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How to Use the Fade Command

 By Karl Rosencrants, Shutterstock Contributor

As many designers know, applying filters to images can be an all-or-nothing process. However, this article will shed light on the little known Fade command - using this tool gives you the ability to quickly and easily alter the opacity of filter effects.

The Fade command is hidden away under the Edit menu. Usually, when you open the Edit menu, Fade is grayed out and inactive, so you may have overlooked it. It only becomes active directly after filter affects, brush strokes and color adjustments. If any other action is made in the file, such as a move, you will lose the ability to Fade the previous command. You will be unable to Undo to go back and try again. One chance is all you get!

The Fade command allows you to adjust the opacity as well as the blend mode of the different types of effects allowed.

For example, to add some style to the guitars below, apply filters to them. In this case, I have each guitar on a separate layer. To the first guitar: apply Filter > Artistic > Colored Pencil.

The effect looks good, but let’s keep some of the color in the body of the guitar. Under the Edit menu, click on Fade. Fading the opacity of the Color Pencil filter to 25% brings most of the original color back while retaining some of the edge effect.

To the second guitar: apply Filter >Sketch > Reticulation.

As with the previous filter, Reticulation removes the color from the guitar. Activate Fade again to change the opacity of the filter down to 35% to bring back some color.

The Fade command works the same way for strokes made with the Brush Tool. Remember, only the last brush stroke will be affected by the Fade command.

Continue playing with Filters and Fades. The possibilities are endless.

Bonus Tip: If you are like me, you may often brush out a perfect brush stroke, only to get something that doesn’t quite look right. Only then do you realize the settings in the properties bar were set to a different blend mode and lower opacity from the last time you used it.

Rather than undoing the stroke, change the settings back to normal and try again, by simply using the Fade command. From there, you can change the blend mode back to normal and raise the opacity up to 100% for the stroke you just made.