Layers are a late addition to Grafx2, so don’t be surprised if the functions seem a bit separate from the rest of the program.
The concept of layers in Grafx2 is exactly the same as in Gimp, Photoshop etc. Here is a tentative introduction:
An image is made of several images of same dimensions, placed on top of each others (the "layers"). The transparent parts in a layer allow you to see the layer directly below, and the complete image is what you see when looking down from the top.
As you can edit each layer separately, designing your image as layers will allow you to modify/displace an element in the foreground without having to redraw the background, since the background is memorized in its own unchanged layer.
For more beginner explanations, try searching online tutorials on “using layers”.
An understanding of the concept of layers is assumed for the following sub-chapters.
System of transparency
Grafx2 handles layer transparency by marking a single color as transparent, for example color 0. All pixels drawn with this color are considered fully transparent; all other colors are considered fully opaque. No values in-between are possible, so no alpha channel is used. The result is like a 1-bit alpha channel, but it reserves a color from the palette, so you can only draw in 255 colors when using layers – except in the bottom layer, where this color is shown anyway in Grafx2.There is no eraser tool, because anything that paints with the transparent color will actually erase : you can erase with a monochrome brush of any size, with a filled circle, or with a polygon !
The GIF format allows you to mark a color as transparent, so the background shows through when it is displayed in a web page for example. PNG format has a similar feature, though it is less known. To use it in Grafx2 you can check the option \"Transparent background\", in Layer menu. This option controls if the \"transparent color\" of the layer system is also transparent in the GIF or PNG file. (This can be used even with images which consists of only one layer.)
The layer-specific tools are located in an optional toolbar that can be shown or hidden. To open the layer toolbar, left-click the button on the status bar.
In the layer toolbar, you can see:
- how many layers you have : the numbered buttons
- which one is the active layer where you draw : white button
- which layers are temporarily hidden : black buttons.
Only GIF supports layers at this moment. If you use any other format to save your layered image, the layer data will be lost and only the flattened image will be saved. (Grafx2 reminds you when you do).