Layer types

What is a layer?

For those who are familiar with graphical software, this section might be skipped.

Imagine we're holding a stack of clear plastic films and a bunch of markers. We take them out of the stack one by one and start drawing on each film separately, then at the end, we stack them up again. Now we look at that stack and see only one drawing resulting from all of our separate doodles, one on top of another, the one above will cover a bit (if not entirely) the one below.

That's the real-life representation of layers. Each layer is a plastic film, and in Pixquare, we're doing the same thing, stacking layers on top of each other to create a final image.

Pixquare provides several layer types: regular layer, reference layer, and tilemap layer.

Regular layer

This is probably the most used layer type. With this layer, we can draw on them with tools. There is not much more to it :D.

Reference layer

Sometimes it's useful to have a reference image while sketching. And it's even better if that image can be right on the canvas so it's easier to see or even trace along if needed. The reference layer is here to help with that.

We can import images from our device into Pixquare as a displayable reference layer right into the canvas and manage them in the layer stack.

As this is only for referencing purposes, we cannot draw on this layer. However, we can rasterize it to make it a regular layer and start doodling on it.

When importing a GIF, its frames will line up with the artwork's frame

Tilemap layer

When developing a game, a common task is to create a tileset to build the in-game world. To make the tiles connect seamlessly, we need some special assistants. The tilemap layer is designed to support this as it has some special properties that make creating repeated patterns easier.

There is a complicated system that comes with the tilemap layer, we can read more about the tilemap/tileset system here.


This is not a layer per se, but it is a super useful element to help organize the layer stack. Similar to a file system folder, a group is just a container of other layers and groups. Using groups, we can build clean and intricate hierarchies of layers which makes navigating complex artwork a piece of cake.

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