The Properties palette

With all of the layer types, you can view a layer's properties in two ways:

I. Pressing F7 on your keyboard. ^ Clicking the Properties button on the main toolbar.

When the Properties palette is open, you'll notice that there are a few options to adjust, but most of them are grayed out. That's because, for the most part, the options on a new layer are locked, and the palette reminds you about the settings you created with the new layer. You really only have the option to rename your layer from this level.

If you're working on an image layer (raster, vector, reverse, and/or tone) or selection layer, you may notice two additional check boxes for ruler settings; the Convert to Layer and the Hide check boxes. Use these check boxes for any layer-specific rulers and guides you may choose to work with. I explain this further in Chapter 8.

In any case, these are the only options available to you to adjust on the Layer Properties palette ... unless you click the Advanced View button. Normally, 1 would suggest checking out Part IV: Advanced Tips and Tricks, but in this instance, I think it's useful right now to go over the advanced features that you can do with a layer.

When you have the Advanced View open (shown in Figure 6-3), you have the following options available:

Figure 6-3:

The Advanced View of a raster layer in the Layer Properties palette.


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iOpacity: As the name implies, this function allows you to adjust how opaque or transparent you'd like the layer to be. You may find it useful to adjust the opacity when creating effects for your page. If you're like me and tend to have very heavy and sloppy pencil roughs, you may adjust the opacity of a layer to lighten up your roughs during the inking stage.

Another way to use this function is to adjust the opacity on a ruler layer so that you can see the guides just enough to use them.

The great thing about adjusting the opacity is that it doesn't affect your work on the layer in the slightest. You can adjust the opacity as much or as little as you'd like. If you want to revert or adjust it further, feel free! (Incidentally, this function is available with all layer types.)

To adjust the opacity, enter a value between 0% and 100% in the Opacity text box, or you can use the slider (activated by clicking the black arrow next to the text box) to adjust with your mouse or stylus until you've reached your desired level. Figure 6^4 shows the same image on two layers; the image that appears lighter is on a layer with a lower opacity.

i'* Display Color: I mention at the beginning of this book that Manga Studio is primarily used as a black-and-white program. It is, but that doesn't mean you can't use color if you want to. The Display Color function allows you to change the black (and/or white) colors to whatever colors you'd like. This is especially helpful to pencilers who prefer to work with a blue (or any color) pencil. Just select your color, and you have yourself a colored layer to pencil on!

To activate this function on an image layer, make sure you have the Layer Properties palette open for the layer, and then follow these steps:

1. Select the Color radio button.

If you already have line art down, you'll see that it changes to the default color.

Figure 6-4:

You can set an image layer to any opacity.

Alternative Lineart

Color Settings

Figure 6-4:

You can set an image layer to any opacity.

2. With your mouse or stylus, double-click the Alternative Color to Black color box.

This brings up the Color Settings dialog box shown in Figure 6-5.

3. Select your new color from the Default Color Set list.

If you don't see a color you like, you can use the color picker area (to the right of the Default Color Set) and select the exact color you would like with your stylus or mouse.

4. When you've picked your color, click OK.

Color Settings

Figure 6-5:

Adjust your layer colors with the Color Settings dialog box.

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5. If you want to change the White color, double-click the Alternative Color to White color box, and repeat Steps 3 and 4.

6. If you'd like to change your layer back to black and white, click the Grayscale radio button.

While I'm explaining how to change the colors on an image layer, keep in mind that the same rules apply to all of the other layer types. Each layer type has a different name for its primary and secondary colors, but you can adjust them all in the same way.

f Palette Color. This function doesn't affect the layer so much as it does the Layers palette. All changing the palette color does is change the display color of the layer within the Layers palette. This is good if you have a large number of layers and wish to organize them via color-coding.

Tone Area: Applicable to the tone layer only, this function assists you in the placement of your screentone on the page.

There have been many times when I've zoomed in close to place a screen-tone on a part of a character, only to zoom out and discover more than a few glaring areas that I've missed. Setting the tone area color helps fix that problem by laying down a flat color in addition to your screentone. It'll be pretty obvious from the get-go what areas are covered and which still need to be touched up.

To activate the tone area color, click the Tone Area check box. Adjusting the area color and opacity works the same way as adjusting the layer colors and opacity, so you can follow the steps provided earlier in this list.

V Output Attribute: As I mention earlier, setting a sketch or finish layer helps keep you mentally aware of which layer is which. It's also integral to determining which layers will be used when you decide to print or export your work.

Ruler Settings: As I mention earlier, these settings allow you to create a layer-specific group of rulers and guides for an image layer. I explain how these work in Chapter 8.

V Subtractlve Method: Used only with 8-bit layers, you can adjust how the line art is displayed (Does Not Subtract Colors, Threshold, Dither, and Convert to Tone). I explain each of these subtractive methods in Chapter 3.

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Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Freehand Sketching An Introduction

Learn to sketch by working through these quick, simple lessons. This Learn to Sketch course will help you learn to draw what you see and develop your skills.

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