Apply a threshold to the transparency of a smart object layer

I have a smart object layer whose content is partly transparent. How can I create an effect such that pixels with alpha greater than some value become opaque, and other pixels become fully transparent?

I know that I could stack up 15-20 copies of the SO to get an opaque version, but I can’t figure any useful way to mask the result.

Note: I’m looking for a way to set up a PSD such that the results of this threshold effect get applied dynamically, without manual steps. I know that it’s possible to manually extract a layer’s transparency, edit it, and then reapply it as a mask, but I’m looking for a setup where I won’t have to re-execute manual steps every time the content of the smart object changes.

Example image:

Sample image


Long story short, what I was going for here isn’t possible. Photoshop does let you manipulate a layer’s transparency, but only if you manually extract it into a color layer and later re-apply the colors as a mask. It’s not possible to get similar results with layer adjustments and built-in filters, so there’s no way to get the effect without executing manual steps or saved actions every time the source layer changes.

I’ll go ahead and mark @AAGD’s answer as correct since it’s the best manual way of getting the effect I hoped for.


I’d say having the alpha as a channel would help. This could then be manipulated with controls like Threshold or Levels. To get the alpha cmd-click (on mac) the layer icon of your smart object. This will create a selection. Then create a new channel. The selection will be translated into a grayscale representation of your transparency. Edit the channel, make it a selection again and with this selection you can create a mask on your non-transparent (20 copies merged) layer.

Source : Link , Question Author : fenomas , Answer Author : AAGD

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