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Need instructions..layers

Mar 6, 2012 12:41 PM

In searching for more instructions for my new PhotoShop Touch it referred me to this forum.  Can anyone direct me to a thorough explanation of what all I can do with layers?  I'm hoping that say three layers each with a semi transparent state can each be given an effect or adjustment then blended together.  At present when I try this without knowing what I'm doing, one seems to just cover up the other.  I am wanting to experiment with taking a b&w of the same photo and blend it with a color or take one photo that has been blurred and mixing it with one with sharp focus.  Can this even be done?

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    Mar 6, 2012 2:36 PM   in reply to jbphotog

    In the simplest way possible:


    -Take one layer. Tap the "&" > Add Fade. Tap the Palette icon in the lower left of the options.


    -Adjust the fade the way you want it, including amount of alpha, how many stops, adjustment of stops, direction, opacity, etc. (To add stops, just tap anywhere between already-existing stops; to delete stops, quickly flick the stop upward. There must always be at least two stops.)


    Do this for each layer you want to blend.



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    Mar 6, 2012 10:22 PM   in reply to jbphotog

    Solid instruction on Photoshop layers applies here, but the best information has already been published over and over, for Photoshop. I have one 1000+ page book just on Photoshop layers alone, so there is a lot of power and need for study to really get the most out of layers.


    It's best to realize something new each day. I've been at it for over 15 years, every day and professionally, and I know there is still more for me to learn on this subject.


    Have fun with it,




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    Mar 7, 2012 12:34 PM   in reply to jbphotog

    Hi jbphotog,

    I may be misunderstanding what you are trying to do but I recommend that you spend some time experimenting with Layer Modes. Once you have your two or three layers created, try changing the layer modes on them to see what effects you get. Here is how you change the layer mode for a layer:


    Tap the Layer Options icon to view the things you can change about how your layer interacts with the layers below it. You can change the opacity here. But I'm suggesting that you play around with the different Blend Modes to find some cool effects. To view your blending choices, tap the popup menu under Blend Mode, then select one to see the effect. Here are a couple of screen shots to show you what I'm referring to:




    I hope this helps,


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    Mar 7, 2012 3:31 PM   in reply to jbphotog

    You're on the right track, jbphotog. As Luanne mentioned, you'll have to apply the use of more than one layer to get the effect you desire.


    Think of layers as simply that. Each can be manipulated so that, for example, a color image layer can be manipulated to show the black & white version of that same image underneath.


    In its most basic form, assume you have two images in your PS Touch composition (like Luanne illustrated), one color and one black & white as you wanted. Assume the color image is on the top (and if not, simply tap and drag it so it is on top) with the black & version underneath.


    Making sure the top layer is selected, apply the fade as I mentioned before. The color layer should "blend" with the black & white layer beneath it.


    Take a look at a sample project I made in PS Touch:



    This is a two-layer composition. The color image is on the top layer while the black & white version is underneath.


    Note the position of the fade on the image and its handles. The handle on the upper left represents the leftmost stop below in the fade options; the handle on the lower right the rightmost stop. The red color indicates how much alpha (transparency) is applied along the fade, in this case (from left to right), 0% transparency to 100% transparency. That means that the color layer this fade is applied to will not allow the black & white layer to show through until it gets about midway through. You can see this as you follow the fade from the top left (0% transparency) to the bottom right (100% transparency).


    Does this make it clearer?

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    Mar 7, 2012 7:03 PM   in reply to jbphotog

    Try the tutorial TV "Directional Blur" - this may answer your second question.

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    Mar 8, 2012 12:31 PM   in reply to jbphotog

    jbphotog wrote:


    Do you know what the merge buttons do?  The black buttons beneath blend mode?


    Thanks for the help. I'm pressing everything and either getting nothing or a mess.  I simply want get say three layers of the same picture, make them somewhat transparent, two will have effects, one will not then blend them into one to get an enhanced new photo with an artsy look to it.  That does not seem to be that difficult but without a tutorial or manual I can get it to work yet.

    "Merge Down" simply flattens a selected layer with the one underneath it. (This is the similar command available in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.)


    "Merge Visible" simply flattens all visible layers. (This is also similar to the command available in Photoshop.) You can hide and show layers simply by tapping the little dot in the upper left corner of the image in the layers panel. A hidden image is indicated by an exclamation point. ("!")


    Three layers of the same picture:


    Add the picture to your composition. Tap the plus sign in the layers panel (Luanne's image above illustrates this; it's right next to the layers button, to the right of it). Tap, "Duplicate Layer."


    Do this one more time (for a total of three layers). Select the layer you want to apply effects to. Do your magic. Do the same for the other layer.


    It's up to you where you want your original, unaffected image to be. I'd suggest the top of the layer stack if we're talking simple merges. If so, simply tap and drag the original image to the top of the stack. With the top layer selected, choose a blend mode as Luanne illustrated in her post. (I'd suggest "Multiply.")


    Remember that layers are all relative. For example, if you set the blend mode of the top layer to "Multiply," it will only blend with the layer below it. In order for the third layer all the way at the bottom to come into play, the second layer must also be set to a different blend mode. (Try "Multiply." You'll notice that the top layer blends with the second layer, and then the top and second layer blends with the third layer.)


    Experiment with other blend modes, like setting the second layer to "Overlay," with the top layer set to, "Multiply." You can also, of course, play with the opacity of each layer per Luanne's instructions.

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    Mar 10, 2012 12:53 PM   in reply to jbphotog

    jbphotog wrote:


    When you say "flatten" does that mean blend?


    When I refer to flattening, I mean merging two (or more) layers into one layer; it's a destructive process (meaning that I can't make anymore changes to one specific layer since it's now merged with another).


    Flattening is usually done when you're sure you're not going to make any more changes to that part of the composition.

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