Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Creating layers

From: Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

Video: Creating layers

The first step in making a layered document in Photoshop is to create a new layer. In this movie, I'd like to show you a couple of ways to create a new layer, by starting one from scratch and then by dragging a layer of content in from another document. The first thing to do when you're about to create a new layer is decide where you want it in the layer stack. In this case I'd like to put a new layer right above the cup layer and so I select the cup layer. There are several ways to create a new layer in Photoshop. My favorite way is to go to the bottom of the Layers panel and there is a small icon there that looks like a page with the corner turned up.

Creating layers

The first step in making a layered document in Photoshop is to create a new layer. In this movie, I'd like to show you a couple of ways to create a new layer, by starting one from scratch and then by dragging a layer of content in from another document. The first thing to do when you're about to create a new layer is decide where you want it in the layer stack. In this case I'd like to put a new layer right above the cup layer and so I select the cup layer. There are several ways to create a new layer in Photoshop. My favorite way is to go to the bottom of the Layers panel and there is a small icon there that looks like a page with the corner turned up.

That's the Create New Layer icon. I'm going to click that one and it immediately makes a new layer for me. I know that it seems like just one extra step to name a layer but I think it's really important because if you're going to create a file with lots and lots of layers in it, it's difficult to know what's on a layer unless the layer has a meaningful name. So here's how you name a layer. You just go to the label on the layer and double-click. That opens the editing field and you can type the name for your layer. I'll call this one circle and then press Return or Enter. If you start to get lots of layers in the Layers panel, you might find it hard to get in there and double-click right on those words, so here is another way to rename the layer. Hold down the Option key on the Mac or the Alt key on a PC and double-click anywhere in the blank area of the bar.

That opens the Layer Properties dialog box. You could type a name there and click OK. Notice that the new layer came in right above the cup layer, the one that I'd selected. That's the general behavior, that a new layer will be created above whatever layer is selected. When a new layer comes in, it's blank and you can see that here by the gray and white checkerboard in the icon on the circle layer. So let's put some content on this layer, which is what you'd normally do when you create a new layer. I'm going to go to the toolbox and select the Elliptical Marquee tool there. I'm going to come in and I'm going to draw a circle by holding the Shift key and dragging to constrain the elliptical selection to a circular shape instead.

As long as I still have the Selection tool highlighted, I can click and drag inside the selection boundary to move that boundary into place and now I'd like to fill the selection with color. Filling is something you do all the time. Let me show you how you do it. First you need to select a color. You can do that from the color picker or if you have your Color Swatches panel open, you can just come in there and click on a color that you like. I'm going to use this magenta color and that sets my foreground color box. Then I'm going to go up to the Edit menu at the top of the screen and I'm going to choose Fill.

In this dialog box from the Use menu, I can choose what color I'm going to fill with. In this case, I'm going to fill with the magenta that's in the foreground color box. The other choices here are whatever colors in the background color box or you can just choose Color and that would open the color picker at which point you could make your color choice now or you can fill with Pattern, with Black, with Gray or with White. I'm going to press OK to fill the selection with magenta and I'll press Command+D on the Mac or Ctrl+D on the PC to deselect. Over in the Layers panel, you can see the content that I've just added to my new layer.

So that's how to create a layer from scratch. Another way to create a new layer is to bring in content from another file. I have another file open up here. It's called whipped.psd and if I click on its tab, I can see what's there. It doesn't look like much but it actually is a photograph of whipped cream. There are two ways to bring content in from one file to another in Photoshop CS4, when you're using the new docked tabs feature to display multiple files. One way to do it is to select what you want in the active document, copy it, then move to the second document and paste it.

Another way would be to go to the Arrange Documents menu in the new Application Bar, click there and choose one of the layouts that will show you both documents at once. I'll select this 2 Up view here. Now I'm going to go to the toolbox and get my Move tool. With the Move tool, I'll click anywhere in the whipped.psd document and I'll drag over into the simplelayers document. Notice that there is only one layer in the whipped document. If there were more than one, I would select the multiple layers before dragging. Here I go. I'm taking the whipped cream over and when I see this light gray bounding box in the simplelayers document, I'll release my mouse and that brings in the whipped cream.

Now I'm going to close the whipped.psd file, I don't need that one anymore, by clicking the X on its tab. In the Layers panel you'll see that the whipped cream came in with the layer name from the other document and that it was dropped on top of the circle layer because the circle layer is the one I had selected. It doesn't matter where I drop the whipped cream in this file because I can move it. As long as I have the Move tool selected, I can just come in and put it where I want it. So I'm going to put it on top of the cup. When I'm all done, I'm going to save this file with its new layer and I'm going to give it a new name.

