Photoshop: How do I know which type of layer can be used for which tool?

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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Im trying to understand layers.

Say if I want to edit a portrait. I want to do 4 things; use the patch tool on blemishes, The clone stamp tool on the hair and background, add a colour adjustment and curves or contrast adjustment.

My question is, in which order do I do these in and what layers do I use for each correction? (new layer, duplicate layer, new layer with visible stamp?)

What I am doing at the moment is, I work on the blemishes with the patch tool on a duplicate layer of the background first, I then want to do the clone stamp tool but when I duplicate it again, the blemishes layer does not turn on/off when I click the eye icon.

I also try a new layer and hit COM+ALT+SHIFT+E to put a visible stamp on it and the same thing happens.
Why is this? Is there something I'm missing or doing wrong?

Please help!
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Robyn Manning

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  • confused

Posted 4 years ago

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Do it like this:

Adjustment layers - keep your adjustments at the top of the stack to apply to underlying layers
Clone/hair Layer - create an empty layer
Blemish Layer - create an empty layer
Background - your original pristine layer - never edit directly!

Select the empty layers and set the tool settings for the clone and patch tools too "Sample all layer" to paint/clone the results to the empty layers.
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Robyn Manning

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Thank you! So helpful. One question though. You say keep the adjustment layers on the top, does this mean it's best to do them last? Or are you able to drag them up even if you did the blemishes etc first?