3 Techniques to Show Through Image From Underlying Layer in Adobe Photoshop (Video)

3 Techniques to Show Through Image From Underlying Layer in Adobe Photoshop

One of the most common uses of Adobe Photoshop is to combine two or more images. There are many techniques which can be used for this task. Sometimes requirement is to mix or blend two images while other times final composition requires only some regions of underlying layer visible. In this tutorial, I will demonstrate to you 3 ways or techniques to reveal or show through content from underlying layer in layers stack: opacity settings for the layer above, blending modes and advanced blending or the Blend if sliders.

Video tutorial

Here is my recording with details and explanations of 3 ways to show through content or image from underlying layer in Adobe Photoshop. If you have any question or doubt, please do not hesitate to leave comments.


Hi guys, in this tip I will present to you 3 techniques to show through image or pixels from underlying layer in Adobe Photoshop. 

In my Layers panel, I have two layers: layer with image and underlying layer with paper texture. 

The first technique to show through underlying image is to change layer Opacity. Ensure that above layer is selected in the Layers panel then lower Opacity. That will start partially showing content on underlying layer. 

The second technique is to apply a blend mode to the above layer. Usually for this job most useful are blending modes from contrast group: Overlay, Soft Light and so on... 

The third technique which I want to present is using advanced blending the Blend if sliders in the Layer Style dialog. Select above layer then open Layer Style dialog by double-clicking on the right side of the layer. In the Layer Style dialog ensure that you see options for Blending Options tab. At the bottom, you will see Blend if drop-down and two rectangles filled with black to white gradients and sliders on each side. 

Top rectangle with sliders: This Layer is controlling above layer or image which you see on the screen. When using sliders you will get an effect similar to when applying layer mask: some portions of the image or pixels on the layer will start disappearing with result that pixels from underlying layer will show through. To smooth out the transition between the two layers you can split slider: hold down Alt then click on slider and drag. This transition is equivalent to gray pixels on the layer mask. Right slider is controlling lighter portion of the content on the layer while the left slider is there to control dark portion of the layer. You can use both of them at the same time. 

Bottom rectangle with blend if sliders can help you reveal or to show pixels from underlying layer. Drag the right slider to start revealing a lighter portion of underlying layer or drag left slider to start seeing a darker portion of underlying layer. Split sliders for smooth transitions. When you are satisfied click OK to confirm and exit Layer Style dialog. 

Let me mention situation when you have solid color pixels on the layer and you want to create see-through effect using pixels on underlying layer. I will use type layer with black solid color fill. In this case, blend if sliders for This Layer are not very useful because there isn't tonal range to work with. In situations like this use blend if sliders for Underlying Layer. 

Thanks for watching and cheers! If you have any question or doubt please do not hesitate to leave comments on YouTube or on my blog DesignEasy. 

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Product used in this tutorial:
Adobe Photoshop CC 2018

Layer opacity and blending


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