Creating a New Layer
So now let's learn a bit more about layers. So far we've made layers by either copying and pasting a picture between documents. We could've dragged and dropped them between documents using the move tool. Or we dragged them from bridge. And we dragged them from bridge, did a little bit extra in that it automatically transformed to make it fit within the document. Well now let's do other things with our layers. We can manually create a brand new empty layer. In my Layers panel, if you look at the bottom, there's a bunch of icons. And if I click the icon that's to the left of the trashcan, that's the new layer icon. And they recently changed the appearance of that icon, but that'll create a new layer. It usually creates that new empty layer directly above the layer that was active. If no layers were active, then it'll be at the top of your document. So I could at this point, use my paintbrush tool and paint on a layer. So that top layer is active. And so, if I do some painting like this, ...
once I release the mouse button, if you watch my Layers panel, you'll see that that's where the paint went because you're usually only gonna change whichever layer is currently active. So let's figure out which functions can we use when a single layer is active, and which can we use when more than one layer is active? When you have a single layer active, usually any painting that you do to it will affect only that one layer. And you can also come up here and apply filters. Let's say I want a blurry line. I'll apply the blur filter called Gaussian Blur. The other thing that I can do to a single layer is adjust it. If I choose Image, Adjustments, Hue and Saturation, the choice called Hue will change the basic color of that layer, so I can change the color of the paint that I have there. But then if I select more than one layer at a time by just clicking on multiple layers that are here while I hold down either Shift or Command, then I'll be limiting what I can do. If I come up and grab the paintbrush tool and I attempt to paint, you'll see that my mouse looks like a no symbol, and if I attempt to paint, it will simply tell me I can't do it. And that's because it doesn't know which layer it should put that paint on. If I come up here to the Filter menu, you'll find all the filters are grayed out except for one choice called Convert for Smart Filters. We'll cover that when we have a class on advanced layers, but you'd have to do that first before being able to apply a filter. If I go to the Image menu and I choose Adjustments, it's simply grayed out because it wouldn't know which layers, or which layer it should work on. Those are all things that can only work on a single layer at a time, and therefore, I'd have to click to get only a single layer active. Then on your Layers panel, it's as if you're standing at the top of the Layers panel looking down. And this is no different than a stack of paper on your desk or a stack of photographs that you might have on your desks. If I had sheets of paper and I stacked them, the topmost sheet of paper would obscure my view of the sheet that's directly below it because they overlap. And the same is true for layers. So in my Layers panel, if I reposition my layers using the move tool, this layer is on top of all the others, only because in my Layers panel it's near the top. If I end up clicking on the name of that layer and dragging it down and putting it way down here, now you can see it in between those other layers, but it's underneath. So you can control the stacking order of the layers very easily by simply dragging up and down within the Layers panel. If I want that on top again, I just need to drag it up near the top. So that squiggly little green line, if I want it to be behind those images, I need to click on the layer that contains it, and drag it down far enough that it's gonna be behind all the layers I was interested in. Maybe I wanted that as some sort of background element. Or if I don't like it at all, I can drag it to the trashcan. Another way for creating layers would be to use certain tools. The shape tool can be used for drawing circles, rectangles, and other crisp-edge shapes. Or we could use the text tool. In this case I'm gonna use the text tool, I'll click within my document. And after typing in some text, if I wanna change the settings for the text, I need to select the text and I usually do that by typing Command + A, which I did automatically without thinking. Then up here in the Options bar at the top of my screen, we have the size. I don't usually deal with a number necessarily. There is an icon right here that indicates size. And if you just click on it and drag, you'll be automatically changing the number that's next to it. So I'll just click on that icon that's a letter T and drag to the right until my text is the size I might want. Then I can come up here on the left side of my Options bar and decide what typeface I'd like to use. Maybe fine tune my size again. If I could spell, I forgot an A. (laughing) If I need to select all this, I type Command + A. Then I can change the size. And the reason why you have to select all is because otherwise you could change the size of individual letters that are here. Then there's a little checkbox up here, that means I'm done with my settings and I'll click that. So we have our text.