Paint Shop Pro Layers: Production Graphics with Wendy Peck at | WebReference

Paint Shop Pro Layers: Production Graphics with Wendy Peck at

Paint Shop Pro Layers: Natural Organizers


Three black rectangles are transformed with nothing but layer effects in Paint Shop Pro.


Layers are similar to stacking sheets of acetate, like overhead projector sheets. See the basic layers description in my previous article on Photoshop layers.


Layer are not exactly a subject to make your heart beat fast, but they are essential to working efficiently with almost any graphic program, especially raster programs. Before layers were introduced, adding new objects to a document was very high on the stress meter. Once you clicked off the selection boundaries, that was it – the new object melted into the background.

Now we not only have the ability to keep raster items separate, we also have powerful layer-based effects in our toolbox. Understanding how layers work not only gives us the power to organize, but also to add artistic appeal to our images. Simply adjusting opacity, or adding an effect can take simple objects and create a visual treat. The image at the left was created in Paint Shop Pro with three black rectangles on three layers. Each layer received a different effect ... nothing more.

I have grouped Paint Shop Pro and Fireworks together since both offer vector and raster format for objects. If you are not certain what a vector or raster format is, or how they work, I recommend that you start with Graphic Underworld: Behind the Pretty Pictures. When you understand the difference between the two, this tutorial will be much easier to understand.

So, if you are ready to tackle one of the most important basic subjects, take a quick trip to the introduction from my previous article on Photoshop layers. Make sure you understand the concept of layers, and then fire up your software and choose your section. We will start with Paint Shop Pro. If you are a Fireworks user, you can click through to the Fireworks menu. You may want to take a wander through the Paint Shop Pro pages as well though, since there are always ideas that can be gleaned from the way a different program operates.


Wendy Peck is a working Web designer and writer living in NW Ontario, Canada.


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Paint Shop Pro Layers Tutorial Index

Paint Shop Pro Layers Start
Layer Basics
Working with Layers
Vector Layers
Layer Effects

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Created: August 30, 2000
Revised: August 30, 2000