Additional Layer Application
As we learned before, the Layer tool is quite expansive and versatile, and can be used in a variety of ways other than the basic adjustments. Here we will look at some additional, more advanced ways to use Layers.
Each layer that you make over an image can have its opacity adjusted. This decides how much transparency or opacity the layer will have, or how visible the layers below it will be.
- To begin, choose the layer on which you want to adjust opacity.
- On the top of the Layers panel, there will be the Opacity option which will have a drop-down button.
- There will appear a slider which you can drag from left to right, to adjust the layer opacity. If the opacity is set to the lowest level, the layer will become completely invisible.
Photoshop, by default, uses a background layer for the majority of documents. The opacity and visibility of a background layer cannot be altered. There will be some occasions when you will want to alter the background layer and make it transparent. This can be done by hiding each layer except the one you want to show up front. There will appear a checkered pattern behind that specific layer, which indicates that the background layer is not visible.
Dodge and Burn, as tools, are tried and tested techniques that have been borrowed from the era of film photography. These 2 tools are used to lighten or darken specific areas of an image, and are used to accentuate the already captured lights and shadows, in a non-destructive fashion. Conveniently, both tools work in the same way and the following guide can be used for both.
- Begin by creating a new layer
- Open the Edit button at the top of the interface, and choose fill.
- From here, you can choose the amount of gray that you can fill the layer in. Set the level at 50 percent gray.
- Select either the Dodge tool or the Burn tool
- Select the tip of the brush that you want to use on the image.
- There will open an options bar, in which you can select the range of the application.
- Now, you can drag the brush over the section of the photo that you want to either Dodge or Burn.
Sometimes when editing, you may want only a particular section of a layer to be visible. For example, you may wish to remove a background from layers, so that the layer underneath it may show through. Layer Masks let you do this in a non-destructive manner.
Let us first start with creating a Layer Mask.
- Start by choosing a layer and clicking on the Layer Mask button at the base of the panel.
- A Layer Mask, in the shape of a white colored thumbnail, right beside the layer icon. You can edit the layer mask using a Brush tool.
Now, let us move on to editing a Layer Mask.
- Start by selecting the thumbnail for the layer mask.
- Next, open the Brush tool, and set the color of the foreground to white.
- Click on the areas of the layers and drag, to reveal the areas of the layer.
- Now, set the color of the foreground to black and drag the brush in the same way. This will hide the areas over which the brush has been dragged.
- Continue dragging the brush tool as desired.