The first essential method of non-destructive editing is to simply place a pixel mask on your layer, which allows you to adjust the brush to any setting you want to hide or “paint” what you don`t want to see visible. To do this, select your layer and click the mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. Now, adjust your brush to the settings you want and use it to hide what you want. Keep in mind that masking refers to RGB channels. Design.Tutsplus.com explains this as follows: The software package creates a new file associated with the digital photo. This new file is often referred to as a “sidecar” file and is nothing more than a text file. In this sidecar file, the software package creates a list of instructions that tell the software what changes to make to the original digital photo. The software package shows you a real-time overview of what the changes will look like if and when you want to apply them. The changes you make at this point can be undone, increased, decreased, or optimized in countless ways until the image looks exactly what you want. Once you`re happy with all the changes, don`t just save the file as you would in a destructive workflow, but “export” a copy of the photo. One of the main reasons people use Photoshop is to create playlists and remove backgrounds.

As you`ve now learned, anything that involves removing something from a photo should always be non-destructive. You never know when you`ll need to add something back! The reality is that you are guaranteed to make mistakes while editing in Photoshop. If you modify destructively, these errors end up costing much more time to fix. Often, you have to step back and repeat the whole process. Let`s say your original image has some kind of distraction in the background that you want to remove. If you are destructive, you can select your image layer, select the Point Healing Brush tool, and then paint on the distraction. Even if you don`t think you ever need to change anything, it`s certainly nice to have the option just in case. By non-destructive editing in every project you create, it slowly becomes a force of habit. To better emphasize the importance of non-destructive photo editing, let`s focus on concrete examples that highlight the interest of this technique. Another example, and this touches on the deeper reasons for an alternative workflow like mine: I see people who prefer to use the Curve tool to achieve the desired effect with a single curve adjustment in a single big hop. What if you could get a better and more subtle result by using a sequence of small subtle changes with 10 levels (for my part, I know that some effects, if you choose subtlety, and subtlety is always important to me, cannot be achieved with a single curve adjustment, no matter how sophisticated the curve setting, so it`s not hypothetical at all) and then merge it into a single layer, Just as the plane of fitting the curve is only one plane. The last example with 10 layers merged into a single layer, which further degrades image quality, or is it more destructive than if you do it with an all-in-one setting for large curve adjustment planes? Is it just destructive because I removed the other 9 layers that are no longer accessible, while the version with a large curve adjustment did not have these intermediate layers at all? The answer is yes, if you are a purist, if the result of these eliminated layers was never the result that mattered and where it should be temporary.

No, if you`re the kind of artist for whom the end result matters and it`s just better in terms of result and subtlety. If you`re working in Photoshop, it`s best to keep your documents as flexible as possible. People (even you!) change their minds every hour about what looks good, what they want and where they want it – none of this is a big deal if you`re prepared for it. But if you`re not, you`ll spend a lot of time repeating what you`ve already done from scratch. To avoid this type of suffering, you can use layers, a series of stackable transparencies that together form an entire image (see Figure 4-1). Layers are your ticket to non-destructive editing and therefore safer and non-binding (if only we had layers in real life!). From a clear image, I want to create the same line on my image, this time non-destructive. I pick up my brush tool again, but this time I create a new layer before painting. If you`ve ever seen a PHLEARN tutorial, you may have heard us talk about the importance of a non-destructive workflow. But what does that mean? Using non-destructive editing techniques in Photoshop not only prevents your original photo from getting damaged, but also saves you time. You can have as many different adjustment levels and masks as you want and make them visible or non-visible if you want. You can even go back to those layers and make additional adjustments while keeping your original photo intact.

Use these layers and masks to your advantage so that you can export multiple versions of your photo from this single file by making the layers visible and invisible before exporting. Integrate non-destructive editing into your workflow today to save time and increase productivity! There are many other methods to treat non-destructively. But as the basics show, non-destructive editing is mainly about using new layers placed on top of the original image, rather than adjusting the original image itself. It may seem clunky at first, but it will soon be an automatic part of your workflow. The next time you have a clunky edit, you`ll be happy to be able to just turn off a layer instead of starting over. Another important sentence in the definition is: “Image quality does not deteriorate when you make changes.” What does “degrade” mean in this context? If you`re working with selections, use a layer mask to make non-destructive edits. This makes the whole process easier while giving you more customization options for your selection. If you`re new to creating selections, check out the top 5 ways to cut images in Photoshop. Non-destructive editing is one of the most important things for anyone getting started with Photoshop. Not only does this save you time, but it also saves you from reversing permanent mistakes. No matter how perfectionist you are, you`re guaranteed to slip into your workflow at some point. Instead of hoping to never run into a problem, plan ahead and start non-destructive editing as soon as possible.

It`s a game changer, and you won`t regret doing it! Adobe then lists some examples of non-destructive editing, but not limited to. The traditional method with adjustment levels is only one possibility. Adding a filter to an image can be done non-destructively and allows you to undo the effects later if you change your mind. Click the layer to which you want to apply a filter, and then click the Filter drop-down menu on the top main toolbar. Select Convert for Smart Filter and a pop-up window will appear telling you that you need to convert the selected layer to a Smart Object. Click OK and a small document icon will appear in the lower-left corner of the thumbnail of the selected layer. About 10 years ago, when I first launched my black-and-white editing workflow for Photoshop called iSGM (Iterative Selective Gradient Masking), many people who are not familiar with the how and why of my workflow referred to this manual and structured method of black and white post-processing as a destructive method when they first saw it. Despite the negative qualifications, this manual method has gained many followers around the world over the years, as it has proven to be a structured and effective way to have full control over black and white images and create the type of images with which I have achieved great success. There are many ways to edit non-destructively in Photoshop. Before I start non-destructive editing, I want the original image to be hidden and a duplicate image to be used for all non-destructive edits. Create a duplicate image on a separate layer and hide your original before you begin. Whatever customization you do, it`s the easiest to work with in the future.

This is what non-destructive editing is. Your artistic intentions and the visual result you are looking for to match your artistic intentions should never be constrained by sticking to a recommended and traditional way of working, to stick to it without understanding the advantages and disadvantages.