Layers Part 2
Select Layer 1 of our squiggly red picture, like this:
Now choose the Move tool from the ToolBox:
We already know how to move the layer about and reposition
the red squiggle. In the picture below I used the move tool to move
the red squiggle in Layer 1 to the left.
|TIP: If a layer has to be moved by only
a single pixel (dot) at a time an easy way to do this is to
use the arrow keys on your keyboard. Just click the up, down,
left or right arrows to nudge the layer in any direction.
But what if we wanted to reposition the red and blue
squiggles together. This may be a very important thing to do, especially
if we have lots of layers making a complex image, because moving
like ten layers to the exact same position would be murder. So what
we do is link together all the layers we would like to move. To
do this click on the second check box next to the eye icon until
it has a chain link icon over it (encircled in red).
In our squiggle picture we only have two layers (and
a background layer) so I have linked together both Layer 1 and Layer
2. Once this is done I can use the move tool and they will move
You may have noticed that only Layer 2 looks linked. In fact
both layers are linked, but because I have selected Layer 1
it shows the brush icon instead of the link. Since Layer 1 is
selected even if it wasn't linked it would still move because
the move tool moves the selected layer plus any layers that
are linked to it.
Don't skip this bit, locking layers is a vital skill
to learn if you want to benifit from using Layers, you'll see why.
Okay, imagine you have one layer perfect, exactly as you want it.
There are four ways you can protect your layer from being changed
First you can stop all alterations to your
layer (option 4 in the above
picture). This is the best way to protect your layer because it
makes it imposible to move the contents of the layer or draw on
the layer or do any changes like that. Anytime you lock a layer
a little lock icon appears on the Layer that is locked. For example,
in the picture below we can see that Layer 2 is locked. Since this
option locks all layers all other lock options are greyed out to
Other lock options let you lock the layer so it cannot
be moved (3) and locking the
layer so it can be moved but cannot be painted on (2).
These options are pretty straight forward but the best is still
|TIP: If you need to lock out many layers
at once first link them together and then lock them. You can
also go to: Layers > Lock all Linked
Lock Layer Transparency
The final locking option deserves special attention
because its so damn useful! It locks the layers transparency (1).
This means you cannot paint over where the layer is normally transparent.
Lets go back to our squiggle example again to explain
what this does. Click on the blue layer (layer 2) and make sure
the lock transparency option is selected as can be seen in the picture
Next, choose a new colour (I've chosen green) and
scribble across the middle of layer 2.
Wow! See what happened?! You can draw anywhere on
that layer where there was already a picture. But since the transparent
part of the layer is locked out the only part the green draws over
is the blue squiggle! Now select the layer with the red squiggle
and lock the transparency on that one too, you get the idea!
|TIP: Do you remember what I said in my selections
guide? Although you can save selections and reload them when
you need to its a pain in the neck. Instead of saving selection
I prefer to just add more layers and preserve the transparency.
If done correctly this technique is just as simple as saving
selections only faster. Spend some time playing about with this
one and you should get the idea!
Ready for more, then go onto my Layers guide Part