Adobe, has been with us for more than 30 years, specifically since 1990. And, in all that time, almost every year it has been receiving updates with new functions, tools and new features. Now, with 2022 around the corner, Adobe has released a new version of its Photoshop . And this one comes full of news, especially in relation to Artificial Intelligence.
The new Photoshop 2022 has arrived to make editing work easier for users. Among its novelties we can find improvements in the automatic selection of objects, in the creation of masks, new gradients, improvements in the connection with Adobe Illustrator and a good amount of stability improvements and bug fixes.
But, of course, what we like the most about this new version of Photoshop are the news related to Sensei , Adobe’s neural network that allows us to make modifications using AI. Let’s see them.
New filters with AI in Adobe Photoshop 2022
The AI filters, called ” Neural Filters “, were released last year. These filters make use of Adobe Sensei, an Artificial Intelligence system developed by the company, to help us carry out all kinds of non-destructive edits and modifications on our photos.
These filters initially arrive in the program under the label of “beta” until they are thoroughly tested and are considered to be completely ready for use in production. In this way, with this new version we find three new AI filters:
- Landscape Mixer – Create completely new scenes or concept art images in no time by combining two landscape images.
- Color transfer : starting from a reference image, with this new neural filter we can transfer the color settings from a base image to any other to give it a similar touch and palette.
- Harmonization : allows us to match the color and tone of an element in any layer of an image with another layer.
Adobe has also greatly improved existing functions that make use of neural networks. For example, the blur filter depth (Depth Blur) is much more natural and keeps the subject much better focused. Also the superzoom function is now able to work on the entire image, the style transfer filter has been trained from scratch to improve its accuracy and the color filter (Colorize) is now much more accurate when it comes to coloring black and white photos.
Download and price
The new Adobe Photoshop 2022 corresponds to version 23.0 of the program. Users who are already paying for the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription program, will be able to download this new version completely free of charge from the Adobe desktop client, as if it were another update to Photoshop.
Those users interested in using the program can opt for three different subscriptions that include it. On the one hand, we have the photography plan, which includes Photoshop and Lightroom for 12 euros per month. We can also get individual Photoshop, for 24.19 euros per month, and with the entire Adobe CC package for 60.49 euros per month.
One of the most frequently used tasks in Photoshop is duplicating layers. Duplicating makes it easier to make quick adjustments and enhances your overall workflow. Particularly when you have complicated layer masks or selections, copying layers save a ton of time. Although extremely important to your workflow, duplicating layers in Photoshop isn’t inherently obvious. To make life easy, here are six different ways you can duplicate layers in Photoshop, including a few useful shortcuts!
Best Shortcuts To Duplicate Layers In Photoshop
The most efficient way to do this is by using a keyboard shortcut. Here are two of the two best keyboard shortcuts to duplicate layers in Photoshop!
#1. Command/Control + J
With your layer selected, press Command + J (Mac) or Control + J (PC) to duplicate the layer.
#2. Hold Alt Or Option
Click on any layer in your layers panel the hold Option (Mac) or Alt (PC) and click and drag your layer upwards. Let go of your mouse to duplicate the layer.
The beauty of this shortcut is you can also duplicate layers in your canvas as well. While using your move tool, select a layer in your canvas to adjust.
Next, hold Option (Mac) or Alt (PC) and click and drag your layer into a new position. You will now have a duplicate layer in your canvas, and a new layer will appear in your Layers panel!
Other Ways To Duplicate Layers
#3. Click And Drag Layer To New Layer Icon
Highlight the layer you want to duplicate. Click and drag it down to the new layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel.
#4. Right Click Method
Right-click on any layer and select ‘duplicate layer’ to create a copy of the layer.
This is another excellent option if you don’t mind some extra clicking.
#5. Using The Layer Menu
Select any layer and go up to Layer > Duplicate Layer.
A new dialogue box will appear where you can rename the layer before it is duplicated.
Leave the document option as is and click OK.
How To Duplicate Multiple Layers At Once
If you want to duplicate multiple layers together, all you need to do is select them!
Hold Command (Mac) or Control (PC) and click on the layers you want to duplicate. As long as you hold those buttons, you’ll continue to add to your selection.
To speed up the process, you can select a series of layers by holding Shift and clicking between two layers. Now all the layers between your two click points will be highlighted!
