Layers are a critical part to working with Photoshop because layers are where you place your elements so that you can apply your special effects, hide and show them or rearrange them. As you see here I have three layers in this current document. Layer two which represents this one with the cloud picture, layer one which you can't see right now because it's obscured by the layer that's on top of it and you have the background layer. Now before I continue let me show you a little picture I created to show you what these layers are doing. Layers are on top of one another so this is your bottom layer and the layer that's layer two is here and layer three goes up here. So the higher the number of the layer the higher in the stacking order it is. Lets go back to Photoshop an, and see that. See layer two, layer one and you have a background which is on the bottom. If you want to rename the background layer or unlock it so you can go ahead move things around just double click where it says background and you can name it whatever you'd like. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna actually rename this layer wood and I'm gonna click OK. I'm gonna do the same thing here, I'm gonna type or rather double click where it says layer one and then I'll type clouds or rather trees and then I'm gonna click where it says layer two and name this one clouds and you can rename these all day long if you'd like. Now how can I make it so I can see the trees on top of the clouds? Well all I have to do is either drag the clouds layer underneath the trees layer or drag the trees layer on top of the clouds layer. Let me show you how that's done, I'm gonna click where it says trees, I'm not gonna double click I'm just holding my mouse down and I'm gonna drag my mouse until I see a black solid line above the layer. Like wise I can go to the next layer under here and I see a black line. When I let go of the mouse the layer is then repositioned. Let's go back to my diagram and you'll see that you can rearrange the stacking order very easily by simply clicking and dragging the layers. So layers are very important when you want to arrange your elements. So when you have your elements where you want them you can then grab your moving tools or whatever you like cause we're gonna rearrange things so I can move my clouds over here so I can see the more of the wood and I can go to the wood and I can do whatever I want to. Now you'll notice also that when you have layers with transparency you have this checkerboard pattern. This checkerboard pattern does not print. It is simply an indicator for you to know that there is nothing here as opposed to literally having nothing there. Let me show you how you create a document with a transparent background. You go to file, new and then in the background contents you're gonna choose transparent 99 percent of the time when I'm creating a document I always choose transparent because I'm gonna you know add a solid color if I want to in the background. So I want to be able to erase things and have nothing in the background so I'm gonna click OK and you'll see we have these checker boards, once again if you try to print this out you will get a blank document, there's nothing in this document. There are no actual pixels until I put something there, unless I paint or bring an image into this layer. Now as you see layer one has nothing on it. So layers are a critical part uh to working with Photoshop because they allow you to organize your artwork, to rearrange your artwork and later on I'm gonna show you how you can add more layers and delete them. But before we end this let me show you how you can continue to work with these layers. As you see already I can move things around but I can also hide and show these layers and I can also link them together. So let's say that I want to hide the trees, click on the eyeball, hide the clouds, click on the eyeball and now looking at the wood and I can you know precisely place it where I'd like to on the screen. And once I have it where I want it I can go back and show things and lets say that I wanna move the trees and the clouds simultaneously. So I don't have to move one and then move the other one separately. So what I do is click on the layer that I want to link something else, hold the shift key down and select another layer and now the linked icon becomes active so I can click on that guy, I get a link symbol so when I go into my document and I move one of the two linked ones, either one, they move together. So I can go to clouds and the trees go with it and I can go to the trees layer and I can do the same thing. When you wanna unlink simply click on the link again and they are no longer linked. Layers are very important to understand because they can make working in Photoshop go by much more efficiently for you.
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