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How To Do Background In Photoshop

By | 13/10/2022





Photoshop New Background Layer Action

Creating A New Background Layer Activeness In Photoshop



Acquire how to create a new Background layer for a Photoshop document from scratch, and how to save your steps as a time-saving activeness! For Photoshop CS6, CC and earlier versions of Photoshop.

Previously, nosotros learned all about Photoshop’due south Groundwork layer and why information technology’due south different from normal layers. Since the Background layer serves as the groundwork for our document, there are certain things that Photoshop won’t permit us to do with information technology. The about important of those things are that we can’t motion the contents of the Background layer, we can’t motility other layers beneath the Background layer, and since the Background layer does non support transparency, we tin’t delete any pixels from the Background layer.

If you’re doing image retouching work (adjusting the exposure and dissimilarity, correcting colors, removing skin blemishes, and then on), the Background layer’s limitations probably won’t be an issue. But if you’re creating photograph furnishings, compositing multiple images together, or doing anything where yous need more than control over the initial photo you lot opened in your certificate, then the Background layer tin quickly become a problem.


Permit’s get started!

Permit’s expect at a simple example to show you what I hateful. Here’south an image I’ve opened in Photoshop. I downloaded this ane from Adobe Stock only yous tin can hands follow along with whatsoever image of your ain:

A black and white fashion portrait. Image 57490606 licensed from Adobe Stock by Photoshop Essentials.com

The original image.

Whenever we open an image, Photoshop automatically places information technology on the Background layer, as we come across here in my Layers console:

A black and white fashion portrait. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The Layers panel showing the paradigm on the Groundwork layer.

Allow’south say I want this epitome to announced in front end of a white groundwork, with the white groundwork acting equally a border effectually the photo. Sounds easy plenty, right? And yet, at that place’s a problem. Since my photo currently
is
the background for the document, how practise I place a different background under it? The reply is, I tin’t. Photoshop won’t allow us to place any other layers beneath the Background layer.

And allow’s say I as well desire to add a basic drop shadow below the image. Again, it sounds easy, merely we’re faced with the same problem. The photo would need something else beneath it in guild for the shadow to exist visible, just Photoshop won’t allow us place anything below the Background layer.

In fact, if we expect at the
Layer Styles
icon (the “fx” icon) at the lesser of Layers console, which is what we would normally click on to add together a drop shadow (every bit well as whatever other layer effects), we run into that the icon is grayed out. Photoshop won’t let us add layer effects to the Background layer:

The Layer Styles icon is currently unavailable. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The Layer Styles icon is currently unavailable.

So what’s the solution? Well, the solution actually has two parts to information technology. Get-go, we demand to convert our initial Background layer into a normal layer. That way, we’ll accept complete control over the epitome and nosotros’ll be able to do whatever we demand to practise with it. 2nd, nosotros need to create a new Background layer from scratch and place it below the paradigm.

Fortunately, the steps for doing both of these things are very simple. But fifty-fifty simple things take time. So, since this is something we’ll need to do a lot in Photoshop, rather than performing the steps manually every time, nosotros’ll go through them once hither and save them all as an
action.

What’southward an activeness? In Photoshop, an action is a pre-recorded series of steps. Yous simply create a new activeness and then record your steps. After that, any time you lot need to perform the same steps again, rather than doing them yourself, you lot just play the action and allow Photoshop exercise the work for you lot! In our case hither, once nosotros’ve recorded the steps for creating a new Background layer, then in the hereafter, we can allow Photoshop create ane for us just by playing the action. Allow’due south see how it works.

How To Create A Background Layer Action

Step i: Check Your Background Color

When we create a new Groundwork layer, Photoshop will fill the layer with our current
Background color. And so before we go any further, and to avoid unexpected results, we should check to brand certain that our Background color is set to the color we need.

We can see our current Foreground and Groundwork colors in the
color swatches
near the bottom of the
Tools panel. Past default, Photoshop sets the Foreground color to blackness and the Background color to white. Since white is the most common color for the background, these default colors work corking.

