Layers... group, collapse, merge, etc...

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    Layers... group, collapse, merge, etc...

    One of the things I like about Photoshop is the ability to directly merge a layer down to the layer below it, bringing it's blending type and opacity info along with it. It seems as if in Painter I must group and then collapse them... is this correct? Or is there another way to work this? I don't mean dropping a layer, which seems to simply take the layer and merge it with the background regardless of the layer's current position in the hierarchy, but rather the Painter version of Ctrl-E where you are still working within layers above the background after the merge or drop or... what have you.

    Also, any hints on working with layer groups so that, until you're used to it, you more easily track what is where? I think layers may be dangerous and too much of a crutch in Painter, more-so then PS, but until I get more comfortabe, they are something of a safety valve.

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    Re: Layers... group, collapse, merge, etc...

    Originally posted by vfxart
    One of the things I like about Photoshop is the ability to directly merge a layer down to the layer below it, bringing it's blending type and opacity info along with it. It seems as if in Painter I must group and then collapse them... is this correct?

    Or is there another way to work this?
    It's true that in Painter to "merge" Layers, we need to hold down the Shift key and highlight all Layers we want to group, use Group, then use Collapse.

    In Painter 8, there are three places where these commands can be found:

    Layers menu

    Layer Command icon (left icon) at the bottom of the Layers palette

    Layers palette menu

    If all Layers are in Composite Method Default (don't use Normal), they can be grouped and collapsed with no problem.

    If any of the Layers are in a Composite Method other than Default, though we can still group them, the Collapse option will be greyed out.

    Depending on your image, what kinds of Layers it contains, and the end result you want, the solution to this problem will vary. So, in order to give you the best possible solution, we'll need to know the details (all of them).



    I don't mean dropping a layer, which seems to simply take the layer and merge it with the background regardless of the layer's current position in the hierarchy, but rather the Painter version of Ctrl-E where you are still working within layers above the background after the merge or drop or... what have you.
    Since the Painter Canvas is always opaque and cannot be made truly transparent, when a Layer is dropped to the Canvas, even if the Layer contains some transparent areas, the result will be the opaque Canvas with whatever was on the Layer added on top of it. If the Canvas was painted, the Layer image is added on top of the painted Canvas. If the Canvas was a solid color, or white, the Layer image is added on top of the solid color, or white, Canvas.


    Also, any hints on working with layer groups so that, until you're used to it, you more easily track what is where?
    Renaming Layers and renaming Groups is a good way to keep track of "what's where". To do this, in the Layers palette list, double click the Layer (or Group, if the Layers have been grouped), and you'll see the current name of the Layer or Group highlighted in the top field of the Layer Attributes dialog box. Type a descriptive name and click the OK button. You can rename the Layer or Group at any time if you decide another name would be better.

    You can also Shift-click multiple Groups and group them to get them out of the way when your Layers list gets too long.

    Locking Layers and Groups is also a good idea when you're not going to be working on them for a while. This will ensure they won't be moved or accidentally painted or altered in any way. To lock a Layer or Group, first highlight it in the Layers palette list then click the Lock icon above the Layers list.

    Click the the Layer's or Group's Eye icon to make it invisible if you need to temporarily have it out of view.


    I think layers may be dangerous and too much of a crutch in Painter, more-so then PS, but until I get more comfortabe, they are something of a safety valve.
    What's "dangerous" is not knowing how to handle things and not knowing how to get yourself out of a pickle should that happen. If you're unsure, just post a message describing the situation and we can try to help prevent "pickles" before you get into them.

    It might be good to open a practice Canvas, add multiple Layers of all kinds (Default Layers set to various Composite Methods other than Default, Water Color Layers, Liquid Ink Layers), paint a little on each Layer, then practice grouping and collapsing, dropping Layers, and using the other commands found in the Layers menu, Layers palette menu, and Layer Command icon's drop down menu. When you run into problems, make notes and post a message here asking us how to solve them, including all pertinent details, your Painter version (with update/patch number if any), and your OS number. All of this information will help us give you the best possible answers.

    Please do not PM me with Painter questions. Instead, post them here where everyone can benefit from them. Thanks!

    Jinny Brown
    Visit PixelAlley.com
    and The PainterFactory
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