Eating Peas, Kicking The Can, And The Road Not Taken
Back in March 2011, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that U.S. budget deficits would total $9.5 trillion over the next 10 years. The CBO estimates that the new debt ceiling deal will cut federal spending by $2.1 trillion over the next decade. Which means the deficit will “only” grow by about $7.4 trillion from 2012-2021. Which means the deal simply “kicks the can down the road,” and puts off any hard fiscal choices until after the 2012 election.
I thought of Robert Frost’s famous poem, The Road Not Taken– which inspired the following comment. Scroll down for a quick look at one of Photoshop’s little-known tools: the Copy Merged command, which I used as a last step in the illustration.
I had finished the illo, and it was time to “tidy up” the borders. As you can see in the unedited image below, the tangled shrubbery in the lower left-hand corner projects out
a bit too far, spoiling the symmetry. I had used eight separate layers to “build up” the shrubbery. Using Copy Merged gave me a way to edit all the layers simultaneously, without flattening the document.
Copy Merged makes a flattened copy of the selected portion of all the visible layers in
a document. You can then paste that flattened copy anywhere you want– back into the same document, a different existing document, or an entirely New Document.
This very compact slideshow shows the basic steps. (Give it a moment to load, it runs automatically.) 1) make the selection (the part of the layered document you want to copy) 2) choose Edit > Copy Merged 3) paste the flattened copy wherever you want it (in the slideshow, it’s pasted into a new untitled document).
You have to make a selection first– otherwise you will find the Copy Merged command grayed out and unavailable. Here, I simply chose Select > All.
I selected Edit > Copy Merged, which copied all the visible layers in my document. I then clicked on the topmost of the eight shrubbery layers, and selected Edit > Paste, which pasted in the Copy Merged layer above the topmost shrubbery layer (the pasted-in layer is Layer 1 in the Layers Window below). I then “clicked on the eye” in all eight shrubbery layers, making them invisible.
Why did I do that? Because I wanted my Copy Merged layer (Layer 1) to “stand in” for the shrubbery layers when I edited that bottom left-hand corner. I didn’t want the other layers to be revealed underneath the Copy Merged layer.
Because the Copy Merged layer is just another layer, it can have a layer mask. To add the mask, I chose Edit > Add Layer Mask > Reveal All. Then, with the mask selected, I used a splatter-type brush and the color Black to paint away (mask) the excess shrubbery. You can see these black paint strokes in the mask thumbnail in the Layers Window below: