A great benefit of Photoshop is it's use of layers.
With layers, you can edit, blend, darken or lighten images, and manipulate the filter tools more easily. Once you get the hang of layers, your
Photoshop skills will increase tenfold.
Layers enable the user to perform multiple tasks, such as working with vector files, text layers, and image layers.
Find out more about vector files here
Layers give the user more freedom to play around with different techniques, without loosing the original image.
Layers are closely linked with transparencies (where the background is see through). You can create a transparent background by using paths and the selection tools
Here is the first image. We have created the first layer, by making a new, blank file, then opening the image we want to use. We have then selected
the image file, and literally dragged the image across to the blank file. This is down by holding the mouse down on the image file, and dragging it over
to the blank file with your finger still on the mouse, and releasing it when we reach the blank canvas.
Below is an example of the blank canvas, with one layer.
Now, we want to duplicate the layer of the flower so we can play around with it.
This is done by going to the layer box. (If this is not already open, go to the top tool bar, select Window>Layers). Right click on the layer you want to
copy and select "Duplicate Layer". Now you will have the Background, the original layer, plus the duplicated one.
Important note! A layer can only be edited if it is selected. Like this.
When copying layers, they are automatically placed on top of each other, so lets move the duplicated one over with the pick tool.
Many effects can be created by using layers, in the next image, we have adjusted the opacity.
Now lets create another layer to give some color to the background. It's best to duplicate an existing layer instead of using the original background
for this, as you may want need it later.
With layers, you can choose and create so many different backgrounds without changing the original.
Now is a good time to get to know the filters in Photoshop, these tools are quite extensive, with numerous options available. Check out our tutorial
on filters to find out more.
There are also filter options within the layers which also give great effects.
Right click (or 'control' click if on mac) on the layer you wish to add an effect to, you will notice a few options, select 'blending options'.
In the photo below, we have added an 'inner glow' and an 'outer glow' to both layers of the flower.
Layers are an invaluable tool in Photoshop. They are also a lot of fun, so play around with them and see what fantastic designs you can come up
Go to the next page Enlarging Images