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Merging additive and overlay layers.


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Hello beautiful and creative creatures,

 

I am trying to merge 6 layers without changing the look, the first layer has mode Normal, 4 layers on top has mode Additive and the last layer has mode Overlay with opacity of 64.
I tried different orders or saving directly as a tga but it still changes, making a screen shot is not an option because it has lots of alpha values.
The merged and the unmerged image looks the same without a black background.

 

Does anyone know how to merge these layers together without changing?

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Yep, that can be an issue. The first thing I try is to merge the bottom ones down first. However that doesn't always work either. Second option for me (usually the best) is to untick or hide all of the layers that I don't want merged. Then I pres CTRL + SHIFT + F to flatten the image. I copy the flattened image to the clipboard to to a new canvas. Then I undo the flatten, hide those that I flattened, tick or show all of the layers that I previously unticked. You can delete the flattened layers but I usually keep them in case I want to make a change.

 

Hope this helps.

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Knowledge is no burden to carry.

 

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Merge the second to bottom layer into the bottom one. Repeat as needed. Or as @barbieq25 pointed out, Ctrl + Shift + F = flatten (the same as Image > Flatten) will preserve the current appearance.

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If you just want a flattened version that looks the same, I suggest copying the merged image with Ctrl+Shift+C and pasting it into a new image with "Edit>Paste into New Image" or Ctrl+Alt+V. I prefer that to flattening and undoing, though it's mostly a matter of taste. The advantage, if any, is that the original file name remains associated with the multi-layer image.

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2 hours ago, Tigris said:

The method of @barbieq25 does not work either.

 

What are you saying happens? If you flatten the image, does it not look the same as the image before flattening? If you save the flattened image, does the saved image not look like the flattened image? If it doesn't work, one of those two things must not be true. Which one is it?

Edited by MJW
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It changes by flattening and I tried the above described methods to avoid changes.
You get the same problem when you have only 3 layers but the changes are less visible for the additive layer; Background is normal, layer 1 is additive and layer 2 is overlay.
I add a black background layer to see the difference between the merged and the unmerged images.

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I've never seen a case where the flattened image didn't look like the original image. Perhaps you could post each separate layer of the three-layer + black-background example, along with the flattened image. Make sure you tell us the order and the layer properties of each layer. That way we can try it ourselves. The simpler the image, the better. You don't need to post a large image; any region that has a difference should be sufficient.

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Agreed. Please zip the *.PDN file and upload it here for us to have a look at.

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When I look at 1.pdn or 2.pdn with layers and I use the menu "Image > Flatten" the resulting image does not change for me... other than the obvious going from multiple layers to one.

 

I think you may be trying to flatten the image by merging 2 layers at a time until you've flattened the image.  This will never work.  To retain the same look, you must use "Image > Flatten".

 

Looking at 1merged.pdn and 2merged.pdn I see that you didn't actually merge all layers.  This is the problem. Unless you use "Image > Flatten" you won't be merging all layers and the resulting image won't be the same.

 

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I use "Image > Flatten" without the black background and then I add the black background later to see the result. So the solutions seems to be to only merge the final image with the background it is going to get? The image I am working on now is just a small part.

Edited by Tigris
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If I deactivate the black layer, copy the merged image, then paste it into a new image, it looks the same. However, if I add a black background, the result looks different then the original image with the black background. That's expected. The merged image can't retain the blending characteristics of the various layers that make up the original image. That's true even with a single layer. If I have a white-to-transparent gradient layer in Additive mode, the flattened version will have the Normal blending mode, so they will look different against a black background.

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10 minutes ago, Tigris said:

Its clear to me now, I will just merge everything at the end or merge layers with normal blending mode. It's going to be a bit less convenient but that's not a problem.

 

I was, some time ago, rather chagrined when I realized that merging two layers doesn't produce a singe layer with the equivalent effect. Unfortunately, there's no way that can be done with most combinations of blending modes.

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