Chapter 9. Using Layers

In This Chapter

  • Discovering layers

  • Using text as a layer

  • Implementing layer masks

  • Organizing layers

  • Using Smart Objects

  • Using 3D layers to create 3D objects

  • Merging and flattening a layered image

Layers are incredibly helpful in production. By using layers, you can make realistic additions to an image that you can remove, edit, and control with blending modes and transparency. Unfortunately, showing you all the features of layers goes beyond the scope of this chapter. This chapter covers basic layer concepts to get you started working with layers in Photoshop. We show you how to create composite images using easy layer features — just enough knowledge to get yourself into a complex mess of layers! Even if you're an experienced Photoshop user, read this chapter to discover all sorts of neat key commands that can help you in your workflow.

If you're a video professional, you can open videos in Photoshop. Photoshop Extended automatically creates a Movie layer, and with the Timeline, you can do pixel editing frame by frame!

You can also make regular layers into 3D files. Though many 3D features are beyond the scope of this book, you can discover enough to be dangerous in the later section "Experimenting with 3D Files."


Have fun with layers and don't worry if you mess up — you can always press F12 to revert the image to the state it was in the last time you saved it.

Creating and Working with Layers

Layers make creating composite images (images pieced together from other, ...

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