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Apply effects via layers


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I've looked in the tutorials section briefly but couldn't find what i was looking for.

Basically I was looking at the example photo on the getpaint.net homepage, and I saw that the glow effect was being applied through a layer.

Now, if I was to apply an effect I’d just do it straight onto the "original" or background layer.

Do you get better results if you do these effects through layers, and how do you do it...is it just basically the background layer being duplicated and then the effect applied?

I'm relatively new to paint.net and photoshop. So I probably don't fully understand the possibilities layers can offer.

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The original image's layer was duplicated, and then the glow effect was applied to that layer. Then the layer's blend mode was changed to something else (probably Overlay or Screen, I forget). It also helps to adjust the Opacity in order to adjust how 'strong' the effect is overlaid.

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You can also select the item that you wish to affect, such as using the magic wand and getting just the object you wish to alter. Then do Ctrl-C on the layer you want to grab the pixels from. Create a new layer thats above the background layer and do Ctrl-V to paste the pixels. Now you have a copy of just what you want to alter, so you don't have to worry about other parts of the picture being affected.

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