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In this chapter we'll take our first look at one of Photoshop's most powerful image creation tools, layers. Layers do not occur spontaneously, in fact every digital photograph or scanned artwork begins life as a flat, no layer, image file. In Photoshop, this flat image is called the background, and it's locked inside the fore walls of the always rectangular canvas. But layers are easy to create. When you so much as move one image into another, the moved image becomes a floating layer.
This means that it can be any shape and size inside the rectangular file. This also makes it and any other layers in the document altogether independent of each other. You can move, scale and rotate on layer without adversely affecting another, making for a highly flexible. Penalty-free editing environment and you can introduce transparency. So, where as in a flat image, a pixel may be one of several million colors, in a layer, it may also be one of several hundred layers of translucency.
This permits you to see through one layer to another. Plus, you can blend layers together to create interactions between images that were simply not possible before the digital age. In Photoshop, a document that contains layers is said to be a layered composition or comp for short. In this chapter, I'll show you how to create one such comp from beginning to end. Welcome to the power of layers.
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