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Fun with Layers
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Fun with Layers
Created by:Dennis Reed

In this tutorial, we'll take advantage of PSP's layer feature and use the Eraser tool to combine three photos.
Download the attachments for this tutorial Download File
You can download the three photos that we combine in this tutorial with the download file on the left.

Standard Toolbar - Open (image) button
First open the three photos from your download file in PSP. Click on the beach photo to make it the active image and go to Window || Duplicate so you can work on a copy. Close the original beach image.

Now click on the wolves photo to make it the active image. In the Layer Palette, take the "Background" layer with your mouse and drag it onto the beach photo. Make the beach photo active again and look at the Layer Palette: there are now two layers, "Background" (the beach) and "Layer1" (the wolves). You can now close the wolves image.

Do the same with the canyon image: Take its "Background" layer with your mouse and drag it onto the beach/wolves image so that it now becomes "Layer2" on your working image. Close the original canyon image. You have now only one image open with three layers (including the background layer) that each show one of the three photos.

Standard Toolbar - Save (image) button This is a very big image with multiple layers, so better save it right away (and don't forget to save it often during your work).

Layer Palette - Layer visibility off
We first have to work on the Background layer, so toggle the other two layers off for now in your Layer Palette. Double-click on the "Background" layer in your Layer Palette rename the layer to "Beach".

Tool Palette - Clone Brush tool
First we have to remove the kite from the sky, so click on the Clone Brush tool in your tool palette:
Shape = Round
Size = 10
Hardness = 0
Opacity = 100
Step = 9
Density = 100
Click on tab 2:
Clone mode = aligned
Sample merged = unchecked
Right-click a bit to the right of the kite, and then, with your left mouse button, paint over the kite to remove it from the sky.
Tool Palette - Mover tool

Right-click on "Layer2" in your Layer palette (your wolves become visible again), and choose "Rename" from the pop-up menu. Rename that layer to "Wolves".

Now we have to position the wolves layer properly: Click on the Mover tool in your tool palette and move the wolves a bit upwards, till the bottom right corner of that layer meets the horizon edge of the beach layer.

Tool Palette - Deformation tool The wolves layer does not extend over the whole beach sky, so click on the Deformation tool in your tool palette. The wolves image is now surrounded by a frame with handles at the corners, in the middle of the edges and in the center.

Take the middle handle at the top edge of the wolves layer and draw it right up to the top edge of your image. Then click on the "Apply" button in the Tool Options palette.


Tool Palette - Eraser tool
Now we have to remove the part of the wolves image that covers the water, the people and the umbrella on the beach layer. Click on the Eraser tool in your tool palette:
Shape = Round
Size = 5
Hardness = 75
Opacity = 100
Step = 1
Density = 100
In the Layer Palette, slide the wolves layer's opacity down so that you can clearly see the beach image beneath (25-30% opacity will work). Now very carefully erase the lower part of the wolves layer, so that you get a clean edge along the water and around the umbrella.

You may want to zoom in and out and vary the size of your Eraser while working on that, using a smaller size at the edges and a bigger size where you have to remove a lot and don't need such a steady hand.

Increase the opacity of the wolves layer now and then to see if you haven't forgotten a tiny bit of it. In the end, with the wolves layer at 100% opacity, your image should look like the one on the left.

Layer Palette - Layer visibility off Toggle the wolves layer invisible and right-click on the top layer, choose "Rename" from the pop-up menu and type in "Canyon". Decrease this layer's opacity to about 50%.
Tool Palette - Deformation tool

Click on the Deformation tool in your tool palette. The canyon layer is now surrounded by the deformation frame with the handles at the corners and in the middle of the edges, and in the center of the layer.

Take the middle handles of the left and right edges and draw them right to the image edges, to adjust the layer's width to the image width. Now take the middle handle of the bottom edge and draw it right down to the image bottom edge.

Now take the middle handle of the top edge and draw it down as well; watch the right edge of the mountain range which has to just cover the water edge at the right of the image. Then click on the "Apply" button in the Tool Options palette. In the end the image should look somewhat like the one on the left.
Tool Palette - Eraser tool Now we have to eliminate again those parts of the canyon layer that we don't want in the final picture. Click on the Eraser tool in your tool palette, use the same settings as before.

Slide the opacity of the canyon layer back to 100% for now and begin with erasing the sky of that layer. Zoom in and out again and vary the brush size while you work on that. Your image will now look like this one.

Still with the Eraser tool, but decreasing the opacity for the canyon's layer to about 25-30% again so you can see the beach layer underneath, carefully erase the parts of the canyon layer that cover the people in their chairs.

Again, zoom in and out, slide the opacity up and down for better sight, and vary the brush size as you need it.

In the end and with opacity back to 100% on the canyon layer, your image should look somewhat like the one on the left.

Now turn the wolves layer visible again and reduce its opacity till you like the result (in the image on the left, it has an opacity of 35%).

Then go to Layers || Merge || Merge All (Flatten).

Tool Palette - Preset Shapes tool - PSP 6 & 7

Tool Palette - Text tool
If you want, you can now add text to your new photo.

Click on your Preset Shapes tool and just take one of the preset shapes that come with PSP 7.

Then click on the Text tool and put your text on it.

In the end, you can have a photo like this one, combined of the three photos by using layers and the Eraser tool, and with a text added.

Have fun combining your own photos using this technique! :-)