If your Foreground and Background colors are set to something other than the defaults, press the alphabetic character
D
on your keyboard to quickly reset them (think “D” for “Default colors”):

The Foreground and Background color swatches in the Tools panel. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The Foreground (upper left) and Background (lower correct) color swatches.

If yous’d rather make full your Groundwork layer with black instead of white, first press the alphabetic character
D
on your keyboard to reset the Foreground and Groundwork colors to their defaults (if needed). Then press the letter
Ten
on your keyboard to bandy them, which sets your Background color to black:

Press X to swap the Foreground and Background colors. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Press X to bandy the Foreground and Background colors.

Yous can press X once again if you change your heed to swap them back to the default settings, which is what I’m going to practise because I want my Background layer to be filled with white. Either way, just make sure y’all cheque your Background color earlier creating the Background layer.

Step two: Open The Actions Panel

To record our activity, we need to use Photoshop’s
Actions panel. Unlike the Layers panel, the Deportment panel is not one of the panels that Photoshop opens for us by default, and so nosotros’ll need to open information technology ourselves.

Go up to the
Window
bill of fare in the
Menu Bar
along the top of the screen. Here, you lot’ll find a listing of every panel that’s available to us in Photoshop. Select the Deportment panel from the list. If you meet a checkmark next to the panel’s proper noun, it ways the console is already open somewhere on your screen. If y’all don’t encounter the checkmark, become ahead and select information technology:

Selecting the Actions panel from under the Window menu. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Going to Window > Actions.

This opens the Actions panel. Photoshop includes a drove of default actions which are found in the cleverly-named
Default Actions
ready. Y’all can twirl the Default Actions set up open up to view the deportment within of it past clicking the
triangle
icon to the left of the little binder icon. Clicking the triangle once more will close the set up:

The default actions in the Actions panel in Photoshop. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Viewing Photoshop’south default deportment.

Step three: Create A New Activeness Set

We’re going to create our own activeness, and rather than adding it in with Photoshop’s default actions, allow’southward create a new
action set up. An action ready is like a folder that holds the deportment inside of it. Creating different action sets lets united states keep related actions together.

To create a new set, click the
New Set
icon (the folder icon) at the bottom of the Deportment panel:

Creating a new action set. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Clicking the New Set icon.

This opens the New Fix dialog box where nosotros give the set a name. You can proper name it anything you like. I’ll proper name mine “My Actions”. Click OK when you’re done to shut out of the dialog box:

Creating a new action set. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Naming the new action ready.

The new activeness set appears below the Default Actions set in the Actions panel:

The Actions panel showing the new set. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The new gear up has been added.

Footstep 4: Create A New Action

Now that we have our set, let’s create a new action. Click the
New Action
icon straight to the correct of the New Prepare icon:

Clicking the New Action icon in the Actions panel. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Clicking the New Activity icon.

This opens the New Action dialog box. Give your action a descriptive name. I’ll proper name mine “New Background Layer”. Then, make certain the
Set
selection (short for Action Set) directly below it is showing the action set you simply created, which in my case is named “My Actions”. We want to make sure the action is going to be placed into the right set:

The New Action dialog box. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The New Activity dialog box.

Stride v: Click “Record”

When you’re ready, click the
Record
button to close out of the dialog box and begin recording your action:

Clicking the Record button. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Clicking the Record button.

If we look once again in the Actions panel, we come across that the ruby
Record
icon has been activated, letting u.s.a. know that we’re now in Record mode:

Clicking the Record button. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Photoshop is now in Record mode.

From this moment on, Photoshop is going to record all of our steps so we tin play them back subsequently. Just don’t worry about how long it takes yous to consummate the steps. Recording an activity in Photoshop is non like recording a motion-picture show. In other words, we’re not recording in real time. Photoshop records only the steps themselves, not the time information technology takes to complete them. So sit back, relax, take all the time you lot need, and let’s tape our action!

Step 6: Convert The Background Layer Into A Normal Layer

The first thing we need to exercise is convert our current Groundwork layer into a normal layer. To practice that, go up to the
Layer
menu at the top of the screen, choose
New, and so choose
Layer from Background:

Selecting the New Layer from Background command. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Going to Layer > New > Layer from Background.

