7.2. New Layer

The New Layer… command opens the «Create a New Layer» dialog that allows you to add a new, empty layer to the layer stack of the image, just above the active layer.

[Примітка] Примітка

When a floating selection is present, this command will show up as To New Layer. Using this, will turn the floating selection into a normal layer without opening the New Layer dialog.

7.2.1. Activating the Command

  • You can access this command from the image menubar through LayerNew Layer…, or by clicking on the dedicated button in the layer dialog.

7.2.2. Description of the «New Layer» Dialog

Рисунок 16.106. The «New Layer» dialog

The «New Layer» dialog

Below the title «Create a new layer», the name of the image that this new layer will belong to, is displayed. To the right of the title a thumbnail of that image is shown. This will enable you to check that you are adding the layer to the correct image when there is more than one image open.

Layer Name

The name of the new layer. It does not have any functional significance; it is simply a convenient way for you to remember the purpose of the layer. The default name is «Layer», but it remembers the last name you used. If a layer with the name you chose already exists, a number is automatically appended to it to make the name unique (e.g., «Layer #1») when you click OK to create the layer.

Color tag

If you click on one of these color buttons, the "Eye" icon box of the created layer will have this color. This can help you identify or group layers to make them easier to spot when you have a lot of layers in your image.


A layer's mode determines how the layer is combined with the layers below it. The default is «Normal». The drop-down list offers a wide choice of layer modes, also known as blend modes. On the right, there is another drop-down list to select between «Default» or «Legacy» layer modes.

Layer modes are described in more detail in Layer Modes and Legacy Layer Modes.

Blend space, Composite space

The color space used for blending or compositing the layer with the layers below it. «Blending» determines how the colors of the upper and lower layer are mixed together, and «compositing» how the upper and lower layer are merged together with respect to the transparency of each pixel.

Depending on the layer mode (see above) one or both of these settings may be disabled. It is only enabled for layer modes where setting this has any effect. When enabled, the default is Auto. The other choices are RGB (linear) and RGB (perceptual). Note that what Auto translates to, depends on the chosen layer mode. It is not the same for all modes. Some use linear, others use perceptual.

The linear and perceptual encodings are described in choosing precision and encoding and in the Glossary.

[Примітка] Примітка

When changing the layer mode, both Blend space and Composite space are always reset to Auto to make sure the settings make sense for that particular layer mode.

Composite mode

The layer Mode, sometimes referred to as its «blend mode» (Normal, Multiply, etc.), determines how the color values of the layer and its backdrop are combined (together with the Blend space setting). The composite mode of a layer determines how the alpha values of the layer and its backdrop are combined (together with the Composite space setting). The layer's backdrop is the content against which the layer is composited; namely, it's the combination of the layers below it.

There are two regions of interest when compositing the layer against its backdrop: the opaque region of the backdrop, and the opaque region of the layer. The layer's blend mode determines how to combine the colors of the intersection of these two regions: i.e., the common opaque region of both the backdrop and the layer (pixels belonging to only one of these regions don't need to be combined with anything, and retain their original color). The layer's composite mode determines which part of these regions to keep, and which to discard.

The example images below show the composition of two layers — the bottom layer containing a red feathered circle, and the top layer containing a green feathered circle — using «Addition» mode, and different composite modes (applied to the top layer).

  • Union: keeps the opaque regions of both the layer and its backdrop, i.e their union.

    Рисунок 16.107. «Union» option example

    «Union» option example

  • Clip to backdrop: keeps only the opaque regions of the backdrop (this includes the common opaque region to both the backdrop and the layer i.e their intersection).

    Рисунок 16.108. «Clip to backdrop» option example

    «Clip to backdrop» option example

  • Clip to layer: keeps only the opaque region of the layer (this includes the common opaque region to both the backdrop and the layer, i.e their intersection).

    Рисунок 16.109. «Clip to layer» option example

    «Clip to layer» option example

  • Intersection: keeps only the opaque region to both the backdrop and the layer, i.e their intersection.

    Рисунок 16.110. «Intersection» option example

    «Intersection» option example

  • Auto: «Auto» mode is not a separate composite mode, but rather corresponds to one of the other composite modes, depending on the layer's blend mode: for «Normal», «Dissolve», and «Merge», it corresponds to «Union», and for the other modes (that support different composite modes) it corresponds to «Clip to Backdrop».


Sets the opacity of painting on the layer. Default is 100%.

Width, Height

The dimensions of the new layer. When the dialog appears, the values are initialized to the dimensions of the image. You can change them by using the two text boxes. You can also change the units in the pull-down menu to the right.

Offset X, Offset Y

The default origin of the new layer is the upper left corner of the image canvas. Here, you can set the exact position of the layer. By choosing a negative offset, you can set the layer to be partially outside the image canvas.

Fill With

There are five options for filling the new layer: the current Foreground color, the current Background color, White, Transparency, and the current Pattern.


These switches on the right side of this dialog are described in the Layer Dialog documentation. See Layer Attributes (Visible and Linked), and Layer Characteristics (Lock pixels, Lock position and size, Lock alpha).