Dark Side of the Lens

Layers in Photoshop Elements – Basic Principles

I have had several requests from people (thank you) for some tutorials on using layers in Photoshop Elements. I had intended to leave this until a little later in the piece, but there’s no harm in bringing it forward a little, so here we go.

This first video explains the basic principles. Some of you may already know layers at this level but I want to make sure that everyone has the basics mastered so we can attack the more complicated stuff in the next few videos.

Things may evolve as I go, but at present I thing the rest of the video series on layers is likely to go:

Layer masks

Adjustment layers

Layer Styles

Layer Blending Modes

So, get stuck in with this initial video and by the end of the series you should be working magnificently with layers and you’ll be amazed at what you find you are then able to achieve with your photos.



12 Responses to “Layers in Photoshop Elements – Basic Principles”

  1. PlugIM.com Says:

    Photoshop Elements Layers – Basic Principles…

    The first in a series of videos that explores the power of lsyers in Photoshop Elements, working up from the basics to advanced techniques….

  2. dizzed.com Says:

    Dark Side of the Lens – Free Photoshop and Elements Video Tutorials…

    A site with free video tutorials for Photoshop Elements, tips and tricks, to help you get better results from your camera….

  3. picman Says:

    Many thanks for the excellent and informative videos.
    Now instead of ploughing through reams of text and learning very little, I find by watching and following your examples I’m rapidly doing things I would’nt have thought possible..
    Many thanks and keep up the good work, as i’m sure many others benifit as i do.
    All the best for 2009 to you all.
    Greatfully Yours George Farndon

  4. Natator Says:

    Thanks George 🙂

    I have many more planned, and following an overseas trip later this month I hope to free up enough time to put them up far more regularly.

    All the best for 2009 to you and yours as well 🙂


  5. Dee Van Says:

    I watched your first video on layers and it was very well done and I understood it. What I don\’t understand is why when I put 2 or 3 papers down for my background, then I import a photo, the layers disappear and the photo layer is the only thing that shows in the layer pallet. Where did my papers go? In your example you had a blue background, a red square and a yellow square. When you imported the plane and helicopter, where did the blue, red, and yellow paper go? How would I keep them and paste the plane onto that background? This happens often to me. I think I have it, then some layers leave. I didn\’t even tough the eye icon. Thanks for any help you can give me. I am sure I am not the only one missing some vital step.

  6. Natator Says:

    Hi Dee

    I am a little confused by your post, but am more than happy to try and help.

    Firstly, can you explain what you mean by “papers”? I think you might mean “layers” and I’ll answer on that assumption and I’ll correct later if needed.

    Now I didn’t use the “Import” function. I simply opened existing images. If I ever used import it would probably be to scan in an image that is not already on my laptop, something perfectly valid to do.

    What I suspect is happening to you (let me know if I am wrong so we can continue to investigate) is this …

    You are importing, or opening, a new image. This has just the one layer.

    The other image you were working on is still there but in the background. Pull down the menu from the top labelled “Windows”. At the bottom of the menu that comes up will be the “windows” you have open. I suspect you’ll see 2 different windows at this point (they might even be “Untitled-1 and Untitled-2”. Clicking on either name will open up that window.

    If you are using Elements 7, on a PC zat least, you can see the open images shown at the bottom of your screen if you are showing the “Project Bin” (click on “Show project bin” at the bottom left if its not there).

    All you need to do is select all of your new image ( A ), copy it ( C ) switch to the original window and paste it in there ( V ). If you carefully watch the original video I think it shows you that in more detail from memory.

    Please let me know how you go and if this doesn’t solve it for you then I’ll explore it further with you.



  7. photoshop tricks Says:

    does this strategy work?

  8. Natator Says:

    Absolutely 🙂

    It is a little trickier than most of the tips given here, and not as neat as in Photoshop proper (though the mask works exactly the same way once you’ve got it set up) but very powerful indeed.

    Have a go and see how you get on.



  9. Donna Says:

    An excellent lesson on layers. I’m a beginner and could not follow the layers of colour. After watching over and over I saw you click the bucket tool to choose colour. Most important. A simple step but a beginner like me needs that step by step info or they can’t continue in the lesson.
    Thanks so much

  10. Natator Says:

    I know exactly what you mean there Donna. I try to show every step but sometimes one slips through. Glad you got there in the end 🙂

  11. Gigi Thibeault Says:

    thanks a lot for beginning this thread

  12. Jim Kerrigan Says:

    I wanted to see your tutorials on Elements 6.0 in high def and it said to register to get those… I’m hoping this is where to register and you’ll tell me how to get bigger, better-to-see-the-details images to follow along. Thanks.

    JIm Kerrigan

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