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Layers are a powerful way to “build up” your images, with different enhancements and use of blending modes on each layer.
To create a new layer. Click on the "+" button in the Layers Toolbar header.
To remove the layer. Select the layer and click "-" in the Layers Toolbar title.
To change the blending mode of the layer. Set Layer blending mode in the drop-down list under the word Layers. You cannot set the blending mode for the first layer because it is not mixed with anything - it is the baseline image.
Modes of blending:
Layer Transparency Setting. Click on the drop-down menu with percentages near the word Opacity. Press this button and move the slider to customize the opacity.
Access Advanced Settings and Functions of the Layer. Click on the button with 3 horizontal strips (down arrow) right of the tool "Layers" above the list of layers. A context menu appears with additional features to apply to the layer.
To Change the Order of Layers. All the layers except the first are movable. Click on the layer and hold the mouse to drag the selected layer to the new location.
Disable / Enable of the Layer. Click on the orange circle on the left side of the mask layer preview icon to toggle between visible and hidden.
When you switch to the bottom layer - all of the top layers are off automatically. Hence only the current layer and all layers below are always visible. The orange circle is displayed on the left side of visible layer.
How the Layers Work
Each layer uses the previous layer as it’s starting point. In other words, each layer imposes the result of its processing on the previous layer.
An exception is the use of the selected texture. In this case, the effect is simply the selected texture. To show previous layers through new selected texture, erase a mask or decrease the opacity of the layer containing a texture. Otherwise, the top opaque texture completely covers all the lower layers.
How to Choose a Custom Texture as the Source Image for the Layer
By default, each top sheet effect is superimposed on the previous layer. But it is possible to use the selected texture as a base for a new layer instead of previous layer. There are 2 types of selected textures: texture from an external file (user) or one of the HDR file bracket.
To choose a custom texture from a file for a layer. Click the right mouse button on the layer to display the context menu and from there choose the "Source Image > Custom Texture..." After that, you select an image file open dialog. To control the texture-mapping mode, you can configure the context menu "Texture Mapping” to Fill the Screen or Scale to Fit.
To select one of the HDR bracket images as layer base. Click the right mouse button on the layer to open the context menu, then select the "Source Image". Find the named image from the bracket with the names: HDR Frame 0, HDR Frame 1, HDR Frame 2. For convenience, the associated EV is displayed opposite each image.
More information about taking correct bracket images can be found in HDR tutorial made by Aurora HDR team.