I create posters for boxing events. Usually these posters involve a background image with multiple pictures of fighters in the foreground. In the past, it has been easy for me to add a picture of a fighter and then remove the fighter from the background using "select and mask". This makes fighters look like he/she is on background. Then in the layer mask of the fighter I add a gradient from the bottom to top of the fighter image to blend them in. However, this Spring I had to re-install Photoshop on my computer and ever since, the gradient tool has not been working like before. Now when I apply the same steps as above, the gradient tool always pulls in the old background of the original fighter image - like I never did "select and mask" in the first place. I have no idea why this is now occurring and can't get the old functionality back. Please help!

  • Are you certain one end of your gradient is set to transparent and not white? And that the blending mode for the Gradient Tool is set to Normal?
    – Scott
    Oct 8, 2020 at 22:06

1 Answer 1


If you want to apply multiple layer masks to one layer then you can group that layer and add a layer mask to the group folder.

multiple layer masks

You can apply a gradient to a layer mask without replacing it if the gradient goes from 100% to 0% opacity. I would suggest creating a separate layer mask for the group since this would be non-destructive.


  • That's not what I was doing previously. These graphics are a lot more complex with many layers. Before, I could simply make a layer mask of the individual and then apply the gradient directly to the layer mask. Now that doesn't work.
    – ajf31882
    Oct 8, 2020 at 21:00
  • @ajf31882 Updated my answer, you have to make sure you use the correct gradient.
    – AndrewH
    Oct 8, 2020 at 21:16

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