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Advanced blending

From: Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop

Video: Advanced blending

Whenever I want to create a composite image, the first thing I tend to think about is a layer mask. Because a layer mask is what's used typically to blend the two images together. But sometimes you don't even need a layer mask in order to combine two images. Here I have a Clock Tower with a very drab sky, and I also have another image layer that has some nice clouds. I'll turn off the visibility for the Clock Tower layer so that we can see the Clouds layer. I want to combine these two images so that I effectively just replace the sky. And because the sky is the brightest portion of the image, I can use a clever technique in order to hide that sky, and therefore reveal the clouds below.

Advanced blending

Whenever I want to create a composite image, the first thing I tend to think about is a layer mask. Because a layer mask is what's used typically to blend the two images together. But sometimes you don't even need a layer mask in order to combine two images. Here I have a Clock Tower with a very drab sky, and I also have another image layer that has some nice clouds. I'll turn off the visibility for the Clock Tower layer so that we can see the Clouds layer. I want to combine these two images so that I effectively just replace the sky. And because the sky is the brightest portion of the image, I can use a clever technique in order to hide that sky, and therefore reveal the clouds below.

And that involves advanced blending options for my layers. I'll start off by double clicking on the thumbnail for my Clock Tower layer in order to bring up the layer style dialogue. And I'm going to focus on the advanced blending options, and specifically the options down at the bottom, those two gradients. I'll move the dialog over so that we can see the entire image and I'm going to start off with the this Layer slider. In other words, I'm going to blend layers based on tonal values in the current layer. The layer that I double-clicked on. Specifically, I want to hide the brightest pixels from this layer. And to do that I'll simply drag the slider from the white end of the gradient. And when I drag that inward, eventually we'll start to see pixels disappearing. The brightest pixels will be blended away, they'll be hidden. And if I take that slider in far enough I'll get all of the sky to completely disappear, so that I can now see only the cloudy sky down below. Of course, the transition is a bit harsh, you can even see some evidence of that up at the top of the spire here.

And so, I'd like to smooth out the transition to accomplish that, I'll hold the Alt key on Windows or the Option key on Macintosh, and then click on half of that handle. And when I do so, because I was holding the Alt or Option key that handle will be split into two individual sliders. I'll go ahead and drag the left half inward a bit so that we start hiding a part of the building here, the Clock Tower, and then I'll drag the other handle over to the right. And you'll start to see that as I move the handles back and forth, I've created some significant transition between those areas.

I don't need very much transition, so I'll bring those sliders a little bit closer together. I just want to have a little bit of a transition between the areas that are being hidden and the areas that are still here. That looks to be a pretty good result. I can also take things a step further though. What if I'd like to bring in some of those clouds? Bring them in front of that Clock Tower so that the Clock Tower appears to be essentially going up through the clouds. That can be kind of cool or at least a little bit fun. And for that, we're going to use the Underlying Layer option. And when it comes to the Underlying Layer, I'm not hiding pixels but rather revealing or bringing them to the forefront.

And in this situation I want to bring forward the brightest pixels and so I'll once again work with the white slider. This time for the underlying layer and as I drag that slider inward, you'll start to see that the brightest portions of the clouds are coming forward. They're coming in front of my upper layer, the current layer. Of course in this case I really need to make sure that I have some transition, so once again I'll hold the Alt key on Windows or the Option key on Macintosh and then click on half of that slider and drag it away. And in this case, I might have those sliders relatively far apart so that I get a really smooth transition.

Between the areas that I am revealing or bringing to the forefront ,and those that I am not, giving it a sort of misty, hazy appearance. So I think that's working pretty well, it's kind of cool in this case. And all of this is made possible by those blending options, so I can hide or reveal pixels based on their luminance values for the current layer. And I can also bring to the forefront, pixels based on their tonal values from the underlying area. Once I'm happy with the result, I can simply click the OK button in order to finalize the effect.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop
Photoshop CC Selections and Layer Masking Workshop

51 video lessons · 11850 viewers

Tim Grey
Author

 
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  1. 1m 27s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
  2. 46m 26s
    1. Selections, alpha channels, and layer masks, oh my!
      5m 48s
    2. Anti-aliasing and selections
      6m 6s
    3. The case for not feathering selections
      6m 50s
    4. Adding, subtracting, and intersecting
      7m 31s
    5. Inverting a selection
      3m 4s
    6. Mixing and matching selection tools
      2m 32s
    7. Using Deselect and Reselect
      3m 47s
    8. Temporarily hiding a selection
      2m 7s
    9. Saving and loading selections
      6m 14s
    10. Using the cursor for selections
      2m 27s
  3. 51m 42s
    1. The Rectangular Marquee tool
      8m 24s
    2. The Elliptical Marquee tool
      6m 2s
    3. The Lasso tool
      4m 55s
    4. The Polygonal Lasso tool
      6m 27s
    5. The Magnetic Lasso tool
      10m 9s
    6. The Quick Selection tool
      5m 33s
    7. The Magic Wand tool
      10m 12s
  4. 38m 38s
    1. Selecting the border of an existing selection
      1m 50s
    2. The Color Range command
      7m 19s
    3. Focusing a Color Range selection
      2m 55s
    4. Selecting faces with Color Range
      2m 31s
    5. The Pen tool
      5m 40s
    6. Selecting by luminosity
      3m 39s
    7. Selecting from a channel
      6m 13s
    8. Transforming a selection
      4m 4s
    9. Quick Mask mode
      4m 27s
  5. 50m 46s
    1. Combining layers into a single document
      1m 49s
    2. Layering images manually
      1m 55s
    3. Assembling a panorama automatically
      3m 1s
    4. Advanced blending
      4m 0s
    5. Painting to hide and reveal
      3m 24s
    6. Creating a selection-based composite
      2m 43s
    7. Select, then paint
      3m 28s
    8. Advanced mask cleanup
      6m 18s
    9. Creating an edge-fade effect
      2m 23s
    10. Using a filter to add an artistic edge
      3m 6s
    11. Using a brush effect to add an artistic edge
      5m 30s
    12. Transforming a masked object
      1m 51s
    13. Unlinking image and mask
      2m 53s
    14. Matching composite images
      2m 17s
    15. