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Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn

From: Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn

In this movie I'll introduce you to the first group of Blend modes which include Darken, Multiply and Color Burn all of which use the selected object to darken everything below it. So I'm going to start by meatballing this Mishipeshu layer here inside the Layers panel, and that way I can assign a Blend mode to the entire layer at one time, so that I am not creating interactions between the various selected paths. And now so I can see what I am doing, I'll press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac to hide those selection edges.

Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn

In this movie I'll introduce you to the first group of Blend modes which include Darken, Multiply and Color Burn all of which use the selected object to darken everything below it. So I'm going to start by meatballing this Mishipeshu layer here inside the Layers panel, and that way I can assign a Blend mode to the entire layer at one time, so that I am not creating interactions between the various selected paths. And now so I can see what I am doing, I'll press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac to hide those selection edges.

Then I'll click on Normal, and as I was mentioning in the previous movie Normal is the absence of a Blend mode, so there is no blending going on, when you have the Normal mode except for the blending associated with the Opacity value, but there's no extra Blend mode equation. So the first group of actual Blend modes are these guys right here: Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn, and you can see they are organized into a group because they are related. Their opposites are the next group of Blend modes as we'll see in the following movie, and from then on the Blend modes are grouped logically as well--even if they do have strange names at times-- such as, for example, Multiply, which we'll see is one of the best Blend modes there is.

Anyway, I'm going to start things off with Darken which is the simplest of the Darken modes, which is the simplest of these three Blend modes. All it does is find which color is darker, and if a color is darker in the selected object then you see it; if a color is darker in the background then you see it instead. So in other words it's an on-off proposition which may lead you to wonder, why then do we have this obvious blend going on right here? Why don't we either see the background or the monster in the foreground but not both? And the reason is because this blending operation is happening on an ink-by-ink basis, so to really see what's going on we need the Separations Preview panel.

So I'll go up to the Window menu and choose Separations Preview in order to bring up that panel, and then so I can actually use the panel, I'll turn on the Overprint Preview checkbox. And the best things for getting a sense of what's really going on here happened to be Cyan and Magenta. So I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on the eye in front of Cyan. And you can see now that either we see the creature--as in the case of his head--or we see the background--as in the case of this stripe of color coming through his neck--and then we see the creature again, and then we see the background again, and then we see the creature and we lose them around the tail and the rear leg.

Whereas if I go ahead and turn Magenta on and then turn Cyan off we get a different result. We're still seeing much of the head and we lose the neck to the background, but then we get part of the neck back and then we lose the body to the background and then we see the haunches and the lower portions of the rear feet and then we see the background once again. So, that's what's going on with Darken either you're seeing the selected object or you're seeing the background--whichever is darkest-- on an ink-by-ink basis. So I'll go ahead and turn CMYK back on here so that we can see the full-color preview.

Now, the problem with Darken and the reason you're probably not going to use it all that often is because you can end up with some choppy transitions and you can see that our color transitions are less than smooth here inside these gradients. If you want something smoother and you want something a little bit darker as well, then you want to switch from Darken to Multiply, which is probably the Blend mode you'll be using most often inside of Illustrator. And what it does is it creates these wonderfully smooth interactions as you can see here.

It's analogous to taking the selected object and printing it on a translucent overlay, and then printing out the background on another translucent overlay and putting one overlay on top of another on a light table. So you end up uniformly darkening throughout the illustration, and you also get very smooth effects, which is why Multiply is the mode that Illustrator uses by default when you're creating drop shadows, because it is the shadow mode; it turns anything into a shadow. And then finally we've got Color Burn, which creates this radical effect here; we've got choppier transitions even than what we achieved with Darken, but we also have these elevated saturation values, as you can see here.

Now Color Burn may end up making your strokes look a little jagged, but that's just a function of the screen display if I zoom on in here, you can see that my strokes are smooth as they ever were, although I do have some choppy transitions inside the gradients. The ultimate moral of the story here is you're not going to use Color Burn very often, although it can be useful for creating burnt effects. You're going to use Darken the next most often --which is to say, not very often at all--and then you're going to use Multiply all the time. So what I am going to do is go ahead and zoom back out here and switch the mode back to Multiply and then I'll go ahead and press let's say Shift+6, which will work for you if you loaded dekeKeys, in order to reduce the Opacity value as well to 60%.