So I'll go to File and Save As and then I'm going to navigate to my desktop and there I'll save this as creamylayers and click Save. So there you have a couple of different methods for creating a new layer. You can either make a blank layer and then add content to it, as I did for the magenta logo, or you can drag a new layer in with content ready to go from another file, if you're making something like a design layout or a photo collage.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS4 Essential Training
Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

103 video lessons · 67525 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 4s
  2. 25m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 25s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      5m 15s
    3. Using tools efficiently
      3m 51s
    4. Arranging panels
      3m 53s
    5. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      2m 50s
    6. Saving a custom workspace
      3m 0s
    7. Changing screen modes
      2m 0s
  3. 19m 3s
    1. Touring the Bridge interface
      6m 31s
    2. Opening images from Bridge
      1m 20s
    3. Reviewing images
      4m 42s
    4. Finding images
      6m 30s
  4. 44m 53s
    1. Setting preferences
      4m 23s
    2. Choosing color settings
      8m 11s
    3. Zooming and panning
      5m 27s
    4. Resizing and image resolution
      3m 17s
    5. Adding to the canvas
      2m 2s
    6. Rotating the canvas
      1m 44s
    7. Choosing color
      4m 49s
    8. Sizing a brush tip
      3m 4s
    9. Undoing and the History panel
      5m 0s
    10. Saving and file formats
      3m 29s
    11. Creating a file from scratch
      3m 27s
  5. 37m 58s
    1. Making geometric selections
      6m 14s
    2. Modifying selections
      4m 43s
    3. Combining selections
      3m 16s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      5m 34s
    5. Refining selection edges
      4m 12s
    6. Using Quick Mask mode
      2m 18s
    7. Selecting with the improved Color Range command
      4m 32s
    8. Selecting with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    9. Using the Background Eraser tool
      3m 7s
    10. Saving selections
      1m 34s
  6. 39m 56s
    1. Understanding layers
      5m 43s
    2. Creating layers
      5m 12s
    3. Working in the Layers panel
      2m 19s
    4. Locking layers
      4m 17s
    5. Working with multiple layers
      4m 6s
    6. Merging and flattening layers
      3m 55s
    7. Adding a shape layer
      4m 43s
    8. Basic layer masking
      4m 23s
    9. Using layer blend modes and opacity
      5m 18s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Cropping
      3m 26s
    2. Straightening
      3m 17s
    3. Transforming
      4m 42s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    5. Using Content-Aware Scaling
      5m 6s
  8. 1h 10m
    1. Reading histograms
      4m 21s
    2. Using adjustment layers and the Adjustment panel
      6m 4s
    3. Adjusting tones with Levels
      7m 49s
    4. Limiting adjustments with layer masks
      5m 40s
    5. Using masks in the new Masks panel
      6m 9s
    6. Limiting adjustments by clipping
      3m 6s
    7. Adjusting with Shadow/Highlight
      5m 7s
    8. Adjusting with Curves
      7m 37s
    9. Adjusting with Hue/Saturation
      3m 42s
    10. Adjusting with Vibrance
      2m 16s
    11. Removing a color cast
      4m 26s
    12. Using the Black & White adjustment layer
      2m 39s
    13. Using the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools
      4m 11s
    14. Reducing noise
      2m 39s
    15. Sharpening
      4m 42s
  9. 38m 0s
    1. Using the Spot Healing Brush tool
      5m 17s
    2. Using the Healing Brush tool
      5m 51s
    3. Using the Patch tool
      4m 52s
    4. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      4m 8s
    5. Enhancing eyes
      9m 29s
    6. Changing facial structure
      5m 0s
    7. Softening skin
      3m 23s
  10. 44m 38s
    1. What's a raw image?
      4m 25s
    2. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      7m 35s
    3. Working in the Basic panel
      7m 54s
    4. Working in the Tone Curve panel
      2m 21s
    5. Working in the HSL/Grayscale and Split Toning panels
      3m 46s
    6. Looking at the other Camera Raw panels
      3m 45s
    7. Using the Adjustment Brush tool
      4m 2s
    8. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 56s
    9. Working with multiple files
      6m 54s
  11. 21m 6s
    1. Using the Brushes panel
      8m 30s
    2. Filling with color
      3m 49s
    3. Replacing color
      4m 14s
    4. Using gradients
      4m 33s
  12. 16m 55s
    1. Working with point type
      9m 59s
    2. Working with paragraph type
      3m 17s
    3. Warping text
      3m 39s
  13. 25m 23s
    1. Adding a layer style
      4m 6s
    2. Customizing a layer style
      3m 35s
    3. Copying a layer style
      3m 5s
    4. Creating a new style
      3m 32s
    5. Using Smart Filters
      5m 22s
    6. Working in the Filter Gallery
      5m 43s
  14. 13m 14s
    1. Auto-blending focus
      4m 47s
    2. Creating Photomerge panoramas
      4m 2s
    3. Combining group photos
      4m 25s
  15. 23m 27s
    1. Creating an action
      7m 16s
    2. Batch processing with an action
      6m 36s
    3. Using the Image Processor
      9m 35s
  16. 29m 20s
    1. Printing
      11m 32s
    2. Making a contact sheet from Bridge
      6m 12s
    3. Creating a web gallery from Bridge
      7m 17s
    4. Preparing photos for the web
      4m 19s
  17. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop CS4 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.