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Let's say I have a layer with color and another layer with texture over it. That top layer has a blending option "Overlay". How do I rasterize that top layer, but keep the overlay effect?

migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 19 '12 at 17:50

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You can also group (CTRL+G) the two layers then merge the group (CTRL+E).

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Ctrl+Alt+Shift+E will create a copy of all visible layers at the top without actually flattening them.

enter image description here

Now if you need to confine it to the shape of the layer you had, so in this case the Dogs. Ctrl+LMB on the layer thumbnail of the layer you needed to do this to then Mask it:

enter image description here

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What other peeps said is 100% valid. I like to preserve some level of maintainability, so I would make a smart object of those layers first, make a copy and work on the copy (rasterize or whatever). This way I can always go back and change whatever I want.

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Create an empty layer above both of your layers, select down all of them (empty, blended layer with texture and bottom layer with color), press CTRL+E (or via menu Layer → Merge Down).

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You can select the layers you’d like to merge, and choose LayerMerge Layers (or press ⌘E). Or, you could turn the layers into a Smart Object, which would maintain the ability to edit in the future.

The great news is that you don’t need to merge the layers. Choosing a group blending mode of Normal will composite all child layers into a single buffer, maintaining blending modes, but contain them to the group.

This works differently to Pass Through, which lets layers blend using their blending modes with layers outside the group.

Here’s an example with the group set to Normal blending.

Normal group blending in Photoshop

And the same example, but with the group set to Pass Through.

Pass Through group blending in Photoshop

If that’s not what you’re after, you can probably set up clipping, masking or blend modes to give the desired result. Here’s the same example, with the color block clipped to the image.

Clipped layer in Photoshop

In the case above, you don’t actually need the group.

Pretty much anything you could want is possible, using a combination of techniques.