Blend Layers in
Photoshop Elements 8

by Dale
(Madison County, North Carolina)

Q: I want to blend several different photos together to create a poster look but in Elements 8 I do not see a blend tool. How is this accomplished?

A: Good Question Dale. I am planning on doing a more detailed tutorial on how to do this but I will give you a quick summary now so you can try it on your own.

Step 1: Create a new document at the size you want.
Go up to to the File menu and choose New>Blank File…. For excellent print quality you should make the new document 250pixels/inch.

Step 2: Open the images you want in the poster.

Step 3: Drag and Transform the Photos.
Arrange your windows so you can see the new blank document you created and the first photo you want to bring into it.

Go to the Layers Panel of the photo your going to bring in. Use the Move tool to drag the Background Layer on top of the blank document. When you see a heavy black border appear around the document you'll know it's safe to let go of the mouse.

If you want to resize or rotate the photo, press Control-T (Mac:Cmd-T) which will put a bounding box with eight handles around it. If you can't see all the handles press Control-Zero (Mac:Cmd-Zero) so all the handles show.

Click and drag diagonally on one of the corner handles to resize it proportionately. To rotate it, place your cursor outside the Bounding box but close to one of the corner handles until your cursor turns into a curved line with arrowheads on both ends. Then you can move your mouse to rotate it how you want.

When you are done transforming press Enter to apply the change.

Continue dragging the Background Layer into the new document and transforming for all the photos you want on the collage. So now each image is on a separate Layer in the document

Step 4: Group all the Layers with an Adjustment Layer.
To Blend the photos together all the Layers need to have a Layer Mask. Here's a link that shows how to steal a Layer Mask from an Adjustment Layer.

Step 5: Paint on the Layer Masks to Blend.
Choose the Brush tool from the Toolbox. Selct a soft-edge Brush from the Options bar. Make sure your Foreground color at the bottom of the Toolbox is set to black and paint on the Layer Masks in the Layers panel to blend with the other Layers.

Here's what your Layers Panel will look similar to when you are done. My son spent a year at UNC Asheville so some of the photos might look familiar!


I hope that's enough info for you to get going Dale. If you have a question about any of the specific steps just add a comment for this page and ask it.

Good Luck!

Comments for Blend Layers in
Photoshop Elements 8

Click here to add your own comments

by: Gil

Thank you for such a wonderful site. This will allow me to learn PSE9. I am a beginner at all these geek stuff, but anxious to learn. I only have a Rebel Xsi but once a learn more I can hopefully improve my photos thru editing.
Again, thank you!

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Photoshop Elements Q & A.

Search This Site:

Sign up for my newsletter
BECAUSE… You get

  • 4 Step-By-Step Videos showing Tips being used
  • One-Page Printable Cheat Sheets of Tips

Get My Photoshop Elements Books for just $3.99 from Amazon

More Content… follow me:

"Just a note to say I LOVE your site! There seem to be a few PS Elements tutorials sites, but yours is by far the clearest and easiest to understand. Thanks!" - Ellie

"Watching your tutorials even about things that I think I know I ALWAYS learn something new. A big thank you!" - Douglas

"I am thrilled to find such useful and easy-to-understand information for using Photoshop Elements. I can't wait to use your tutorials (especially with my scrapbooking obsession)" - Judy in MS

Good day Rick, "I very appreciate ALL, ALL of your tutos. Very very clear and useful tips, tricks and techniques of how-to in PSE9. A great great work!" - Hoan

"Love your tutorials on YouTube. Very clear and helpful. Thanks a bunch." -

"I love your videos! They have been such a BIG help. I bought the Dummies book, and it's OK, but I do better by watching instead of reading. Kudos to you!" - Cheers, Kathy

"Thank you for this site! I found it through one of your videos on YouTube.
Again, thank you so much!" - Vanessa

"This is really a truly generous and very admirable website!" - Cheers, Jonas

"Hi Rick! First I've got to say thank you for all the information you share. I can't wait to see the "tips and tricks" you are working on because it sounds like those will help things all come together.
I've gone thru several of your tutorials and learn so much. I can't praise you enough for your time and patience." - Vicki.

"Your website is a great service and I thank you!"
 - Kind Regards, April

"A big thanks to you and your website, and the
 information and help I get from it, its much appreciated." - Rob

Rick - "Many thanks for your advice, that I will take. A big thank you as well for you outstandingly good tutorials. You do seem to have an amazing knack of making quite complicated tasks seem easy and straightforward. I am a fan!" - With Best Wishes, Tony

"Much more helpful than PS Elements 9 for Dummies book.... Thanks so much for your site..truly easy to follow." - Karin

Hi Rick. Just wanted to say a big thank you for all of the great information contained in your tutorials. I've stumbled around PS9 for quite a few weeks now and can't believe quite how easily you explain the different aspects. It's way, way more powerful than I imagined and now, for me, usable too. A big, big thank you from the UK. - Guy