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feathering layers

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Kayson Wong
feathering layers
on Jun 20, 2010 at 8:17:06 am

I would like to know how to feather layers in photoshop.
I have a design with a bunch of photos mixed together. I would like to create a soften effect between each of the photos to blend them nicely. Now i've researched on this topic on the web seriously and DON'T TELL ME TO MAKE A SELECTION THEN CHOOSE FEATHERING. I'm not selecting part of any layer. I would like to feather the entire layer itself. Plus I have dozens of layers so it would not make any sense to make a selection on each of the layers.
Thank You!!!

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Kayson Wong
Re: feathering layers
on Jun 22, 2010 at 7:56:54 am

yes I know what are layer masks. Can you provide more details?
Perhaps let me put it this way. How can I create a mask that is exactly the same shape and size as the layer? And when I move / resize the layer, the mask should follow.

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Gary Hazen
Re: feathering layers
on Jun 22, 2010 at 10:41:19 pm

Add a layer mask to a layer.
Make a medium sized black box in the middle of the layer mask.
Open the Masks panel and select invert.
Your layer mask should now be a white box on a black background.
Adjust the feathering in the Masks panel.

Hold the alt key and drag the mask to the layer above.
Repeat the duplicating of the mask as needed.
You can now tweak the feathering of each mask using the Masks panel.

By default the mask and the layer should be linked. This means if you move and resize the layer the mask will follow.

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Paul Benson
Re: feathering layers
on Jul 1, 2010 at 10:28:54 pm

I think I know what you are trying to accomplish. It sounds like you have multiple pictures (one on each layer, I assume) and you want to feather the edges of each one. Unfortunately, there is no quick method for this that I know of.

It seems like you could use one of the effects, but I tried playing around with the inner stroke effect with a gradient following the shape. The gradient's opacity could be changed, but you always need a color. It would be an interesting stroke effect that just modified the opacity level.

Next best solution I know of is to create an action. For this technique, make sure each layer has the picture on a transparent background. You can't have a colored background since that color may be in the picture. Also, you will need an area that is transparent across all of your layers. Your action would be:
- Magic wand tool (have 'contiguous' and 'sample all layers' unchecked) and click in that common transparent area. This should select all of the transparent areas for that layer.
- Invert selection. This should now just have your picture selected.
- Select->Modify->Contract (choose a number of pixels that work for you)
- Select->Modify->Feather (use the same value for the pixels that you used above)
- Add Layer Mask

Run this action on each layer.


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Kayson Wong
Re: feathering layers
on Jul 2, 2010 at 4:09:46 am

yes thank you very much for the actions answer.
i'm reli disappointed to hear that photoshop does not support such simple effect but the actions method is praticle enough for my use.

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