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Layer Basics In Photoshop CS


Project Information: • Skill level: Basic • AdobeR PhotoshopR CS • General tipsdCipollo_LayerBasics.psd

In this tutorial we will learn the basics of working with layers in Photoshop.

We will learn how to select, move, delete, duplicate, rename and create a new layer. Much of the magic of Photoshop is in the layers. The layers in a Photoshop image are like a deck of playing cards. Each card is one layer in the deck and you can play each card individually. You can discard a card or ask for another card. Whatever you do, the rest of the cards in the deck are not changed.

The same is true when working with layers in Photoshop. Each layer is independent of the other layers in the image. You can do many things to a layer. You can edit the layer, delete the layer or add a new layer. Whatever you do, the other layers in the image will not be changed. Let's examine a layered image. If you haven't downloaded and opened the dCipollo_LayerBasics.psd image, do so now by clicking on the link in the Materials section above.

When you open the image in Photoshop CS, you will see three colored circles on a white square. But it really has four layers. The white background and the three circles are each on a separate layer. Let's prove this by moving one of the circles.

dCipollo_LayerBasics.psd

Stacking Order
Layers Palette


Click to Enlarge


  • Moving A Circle

    Move Tool Icon
    Now we will move the blue circle in the top layer of the image. Most of the work that you will do with layers will be done in the Layers Palette. If the Layers Palette is not open, click Windows > Layers on the Menu bar (F7). Click on the top layer (named Blue Layer) in the Layers Palette to select this layer and make it the active layer. You will notice that the color of that layer changes to a darker gray which indicates that this is now the active layer in the Layers Palette. Now that the Blue Layer is active, click on the Move Tool Icon in the Toolbox to make this the active tool. Click and drag the blue circle with the Move tool. When you do this, you will notice that the other circles and their layers are not changed. You can move each circle independently with the Move Tool after selecting its layer in the Layers Palette.

    Before

    After
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AdobeR product screen shot(s) reprinted with permission from Adobe Systems Incorporated. AdobeR, PhotoshopR and PhotoshopR AlbumTM are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.

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