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Question about editing a flattened image.

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I'm relatively new to Paint.net, as well as this forum, and apologise if this question has been asked about a thousand times before. I've been trying to edit to images together to blend as one image - ie, someone from a different picture into a group picture. However, after having difficulty with layering in order to blend the person into the image, I saved the image and flattened it as prompted. I figured if Paint.net somehow 'forgot' about the fact it had been layered I'd be able to begin again and edit it at will?

Anyway, apparently not as now I can do nothing to the saved image at all, and closed it after saving so can't edit the fact I flattened it either. Are there any other options available to me? As it's not looking too bad, just needs some final tweaking, and I'd rather not go through the lengthy process all over again.


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Flattening does just what it sounds like - it discards all layer data, and renders the image as one entity. This is required for most image types - JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG, et cetera - since those formats do not support layered files.

If you wish to preserve layer information for editing in the future, you'll need to save your image as a .PDN - Paint.NET's own internal file type that saves all your layer information.

When the program prompts you to flatten the image to save in a non-layered file type, the button explains that all layers will be discarded, but if you wish to continue editing, the layers can be reclaimed by undoing ([Ctrl]+[Z]) the flatten after the save completes.

So, I'm afraid that if the only version you saved was a single-layer PNG/JPG/et cetera, then yes, you will need to start over with the cut-out. You're still free to edit the flattened image if you just need to do color stuff or what have you, but if you need to tweak things like the position or blending of the cut-out layer individually, that information was not saved.

I am not a mechanism, I am part of the resistance;

I am an organism, an animal, a creature, I am a beast.

~ Becoming the Archetype

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