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by Wendi Elizabeth Martha Scarth

 

Blending Modes 
Adobe Photoshop

 

Layer Blending Modes - Explanation and Demonstration
Layers Explained in Detail Here
 Suitable for Adobe Photoshop CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6 & CC
Skill Level - Beginners Plus

Blending Modes Photoshop CS to CS5 Photoshop CC 
Blend Modes Example
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This Photoshop tutorial demonstrates Layer Blend Modes and explains each Blend Mode’s function.

Understand Layers
Understand The Workspace And Palettes

Blending Modes, How They Function

Undo and Navigation Steps
Two ways of undoing steps are from the top menu, Edit then Step Backwards. Alternatively, click a previous snapshot in the History Palette.

Navigate (zoom in and pan) your image using the Navigator Palette,

or the Zoom Tool.

Activate The Hand Tool by tapping the Spacebar, keeping the Spacebar pressed, pan your image in the usual way.

Blending Modes
To be able to utilise Blending Modes, you need at least two Layers open in the Layers palette. Blending Modes work by altering an image’s pixels depending on the Blending Mode and the image beneath it. For example, if you were to apply red-coloured type over a photograph, the type will automatically be applied to its own Layer, as illustrated below.





Blending Exercise 1
To work along with this first exercise, you are welcome to download the Start Image I am working with
HereUnzip the file and open the Yellow Flower onto Photoshop’s workspace. Once open; activate the Horizontal Type Tool. Ctl/Cmd then O







And
apply red text of your choice over the Flower Image, as illustrated below.

   

To alter the way the type’s pixels react to the pixels of the Layer beneath; click open the Blending Mode list, and change its default (Normal) Blending Mode to Difference.
The red type’s pixels will immediately react (Blend) with the yellow and blue pixels of the flower image beneath it - and as a consequence, the red type pixels will change colour. 
 


Take a little time to familiarise yourself with different Blending Modes and discover how they can change your image’s colours.

1/ Blending Exercise 2
Close
the Flower/Text image. Then download the image I am working with
Here
Now,
unzip the file and open the Portrait Image onto Photoshop’s workspace.

Image18.jpx22222222222222222


2/
Duplicate the Background Layer by left-clicking and holding: then dragging the Background Layer over the Create a new layer icon located at the foot of the Layers Palette, as illustrated below.



3/
Working on the Duplicated Layer: from the top menu, choose Filter then choose Blur then choose Gaussian Blur. Enter a Radius of around 23, then click OK.





4/
Now, still working on the Duplicated Layer: change its Blending Mode from Normal to
Overlay
.



Tip
Changing the Blending Mode to Vivid Light: and lowering the Layer’s Opacity to about 57% produces the following effect.



Again, experiment with different Blending Modes, and see how they change your image’s pixels.

The following list explains how different Blending Modes function

Normal
Edits or paints each pixel to make it the final colour. This is the default mode. (Normal mode is called Threshold when you’re working with a bit mapped or indexed-colour
image).

Dissolve
Edits or paints each pixel to make it the final colour. However, the final colour is a random replacement of the pixels with the base colour or the blend colour, depending on the opacity at any pixel location.

Behind
Edits or paints only on the transparent part of a layer. This mode works only in layers with Lock Transparency deselected and is analogous to painting on the back of transparent areas on a sheet of acetate.

Clear
Edits or paints each pixel and makes it transparent. This mode is available for the Shape tools (when fill region is selected), Paint Bucket tool, Brush tool, Pencil tool, Fill command, and Stroke command. You must be in a layer with Lock Transparency deselected to use this mode.

Darken
Looks at the colour information in each channel and selects the base or blend colour, whichever is darker - as the result colour. Pixels lighter than the blend colour are replaced, and pixels darker than the blend colour do not change.

Multiply
Looks at the colour information in each channel and multiplies the base colour by the blend colour. The final colour is always a darker colour. Multiplying any colour with black produces black. Multiplying any colour with white leaves the colour unchanged. When you’re painting with a colour other than black or white, successive strokes with a painting tool produce progressively darker colours. The effect is similar to drawing on the image with multiple marking pens.

Colour Burn
Looks at the colour information in each channel and darkens the base colour to reflect the blend colour by increasing the contrast. Blending with white produces no change.

Linear Burn
Looks at the colour information in each channel and darkens the base colour to reflect the blend colour by decreasing the brightness. Blending with white produces no change.

