Converting Layer Types

Some time ago, I advised that you create you solid layers using gradient layers. That’s because gradient layers can simulate solid color layers but the reverse isn’t true. This was important because, if you were developing a show using these solid color layers (as masks, borders, outlines, and / or shadows), if you needed or wanted multiple colors in the layer, it was impossible. Whereas you can duplicate the layer to retain all of the keyframes and their settings, you could never change the solid layer to get those multiple colors. Well, that’s not necessarily true.  You CAN change the layer type AND retain all of its keyframes and their settings. This means, for example, that you can do a lot of the initial development work with a solid color layer. You add all of the necessary keyframes and then set the pan and size settings for each keyframe. You intend for this layer to be your layer mask. Now, you can duplicate the layer to retain all of the settings you just made. Now, make it a mask (the duplicate layer is now masking the original solid layer). Finally you can copy the image layer onto the slide. Then you will use the image layer to convert the masked layer to an image. After the conversion you can delete the image. For your result, you will have an image masked by a solid layer and both will have the exact same keyframes and settings. Fast, efficient, easy!

To make the change, you need a source layer and a destination layer. The source and destination layers may be on any slide.Right click on the layer that you want to copy. CopySettings_menuA menu will appear. Hover over the Copy option. A set of copy options will appear; click on Copy Settings. This opens the Copy Settings dialog which has 3 columns: Source Layer, Settings to Copy, and Destination Layers. The source layer is selected. In the Destination Layers section, click on the “+” for the slide on which you’ll copy layer settings to. Next, select the layer that will accept the changes. Now, let’s assume that the source layer is Gradient that is colored bright red to dark red and the destination layer is a white solid layer. So, in the Settings to Copy column, select Gradient under the General Section. When you do that, Enable Layer and Image Type are also selected. Now click on Copy & Close. You are done. If you look at the layer on the slide to which you just copied the settings to, you should see that it is no longer a white solid layer. Instead, it is now a gradient layer that is colored bright red to dark red.

What is really nice about this is that you can convert a gradient to a solid, an image layer, or another gradient. You can likewise convert a graphic or image to a gradient, solid, or another graphic/image. The solid can be converted to another solid color, an image layer, or a gradient. That’s really nice and can prove very handy at times. Further, you can convert multiple layers at the same time.


SettingsCopy_1In this example, I want to convert the blue gradient to the same color as the green gradient. But, I don’t want to mess with the color settings. The easy way is to just copy the green gradient onto the blue gradient using copy settings.

In the graphic below, the Green Gradient is selected as the Source layer. In the Settings to Copy, under the General section, the following are selected: Enable layer, Layer Type, and Gradient (selecting Gradient will SettingsCopy_SelectionMadeautomatically select the other 2).







In the Destination Layers column, I’ve expanded the slide containing the layer I want the settings copied to and I’ve selected the Blue gradient layer. Finally, I’ll select Copy & Close. This following graphic shows the result of what was just done. Note that the last layer is now no longer blue.


Copyright © 130129-1945, Dale Fenimore, FPVP LLC


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