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Applying transparency and blend mode adjustments

From: Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training

Video: Applying transparency and blend mode adjustments

With this movie I would like to show you how to reduce the opacity of a selected layer and see through it to the layers underneath. This common blending technique is often used in conjunction with layer blend modes. By selecting a layer and changing its blend mode the colors contain in the selected layer blend in with the colors contained in the underlying layers, resulting in a special effect. Different blend modes can create different types of effects. So I'm currently in the Bridge application and I'm viewing our exercise files folders. What I want to do is scroll down to the Working with Layers folder Chapter 9.

Applying transparency and blend mode adjustments

With this movie I would like to show you how to reduce the opacity of a selected layer and see through it to the layers underneath. This common blending technique is often used in conjunction with layer blend modes. By selecting a layer and changing its blend mode the colors contain in the selected layer blend in with the colors contained in the underlying layers, resulting in a special effect. Different blend modes can create different types of effects. So I'm currently in the Bridge application and I'm viewing our exercise files folders. What I want to do is scroll down to the Working with Layers folder Chapter 9.

Double-click on that folder and we're going to open up this image here Enzo_beach_layers.psd. We will double- click that to open up this layered file. So we can see over here in our Layers palette, we have three layers: the background layer, there is a white border and a blue border. We can turn off the visibility for these layers and preview each one. There is the white border and there is, with none of these layers turned on, just the background. So let's go ahead and just turn on the blue border for now. The first thing I want to point out here at the top of the Layers palette we have off on the right an opacity setting. Notice that we have 100% currently chosen. So this is a purely opaque border. We're not seeing through it at all. We're seeing sold blue color covering up the imagery underneath it in the background layer.

So when we turn off that visibility, there is that imagery. There is the color covering it up, perfectly opaque. If we would like, we can lower the opacity using this slider. Clicking on that arrow we can lower the opacity by dragging the slider to the left. As we do we can start to see through to that background layer underneath. So we can control the opacity setting. It's great that we can do that. We can also use our scrubbies here by hovering over the word Opacity and dragging to the left or to the right, or you can highlight the value and type in a specific value, like say 57, something like that. Then pressing Return in order to apply it.

You can also control its opacity if you're not using a tool that has an opacity setting like this one does. Let's go ahead and choose the Move tool, which doesn't have an opacity setting, and type in a number like let's say 7. When I do that it automatically goes to 70%. 8 for 80%, 9 for 90% and you get the idea. That's another way that you control opacity settings using some keys on your keyboard quickly and easily. So that's the whole idea with opacity. We also have this menu to the left. It is your Blend Mode menu. If you click on the down facing arrow you can access the drop-down list here. You will see we have lots and lots of different blend modes.

The default is normal which has absolutely no blending effect whatsoever. But if you were to choose some of these other effects, let's go ahead and choose Multiply. That's a very common one. That means that the color in this layer that you're changing the blend mode for is going to interact with the colors in the underlying layers. That's what's happening, they are blending together. The way they blend together depends on which blend mode you select from the list. This group of blend modes in this section here between these two lines generally has a darkening effect, and Multiply is one of the most common. You usually see this used with things like drop shadows and things like that.

They're supposed to take on a natural darkening effect, a shadow like effect. That's what happening here with Multiply. Darken is a sort of a softer version of that. We can get more colored effects using things like Color Burn and Linear Burn and things like Darker Color; so all variances on a similar theme. In the next group you have these lightening effects, between these two lines. Screen is the most popular in here. That generally lightens the color in the image that you're changing the blend mode for, and have it interact with the colors underneath.

So a lighting effect, Lighten is a softer version of that. We have things like Color Dodge, Linear Dodge and Lighter Color. Now all of these things are going to look slightly different depending on what colors you're working with. Sometimes things like pure white and pure black have no effect at all depending on what you choose. That's why I'm not working with the white border. Instead, we're working with the blue border in the background. We also have this group in here. The Overlay group is what I call it, but these have much more exotic effects. Overlay is actually a very nice one. These are very saturated, most of these in here. We also have Soft Light and Hard Light.

Again, all different variations on a similar theme in this group. Vivid Light, Linear Light, Pin Light and Hard Mix. That one is very, very interesting one there, get sort of a posterized effect with that one which is actually cool. We also have Difference and Exclusion, which can give you sort of inverted type of effects. Then we have ones at the bottom, which aren't going to do too much for us here because we're working with solid colors. These come in handy when you're blending imagery together. Things like Hue, Saturation, Color and Luminosity.

These are all of your blend modes and they can all have different effects depending upon which one you choose. So if we were to choose something like Multiply in order to have a nice sort of transparent border effect, which I actually like, I think that's pretty cool. We can also still add an opacity setting to that and lighten the effect by dragging this to the left or entering a lower opacity setting. So those are all very, very cool effects that you can apply here using blending modes and opacity. Just to show you that you can also create some interesting effects with imagery and not just solid colors, I'm going to go ahead and duplicate this layer, the background layer. One easy way to do that is to use this keyboard shortcut. It's Command+J.

It now says background copy and it places it above the copied layer. So with this image now above the background I'm going to change its blend mode. Let's go ahead and choose Overlay. When I do that it's going to create an overly saturated effect. It's going to really saturate the colors in the image underneath. Now that's way too much. We obviously don't want to go this route. But if we lower the opacity of this setting, bring it down to say something like 20%, maybe even a little bit more, and then preview the Before and After by turning the visibility for the layer on and off. We can see how we've boosted the saturation in the colors.

