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Merge and Flatten

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What is the difference between merging layers down and flattening the image? Surely as you are combining all the layers together in both processes the image should come out the same. But it doesn`t.If you flatten you get one image, but if you merge it is completely different.

I can`t understand why this should be. :?



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Well, when you merge layers down the top layer inherits the layer properties of the layer underneath it.

Say for example you have a layer with an opacity of 199 and blending mode on Reflect. Then you have a layer above it with an opacity of 100 and blending mode on glow. If you merge those layers together, the stuff on the top layer will match the properties of the bottom layer (the stuff on the second layer will have an opacity of 199 instead of 100)

If you flatten an image, you keep the distinct layer properties of each layer. In other words, flattening the layer flattens the image the way it looks on the canvas.

EDIT: Ash Beat Me.

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