9 Replies Latest reply on Aug 20, 2012 9:59 PM by conroy

    Can you add layers below a Composite Layer?

    *Rich* Level 1

      Once you create a composite layer at the top of your layer stack w. Option-click on "Merge Visible" in the Layer Panel Menu, is that new layer the only layer that now shows (represents) the image? For instance, if another adjustment layer is added below it, and the Background layer is the only image layer, will the effect of that adjustment be visible? Or do I need to delete the composite layer and create a new one to include the new adjustment layer?

       

      The reason I ask has to do with an illustration (below) I came across from one of Mark Johnson's old NAPP tutorials (Total Control Glowing Montage). In his tutorial "Layer 1" was created as a composite layer of the Background Layer and "Levels 1" which had a Smart Filter applied to it. Then the two "Levels 1" copy layers were added last to fine-tune the effect of the Levels 1 adjustment. Notice they are BELOW the composite layer. Does this work? Thanks.

       

      Composite Layer.png

        • 1. Re: Can you add layers below a Composite Layer?
          conroy Level 5

          If the layer at top of stack is in Normal blending mode and has no "Blend If" condition and has no (semi-)transparent pixels and has Opacity 100% and Fill 100% and no Layer Style Stroke that causes transparency (a bug) and has no masked-out region, then it will completely obscure the lower layers.

           

          Your top layer probably obscures everything

           

          An Adjustment Layer cannot affect a layer that is above it in a stack.

           

           

          do I need to delete the composite layer and create a new one to include the new adjustment layer?

           

          I take it you created the composite then added two Adjustment Layers which should be affecting the composite. They will have been added immediately above the layer(s) which was targeted at the time. Just drag these two misplaced Adjustment Layers to the top of the stack and they will affect whatever is below them. (Or drag your composite immediately under them.)

          • 2. Re: Can you add layers below a Composite Layer?
            *Rich* Level 1

            conroy2009 wrote:

             

            If the layer at top of stack is in Normal blending mode and has no "Blend If" condition and has no (semi-)transparent pixels and has Opacity 100% and Fill 100% and no Layer Style Stroke that causes transparency (a bug) and has no masked-out region, then it will completely obscure the lower layers.

             

             

            The composite layer at the top of the stack has a "Multiply" blend mode. Would that make a difference? Thanks.

            • 3. Re: Can you add layers below a Composite Layer?
              conroy Level 5

              *Rich* wrote:

               

              The composite layer at the top of the stack has a "Multiply" blend mode. Would that make a difference? Thanks.

               

              Yes, very much so. Multiply is a darkening effect (unless working in 32-bit float mode with channel values greater than 1) except when multiplying with pure white.

               

              I'm now unsure whether you do want to make the composite before adding two Levels adjustments on top of it, or whether you should be making the multiplying composite as the last stage. Can you post a link to the tutorial?

              • 4. Re: Can you add layers below a Composite Layer?
                *Rich* Level 1

                conroy2009 wrote:

                 

                 

                Yes, very much so. Multiply is a darkening effect (unless working in 32-bit float mode with channel values greater than 1) except when multiplying with pure white.

                 

                I'm now unsure whether you do want to make the composite before adding two Levels adjustments on top of it, or whether you should be making the multiplying composite as the last stage. Can you post a link to the tutorial?

                I no longer have access to the tutorial which I saw last year on the NAPP website. But here are the 5 steps mentioned:

                 

                1. Starting w. a Background layer, create a Levels Adj. layer w. Screen blending mode to overexpose image, "Levels 1."

                2. Create a composite layer and apply a smart filter, Gausian Blur with a Multiply blend mode to darken, "Layer 1."

                3. Preserve highlights by painting on Levels 1 mask with various opacities of black brush.

                4. Open the shadows by duplicating Levels 1 layer, fill mask with black and paint shadow areas w. white brush, "Levels 1 copy."

                5. If shadows are still too dark, repeat previous step by creating an additional duplicate levels layer and painting in shadows again, "Levels 1 copy, copy."

                 

                The affect looks great and is why I would like to figure this out. Thanks.

                • 5. Re: Can you add layers below a Composite Layer?
                  conroy Level 5

                  OK, according to the steps you listed, my first reply should have been correct. To recap, if you accidentally added the two Levels layers under the already existing composite then drag them above the composite or drag the composite below them.

                   

                  Whenever you create a new layer, it will appear above the highest layer that is currently targeted. If no layer is targeted, the new layer will appear at the top of the stack.

                   

                  You also can make a new layer appear below the targeted layer by pressing Cmd/Ctrl key while clicking a "new layer" button.

                  • 6. Re: Can you add layers below a Composite Layer?
                    *Rich* Level 1

                    The screen shot of the layers panel is right out of the tutorial. My guess is that the Levels 1 layer was selected when copies of it were being made for tweaking the initial adjustment and they automatically appeared where illustrated. But could you see the effect of them, if the composite layer is set to Multiply blend mode? Maybe the composite layer was indeed drug below them before painting on their masks?

                     

                    Wish I had the original Background file to test. I have an email in to Mark Johnson, who created the tutorial. Maybe I will hear back from him and then I will post his answer. Thanks.

                    • 7. Re: Can you add layers below a Composite Layer?
                      conroy Level 5

                      *Rich* wrote:

                       

                      ... But could you see the effect of them, if the composite layer is set to Multiply blend mode?

                       

                      Multiply only darkens; it doesn't completely obscure the layers below unless it darkens to complete black. Therefore expect the adjustment layers below the multiplying layer to contribute to the overall result.

                       

                      Hopefully MJ will clarify the exact steps to take. Good luck!

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Can you add layers below a Composite Layer?
                        *Rich* Level 1

                        MJ got back with me from msjphotography.com and confirmed that due to the mostly transparant nature of the Muliply blend mode of the Composite Layer, the position of the layers works as illustrated in this tutorial. But he also added there are many options for how layers are placed relative to the blend modes and layer masks used, depending on the initial background image and what type of "glow" treatment you want to do. Thanks.

                        • 9. Re: Can you add layers below a Composite Layer?
                          conroy Level 5

                          Thanks for the update!