Layers are flexible, they allow you to EXPERIMENT and explore.

•You can move them up/down in the layers palette, revealing or concealing image parts
The layer stack

•Shift or reposition the image components with in the canvas

•You can change the layer opacity or blend modes

•You can transform layers

•Layers increase file size…

Background Layer:

•Do not work on the background layer ever, 
duplicate the layer
(drag to new layer icon at the bottom
of the layers palette or -mac, command ”j” -pc, control ”j”)

•A background layer cannot support layer masks or blend modes

•You can turn the background into a regular layer by double clicking
on the layer and renaming in the dialogue box that appears

•You can turn a regular layer into a background layer by

Menu, Layer – New – Background from Layer

To move a Layer:

•Click and hold the layer icon

•Drag the layer up or down

Linking Layers:
•Temporarily link, hold the shift key while selecting layers they will be highlighted indicating linked status

•Permanent link while layers are temp linked click the link icon at the bottom of the layers palette

Transparency in a Layer is indicated by a GRID PATTERN

Neutral Layers:
•Fill Layers

•Type Layers

-A new layer is created automatically, when you select the type tool and type onto the canvas

-To add texture to a type layer you must rasterize the type. (you cannot go back and
edit the text after it has been rasterized) duplicate the text layer, turn off the original text
layer and the rasterize the duplicate layer, to allow for edit ability later Layer styles.

Name your Layers for easier navigation

•To name a layer, double click on the generic layer name, it will highlight
allowing you to rename.
•Color Coding layers and layer groups, when the layer is double clicked a
dialogue box opens you can rename the layer and add a color to the layer

Layer Sets, Groups

Place related layers together in a Set or Group

•A set is a Folder that can be open to reveal all layers or collapsed 
revealing only the layer set.

•4 layer sets can be nested inside a set

Creating Layer Groups

1) Select new layer set from the layers palette menu, name the set, drag layers
 into set folder.

2) Link the layers for the set together, from the layers palette fly-out menu, select,
 new layer set from linked
3) Link the layers for the set together, then drag any one to them to create new
layer set button at the bottom of the layers palette.

Delete Layer Groups

1) Drag the layer set to the trash can at the bottom of the layers palette
2) Delete layer set from the layers palette menu
 Options: cancel operation, delete set but not contents, delete set.

3) Command drag control drag, to the trash can in the layers palette will allow
 you to delete the set but not the contents.

•When a layer group is created the blend mode is changed to pass through. This allows the layer set to interact with layers below
•A Layer Group can have a Mask, a mask will mask all of the layers contained in the set.

You can:

•Merge visible
-any layer that is visible will be merge into one, a visible layer has its
eyeball on

•Merge down
-the active layer will merge to the layer directly below

•Flatten layers -all layers will be flattened into one

-Do not throw away layers unless they are wrong or unnecessary

-Do not flatten unless you are going to print

File Size:
•8bit images

-Photoshop just adds the pixel info for each layer

-Fill and Adjustment Layers only add 4k-6k to the file size unless you use the mask

•16bit images
Any layer doubles the file size in these high bit images

When things are not working:

Questions to ask yourself?

1) Is the correct layer active?

2) Am I working on the Layer? or Layer Mask?
3) Is there an active selection?

-mac, Command “D”

-PC, Control “d”

4) What tool are you using
-What options are set in the options bar?

5) Are you in QM Mode?

When things appear not to be working 
STOP clicking, examine what you are doing, evaluate, fix the problem.

Working with Layers
Some common pitfalls, don’t panic, take a breath and review this list.
1) Look -Is the correct layer active?

2) Look -Are you working on the layer or the layer mask?

3) Command “D” -Is there an active selection? not now.

4) Look -Are you using the right tool? Check the options bar, are your options set as you would like?

5) Look -Quick Mask Mode? yuck, go back in your history panel and get out of this.

6) Don’t panic, go through this list, look at the history panel, step back and move forward.

For more detail check out, Photoshop Masking and Compositing: PG 264-265