Pixel-art: Aseprite #1- Layers

Table of Contents

What are layers?

You may have heard of Layers before. That’s because they exist in every art program except MS Paint!

Layers are an essential tooled used by a vast majority of artists.
Lets explain why people use them & how to use them in Aseprite.

What are Layers?

Layers are like sheets of transparent paper that allow drawing to be independent from other layers. This allows artists to add more depth to their drawings.

 Here’s an example of layers being used. Each color has its own independent layer which allows all brush & eraser actions to only affect the selected layer. 

Why do we need them?

Artwork by Simon S. Andersen

Layers allow artists to draw highly rendered artwork by layering detail in.

For example, an artist can sketch on a layer then draw cleaner lines on top of it using a separate layer. 

Animation done for There is No Light

As for Animators, layers allow them to create motion without having to redraw segments of a drawing. 

The separation makes animating individual 

In large scale animations, having structure saves a TON of time.

Understanding how to use your tools is just as important as your skill. So before we learn how to apply these tools, lets overview how to use them.


Renaming Layers

Double click the Layer to rename it.

Creating a Layer

1. Right-Clicking, and pressing Create New Layer
2. Shift + N 

Toggling visibility

Toggle visibility by pressing the Eyeball icon.

This applies to Grouped Layers.

Moving Layers

Move layers around by Selecting a Layer, hovering your mouse over the edge, then dragging the layer up/down.

Group Layers

1.Right-Clicking and press Create New Group
2. Alt + Shift + N

Grouped Layers function similarly to Individual Layers. 

Move and toggle visibility the same way.

Merge Down

Merge down is a great way to add depth without adding an additional Layer.


The same as Merge Down except it merges all Layers.



I'm a Game-Dev specializing in 2D VFX & Animation. I wish to simplify the learning process & help creatives learn new skills through LearnIndie.

1 Comment

Animation- Character #2- Animate using multiple layers & segments – LearnIndie · May 27, 2021 at 2:36 pm

[…] mentioned in Pixel-Art: Layers, isolated layers allow you to add more detail without redrawing the surrounding […]

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