It's very similar to working with the Saturation slider in the Quick Fix mode or with the Hue/Saturation dialog box controls and the slider in there for saturation. So that's a very interesting effect that you can do that here using layers, using blend modes and opacity. Lots of control here at your finger tips when you're working with these controls in the Layers palette. So what we learned here is that we can have our colors on different layers interact with each other differently by choosing different blend modes from the Blend Mode menu. Also, we can control the way that the imagery and the colors interacting with each other by lowering the opacity settings in here as well and create some really nice transitions.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training

84 video lessons · 5395 viewers

Ted LoCascio
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 2m 22s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 20s
  2. 12m 1s
    1. Understanding Photoshop Elements
      2m 10s
    2. Using the Welcome screen
      2m 33s
    3. Importing photos from a digital camera
      7m 18s
  3. 1h 1m
    1. Viewing and selecting images
      2m 1s
    2. Creating and saving a custom workspace
      5m 29s
    3. Rotating images in Bridge
      3m 20s
    4. Renaming images in Bridge
      5m 34s
    5. Adding keywords to images
      7m 38s
    6. Applying ratings to images
      5m 17s
    7. Labeling images
      5m 17s
    8. Searching for images
      6m 38s
    9. Creating Collections
      2m 50s
    10. Sorting images with the Filter panel
      6m 36s
    11. Using image stacks
      7m 2s
    12. Hiding images
      4m 6s
  4. 31m 55s
    1. Opening images from Bridge
      2m 24s
    2. Working with palettes and the Palette Bin
      4m 53s
    3. Using the Project Bin
      6m 44s
    4. Zooming and scrolling
      8m 1s
    5. Fixing mistakes with Undo and Redo
      5m 3s
    6. Saving versions
      4m 50s
  5. 49m 38s
    1. Opening and viewing images in the Quick Fix mode
      6m 8s
    2. Understanding Auto Color and making tonal adjustments
      8m 50s
    3. Using the Lighting sliders
      5m 19s
    4. Using the Color sliders
      7m 1s
    5. Applying Auto Red Eye Fix
      3m 31s
    6. Applying Auto Sharpen
      4m 25s
    7. Using the Guided Edit mode
      6m 19s
    8. Processing multiple files
      8m 5s
  6. 10m 22s
    1. Understanding image resolution
      3m 23s
    2. Resizing images
      6m 59s
  7. 17m 8s
    1. Applying Auto Crop and Auto Straighten
      6m 22s
    2. Using the Straighten and Crop tools
      4m 10s
    3. Changing the canvas size
      6m 36s
  8. 30m 32s
    1. Why make selections?
      6m 3s
    2. Using the Quick Selection tool
      8m 37s
    3. Using Refine Edge
      7m 15s
    4. Saving and loading selections
      8m 37s
  9. 25m 58s
    1. Working with the Layers palette
      9m 45s
    2. Using adjustment layers and masks
      8m 37s
    3. Applying transparency and blend mode adjustments
      7m 36s
  10. 40m 56s
    1. Removing a color cast
      5m 53s
    2. Correcting skin tone
      3m 38s
    3. Enhancing color with Hue/Saturation adjustments
      6m 37s
    4. Balancing contrast and color with Levels adjustments
      7m 10s
    5. Correcting dark or light areas with Shadow/Highlight Adjustments
      5m 17s
    6. Improving images with Color Curves adjustments
      5m 55s
    7. Converting color images to black and white
      6m 26s
  11. 54m 14s
    1. Using the Red-Eye Removal tool
      8m 1s
    2. Using the healing tools
      7m 42s
    3. Whitening teeth and eyes
      6m 20s
    4. Cloning to remove contents
      8m 14s
    5. Adjusting perspective and correcting camera distortion
      6m 10s
    6. Using Photomerge Group Shot
      6m 17s
    7. Using Photomerge Faces
      6m 4s
    8. Using Photomerge Panorama
      5m 26s
  12. 16m 1s
    1. Creating a clipping mask
      7m 25s
    2. Creating collages with gradient blending
      8m 36s
  13. 22m 15s
    1. Reducing noise
      8m 7s
    2. Sharpening with Unsharp Mask
      7m 16s
    3. Sharpening with Adjust Sharpness
      6m 52s
  14. 17m 54s
    1. Understanding Camera Raw
      1m 46s
    2. Opening Camera Raw images from Bridge
      6m 37s
    3. Applying tonal and color adjustments in Camera Raw
      6m 23s
    4. Saving raw images
      3m 8s
  15. 40m 41s
    1. Painting with the Filter Gallery
      8m 7s
    2. Creating a pencil sketch
      7m 40s
    3. Customizing images
      7m 59s
    4. Adding artwork with the Content palette
      9m 39s
    5. Building and saving a multi-page photo creation
      7m 16s
  16. 37m 5s
    1. Creating a slideshow
      6m 58s
    2. Creating a photo book
      9m 1s
    3. Creating a photo collage
      6m 58s
    4. Creating a greeting card
      6m 31s
    5. Creating a web photo gallery
      7m 37s
  17. 31m 6s
    1. Choosing color settings
      7m 1s
    2. Printing to an inkjet printer
      8m 13s
    3. Using Picture Package
      4m 33s
    4. Saving for the web
      5m 55s
    5. Attaching images to emails
      3m 6s
    6. Burning to CDs and DVDs
      2m 18s
  18. 56s
    1. Goodbye
      56s

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