How to Create a Transparent Fade in Photoshop
Submitted by Steve Smith
In The Beginning
A transparent fade can be used for several purposes in Photoshop. It can add a blur to one side of picture, and it can also create interesting effects over a collection of shapes. Many people use transparent fades in image collages to create visually arresting ads and artwork.
The Main Steps
Open Photoshop. Click "File" and "New" to open a new image.
Double-click the image in the "Layer" palette and rename it to create your first layer and "unlock" the image.
Select "Layer," then "New" to create a new layer. Name it anything you like.
Make sure the photo image layer is selected in the "Layer" palette. (It will be highlighted in blue.) If not, click on the layer in the palette.
Click the "Add layer mask" icon in the "Layer" palette to create a layer mask for the image.
Click the "Gradient" icon in the toolbox and choose a full black-and-white gradient at 100 percent opacity.
Left-click and drag the cursor across the area of the photo you want to make transparent. The checkered background will appear in this area. You have just added a transparent fade to a photo.


  • Make sure the gradient is being applied to the layer mask, and not the image. If it appears in the image, click on the layer mask icon.
  • You can insert an image into the first layer to blend two photographs together. Just open the image, select the first layer (the one without the photo) and drag the image into the window.
  • The gradient must also be set to a high opacity in order for this to work.

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