Photoshop: Layer Comps Enhancements Ideas

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I a big fan of Layer Comps which was introduced in Photoshop CS.
Since then, features was added and I think they need to be supported in Layer Comps.

Here my ideas to enhance Layer Comps :
- Simplify the way to update specific Options of a Layer Comps (Visibility, Position and Style) like in the composer extension (
- Adding icônes on the Layer Comp line (perhaps like layer Fx in the Layers panel...) which allow user to quickly update the Properties he want.
- Right click on a multi-selection of Layer Comps, to update the wanted common Properties.
- In the Video Timeline, Photoshop support also by default Visibility, Position and Style, but it support also more properties (Text Warp, Mask Position,3D Camera Position...). So that would be great to also support these Properties in the Layer Comps panel.
- We could support more options, like Smart Filter, position of Timeline Playhead, the Layer Stack order, the Crop Area position and size...
- Perhaps also adding a thumbnail at left of the Layer Comp name like in the Layers panel to have a quick preview of the composition and an Alt+Click on it to have a larger Pop Up Preview (idea not illustrated in my mockup). That would help to quickly identify the right variante...
- Exporting a multi-selection of Layer Comps as external files (JPEG, PNG, PDF...) and as a Contact Sheet (options to choose the size, the header, the caption which could come from the Layer Comps Comments field).

Here a quick mockup (draft ideas) of some possible implementations of my ideas and the list of the Video Timeline Properties:

Is that make sense for you?
Any complementary ideas?
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Stephane Baril

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Posted 5 years ago

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Stephane Baril

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I would like to add a complement to this idea.

If we could assign a specific Crop Area to a Layer Comp, we could have a notion like Illustrator "Artboards" (we already have this notion with the Crop and the Reveal All features in Photoshop).
But with the advantages of Layer Comps (visibility, position, style and other Properties proposed here).

With that, if we could associate that Powerful "future" Layer Comps to the View > New Window for "YourActiveDoc.psd" feature and also enhance this New Window feature, we could have a killer workflow.
Let me develop what I mean:
- In the actual version of Photoshop, we have the possibility to view the same opened file in different Windows Views.
- Each of these Views could have a different Zoom size and a different SoftProofing simulation.
- So, on top of that, if we could attach a Choosen Layer Comp to each of these Views we'll have a notion of "Advanced Artboards".

The use cases could be to have your multiscreen design in one document with the possibility to visualize them all in the same time (and perhaps a new Arrange line in the View menu, like "Arrange Layer Comps in Views").
But if you think about Digital Painting, that could also be the possibility to view your drawing in the main view and a "Flipped" copy in a second one to check the possible distortions...

What do you think about that wokflow?
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Stephane Baril

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Another addition...
Stop me if you can ;)

In a multiscreen design perspective supporting Paragraph and Character Styles in the Layer Comps Properties could help to use the same Text content with different formatting in each Layer Comps :)
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Franck Payen

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Sounds interesting. A bit of a learning curve, more than last year's enhancement, but that could help.
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Mattias Bregnballe

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I agree that layer comps need more update options.

The main ones for me (and a lot of ui designers) would be:

Most important

Text content
Character styles
Paragraph styles
Transformation (size etc.)

Least important
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Jaroslav Bereza

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Partly implemented - now you can update selected layers visibility, position and effects.