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How to blend in Photoshop

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Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

Included within the assortment of tools provided by Photoshop is the blend feature. If used properly, your image can be notably enhanced in terms of its appearance. Even combining various simple pictures through blending can add a stylish element and revamp an otherwise dull image.

Here’s a guide on how to blend in Photoshop.




10 minutes

What You Need

  • Adobe Photoshop

  • PC

Blending images via adjusting opacity

This method is the most straightforward way to blend images together in Photoshop. When you combine, say, two images, adjusting the opacity settings for those images basically creates a blend effect.

Step 1: You’ll need to open the images you want to blend in your Photoshop window. Then, copy and paste them into the image file you want them to be blended with.

These images will now be located within the Layers section, which is where we’ll apply the blend through the opacity slider.

For demonstration purposes, I have copy and pasted three GPU images onto a blue background. My aim is to differentiate each image with different opacity numbers in order to form a blending effect.

Multiple layers within the Layers section in Photoshop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Click the layer you want to blend into the primary image (which, in my case, is the blue background). Select the Opacity tool, and decrease or increase the number according to your requirements.

In order to showcase the differences of the different blends, I've left the opacity untouched for my first layer, while the other two have been reduced to 60% and 40%. Once done, this particular image can be used for, say, signifying older GPUs, which would be represented by the two layers on which I've adjusted the opacity to a lower amount.

An example of a blended image in Photoshop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Blending images via the Layer Mask tool

The Layer Mask tool allows you to apply a blend effect in a more detailed and specific manner.

Step 1: Click the image (layer) you want to apply a blend effect to and then select Add layer mask.

The Add layer mask tool in Photoshop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: On the lefthand side of your Photoshop window, click Gradient, which is the core tool required for blending images through a layer mask. If you can’t find it, please note that you may need to right-click the Paint bucket tool and select Gradient from the drop-down list.

The Gradient tool in Photoshop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: On the image you want to blend, drag the gradient tool within a specific area.

The first part of the image shows me dragging my mouse to apply the gradient blend. The second part on the bottom is the result of that gradient blend.

Notice how the bottom part of the GPU that just didn't look right and out of place has now been eliminated with the use of the gradient blend.

Applying a gradient blend effect to an image layer in Photoshop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 4: Trial and error proves to be useful in terms of applying a satisfactory gradient blend. With this in mind, you can apply different blending effects by opening the gradient tool’s picker and choosing a different gradient design.

Next to the Gradient picker are several gradient styles you can also apply. These are:

  • Linear gradient
  • Radial gradient
  • Angle gradient
  • Reflected gradient
  • Diamond gradient

There are also a variety of different blending modes you can apply with the gradient tool in the adjacent section, named Mode. Click that drop-down menu to see the different modes such as Luminosity, Soft light, and Lighten.

The different customisation options for the Gradient tool in Photoshop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Layer blending modes

If you want to apply some additional blend effects, Photoshop also has a number of Layer blending modes you can use.

Step 1: Select an image you want to apply a preset layer blend to.

Step 2: Below the Kind section, click the field that says Normal. Choose a preset layer blend.

For demonstration purposes, in the first GPU within the image below, I’ve applied the Multiply blend, while the middle GPU has been set with the Pin light blend. Finally, the last GPU showcases the Luminosity blend.

The layer blend mode options in Photoshop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Zak Islam
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Zak Islam was a freelance writer at Digital Trends covering the latest news in the technology world, particularly the…
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