Inside Photoshop

Apply gradual transition fades with gradient layer masks

Inside Photoshop

Applying a layer mask to fade an image is a great way to make the image more accessible for text in your layout, as demonstrated in Figure A.

Figure A:
Article figure image

If you’re unable to apply a layer mask to a layer, the key is that your image can’t be a locked background layer. To follow along with our example, launch Photoshop and open any image that has a locked background layer, as indicated in Figure B.

Figure B:
Article figure image

To apply a gradient layer mask:

  1. Double-click on the Background layer to open the New Layer dialog box and then click OK.
  2. Click on the Add Layer Mask button located at the base of the Layers panel.
  3. Double-check that the foreground color is set to white and the background color is set to black. If not, set these colors.
  4. Select the Gradient tool from the Tools panel.
  5. Select the Foreground To Background gradient in the gradient picker located on the tool Options bar. Also on the tool Options bar, select the Linear button—or whatever type of gradient you want to make.
  6. Select the layer mask to make it active.
  7. Click on one side of the image and drag the mouse in the direction you wish to[…]

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