Maintaining opacity on merging layers

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  • Updated 2 years ago
Currently if you have two layers at a lower than 100%, say 20% -- matching opacity values -- and you merge them, Photoshop gives you a new layer at 100% opacity, with 20% opaque pixel values. This doesn't make intuitive sense. You then cannot then change their opacity higher (to enable usefulness of the layer opacity slider again) without some fiddly operations. The default behaviour for this merging should be to give you a new layer at  that lower opacity setting.
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Daniel Minson

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Posted 2 years ago

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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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I disagree, overlapping solid pixels on two Layers of X% Opacity have to have an resulting opacity larger than X, so applying X as opacity of the resulting Layer would be nonsensical.  
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Agreed. You can illustrate this easily. Create a new document and add two shape layers. Make sure the shapes overlap partly. Set both shape layers to 50% opacity. What you will see is that the overlapping parts are more opaque than the non-overlapping parts, so there is no way to merge them and get the correct opacity of each pixel by using a global opacity for the entire layer.
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Max Johnson, Champion

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Agreed with previous replies, with the addendum that you could  group them or make them into a single smart object and apply styles or change opacity on them together, but still be able to manipulate them individually later.