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Problem with layers


redbourn

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ps layers.jpg

Hi,

I should have asked about this issue a long time ago. Have been working around it for quite a while.

Right now for example I used the spot healing brush tool on a copy of the bg layer cntrl j in windows.

Now I want to use the clone tool and then reduce the opacity but I don't want the reduced opacity to effect the clone stamp.

So I made another copy cntrl j and have to put it about the previous one to the effects.

But this prevents me from seeing the effects of the healing brush tool.

Time for me to understand something which is probably so basic, but something that I never got an understanding of!

Thanks for any help,

Michael

P.S. I looked at lots of layer tutorials over the years but none that I touch on this. "you are looking down through the top layer", etc.
 

MrToM

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The thing to do here is to work on a new, blank layer and not a copy of an existing layer.

With the clone tool you can sample the current layer and those below by setting the Sample attribute in the menu bar to Current and Below...

clone_setting_MT_01.png

Doing this on a new layer will mean you can see what's behind, (below), it as you clone stamp.

It also means you can turn this off, delete it, move it etc etc without changing the original image.....or in PS terms, Non-Destructively.


The 'Spot Healing Brush' also has this setting but its a toggle between all layers or not...

spot_heal_setting_MT_01.png

So you can use both these tools on blank layers enabling you to see the underlying layers.

The 'Create New Layer' Icon is at the bottom of the layers panel...2nd from right next to the bin.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

redbourn

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Wow!

I will try it and get back to you.

Like I thought, so simple: but never saw it in a tutorial.

Thanks so much.

Michael
 

MrToM

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No worries.

Thinking about it further still, and in this case using only those two tools, there is really no need to copy any layer at all.

Create a new layer, and for the 'Spot Heal' set 'Sample All Layers' to ON.
Do your funky stuff.

Then when you start to 'Clone' do the same...new layer, set Sample, and clone.

You can swap and change between the two tools BUT....and its a BIG BUT...create a new layer EACH time you change tools...

layer_stack_MT_01.png

This way you will ALWAYS be sampling EVERYTHING you have done to that point.

IF you need to flatten the layers then use Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E to flatten the visible layers to a single new layer. From here you can still tweak stuff if you missed something minor, but you also still have the original layers if you find a big huge boo-boo.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

redbourn

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No worries.

Thinking about it further still, and in this case using only those two tools, there is really no need to copy any layer at all.

Create a new layer, and for the 'Spot Heal' set 'Sample All Layers' to ON.
Do your funky stuff.

Then when you start to 'Clone' do the same...new layer, set Sample, and clone.

You can swap and change between the two tools BUT....and its a BIG BUT...create a new layer EACH time you change tools...

View attachment 66203

This way you will ALWAYS be sampling EVERYTHING you have done to that point.

IF you need to flatten the layers then use Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E to flatten the visible layers to a single new layer. From here you can still tweak stuff if you missed something minor, but you also still have the original layers if you find a big huge boo-boo.

Regards.
MrToM.
Great stuff!

I have maybe spent 150 hours on PS but apparently 1500 on average to really undestand how to use it.

Thanks

Michael
 

redbourn

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OK I learned something really important so thank you.

But after following all the advice and getting things looking nice, I then wanted to to use the quick selection tool.

This doesn't seem to work with a new layer.

So what to do?

The things in this thread are missing in all the tutorials that I've checked over several years.

So maybe one of you want to write a tutorial ?

Not for me but for many many people!

Michael
 
Last edited:

MrToM

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The quick selection tool will work if there are pixels on that layer to select.....a new blank layer obviously doesn't have any pixels to select.

If you're feeling brave you could...and I stress 'could' flatten all the layers and then the tool will work...but thats a very destructive way to do things.

Instead, use the Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E command I mentioned before, (With the very TOP layer selected), to create a new layer with a 'flattened' version of all the other visible layers in it.....then the tool will work on that new layer.

You can continue to add new layers on top of this one for further 'Healing' or 'Cloning' should you need to but again you'll need to 'flatten' it if you want to select pixels that are not ON the currently active (selected) layer.

Its really just a case of 'building' your layer stack as you go....certain operations require a flattened layer of ALL the pixels, some not....adjustment layers for instance will work on just about any layer regardless.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

redbourn

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"Instead, use the Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E command I mentioned before".

I read it and have now noted it - thank you so much.

I have been flattening images until now and then doing cntrl J

Please check layer tutorials on the web.

They are all about looking down from the top layer which doesn't help with these issues at all.

Just worked on this image, my lunch today.

A Jamaican lime curry.

Can probably be easily improved but I quite like it.

Michael

lime curry jpg.jpg
 

MrToM

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...They are all about looking down from the top layer which doesn't help with these issues at all...
Well in a way it does...think of it like this:

You start with an image....now imagine that image is real and in front of you, on a table.
If you were to start painting on that image it would be permanent...no way to remove the 'paint'...right?

So how could you 'paint' on that image but not destroy it?

One way would be to place a sheet of glass ON that image and paint on the GLASS!

You'll still 'see' the image through the glass but also the paint you painted on the glass too.

This way, the image is preserved AND if you don't like what you painted you just remove the glass and put another 'clean' sheet down......you are back to square one....with me so far?

Now...if what you painted was OK but you wanted to now paint in a different colour you could add ANOTHER sheet of glass on top of the other....stacking them.

You'll STILL see through each sheet of glass through to your original image....right?

Of course to see it properly you'd have to stand up and lean over the table and look straight down at it but you get the idea....you could also tilt the sheets upward but whatever....that's this whole 'looking down' thing.

