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Chapter 5. Working with Layers > About Opacity and Blending Modes

About Opacity and Blending Modes

One of the most effective and simplest ways to enhance your layered image is to create the illusion of combining one layer’s image with another by blending their pixels. This differs from merging layers, as the layers aren’t physically merged, but rather appear to mix together. Photoshop Elements provides two easily accessible tools at the top of the Layers palette that can be used alone or in tandem for blending multiple layers together: the Opacity slider and the Blending Modes pop-up menu. The Opacity slider controls the degree of transparency of one layer over another. If a layer’s opacity is set at 100 percent, then the layer is totally opaque, and any layers beneath it are hidden. If a layer’s opacity is set to 30 percent, then 70 percent of any underlying layers are allowed to show through (Figure 5.41).

Figure 5.41. Two separate layers (top) compose this simple folk instrument collage. The lower left image displays the top layer with an opacity setting of 100 percent. The lower right image displays the top layer with an opacity setting of 50 percent.



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