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Before / after merged layers don't look the same

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  • Before / after merged layers don't look the same

    Running Win/PS 5.5...

    Final layer stack:
    1. Merged layer, 100% opacity, blend=normal
    2. Hue/saturation adjustment layer, 100% opacity, blend=normal
    3. Background (original image, completely filled w/pixels. No transparancy anywhere within the BG layer.)

    Before creating new layer "Merged layer" I fussed and tweeked the Hue/Sat AL until I liked what I saw in combination with the BG layer.

    Then, when I was happy with the results, created a new layer, (Merged layer) and while it was still active (and selected), executed


    shortcut to merge layers 2,3 and place the contents into layer 1. (I do this all the time... great shortcut. It's like a combination of EDIT/COPY MERGE + EDIT/PASTE [into the active layer] all in one shortcut.)

    Sometimes, and I don't know why, the resulting layer 1 is "different than" (noticeably "lighter" or "darker" than) the image displayed when layers 2 and 3 are visible.

    Same problem if I just flatten the image or try the EDIT/Copy Merge... + Edit/Paste commands separately.

    I haven't found the right keyword combination to find a hit on the net, yet, nor have found a usable workaround on

    Has this ever happened to you and if so, what did you do about it?

    Thanks in advance...

    Baffled in North Bend (DannyR)
    Last edited by DannyRaphael; 05-07-2002, 08:01 PM.

  • #2
    When using ctrl+shift+E you have to select the top layer you want merged. Try selecting the new blank layer and using alt+ctrl+shift+E.
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    • #3
      Hi Doug:

      Good eyes... you caught that inadvertant omission. The top layer is selected before merging the others into it. I wish it 'twas that easy.

      Thanks for the suggestion, though...



      • #4
        It has happened to me before and I couldn't figure it out. But at the Photoshop seminar I attended recently, one of the tips I learned was when you have layers especially with blend modes flattening them using merge down can affect changes in the final flattened layers where as using merge visible won't change anything. I didn't think that flatten changed things. Hope that helps.


        • #5
          I don't have an answer for you either - just another shared experience (using PS6). Not exactly the same as yours - but when I've got a bunch of layers (incl. masked selections, adj layers, etc.) and want to merge only the top few, I have to be very careful how I merge down. Some combinations definitely change the look of the image (usually lighter or darker, but sometimes a change in color tone), so I undo and try a different combination. Sometimes I just can't get it to work the way I want and end up having to flatten. Very frustrating.


          • #6
            I don't know if this is what you're referring to, but I know I've had the same problem as some of the others, where blend modes won't merge down as you'd want. The only solution I've come up with, and have to use it all the time, is turn off the lower layers then merge visible. If someone has a better idea I'd like to know it cuz it's a pain in the ass.



            • #7
              It bugs me when I don't understand why!

              I unearthed this little tidbit and I tried it out. It appears to be true... but I don't really understand "why" and so far I haven't seen an explanation.

              If an image has adjustment layers or multiple layers in various blend modes -AND- you're viewing at something other than "actual pixels" (100%), when you execute flatten image, merge layers, Copy merged, merge linked, merge visible (with or w/o flatten) or merge down (did I forget any?), the resulting image may look darker/lighter than before the command was executed.

              If you ARE in "actual pixels" (100%) mode, the image will look the same after the command is executed. WYSIWYG.

              Have to admit that I'm often zoomed out to see an entire image top to bottom / left to right. We all have read or heard the mantra, "Use 'actual pixel' mode [100%] to do your work." Guess this is just one more reason to do so. Otherwise what you see may not be what you get (or want).

              Thanks for all the support and suggestions.

              If anyone could explain this (or point to an explanation), I'll sleep better.

              Nighty, night.



              • #8

                No words of wisdom here, but I posted a thread some time ago about distortion This pertained to Photoshop 5.02. Not sure if it pertains to other versions or not.



                • #9
                  I've had this happen to me.
                  My work-a-round is to take a "merged" snapshot, and fill a new layer with the "snapshot". I can then delete any layers I no longer need (I created a macro that automatically does it all-except delete layers).


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