Using Layers in Deep Paint

This tutorial will focus on using layers in Right Hemisphere's Deep Paint as a stand-alone program and then saving the Deep Paint file in its (1) native dp2 file format and then (2) as a PSD file. Saving it as a PSD file rather than a TIFF, JPG, or BMP will ensure that it retains its layers. I will initially show how I create the file in Deep Paint using layers and then, once it is created, how I then manipulate the layers for effect in both Deep Paint and in Photoshop 7. I could have just as easily used an earlier version of Photoshop, but I wanted to demonstrate Deep Paint's compatibility with Photoshop 7.

Even though I normally do not recommend resampling a picture; i.e. changing its size, for example, from 4" x 6" to 8" x 12" at 300 dpi when it is done in Photoshop and with a file from Deep Paint, its detail and color are not diminished. For this scenic, I started with a file of 3.887" x 6" at 300 dpi. To see a larger rendition of the initial scene, click on the image on the left.

As I stated earlier, I like to work with Deep Paint as a stand-alone program. It could be out of habit from when I first started to use Deep Paint and I didn't have a lot of memory. But I have found that I still prefer this method of working.

There are two files that accompany this tutorial that can be downloaded. One is a file of the brushes I used for the tutorial. The file is called Brushes. The brushes' file is a zipped file. The other is a slightly smaller version of the original picture. The file is called Water Laurels. I am giving people permission to use it for this tutorial. Please be aware that it will take a few minutes to download depending on your speed.

Step 1 - I set up my clone source and my layers. This gives my work a structure. I have found that a good opacity for a cloning source layer is about 54%. I will vary the percentage from about 45% to 60%.

Background Image at 54%
Command Panel Showing Background as Clone Source and Other Layers

Step 2 - To add the brushes to your other brushes, select the brushes icon click the top right arrow in the Command Panel and select "merge preset files." The brushes will appear under the heading Layer's Tutorial. You can change the name if you like. The file on the right shows the brushes in the file

Step 3 - I then clone the bottom most layer. In this case it is the water. I used the water sparkling brush and the water no sparkling brush. To clone, select the cloning tool and select the brush. If you cannot remember how, see the Deep Paint manual or some of my previous tutorials which explain the basic methods of cloning. I always vary the size of the brushes as I work. The sparkling water brush gives the water a bubbling effect while the water no sparkling brush gives it a smoother effect. When the brush is not a round brush, always follow the direction of the lines in the picture unless you make a decision not to do that.

Step 4 - Since the water does not spill over into the rest of the background, I did not make that layer invisible when I added the background leaves. I divided this layer roughly into two parts. If you look at the top third of the image, the texture is smoother than the texture at the bottom two thirds. I used the smooth round small brush for the top third of the background leaves and the bubbles tiny closer together at a larger size, about 20 instead of 14 for the bottom third. I varied the size of both brushes..

Step 5 - For the moss layer, I once again made invisible all the layers but the moss layer and the background source layer. I used the smooth round small brush because I wanted the smoothness of the moss to contrast with the roughness of the water even though I did use a rough round 12 brush for variation when I cloned the moss. From time to time, I made visible the water layer and the background leaves layer to make sure I was cloning the moss layer correctly. I wanted to make sure I was varying the textures of the moss layer to complement the textures of the water and the background leaves.


Step 6 - The next to the last layer I needed to clone was the leaves layer. For this I used three different smooth brushes. These were the smooth round small, smooth square 22, and the smooth squashed round 14.

Step 7 - The very last layer was the stem layer. For that I used the toothpaste CBS brush which gives a raised three dimensional effect.

Step 8 - After all the layers had been completed, I made the cloning source layer invisible to see if I had cloned in all the details. I then went back and filled in any holes that I found. Some of the holes are circled in red.


As anyone who has used Deep Paint will know, the native format is the only one that will retain completely the lighting and depth elements. Below are two screen captures of this scenic with all layers including the background at 100%. One is the native Deep Paint format of dp2 and the other is the Saved As psd format. As you can see, it is hard to tell the difference. However, the difference is discernible when looking at the image in Deep Paint


At this stage of the process, I can leave this picture in Deep Paint and print it from Deep Paint or I can save it as a psd and work with it in Photoshop. In either case, I will definitely manipulate the opacity of the layers as well as work with some of the different elements on the layers. This is a thumbnail of the final version with only the opacities of the layers changed. In this case, I only changed the opacity of the source layer. I left it as it was originally when I was working on the file in Deep Paint (54%). Click on it to see a larger version along with a comparison to the original image.

When you save an image as a psd file in Deep Paint and then open it in Photoshop 7, for example, the opacity of all the layers defaults to 100%. If you want the layers to appear as they did in Deep Paint before they were flattened in Deep Paint because their opacities will not remain the same when flattened in Deep Paint, even though the file is still in a dp2 format, as they were when in layers, you must make note of the opacities and then transfer those to to their respective layers in Photoshop. However, flattening dp2 files is another issue altogether. For example. If the stem layer was set at 60 % in Deep Paint, when the psd file was brought into Photoshop, it would appear to be 100% so it must be reduced to 60%.

I hope this is just a starting point because so much more can be done using Deep Paint alone or in conjunction with other programs. For example, areas can be eliminated or added either through cloning or through using the brushes in Deep Paint. Also, in Photoshop, various filters can be applied to the (Deep Paint) layers that now comprise the Photoshop image. WaterLaurels version 1 is the one pictured in this tutorial. WaterLaurels version 2 is an example of the same original pictrue worked with different brushes in Deep Paint.