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Creating a composite Layer


G

Guest

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You have an image composed of several layers and you want to create a new layer that has the entire image merged, while still maintaining all the seperate layers .
  • Create a new layer and make it active. Link all the layers together, by clicking to the left of the thumbnails, you will see the little chain, indicating that the layers are linked (#1).
  • Now while holding down the Alt/Option key, click Merge Linked from the layers "fly-out" menu (#2).
  • You now have a new layer with the info from all the layers combined into it without merging the the layers (#3).
    [/list:u]
 
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G-man

WOW
I agree with Eric
--so many times I wanted to "Pretend merge all tog" In fact I think I had a dream about it once hee hee
wow this is wonderful. I assume the layers can then be unlocked further edited. UR so FAB.
Joy
 

sfm

Guru
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cool that is a lot easier than what I was doing thanks man
sfm
 

Carl

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Hi, it has been awhile:)
For some reason this does not seem to work if you have a background layer in the stack. In which case all the info is dumped on the background layer.
By the way, is there a difference with stamp visible? You know ALT + Merge visible?
Thanx for the truckload of new ideas.
Carl
 

ApWizard

Well-Known Member
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u can obtain the same result following thi simple steps:

1) select the first layer (the one above the all others)
2) press ctrl+alt+shift+n (to create a new layer)
3) press ctrl+alt+shift+e (to past the merge of the layers in the new layer)

that's all
:D

ApWizard
 

theKeeper

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Guys Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E is used if you wish to simply merge all visible layers. However... if, as mention somewhat by Gaussian, you wish to create a composite layer, you can more simply merge layers that have been linked.

One note about that though...
Any layers that you wish to NOT include in the composite, simply do not link it with the others. And the fact that a document has a Background layer should have no effect on this. If it does/did for you, then you most likely mispressed the keys to merge the layers (you pressed Ctrl+Shift+E), or did not have the new empty layer active when merging.

Here once again, and with one extra fact, are the steps to merge a group of layers down to a single new layer:

1) Create a new empty layer and move it anywhere you wish within the layer stacking order.

2) Now, Link all the layers that you wish to be merged together, to the new empty layer. Most importantly, the new empty layer must be the active layer. And all layers you don't want merged, should not have a chain link next to them -- and this would include the document's Background layer also.

3) With the new empty layer active, simply press Alt+Ctrl+E (Mac: Option+Cmd+E). This will copy all linked layers and merge them onto the new empty layer.

HINT #1: Keep in mind also that it is not fundamental to use a new empty layer. This can also be done using any layer you want. Just bear in mind that once merged, the active layer will not be copied -- it becomes the final composite layer.

HINT #2: All layers being merged must also be visible, as well as being linked together.

HINT #3: Using the above "linking layers" method is the exact same as using the "merge all visible layers" method -- which was all we had before layer linking came along. The differences are this:
  • A) Layers to be merged/composited are made visible & invisible; instead of being Linked (including the document's default BG layer).
    B) The quick-key combo is different -- PC: Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E /// Mac: Cmd+Option+Shift+E.

    Other than that though, it produces the exact same results.[/list:u]So there it is, again... i just wanted to shine a little more clarity on this tip, because it's a very useful one. Thanks Gauss. ;)

    PS: And please don't forget that this, and any other info concerning merging layers can be easily found within the Help Files. :D
 

Erik

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PS can save a flattened version of a file with the layered one. This is, amongst others, done to ensure maximum backwards compatibility, that is: with apps that can open PSD but without layers.
Of course, this takes valuable space on your HDD. But you can open a flattened version of a layered file by holding down SHIFT+ALT/OPT while opening the file. (works in 7, probably also in 6, but I can't verify as I uninstalled that one.)
Problem is, or might be, that in 6 this option had to be checked on in Preferences>File saving. In 7 this option is default on.
Should you want to turn it off to save place or simply because you don't need the option (you can always do it manually and make a simple action with self-chosen shortcut for it), you can do so under Preferences>File saving. You will see two checkmarks: one for layered Tiff files (I put this one off) and maximise backwards compatibility. You will be met with a guardian pop up window, warning you that this is impolite etc, but you can checkmark not to see this popup again. Yet every time you save a PSD, the warning is there. I do hope this is a bug that will be eliminated in 7.01 because it is very boring, and I like freedom of choice.
Still, with the HDD's of today, there is room enough. And if you want to save a layered PSD that has to be as small as possible, set your prefs and pass the pop up guardians with dignity, perseverance and determination.B7
 

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