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Separating image parts into layers
How do you get an object separated out and on its own layer? One answer is
that you can select the object and turn it into a new layer, called promoting a
selection. Take these steps:

1. Select the desired chunk of any existing layer (the background layer,
for example) by using any of the Paint Shop Pro selection tools.
We cover selection tools for normal (raster) images in Chapter 9. To
select an object on a vector layer, click the object with the Object
Selector tool (at the bottom of the Tools toolbar).
Is your selection tool not selecting on the object you want? Remember
that selection works within only one layer at a time. Your object may be
on a different layer than the active one. On the Layer palette, click the
layer where that object lives to make that layer active. Then try select-
ing again. If you™re not sure where that object lives, pause your cursor
over each layer™s name, one at a time, and look for your object in the
thumbnail image of the layer™s contents.
2. On the Layer palette, click the layer that you want the new layer to
appear above.
3. Choose Selections➪Promote to Layer from the Paint Shop Pro
menu bar.
A new layer, cleverly named Promoted Selection, appears on the Layer
palette. Although nothing appears to change in your image, your selec-
tion is now on that Promoted Selection layer.

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Chapter 11: Layering Images

Your object is now on its own layer. A copy of that object remains on the orig-
inal layer. You can now deselect the object; press Ctrl+D or choose
Selections➪Select None.

If you would prefer that no copy be left behind when you promote a selec-
tion, drag the selection slightly after Step 1. On the background layer, this
action leaves behind an area filled with the background color. On other
layers, the area becomes transparent.

Another way to separate image chunks into layers is to select the chunks and
then cut and paste the chunk as a new layer (see the following section).

Copying, cutting, and pasting with layers
A good way to get an image or chunk of an image onto a layer is to copy (or
cut) it and then paste it as a new layer. This approach uses the same, familiar
Windows Clipboard system that other applications use, which is a great way
to combine multiple images, even if the additional images come from a pro-
gram other than Paint Shop Pro. In the following sections, we tell you how to
copy, cut, and paste a selected image as a new layer.

Copying or cutting an image
You can copy or cut images from a variety of sources. Here™s how to do it:

From a program other than Paint Shop Pro: First, open that program
and display the image you want. (You don™t need to close Paint Shop
Pro.) Exactly how to copy or cut an image from that program varies
somewhat from program to program. By copying from a Web page in
Internet Explorer, for example, you can right-click the image and then
choose Copy from the menu that appears. In many programs, click the
image to select it and choose Edit➪Copy to put a copy on the hidden
Windows Clipboard.
From another layer within your Paint Shop Pro image: On the Layer
palette, click the layer containing the object you want. Select the image
chunk you want with any of the Paint Shop Pro selection tools. (Refer to
Chapter 3 for help with selection tools. If the layer is a vector layer, use
the Object Selector tool at the bottom of the Tools palette.) Then choose
Edit➪Copy (or Edit➪Cut, if you want to remove the chunk from its cur-
rent layer).
From another image file: Open that file in Paint Shop Pro. A new
window appears and displays that image. Use any of the Paint Shop Pro
selection tools to select your chosen chunk. Choose Selections➪Select
All if you want to select the whole image. Choose Edit➪Copy to copy
from the active layer. To copy combined images from all layers, choose
Edit➪Copy Merged.

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Pasting the image as, or on, a new layer
After you have copied (or cut) an image to the Windows Clipboard, you can
paste it as a layer or on an existing layer. Here™s how to paste it as a layer:

1. Click the title bar of the window in Paint Shop Pro where you want to
This step makes sure that you paste it in the right place.
2. On the Layer palette, click the layer that you want the new layer to
appear above.
To put a layer above the background layer, for example, click
Background. If your image has only one layer, you can skip this step
because Background is already selected.
3. Choose Edit➪Paste➪As New Layer or press Ctrl+L.
Your image appears as a new layer, and the Paint Shop Pro cursor
appears as a 4-headed arrow. That cursor tells you that Paint Shop Pro
has automatically selected the Move tool for you.
(If you copy a vector object from outside Paint Shop Pro, such as a
Microsoft Draw object from Microsoft Word, Paint Shop Pro converts it
to a raster layer when you paste it. First, however, Paint Shop Pro dis-
plays a dialog box labeled Meta Picture Import. In that dialog box, set
Width in Pixels and Height in Pixels to the sizes you want for the pasted
image and click OK.)
4. Drag your newly pasted image where you want it.

When you™re done dragging, consider clicking the arrow tool (at the top of
the tool palette) or some other tool to avoid accidentally dragging the selec-
tion with subsequent mouse motions.

You can also paste an image on an existing layer rather than paste it as its
own new layer. After you have copied or cut the image to the Windows
Clipboard, click the existing layer™s name on the Layer palette and choose
Edit➪Paste As New Selection or press Ctrl+E. The image appears; drag it
where you want it and then click to make it a floating selection. Press Ctrl+D
to deselect the image.