Lighten
Looks at the colour information in each channel and selects the base or blend colour - whichever is lighter - as the final colour. Pixels darker than the blend colour are replaced, and pixels lighter than the blend colour do not change.

Screen
Looks at each channel’s colour information and multiplies the inverse of the blend and base colours. The result colour is always a lighter colour. Screening with black leaves the colour unchanged. Screening with white produces white. The effect is similar to projecting multiple photographic slides on top of each other.

Colour Dodge
Looks at the colour information in each channel and brightens the base colour to reflect the blend colour by decreasing the contrast. Blending with black produces no change.

Linear Dodge (Add)
Looks at the colour information in each channel and brightens the base colour to reflect the blend colour by increasing the brightness. Blending with black produces no change.

Overlay
Multiplies or screens the colours, depending on the base colour. Patterns or colours overlay the existing pixels while preserving the highlights and shadows of the base colour. The base colour is not replaced, but mixed with the blend colour to reflect the lightness or darkness of the original colour.

Soft Light
Darkens or lightens the colours, depending on the blend colour. The effect is similar to shining a diffused spotlight on the image. If the blend colour (light source) is lighter than
50% grey, the image is lightened as if it were dodged. If the blend colour is darker than
50% grey, the image is darkened as if it were burned in. Painting with pure black or white produces a distinctly darker or lighter area, but does not result in pure black or white.

Hard Light
Multiplies or screens the colours, depending on the blend colour. The effect is similar to shining a harsh spotlight on the image. If the blend colour (light source) is lighter than
50% grey, the image is lightened, as if it were screened. This is useful for adding highlights to an image. If the blend colour is darker than 50% grey, the image is darkened, as if it were multiplied. This is useful for adding shadows to an image. Painting with pure black or white results in pure black or white.

Vivid Light
Burns or dodges the colours by increasing or decreasing the contrast, depending on the blend colour. If the blend colour (light source) is lighter than 50% grey, the image is lightened by decreasing the contrast. If the blend colour is darker than 50% grey, the image is darkened by increasing the contrast.

Linear
Light Burns or dodges the colours by decreasing or increasing the brightness, depending on the blend colour. If the blend colour (light source) is lighter than 50% grey, the image is lightened by increasing the brightness. If the blend colour is darker than 50% grey, the image is darkened by decreasing the brightness.

Pin Light
Replaces the colours, depending on the blend colour. If the blend colour (light source) is lighter than 50% grey, pixels darker than the blend colour are replaced, and pixels lighter than the blend colour do not change. If the blend colour is darker than 50% grey, pixels lighter than the blend colour are replaced, and pixels darker than the blend colour do not change. This is useful for adding special effects to an image.

Hard Mix
Adds the red, green and blue channel values of the blend colour to the RGB values of the base colour. If the resulting sum for a channel is 255 or greater, it receives a value of 255; if less than 255, a value of 0. Therefore, all blended pixels have red, green, and blue channel values of either 0 or 255. This changes all pixels to primary colours: red, green, blue, cyan, yellow, magenta, white, or black.

Difference
Looks at the colour information in each channel and subtracts either the blend colour from the base colour or the base colour from the blend colour, depending on which has the greater brightness value. Blending with white inverts the base colour values; blending with black produces no change.

Exclusion
Creates an effect similar to but lower in contrast than the Difference mode. Blending with white inverts the base colour values. Blending with black produces no change.

Hue
Creates a final colour with the luminance and saturation of the base colour and the hue of the blend colour.

Saturation
Creates a result colour with the luminance and hue of the base colour and the saturation of the blend colour. Painting with this mode in an area with no (0) saturation (grey) causes no change.

Colour
Creates a final colour with the luminance of the base colour and the hue and saturation of the blend colour. This preserves the grey levels in the image and is useful for colouring monochrome images and for tinting colour images.

Luminosity
Creates a final colour with the hue and saturation of the base colour and the luminance of the blend colour. This mode creates the inverse effect of Colour mode.

Lighter Colour
Compares the total of all channel values for the blend and base colour and displays the higher value colour. Lighter Colour does not produce a third colour, which can result from the Lighten blend, because it chooses the highest channel values from both the base and blend colour to create the final colour.

Darker Colour
Compares the total of all channel values for the blend and base colour and displays the lower value colour. Darker Colour does not produce a third colour, which can result from the Darken blend, because it chooses the lowest channel values from both the base and the blend colour to create the result colour.


Wendi E M Scarth.
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