Add Dramatic Skies To Your Photos With Photoshop Touch’s Fade Tool [How To]

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Boring sky? Jazz it up in seconds using Photoshop Touch's Fade tool
Boring sky? Jazz it up in seconds using Photoshop Touch's Fade tool

Adobe’s Photoshop Touch is flexible enough that you can really get your hands dirty with some desktop-level photo manipulation. But what the app is really meant to do is be a quick way for you to fix or edit your photos and then share them with your friends via social networks or email.

To this end, there are some incredibly powerful tools which take just a few taps to apply. One of the coolest is called Add Fade, and it makes blending two images together as simple as dragging a slider: Photoshop takes care of all the masking and blending for you. So go grab your iPad, fire up Photoshop and follow along.

Here's the file picker. You can only open one image at a time, so pick the biggest first, as the canvas for the project will be set to this size, and it's a pain to change it later
Tap the "plus" button down in the layers panel and add the second photo
Adjust the image to fit by dragging the handles. The magnet icon toggles "snap to edges" and the little chain link toggles the aspect ratio lock. Switch it off if you want to squash the image in any direction
Done. It doesn't come quite to the bottom of the layer below, but as we're losing this part of the picture, it doesn't matter
Tap the extras menu and tap "Add Fade"
Pick a fade style and move the handles to fine tune the transition. This looks pretty good already
Moving the handles closer together gives a sharper transition
Done. Pretty easy, right? But look closer and you'll see the clouds are in front of those towers
Here you see the problem (zoom in by pinching). Let's do something about that
Run your finger down the tools palette on the left side and find the eraser. Make it small and soft, and set the flow and opacity low so you can build up slowly. Erase those clouds, and remember: you can always undo
That's probably good enough, but those clouds, which came from an Instagram photo, are a little yellow. Tap the layer icon and pick "Match Color"
Adjust until you get what you're looking for. Photoshop changes the current layer to match the one below it
That looks about right. Tap "Apply" and you're done

Fade is useful for more than this. You can choose various presets to, say, punch a perfectly blended hole in your layer, or mix together parts of a group portrait so everyone looks their best. Go play, and be sure to leave any fade-based tips in the comments. I’d love to hear them.

  • Barrett Jasper

    oopsie…

  • Gabriele Cancelli

    is it possible to do something like this with the new iPhoto for ios? 

  • Timothy Williamson

    Okay, that is pretty freakin’ cool! I’m almost sold on it (once they add the ability to save in full-size resolution).