Introduction to Layers

What are Layers?

Layers are an important concept to grasp when working in photo editing or graphic design. BeFunky utilizes layers in a few different ways, but the core concept of them remains the same.

Every image starts as a single layer. Once you start adding extra elements to an image, like another image, or a graphic or block of text, you add multiple layers onto your image. Each layer stands alone in regards to editing, and you can move between layers to make edits to one without directly affecting another. In this guide we’ll go over the different types of layers you’ll encounter on BeFunky and how to manage them.
 

Image Layers

Below we have a new layer to add from our Image Manager. This horse cutout has a transparent background, and can be added as a layer onto the background image.
 
Click on your horse cutout and you’ll see the option to ‘Add as Layer’. Choose this and you’ll see the horse hover over your original image, which is currently set as the background. Your horse will be considered a ‘layer’ here, as will any subsequent images added over the background.
 
Once your layer has been added, you can use the blue checkered border to adjust the size of the layer, or rotate it to fit in better with your image. Click the layer and drag it around the canvas to move the location of your layer.
 
You'll also see an "Image Properties" panel appear when you add a new layer. This will let you make certain changes to the layer, like adding a color overlay or tint, or click on the 'Options' sub-menu to change things like Blend Mode, Opacity or layer placement.
 

Graphic Layers

If you’re looking to add graphics to your project, each graphic you add will be a separate layer. Just like you’ve seen with image layers, under the 'Graphics' menu, you can 'Search Graphics' and select the graphics you want to use to add them to the Image Manager. From there, either drag and drop, click and 'Add as Layer' or double click the graphic to add it to the background.
 
Once it’s been selected and added to the canvas, you’ll see a ‘Graphic Properties’ panel appear. This will give you options to add a Color Overlay or Tint, change the position of the graphic relative to the rest of your layers, adjust opacity, change the Blend Mode or other alignment.
 

Text Layers

For adding text layers, you’ll do the exact same process as graphic layers. Head over to the Text menu, then click ‘Add Text’ to create a new text layer. Once you’ve typed in the text you want to use, you can use the ‘Text Properties’ panel to change the font style, size, color, background and more.
 
Each piece of text you add will be considered a new layer. Depending how you want your text to look, you may want to make several different layers of text so you can have them at varying sizes and colors as opposed to one uniform font. Experiment with different options and find what works for you!
 

Managing Layers

Layers are arranged in a stack within your Layers panel. On the bottom bar of your workspace you’ll see an icon that looks like three sheets of paper stacked. Click on that to control your layers and groups.

Moving and Managing LayersYou can click between each layer in that panel to make it the active layer you’re currently working on. You can also drag a layer up or down in the Layers panel to change the order of layered objects in the image.

Layer Groups

If you want to manipulate multiple layers at the same time, you can combine them into groups. This can be helpful if you’re grouping several different layers of text or graphics that you want to experiment with.
To select a group, hold down the ‘Control’ button or right click on your keyboard, then click on the layers you want to group. You’ll see them all get selected, with one larger selection box around all of them.
 
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