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Thread: Simple Layer Tutorial

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    Pacific Northwest
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    Simple Layer Tutorial

    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.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Be well,

    "Teach, Learn, Thrive"~DM


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Englishman in Ont, Canada
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    That is a good little tutorial Fashmir to help the new members to grasp the concept of layers.
    Geoff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    7
    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..


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NC, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nani85 View Post
    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..

    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.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    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)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    7
    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?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Edinburgh, Scotland
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    This is a great thread, with some great questions and answers. Thanks guys.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    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...attening+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)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Desert Oasis, USA
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    54
    Quote Originally Posted by Fashmir View Post
    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.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Layers_A_01.jpg 
Views:	71 
Size:	208.4 KB 
ID:	71753Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Layers_B_01.jpg 
Views:	71 
Size:	215.1 KB 
ID:	71754Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Layers_C_01.jpg 
Views:	64 
Size:	222.3 KB 
ID:	71755
    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?


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    3,816
    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.

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