With a few layers selected, you can now use any of the methods you’ve learned so far. The best way is just to press Command + J (MAC) or Control + J (PC) to duplicate multiple layers at once.
How To Duplicate Layers Into A New Window
In some cases, you may want to duplicate a layer into an entirely new tab or another project. Photoshop makes this easy using the Layer Menu.
With your layer selected, go up to Layer > Duplicate Layer.
Change the document type to ‘new’ to duplicate the layer into a new tab.
If you already have another project open that you want to use, you can also select that here.
Rename the layer as necessary and click OK.
Now your layer will be duplicated into an entirely different window that’s separate from the original project.
Using this method is excellent since you can set the destination and layer name all at the same time.
There are so many different ways you can duplicate layers in Photoshop. Depending on your workflow preferences, these steps can range from a simple keyboard shortcut to a more manual workaround using menus. Regardless of which method you use, learning how to duplicate layers will significantly improve how you work in Photoshop!
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- adjustment layer
- big rectangles
In this week’s free Deke’s Techniques, Deke shows you how to get around the complete and total lack of adjustment layers in Adobe Illustrator. (What is with that, btw? I don’t know either!) Specifically, how you can nondestructively lighten (for print) or darken (for web) an illustration (for output) without permanently changing it.
The key is adding a white or black layer over the entire illustration, setting it to the Soft Light blend mode, and changing the Opacity level to 25%. So you can take this illustration:
And add a giant white rectangle over the entire thing to lighten it. And it works in almost exactly the same way as increasing the Gamma value would do in a Levels adjustment layer in Photoshop:
The same goes for filling said rectangle with black. Which has the effect—again, were we in Photoshop—of reducing the Gamma value in a Levels adjustment layer.
Deke’s Techniques: The only episodic tech thing that occasionally poses the question, “Why is Santa lecturing me?”
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Posted on: January 21st, 2010 Author: barb.binder Category: Adobe Photoshop
By Michael Meyer, Professional Photographer & Former Photoshop Student
This is a technique that’s a little bit advanced but, once you get the hang of it you’ll want to use it a lot because of its flexibility and power.
Here’s the “before” shot of a nice storm rolling in at the beach. (I love storms at the beach, by the way.)
I wanted to add some contrast and darken the clouds to better accent the impending doom, but I don’t want to make any permanent changes to the image. The best way to add non-destructive edits (that can be removed or modified later) is to add an adjustment layer that floats over the original image. Let’s give it a shot:
- Open up the image you wish to modify.
- Click on the Background Layer in the Layers panel.
- Select Layers > New Adjustment Layer > Curves. You can give the new adjustment layer a descriptive name, or just accept the default name as shown below. Click OK.
- Take a close look at the panels on the right of your screen (and shown below). You‘ll see the new Curves adjustment layer in the Layers panel, and the Curves Adjustment panel opens up on top.
- A quick way to adjust the overall contrast in an image is to raise the highlights and lower the shadows into a classic “S” curve. Remember, the steeper the curve, the higher the contrast.
The bad news is that by the time the clouds and sky look good, the beach and parts of the water are now way too dark.
The good news? It’s a very easy fix. Take a second look at our new adjustment layer.
See that white rectangle on the right? That’s a mask. The white color indicates that our adjustment affects the entire image underneath. If we add a little black paint to the mask we can selectively control where our adjustment is applied. Here we go:
- Select the Brush tool from the Toolbox.
- Select a large, soft brush from the Options Bar. (Remember that you can tap the [ and ] brackets to easily make any brush larger or smaller.
- Press the letter “D” on the keyboard to reset the default foreground and background colors.
- Click on the mask icon on the Adjustment Layer in the Layers panel.
- Start painting over the beach. The black paint isn’t showing up on the image, it’s showing up on the mask. Memorize this: black hides, white reveals. As you continue to paint black on the mask, you are hiding the Curves Adjustment on the image.
- If you go too far with the black, just tap the “X” key on the keyboard to switch white to the foreground and paint some white back in. In this example, I painted on all of the beach and the left part of the water to brighten those areas up.
- If you want to see a full-size view of the mask, hold the Alt/Opt key as you click on the mask. You can paint on the mask in this view, if you like, in case you missed a corner. To restore the image, just hold the Alt/Opt key as you click on the mask one more time.
