I have layer with a Ferrari placed on top of a layer with a tree.

Is there a way to let pixels of the tree pass through the corresponding pixels of the Ferrari, depending on the tree's pixels luminosity?

For example, if pixels of the tree are very close to black (as shown in the GIF), delete the corresponding pixels on the Ferrari layer, so that the pixels from the tree will be visible in the final picture.

Animated GIF showing the effect:


Note that I'm not looking for Multiply or Overlay, etc. The effect I'm trying to achieve is to set the transparency of the pixels of a layer (the Ferrari), according to the luminosity of the corresponding pixels on the layers below (the Tree).

To be clear enough I repeat: "layers below". I'm not interested in adding the tree image layer to the layer mask of the Ferrari layer, because the transparency should be based on the total luminosity of all layers below the Ferrari layer and there are several of them.

This is pretty much like Layer style's blending options with "underlying layer", but that only works with on/off pixels. Instead, transparency of a pixel might be partial, as shown in the GIF.

Thank you in advance.

  • Take a look at this post: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/72554/… Use the Ferrari as a mask... Or the tree. I am not sure what you really need.
    – Rafael
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 16:57
  • 1
    Blend if in blending options is not on/off. Hold down alt to split the slider and make gradual transitions.
    – Wolff
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 17:04
  • Ooooooh. @Wolff OMG I've been using PS for ages and I never knew that was possible.
    – Wes
    Commented Jun 17, 2021 at 17:16

1 Answer 1


This functionality is right at your fingertips in the layer's Blending Options.

Blend If does not only work "on/off" (binary) as you state.

It's possible to make smooth transitions by holding down Alt while dragging the sliders to split them in two.

(Both images are Public Domain and was found on Wikimedia Commons.)

  • @Wes, just wanted to wrap this one up.
    – Wolff
    Commented Jul 16, 2021 at 22:15

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