As each colour of paint is on its own sheet of 'glass'...(READ LAYER)...you can remove any one of them at any time WITHOUT changing any of the other sheets...(READ LAYERS)...is it making more sense now?

You can also change the order of the sheets of glass....IE, changing your LAYER order.

You could scrape some of the paint off....but just on one sheet of glass....this would be like using the 'Erase' tool....(Don't ever use the Erase tool BTW.)

When you 'Look Down' onto the sheets of glass you'll only see what's left of the paint....and as you know, you cant 'see' through paint so what's left will hide anything underneath it.

So...treat each LAYER as a sheet of glass...and each sheet has 'some' paint on it......think back to the 'Quick select' tool.....you couldn't 'remove' any paint from a clean sheet of glass, and this is essentially what you were trying to do when using that tool on a new, blank layer....no paint on the glass....no pixels on the layer.....tool won't work with nothing to work on.

The BIG advantage of PS Layers though is that we can do stuff that in the real world is just impossible....temporarily hiding pixels with a mask, changing opacity, inverting, greyscale, changing size, duplicating, flipping, cropping, copying....etc etc.

Slightly more flexible than paint on glass...but the principle is exactly the same....you look down on it....and you should think of this as looking down on your layer stack....top layer to bottom layer...even though you start building your stack from the bottom.

See if that helps clear things up for you.

Regards.
MrToM.
 

redbourn

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Well in a way it does...think of it like this:

You start with an image....now imagine that image is real and in front of you, on a table.
If you were to start painting on that image it would be permanent...no way to remove the 'paint'...right?

So how could you 'paint' on that image but not destroy it?

One way would be to place a sheet of glass ON that image and paint on the GLASS!

You'll still 'see' the image through the glass but also the paint you painted on the glass too.

This way, the image is preserved AND if you don't like what you painted you just remove the glass and put another 'clean' sheet down......you are back to square one....with me so far?



Now...if what you painted was OK but you wanted to now paint in a different colour you could add ANOTHER sheet of glass on top of the other....stacking them.

You'll STILL see through each sheet of glass through to your original image....right?

Of course to see it properly you'd have to stand up and lean over the table and look straight down at it but you get the idea....you could also tilt the sheets upward but whatever....that's this whole 'looking down' thing.

As each colour of paint is on its own sheet of 'glass'...(READ LAYER)...you can remove any one of them at any time WITHOUT changing any of the other sheets...(READ LAYERS)...is it making more sense now?

You can also change the order of the sheets of glass....IE, changing your LAYER order.

You could scrape some of the paint off....but just on one sheet of glass....this would be like using the 'Erase' tool....(Don't ever use the Erase tool BTW.)

When you 'Look Down' onto the sheets of glass you'll only see what's left of the paint....and as you know, you cant 'see' through paint so what's left will hide anything underneath it.

So...treat each LAYER as a sheet of glass...and each sheet has 'some' paint on it......think back to the 'Quick select' tool.....you couldn't 'remove' any paint from a clean sheet of glass, and this is essentially what you were trying to do when using that tool on a new, blank layer....no paint on the glass....no pixels on the layer.....tool won't work with nothing to work on.

The BIG advantage of PS Layers though is that we can do stuff that in the real world is just impossible....temporarily hiding pixels with a mask, changing opacity, inverting, greyscale, changing size, duplicating, flipping, cropping, copying....etc etc.

Slightly more flexible than paint on glass...but the principle is exactly the same....you look down on it....and you should think of this as looking down on your layer stack....top layer to bottom layer...even though you start building your stack from the bottom.

See if that helps clear things up for you.

Regards.
MrToM.
Thanks for the long and thorough explanation.


But would it have answered the questions that I asked here?


I decided about 15 years ago that Adobe help (official) was probably the worst on the Internet.

And it still almost assumes that you know that answer to the question that you are asking.



And for many years their help pages didn't even display properly.


One had to scroll to read them them.


Just saying that there is not only room, but also a real need for a layers demo or explanation.

Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E ?


Looked at several shortcut sites and it's not even listed.
 

hawkeye

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Whenever I teach Photohop to people who have some experience with it, they almost always say they are confused about when to use a new layer. My answer to them is always, if you possibly can. Using layers facilitates what is known as non-destructive editing, but I prefer to call it non-permanant editing. Using layers allows you to change your mind endlessly.
 

redbourn

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Whenever I teach Photohop to people who have some experience with it, they almost always say they are confused about when to use a new layer. My answer to them is always, if you possibly can. Using layers facilitates what is known as non-destructive editing, but I prefer to call it non-permanant editing. Using layers allows you to change your mind endlessly.
Glad it wasn't just me then ;-)

Good advice thanks,

Michael
 

redbourn

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The thing to do here is to work on a new, blank layer and not a copy of an existing layer.

With the clone tool you can sample the current layer and those below by setting the Sample attribute in the menu bar to Current and Below...

View attachment 66198

Doing this on a new layer will mean you can see what's behind, (below), it as you clone stamp.

It also means you can turn this off, delete it, move it etc etc without changing the original image.....or in PS terms, Non-Destructively.


The 'Spot Healing Brush' also has this setting but its a toggle between all layers or not...

View attachment 66199

So you can use both these tools on blank layers enabling you to see the underlying layers.

The 'Create New Layer' Icon is at the bottom of the layers panel...2nd from right next to the bin.

Regards.
MrToM.
Thanks very much.
Am slowly getting a handle on layers.

Michael
 

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