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Layers and Effects

Trying to imagine what Photoshop would be like without layers is like trying to imagine what a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich is like without the bread (everything is just one gooey, sticky mess).

Imagine painting in the traditional method. As you use the brush on the canvas, you're adding paint. If you decide to paint a white cloud over a blue sky, the white paint covers the blue paint under it (some paint might show through, and we'll get to the subject of opacity soon). Theoretically, if you wanted to move that cloud to a different part of the sky, you'd have to cut it out and then glue it elsewhere, leaving a gaping hole in your canvas. It's no different in Photoshop. Let's say you create a blue sky and then draw a white cloud over a part of it. If you try to select and move that cloud elsewhere, you'll have a hole cut out of the sky where the cloud was originally (see Figure 5.39).


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