Other Layers

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Fill layers

There are two types of layers of filler:  solid color fill  ,  gradient fill  and  pattern fill  . A fill layer has a parameter (for example, the gradient) and will produce a full-width rectangle, which is filled with the corresponding color, gradient, or pattern.

Of course, there are many ways to produce a layer full of color, gradient, or pattern. For example, you can create an empty layer and use the Brush tool to paint it with color. Filler layers have several advantages. They have a special thumbnail, which helps you see the purpose of the cape. Fill parameters (color, gradient, or pattern) can be easily modified. When you change the size of the canvas, the contents of the fill layers are automatically regenerated to fill the new canvas.

Press Layer – New Fill Layer in the top menu to add a new fill layer. The fill parameters can be changed in the Properties panel (the panel will be displayed after double-clicking the fill layer thumbnail).

Adjustment layers

Adjustment layers are the special type of layers. They do not contain any image data, but they do a color adjustment to the content below them.

Imagine you have a photo and want to take it in black and white (grayscale). Photoshop.com.ar offers you many ways to change the real pixels of the photo layer, to make them in grayscale. But with adjustment layers, you can make the photo look black and white, without actually changing the pixels on the photo layer.

You can simply add a Hue / Saturation adjustment layer on top of the photo layer and set the Saturation parameter to zero.

Press Layer – New Adjustment Layer in the top menu to add a new Adjustment Layer. Adjustment parameters can be changed in the Properties panel (the panel will be displayed after double-clicking the adjustment layer thumbnail).

Like any other layer, fill layers and adjustment layers can have their own blend mode, opacity, masks, etc. The mask of an adjustment layer will cause the adjustment to be made only in those areas of the content below, which are white inside the mask

Rasterizing layers

Each layer should have some pixel data, which will be used to combine the layer with other layers, to create the final image. But this pixel data can be generated in many different ways.

We can separate the layers within the PSD files into two different groups:  direct  (“regular”) raster layers and  undirect  raster layers. For direct raster layers, pixel information is the only information we have. For indirect raster layers, the pixel information is generated from other information.

Indirect layers are, for example, smart objects (their pixels are generated from the source image + position + transformation), fill layers (pixels generated from fill parameters), text layers (pixels generated from from some text and its parameters). We cannot perform specific pixel operations on these layers (for example, draw on them with a Brush or blur a part of the layer with a Blur tool).

To convert an indirect layer into a normal raster layer, we have to rasterize it (right click – Rasterize, or Layer – Rasterize). Smart objects will lose the link to the source image, text layers will lose text information, only pixel data will remain.

Clipping Masks

In PSD files, any layer can have the clipping mask option enabled   . When enabled for some layer L, then the transparency of the bottom layer (let’s call it K) will be used as a mask for layer L. In other words, botk K and L will be drawn, but only the transparency of K will be used.

Here we can see a text layer that contains this tool, and the grass photo on top. Normally, the grassy layer would cover all the text. But since grass is a clipping mask, the transparency of the text layer is used for both layers.

You can have many clipping masks on top of each other to create a  chain  of clipping masks. In such a case, the transparency of the first layer below them will be used for all layers in the chain.

The clipping mask can be enabled or disabled for any layer by right-clicking and selecting Clipping Mask, or from the top menu: Layer – Clipping Mask, or by pressing Alt + Ctrl + G.