Create A White Layer In Photoshop

By | 20/08/2022

Master Photoshop layers: 6 pinnacle tips

6 Top tips to master Photoshop layers

Tony Foti explains what layer mistakes you are making and how to rectify them

Photoshop is a circuitous bit of kit, which tin can have years to learn properly. In that location are many helpful Photoshop tutorials
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around to help with this, but where should you start? The language of layers! It can exist a difficult thing to master, but having a good agreement of Photoshop layers gives you a solid foundation to build your digital art.

Beginners’ tips

Before you become started, it’south important to try and avoid these common Photoshop mistakes:

  • Don’t put every fiddling matter on different layers; it can dull downwards the process and the programme
  • Avoid merging everything into one afterwards until yous’re fairly certain in that location will be no more revisions. Moving an object or character is a lot easier when it’s on its own layer
  • Which layer was information technology that had the magic wing highlights? Was it 406? Or 306 copy12? Seriously, name your files sensibly and avert interrupting your painting flow
  • An extended painting session can dull downwardly Photoshop (it’s all down to virtual retentiveness usage). Then relieve your work and restart the program to free up this retention and accept a quick screen interruption
  • Working on projects with a high resolution or excessive layers can also slow the program down, which will change the style some tools perform. If y’all need the tool to run more than smoothly, save every bit a new file and reduce resolution temporarily

Got all that? Skillful. Now, let’s main the linguistic communication of layers. Right up in that location with the History function in the most useful features of Photoshop for artists list is the whole concept of layers. In the same fashion that traditional animators will use several sheets of acetate in a single shot, painting different parts of your picture on different layers means they can exist edited separately while still being viewable equally a whole.

01. Creating layers

Photoshop layers: Creating layers

Use ‘Window > Layers’ to toggle the layers window on and off

In about default viewing modes, the Layers window will be visible and either attached to the right side of the screen or floating around somewhere. You tin use ‘Window > Layers’ to toggle it on and off. New documents volition merely accept a background layer, but clicking the drib-down menu at the top right will give you a range of options, such as Create, Indistinguishable and Merge.

02. Locking layers

Photoshop layers: locking layers

Layer locking comes in handy when adding gradients

Sometimes when painting, I’ll demand to add a slope to an area without changing its edges, and that’s when Layer Locking comes in handy. Past clicking the pocket-sized chequerboard icon in the Layers window, any translucent areas will be unaffected by the tools, remaining articulate. Yous can freely brush without changing the all-important silhouette of what you’re painting.

03. Grouping

Photoshop layers: grouping

It is possible to highlight multiple layers at once

Complex assignments can pb to Photoshop files with over 100 layers, and when that happens y’all want to stay organised. Holding downwards
enables you lot to click and highlight multiple layers at in one case. And so get to New Grouping From Layers in the drop-down menu.

Y’all’re then asked to name the grouping. Now those layers will move together and be editable as a grouping by highlighting the grouping folder instead of the individual layer for whatever painting activity you lot’re using.

04. Adjusting the opacity

Photoshop layers: Adjust the optacity

Look to the right manus corner of the layers window to control transparency

Another useful office of layers is the ability to control their transparency. Upward in the correct corner of the Layers window is a drop-down slider labelled Opacity, which enables you do just that. This comes in handy for a variety of furnishings, such every bit creating sheer vesture, smoke and light beams.

05. Making backup saves

Photoshop layers: Backup saves

Make certain you create multiple saves and so you don’t lose anything

I like to create multiple save files for each image, in example ane becomes corrupted or if I make some huge mistake and save before realising information technology. This mode I always take several versions that are, at most, only a few hours less developed than what I was just working on.

When this happens, I’ll often open an older save file, delete the offending layer, and elevate my replacement from the old file (or a completely dissimilar analogy) over into the Layers window in my almost recent iteration.

This article originally appeared in


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mag issue 114.

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Freelance illustrator Tony Foti makes art for books, games, magazines and advertisements. His work can be found regularly in Fantasy Flight’s Star Wars lines.

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