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Fashmir
12-21-2012, 12:07 PM
Hey ArtRagers, I just wanted to take some time and help some of the people who are new to digital art in the understanding of layer basics. Hopefully we can build from there and expand the lessons to include more complex uses and concepts. So here's the first most basic lesson on layers.

717537175471755

limey-g
12-21-2012, 02:07 PM
That is a good little tutorial Fashmir to help the new members to grasp the concept of layers.
Geoff

Nani85
12-22-2012, 01:57 AM
omg..I'm so embarassed to even type this....but...why would we want to see the transparancy? I'm sorry, it's not you. It's me. I still don't really 'get it'....and your layer explanation is awesome and I totally thought how easy! but I am having trouble applying the concept to when I practice drawing etc on AR..

:confused:

Someonesane
12-22-2012, 04:07 AM
omg..I'm so embarassed to even type this....but...why would we want to see the transparancy? I'm sorry, it's not you. It's me. I still don't really 'get it'....and your layer explanation is awesome and I totally thought how easy! but I am having trouble applying the concept to when I practice drawing etc on AR..

:confused:

I think you may have the reasoning backwards. The point isn't to see the transparent area, it's to make a certain area transparent so that you don't see it. Fashmir is explaining a way to use the tools in ArtRage to remove the blue sky from the photo image, so that one may add a new background to the image on a layer beneath it. You could always paint over the image, but you'd have to constantly worry about not painting over the tree. Separating the tree from its background allows for more freedom to work around it.

copespeak
12-22-2012, 09:37 AM
Getting used to working with layers frees you up to edit anywhere in your painting. Like the mountains at the back can be altered at any time without messing up the tree, and maybe add some clouds in the sky. The tree always stays at the front, unless you want to put a giraffe or birds whatever in front of that. You can make a new layer without messing with the tree! Layers give you control over editing. Then you can merge when you think you have it just right.

Sometimes I make a duplicate layer of an excellent area, and turn it off while I do other stuff. That way if I don't like what I've done, I can delete that messed up layer and go back to the turned off one and use that.

Golly, now I'm getting confused! :0)

Nani85
12-22-2012, 11:43 AM
Ohhh..ok now I get it. THANK YOU EVERYONE!

The wording of transparancy was confusing me I think...but I understand now the point of layering and all.

No wonder when I was working on something I messed up and was playing around with the layer buttons and messed up a lot of stuff. But it's OK because it's all gonna take practice.

What is the difference between merging layers and 'flattening' a layer?

grayflo
12-22-2012, 02:04 PM
This is a great thread, with some great questions and answers. Thanks guys.

copespeak
12-22-2012, 05:05 PM
Here's a link for merging or flattening. I usually only merge, so am not spot on with what each does.

http://www2.ambientdesign.com/forums/showthread.php?32465-Merging-layers&highlight=flattening+image

Also, back to layers.... I always begin my painting on a new layer from the base one. That way you can edit everything above without disturbing the base. Unless of course you want to mush up/blend a coloured base with your painting. Phew!! :0)

Starry_Eve
12-22-2012, 05:27 PM
Hey ArtRagers, I just wanted to take some time and help some of the people who are new to digital art in the understanding of layer basics. Hopefully we can build from there and expand the lessons to include more complex uses and concepts. So here's the first most basic lesson on layers.

717537175471755

Err, how does that 'magic wand' tool know to only clear away the blue pixels? If I have a more detailed background layer, won't I have to carefully mask the area I want to keep? And am I correct to assume that the background layer must always be placed on the bottom?

copespeak
12-22-2012, 06:22 PM
The Magic Wand Tool will only select the same colour. You can hold down Shift and click on a new colour and it will add to your selection. Play with your Spread Curve until it selects what you want.

Starry_Eve
12-23-2012, 03:07 AM
The Magic Wand Tool will only select the same colour. You can hold down Shift and click on a new colour and it will add to your selection. Play with your Spread Curve until it selects what you want.

So that means the magic wand can 'erase' my white background even if it's a jpeg file?

copespeak
12-23-2012, 10:13 AM
Absolutely! Any colour is fair game. :0)

Starry_Eve
12-24-2012, 05:56 AM
Absolutely! Any colour is fair game. :0)


Ok, really dumb question, but... what does this 'magic wand' tool look like?? I opened up my ArtRage program, pulled down the 'Tool' menu and saw no 'magic wand' option. I'm sorry if I'm coming across as so clueless that I can't seem to find the nose in front of my face. :(

limey-g
12-24-2012, 06:28 AM
Ok, really dumb question, but... what does this 'magic wand' tool look like?? I opened up my ArtRage program, pulled down the 'Tool' menu and saw no 'magic wand' option. I'm sorry if I'm coming across as so clueless that I can't seem to find the nose in front of my face. :(


Here is it
Geoff

Starry_Eve
12-25-2012, 05:24 AM
Here is it
Geoff

Omg, duh me!!! Thanks so much, Geoff! I felt like putting a sack over my head when I saw that answer... Could someone please give me step by step instructions on how to paint a basic blue sky background without covering over my pegasus drawing? I found the magic wand and still can't figure out how to use it. :( I'm working with the ArtRage program on my PC laptop and a stylus.

