Written and Copyright ©Cherie
This is my own creation, any similarities to other
tutorials is purely coincidental and unintentional.

Drag the Arrow to mark your progress

Make a folder in your PSP folders in All lessons under baby bee and title it LAYERS.

Dragon artwork by Carol Heyer and you can visit her lovely work here Carol Heyer


The layers pallet is one of the most important role of your PSP. There is never a project that you will not use your layers pallet. So keep it docked were you choose to all the time. I have mine docked on the right hand side of my PSP under my overview along with my materials pallet. If you can't find it then click F8 or your can right click on any blank spot on your PSP and scroll to pallets and you will see it.

When working on a tutorial you will always notice that it will refer to layers. There are several different types of layers. Will go over them as we get into the lesson.

1, When you first open your PSP look at your layers. You will notice its blank. (says nothing in it)



2. The moment you open up a graphic (tube) into your PSP it will show as a raster layer, Open up the tube (graphic) that I included in the lesson and give it a try. Notice the layers pallet now.

3. Now lets take a closer look at the tool bars above the layer pallet. Notice the little buttons below the word layers. The image below shows you what each one is.

Lets explore each one. The first one is Raster Layer. Computer graphics are of two types: raster (also called bitmap) or vector.

A. Raster images are composed of individual elements, called pixels, arranged in a grid. Each pixel has a specific location and color. The raster layer is generally the first layer you start with. When you start a new project it will start as a raster layer.

B. Vector graphics or images use geometric characteristics—lines, curves, and their locations—to define objects. For example, a door in a graphic of a house is made up of a rectangle with a certain width and height at a specific location and filled with a certain color. In vector images you edit objects or shapes rather than pixels.

C. Art Media layers are automatically created when you begin using any of the Art Media tools. In this regard, the layer -creation functionality is similar to the vector tools.

D. A mask layer covers parts of another layer completely or with varying levels of opacity. Use masks to fade between layers or to create special effects with precision

E. New Layers group will place all the other layers into one group. I don't really like this layer so I choose not to use it.

F. Delete Layer will delete the layer your on.

G. Is another set of button for edit. I don't use this one either because all your edit tools are available on your main bars.

4. Okay lets start playing with layers a little more. You should still have the tube (graphic) opened in your PSP so now along with that go to File/new and set your settings like mine below.

5. Notice on your layers pallet it says raster 1. Your new image that you created by doing the steps above is what we refer to as your canvas. At this point your new canvas is blank and of course no image will show in overview because we have not started working on it yet.

6. Now activate your cute little dragon tube that you uploaded. (To activate simply means to open it. Look at the raster layers and overview on the dragon that's always a way to make sure you have opened the right one. Review step 2 to see dragons layers and overview).

7. Now with your dragon open click on your hand tool This is your pan tool. Click on your dragon graphic then right click and click on copy.

8. Now go to your "Blank Canvas" click on it (your should still be activated) right click and "paste as a new layer".

9. Now your dragon is part of your blank canvas which is no longer blank if you view it in the overview it now has the dragon in it. Notice that you now have 2 layers. See mine below.

11. Lets activate the layer you want to work on. To do this you click on the name. For this exercise click on Raster 1 layer notice it is highlighted. This means its activated and you are working on that layer. See mine below.

NOTE: You can manipulate the layers be moving them up or down. Example you can move Raster 1 above Raster 2 for a whole new look. You will learn how to do this in many of the tutorials that are offered.

10. Renaming your layers is an important part to your projects. If your working on something wouldn't it be easier to be able to work on the layer that says dragon instead of trying to remember that the dragon is on raster 2. Many times projects can have multiple layers I have had a few that have had over 30 layers on it. And I had to work on each layer separately. So naming them can cause you a hole lot of less stress when working with them. So lets give it a try. On raster 1 right click and then click on rename. Rename it background

11. Raster 1 will now have a text box to it so you can type in it. Type in Background.

12. Lets rename Raster 2 the same way we did above and rename it Dragon. My layers look like this: Notice that the dragon is highlighted that means its activated. I had to activate raster 2 in order to name it dragon.

13. Lets explore the other options on those specific layers. On the word dragon double click it and a properties box will open just like mine below.

Clicking that button will show you all your changes on your project as you make them and you can adjust it before clicking okay.

Can Rename the layer.

The blend mode will give your project different look for every setting you use. The best way is to play with it but if you get stuck just put it back to "Normal".

By scrolling the Opacity number down will reduce the transparency of the image. Give it a try with your auto proof on and see how the image fades. Don't click okay or you will have a faded image. Click on the cancel button on the properties layer box

Now Lets review the two images on the actual layer bar itself. the eye and the 100.

Activate your dragon Layer by clicking on it. Click on the and you will notice the red x . OMG were did my dragon go? Yup you just closed off that layer. If you click on the eye again poof it will come back. The 100 is the quick Opacity setting. If you notice that your image because invisible and the eye is not checked chances are you accidentally changed the Opacity setting I do it all the time. Just check it next to the layer your working on and if you did take it out it will look like this

To fix it back just push the bars next to the eye towards the right it will raise the opacity back to normal. Like so:

Okay you have learned the basics about layers. More tutorials are written with layers and I hope now you have a better understanding of them. But while you have your image up in your PSP and named lets finish the actual project and while were at it review what you have already learned.

For this assignment I want you to use your materials pallet and add a background. So what layer do you add the background? I bet you can guess now...LOL. Once you have your background added reactivate your dragon layer and using the font's tips add your name to it in the font of your choice. When you Activate you font tool (A) go to your presets bar and on create as make sure it says vector. Use the drop down arrow to change it. Do this before you click on your dragon layer. After you place your text notice the layers for the text it comes up in a vector. Vector will allow you to move it by taking your mouse in the center of your text (in the box) and drag it around your image.

After your happy with the placement right click on the vector layer and convert it to a raster. It will take it from a multi layer to a single layer. Then just for your practice right click on it again and rename it text. Why do we do that? So that if we want to do something special with our text we know what layer it is on and whatever we do will not effect the other layers. Once you have your text and background with your dragon image completed. Right click on any one of the layers and merge it flatten.

ASSIGNMENT: Go to export/jpeg optimizer and save it in a your folder and send it to the group for credit. NOTE: THE BACKGROUND CANNOT BE WHITE IT MUST HAVE A COLOR TO IT. Click on the "email me" for instructions.