Export multiple layers with a common background

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2020-01-15 18:39:01

I work with images masked against a textured background (). I keep each of the product photos on a layer and the background as a single layer at the bottom.

I would like to:
1.- Export each of the layers merged with the background layer and
2.- The output image should have the size of the background layer, not the object layer.

I'm not sure if this is possible in Pixelmator Pro but I would appreciate some help
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2020-01-15 19:39:31

Hi ignasi.
There are two ways of doing this that come immediately to mind. Which one I use depends on the complexity of work that I do to the image (and therefore the overhead that I'm willing to put into export.
1. Simple
The File > Export... and File > Export For Web... functions only export what is visible so if you turn on each layer/group one by one, you will be able to export them. Upside: simple. Downside: If you need to export multiple times with tweaks in between you need to turn on and off each layer/group.
2. Complex
Pixelmator Pro has another trick up its sleeve. If you right-click on a group (or layer) in the layers panel one of the options you get is to be able to Add for Export.... This will add that group as an export item in isolation from the other image elements present in the file. So, if you put each product shot in a group with a copy of the background layer, right-click on the group and Add for Export... you can then export all of them with a single click from the Export for Web... screen. Upside: If you need to export multiple times with tweaks in between you can easily redo all your exports. Downside: Longer to set up. Needs you to make copies of the background.

Hope this helps and, if anyone knows of an easier way of including the background in option 2, please add to the thread.

- Stef.
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2020-01-16 09:24:40

Hi Stef,

Thanks for your help.

So far I have been using the Simple option and only yesterday I discovered the Complex could be much more productive.

That option is perfect except that I need to replicate the background layer for each object layer. I expected way where a single instance of the background could do the job. Perhaps that could be a feature request, either:
1.- The ability to export layers with a fixed background layer or
2.- To have layer instances (or layer alias) so a single background layer could exist as an instance grouped with other layers.

Anyway I think there's room for the improvement of the export feature.
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2020-01-16 11:03:43

Interesting suggestion! I'm trying to think if I've seen anything similar in any other apps... In any case, I've added this to our feature request list and we'll think about it!
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2020-06-11 20:07:15

Great thinking! Perhaps you could lay out all of your product photos in a grid with one large background, and use the Slice Tool? If you needed to add more products, you could expand the canvas size and add more slices