Copying entire layers from
one image to another
When you start using layered images, you may find that a layer you created
in one image is useful in another image. To copy a layer (or layers) from one

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Chapter 11: Layering Images

image to another, you drag the layer from the Layer palette of the source
image to the destination image. To do so, take these detailed steps:

1. Open both images in Paint Shop Pro.
Each image gets its own window. Arrange the windows so you can
see at least part of both images. (For example, choose Window➪Tile
2. Click the title bar of the destination image.
By destination image, we mean the one where you want the layer to go.
3. On the Layer palette, click the layer above which the new layer is
to go.
Clicking makes that layer the active one.
4. Click the title bar of the image containing the layer you want to copy.
5. On the Layer palette, click the name of the layer you want to copy and
drag it to the destination image.
Drag the layer directly into the middle of the destination image, and not
onto the title bar of its window. When you release the mouse button, the
copied layer appears.

Blending images by making
layers transparent
Double your pleasure, double your fun. One popular effect is a sort of double
exposure, which you do by making an overlaying layer on which the image is
partially transparent. For example, you may want to overlay a diagram on a
photograph or add a faint image of a logo to a picture.

Figure 11-2 shows a few tasty vegetables overlaid with the word Veggies, per-
haps to be used as a sign for a vegetarian buffet. (It looks much more appeal-
ing in color ” see color plate C-4 in the color section of this book.)

To make a layer transparent, you merely adjust one little setting, Layer
Opacity. Each layer has a Layer Opacity setting on the Layer palette (the
shaded bar shown in Figure 11-2). Until you change it, the setting for every
layer is 100 to indicate that the layer is 100 percent opaque (you can™t see
through the image on the layer).

At the far right end of each bar is a pair of pointers (triangles). Drag that pair
to the left to make the layer more transparent. Drag the pair to the right to
make the layer more opaque. The number on the bar changes as you drag,
between 100 and 0. In Figure 11-2, the layer containing the text Veggies! is set
to 52 percent (roughly half-transparent).

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214 Part III: Painting Pictures

Figure 11-2:
makes them
clearly a
good menu

Note that Layer2, which contains the
text Veggies!, is at 52 percent opacity.

Blending images in creative ways
Sometimes, simply overlaying one image on the other doesn™t give quite the
effect you want. For example, if you overlay colored text on an image that has
like-colored areas, you can™t read the text in those areas.

In that case, the result may be better if the layer could, for example, lighten
or darken the underlying image ” or perhaps change the underlying color,
no matter what color it is. With Paint Shop Pro, you can create those effects,
and more, using layer blending. Layer blending is determined by two settings:
layer blend mode and the layer blend levels.

To use blend modes with forethought and skill requires pondering all kinds
of technical stuff about computer graphics. Do like we do: Use blend modes
with reckless abandon rather than forethought and skill. Try one mode, and
if you don™t like the result, try another!

The right side of the Layer palette contains layer blend mode settings you
can change for each layer. Until you change a layer™s blend mode, it™s normal,
which means that the paint on that layer simply overlays the paint on lower
layers, like paint on transparent plastic (see Figure 11-3).

Click the Blend Mode control for your chosen layer and choose a blend mode
from the menu that appears. To restore the original appearance, choose
Normal from the list of modes.

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Chapter 11: Layering Images

Figure 11-3:
To make
tastier, try
another way
of blending.
Here, Blend
mode is
which is
how some
kids prefer

Here are a few tips:

For maximum contrast between underlying and overlying images, try
Difference mode.
Try making the color of the overlying layer lighter or darker, if you can™t
get the results you want otherwise.
Make a layer more transparent if you want to reduce the effect of any
blend mode, producing a more subtle result.
For a speckly, spray-painted look, try Dissolve mode and also make the
layer partly transparent.

Using a blend mode on a group may or may not work, depending on what
layers are in it; having a group with mixed raster and vector layers will
almost certainly reject the attempt. If you™re trying to blend a group and it™s
not “taking,” try removing layers one by one from the group until it works.

Creating and Using Adjustment Layers
An adjustment layer is sort of like a perfect facial makeup. It doesn™t cover
anything up; rather, it magically changes the appearance of underlying layers.
Changes include brightness or contrast, color, and other effects.

Many of these effects you can create in other ways ” with commands on the
Colors menu, for example. In fact, the dialog boxes for adjustment layers are
very much like those for commands on the Colors menu, both of which we
cover with one set of instructions in Chapter 7.

