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Opacity vs. Fill Opacity

From: Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Advanced Blending

Video: Opacity vs. Fill Opacity

In this exercise, I'll explain the difference between the two numerical blending options here inside the Layers panel, the first of which goes by the name Opacity and the second of which is called Fill, short for Fill Opacity. I'm working inside a file called Sample type.psd found inside the 01_intro folder. And notice that we have two identical words set in the font Myriad Pro, both of which are located on independent layers. I'm going to start things off by making the top layer active, then I'll click on the word Opacity in order to highlight its value there in the Layers panel, and I'll change the value to 25%.

Opacity vs. Fill Opacity

In this exercise, I'll explain the difference between the two numerical blending options here inside the Layers panel, the first of which goes by the name Opacity and the second of which is called Fill, short for Fill Opacity. I'm working inside a file called Sample type.psd found inside the 01_intro folder. And notice that we have two identical words set in the font Myriad Pro, both of which are located on independent layers. I'm going to start things off by making the top layer active, then I'll click on the word Opacity in order to highlight its value there in the Layers panel, and I'll change the value to 25%.

Then I'll click on Sample #2 in order to make it active, click on the Fill this time in order to make its value active, and change it to 25%. And you'll notice that both effects are absolutely identical to each other. And that thrills a lot of people because after all, why have two values that serve exactly the same purpose. Well, the problem with the demonstration so far is that all we have to work with is Fill that is the pixels inside of the layer. And both Opacity and Fill affect those pixels at least where the Normal and most of the other blend modes are concerned in exactly the same way.

Where they start to become different than each other is when we have layer effects. So I'm going to go up to the File menu and choose the Revert command or press the F12 key in order to restore the original version of the image. Notice that both of these layers have layer effects associated with them. I'll go ahead and turn those layer effects on like so and then I'll select the top text layer, click on Opacity, and once again change that value to 25%, and notice that the interior of the type as well as the layer effects fade in kind.

Compare that to what happens when I select the second text layer, click on its Fill value and change it to 25%. And notice this time we reduced the Opacity of the letters that is the white inside of the letters, but the layer effects remain as opaque as they ever were. And where this becomes really useful is when you take that Fill value and reduce it all the way down to 0% which is when you have layer effect and nothing more. So the letters themselves entirely disappear and as a result, they appear to be embossed into that background.

Now a few things you should know about modifying these values. If I click on the top text layer, as we've seen, you can change the value by clicking on it and then entering another value. You can also click on this right- pointing arrowhead to bring up a little slider bar like so, or if you want to, you can scrub directly on the value in order to change it on the fly. If you want to change the value in larger increments, specifically increments of 10, then you press the Shift key while scrubbing on that value and each pixels worth of scrub at this point will result in a 10% variation.

And then, finally assuming that any tool in the toolbox except for this second group of tools right here, the Paint and Edit Tools, anything else including the Selection Tools or the Pen Tool all the way down to the Zoom Tool in the latter half of the toolbox, when any of those tools is selected, you can just press a number key on the keyboard. So for example, if you press the 1 key, you'll reduce the Opacity to 10%. If you press 2, you'll get 20%, 3 for 30%, all the way up to 0 for 100%. If you press two keys in order such as 4, 5, then you'll end up changing the value to in this case 45% and so forth.

The lowest you can go there for is 0, 1 for 1% opacity. If you want 0% opacity, you're going to have to either scrub it down or enter that value and so on. All right! I'm going to press the 0 key in order to restore an Opacity value of 100%. The same goes for the Fill value incidentally. So if I click on that second type layer, then I can go ahead and for example, scrub that value upward or I could press the Shift key and scrub it all the way up to 100%. If you want to change the value on the fly when any tool but that second group of tools is selected, then you press Shift along with a number key.

So for example, Shift+1 changes the Fill value to 10%, Shift+2 for 20%, Shift+3 for 30%, all the way up to Shift+0 for 100%. And if you have the Shift key down while typing two numbers in a row, for example, I'll type Shift+6+7. Then I'll change that Fill value to 67%. Therefore, once again the lowest you can go is Shift+0+1 for a Fill value of 1%. If you want to go lower than that all the way down to 0%, for example, then you have to scrub that value all the way down.

And that's how you work with the Opacity and Fill values here inside Photoshop's Layers panel.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Masking and Compositing: Advanced Blending
 
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  1. 1m 43s
    1. Welcome
      1m 43s
  2. 33m 15s
    1. When in doubt, blend
      2m 20s
    2. Where to find blending options
      4m 10s
    3. 27 blend modes, 6 groups
      4m 23s
    4. Opacity vs. Fill Opacity
      4m 41s
    5. The "Fill Opacity Eight"
      4m 59s
    6. Blending adjustment layers
      4m 43s
    7. Blend mode shortcuts
      7m 59s
  3. 27m 3s
    1. The power of standardized arithmetic
      6m 58s
    2. Photoshop's blending formulas
      5m 27s
    3. Darken formulas vs. lighten formulas
      4m 15s
    4. Contrast mode formulas
      7m 28s
    5. Inversion, cancelation, and HSL
      2m 55s
  4. 17m 50s
    1. Normal mode vs. Dissolve mode
      2m 11s
    2. Making a dynamic Dissolve effect
      2m 21s
    3. Creating a Dissolve text effect
      4m 48s
    4. The Behind and Clear modes
      3m 2s
    5. Filling a stroke with Behind and Clear
      5m 28s
  5. 43m 24s
    1. Darken vs. Darken Color
      4m 25s
    2. Creating filter effects with Darken
      5m 0s
    3. The Multiply and Burn modes
      6m 27s
    4. Cleaning up scanned line art
      7m 30s
    5. Comping line art against a photo
      5m 12s
    6. Colorizing comped line art
      5m 14s
    7. Masking with a darken mode
      3m 59s
    8. Refining a mask with Multiply
      5m 37s
  6. 33m 36s
    1. Lighten vs. Lighter Color
      2m 29s
    2. Creating filter effects with Lighten
      2m 47s
    3. The Screen and Dodge modes
      4m 35s
    4. Blending white type, darkening shadows
      3m 2s
    5. Creating a classic double-exposure effect
      3m 49s
    6. Making dark line art bright
      5m 11s
    7. Masking with a lighten mode
      5m 4s
    8. Refine, filter, and blend
      6m 39s
  7. 35m 18s
    1. Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light
      5m 2s
    2. Vivid, Linear, and Pin Light
      4m 2s
    3. The amazing Hard Mix mode
      3m 51s
    4. Two variations on a single mode
      5m 37s
    5. Adding clarity with a contrast mode
      4m 9s
    6. Creating a glowing, soft-focus effect
      3m 38s
    7. Blending an image with a paper texture
      4m 11s
    8. Turning flesh into stone
      4m 48s
  8. 18m 10s
    1. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      7m 7s
    2. Comparing seemingly identical images
      3m 25s
    3. Creating type that inverts any background
      3m 30s
    4. Making inversion type black and white
      4m 8s
  9. 16m 57s
    1. Luminosity, Color, Hue, and Saturation
      3m 29s
    2. Colorizing artwork with layers
      7m 24s
    3. Correcting skin tones with Hue
      6m 4s
  10. 14m 57s
    1. Using the This Layer slider option
      6m 44s
    2. Using the Underlying Layer slider option
      3m 16s
    3. Achieving greater control with Blend If
      4m 57s
  11. 48s
    1. Next steps
      48s

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