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Introduction

To be successful with Adobe Photoshop CS, the single most important item you will need is control. You need control over color, control over the elements of the design, even control over what order design elements appear. If control is what you crave, then Layers, more than any other single Photoshop feature helps you gain control. Layers give you the ability to separate individual elements of your design, and then let you control how those elements appear. You can blend the elements of two or more layers, and even create layers to adjust and control contrast, brightness, and color balance.

Layers are the digital designers canvas, and they are just as real as a stretched canvas is to a natural media designer. The strokes you apply to a real canvas, using a brush, appear as strokes in a Photoshop layer when you use any of the painting tools. The natural artist uses oils, and watercolors; the Photoshop artist uses electronic inks. The Layers palette gives us the ability to view the image almost as if we were actually painting or designing. However, we don't work in the world of natural media, and our canvas—the Layers palette—goes far beyond anything possible in the "real" world.


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