What's new
Photoshop Gurus Forum

Welcome to Photoshop Gurus forum. Register a free account today to become a member! It's completely free. Once signed in, you'll enjoy an ad-free experience and be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Making 2 layers from image


New Member
Is it possible to make 2 different layers from the image? Let me explain.

An image with light (shades of white/grey) over which theres pattern in dark color (red/black). Is it possible to make 2 (or more) layers out of this image, 1 with the light shade patterns (or the whole image) and a separate layer which only has the dark patterns, so as to make it easier to edit the dark patterns without altering the whites.
I am a starter at PS so if there's a term for doing this or tutorial to do so, please inform me and I'll look up.


This particular might be easier to photoshop as the background is plain pink but as an example can I separate as described above?

Thank you
Last edited by a moderator:
The answer to your question is yes.

Is this the image your going to use or is this just a sample image? This image is very low rez and I cant use it to properly demonstrate.

Having the actual image will determine the best possible technique to use to accomplish what you want.
To elaborate a bit on Sam's reply, the way a image like this is broken down into its components (and then put on separate layers) is by finding some good means to select each of the components (eg, the white, pink and purple patterns and the background) and then copy each of these selections to separate layers. Once they are on separate layers, you can then individually turn them on/off, change color, or do anything else you would like to them separately.

The problem, of course is finding a method of selecting each of the components that is accurate enough to pick out each of the areas without any problems or glitches occurring around the edges of each at the level of individual pixels. For example, there is a selection tool called the "color range" tool that one might think would work because each component pattern is of a different color. Unfortunately, as Sam pointed out, the resolution (ie, size of the image in # of pixels horizontally and vertically) is so small, that the blurring that occurs around the edges of the patterns will make the result look horrible.

Another selection method that one might consider is repeatedly using the Elliptical Marquee tool (constrained to be circular) to select all of the component patterns of each color. This won't give you any problems with edge effects (as described above), but will include a lot of the background color with each pattern, and then you have to figure out a way to separate it out. Once again, one would likely run into problems with edge effects, except now at a different point in the process.

So, the solution for you would be to find a very high resolution (ie, high pixel count) version of the pattern you are interested in and then use one of the above methods.

That being said, you are working backwards from the way one usually approaches such problems. Usually, if one wants a particular pattern, and wants to keep the components of it separately adjustable, you just make it up from scratch yourself, instead of using someone else's pattern and then trying to decompose it. Depending on the complexity of the pattern, this is not as difficult as you might think. For example, Google {seamless pattern offset photoshop tutorial}, and you will see the general technique used to make a seameless repeating pattern from very simple small components.


Tom M
Last edited:
Thank you both.
Yes, the image is just a sample. I will look into the tutorial that Tom has suggested. The image I am trying to edit is my image only, actually a photo. :)

Thanks once again.
Last edited: