v1.2 Layers Panel

Andrew Chadwick edited this page Jan 22, 2016 · 4 revisions

:book: Part of the v1.2 User Manual.

The Layers dockpanel is used for organizing files into layers and groups of layers. It can be opened from the main application menu (Window → Layers Panel), or by clicking its icon on the toolbar.

Layers panel layout

The panel's UI is fairly complex.

From top to bottom, it contains:

  • The mode menu, for selecting how the layer combines with its underlying layers.
  • The opacity slider, which controls how much of the layer's content combines with its underlying layers.
  • The layers tree, sometimes called the layer stack.
    • The icon on the left represents the type of the layer.
      • Folder icons represent groups.
      • Normal painting layers don't get any special icon.
      • Special kinds of layer get different icons.
    • Grid lines and spinner triangles help you organize the tree structure.
    • Layers can be dragged and dropped within the tree.
    • Layer groups are treated much like layers. Their name is shown in italics.
    • The eye icon open eye controls whether the layer is visible.
    • The lock icon open padlock controls whether the layer is locked for edits.
  • Actions which affect the currently highlighted layer. From left to right:
    • Add Layer: add a new layer above the current one.
    • Remove Layer: remove the current layer.
    • Move Layer Up, and Move Layer Down: these move the layer around in the tree.
    • Duplicate Layer: this makes an exact copy of the current layer (or group) at its current location.
    • Merge Layer Down: merge the layer into the one below it, if that's possible. :ghost: Be careful, this can change the two layers' appearance unexpectedly!
  • The Show Background toggle turns MyPaint's special background layer on or off. The button next to it allows a different background image to be chosen.

The background layer

This is a special hidden layer which can be thought of as an infinite piece of drawing paper. Images do not have to contain a visible background layer. The background layer can be turned off, in which case it is replaced with checker-board pattern. When the background layer is turned off, some actions in MyPaint have different outcomes:

  • When saving or exporting to a PNG image, the background layer is not included.
  • When merging layers, the effect is “more correct”, and not as prone to ghosting. See v1.2 Layer Merging and Normalization for details.
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