I'm trying to achieve a certain effect with Photoshop. Basically, I want the edges of my shape to bleed seamlesssly into the background. I'm trying to achieve a "radial" gradient from black to transparent based on the shape.

Here's a quick and dirty example. I can't use the gradient/radial tool because it is based on a circle and doesn't adapt to the uniqueness of the shape. Any help appreciated, thanks.

enter image description here

  • Are you trying to create a gradient with only a few steps like in your illustration or something "soft" with many, many, shades?
    – Ryan
    May 27, 2014 at 20:36
  • Soft, seamless gradient.
    – user24294
    May 27, 2014 at 20:39
  • Try using "outer glow" with black and "multiply" or "normal" blend mode
    – horatio
    May 27, 2014 at 20:45

2 Answers 2


Double click on the layer with the shape and check "Outer Glow" and use these settings:

enter image description here

Then you can make a new layer and merge it with the layer containing the shape, so that it's not an effect but part of the layer. Select both, right click and choose Merge Layers.


Roughly this:

Make a Layer Mask on your object,

Command Select your object layer to get the Selection,

Select / Modify / Feather (how much you depends on your taste)
* You might want to Contact or Expand your selection first depending on what you want your finished product to look like.

Then fill your selection (on the Layer Mask) with white.

This should feather your object so the edges blend to the background.

If you want black fading out from your object, just use a Dropshadow Layer Style with the offsets (x and y) set to zero.

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