Sunday, August 28, 2005

Photoshop - Opacity & Fill

I'm a photographer and have been using Photoshop since version 4. I don't claim to be an expert but I do OK. I was playing with filters and layer opacity on some photos I shot and it occurred to me that I don't know the difference between what "fill" does and what "opacity" does in the layers tab. They seem to do the same thing. I have a layer filled with white below a layer that I'm lowering the opacity on. I sometimes change the lower opacity layer using filters or saturation.

Opacity affects not only the pixels in the layer but also any layer styles or effects on the layer. Fill only affects the actual pixels of the layer. So a specific example. You have a shape on a layer and apply a drop shadow style to it. Reduce fill to 0% and the object itself disappears but the drop shadow remains. Drop opacity to zero and both disappear.


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