This is what I want, the black pixelated effect:

enter image description here

This is what happens after I merge layers:

enter image description here

In the top image, the black "pixelated" effect is what I'm after, once merged. The effect flattens into a solid.

I apologize for my ignorance, I'm still new as I just started with Photoshop maybe 4 months ago. This type of editing is completely new to me, as I usually only post process my raw photos and add layers from time to time.

There are 3 photo layers and 6 adjustment layers. I have tried changing the order of the layers, converting to smart layer, rasterize, added a new blank layer as my first layer, and copied the background layer to add blending effects, making the original background layer hidden. I've merged what layers I could individually, but the effect that I'm after changes when all the layers are merged.

All things I've tried I gathered from reading other questions asked on this site.

The 6 adjustment layers are, in the following order:

.brightness/contrast 1
.brightness/contrast 2

Following are the 3 photo layers

Then last is a hidden background layer

Thank you in advance, again I'm sorry if this is difficult to follow, if any more information is given just ask and I'll do what I can to provide it.

Some thoughts:

I have not moved files into separate windows and merged one at a time, as it may be pointless but I want to ask before I go that far.

Would getting rid of the two brightness/contrast and readjusting the first make a difference?

  • But why do you even want to merge these layers?
    – Summer
    Feb 27, 2017 at 9:49
  • @JaneDoe1337 I started to ask myself that same question. Haha. I always have, I suppose; I make a jpeg copy of all my photo edits. This piece is more extravagant than my normal use with photoshop, I guess I don't need too, but I would still like a jpeg copy and I can't do that without merging the layers.
    – Cooper
    Feb 27, 2017 at 10:46
  • 2
    @Cooper a jpeg is created by saving. You can certainly do that without merging the layers.
    – Ryan
    Mar 29, 2017 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


Try to:

  • Select the top layer
  • Press Ctrl+alt+shift+e (Win) or Command+option+shift+e (Mac)

What you should get is a new layer that merged all the bottom layers but gives you the result as you see it.


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