What are the mechanics inside the Apply Image panel?

This is the panel I am referring to, but I have it in Spanish.

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Inside we can configure some stuff, something that resembles the blending modes, etc.

This specific configuration is used in Frequency separation for Portrait retouching for example.

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I want to implement this in different applications that does not have the exact same tool, let's say Gimp or PhotoPaint... but I am wondering...

What that tool really does? It is not only a blending mode, obviously, somehow the current layer gets combined, explored, cooked and baked with the other layer, some hocus pocus happening there, and POOF!, you have a new layer...

What are the mechanics inside that cauldron?

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    It's called "Apply Image" in English, btw. – Tetsujin Jun 30 '18 at 5:30

In the English version of Photoshop it's called "Apply Image".

It's somewhat similar to GIMP's "Layer from Visible" functionality - but just with a dialog box which controls how layers are merged, rather than making adjustment to the actual layer blending modes/opacity.

It's function is essentially for merging all layers into a layer, but unlike GIMP's "Layer from Visible" the result isn't a new layer. The result is applied to the selected layer.

To be honest, I've never personally found a use for it in my 20 or so years working with Photoshop. I also use GIMP and have never missed this functionality, since GIMP already has "Layer from Visible". If the extra layer left over is a problem, you can simply delete it.

The problem with merging layers like this is that it is destructive, as everything on the layers being merged is rasterized. It's not something I would really want to use in Photoshop as part of my normal non-destructive work flow (nor in GIMP for that matter).

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