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Controlling Individual Layers


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Total newbie here, pretty much to graphics editing in general, not just PDN. (I just finally "got" the difference between curves and curves! One is for lines, the other is for adjusting color. Close enough for now, we'll save that for the future.) I've tried searching both searchpaint.net and the forums, but I don't know what terms to search for; the responses are generally interesting, but do not seem to be relevant.

I opened a photo in PDN. For whatever reason, I now have two layers, a white b/g and the photo. I duplicated the photo, de-activated the original and the b/g (unchecked them in the layers control window), so only the copy layer is active. Using the Ellipse Select tool, I cropped that picture layer. Did some playing with various controls/effects. Went back to the original photo, and it too is cropped, as well as the all-white b/g layer.

I only want the active layer, which is on top, cropped, preserving the un-cropped original for playing with later. So what am I doing wrong? And how do I do it right?

If there is a tutorial or other answer, please just point me in that direction.

One other question: why did the program automatically include a white b/g layer? And do I need to keep it?

Keep in mind my first paragraph above, i.e., please keep responses as simple as possible (but no simpler).

Thanks,

--GeorgeB

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One other question: why did the program automatically include a white b/g layer? And do I need to keep it?

The default white canvas just provides a place to start. You can delete it as soon as you've added another one. :-)

 

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Yeah, don't use the crop tool in that case.

Do your selection as you described, then...

Instead, of using the crop tool, press Ctrl-I to invert your selection, then press the Delete key.

Et, voila! That's what I wanted to do.

But why does that work, and the crop tool doesn't? I think I'm anticipating that sometimes actions (edits, effects, etc) will be applied to all layers, and sometimes they won't. Is there a method to that madness, or is it just trial and error? (If it has to do with really technical stuff, programming, etc., just reply "Because we said so!" I will accept that. Truly.)

And ...

One other question: why did the program automatically include a white b/g layer? And do I need to keep it?

The default white canvas just provides a place to start. You can delete it as soon as you've added another one. :-)

Okay, tried that (deletion), it's gone; I actually may understand this. (I also re-opened the same pic in a new session, but "Opened the file into new tab" (or something) and it didn't have the white layer. All is good.

Thanks, all.

--George

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But why does that work, and the crop tool doesn't? I think I'm anticipating that sometimes actions (edits, effects, etc) will be applied to all layers, and sometimes they won't. Is there a method to that madness, or is it just trial and error? (If it has to do with really technical stuff, programming, etc., just reply "Because we said so!" I will accept that. Truly.)

The crop tool affects the entire image. As does everything in the Image menu. All other tools/effects/adjustments affect only the active layer.

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But why does that work, and the crop tool doesn't? I think I'm anticipating that sometimes actions (edits, effects, etc) will be applied to all layers, and sometimes they won't. Is there a method to that madness, or is it just trial and error? (If it has to do with really technical stuff, programming, etc., just reply "Because we said so!" I will accept that. Truly.)

The crop tool affects the entire image. As does everything in the Image menu. All other tools/effects/adjustments affect only the active layer.

Noted, and thank you. I think I'll remember that.

Now I'll go back and see what else I can find that my brain can't process.

Thanks to all who answered, much appreciated.

hmmm, just noticed the upgraded interactive tutorial. I hope none of the above is in there! :D

--George

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But why does that work, and the crop tool doesn't?

I know I'm a little late to the party, but this is relevant to your question above.

In Paint.NET, all layers are set up to be the size of the canvas as a whole, unlike other programs such as PhotoShop or The GIMP which have layers independent from the canvas in that regard. As a result, there is no way to "crop" a layer per sé, because you can't make the layer smaller, but you can remove the pixels on that layer that are outside of the selection you want.

Also, notice the Move tool. When you click on a layer when there is no selection active, Paint.NET automatically selects the entire layer. This is because of the forced layer size-canvas size correlation - Paint.NET cannot actually move the layer, so it lifts the pixels, then drops whatever pixels are still within the canvas boundary on the layer when the move is finalized.

The general rule of thumb is commands in the Image menu affect all layer, and commands in the Layers, Adjustments, and Effects menus affect only the currently selected layer.

Sorry for being late, but I hope it was informative enough to still matter. :wink:

Cheers, and happy editing!

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

~ Becoming the Archetype

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But why does that work, and the crop tool doesn't?

I know I'm a little late to the party, but this is relevant to your question above.

Not too late for me. But you may regret jumping in, as it clarifies more of what I don't understand, so...

In Paint.NET, all layers are set up to be the size of the canvas as a whole, unlike other programs such as PhotoShop or The GIMP which have layers independent from the canvas in that regard. As a result, there is no way to "crop" a layer per sé, because you can't make the layer smaller, but you can remove the pixels on that layer that are outside of the selection you want.

So, for example, on a photographic print, the difference would be between cutting an oval out of the print (cropping, physically making the picture smaller), and masking out the wanted area and somehow bleaching out the unwanted area (removing pixels). If that is (somewhat) correct, then I may have just learned something. (I really hate when I do that, it makes my head hurt! :D)

Regardless, in digital photo editing, would this be a distinction that doesn't really matter in most cases? (As long as I continue to live in the world of PDN, that is.)

Also, notice the Move tool. When you click on a layer when there is no selection active, Paint.NET automatically selects the entire layer. This is because of the forced layer size-canvas size correlation - Paint.NET cannot actually move the layer, so it lifts the pixels, then drops whatever pixels are still within the canvas boundary on the layer when the move is finalized.

I'm going to have to play with that some more, but I think I almost understand. Let me get back to you after playing around.

And just to be sure: in the world of PDN, this is probably more than I want/need to know?

The general rule of thumb is commands in the Image menu affect all layer, and commands in the Layers, Adjustments, and Effects menus affect only the currently selected layer.

That helps a lot, will cut down on the trial and error.

And thanks for jumping in. I'm not sure how "late" you were, quite timely for me.

Thanks again,

--George

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  • 4 years later...

This thread is a gem. I was having the same issue as the original poster and it was driving me nuts.

Never dawned on me that crop/delete would work differently with layers. Thank you so much for that and all the other info in this thread.

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Thread is great, but very old Alicia. Here on the forum we like to keep things fresh - so we tend to avoid replying to very old posts (there are some sections of the forum where this does not apply though).

For the full list of forum rules check this out: the Rules.

Welcome to the forum!

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