How to overlay layers in Photoshop?

Virtually every editable graphic element in Photoshop forms a separate layer. There can be many such in the project structure. How to combine them with each other? How to overlay layers in Photoshop?

This task may involve placing:

  • one integral graphic element - image or text - on another;
  • the cropped area of ​​the picture on some third-party object.

Let's consider both options for overlaying layers in Photoshop in more detail, as well as some of the nuances of using the corresponding tools. For this we use Photoshop in version CS6 with an English interface.

Overlaying layers in the form of integral graphic elements

In order to carry out this operation, we need at least 2 separate graphic objects. These can be opened as two independent projects.

Launch Photoshop, select File, then Open - and load 2 images into the program. They can be selected in the corresponding window at the same time.

As a result, the images will be loaded on two separate canvases.

Now you need to unlock both layers, since immediately after opening they will most likely be designated by Photoshop as background and locked, and it is rather difficult to perform blending operations with them. To do this, double-click on the name of each of the layers, then click OK. The name of the corresponding graphic items will change to Layer.

Layers can now be overlaid. Let's try to place the one with flowers on the one where the photo of the sea pier is open.

The first step is to slightly reduce the overlay image. To do this, use the Transform Controls option. To activate it, you need to select the Rectangular Marquee Tool, then check the Show Transform Controls item at the top of the Photoshop interface.

Then, using the sliders located in the corners of the edited image, reduce the overlay image.

You can hold down the Shift key to keep the proportions from resizing while the image is being resized. After the optimal size of the image is selected, you need to fix it by pressing Enter.

Next, take the Rectangular Marquee Tool and select the picture with flowers.

After that, copy the corresponding graphic element using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl and C and paste it into the image opened in a neighboring project by pressing Ctrl and V. As a result, the picture with colors will be overlaid to the one where the sea pier was photographed.

A new layer will form at the same time. It can be freely moved relative to the previous one, edited, etc.

So, now we know how to overlay layers in Photoshop, which are integral graphic objects. However, Photoshop allows you to perform another useful operation - to overlay a layer, which is a part of a picture, on other drawings.

Let us study the features of this procedure.

How to overlay layers in Photoshop in the form of cut-out areas of pictures

In the course of solving the problem under consideration, it is assumed that the widest range of special Photoshop tools are used to select areas of edited images.

Actually, one of those may be the familiar Rectangle Marquee Tool. Using it, you can thus select a rectangular area in the drawing with flowers and copy it to another layer.

But in Photoshop there are a large number of other tools for highlighting certain areas of edited images. For example, using the Magnetic Lasso Tool option, you can select the contours of individual flowers on a "flower" photograph and copy them to another layer.

The Magnetic Lasso Tool is accessed by right-clicking on the appropriate group of options under the Rectangle Marquee Tool.

Overlaying layers in Photoshop: nuances

So, we have studied the basic tools of Photoshop, thanks to which you can overlay layers. Let us now consider some of the nuances of editing the corresponding graphic elements.

For the convenience of working with layers in Photoshop, a transparency mode is provided. If it is active, this or that layer, that is, the corresponding picture, will not be visible on the screen. Turning on the transparency mode is simple - you need to click on the eye image, which is located to the left of the layer name.

As soon as the picture with the eye disappears, the layer becomes transparent.

There is another way to hide this or that layer - to place it below the others in the control panel of these graphic elements. For example, if you perform the appropriate operation with those on which, in our case, flowers are displayed, they will no longer be displayed in the project window.

Overlaid layers can be glued together as well as bonded. What are these procedures?

Gluing layers assumes their full integration into a single graphic object - they become one picture. In order to carry out this operation, you need to select those layers that you want to merge, then right-click on any of them and select Merge.

Glued layer can be edited as a whole object. When you use one or another graphics processing tool, the selected effect is applied to the entire image.

In our example, the picture is modified using the Perspective option, which is included in the Free Transform toolset. It is easy to activate it - you need to select the Rectangle Marquee Tool function, then right-click on the edited picture, then right-click again.

In turn, the option of linking layers involves their "temporary" gluing. In order to use it, you need, again, to select the appropriate graphic elements, right-click on any of them and select the Link Layers option.

You can unlink layers. It is required to re-select them, right-click on the name of any, then select the Unlink Layers item.

An important nuance: the previous operation, gluing layers, does not imply the cancellation of this action - as is the case with a bundle. Therefore, before gluing layers, you need to make sure that they are no longer used separately in the project, or make copies of them.

Linked layers, on the one hand, remain independent, on the other hand, editing any of them will entail changes in the structure of the second.

If you apply certain effects to images within linked layers, and then unlink by selecting the Unlink Layers option, then each of the graphic elements will retain the structure that became the result using effects.

These are the main possibilities and nuances of overlaying layers in Photoshop.