How to Fade a Filter in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

How to Fade a Filter in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

Sometimes, you may not want the full effects of a filter applied to your image or selection in Photohop CS6. Often, applying a filter full strength tends to give it that artificial “Photoshopped” look.

Photoshop has a handy Fade Filter facility that lets you control the intensity of the filter’s effects. You can access this feature by choosing Edit→Fade or by pressing Shift+Ctrl+F (Shift+Command+F on the Mac). The Fade Filter facility also has a Preview option, so you can preview the changes you’re making to the original image.

You must fade your filter immediately after you use the filter. If you use a painting or editing tool after applying the filter, for example, Fade Filter doesn’t appear on the Edit menu anymore. Photoshop replaces it with Fade Brush Tool or whatever your last execution was.

You can fade the effect in the Fade dialog box in the following ways:

  • Adjust opacity settings. Just about every filter allows you to adjust opacity, so most of the time, the Opacity slider is all you need to adjust the strength of the filter applied to your image.

  • Use a blending mode. Use one of the blend modes in Photoshop to merge the filter effect with the original image.

    You can also fade a filter’s effect by applying a filter to a duplicate layer or to a selection on that layer. Then adjust the opacity or blend mode of the filtered layer so that it merges with the unfiltered layer underneath it.

You can also apply a Smart Filter to your layer or selection. By doing so, you get the utmost flexibility in editing the filter’s opacity and blend modes — not just once, but infinitely.