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Layers - Adobe Photoshop Elements

I understand that layers are like transparent gels placed one on top of another as is done with animation film. What I don't understand is the WHY of using layers with photos. Does every photo have layers? Can you make or add layers from what is already there? Working from Philip Andrews book, he shows several thumbnails in layers or layer styles palettes but there is none when I open them with a photo on the screen. Thank you. Louis...

  1. #1

    Default Layers

    I understand that layers are like transparent gels placed one on top of another as is done with animation film.
    What I don't understand is the WHY of using layers with photos.
    Does every photo have layers? Can you make or add layers from what is already there?
    Working from Philip Andrews book, he shows several thumbnails in layers or layer styles palettes but there is none when I open them with a photo on the screen.
    Thank you.
    Louis
    louis_levin@adobeforums.com Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Layers

    Louis,

    You can work without layers if what you are doing is merely a matter of color correction of a digital photo, but layers add a lot of power to Elements. You can use Adjustment Layers that allow you to make corrections and enhancements in a non-destructive way. You can add text on its own layer that can be moved and edited later. You can do compositing of images and interact with each portion of the composite separately. You can apply shadows and styles to shapes and type.

    These are just a few of the things you can do that I can think of off hand. There are lots more. Elements gives you the flexibility to interact directly with the digital image or to use layers for more complex tasks. The choice is 100% yours.

    Rich
    Richard_Coencas@adobeforums.com Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Layers

    louis, do you actually have your Layers pallet open in Elements? If you don't, there might be layers in an image, but you won't be able to see them.
    Beth_Haney@adobeforums.com Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Layers

    I work almost exclusively with photographs. I'm not much of an artist otherwise, so I'm happy to have some kind of a creative outlet. I don't know how much you have worked with photographs using Photoshop Elements, but if I go in and make some changes to brightness or contrast or hue/saturation or whatever, and then find later on that I need to make those adjustments again, everything starts from the default base value of 0 again. However, if I use adjustment layers to make those same changes, I can always double-click on the layer in the pallette and I can see and modify the values that were previously set. Also, if I get into a typical photograph editing section I find I have a lot of added control if I can adjust each layer as I see how that adjustment interacts with other adjustments.

    I have a suggestion for you. Open a photograph and instead of just starting to make changes to it, add adjustment layers for levels, hue/saturation, brightness/contrast, etc., and just get a feel for the additional control you have. You can save it to a different filename so that you don't do anything to your original picture. I think you'll find, as I did, that adjustment layers are particularly valuable.
    Jim_Hess@adobeforums.com Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Layers

    Thank you all.

    And Jim, I will certainly play around with layers as you suggest. How do you create a layer?
    When you see the 0 designation does that mean there are none?
    Louis
    louis_levin@adobeforums.com Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Layers

    I usually start by creating a duplicate player. This protects my original image so that I can always go back to that point. Then, as I add additional adjustment layers they will be named like "brightness/contrast 1". Layer 0 just indicates that it is the base or bottom layer. The way you create new layers is by using the layer option on your menu bar. You will find options there for adding a duplicate layer as well as different types of adjustment layers.
    Jim_Hess@adobeforums.com Guest

  7. #7

    Default Layers

    I cannot get a second photo onto another. I open the first one and click on for a new layer, but can't add another picture.
    Thanks
    isleweb@adobeforums.com Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Layers

    isleweb, after opening your first go to file browser and bring in your second. Move it over so that both images are next to each other. With your second image selected use the 'move' tool and drag it over on top of your first image. Now you will see both images in your layers palette. Double click on the 'background' layer and you'll get a pop up prompting you to rename it ( default is layer 0 ) just click OK. Now you are set to edit ! Enjoy.
    Jodi_Frye@adobeforums.com Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Layers

    It is starting to work, but sometime when I use the move tool it only tries to move the second picture within its box and not over to the first picture.
    isleweb@adobeforums.com Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Layers

    well then just kick it over !..just kidding...na just keep your clicker pressed down and drag it right over there...another tip with that >if you hold the shift key down at the same time it will center the second image onto the first. Also, which i should have mentioned earlier, be sure both your images are the same resolution to avoid further despair. You can check the resolution of your images by going to toolbar>image>resize>image size.
    Jodi_Frye@adobeforums.com Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Layers

    Isleweb, if you stll have problems, try this.
    Select the image you want on top with "select all", go to "copy", go to your first image and apply "paste".

    This will do the job too.

    Leen
    Leen_Koper@adobeforums.com Guest

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