This opens the New Layer dialog box. Leave the proper name set up to “Layer 0” and click OK to close out of the dialog box:

The New Layer dialog box. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The New Layer dialog box.

If we wait in the Layers panel, we come across that our Background layer is no longer a Background layer. It’due south now a normal layer named “Layer 0”. So far, so adept:

The Background layer has been converted to a normal layer. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The Background layer has been converted to a normal layer.

Footstep 7: Add A New Layer

Next, we’ll add a new layer that will get our new Groundwork layer. Click the
New Layer
icon at the bottom of the Layers panel:

Clicking the New Layer icon in the Layers panel. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Clicking the New Layer icon.

Photoshop adds a new bare layer named “Layer 1” higher up the image:

The Layers panel showing the new blank layer. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The Layers console showing the new blank layer.

Pace viii: Convert The Layer Into A Background Layer

Let’s convert the new layer into a Background layer. Get back up to the
Layer
menu, choose
New, then cull
Background from Layer:

Selecting the New Background from Layer command. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Going to Layer > New > Groundwork from Layer.

A couple of things happen. First, as soon as we convert the layer into a Groundwork layer, Photoshop automatically moves the layer from
higher up
the image to
below
the image in the Layers console. That’s because one of the chief rules of Background layers is that they must ever be the lesser layer in the document. No other layers tin appear below a Groundwork layer.

Second, if nosotros wait at the Groundwork layer’southward
preview thumbnail
to the left of the layer’s proper name, nosotros see that Photoshop filled the Background layer with
white. As nosotros learned before, that’southward because Photoshop automatically fills the Groundwork layer with our current Groundwork colour. In my case, it was white:

The Layers panel showing the new Background layer. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The Layers console showing the new Background layer.

Footstep 9: Stop Recording

At this point, we’ve done everything we need to do. We’ve converted the original Background layer into a normal layer, and nosotros’ve created a brand new Background layer from scratch. Since at that place are no more steps to complete, let’s stop recording our action by clicking the
Stop
icon (the square) at the bottom of the Actions console:

Clicking the Stop icon to stop recording the action. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Clicking the Stop icon.

The steps for creating a new Groundwork layer are at present saved as an activeness! Nosotros tin can see the steps listed under the action’s name. Nosotros don’t demand to see them, though, so I’g going to toggle the action closed by clicking the
triangle
icon to the left of its proper name:

Closing the action by clicking the triangle. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Closing the action past clicking the triangle.

And now we see just the name of the action (“New Background Layer”) listed under the “My Actions” set:

The Actions panel showing just the name of the new action. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The Deportment panel afterwards closing the action.

Pace ten: Revert The Image

Lets exam our new action to make sure it works. To do that, we’ll revert the image back to its original country by going up to the
File
menu at the acme of the screen and choosing
Revert:

Selecting the Revert command from under the File menu. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Going to File > Revert.

The Revert command in Photoshop restores the epitome either to its previously-saved version or, as in our example here, to its original, newly-opened version. If we look in the Layers console, we see that we’re back to having our image every bit the Groundwork layer of the document:

The Layers panel after reverting the image to its original state. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The default Background layer has returned.

Step 11: Play The Action

Before we test the action, I’k going to bandy my Foreground and Background colors by pressing the letter
Ten
on my keyboard so that my
Background color
is at present
black
instead of white:

Setting my Background color to black. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Setting my Background color to black.

Let’south play the activeness and see what happens. To play it, click on its name in the Actions panel to select it:

Selecting the New Background Layer action. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Selecting the “New Background Layer” action.

And then, click the
Play
icon (the triangle) to play it:

Playing the action in Photoshop. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Clicking the Play icon.

No matter how long information technology took us to record the steps, Photoshop plays them back instantly. And if we wait again in the Layers panel, nosotros see that everything is already done! The original Background layer was converted to a normal layer named “Layer 0” and a new Groundwork layer was created and placed beneath it!

Discover that the preview thumbnail for my new Background layer is filled with black this time instead of white. That’s considering I set my Groundwork colour to black before playing the action:

The Layers panel after playing the action with the Background color set to black. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The Layers console after playing the action with the Background colour set to black.

