16- Layering Basics for E-Designers

I’ve been getting a lot of questions, especially from e-designers just starting up with Photoshop, about how layer order works in Photoshop.   So In this tutorial, I’m going to go over the layers palettes. Both, how it’s used, and, how to keep it organized.   1.) What are layers?   Layers are one of Photoshops Strongest features. They allow e-designers to have complete control over different aspects of their design.    

  Not only do layers allow an e-designer to manipulate layers separately, but, they also allow one to build multi-level compositions and produce very beautiful and realistic designs.    

 2.) How to use layers:

  Understanding Photoshops layers are going to be an essential step for e-designers. Although the following section may seem a little basic it is truly important to get these basics down before moving onto the more intricate detail work.

Exercise: Let's Take a Look At The basics of Using Layers for e-designers


Move tool - V

If your following along, select the move tool after creating your shapes.  

Selecting Objects.

With a single layer selected in the layers panel, practice moving it around.  

Next let's play with Selecting multiple Objects.

As an e-designer using Photoshop, you will have to deal with several different pieces of furniture in one design board or mood board. There will be times when you need to Target multiple layers and move them last once. To make this happen just hold shift and select multiple layers within the layer panel.  


Layer order. In many situations, an e-designer needs to be able to build dynamic graphics to make a room appear real.   To do that, a firm understanding of layer order in Photoshop is necessary if not mandatory.   Putting certain objects underneath others is simple all you need to do is grab a layer and move it up or down inside the layers panel.   I like to think of it like a stack of pancakes.   The top pancake is seen first (in the foreground of the design board ) and the bottom pancake is seen last (in the background of the design board ).    

After the pink dot is moved down in the layer stack.


Auto-select a Layer - Ctrl+Click (cmd+Click on mac).   Being an eesigner is all about getting a great design out as fast as possible. So, finding as many ways to cut down on time as possible is crucial.   Being able to select a layer without going to the layers panel helps us do just that.  

Turn off auto select to avoid the default “select anything “ scenario.  

In the drop down menu choose “layer”.   Then it as easy as holding CMD or CTRL and clicking on the image you want to select.  

 Duplicating A Layer.

  Another thing that comes up a lot as an interior designer using Photoshop is that you need to duplicate objects quite often. The good news is it's super simple and fast.     Just hold “alt” & drag any layer in the layers panel up or down to duplicate it. (Option-drag on a mac).  

Layer stack while duplicating the black dot.
After duplicating the black dot layer.


Exercise 2: Putting These principles to use.

Let’s try out what we have learned in a real-life interior design board.   Import multiple images with the backgrounds removed.  

  Using the tips and tricks we’ve learned so far put all the furniture into place.  


2.) Organization

So we now know how layers work but understanding how to keep them organized in the midst of chaotic complex design boards is really important.   - Name your Layer one way to do this is to name important layers within the layer stack. to do this just Double click on layer or group name.   - Grouping A designer can use an unlimited amount of layers which is great in theory, but if layers are not kept organized, the file can get out of control and confusing very fast. This is why grouping can be very helpful.  

Step 1. Hold shift and select multiple layers.

Step 2. Hit CMD or CTRL  G to group the layers.


Merge layers to keep layer size down.

Keeping layer size down is important in order to keep file size and complexity down. 

To do this, simply find a series of layers that are sitting on top of each other in the layer stack.    Make sure you will not need to adjust their positions in the future. Hold shift and select all of them.   Right-click, and hit merge layers.    Conclusion

 I hope this free Photoshop tutorial  helped you better understand the importance of layers and layer order. Thanks again for being here and happy interior designing.