71806

limey-g
12-25-2012, 05:34 AM
Omg, duh me!!! Thanks so much, Geoff! I felt like putting a sack over my head when I saw that answer...

Haha, we have all been there and done that at some time, ask questions any time, always here to help.
Geoff

Starry_Eve
12-25-2012, 06:23 AM
Omg, duh me!!! Thanks so much, Geoff! I felt like putting a sack over my head when I saw that answer... Could someone please give me step by step instructions on how to paint a basic blue sky background without covering over my pegasus drawing? I found the magic wand and still can't figure out how to use it. :( I'm working with the ArtRage program on my PC laptop and a stylus.

71806

Also need to mention that this is the jpeg picture I imported onto ArtRage as a layer...

limey-g
12-25-2012, 10:05 AM
Also need to mention that this is the jpeg picture I imported onto ArtRage as a layer...

Are going to paint more into the image that you have imported into a layer because the problem you have at the moment is that you have a mainly white object on a white background so the magic wand does not have anything to differentiate from the background.
If you are going to paint more in then you will then have something to make it stand out from the background.
An easier solution is to send it to me and I will remove the background like it is in photoshop and send it you back as a psd file and no white background.
Geoff
Just pm me

copespeak
12-25-2012, 10:09 AM
Sorry Geoff, I was writing this as you were yours.

Here's my contribution.

.......The drawing is on the first layer, so you have to isolate your picture from that in order to fill in with the blue.

To isolate, you need a unbroken line all the way around your pegasus. If you had your lines on a second layer, you can make some of that line white and it will still work, but on this one, join it with Black or the blue of the sky or whatever you want, so long as it's not white. Then click/select on the back ground with your magic wand tool, keeping your feathering curve right down. Fill in with the blue.

Hope that helps!

Starry_Eve
12-26-2012, 03:15 AM
Sorry Geoff, I was writing this as you were yours.

Here's my contribution.

.......The drawing is on the first layer, so you have to isolate your picture from that in order to fill in with the blue.

To isolate, you need a unbroken line all the way around your pegasus. If you had your lines on a second layer, you can make some of that line white and it will still work, but on this one, join it with Black or the blue of the sky or whatever you want, so long as it's not white. Then click/select on the back ground with your magic wand tool, keeping your feathering curve right down. Fill in with the blue.

Hope that helps!


So there seems to be at least 2 solutions to this problem?... It would be easier if I could just 'see' your instructions here <sighs>... From what I'm understanding, it sounds like you want me to trace the pegasus with blue as a new layer and then, the magic wand can fill the background with the blue color? The foreground and background layers may not merge together though since the image is a jpeg?

If I PM both you and Geoff my picture, would you guys mind posting a visual step-by-step tutorial of your tips?

Starry_Eve
12-26-2012, 03:25 AM
Are going to paint more into the image that you have imported into a layer because the problem you have at the moment is that you have a mainly white object on a white background so the magic wand does not have anything to differentiate from the background.
If you are going to paint more in then you will then have something to make it stand out from the background.
An easier solution is to send it to me and I will remove the background like it is in photoshop and send it you back as a psd file and no white background.
Geoff
Just pm me

I might touch up the pegasus a bit, but I mainly want a blue sky background... I could convert the image file into a TFF or PNG, but I think the white background would remain, wouldn't it?

I would PM you except for whatever reasons, I just discovered that I don't have access to the PM function. :( Who can I ask about this additional problem now? :confused:

limey-g
12-26-2012, 05:50 AM
Maybe you have to have so many posts before you can get into PMs not sure on that.
Going back and looking at your Pegasus as already mentioned for the magic wand to work it has to be completely enclosed which is almost what you have other that joining up the feathers at the outer edge of the wings to enclosed them, then you will find you can use the tool.

Geoff

copespeak
12-26-2012, 10:53 AM
If you are still having trouble, just post a small size of your image here, and I will be happy to do you a how-to

Starry_Eve
12-26-2012, 03:46 PM
Maybe you have to have so many posts before you can get into PMs not sure on that.
Going back and looking at your Pegasus as already mentioned for the magic wand to work it has to be completely enclosed which is almost what you have other that joining up the feathers at the outer edge of the wings to enclosed them, then you will find you can use the tool.
If you are still a little confused send it to me [email protected]
Geoff

Thanks for your email, Geoff! I sent the file over to your yahoo address. Let me know if it opens ok or if it's too small. I guess I'll try again on my own too and re-do the wings so that the edges are closed. I think it would be helpful to see your how-to solution as well as copespeak's. Seems like there's always more than one way to reach the same result!

Starry_Eve
12-26-2012, 03:50 PM
If you are still having trouble, just post a small size of your image here, and I will be happy to do you a how-to

Here's the image... I hope it's not too big?

71829

copespeak
12-26-2012, 06:30 PM
Back again. Geoff is obviously doing great work here, and I will be interested to see how he would attack it. I have done it the way I would do it in Art Rage so that you and others can see there are possibly more ways than one to achieve a task. The same is very obvious in Photoshop, and I am constantly amazed to discover that a method that has been working for me for years has other ways to reach the same or similar result.

