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Preserving transparency in layers


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Preserving transparency in layers

In this video we are going to talk about preserve transparency. What does that mean? It's a little bit of a geeky sounding title, but it's very important and we can even use the existing imagery that we have here to be able to show you exactly where it's important. In the last video, I showed you how I was able to go in and change the red character of this element by going in and selecting it as a layer, as we have done here. And then I went up to Effects and I used to Adjust Colors to do it.

But what if you want to do something more sophisticated? What if you want to actually paint strokes in there, for example, just to add to the complexity or character of the painting? I'd have to somehow have a way to isolate where my paint strokes are going to go based on this layer. And in fact, you can do that. Preserve transparency is the way to do that. If I go right here in the layers palette, you will see there's a little icon Preserve Transparency. When I click that, it disables Painter from being able to apply color anywhere that the layer is transparent.

And the only place it's not transparent is where I've painted the red. Let's make sure we are on that layer. That's the only place that I have painted. So anywhere else is transparent, and because we've got Preserve Transparency on, I can no longer paint there. So let's get a slightly different color that I might want to paint in there with my brush, and you will see it appears as if I can't paint anywhere, but I can paint in here. Sometimes I refer to this as a poor man's mask.

This gives me the ability to actually use the layer's transparency as a way to lock it off and then once I've done that I can now go in here and start to do things that would be difficult to do any other way. I suppose you could use the layer to somehow create a selection based on that, but it's just the long way around, whereas here this one little button allows me to isolate a layer. While I am in the Brush, and this is a good time to show you this.

If I'm in the Brush and I hold down the Ctrl key, it temporarily switches to the layer adjuster. So I can just click now and you can see it just changed to activating the blue channel. Now I let up to Ctrl or Command key on Windows, and now I can paint again. But unlike Photoshop, which it does preserve transparency on a layer by layer basis, as long as Preserve Transparency is toggled on here, anytime you switch to any layer it will remain on. So now that I've switched layers temporarily, using my layer adjuster, I'm now back in my tool.

I can go here and get, you know, some other color, and now I can paint some interesting brushstrokes in here. I can even change, for example, to a different brush, maybe I want to get Wet Acrylic. Once again we will use this technique. Hold down the Ctrl or Command key, click on the green layer, shift back out of it. Let's get a different shade of green to paint with. That's a little more subtle in this case. You do have to watch out. It will tend to want to drag out a color outside and that's not true of every brush.

This happens to be one, and it's probably a good case to show you that if you drag in to some protected areas as we are doing here with Preserve Transparency, that can happen. The way I get around it, I just make sure I paint outward rather than in from the edge, and that's how you can get around that little hiccup that may happen. And let's do another one. Let's go to the yellow and I'll get kind of an orange, and we will do some painting in here. But you can see how adding more strokes in here starts to build up the character of this image, and I can see purple needs another little hit here, maybe a little bit darker purple.

So I will just draw in here, maybe it needs a little bit more. In fact, another thing we could do this it's kind of fun. I'll select a yellow to show you this. I am going to go get the airbrush. We will just use the Digital Airbrush here, but it will probably work here as if I -- and this is another important cue for you all, when you're in the Brush tool if you hold on the Option or Alt key, it changes it to the Eye Dropper tool.

So in this case I want to use yellow, but I want to be a little darker. So I have selected basically the yellow that's being used in that area and I am just going to darken it down a bit. And I've got my Digital Airbrush, so what this lets me do, and I am going to make it much smaller here, more like that. I can go in here and kind of -- again, because this is sort of a poor man's mask, I can give it a 3 dimensional illusion to this just by painting in here and then if I go very close to white, I can kind of put a highlight on this other edge.

So this is yet just another way you can take advantage of Preserve Transparency. As I said, if you just think of it, it literally is a form of a mask that's exactly what it's doing, and it lets you do things like this that would be otherwise kind of difficult to isolate. So I would imagine that if Preserve Transparency was a police department, on the side of the police cars would be the inscription to preserve and to protect.

Preserving transparency in layers
Video duration: 5m 37s 5h 28m Beginner

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Preserving transparency in layers provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by John Derry as part of the Painter 12 Essential Training

Subject:
Design
Software:
Painter
Author:
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