Free Photoshop Tutorials: Show through in Photoshop
Version: Adobe Photoshop 7.0, CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5
You can use this tool in any other older version of Photoshop to replace the background of a picture. In fact what we do is take advantage of the differences in light of the two pictures and so darker parts will show through.
Show through in Photoshop
Load the photo
rather, two photos in this case. There is this photo with
the pigeon, whose dull background should definitely be replaced
with a nicer one. We have already chosen a suitable one:
blue sky with some clouds.
We could cut out the pigeon but that would take a while.
Another good idea is to use Magic Wand
tool, but there are other options as well. Since the silhouette
of the pigeon is darker than the blue sky, we can experiment
with show through of layers.
the photo with the pigeon by hitting Ctrl+A
and then copy it with Ctrl+C. Next click
on the background photo and press Ctrl+V.
If you did it right, the pigeon is placed on a separate
layer now above the blue sky. It is automatically named
Layer 2. This will appear on layers palette
as shown above.
Stay on this layer, double click the bar next to its name
or use the Layer/Layer Style/Blending Options
It shows through
now see this window where you can set the show through at
the bottom. In other words, you'll achieve that the upper
layer keeps only the pixels that are darker than on the
layer below so those will show through. You can achieve
this by modifying the upper layer using the This
We would like the lighter pixels of the upper layer to disappear.
Therefore drag the light-colored arrow of the slider seen
on the right to the left until the grey background around
the pigeon and the wire disappear and the layer below appears.
We found the best results when using a value of 212.
If you drag the slider further, the lighter pixels of the
pigeon may disappear as well.
you have a closer look at the present state of the photo,
you can detect disturbing, light pixels around the show-through
area. These make the photo look like fake we might say.
The observer discovers at once that the main theme is copied
onto the background.
order to avoid this, we have to remove the light outline
around the theme by a softer show through of the edges.
Go back to the Layer Style window. Press
and hold the ALT key and drag the light
arrow further to the left.
All the sliders have two parts. By moving both parts, the
show through will be hard, but by interfering with one part
only, it will be soft. In our case we dragged the arrow
to the left to 130 and so the light edges
around the main topic have become softer. We could say they’re
gone now. If you wish to accentuate the effect, use the
Darker Color mode on the Layers
With a new background
end result is almost perfect. The main theme of our photo
is now perching in front of a new, much more interesting
background, and most of the disturbing light outline around
it is gone too. The remaining outline is really hardly detectable.
Before saving, unify the two layers by Layer/ Flatten
free Photoshop Tutorials
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