The Stencils

We will now explain other options that will help us when using layers.

Let's start with the Stencils. Using them is very handy when handling the layers. It enables you to draw, on the layer of your choice, the opaque pixels of another layer in exactly the same place. In this way it is possible, for example, to modify the « texture » of a drawing without changing its shape (see below).

How to proceed :
* First of all, create two layers in the timeline, then draw the little red man shown above in one of them (whatever the drawing tool).
* Then enable the Stencil (it is the fifth option on the right of the New button) for this layer by clicking on the little grey button below it.

The Stencil is activated when the icons becomes :

* Hide the layer with the little red man, then create a layer above. Now, any drawing will then be limited to the opaque areas of the layer containing the little red man.

For example, drawing a filled rectangle with color gradient and use of a paper on the screen will display image 1, drawing with drawing tools, gradients, papers and specific modes will obtain the results 2 and 3 (see below).

It is possible to flip the Stencil and only draw on the transparent areas of the layer containing the initial little man (examples 4 and 5 below).

To do this, proceed as described above and click on the same button ( ) before using a drawing tool. The Stencil is inverted when the icon becomes .

It is possible to work with several Stencils divided into different layers: in this case, the Stencils are added up.

By clicking on the Stencil icon in the Timeline ( ), you will open the contextual menu below :

It is possible to turn on or off all Stencils, to invert them and also to apply all of those actions to Color Groups.

When a pixel is partially opaque, it may only be partially modified when using a Stencil. For example, a pixel with 80% opacity can only be painted with maximum 80% opacity when the Stencil mode is used (if the Stencil is inverted, it may only be painted with maximum 20% opacity). Finally, you should understand that, when pressing the button while using a Stencil, only the part of the drawing corresponding to the Stencil will be erased.

If you see this icon active in the main panel, it means a Stencil (or a selection) is active. Don't forget to disable that button or disable the Stencil if you want continue to draw, without using a Stencil.

You can also use Stencil On / Off in the sub-menu.

Finally, you can choose to enable drawing on a layer when a Stencil is active by default. This is done by deactivating the Stencil - Prevent drawing on the stencil(s) option in the Preferences > General menu.