Photoshop Layers allows us to have multiple images existing together on separate layers.This enables you to keep all your elements independent of each other. These layers are non intersecting planes in where images and elements are separate. Each image that was scanned or shot by a digital camera comes with a Background layer. This layer is like the glue on the back of a stamp in that you cannot move it above any other layer, and it cannot contain transparent pixels.
The Layers Panel Dissected
- The lock icon indicates that the layer is protected:
- Lock All: The layer is completely locked,no direct editing allowed at all.
- Lock Position: Layer can’t be moved
- Lock Image pixels: You cannot paint or alter pixels.
- Lock transparent: You can paint on this layer on non-transparent areas.
- The eye icon indicates that the layer is visible. Clicking on the eye icon hides that layer.
- Opacity: 0= transparant 100 = fully opaque.
- Blend Modes alter how the selected layer blends with the layers beneath it.
- Layer Effects (Styles) : Apply different non-destructive styles such as Drop Shadow on Photoshop layers.
You can customize how you view your layers from the Panel Options flyout menu. If you have a smaller monitor, or are visually challenged, this can be a great help!
- Thumbnail Size: You can increase the size of the thumbnail to better see what’s on your Photoshop layer.
- Thumbnail Contents: Choose between View Layer Bounds or Entire Document.
- Layer Bounds previews your Layer Icon to fit the entire width, so the icon is larger.
- Entire Document previews the layer smaller at it’s location in the document. So if you have the same image in multiple places on your document, this is helpful because you can see the location.
Layers are an essential part of using Photoshop. They enable us to keep elements separate, and edit non-destructively. Ascend offers classes both in Chicago and online for all levels of Photoshop users wanting to explore Photoshop layers further.
Explore Photoshop Classes at Ascend