So, I have gone around the missing edges with a fine dark Ink Pen, trying to keep to the casual style of drawing. There were lots of areas with missing pieces, or parts that weren't dark enough, so I patched them.

71835

If you click with your Magic Wand (selection) on the white, you will see there are lots of gaps.

71836

Use your Canvas Positioner to rotate so you get clean lines with your pen.

When you think your lines are connected, test with the Fill Bucket and fill with blue. If not, go back and have a look to see where it is leaking through (like water through a hole!). Patch the hole and try again. When you succeed, hit with the bucket a few times as it can eat up a few rogue pixels as you go.

71837

Nearly there! This a bit of a 'dirty' drawing with lots of rough colours around the edges, so you should go back in with your blue sky Ink Pen, rotating your canvas as you go, and stroking all that rubbish away. Practice to get light, smooth lines; it's a skill that's worth having.

71838

If you want to change your sky colour, it can be easily selected with the magic wand. If you want it on a new layer with a complete blue layer underneath, use that selection and then Invert Selection, CTRL X (cut) and CTRL V (paste) onto a fresh layer. Go back to the blue sky layer and hit the white spot with the Fill Bucket again to fill it.

71839

Job's Done! I'm not giving you the finished image because I would love to see you try it yourself. Enjoy!

Starry_Eve
12-27-2012, 03:13 AM
<claps delightedly> You are a godsend, copespeak! I can't wait to try your instructions after I get home from work today!!!

Err... when I click the magic wand on the white area, we're referring to the white area of the background, right?

Fashmir
12-27-2012, 10:02 AM
Wow! I was away a bit for holiday visits and checking in on this thread made me happy to see Geoff and Copespeak jumping in and helping. This is a great example of the strength of this forum. Thanks for being generous and helpful guys. :)

copespeak
12-27-2012, 10:16 AM
Hi Fashmir, I was a bit worried we had highjacked your wonderful beginning, but we have had fun while you were away.

Starry Eve .... click on the white background if you want to see how it selects, but the most important thing to begin with is to do your dark outline so it doesn't leak into the pegasus.

If you want to whiten the pegasus, you can do the same on the inside, but you need to be careful not to lose the lightest lines that are part of the drawing.

Come back and tell us how you went! :0)

Starry_Eve
12-27-2012, 04:44 PM
Since Geoff's transparent psd background conversion of my pic didn't want to cooperate, I couldn't attempt his version. Thanks for trying anyways, Geoff! Following copespeak's excellent instructions took me almost 2 hrs of near eyestrain, but it gave me the results I wanted <woohoo!>:

71846

I wanted to post the step-by-steps of what I did by cutting and pasting each of the ArtRage images as I went along; however, I had cut and pasted onto MS Word which I shouldn't have done because now, I don't know how to convert the word document into image files for upload!

Soooo...what do I do to add clouds on the blue sky...? Add a new layer?

Also, what does 'Aspect', 'Smoothing', and 'Anti-aliasing' mean?

limey-g
12-27-2012, 05:04 PM
Well done it has come out very nice, as to clouds just simply adding a layer between Pegasus and the blue sky and painting your clouds and the advantage of this is that you can control the density of your clouds.
Sorry my file would not come through for you but this way you did it yourself and you will not forget.
Geoff

copespeak
12-27-2012, 06:43 PM
You are very clever. What a great result for your first try. :0)

Starry_Eve
12-28-2012, 03:25 AM
If I were only half as clever, it wouldn't have taken me so long to figure out how to color a 'simple' background! Students are only as good as their teachers, yes? ;)

I will keep you guys posted with my cloud attempt process as I start it, but umm, would someone please explain anti-aliasing, smoothing, and aspect for me?...

copespeak
12-28-2012, 07:02 PM
71872

No anti-aliasing on the left - hard pixelated edges. Anti-aliasing in the middle - softened edges BUT no 'Smoothing' - i.e. a bit wiggly. Right hand side - 'Smoothed' - no wiggles, just a lovely smoooooth line.

Available in Ink Pen only so you can do lovely sleek outlines. The only thing you need to learn is to adjust the level of smoothing so that it doesn't move your lines to where you don't want. Do a circle with smoothing and you will discover what I mean.

71873

Aspect is the proportions of your work. if you start with 10 X 4, and increase to 20, the 4 side will automatically adjust to 8. If you want to resize your canvas to a different shape, uncheck the Preserve Original Aspect box.
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***** If you have a question, there are many here who will be glad to help, but if you can pop your query into the search engine first, and see if it is already in the Forums. Even get into Google and search. Anti-aliasing is there in abundance, and so is Aspect. It's amazing what other information will pop out and add to your knowledge as well.

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Starry_Eve
12-29-2012, 03:28 AM
Thank you, copespeak! You guys are my ArtRage Sages! ;)

So that's why the ink lines 'jumped' a bit when I was tracing the contours of my drawing... yes, I will do more research with my questions first since most of what I need to know seems relatively basic and shouldn't be too difficult to find on Google and/or Youtube. I do appreciate everybody's efforts and patience with my ignorance. My apologies and sincere gratitude!