Today we are going to look over the shoulders of quite a few professional designers. Using their original PSDs with open layers, we will be able to exactly reconstruct, what has been done and how. If you are like me, this way of learning by doing proves more effective than working through step-by-step tutorials. The following files come with lots of layers to be examined, as we are going to dissect a camera, a sports shoe, a cell phone and lots more. Have fun looking through the eyes of the most able Photoshop professionals. Before I forget: watch out for some layer-related Photoshop tips, I may have left for you throughout the collection…
If you want to be able to immediately check which content can be found on which layer, adjust the options of the Layers Panel. Inside the Layers Panel click the top right drop-down menu and select Panel Options. In the dialog window activate the largest thumbnail size as well as Thumbnail Contents > Layer Bounds. From now on you’ll see larger thumbnails, which will be limited to the actual content, inside the Layers Panel.
Another option to easily identify layer contents lies in the use of the Move Tool. Clicking with the right button inside your document, pulls up a popup list of all the layers in that file. Layers are clickable from there, so you can easily switch between layers. Remember to name each layer properly, otherwise this list won’t be too much of a help. If you immediately want to activate the topmost layer on click, tick off Auto-Select > Layer in the options bar.
Dirk Metzmacher is a professional Photoshop trainer, book author and designed with over 10 years of experience. He is also a creative mind behind Photoshop Weblog, a blog about techniques, tutorials and resources related to Adobe Photoshop.