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Editing layers


johnish
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I open a background picture then paste in am image as a new layer. I can then edit the new layer, but not the background. It makes mo difference if I highlight in the background in the Layers palette - it still can't be edited.

 

I then add a layer and paste an image into it. I can  edit this new layer, but I can no longer edit the first layer. 

 

Is this right? The instructions give the impression that you can change any layer to be the active layer, which presumably means I can edit any layer at any time. 

 

John Presland

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You're correct, you can work on any layer at any time.

 

You may be making the edits, but be unable to see them.  Try turning off the top layer so you can see the bottom layer you're working on.

 

The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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I open a background picture then paste in am image as a new layer. I can then edit the new layer, but not the background. It makes mo difference if I highlight in the background in the Layers palette - it still can't be edited.

 

I then add a layer and paste an image into it. I can  edit this new layer, but I can no longer edit the first layer. 

 

Is this right? The instructions give the impression that you can change any layer to be the active layer, which presumably means I can edit any layer at any time. 

 

John Presland

 

 

You have to have the layer you want to work on "selected" (click on it with cursor so it is blue) in order to edit the layer.

 

VVOz14p.png

 

1.  Remember, if the image has a background it will obscure the other layers.

 

2.  When it is blue, it means you can work on the layer.

 

3.  If you want to edit this layer, you must click on it to make it active first in order to work on it.

 

4.  If you don't want the white background layer, delete it or uncheck the box.

 

Hope this helps.

 

EDIT:  Which is, of course, exactly what David said above :mrred: .

Edited by Pixey

30b8T8B.gif

How I made Jennifer & Halle in Paint.net

My Gallery | My Deviant Art

"Rescuing one animal may not change the world, but for that animal their world is changed forever!" anon.

 
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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for your suggestions. I had already done these things without success. However, I tried again and got something different again.It seems totally unpredictable. This is what happened on this occasion.

 

1. I opened a Background layer.

 

 

2. I pasted in a second image as  Layer 2 and  decreased its size.

 

 

 

3. I disabled Layer 2 and enabled Background and moved it to the top.  A dotted line appeared showing where Layer 2 had been.  Why?  What purpose does it serve?

 

 

4. I was able to move the area within the dotted line separaterly from the rest, leaving a checkerboard pattern exposed.  It was a part of the background image which moved. Why? What purpose does it serve?

 

 

5. With  Layer 2 inactive, and the background active and at the top,  I tried to darken background. The only area darkened was the area which was occupied by the image in Layer 2 and then by the dotted line.

 

 

I tried to illustrate this by attachments. I tried a Word document with screenshots in it and then I tried the screenshots as individual JPEGs. Each time I was told I wasn't allowed to upload this kind of file. What other kind is there? They were all within the size limit. So the forum doesn't work properly either. 

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Thank you for your suggestions. I had already done these things without success. However, I tried again and got something different again.It seems totally unpredictable. This is what happened on this occasion.


 


1. I opened a Background layer.


 


 


2. I pasted in a second image as  Layer 2 and  decreased its size.


 


 


 


3. I disabled Layer 2 and enabled Background and moved it to the top.  A dotted line appeared showing where Layer 2 had been.  Why?  What purpose does it serve?


 


 


4. I was able to move the area within the dotted line separaterly from the rest, leaving a checkerboard pattern exposed.  It was a part of the background image which moved. Why? What purpose does it serve?


 


 


5. With  Layer 2 inactive, and the background active and at the top,  I tried to darken background. The only area darkened was the area which was occupied by the image in Layer 2 and then by the dotted line.


 


 


I tried to illustrate this by attachments. I tried a Word document with screenshots in it and then I tried the screenshots as individual JPEGs. Each time I was told I wasn't allowed to upload this kind of file. What other kind is there? They were all within the size limit. So the forum doesn't work properly either. 


 


John Presland

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Thank you for your suggestions. I had already done these things without success. However, I tried again and got something different again.It seems totally unpredictable. This is what happened on this occasion.

It isn't unpredictable. Likely you're just accidentally changing your workflow slightly each time; since you don't know what steps are important yet, it's easy to forget or omit a step without realizing it. As you get more proficient, things will become more consistent.

 

1. I opened a Background layer.

 

 

2. I pasted in a second image as  Layer 2 and  decreased its size.

 

 

 

3. I disabled Layer 2 and enabled Background and moved it to the top.  A dotted line appeared showing where Layer 2 had been.  Why?  What purpose does it serve?

Technically speaking, that area of pixels is still selected, though now on the current layer. This is so that you can make seperate edits to the same area of pixels on multiple layers, one after the other.

 

4. I was able to move the area within the dotted line separaterly from the rest, leaving a checkerboard pattern exposed.  It was a part of the background image which moved. Why? What purpose does it serve?

The checkerboard represents transparency. You're moving the pixels and revealing the transparent area underneath. Think of the checkerboard as the table upon which you've layered two clear plastic sheets with paint on them; when you move one of the sheets, you see the table underneath.

 

5. With  Layer 2 inactive, and the background active and at the top,  I tried to darken background. The only area darkened was the area which was occupied by the image in Layer 2 and then by the dotted line.

Correct; the selected area will be the only one which is affected by any edits you make. To edit the entire layer, deselect the area by hitting Ctrl+D or Edit > Deselect.

 

I tried to illustrate this by attachments. I tried a Word document with screenshots in it and then I tried the screenshots as individual JPEGs. Each time I was told I wasn't allowed to upload this kind of file. What other kind is there? They were all within the size limit. So the forum doesn't work properly either. 

