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Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion


From:

Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion

In this movie, I'll introduce you to the Contrast and Inversion modes which are the third and fourth groups of Blend modes, respectively. Specifically, the Contrast modes include Overlay, Soft Light and Hard Light, and the Inversion modes include Difference and Exclusion. I'll show you how they work by once again meatballing the Dark Beast layer. I have my selection edges hidden but the creature is selected. Now your first Contrast mode is Overlay and if you are familiar with Photoshop to any degree, you may know that Overlay is often in sighted as being the third most useful Blend mode, right after Multiply and Screen.
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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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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
11h 2m Advanced Dec 13, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course is the third in a four-part series devoted to mastering the premiere graphics creation application, Adobe Illustrator, version CS6. Industry pro Deke McClelland takes a project-based learning approach to the key features in Illustrator, including Recolor Artwork, transparency, masks, blend modes, strokes and fills, and dynamic effects. The course also covers techniques for creating custom gradients, designing logos, generating photorealistic neon text, and wrapping type around objects. Plus, Deke shows how to call up the most essential features by organizing your workspace and employing time-saving keyboard shortcuts, how to manage the color settings, and how to adjust a few settings to make the program work even better.

Topics include:
  • Installing dekeKeys, Deke's free custom keyboard shortcuts
  • Understanding the color-managed workflow
  • Creating a multicolor blend
  • Establishing a clipping mask
  • Blending different levels of opacity
  • Combining a letterform with a path outline
  • Warping logo type around a circle
  • Adding neon blur and bokeh in Photoshop
  • Mixing and matching color harmonies
  • Recoloring artwork
  • Working with the Calligraphic, Scatter, and Art Brushes
  • Creating translucency
  • Editing attributes in the Appearance panel
  • Adjusting and updating dynamic effects
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Difference, and Exclusion

In this movie, I'll introduce you to the Contrast and Inversion modes which are the third and fourth groups of Blend modes, respectively. Specifically, the Contrast modes include Overlay, Soft Light and Hard Light, and the Inversion modes include Difference and Exclusion. I'll show you how they work by once again meatballing the Dark Beast layer. I have my selection edges hidden but the creature is selected. Now your first Contrast mode is Overlay and if you are familiar with Photoshop to any degree, you may know that Overlay is often in sighted as being the third most useful Blend mode, right after Multiply and Screen.

In Illustrator everything is kind of turned upside-down, because you typically work inside CMYK space instead of RGB and as a result, Overlay takes a back seat to the final Contrast Blend mode which is Hard Light. Let me show you what I mean. When the creature is set to the Overlay mode, you're use saying the selected object--the creature once again--to enhance the contrast of the objects behind it: that flowing gradient background. So in other words, the contrast of the selected object suffers, but the contrast of the objects behind it are enhanced.

If you want the opposite effect, which is typically what you do want--in other words, you want to use the background in order to enhance the contrast of the selected object--then you switch from Overlay to Hard Light and in our case we get this preferable effect here. So, if you are working in a CMYK document, as I am now, then Hard Light is your more likely go-to Contrast mode. Now by contrast, if Overlay turns out to be too much--I'll go ahead and switch back to it--then you can back off the effect not only by reducing the Opacity value, and my Opacity value is quite low, I should press Shift+0, which is a dekeKeys shortcut for 100% Opacity.

So, if Overlay is too much, then you can either reduce the Opacity value or you can switch the Blend mode down to Soft Light, which produces a unique effect. In other words, Soft Light is not just a lower opacity version of Overlay, it's an entirely different calculation that produces a slight imprinting effect. But once again it's the selected object that's enhancing the contrast of the background objects, and therefore the selection ends up more or less losing the battle. All right! Now let's try out the first of the Inversion modes, which is Difference, and what it does is it uses both the selected object and the background in order to invert each other.

So, we come up with essentially an inverted version of the creature that also has a colorful inverted background pattern inside of it. If you want to keep the inversion effect but you want to back off the saturation of the colors, then you switch from Difference to Exclusion and you get this effect here. Now, it turns out that the Difference mode has this hidden ability to turn text into something that inverts everything below it. Let me show you what I mean. I am going to change this Dark Beast layer to something dark, such as the Multiply mode, so that we are creating a very dark area inside of this illustration.

And then I am going to create a new layer by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking the little Page icon at the bottom of Layers panel, I'll call this new layer Text--I don't care what color it is--and I'll click OK. So I'll go and switch to the Type tool, which I can get by pressing the T key and I am going to click up in this empty area, because if I click somewhere inside the creature I am going to end up creating type on a path. So, I'll click right about there and I'll just type in some text such as, "Inversion," and then I'll press the Escape key to exit the Text Editing mode, and I'll press Ctrl+H or Cmd+H on the Mac to bring back my selection edges.

And I'll go ahead and move this guy down right about there. And now notice what happens if you have black text as I do, just plain black text, not rich black, just 100%, okay, that's it. And you change the Blend mode from Normal to Difference, then you end up with text that inverts all the colors in back of it. So, notice that all of our warm colors are becoming cool inside of the characters of type. However, we are not inverting the Luminance levels, the Brightness values that is. If you want to invert the Brightness values then you go ahead and change the fill of the text from Black to White, and you end up getting this effect here, and again this is subject to the Difference blend mode.

So, we've got bright letters against the dark creature and we have dark letters against the bright background. All right! So I might go ahead and nudge that guy down and then press Ctrl+Shift+A or Cmd+Shift+A on the Mac to deselect the text. That's how you go about using the Contrast in Inversion modes: specifically Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light along with Difference and Exclusion. In the next movie we'll take a look at the final group of Blend modes: Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity.

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