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Gradient applied to opacity possible??

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  • Gradient applied to opacity possible??

    I am trying to apply a gradient to a layer so that the opacity of the layer is greatest in the middle and as you go out towards the edge of the layer the opacity decreases. Is this possible in photoshop? If so, how would you do it? Thanks! This really has me stumped.

  • #2
    Hi Jon,
    I would use a layer mask.
    A gradient can then be applied to that. You will have to "edit" your gradient tool to get the specific gradient you are looking for.

    Hope this helps......but if it doesn't, I know the rest of the group will jump in.


    • #3
      Jon, the Adobe Gradient Editors (Illustrator, Photoshop etc) are not very intuitive - but once you figure them out they are very good (I learned years ago in Illustrator, so I was lucky).

      I would load a basic gradient style and then edit that - say a transparent > xxx colour > transparent gradient. Or starting with a xxx colour > transparent gradient I would add the extra requied step. It can all be done via the gradient...

      But as suggested by Vikki, a solid layer with a black > white > black gradient layer mask would do the trick...but you still may have to mess around with grads - so if they are new to you then you still may have problems.

      To get you started with the gradient editor, I have uploaded (see attached zip) two simple v5.x .grd gradient files for you to load into the gradient tool editor to either use by changing the default black colour to your desired colour or by editing yourself further.

      Good luck and have fun,

      Stephen Marsh.
      Attached Files


      • #4

        Depending on your needs, you might be able to "spray on" a custom gradient via the layer mask method Vikki suggested.

        For the applicable layer:
        1. Click the Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers palette to create the layer mask.
        2. If PS5.x or 6 select the Airbrush tool; if PS7, select the functional equivalent. Set pressure / flow / opacity [whatever the settings are] to very low values. You want the digital paint to come out "slowly" so you have control over gradual buildup.
        3. Set forground color to black.
        4. Choose a really large, soft edged brush.
        5. Start airbrushing on the areas of the image you want hidden.
        6. The longer you hold down your mouse (or press with tablet stylus), the denser the mask becomes -- just like holding down the button on a spray can.

        Inverse approach...
        1a. CTRL+I (to invert the layer mask; thumbnail goes black)
        3. Set forground color to white.
        5. Start airbrushing on the areas of the image you want revealed.

        You've now got option!

        Good luck & have fun...



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