Merge Layer Blend Modes In Photoshop

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The Problem with Merging Blend Modes

To see a case of the issue, I’ll make a fast composite picture utilizing three separate photographs and a couple of mix modes. Since compositing pictures in Photoshop are an enormous subject that is past the extent of this instructional exercise, I’ll go through this decently fast. On the off chance that we look in my Layers board, we see that I’ve just added every one of the three photographs to my report and that each picture is perched without anyone else isolate layer:

How about we take a gander at the photographs each one, in turn, beginning with the one on the base. I’ll kill the main two layers by tapping on their deceivability symbols:

Layer 1

Concealing the best two layers gives us a chance to see only the picture on the base layer. This is the photograph I’ll use as the beginning stage of the composite:


Next, I’ll turn on the second picture (the one on the center layer) by clicking its deceivability symbol:


Here’s my second photograph. To spare time, I’ve officially edited and repositioned it to fit better inside the organization:


This picture is likewise as of now set to the Normal mix mode, which is the reason it’s totally hindering the photograph beneath it from see. To mix the two pictures together, first I’ll tap on Layer 2 in the Layers board to choose it. At that point, I’ll change its mix mode from Normal to Multiply. I’ll additionally let it’s Opacity esteem down to 60%:


Here’s the consequence of mixing the two layers together. Up until this point, so great:


The impact of mixing Layer 1 and Layer 2.

How about we get the third picture (on the best layer). I’ll walk out on in the report by clicking its deceivability symbol:


Tapping the deceivability symbol for Layer 3.

Here’s my best picture. Once more, to spare time, I’ve officially trimmed and repositioned it:


The picture on the best layer.

To mix this best picture with the photographs underneath it, I’ll tap on Layer 3 to choose it, at that point I’ll change its mix mode from Normal to Overlay.


Changing the best layer’s mix mode to Overlay

Here’s the outcome with every one of the three layers presently mixing together. Not terrible considering all I needed to do to accomplish this impact was change several layer mix modes (and lower the murkiness of the center layer):


The consequence of mixing every one of the three pictures together.

Suppose I’m content with the outcomes up until this point, and now I need to make additionally alters to the general picture. Before I can do that, I’ll have to combine the layers. Presently, you may surmise that I should simply combine the main two layers since they’re the ones set to the diverse mix modes (by “various”, I mean they’re set to an option that is other than the default Normal mode). How about we see what happens, however, in the event that I attempt to consolidate only those best two layers¬† Marge Layer Blend Modes.

There’s a couple of various ways I could consolidate them. One way is utilizing Photoshop‘s Merge Down charge which takes the right now chosen layer and consolidations it with the layer straightforwardly beneath it. That sounds like precisely what we require, so with my best (Layer 3) chose in the Layers board, I’ll go up to the Layer menu in the Menu Bar along the highest point of the screen and pick Merge Down:


Going to Layer > Merge Down.

Here’s the come about in the wake of combining the best layer (set to the Overlay mix mode) with the layer beneath it (set to the Multiply mix mode). As should be obvious, something’s wrong. The picture has all of a sudden lost the vast majority of its complexity. It likewise looks substantially darker than it did previously:

The come about subsequent to applying the Merge Down charge.

How about we look in the Layers board to check whether we can make sense of what’s happened. Here, we see that the best two layers have in actuality been combined onto Layer 2, however the end result for my Overlay mix mode? It’s gone! All I’m left with is the multiple mix mode. That clarifies why the picture currently looks so significantly darker:

The Overlay mix mode is no more. Just the multiply mode remains.

Indeed, that didn’t work, so I’ll press Ctrl+Z (Win)/Command+Z (Mac) on my console to rapidly fix the Merge Down charge. Another way I can attempt to combine the main two layers together is with Photoshop’s Merge Layers summon. With my best layer officially chosen, I’ll press and hold my Shift key and tap on the center layer. This chooses both the Overlay and Multiply layers in the meantime:

Choosing both mix mode layers.

With the two layers chosen, I’ll backpedal up to the Layer menu at the highest point of the screen and this time, I’ll pick Merge Layers:

Going to Layer > Merge Layers.

Did that work? Probably not. The Merge Layers order gave me an alternate outcome from what I saw with the Merge Down summon, however, it’s as yet not right. The main two pictures combined, however the end result for my third picture (the one on the base layer)? It totally vanished:

The come about in the wake of applying for the Merge Layers order.

