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Lesson 5 - LAYERS September 24, 2005 8:23 AM


Number one thing to remember? Control + Z is UNDO - LOL!

Think of layers as panes of glass with something different on each one. While you're working on them, you see all of the pictures, but you can change things on the layers and when you finally merge, you have something totally new.

Think of it this way - your bottom pane of glass has a picture of a meadow on it. The next pane of glass has a picture of a butterfly. The next pane of glass has a picture of the sun. The next pane of glass has a quote on it. You can pick the pane of glass that has the butterfly on it and move the butterfly on top of the quote, or pick the pane of glass that has the sun on it and move the sun from the right to the left.

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LAYER PALLETTE: September 24, 2005 8:25 AM

There is a Layer Pallette on the far right side of your screen. If you don't have any images open, it looks like this:

Notice that there is nothing showing and that all the tools are greyed out.

Go to your top toolbar and click on the blank page icon (New) - (or Control + N) with the following  [ send green star]
Settings September 24, 2005 8:31 AM

1.jpg  [ send green star]
Raster 1 September 24, 2005 8:32 AM

Now your Layer Pallette will show this Ė one layer and itís named Raster 1. Thatís because you chose it to be a Raster layer and itís the first layer.

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Background Color. September 24, 2005 8:33 AM

Close that image, then make a new one again, only this time you will take the checkmark out of the Transparent box and choose White as the background color.

This time your Layer Pallette shows this. One layer, but itís named background.

The reason for that is because you added color to that new image. As long as your layer is considered a "background" you cannot edit it. But all you have to do is right click on the word "Background" in the Pallette and choose "Promote Background Layer". Now you will see this. One layer and it is now named Raster 1.

You'll notice to the right there are 4 fields - an eye, an area with a "100" in it, a section that says Normal, and a section with the word "None".

THE EYE: Sometimes you'll need to "turn off" one or more of your layers and the way to do that is to pick which layer you want to turn off (remember they're all going to be labeled, either as Raster 1.2,3, etc or with names that you've put on there). Click on the layer that you want (it'll show blue, like Raster 1 is in the above picture) and then you click on the eye to the right. A red X will appear over the eye and all that does is hide that layer - it's not been deleted or anything like that. To bring it back, just click on the eye again! See? Ain't that cool?

CHANGING THE OPACITY: The section that has the number "100" is your opacity button. See the little bitty arrows on the right? Left click on them, hold your mouse button down and move them to the left and watch what it does to your picture. (grins)

THE NORMAL BUTTON: The next button to the right changes the way the active layer appears (remember, active means that it's highlighted in blue). Play with this one - click on the arrow to the right of it and choose the various items to see what they do and how they make your picture look.

LAYER LINK TOGGLE: You use layer linking to have 2 or more layers move together on the image. To link, put the number 1 or 2 in the Layer Link area on each layer that you want together. This info is just an FYI because I have NEVER done this, needed it, nor seen it on a tutorial. But, you never know when something like this could come in handy!

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There is a shortcut bar directly above the Layer Pallette.

I'm going to show you the shortcut way to add a layer.

Hold your Shift key down and use your mouse to click on the New Raster Layer icon. That adds a 2nd invisible, BLANK layer to your image and you only know it's there because you can see it in your Layer Pallette.

It will automatically be labeled as Raster 2 (or whichever layer number it happens to be).† But the only place you'll see it is in the Pallette. (remember it's like a layer of glass)

If you need to delete a layer, make sure you're on the right one (VERY IMPORTANT), then click on the Delete Layer icon. And remember, Control + Z is our friend when we make a mistake!

When you're first starting out, it's easiest to name every layer. To rename your layers, you're going to use your right click toolbar again.

Right click on the layer you want to rename.
Choose Rename from the toolbar.

Type in the name you want for that layer.

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 September 24, 2005 8:49 AM

Here I wanted to rename Raster Layer 2.† So I clicked on Raster layer 2, to highlight it, then right clicked to bring up the menu then I clicked on Rename:


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MERGING LAYERS September 24, 2005 8:53 AM

Sometimes you'll need to merge visible, or merge group (like when you're working with masks).

There are two ways to access this:
1 - Top toolbar - Layers - Merge - then pick the one you need.
2 - Layers Pallette - Right click - Merge - pick the one you need.

When you're first starting you'll be doing a lot of tuts and they will tell you what you need to do, but I also recommend just getting in psp and playing (always making sure to duplicate your original graphic and working on the duplicate only) - click on the various items to see what happens - and when you do something that gives you a result that you like, WRITE IT DOWN (grins). Trust me on this one, k?

Everything in PSP is done on layers. You can find more helpful teachings about layers here and here.

Don't get discouraged if you feel like you're not understanding - ask questions instead.

I've found that just moving on and doing the tuts can be a big help in connecting what you've read with what you're doing. So don't give up!

Move on now to Lesson 6 - you're almost there!

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 September 24, 2005 8:55 AM

Everything in PSP is done on layers. You can find more helpful teachings about layers here and here.†† Sorry, these two links do not seem to want to work, Just ask questions if you need help.

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