An Introduction to Layers

Hello and welcome to this video on the Gimp. And on this video, we’re gonna be touching base on the layers. And this is our Layers Dialog Box here. Now, if you don’t have your setup similar to the way I’ve got mine here then you can get your Layers Dialog Box by several ways but one you can go over here to File because this is all it’s gonna be up here. Go over here to File and then Dialogs. And there you go. More than likely we’d do is you could just like what I did over on the right-hand side of the screen there.

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You can just go up here to “Create New Dock” and then this one here. And that’s what I did kinda. This is one that I did before. I’ll just bring this one up here in place of that one. And then we’ve got the layers here, and we’ve got the Undo, we’ve got the Paths Tool, and we’ve got the Channels Dialog here. Actually, that was pretty cool. I might just leave that one up there. Anywho, that’s how you can get to the Dialogs Box. Now this one here just kinda go over a little bit of what else is involved with the Dialog Box and all the little cool things. Actually, I better move this down so I’m not confusing the issue too much. Here we’ve got the icon. We click on this to create a new layer. And we can use these up and down arrows to move the selected layer up and down and I’ll show you here in a second to kinda emphasize the importance of these.

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And here we can simply duplicate a particular layer that we’ve got selected and if we’ve got a floating layer around or somewhere and I’ll show you. We’ve covered that in prior videos but if we got a floating layer around here and you kinda like what you’ve got and you want to make a part of your image then you click on the anchor and boom. That floating is no longer a floating. It is actually attached to the layer in question. And then of course we’ve got the dumpster here, the trashcan where you can either drag this to the trashcan or just highlight it and then click on the trashcan and poof! It’s in the trash. It’s gone. Now we’ve got some other items up top here . They are also pretty nifty. The opacity, well that’s pretty cool. You can add some special effects really easy to in existing image that you’ve got like some of the other tools we’ve got over here. We have a Mode selection where you click on the drop-down arrow. We’ve got a lot more options you can play with here to affect the said layer or image and let me just kinda show you here like for example right here I’ve got this CD selected and that’s this guy right here and you can see all the eyeballs are off here.

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That means these layers are not showing. They are there, they’re not just showing. So if I were to save this right now, then it would save it without these layers involved in this image. In other words, you get what you see. If I were to click on Save and Save As, then this is what the image, the end result will be. Only one CD. Now this one right here, one of the beauties behind layers. Let me just kinda mention that too. One of the benefits behind, say, the Gimp or Photoshop is the ability to work in layers. And so you just don’t get with any other type of image manipulation software. For example, you’ve got this layer of the CD is on top of the layer of this box, the software box.

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So as you can see it’s in front of and you can move around all over the place. Now that’s one of things about these up and down arrows is you can adjust this. For example, let me create a new layer and click on the New Layer icon. And over here it’s always good to name these two. That way you can stay somewhat organized and it gives you the width and the height¬† and you can choose from the foreground color which you can see right now is dark blue, background color which is white, or you can have this either or white or transparency depending on which you are about to create. But for the sake of this example, I’m gonna leave it foreground color so it creates a dark blue layer. And basically it’s gonna be the same size as this so it’s gonna set on top of this. Again, one of the beauties behind layers.

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Now everything below this is affected by this. Look at this; this is a blue blanket on top of all these guys here to cover them all up. Now one of the cool things about this is you can affect the opacity or the transparency of these individual layers. So for example, I’m going to decrease this opacity. As you can kinda see through this blanket like so. So you can see how it affects everything below it with the darker blue hue or tint. Now then with this layer selected, the dark blue layer selected it didn’t kinda transparent. Let’s move it down. Okay so now this layer here is on top of the blanket. It’s on top of that blue blanket so it’s shining through. So let’s keep moving it down. You can kinda see things are starting to come to a light here a little bit. Now then this box is on top of the blue blanket. Basically, you can see that it’s affecting the background now.

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And now then the background, the white background, it’s on top of the blue. So basically, the blue is not having any effect whatsoever. So again, that’s one of the cool things about layers is that you can just kinda pile stuff on top of one another, give it more of a depth to your image, a lot of cool things¬† you just cannot do with simple image software. So I’m not really sure how to put it. One other thing too. If you didn’t notice, of course this is the Gimp and this is a Photoshop extension. A “.psd” extension. So without having a three or four or five or six hundred bucks for a Photoshop software, you are able to manipulate and work with Photoshop images. So again, I just wanna point that out to you too. One of the things too I wanna mention here is that let’s say we’ve got this one CD selected. As you can see it’s kind of a beige, either way where there’s dark blue or beige that means it’s selected. This layer is selected. Let’s multiply this up a couple of times here and they are all just kinda hidden right behind here.

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And then of course if you didn’t want them to be shown, maybe you wanted to save one image with just the box then you take the eyeballs out. You can save this as whatever, you’re gonna give it a name, and then you’re only going to get this software box. If you want those CD images back in there or DVD images, you just turn the eyeballs back on. And there you have it. Now then you can save it as and you’ve got this as your image. So that’s kind of a quick overview of some of the things you can do with the layers aspect of your Gimp software. Hope you learned something and hope you’ll be able to profit immensely from this little tool. Thank you much for watching, folks!

***To download the PDF of this tutorial Click Here.