Dumb question: How do you select an entire existing layer to fill?

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  • Updated 4 years ago
I only use PS occasionally and keep forgetting the basics. Have looked online but I can't find the answer!

I have labouriously created many layers consisting of small wave and cloud elements from a photo. How can I now select a layer to fill it (all of it and only it) with a solid colour?

I have selected a layer (let's say it is of a small wave hitting the side of a boat hull) but when I try to Edit>Fill>FG colour or Layer>New Fill Layer, the whole window fills. I created each layer in the first place (and it wasn't easy!) to make it easy to fool around with fill colours.

Do I have to select its outline again to fill, even though it is an isolated layer?

Thanks!
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Tannis Baker

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Posted 4 years ago

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David, Official Rep

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Hi Tannis,

To fill an entire layer with foreground or background, you're doing the correct steps.  Then, if you have a multi-layer document, the layers "above" your current layer will display with this changed layer as a solid background.  If that's not what you want, maybe what you're really seeking is a different effect.  Perhaps you should post a screenshot, so it's easier to conceptualize what you're trying to accomplish.

Thanks,
David
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Tannis Baker

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Hi David! Thanks for your speedy reply.

The steps aren't working as I need them too. I have cut a photo of a boat on water with waves and clouds into many pieces like a jig saw puzzle. Each piece is a layer.

I want to convert each layer into its own solid colour, ie this wavelet:

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David, Official Rep

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Hiya Tannis,

If you fill the whole layer, then that's all you'll see for that layer -- a single color. Perhaps you want to select the indicated layer and then try Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation or Image > Adjustments > Color Balance. That will maintain what you have, but change the blues to oranges or reds or whatever. Otherwise, you might want to CNTRL+click on the layer (in order to only select that little bit) and only fill the selection using the Fill tool (G -- alternate of the Gradient tool).

Thanks,
David
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Tannis Baker

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Trying the control click method in the layer panel didn't get me what I wanted. But once I control clicked on the wavelet, I was able to choose Load Selection - which got me what I wanted - a selected wavelet! Yay. I started this project so long ago - I had forgotten about loading selections.

Thanks for steering me where I wanted to go!

I do just want solid colours as it is supposed to look somewhat roughly painted - like a 30's poster, in the end. Experimenting!
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Tannis Baker

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Oh my goodness, David! I just realized that I could select the layer by Command-clicking on the thumbnnail - I was previously Command-clicking on the Name of the layer and not getting anything!

Double yay.

So much easier than creating masks etc.