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Create A Gradient Fade In Photoshop

By James LePage
 on December 12, 2020
Last modified on January 6th, 2022

Create A Gradient Fade In Photoshop

By James LePage
 on December 12, 2020
Last modified on January 6th, 2022

Also known as a transparent gradient, this effect helps merge a foreground image into a background. This is a relatively something thing to do in Photoshop, and can be completed in under 5 clicks.

a close up of a logo
Initial Image
a close up of a building
Initial foreground with a gradient fade (transparent gradient) blend into the background.

First, you need the foreground and the background. I typically use this effect to blend illustrations into a background image, or bend an image into a background color. Because I am a website designer, incorporating a solid color on one side of a background image, which has a transparent gradient fade into an image can be helpful if I want to display text on one side.

Whatever the case is for you, simply place the foreground, which will fade into the background, above the background image. You only need two layers for this transparent gradient fade effect in Photoshop to work.

Next, select the foreground image, which will be blended into the background, and apply a layer mask by clicking the layer mask button at the bottom of the layer panel, or going to Layer - Layer Mask - Apply.

Layer mask highlighted. It's the square with the circle.

Once the layer mask is applied to the foreground layer, click on the mask to ensure that you have selected it, and then apply a black gradient to the mask.

graphical user interface, application

The gradient must be black, and fade to transparency.

Now, all you need to do is apply the black gradient to the layer mask. Wherever the black gradient is applied , the transparency will show. 100% black means 100% transparency, 0% black means zero percent transparency, and 50% black means 50% transparency.

Here's an example:

a large brick building with a window
graphical user interface, application

Here you can see the background image, foreground image, layer mask applied to the foreground image, and the gradient applied to the layer mask.

As a result of this mask, the foreground image fades to transparency, meaning that it blends effectively with anything in the background of your Photoshop canvas. Hopefully this article is helpful if you're looking to apply transparent gradients, or gradient fades to a layer in Photoshop. If you have any specific questions, reach out in the comments section below.

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James LePage
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James LePage is the founder of Isotropic Design, a digital agency that builds WordPress websites. I read, write and design constantly!
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