What is a Layer?
Layers are a powerful way to “build up” your images. They allow you to add filters–or stack several filters together–to apply corrections or enhancements. Changing blending modes, adding a layer mask and adjusting the overall opacity (revealing or hiding the layer below) will give you the freedom to experiment until you achieve exactly the look you’d like for your image.
Luminar creates a base layer when an image is first opened. Think of this as the background layer. Since there isn’t a layer beneath it, you are not able to change this layer’s opacity. This may not seem such a big deal at first, but once you start to understand layers, you’ll find it may influence your starting point.
Creating Your First Layer
To create a new layer, click on the + button in the Layers Toolbar header. A small pop-up menu will appear giving with two options to create a layer–New Adjustment or New Image Layer. Use an Adjustment Layer to create a layer to which you can apply a preset or any other adjustment in the Filters panel. The Add Image option will show a standard Open File dialog, allowing you to create a new layer with a texture file or another image that you’ve chosen. In this example, I selected the New Adjustment Layer.
Using Layers in Your Editing Workflow
To really understand the power of layers, it’s best to see them in action. This video walks you through the steps of adding and working with layers as you learn:
- How to apply presets
- Add individual filters
- Work with a Layer Mask to selectively show or hide the combination of all filters
- How to change the Layer’s blend mode