So both the Blend mode and Opacity work together to determine the translucency of a selected object. And you know what I think I'll do? I'm going to press Shift+2 in order to reduce the Opacity value to 20%, and then I am going to make a copy of this layer by clicking on a fly-out menu icon and then choosing Duplicate Mishipeshu. And I'm going to leave this guy set to Multiply, but I'm going to restore his Opacity to 100% by pressing Shift+0, and so now we have a darker effect still. So you can see if I turn off the bottom of these two layers--the one that's set to 20% opacity--that brightens things up a little bit, and then when I turn that layer back on, it darkens up that much more. And now I'm going to go ahead and grab my Rotate tool and I'll just drag this top version--the more opaque version--of the creature a little bit here in order to rotate him about this far, and we end up getting a kind of motion effect, which is one of the many, many things you can do using Blend modes inside of Illustrator.

So there you have it, that's how to use the Darkening modes, specifically Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn, and in the next movie I'll show you how to use the Lightening modes.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

118 video lessons · 14957 viewers

Deke McClelland

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  1. 43m 9s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 9s
    2. Introducing my custom keyboard shortcuts
      6m 52s
    3. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on Windows
      4m 46s
    4. Installing my dekeKeys shortcuts on the Mac
      4m 18s
    5. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 10s
    6. Adjusting a few key Preferences settings
      8m 13s
    7. Understanding the color-managed workflow
      6m 51s
    8. Establishing the optimal Color Settings
      6m 50s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Illustrator's oldest dynamic functions
      1m 28s
    2. Creating a multicolor blend
      7m 12s
    3. Establishing a clipping mask
      5m 40s
    4. Reinstating the colors of a clipping path
      8m 1s
    5. Editing individual blended paths
      4m 44s
    6. Adjusting the number of steps in a blend
      7m 15s
    7. Fixing problems with the Blend tool
      4m 2s
    8. Blending different levels of opacity
      4m 45s
    9. Editing the spine of a blend
      5m 3s
    10. Adding a custom spine to any blend
      5m 5s
    11. Advanced blending and masking techniques
      6m 18s
    12. Blending between entire groups
      3m 2s
    13. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      3m 21s
    14. Rotating objects in 3D space
      5m 36s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Illustrator's logo-making features
      1m 8s
    2. Customizing a single character of type
      5m 25s
    3. Combining a letterform with a path outline
      7m 48s
    4. Creating logo type along an open path
      5m 3s
    5. Creating logo type around a closed circle
      3m 57s
    6. Vertical alignment, orientation, and spacing
      4m 55s
    7. Warping logo type around a circle
      6m 56s
    8. Creating a classic neon type effect
      5m 39s
    9. Adding random neon brightness fluctuations
      5m 19s
    10. Creating neon "block outs" between letters
      7m 44s
    11. Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
      6m 16s
  4. 46m 19s
    1. Generating colors using harmony rules
      1m 31s
    2. Introducing the Color Guide panel
      5m 16s
    3. The 23 color harmony rules, diagrammed
      8m 16s
    4. Mixing and matching color harmonies
      5m 59s
    5. Color groups and custom harmony rules
      6m 18s
    6. Working in the Edit Colors dialog box
      7m 4s
    7. Expanding on an existing harmony rule
      6m 51s
    8. Constraining colors to a predefined library
      5m 4s
  5. 32m 44s
    1. Changing lots of colors all at once
      1m 2s
    2. Introducing the Recolor Artwork command
      4m 58s
    3. Recoloring with the help of swatch groups
      4m 35s
    4. Changing the color-assignment order
      6m 44s
    5. Reducing the number of colors in your art
      5m 7s
    6. Applying tints and shades of a single swatch
      5m 37s
    7. Recoloring artwork that contains gradients
