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Photoshop® CS4 All-in-One For Dummies® by Barbara Obermeier

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Chapter 1. Creating Layers

In This Chapter

  • Backgrounds versus layers

  • Taking a look at the types of layers

  • Working with the Layers panel

  • Creating layers

  • Compositing with multiple layers

  • Transforming layers

  • Automatically aligning and blending layers

People are often surprised and even downright shocked when I tell them that pretty much everything they can do with layers they can also do without them. Not using layers would be more technically challenging and a heck of a lot more tedious, but you could still get the job done. The benefit to using layers is that you have tremendous flexibility. The changes you make to the pixels on the individual layers are permanent, but the interaction between the pixels on different layers is dynamic. You can make endless edits as long as those layers exist. Layers make working in Photoshop a lot more forgiving, allowing you to make changes quickly and productively.

Creating Layers

But hey, it's not just the technical and practical aspects that make layers so wonderful. Layers also allow you to express your creative side, compositing several images into one with just a drag of the mouse. The only downside to layers is that each one makes your file size grow and therefore can start to slow your system performance. And you can save layers in only a few file formats. But the downsides are a small price to pay for something that makes your image-editing life so much easier.

Getting ...

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