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How can I link two layer masks together?

I'm trying to create a divider bar in Photoshop, that fades out at each end:

example

As you can see, I have it fading out at the bottom. How can I do the same to the top?

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Hi Spencer — welcome to the site. While we do support questions about photographic processes in Photoshop, questions about using the user interface and so on are better on superuser.com — this is off-topic here. –  mattdm May 28 '11 at 19:40
    
Thank you for referring me to that website, mattdm. –  Spencer May 28 '11 at 19:43
    
I've flagged the question to be migrated, and it should be moved shortly. No need to repost there. –  mattdm May 28 '11 at 19:43
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<cough> use a layer mask with a reflected gradient rather than the standard linear gradient. No need to link layer masks. <cough> –  ElendilTheTall May 28 '11 at 21:14
    
@ElendilTheTall I tried what you said, however, the gradient is only being applied to one end of the line. –  Spencer May 28 '11 at 21:55
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migrated from photo.stackexchange.com May 28 '11 at 21:34

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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The "Foreground to Transparent" gradient (2nd from the left in the control panel) allows you to paint multiple gradients onto a mask without overwriting what's already in place, so choose that gradient and mask transparent-to-black on top, then transparent-to-black on the bottom, holding down Shift in both cases to ensure the mask is applied exactly horizontally.

Another approach, if you want the two ends to be independently editable, would be to select exactly half of your divider, cut to a new layer (Ctl-Shift-J/Cmd-Shift-J), and mask each half separately.

A third idea (since we're on a roll here, why quit now?) would be to mask one end, select "New Group from Layers" in the Layers Panel to make it a "group" of one layer, then apply the mask for the other half to the group.

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Your first technique worked wonderfully. I was doing that earlier, except using the black to white gradient, which was why it wasn't working. –  Spencer May 29 '11 at 3:27
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