Looking in the Layers board, we see that Photoshop by and by combined the best two layers not surprisingly, however this time, it disposed of both my Overlay and multiple mix modes, setting the consolidated layer to Normal. That is the reason the consolidated layer is presently totally obstructing the picture on the base layer from seeing:

The Merge Layers summon disposed of both of my mix modes.

Why We Can’t Merge Blend Modes

Anyway, what’s happening? For what reason wouldn’t I be able to just consolidation the Overlay and Multiply layers together without changing the composite’s general appearance? That is a decent inquiry. Truth be told, it’s so great, there’s really three great explanations behind why it’s not working.

The first is a result of what mix modes in Photoshop do, or all the more precisely, what they don’t do; mix modes don’t change the real pixels on the layer. They basically change the way the pixels on the layer associated with the pixels on the layer, or layers, underneath it. What we see subsequent to changing a layer’s mix mode is just a live review of that communication. The pixels themselves have not changed.

To rapidly understand, I’ll press Ctrl+Z (Win)/Command (Mac) on my console to fix the Merge Layers charge. At that point, I’ll change my best (Layer 3) from Overlay back to the Normal mix mode:

Setting the best layer’s mix mode back to Normal.

Ordinary“, in the realm of layer mix modes, essentially implies that the layer won’t interface with the layer(s) underneath it by any stretch of the imagination. This enables us to see the real substance of the layer, and here, with the best layer set back to Normal, we see that the picture on the layer has not changed at all. Everything I did by changing its mix mode to Overlay was changed the way these pixels were cooperating with the pixels on the layers beneath it. On the off chance that I attempted an alternate mix mode, an option that is other than Overlay, I’d see an alternate outcome, yet once more, all I’d be seeing is a live review. The first picture on the layer never shows signs of change:

Mix modes are non-dangerous. No pixels are ever hurt by changing a layer’s mix mode.

The second reason is on account of a layer in Photoshop can have just a single mix mode connected to it at any given time. Each mix mode makes the pixels on the layer connect in an unexpected way, yet just a single way can be dynamic. The Overlay mix mode, for instance, helps differentiate in the picture, while the Multiply mix mode obscures the picture. It’s a decision between either. It’s impractical to have a solitary layer doing both of these things without a moment’s delay.

The third motivation behind why I can’t simply consolidate the two mix mode layers together without changing the general appearance is that the general appearance isn’t just an aftereffect of those two layers. It’s an aftereffect of each of the three layers cooperating, including the base layer that is set to the Normal mix mode. The main two layers might be the ones that really had their mix modes changed, yet recall that they’re mixing not with themselves, or just with each other; they’re mixing with the base layer also (the one we have a tendency to disregard). That implies that in the event that I need to keep precisely the same subsequent to consolidating the layers, I have to blend every one of the layers that are making the outcome, and that incorporates the Normal layer on the base.

The Hidden Keyboard Trick

So the awful news is, there is essentially no real way to do what I at first endeavored to do; I can’t simply blend the Overlay and Multiply layers together, at any rate not without changing the general appearance of the picture. However now we know why! The issue was that I was overlooking the layer on the base (the one set to the Normal mix mode). It’s not only my best two layers making the arrangement; it’s a mix of every one of the three layers. This implies on the off chance that I need to blend the outcome, I have to consolidate every one of the three layers (the one set to Overlay, the one set to Multiply, and the one set to Normal).

One thing I would prefer not to do is simply smooth the picture. I need to keep my layers in place and essentially blend the outcome I’ve accomplished so far onto another layer. Gratefully, Photoshop incorporates a concealed console trap for doing precisely that! In the first place, select the best layer in the Layers board:

Choosing the best layer

With the best layer chose, here’s the trap. Press and hold your Shift, Alt and Ctrl (Win)/Shift, Option and Command(Mac) keys on your console and press the letter E. Photoshop basically takes a preview of the way the picture right now looks (with all the mix modes in place), at that point puts the depiction on a pristine layer over the others! It won’t appear as though anything has occurred in the archive (as of now a decent sign), yet in the event that we look in my Layers board, we see that I currently have a fourth (Layer 4) sitting over the first three layer.


Marge Layer Blend Modes

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