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  • Change layer to graphics layer?

    I'm a newbie and this is my first attempt at a post.

    In Elements is it possible to change a layer into a graphics layer? In Photoshop it is accomplished in the layer menu>type >render layer. I want to vary the transparency of each letter of a word by 10 %, for example, without having to put each letter on its own layer. I tried the fade effect in the HP tools and using the opacity control but it only worked on the entire layer. I could not find a way to do each letter individually on one layer.

  • #2
    Originally posted by [email protected]
    I'm a newbie and this is my first attempt at a post.

    In Elements is it possible to change a layer into a graphics layer? In Photoshop it is accomplished in the layer menu>type >render layer. I want to vary the transparency of each letter of a word by 10 %, for example, without having to put each letter on its own layer. I tried the fade effect in the HP tools and using the opacity control but it only worked on the entire layer. I could not find a way to do each letter individually on one layer.
    If you want a gradual fade, then add a layer mask to the text using the HPA3 tools, then draw a black/white gradient across the mask - the text will show 100 per cent where the mask is white, not at all where it is black and partially where it is grey. (if you want to vary the fade in discrete steps it is just a matter of colouring the mask behind each letter the darkness of grey to give the right amount of fade.

    Layer/simplify layer will turn a text layer into an ordinary layer (same effect as render layer in PS, I believe).
    Susan S.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Susan S.
      If you want a gradual fade, then add a layer mask to the text using the HPA3 tools, then draw a black/white gradient across the mask - the text will show 100 per cent where the mask is white, not at all where it is black and partially where it is grey. (if you want to vary the fade in discrete steps it is just a matter of colouring the mask behind each letter the darkness of grey to give the right amount of fade.

      Layer/simplify layer will turn a text layer into an ordinary layer (same effect as render layer in PS, I believe).
      Susan S.
      Susan, I'll give it a try. Thanks for the help.

      Comment


      • #4
        While you can use a layer mask, as Sue says, you might also try this:

        1. Make a new blank layer below the type layer and name it Letter Mask.
        2. Make a selection of the first letter and fill the Letter Mask layer with the opacity that you want to see it in the final result (for example, change the Fill Opacity for the Fill function, before filling).

        NOTE: you can make the selection roughly by using the rectangular Marquee tool, or you might Command/CTRL + click the type layer, then draw a marquee holding Option/ALT+SHIFT, which will retain only the selection area that the marquee covers.

        3. Repeat selection and filling for each letter (you can do this individually, or in groups).
        4. Link the Type layer and Letter Mask layer, then press Command/CTRL+G to group them. This will do two things: it will cause the type layer to be masked by the opacity of the Letter Mask layer, and it will group the position of the layer content.

        You may be able to get some interesting effects with additional masking and filter application...

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        • #5
          [QUOTE=Richard_Lynch]While you can use a layer mask, as Sue says, you might also try this:

          Thanks Richard, I am back and will give yours a try. With Susans idea it worked but as the letters faded the layer styles I had on them disappeared. Is that the way it is supposed to be? It didn't look good at all.
          Pat

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          • #6
            [QUOTE=trvlnmn]
            Originally posted by Richard_Lynch
            While you can use a layer mask, as Sue says, you might also try this:

            Thanks Richard, I am back and will give yours a try. With Susans idea it worked but as the letters faded the layer styles I had on them disappeared. Is that the way it is supposed to be? It didn't look good at all.
            Pat
            I didn't know that...just tried it and you are quite correct. Most curious - any amount of masking - even very pale shades of grey on the mask makes the layer style disappear. Is this a PS thing or a peculiarity of the layer mask as applied to elements?

            Richard's method (of course!) works and preserves layer styles - and by using a transparent to foreground gradient on the grouped layer (make sure you have a selection in the shape of the text first - I couldn't get grouped layers to work as a mask for text because was forgetting this important step!) you can get the same gradual fade that I suggested with the layer mask AND preserve the layer style.

            Susan S.

            Comment


            • #7
              Making a graphics layer

              1. Make a new blank layer below the type layer and name it Letter Mask.
              2. Make a selection of the first letter and fill the Letter Mask layer with the opacity that you want to see it in the final result (for example, change the Fill Opacity for the Fill function, before filling).

              Richard,
              Is the letter layer a plain layer or a fill layer?
              Paragraph 2 is not clear to me. (I'm not the most intelligent when it comes to masks) Each time I try to move my text selection to the letter mask layer it makes a new layer and I lose the styles. What am I dong wrong?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by trvlnmn
                1. Make a new blank layer below the type layer and name it Letter Mask.
                2. Make a selection of the first letter and fill the Letter Mask layer with the opacity that you want to see it in the final result (for example, change the Fill Opacity for the Fill function, before filling).

                Richard,
                Is the letter layer a plain layer or a fill layer?
                Paragraph 2 is not clear to me. (I'm not the most intelligent when it comes to masks) Each time I try to move my text selection to the letter mask layer it makes a new layer and I lose the styles. What am I dong wrong?
                I'm not Richard but I can try to answer the question:
                The Letter mask layer is a new transparent plain layer - not a fill layer. Use the Edit/fill command to fill the selection.
                Select your text by activating (clicking on) the text layer in the layer palette and then using your selction tool of choice. Then click on the letter mask layer on the layer palette - you don't need to move the selection - the selection that you have made will just work on whatever layer is active.

                (Trying it again I've just noticed that you do lose any drop shadows, outer glows, anything that appears outside the text from the layer styles doing this - because of the need to do a text selection. If you simplify the text and the layer style together before you select it the shadows do come along too - but this obviously means the text and the layer styles are no longer editable.)

                Susan S

                Comment


                • #9
                  Graphics layers

                  Great! Thank you Susan and Richard, I got it figured out and with some practice I will be able to do great things with this idea.

                  Another question on it. After I linked the letter mask and the text layers I tried to reposition the text. The text moved but the mask didn't. Is there a way to move the text and mask after I have and grouped the layers?
                  Pat

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by trvlnmn

                    Another question on it. After I linked the letter mask and the text layers I tried to reposition the text. The text moved but the mask didn't. Is there a way to move the text and mask after I have and grouped the layers?
                    Pat
                    Yup - link the text and the letter Mask layer together - if the text layer is the one currently active, then on the letter mask layer in the layer palette click on the little empty box next to the eye symbol. A chain should then appear indicating that the two layers are linked and they can then be moved around together (they can also be transformed in other ways - eg stretched up one using the free transform etc command and both the mask and the text will transform together.)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Susan, thanks for following up. As Susan pointed out the link (for grouped masking, the Layer link; for Layer Mask using the free tools the link between the mask and content thumbnails) can help you keep the positioning consistent between the mask and content if you plan to move the letter layer.

                      One last little tidbit...the styles you have on the type will only show up for the internal portion of the type. If you have drop shadows or other design Style elements that fall *outside* the letters they would be best applied to the Letter Mask layer in the steps I described. Be aware that the transparency of the mask will affect how much of the effect will show through...This can get pretty tricky to control if you want the transparency and effect (e.g., dropshadow) to mask out independently. it can be done, but you may not want to do it all with one layer grouping...

                      Hope that helps!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        thanks



                        Richard and Susan,
                        Thanks for all the help. I thought I had tried the locked layers to move the text and mask but I guess I didn't. It does work just as you said it would.

                        I thoroughly enjoy working (and playing)with HPPE. I am just a hobbiest but it gives me my creative outlet in life.

                        Pat

                        Comment

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