Mastering Layers in Photoshop CS4, with Matt Kloskowski

In this class you will learn how to effectively and creatively use Layers to create stunning design effects and significantly enhance your photos.

Join and NAPP instructor, photographer, and best-selling author, Matt Kloskowski as he shows you how to master Photoshop Layers – one of the most revolutionary and essential features in Photoshop. In this class you will learn how to effectively and creatively use Layers to create stunning design effects and significantly enhance your photos. If you are looking to take your Photoshop, photography, and creative design skills to the next level then this is the class you have been waiting for!

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Course Lessons:

Lesson 1: Introduction (Duration 01:12)

Overview of the course and what will be covered

Lesson 2: Layer Basics (Duration 07:32)

Introduction to using layers in Photoshop

Lesson 3: Adding New Layers (Duration 07:10)

Building multi-layered documents in Photoshop

Lesson 4: Layer Stacking Order (Duration 07:46)

Stacking order determines what part of the layer you see and what gets covered up

Lesson 5: Quick Tip 1: Saving Layers (Duration 01:51)

This is a very important step. Make sure to save you layers

Lesson 6: Layers and Transparency (Duration 04:53)

Using transparency to blend images together

Lesson 7: Layers and Opacity (Duration 08:32)

Opacity goes hand in hand with transparency.

Lesson 8: Ins and Outs of the Layers Palette (Duration 07:16)

Going over the options and shortcuts of the layers palette

Lesson 9: Organizing Your Layers (Duration 03:26)

Using layer grouping to keep your project organized

Lesson 10: Quick Tip 2: Dealing with the Background Layer (Duration 01:28)

Unlocking the background layer

Lesson 11: Introduction to Blend Modes (Duration 08:46)

Explore the various blend modes to see how they cause layers to interact

Lesson 12: Taking Blend Modes Further (Duration 06:09)

Continuing with blend modes and using them creatively.

Lesson 13: Creating Type Layers (Duration 05:34)

Using the Type tool and exploring the uses of type layers in Photoshop

Lesson 14: Advanced Settings with Type Layers (Duration 06:01)

Advanced text options with the Type tool

Lesson 15: Destructive vs. Non-destructive Adjustments (Duration 04:51)

Working non-destructively on adjustment layers allows you to go back and make changes

Lesson 16: More About Adjustment Layers (Duration 05:26)

Taking adjustment layers a step further

Lesson 17: Advanced Adjustment Layers (Duration 07:26)

Some more advanced techniques for use with adjustment layers

Lesson 18: Layer Masking Basics (Duration 05:35)

Welcome to layer masking

Lesson 19: Super Sharpening with Masks (Duration 07:48)

Layer masks allow you to make selective changes to your layers

Lesson 20: Retouching with Layers (Duration 09:52)

Some layers techniques for retouching portraits

Lesson 21: Special Effects with Layer Styles (Duration 08:37)

Layer styles are special effects that can be added from the Layers palette

Lesson 22: Using Shape Layers (Duration 14:17)

An introduction to using shape layers

Lesson 23: Introduction to Smart Object Layers (Duration 08:57)

Smart objects allow us to take layers even further

Lesson 24: Non-destructive Smart Filter Layers (Duration 07:44)

Smart filters allow us to apply filters non-destructively

Lesson 25: Using Clipping Masks (Duration 06:25)

Placing one object into another using a clipping mask

Lesson 26: Saving Versions in Layer Comps (Duration 05:25)

Photoshop has great options for creating different versions of a document

Lesson 27: Merging and Flattening (Duration 07:57)

Enough of this layer stuff already!

Lesson 28: Conclusion (Duration 00:31)

Some hints on when not to use layers

Meet Your Instructor: Matt Kloskowski

Matt is the full-time Director of Education for Kelby Media Group and a Tampa-based photographer. He's the Editor-in-Chief of Lightroom Magazine, the lead instructor on the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom LIVE…


  1. This is a fast paced course that covers a lot of material. I learned so much that I intend to watch it again at least once. Online learning is a perfect formant because it is crucial to be able to go back over something he just said and hear it again. Very good course that I really liked.

  2. Hi, I am very impressed with the course. I found Layers to be rather confusing but after this I am quite excited to get going. I think Matt is very easy to understand and I am eighty. Thank you very much.

  3. Great tutorial, great teacher. This series was very comprehensive. Load of tips. I'd say this is a "must" watch for those starting out with Photoshop. Better yet, do yourself a favor and download the files, follow along, do what Matt is doing, and let the learning sink in.

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