 

John Presland

Word files aren't allowed, but JPEGs should be. Were you uploading them in a folder?

 

The forum works fine.  See?  Here's an image:

post-46346-0-87589400-1445005751_thumb.j

 

The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks. I was able to darken the original layer after deselecting the dotted line area with "Edit - Deselect" . But how can one think intelligently about this if one layer is activated and top of this layers list but you can't edit  it because a layer at the bottom of the list and deactivated interferes. The instruction manual seems to be telling me that deactivating a layer deselects it, and I could make sense of that. It doesn't tell me to deselect in any other way. Do I have to remember arbitrary procedures not in the manual in order to do anything?

 

I tried to attach a JPEG again and it worked. I don't think I did anything different from last time - attaching files is a pretty standard procedure. Another point - why do files have to be so tiny to allow attachment?

 

John Presland

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Thanks. I was able to darken the original layer after deselecting the dotted line area with "Edit - Deselect" . But how can one think intelligently about this if one layer is activated and top of this layers list but you can't edit  it because a layer at the bottom of the list and deactivated interferes. The instruction manual seems to be telling me that deactivating a layer deselects it, and I could make sense of that. It doesn't tell me to deselect in any other way. Do I have to remember arbitrary procedures not in the manual in order to do anything?

 

Sorry, but this is the way image editors work. Paint.NET should do most operations in the standard way, and as you continue editing images and become more proficient, the reasoning will make more sense to you.

 

I tried to attach a JPEG again and it worked. I don't think I did anything different from last time - attaching files is a pretty standard procedure. Another point - why do files have to be so tiny to allow attachment?

 

John Presland

I assure you that you did do something different.  Attaching images has worked every single time I've tried.

And images have to be so small because (1) Rick pays for bandwidth and hosting space, and it's not cheap (especially with the number of hits this site gets), and (2) many users live in parts of the world where they have very slow or metered internet connections, and allowing massive files would be unfair to them.

Trust me, decisions have not been made arbitrarily.

 

The Doctor: There was a goblin, or a trickster, or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world.
Amy: But how did it end up in there?
The Doctor: You know fairy tales. A good wizard tricked it.
River Song: I hate good wizards in fairy tales; they always turn out to be him.

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Thank you. But I don’t think you are addressing the basic question of how I can use the program in a reasoned manner. Firstly, I describe my further efforts and outcomes. I have been careful to record exactly what I did and what happened.

 

1. I opened my background image and resized it.

2. I copied my Layer 2 image and pasted it into a new layer.  

3. I resized and moved the Layer image (dragging corners).

4. I brought the Background layer to the top and had it as the only one activated. According to the manual, this should select it. But I couldn’t do anything with it, whereas the deactivated (and therefore supposedly not amenable to editing) layer could be edited in all sorts of ways.

5. I did what you suggested in this situation, deselecting with Ctrl + d. I was then able to resize it by dragging its corners and to edit eg its brightness.

So far, so good.

6. I next brought Layer 2 the top and made it the only layer activated and applied Ctrl + d, just as I had done to get the Background layer activated. But I couldn’t do anything with layer 2. Only the deactivated Background layer could be changed.

7. I made the Background layer active, then deselected it with Ctrl + d. Then I made the background layer inactive. Layer 2 was still active. I could now move Layer 2 and edit it in all sorts of ways - brightness, sharpen, black and white, crop, change colour, etc. But I couldn’t resize it by dragging on the corners.

8. I then thought that I could change its size with the zoom tool, and I could but it does it in large steps so it’s not so helpful as dragging the corners. Further, I then found I couldn’t zoom out - is there supposed to be a zoom out function? Nor would Undo restore it to its former size - or reverse anything else. Nor would it let me do anything else. I was stuck. I used Ctrl + d, but was still stuck. End of session.

 

You say this is how editing programs work, but I don’t know what you mean by this. Presumably the manual is supposed to tell you how it works, but I can’t predict what’s going to happen from what it says.  And now I’ve used exactly the same steps to get each layer editable and it worked for one but not entirely for the other.  How could the greater experience you champion help with this - the experience will help only if it’s successful, and success needs helpful guidance. 

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It's not easy to understand what you are doing, and sometimes the word 'deactivate' can mean other things. 

If you uncheck a layer's box, that means it's also 'deactivated' and you can't make changes on the layer. 

When a layer is active it will appear bluish and, if it is checked, you can change the layer.

 

Also, with your step #8 ........... this zooming will depend on your canvas size. Ctrl & + will zoom in and Ctrl - for out. See here for keyboard shortcuts.

 

Here is a good search link to look for help on subjects.

 

Can you give us a screen shot of your layers?  Something like this would help:

 

F0SsviP.png

 

Finally, it does take a while to get used to using this program ;)

 

Edit:

 

7. I made the Background layer active, then deselected it with Ctrl + d. Then I made the background layer inactive. Layer 2 was still active. I could now move Layer 2 and edit it in all sorts of ways - brightness, sharpen, black and white, crop, change colour, etc. But I couldn’t resize it by dragging on the corners.

 

In order to resize the layer you have first to click on the Move Selected Pixels Tool :MoveTool:  and then 'click' on the layer to resize it.

 

P.S.  Here a simple video on layers.  Whilst it's using an older version of Paint.net it still shows how layers work, especially when moved.

Edited by Pixey

30b8T8B.gif

How I made Jennifer & Halle in Paint.net

My Gallery | My Deviant Art

"Rescuing one animal may not change the world, but for that animal their world is changed forever!" anon.

 
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