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What is the definition of an object ?

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I apologize if this is a dumb question. If this is too long winded I have formatted in bold my basic question near the end. Here is an example that led me to this question:

  1. Image 1 is of a green apple on a white background. It's about 300 by 300 pixels.
  2. I select the white area with the magic wand selection tool.
  3. I invert the selection and copy or cut the apple from Image 1.
  4. Image 2 is just a nice big textured looking brown background that is about 1280 by 960 pixels.
  5. I paste the apple into Image 2 by using the Edit | Paste Into New Layer menu item and the apple looks great.

At this point I have the layers window open and it indicates I have 2 layers. The second layer ( the apple ) is highlighted in the layers window. The apple has 8 'handles' that are flashing to indicate the apple is selected. Just trying to learn the product but my goal is to do something like add an outline to the apple or add a drop shadow to the apple. I do have several effects loaded and do have some effects for drop shadows and outlines.

If I click the menu item Effects | Object | Drop Shadow nothing visible happens.

So, I now deselect the object and try again by doing the following:

  1. Do a CTRL-D shortcut which deselects the apple and I no longer see the 'handles'.
  2. I notice that after the deselect the same apple layer is highlighted in the layers window. So nothing changed there.
  3. I click the menu item Effects | Object | Drop Shadow

That works perfectly. I get a nice shadow under the apple.

I suppose my question is why did I have to deselect the apple in order to apply the effect ? What was I deselecting ? An object ? I'm wondering what an object really is. There is no window that I can use to view the objects in the document like you can to view the layers in the document. Once I deselect the apple, how can I select it again ? If I use the arrow tool ( Move ) to select the apple it seems to select the entire layer and I get the handles around the edges of the larger image.

Is an object basically a mask ? And once you've deselected the object you've basically just removed the mask and so you can't get it back by simply clicking on the apple again - because in effect you are just clicking on the layer itself and there really is ( never was ) an object in the layer. And the reason I could not apply the drop shadow when the apple object was selected is in reality a mask was present and the drop shadow cannot be drawn outside the mask. I'm totally guessing here.

Thanks in advance.

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Welcome to the forum TychoBrahe!

A new layer is a new transparent leaf you put in tha package.

An object is an image surrounded with transparency like the apple in the new layer.

But when you pasted the apple you still have the selection active around it. Effects apply on selection. Outline or drop shadow can't be efficient with no space around the apple.

So unselect and redo the effects...

To obtain again previous selection, you could paste in a new temporary layer as your copied apple is still memorized.

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