Irresolute The Color Of The Background Layer

If you forgot to cheque your Background color before playing the activeness and ended up with the incorrect colour for the Groundwork layer, no worries. Yous can hands change its color afterwards. First, make sure the Background layer is selected in the Layers console. Then, get upward to the
Edit
menu at the meridian of the screen and choose
Fill:

Selecting the Fill command from under the Edit menu. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Going to Edit > Fill.

I demand my Background layer to be white, so I’ll set the
Use
option at the height of the Fill dialog box to
White:

Selecting a new color for the Background layer. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Selecting a new colour for the Groundwork layer.

Click OK to close out of the dialog box, at which point Photoshop fills the Groundwork layer with your chosen colour. If we expect again at the preview thumbnail for my Groundwork layer, we see that it’due south at present filled with white:

The Background layer color has been changed from black to white. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The Background layer color has been changed from black to white.

Of course, we haven’t actually seen the Background layer yet in the document because the photo is blocking information technology from view, so I’ll quickly resize my photo past kickoff selecting its layer (Layer 0) in the Layers panel:

Selecting the photo's layer. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Selecting the photo’southward layer.

And so I’ll get up to the
Edit
menu at the top of the screen and choose
Free Transform:

Selecting the Free Transform command from under the Edit menu. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Going to Edit > Free Transform.

This places the Costless Transform box and handles around the paradigm. I’ll press and concur
Shift+Alt
(Win) /
Shift+Selection
(Mac) on my keyboard as I click on the handle in the height left corner of the paradigm and drag it inward to make the photo a bit smaller. Holding the Shift key as I drag locks the aspect ratio of the image as I’m resizing it, while the Alt (Win) / Option (Mac) key resizes the image from its center rather than from the corner.

With the image now smaller, we tin run into the white groundwork appearing equally a border effectually it:

Resizing the image with Free Transform. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Resizing the epitome with Costless Transform.

I’ll press
Enter
(Win) /
Return
(Mac) on my keyboard to take the transformation and close out of the Free Transform command. So, I’ll add a drop shadow to the image by clicking the
Layer Styles
icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. This is the same icon that was grayed out earlier when the image was on the Background layer:

Clicking the Layer Styles icon in the Layers panel. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Clicking the Layer Styles icon.

I’ll select
Drop Shadow
from the listing of layer styles that appears:

Selecting Drop Shadow from the list of layer styles. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

Selecting a Drop Shadow layer style.

This opens Photoshop’due south Layer Style dialog box gear up to the Drop Shadow options in the centre column. I’ll set up the
Angle
of the shadow to
135°
and so that the light source is coming from the upper left. So, since I’m working on a fairly large image here, I’ll set the
Distance
of the shadow to
40 pixels, and I’ll set the
Size
value (which controls the softness of the shadow edges) to
forty pixels
as well. Finally, I’ll lower the
Opacity
of the shadow down to
50%:

The Drop Shadow options in the Layer Style dialog box. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The Drop Shadow options in the Layer Manner dialog box.

I’ll click OK to accept my settings and close out of the dialog box, and here’s my terminal event with the drop shadow applied:

The final result after applying the drop shadow. Image © 2016 Photoshop Essentials.com

The final result after applying the drop shadow.

That final part (resizing the paradigm and adding a drop shadow) was a bit beyond the scope of this tutorial (which is why I went through it quickly) but it served equally an case of something we could do with the image that would not have been possible if the image itself had remained the Background layer for the document. Converting the image into a normal layer and then adding our ain, separate Background layer below it freed us from the Groundwork layer’south limitations, making it piece of cake to achieve our goal.

And, since we recorded those steps as an action, the next time nosotros need to replace the default Groundwork layer with a new one, we can just play the activeness and let Photoshop do all the piece of work! And there nosotros have it!

Where to go next…

And there we take it! In the side by side lesson, we’ll learn all almost one of the most time-saving features in Photoshop, how to open multiple images as layers!

You lot tin can spring to any of the other lessons in this Photoshop Layers series. Or visit our Photoshop Basics department for more than topics!


Source: https://www.photoshopessentials.com/basics/creating-new-background-layer-action-photoshop/