Photoshop 101: Guide To Use Layers And Layer Masks in Photoshop
Layers and Layer Masks
Working with the layers are not essential for basic images editing, but for those photographers who want to take their images to the next level, they are the fundamental part of your editing workflow.
Layers are the building blocks of non-destructive image editing, giving you the opportunity to construct an image in stages and flexibility to make any edits at any time. With this in mind, hopefully, by the end of this feature, you will have a better understanding of how to get the most from layers so your editing can become more selective and sophisticated whether using elements or CS.
When you open an image in photoshop, your image automatically becomes the background layer in thelayers palette (accessible via Window>Layer ), which is located via the Tools menu. You cannot layer edit the background layer as it's locked, but you can make it editable by double-clicking on the padlock symbol. Most of the time it's advisable to keep the background layer locked and, instead, create a duplicate layer ( Layer>Duplicate Layer ) to work on.
By doing this, it means at least one layer of your image still retains the unedited, original pixels, so if you make a mistake and want to start again, all you need to do is delete the extra layer and you are back where you started. it's best to think of layers as clear sheets of acetate stacked on top of each other, each featuring a part of your image(object or effect) that when merged together create your final picture.
The Three types of the layer we will be covering here are a transparent layer (layers without pixels) that you can add a pixel to, image layer that contains duplicate pixels from the original image or parts of a different photo, and adjustment layers, which we will cover in depth later on. Layers allow you to combine parts of different photos, but for basic photo editing, this usually doesn't stretch further than replacing a sky in the dull landscape, adding a few extra people to street scenes or switching frowning faces in a group shot for smiles.
However, There are some photographers and digital artists that take it to a higher level, using multiple layers and objects from different images to literally construct their picture from scratch. we will only cover the basics here, but the internet and Adobe's website is bursting with more advanced techniques if you wish to delve into this realm called compositing.
How To Create a New Layer
If you want to transparent layers, either click the Create New Layer icon at the bottom of the layer palette or go to Layer>New>Layer . If you want a layer with the same pixels as your original image, you can duplicate the background layer by dragging it down to the Create New Layer button or by clicking Layer>Duplicate Layer. To copy parts of one image on from the source image and then press Ctrl/Cmd+C to copy it. Revert back to your destination image to your destination image and press Ctrl/Cmd+V to paste it on the image.
Or using The Move Tool, click and drag the selection from the source image and then ( press Ctrl/Cmd+A to move the whole picture). The new image will immediately create new layers above the destination image. The use of the Move Tool to reposition your selection.
How Layer Order Works
Every new layer that's created automatically sits on the top of the layer before it in the palette and it's effect or pixels will affect every layer that's underneath it. Use the Move Tool to reposition your selection.
The Layers Palette
1 ) Blend Mode: This accesses the drop-down menu of layer blending modes that control how the layers interact with one another. 2) Opacity: cUse this slides to adjust the transparency of the layer, controlling how much the layer beneath it shows through. 3) Lock Transparent pixels/images pixels: These two buttons enable you to lock an individual layer so only image or transparent pixels can be edited, respectively. 4) Link: Use this option to link multiple layers together. 5) Select layer: you can tell which layer you have got selected by whether it's highlighted blue. Select multiple layers by holding down
Cmd and clicking on each to select them. 6) Background Layer: This is your original image. keep it locked so it can not be edited. 7) Add Layer Style: Access a variety of styles from blend modes to drop shadows and outer glows. They are special effects that work well with objects and text. 8) New Adjustment Layer: Click here to access a list of all the adjustment layers. 9) Create New Layer: Click To apply empty, transparent layer.Or click and drag an image layer down on to the icon to duplicate it. 10) Create New Group: Use this to group the layer together into a folder to contain your editing to a few selected layer. 11) Trash Can: Highlight the layer. or layer mask and click the bin to delete it or alternatively, click and drag them on to the trash can.