#CreativeFriday – Photoshop’s Fade feature enhancement in Photoshop CC 2015

Since the release of Photoshop CC 2015, it has been possible to use the standard Image Adjustments non-destructively on a Smart Object. This great enhancement will not only allow you to re-edit the adjustments, but also control the opacity and blending modes of each adjustment at any time within your workflow (essentially replacing the Fade command with a turbo charged Fade command).

Why is this so great and why not keep using the Old Fade command behaviour?

Lots of Photoshop users work on their artwork using the image adjustment operations on a single layer, then if they need to fine-tune the adjustment, they would use the Fade command. The Fade command is very useful for changing opacity or the blending mode of the effect; however, it’s a destructive edit and can only be performed once, just after the adjustment has been applied.


So for example: If an exposure adjustment is made to a layer, the fade command will be available until a new command is executed. i.e. If a selection is made straight after the exposure command is made, the Fade command will no longer be available.


In the 2015 update, the Image adjustments/Fade command became more powerful, but moved to a new place. Fade is now available not just as a menu item, but also when used in combination with Smart Objects. This technique also opens up more adjustments that were not possible when using Smart Objects previously, but also more precision and control at any time during the workflow.


Let’s look at how these adjustments can be used on a layer, and then use the new Fade options to get precise control.


An image opened into Photoshop CC 2015 from Lightroom, using Smart Objects.


1When this operation is performed, any adjustments in Lightroom will be carried non-destructively into Photoshop. The layer inside Photoshop will now enable you to carry on editing the original RAW file + any Lightroom adjustments using Camera Raw. 

Once inside Photoshop, an adjustment may need to be made. To make a non-destructive edit a ‘New Adjustment Layer’ is typically used. This means that any changes via each layer won’t directly have an impact on the underlying (original image), but will also allow continuous edits without having to use the History panel to go back to a previous state.


Alternatively, adjustments can now be made using Image / Adjustments directly on the Smart Object

For example, now the exposure can be increased or decreased by a stop (or more if required)
3effect will be added as a non-desctructive adjustment to the Smart Object (marked in red below)
Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 12.53.29The traditional Fade command is no longer available (as it traditionally is for adjustments). The Fade is now available on the adjustment itself by placing a right click on the adjustment.
4 The ‘Edit Smart Filter’ will open the original adjustment options and the ‘Edit Smart Filter Blending Options’ will open the old Fade command. This essentially means that the Fade operation is now available at any point in your workflow, not just straight after the adjustment has been made.
6We hope that you enjoy this huge improvement with non-destructive workflows when using Fade and Image Adjustments on your artwork.

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