Photoshop Tutorial: Layers & Layer Masks For Beginners

///Photoshop Tutorial: Layers & Layer Masks For Beginners

Photoshop Tutorial: Layers & Layer Masks For Beginners

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This is a beginners level tutorial on how to use layers, adjustment layers and layer masking in Photoshop.

If you’ve been confused by layers or layer masking and want to go back to basics then this is the video for you.

I also go into why adjustment layers are critical for non-destructive editing (and why this is a good thing). Curves, levels, hue/saturation etc. These edits can all be made non-destructively using the techniques shown in this tutorial.

Original video posted on youtube:

By |2017-05-21T21:28:02+00:00May 21st, 2017|Photoshop Video Tutorials|49 Comments


  1. Brandon Barnette May 21, 2017 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Thank you! You did a great job teaching. You were clear and concise and informative.

  2. Dave Robinson May 21, 2017 at 9:31 pm - Reply


  3. privat May 21, 2017 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Great video..!!

  4. rosanna1953 May 21, 2017 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Best tutorial I have seen so far on how to properly use adjustment layers and masking.  Very clearly spoken and easy to understand.  THANK YOU

  5. Charles Roos May 21, 2017 at 9:33 pm - Reply

    Perfect way of explaining things. Well explained, well paced and the best explanation I have seen. For some reason layers have been my nemesis, and this video helped me to see what I have been missing. Thanks a million!

  6. Pixelpoppy May 21, 2017 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    I think I might now have an understanding of how masks work!  Thank-you, I like your clarity of speech, beautiful demonstrations and careful step by step procedures leaving nothing out that beginner’s need.

  7. Mary Doyle May 21, 2017 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Very helpful, thank you

  8. Mahesha Iddagoda May 21, 2017 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    Thanks a lot. very useful. Can you make a video on creating smart objects? Layer masks and layers are easy now. This was a main problem I had with photoshop.

  9. Paul Byrne May 21, 2017 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    This is without doubt the very best video I have seen on layer masks and adjustment layers. It is the first time I have watched a PS video without being confused!

  10. Alysia Van Camp May 21, 2017 at 9:43 pm - Reply


  11. Gina W May 21, 2017 at 9:48 pm - Reply

    Thanks for taking time to explain each layer you created and the tools used to do so. You made learning these processes easier to understand!

  12. 7roadsocks May 21, 2017 at 9:49 pm - Reply

    Thank you sir, I need slow accurate info so i can be fast. Much appreciated!

  13. Joel May May 21, 2017 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    God your so slow

  14. Mediocre Tutorials and Reviews May 21, 2017 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    I never understood layer masks up until this point. Thank you!

  15. Desmond Traynor May 21, 2017 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    thanks that was very helpful as I have just got started with photoshop

  16. Jon Deangelo May 21, 2017 at 9:50 pm - Reply

    very well done

  17. Nahid Ali May 21, 2017 at 9:51 pm - Reply

    There are many components to photoshop lessons. One resource I found that successfully combines these is the Trevs photo blue print (google it if you’re interested) without a doubt the most helpful plan i’ve heard of. look at all the super info.

  18. Robert Rizzolo May 21, 2017 at 9:52 pm - Reply

    Excellent video. The best explanation of layers and masking I’ve heard! Thank you.

  19. Valerie Small-Richards May 21, 2017 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    Awesome job

  20. Jimmie Sutton May 21, 2017 at 9:56 pm - Reply

    very good tutorial!

  21. cprelude May 21, 2017 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    Brilliant tutorial. Many thanks!

  22. Neftali Ramos May 21, 2017 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    I’ve been so confused about the differences between layers and layer masks until this video. Thank you very much, I appreciate you dumbing it down for us new people.

  23. J May 21, 2017 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    Excellent and clear. I needed the masks and it really helped. Thank you very much!

  24. Souvik Swann May 21, 2017 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    aren’t you the guy from Image-Line?

  25. Paul Tim Whillans May 21, 2017 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    Well explained good tone and easy to follow

  26. Abdelhak Chaker May 21, 2017 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    Best explanation ever! He explains the concept not only how to use it

  27. John andAuli May 21, 2017 at 10:03 pm - Reply

    Thank you for this video and helping to demystify some of the basic layer and mask concepts. Many YT videos focus on specific tasks which is fine if the ‘painting by numbers’ approach works for you. As a defrocked (well, retired anyway…) engineer I like to understand the rules and concepts behind the workflow. Your video helped me a lot. Thanks you again.

  28. Robert Gates May 21, 2017 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    Let me add my congratulations to you for producing the very best tutorial on adjustment layers that I have ever seen. This is easy to follow and well explained. I feel that I will be able to produce much better images by following your instructions. I have already experimented with it on some existing photos and the results have been very pleasing to my eyes. Thank you!

  29. andyynwa94 May 21, 2017 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    What is the actual point of layers? Why not just edit everything on one layer?

  30. Lorraine Oliver May 21, 2017 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    Nice introduction to explain layers.

  31. Partha Ghosh May 21, 2017 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    Good tutorial!!! Pls come with more on this very topic!!!

  32. NoBody13 May 21, 2017 at 10:08 pm - Reply


  33. Rick Neathery May 21, 2017 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Great job teaching! Thank you.

  34. Bipin Amin May 21, 2017 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    great for beginners.

  35. roy n May 21, 2017 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    great explanation. thanks, sir.

  36. Relax And GoodNight May 21, 2017 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Amazing Tutorial my friend, have a great day.

  37. Rebecca Horrocks May 21, 2017 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    wow. Fantastic tutorial. Thanks 🙂

  38. Marie Royseth May 21, 2017 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Thank you. Really well explained!!

  39. Janet Schreibstein May 21, 2017 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Very helpful. thanks Steve.

  40. QJArchive May 21, 2017 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Why not tell us what you want to do at the outset. This is an aimless discussion.

  41. Joe Rocha May 21, 2017 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    Thank you

  42. Ario Barzan May 21, 2017 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    Thanks Excellent Teacher best one in you tube

  43. 1944MJCM May 21, 2017 at 10:20 pm - Reply

    Very Clear Thanks.

  44. kimmykoo May 21, 2017 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    This was very helpful in lift my massive confusion of layers. I was able to manipulate an image some. Thank you.

  45. Nattamai Jeykumar May 21, 2017 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Good explanation. You explained it well. Many youtube videos I saw were only proving that they are great and the photoshop is great.

  46. eebeelive May 21, 2017 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    How do you clip the two layers together?

  47. Soumilya De May 21, 2017 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    finally, a video that was helpful

  48. Kim Lapin May 21, 2017 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    awesome video thank you so much I totally find this useful! How can you save the adjustments in case you wanted to apply the exact same adjustments to another photo, say for a fashion blog (same outfit, makeup, sun exposure etc) so all the photos are the same? I saw a video on how to save layers but I don’t see how to do it if you’re using the adjustment layers. Thank you!

  49. eebeelive May 21, 2017 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    We call the adjustment layer icon a "black/white cookie". I need a bit of help. How do I take one image and copy/drag it to the right twice. I forgot in class how we did that. We are trying to show six different adjustment layer effects in 6 little squares. 3 top row, three bottom row. I’m stressing, please help. You are so much better than my current teacher, so thanks a million. I appreciate your video!!!

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