- Voila! Much more dramatic, don’t you think?
This is a very simple example of painting on a mask, but you can work with multiple adjustment layers and paint on the various masks to limit your adjustment to certain areas. Try doing that with an enlarger in the darkroom. Let me tell you, it would take a considerably larger amount of time.
One issue that many folks run into with Adobe Photoshop is how to crop a single layer. In this Photoshop crop layer tutorial, we’ll look at 3 methods that you can use to crop layers and discuss which method is superior on the whole.
If you mouse over the crop tool in Photoshop, you’ll notice that it’s actually an image crop tool, not just a layer crop. So that means even if you have 10 different layers, the crop tool is just going to crop everything from the top layer all the way down to the bottom.
This is because cropping simply reduces the overall canvas size – it’s a visual version of the canvas size adjustment.
What if you’re wondering how to crop an individual layer in Photoshop and preserve the others? You may want to do this to get part of a background to show, or to eliminate some extraneous details from a top layer.
1. Change to smart object and crop
Load any image that has more than one layer in Photoshop. Alternatively, import multiple images to the same document and Photoshop will make a new layer for every image.
When you first open the image, the background layer is the default layer.
Navigate to the Layer panel and right-click on the layer you wish to crop. Select “Convert to smart object”. This will bring up a new icon next to the layer, indicating that the layer is now a smart object.
Now, when you double-click the thumbnail of the Smart Object layer, just one layer will open in a new tab.
Here, you can crop the layer as you wish using the crop tool. The keyboard shortcut for the crop tool is C. You can also use the rectangular marquee tool or other marquee tools to make your selection. Once you’re satisfied with your cropped layer, save the new layer in Photoshop using Control-S on Windows or Command-S on Mac. Then close the tab.
You’ll see that the layer is now cropped in your original document.
2. Use a layer mask
While the marquee tool method is effective, it’s not the best because you actually have to remove the layer data and you may need to use that later.
There’s another way to “crop” part of a layer whilst preserving it, and that’s by using a Layer Mask.
A layer mask may sound daunting if you’re a beginner with Photoshop, but layer masks are actually really easy to do and very intuitive to use.
Simply select the layer that you want to crop, and in the bottom of the Layers panel, there is a button that looks like a little frame. This is the layer mask button.
When you click the button, you’ll see two things in the Layers panel. The layer itself, and the layer mask. Select the layer mask.
Now you can use the paintbrush tool and just paint black over any part of the layer that you want to remove. As you paint black, you’ll see that instead of black, the layers below start to get exposed.
White is used to show the layer mask, and black is used to erase it.
Remember, you’re not actually messing with the layer, you’re just kind of under/overlaying a stencil.
If you don’t want to paint, you can make a selection, and while the selection is active, press the layer mask button. Anything outside the selection will go black in the layer mask, revealing whatever is below it.
You can always double click on the layer mask itself in the Layers Panel to reveal just the mask, which you can further fine-tune with a brush or pencil tool.
In the layer mask method you’re not exactly using the crop tool, but you’ll still get a “cropped layer” as the end result.
3. Use the marquee tool
The simplest way to crop a layer is to just use the marquee tool. Make sure the layer you wish to crop is selected, and use any of the marquee tools to select the part of the layer that you want to preserve.
You can use the lasso tool, polygonal lasso tool, magnetic lasso tool, rectangular marquee tool, or even the magic wand tool to select part of an image.
Next, go to the Selection menu and click on Inverse.
This will cause the original selection to become deselected and everything outside to become selected.
Finally, hit the delete key to remove the selection. You just (effectively) cropped a layer!
What if you need to make a new layer first?
In case you don’t have the layer yet, you can select the part of the image that you want to crop, and go to Layer => Layer via Cut.
This will do a quick cut/paste of that part of the image and make it a new layer, which you can then do the above on.
If the layer happens to be bigger than the canvas, then inverting can get a little wonky, in which case it’s better to copy and paste the layer into a new window, do your edits there, and paste it back into your original image.
While it’s not natively possible (yet) to crop a layer in Photoshop, these workarounds are quite effective.
The layer mask is by far the most powerful and robust way to do it without losing any image data. Using something like the rectangular marquee tool or similar tools also works, but the smart object method is also very intuitive.