Fading an Image into the Background

An effect that's commonly used in web design is to fade a whole image, or part of an image—its edges, for example—into the background on which it sits. You can easily produce this funky effect using gradients and layer masks in Photoshop.

The hexadecimal color code displays in the Color Picker
Changing the opacity of a layer

Solution

1 Arrange your Photoshop document so that the image you wish to fade is on one layer, and the background color is on another layer.

Solution

1 Arrange your Photoshop document so that the image you wish to fade is on one layer, and the background color is on another layer.

Initial document

2 Select the image layer and click on the Add Layer Mask icon (signified by a white circle on a dark gray background) at the bottom of the Layers palette, as shown in this example. A blank rectangular thumbnail will appear next to the layer thumbnail, representing the layer mask. Make sure this thumbnail is selected.

Creating a layer mask

Selecting the Foreground to Transparent gradient

Creating a layer mask

Set your foreground color to black. Select the Gradient Tool (C) and choose the Foreground to Transparent gradient.

Selecting the Foreground to Transparent gradient

4 Apply the gradient by clicking at the bottom edge of the image and dragging the mouse upwards. Hold down Shift to constrain the gradient path to a straight line. Release the mouse button, and the gradient will be applied. Your fade effect is complete!

Adding the fade effect
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