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So, why use an adjustment layer rather than a command on the Colors menu?
Here are a few good reasons:

Adjustment layers can affect the entire, combined, multilayer image (if
it™s placed on top of all other layers). Most commands on the Colors
menu, on the other hand, affect only the active layer.
Adjustment layers are useful when you™re using different layers to com-
bine two images. One image may have lower contrast than the other, for
example. You can put a contrast-adjustment layer above one image and
put the second image above that adjustment layer so that it remains
An adjustment layer lets you make changes that are later easily
reversible. You can simply delete the layer or change its settings if you
later find that the adjustment is wrong. Otherwise, you need to counter
your earlier adjustment ” a trickier job than undoing or changing it.
You can paint the layer to apply the effect in different strengths in differ-
ent places! This process is admittedly a bit mind-boggling, but if you can
imagine being able to paint brightness (rather than a color), for exam-
ple, you have the idea. Rather than paint, you can copy an image to the
layer, and the brightness of each pixel of the image determines the
strength of the effect.

Adjustment layers change only the appearance of the underlying colors, not
the colors of the layers. For example, when you use an adjustment layer, the
colors that the Dropper tool picks up and displays on the Materials palette
are the real colors ” the color of the paint in the layer, not the apparent
color caused by the adjustment layer.

Creating an adjustment layer
To create an adjustment layer, follow these steps:

1. Open the Layer palette (press the F8 key) if it isn™t already onscreen.
2. On the Layer palette, right-click the name of the layer above which
you want to add the adjustment layer.
3. Choose Layers➪New Adjustment Layers.
4. Choose the type of adjustment layer you want from the menu that
(See the following section for information about choosing adjustment
types.) The Layer Properties dialog box appears.

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Chapter 11: Layering Images

5. Click the Adjustment tab, near the top of that dialog box.
The tab shows various sliders, and other adjustments appear, depending
on your choice of layer type.
6. Make your adjustments and click OK.
We describe how these adjustments work in Chapter 10.

You can delete or move adjustment layers just as you do other layers. See the
section “Working on Layers,” earlier in this chapter, for instructions. To
rename an adjustment layer, double-click its name on the Layer palette; when
the Layer Properties dialog box appears, click the General tab, enter a new
name in the Name field there, and click OK.

To change these adjustments after you create a layer, double-click the layer™s
name on the Layer palette. You find these adjustments on the Adjustments
tab of the Layer Properties dialog box that appears. It™s the same dialog box
that appears when you create a new adjustment layer (refer to Step 5 in the
preceding list).

Choosing the type of adjustment
layer you need
The Paint Shop Pro adjustment layers give you lots of different ways to fiddle
with the color, contrast, and brightness of the underlying layers of your
image. Here are some suggestions for what to use to achieve various results:

To adjust brightness or contrast, use the Brightness/Contrast layer.
The Brightness/Contrast layer affects all three major tonal ranges ”
shadows, highlights, and midtones ” at one time. To independently
adjust any of these three ranges ” to just get darker shadows, for
example ” try a Levels layer.
If shadows, highlights, and midtones aren™t precise enough for your
brightness and contrast adjustment ” you need better contrast only
within specific shadows, for example ” you can adjust brightness or
contrast within any range of tone by using a Curves layer.
For richer/grayer or lighter/darker colors, try a Hue/Saturation layer.
The Hue/Saturation layer also lets you colorize underlying layers (give
them a monochrome tint).
To make a negative image, choose an Invert layer, set the blend mode to
Normal (if it isn™t already), and set the opacity to 100.
To reduce the number of colors, which results in a kind of paint-by-
numbers effect, try a Posterize layer.
To get a truly black-and-white (two colors, no shades of gray) effect,
choose a Levels layer.
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Applying adjustments
to only certain areas
One cool feature of adjustment layers is that you can apply their effects selec-
tively, to certain areas of your image. Paint Shop Pro uses paint on the adjust-
ment layer to accomplish that result.

After you create the adjustment layer, you can, by using black paint, paint out
the areas on that adjustment layer where you don™t want the effect. Apply the
paint to the adjustment layer with any painting tool, such as the Paint Brush
tool. The paint doesn™t show up as black ” only as a masking-out of the
effect. Use gray paint to screen out the effect. (You can also use a texture
while you do this, to create some neat-looking effects.)

You can also paint in an area with white or gray, if that area is painted out.
Notice that black, white, and shades of gray are the only colors the Materials
palette gives you to paint with when you™re working on an adjustment layer.

Using Vector Layers
Most people discover vector layers accidentally. They use the Text, Draw, or
Preset Shapes tools to create vector objects, and Paint Shop Pro automati-
cally (and without telling them) creates a vector layer to contain the vector
objects these tools produce. (We explain the difference between vector and
raster images and layers in the section “Choosing a Layer That™s Just Your
Type,” earlier in this chapter.) See Chapter 12 for more information about
using these tools.

You can also create vector layers intentionally, as we describe in the section
“Creating a New, Blank Layer,” earlier in this chapter. After you create a
vector layer, you can use the Text, Draw, or Preset Shapes tool to add objects
to that layer. You can also copy and paste to move these objects from one
Paint Shop Pro vector layer or image to another.

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