In Learn Photoshop, Photoshop Tips

 Hello guys I am Vaibhav and today I am going to talk about blending modes in Photoshop. Last time I discussed about Adding Silky and Smooth Waterfall using Photoshop which is an amazing tutorial if you are a landscape or travel photographer. Photoshop’s 25 blend modes (27 when you work with the painting and editing tools) determine how the colors in different layers interact with each other. Blend modes can produce a multitude of interesting, sometimes even bizarre, effects. And what’s more, you can easily apply, change, or discard blend modes with no permanent damage to your layers.

Most options in the Blend Mode pop-up menu (located under the Layers tab) in the Layers panel are the same as those on the Mode pop-up menu on the Options bar. The exceptions are the Behind and Clear modes, which you can find only on the Options bar because they’re available for use only with painting and editing tools.

Normal

You’re probably very familiar with the Normal blend mode by now. It’s the default that lets each pixel appear in its very own unadulterated state. The other three modes are used only in certain circumstances.

Dissolve

The effects of Dissolve can be seen only with a layer that has an opacity setting of less than 100% — the lower the opacity, the more intense the effect. The effect is created by allowing some pixels from lower layers, which are randomized, to show through the target layer.

Behind

Available only when you have a painting or editing tool active. Type must be rasterized, and Lock Transparency must be deselected. It allows you to edit or paint only on the transparent areas of the layer, giving the illusion that the strokes are behind the layer.

Clear

Available only when you have a painting or editing tool active. Type must be rasterized, and Lock Transparency must be deselected. It allows you to edit or paint with transparency, giving the appearance that holes are being punched into your image.

Darken

If the pixels on the layer are lighter than those below, the lighter pixels turn transparent. If the pixels on the layer are darker, they appear unchanged. It’s a great mode, as is Darker Color, for superimposing scanned text or line art because it allows the white color of the paper to essentially drop out, leaving only the dark letters or lines.

Multiply

Burns the layer into the layers underneath. The Multiply mode darkens all colors where they mix. With layers, it’s comparable to sticking two slides in the same slot in a slide projector. If you’re painting, each successive stroke creates a darker color, as if drawing with markers.

Color Burn

Darkens the layers underneath and burns them with color. Increases contrast. Blending with white pixels has no effect. It’s like applying a dark dye to your image.

Linear Burn

Darkens the layers underneath by decreasing the brightness. This is similar to Multiply but tends to make portions of your image pure black. Blending with white pixels has no effect.

Darker Color

When blending two layers, the darker of the two colors will be visible.

Lighten

If the pixels on the layer are darker than those below, the darker pixels turn transparent. If the pixels on the layer are lighter, they appear unchanged. This is the opposite of Darken.

Screen

Lightens the layer where it mixes with the layer underneath. Blending with black pixels has no effect. It’s like putting two slides in two different projectors and pointing them at the same screen. Screen is the opposite of Multiply.

Color Dodge

Lightens the pixels in the layers underneath and infuses them with colors from the top layer. This is like bleaching your layer. Blending with black pixels has no effect.

Linear Dodge

(Add)

Lightens the layers underneath by increasing the brightness. It’s similar to Screen but tends to make parts of your image pure white. Blending with black pixels has no effect.

Lighter Color

When blending two layers, the lighter of the two colors will be visible.

Overlay

Multiplies the dark pixels in the top layer and screens the light pixels in the underlying layers. Enhances the contrast and saturation of colors.

Soft Light

Darkens the dark pixels and lightens the light pixels. If the pixels on the top layer are lighter than 50% gray, the lighter pixels are lightened further. If the pixels on the top layer are darker than 50% gray, the mode
darkens pixels. Blending with black or white results in darker or lighter pixels, but it doesn’t make parts of your image pure black or pure white. It’s similar to Overlay, but softer and subtler, like shining a soft spotlight on the image.

Hard Light

Multiplies the dark pixels and screens the light pixels. It’s like shining a bright, hard spotlight on the image. If the pixels on the top layer are lighter than 50% gray, they’re screened. If the pixels on the top layer are darker than 50% gray, the mode multiplies the pixels. You can use this mode to add highlights and shadows to an image. Blending with black or white gives you black and white.

Vivid Light

If the pixels on the top layer are darker than 50% gray, this mode burns (or darkens) the colors by increasing the contrast. If the pixels on the top layer are lighter than 50% gray, the mode dodges (or lightens) the colors by decreasing the contrast. Vivid Light is a combination of Color Burn and Color Dodge.

Linear Light

If the pixels on the top layer are darker than 50% gray, the mode burns (or darkens) the colors by decreasing the brightness. If the pixels on the top layer are lighter than 50% gray, the mode dodges (or lightens) the colors by increasing the brightness. It’s a combination of Linear Burn and Linear Dodge.

Pin Light

Replaces the colors of pixels, depending on the colors in the top layer. If the pixels on the top layer are darker than 50% gray, the mode replaces pixels darker than those on the top layer and doesn’t change lighter pixels. If the pixels on the top layer are lighter than 50% gray, the mode replaces the pixels that are lighter than those pixels on the top layer and doesn’t change pixels that are darker. Pin Light is a combination of Darken and Lighten and it’s useful for special effects.

Hard Mix

Similar to Vivid Light, but it reduces the colors to a total of eight — cyan, magenta, yellow, black, red, green, blue, and white. Although the results depend on the mix of existing colors on the top and bottom layers, this mode usually creates a highly posturized effect.

Difference

Produces a negative, or inverted, effect according to the brightness values on the top layers. If the pixels on the top layer are black, the mode doesn’t change the colors of the underlying layers. If the pixels on the top layer are white, the mode inverts the colors of the underlying layers. This can produce bizarre results.

Exclusion

Similar to Difference, but with less contrast and saturation. If the pixels on the top layer are black, the mode doesn’t change the colors of the underlying layers. If the pixels on the top layer are white, the mode inverts the colors of the underlying layers. Medium colors blend to create gray.

Hue

Blends the luminance (brightness) and saturation (intensity of the color) of the underlying layers with the hue (color) of the top layer.

Saturation

Blends the luminance and hue of the underlying layers with the saturation of the top layer.

Color

Blends the luminance of the underlying layers with the saturation and hue of the top layer. This mode is great for colorizing grayscale (with a color mode set to RGB) images because it preserves the shadows, highlights, and details of the underlying layers.

Luminosity

Blends the hue and saturation of the underlying layers with the luminance of the top layer. Preserves the shadows, highlights, and details from the top layer and mixes them with the colors of the underlying layers. Luminosity is the opposite of Color.

Thank you for reading this tutorial. Read my next tutorial where I will talk about Adding Snow in Your Image using Photoshop. Hopefully we’ll meet again in 4 days.

Vaibhav Sharan
A man who is curious, thrifty, and learner. Entrepreneurship flows in his blood. Ardent follower of BATMAN. Nothing is abstruse if one has strong will power. Check out my BRAND NEW website: I Innovate Magazine.
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Showing 3 comments
  • Jarred
    Reply

    Hello, yeah this post is genuinely pleasant and I have learned lot of things from it on the
    topic of blogging. thanks.

    • Vaibhav Sharan
      Reply

      Thank you, Jarred! I will try to maintain my quality as much as I can.

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