      4m 41s
  6. 1h 15m
    1. Painting with path outlines
      1m 24s
    2. Introducing the Brushes panel
      4m 25s
    3. Applying and editing a calligraphic brush
      7m 34s
    4. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 12s
    5. Applying and editing a scatter brush
      5m 31s
    6. Formatting and scaling brushed text
      5m 45s
    7. Designing a custom art brush
      7m 35s
    8. Creating (or replacing) an art brush
      6m 42s
    9. Refining a brush to fit ends and corners
      4m 11s
    10. Expanding, filling, and stroking a brush
      7m 4s
    11. Type on a path vs. text as an art brush
      7m 3s
    12. Distorting text with the Width tool
      8m 49s
    13. Infusing your artwork with a tile pattern
      3m 13s
  7. 58m 24s
    1. The many forms of transparency
      1m 38s
    2. Creating translucency with the Opacity value
      4m 21s
    3. Darken, Multiply, and Color Burn
      6m 15s
    4. Lighten, Screen, and Color Dodge
      5m 8s
    5. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion
      4m 59s
    6. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      5m 12s
    7. Combining the effects of multiple blend modes
      6m 42s
    8. Isolating blending and Knockout Group
      7m 37s
    9. Combining blend modes with dynamic effects
      7m 25s
    10. Exporting transparency from Illustrator
      9m 7s
  8. 1h 39m
    1. The Layers panel for dynamic attributes
      1m 4s
    2. Applying attributes in the Appearance panel
      6m 15s
    3. Creating depth using translucent strokes
      5m 37s
    4. Adding, layering, and offsetting strokes
      6m 12s
    5. Duplicating entire groups of attributes
      7m 55s
    6. Turning stacked strokes into editable paths
      5m 43s
    7. Simplifying a multi-stroke effect
      6m 31s
    8. Applying the Convert to Shape effect
      7m 47s
    9. Adding aligned patterns and shadows
      8m 16s
    10. Drawing with arrowheads and angled strokes
      8m 49s
    11. Employing overlapping gradient strokes
      8m 25s
    12. Drawing circular stroke elements
      10m 13s
    13. Outlining an entire multi-stroke effect
      8m 39s
    14. Creating seamless wood grain in Photoshop
      8m 11s
  9. 1h 12m
    1. The best features in Illustrator
      1m 38s
    2. Repeating a series of transformations
      6m 18s
    3. Adjusting and updating a dynamic effect
      6m 37s
    4. Applying a stroke to an entire layer
      6m 24s
    5. Improving the performance of drop shadows
      5m 40s
    6. Applying a single effect multiple times
      6m 10s
    7. Creating an intricate Spirograph pattern
      7m 10s
    8. Adding scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      4m 40s
    9. Applying a dynamic Pathfinder to a layer
      3m 56s
    10. Creating beveled ornaments
      6m 50s
    11. Creating a sculptural type effect
      5m 59s
    12. Subtracting editable text from a path
      7m 6s
    13. Editing text inside a dynamic effect
      4m 25s
  10. 27m 40s
    1. Never remember anything again, ever
      1m 41s
    2. The pixel-based Effect Gallery
      3m 53s
    3. Copying effects from one layer to another
      4m 44s
    4. Introducing the Graphic Styles panel
      4m 11s
    5. Correcting previews in the Effect Gallery
      4m 36s
    6. Adjusting the resolution of your effects
      4m 0s
    7. Combining and saving graphic styles
      4m 35s
  11. 1h 13m
    1. Two powerful graphics programs combine forces
      1m 5s
    2. Creating a perfectly centered star shape
      6m 52s
    3. Precisely scaling concentric circles
      7m 47s
    4. Adding reflective highlights with the Flare tool
      6m 23s
    5. Two ways to rasterize vector art for Photoshop
      7m 37s
    6. Importing vector art as a Smart Object
      6m 47s
    7. Creating a lens flare effect in Photoshop
      7m 56s
    8. Photographic texture and brushed highlights
      6m 26s
    9. Modifying a vector Smart Object in Illustrator
      6m 33s
    10. Converting Illustrator paths to shape layers
      6m 27s
    11. Assign layer effects to native shape layers
      5m 55s
    12. Completing a work of photorealistic art
      3m 46s
  12. 1m 5s
    1. Until next time
      1m 5s

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