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Lesson 9. Basic Pen Tool Techniques > Adding layers to complete the effect

Adding layers to complete the effect

Now, just for fun, you’ll see how creating the selection with the Pen tool can help you achieve interesting effects in an image. Because you’ve now isolated the space ship, you can create an exact duplicate of the selection on a new layer. Then, when you add a new object to a layer between the original layer and the duplicate saucer layer, that new object appears to be between the saucer and the starry sky background.

In the Layers palette, make sure that the background layer is selected, so that you see the selection outline in the image window. If you deselected it, you need to repeat the previous procedure (“Converting paths to selections” on page 327).

Choose Layer > New > Layer Via Copy.

A new layer appears in the Layers palette, named Layer 1. The Layer 1 thumbnail shows that the layer contains only the image of the flying saucer, not the sky areas of the original layer.

In the Layers palette, double-click Layer 1 and type Saucer to rename the layer.

Use the File Browser or choose File > Open to open the Planet.psd file in your Lessons/Lesson09 folder.

This is a Photoshop image of a planet, with a transparent area already defined around it.

If necessary, move the image windows so that you can see at least part of both the Saucer.psd window and the Planet.psd window.

In the toolbox, select the Move tool (), and drag from the Planet.psd image window into the Saucer.psd image window.

Close the Planet.psd image, leaving the Saucer.psd file open and active.

The planet appears to be in front of the space ship. You’ll correct that now so that the saucer is flying away from the planet.

In the Layers palette, drag the Planet layer between the Saucer layer and the Background layer.

Still using the Move tool, drag the Planet layer to change its position in the Saucer.psd window until you are satisfied with the appearance of your composition.

Choose File > Save.

You’ve completed the Basic Pen Tool lesson. Try drawing paths around different objects in your artwork to practice using the Pen tool. With practice, you’ll find that the Pen tool can be invaluable for creating intricate outlines and selections.



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