Why do my old layers disappear when I add a new layer?

New Here ,
Jul 16, 2022 Jul 16, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I am trying to learn Photoshop Elements 2022, using a PC. In this particular case, I am trying to replace the background of a photo with a new background taken from another picture, following this YouTube video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kADZHaZmiY

In the process, I have to first open the picture whose background I want to remove, then make duplicate layer to work on, saving the original one as my background; no problem, so far. Both of these layers are visible in the layer panel to the right side of the screen, as they should be.

The second step is to open a second picture which contains the new background (a blue sky, in my case) that I want to place into the first, original picture.

However, whenever I open the second picture containing the sky I want to use (at 2:25 in the video), the first picture disappears from the main work area of Elements as well as from the two above layers in the layer panel. In the video I am following, neither the picture nor the first two layers disappear when he opens the second picture, so I am doing something wrong.

 

So, my question: Why did my first layers disappear from the work area as well as from the layers panel?

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

TOPICS
How to , Problem or error

Views

93

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines

correct answers 2 Correct answers

Community Expert , Jul 17, 2022 Jul 17, 2022

A picture is worth a thousand words.  But if I understand you correctly, you have two separate files open in the editor.  Each one has its own set of layers.  So what you  are looking at is the layer panel for the selected photo.  It is easy to combine the layers in one file by click and dragging one photo into the other from the photo bin or by dragging a layer from the layers panel over to the other photo's floating window.

 

Alternatively, open the background photo and use the File>Place comm

...

Likes

Translate

Translate
Community Expert , Jul 17, 2022 Jul 17, 2022

The File>place command facilitates this, and I use it frequently. 

If you wish to replace the sky (old sky) with a new one, additional steps are in order.

Try this:

1. Open your picture file

2. Go to File>place and point to the replacement sky. In the dialog click on "Place."

3. Drag the new sky over the old sky . This smart layer will allow you to drag east to west and north to south. 

4. Set the blending mode of the layer with the new sky to darken

5. Set your foreground color chip to white

5.

...

Likes

Translate

Translate
Community Expert ,
Jul 17, 2022 Jul 17, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

I'm not exactly sure what you did, but if you go to Edit>Preferences>General (or press Ctrl+K), check the box for Allow Floating Documents in Expert Mode.  Then, when you open a second document, it will appear in a separate window within the workspace.  You probably have the box unchecked (which is the default) and so when you open a second document, it will appear in a tab that you can switch between images.   You can also show both photos in the Photo Bin which appears at the bottom of the workspace area.

Snap_2022.07.17_0h50m27s_002.png

 

Now, having said that, I took a quick look at the tutorial.  There are usually many ways to accomplish a task in Elements.  Frankly, IMO, the techniques shown in the tutorial are time-wasting and difficult to use.  I suggest you take a look at the Guided Edits that are available in Elements 2022 which use Artificial Intelligence or easier techniques to make selections for background replacement. 

 

If all you want to do is replace a sky, try the Perfect Landscape Guided Edit (found in the Special Edits tab).  A couple of clicks and the sky will be replaced very effectively in most cases.

 

If you want to replace something other than the sky, you can use the Replace Background Guided Edit (also in the Special Edits tab).  This allows you to select a subject, e.g a person, delete the background and/or replace the background with something else.  A person can generally be selected with one click.  If you have a more complex subject to select, there are easier-to-use selection tools that are available for the job.

 

 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jul 17, 2022 Jul 17, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Hi Greg.
 
Thanks for your response, I appreciate your time and effort in helping me. 
 
No, I already had both of the boxes in 'Preferences' checked, enabling floating documents.
 
I think you might have misunderstood the problem that I'm having, since it's kind of hard to describe just what is going on without actually seeing it, of course. Maybe I can make it clearer, if I outline a step-by-step sequence of what I'm doing.
 
But, before I do that, in a nutshell, the problem is that my layer thumbnails--not the large, opened pictures in the main work area--disappear from the layers panel, each time I open a new layer. Since I'm new to Elements and just trying to learn it all, I'm not sure if that is normal in Elements 2022 or not; however, I see that, in the tutorial I'm following, his layer thumbnails do not disappear, allowing him to work with them.
 
At any rate, here's a blow-by-blow description of what happens:
 
a. I open the first picture. Its layer appears as 'background' in the layers panel. (good)
b. I then make a duplicate of that layer and name it. (good)
c. I click on the eye icon of the first, original background layer so I can save it in case I need to go back to it, if I mess up. (good)
d. There are now two visible layers over in the layers panel, the original and the renamed copy. (Everything's good, so far)
e. I now open the second image which contains the sky I want to place in the original image. It does, indeed, open and a thumbnail of it appears in the layers panel, labeled 'background'--but, over in the layers panel, my first two layers, above, have disappeared!  (not good!)
 
Why did those first two layers disappear from my layers panel? I either have the original background layers' thumbnails showing or the new sky layer thumbnail showing, but not both. I want to be able to see all of the layer thumbnails visible in the layers panel at the same time, not just one or the other.
 
Once again, we are talking about the layers panel thumbnails, not the large pictures I am working on in the main area of the screen.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jul 17, 2022 Jul 17, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

Just passing by so I haven't looked at the tutorial but it sounds to me like you are opening up a new separate image. You no longer see the two previous layers because they are in the original image. You need to copy the new image and paste it into a new layer in the original image. 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Jul 17, 2022 Jul 17, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

The File>place command facilitates this, and I use it frequently. 

If you wish to replace the sky (old sky) with a new one, additional steps are in order.

Try this:

1. Open your picture file

2. Go to File>place and point to the replacement sky. In the dialog click on "Place."

3. Drag the new sky over the old sky . This smart layer will allow you to drag east to west and north to south. 

4. Set the blending mode of the layer with the new sky to darken

5. Set your foreground color chip to white

5. Activate the gradient tool, and select the foreground to transparent (linear) gradient. Drag the gradient from below to the top of the tree line.

 

NB: You will need to have a picture of a good sky. Nothing else on it but sky and clouds. You can take it yourself or obtain one from an other source. I will append a sky picture - feel free to use it.

sky.jpg

 

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
Community Expert ,
Jul 17, 2022 Jul 17, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

A picture is worth a thousand words.  But if I understand you correctly, you have two separate files open in the editor.  Each one has its own set of layers.  So what you  are looking at is the layer panel for the selected photo.  It is easy to combine the layers in one file by click and dragging one photo into the other from the photo bin or by dragging a layer from the layers panel over to the other photo's floating window.

 

Alternatively, open the background photo and use the File>Place command to open the other photo directly inside the background photo.

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines
New Here ,
Jul 17, 2022 Jul 17, 2022

Copy link to clipboard

Copied

LATEST

Hi Greg.

That did it! Thanks a million for that very helpful advice! I really appreciate your time & effort.

 

--Ray

Likes

Translate

Translate

Report

Report
Community guidelines
Be kind and respectful, give credit to the original source of content, and search for duplicates before posting. Learn more
community guidelines