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EternityZA

photoshop layers question

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Hey I am using photoshop and a tablet to draw and colour anime styled charecters for my game but im still figuring out how to get the most out of using layers anyway say i have a layer group called 'Hair' and in that group there is the following layers - 'highlights','darker shadows','shadows','base color' in that oder from the top. now my question is: if i finished colouring my 'base color' layer with a solid color how can i prevent any of the other layers in the 'Hair' layer group from ever going over that area. Thnx in Advance!

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Each layer has to have its own mask.

Here's how I do it:

1. Use the polygon lasso to select the whole area of the hair. To an empty layer Add Layer Mask->Reveal Selection.

2. Duplicate the layer, the mask will also be duplicated.

3. Bucket-fill the bottom layer with the hair base color.

4. Use the polygon lasso to select the area that should remain the base color. Subtract this from the layer mask of the higher layer (by bucket-filling it with black).

5. Duplicate the layer, the mask will also be duplicated.

6. Bucket fill the layer that is now second-to-bottom with the next desired color, either shadows or highlights.

7. Use the polygon lasso to select the area you want to remain that second color, and subtract it from the top layer.

8. Duplicate the layer, you get the idea by now right? You can do this iteratively nibbling away at the mask with the whole image if you like, starting with a background color or the whatever color occupies the largest area like a skin tone.

(Another possibility is feathering your polygon lasso section to get a soft border between the two colors. You can lower the opacity of a layer to make it blend with the layer below. People with a background in painting may prefer the method of starting with the shadow color on the bottom, or using layer properties like multiply, or hue, I've described the simplest way to use layering but there are a lot more complex things you can do with it.)

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A quick and dirty way would also be to CTRL-click the hair base colour layer, Selection > Modify > Inverse. Then select the highlight layers and press delete.

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