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FREELessons: 20Length: 1.8 hours

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4.2 Editing Layers

Hi, welcome back. In this lesson, I'm going to show you how to work with layers. So we know how to create layers, and I'm going to show you some of the different ways in which you can change them. First thing to note is that whenever we create a letter, by default, that's set to normal. The blend mode is set to normal. So if I draw in this layer, and then I can create another layer on top of that with a different color. And I'll show you what these blend modes do. So if we change the blend mode from normal, so at the moment our colors are appearing in a normal way as we painted them. We can change that to darken. So, these pixels here darken anything that's lighter than the color we've drawn. So, at the moment it only affects the white pixels. We can multiply, and this sort of adds to the pixels underneath as if we're adding sort of a transparent sheet over the top. We can do color burn to burn that color into the lower color, linear burn to burn into everything. Subtract. We can lighten, so that's the opposite of darken there. Only the dark pixels are being effected. We can screen, which is changing the hue as well. We can color dodge, glow dodge. We can add, add but with a bit of a glow to it there. We can overlay. So this overlay is the colors that you put over the top. So if I put a lighter color over the top, it's lightening and changing the hue there. If I put a darker color over the top, you can see it's darkening and changing the hue. We can go for a soft light, a hard light, and a difference. Now, this is a bit of an odd one. It's basically telling you the biggest areas of difference between the two layers. I'll just change that back to normal now, and we can also change the opacity of our layer by layer by dragging this here. And you can see, the opacity goes down. If we move on to this part of the down here, we can create clipping layers. So what that's telling us is that the layer beneath is dictating the opacity of the layer above. So if we turn on clipping by clicking on this icon here, you'll see that this shape here is dictated by the shape underneath. You can turn that off again. Here, we have our reference layer icon. Here, we can lock the layer completely, so you can see I can't draw anything at all there. Or, we can lock the opacity. So all of our transparent pixels are now locked, but the pixels that have color in them, we can choose a different color. And you'll see that their opacity is locked, so I can effectively change the color of those. If we go down here, we have a few different ways that we can merge our layers. So, the first one is merging down transferring to the lower layer. So if I click that, you'll see that we still have two layers. But if I turn the visibility of this top layer off, you see that the contents of this top layer have gone down to this and maintained two layers. I'll just undo that, so we have them on separate layers again, and this one we can merge down. So let's combine our two layers into one layer, and all of our contents combined as well. We can add a mask to our layer. So if we choose the lasso tool, select an area like that. We can then click on this icon and that will be masked. And when we have a mask on a layer, you'll see that this bit, which was previously grayed out, now becomes available. And we can have two options, so Enable Mask and that has our mask enabled. You can untick that. And you can see that our mask is crossed out, and we can see everything on that layer. So if I tick that back on, we can also choose to show the mask. So everything that isn't purple here isn't masked. If we want to apply this mask, if we are done with this layer and we want to keep this, we can always click on this icon here. And that just applies our mask, and you can see we don't have a mask anymore, but it's kept those changes. A couple of other ways in which you can combine these layers, if you right-click on your layer, you can then choose Combine showing layer. So any layer that's showing will combine, and that will flatten our image like that. So we have just the one layer and everything is completely flattened. If we go back, right click that layer again, we can say combine copies of displayed layer. And what that does is essentially copy all of the layers that we have, flatten them down, and create them in a new layer like this. So if I turn the visibility of all these other layers off, it will still seem the same because we have a copy of all those layers which have been combined on the top there. The last thing we can do is merge our layers. So, we can select our layers by pressing shift on our keyboard, keeping it pressed down, and selecting the layers that we want to combine. We can right click them, and then choose merge layers, and that just merges the layers that you've selected. In the next lesson, I'm going to show you how to use correction layers to change the appearance of a picture.

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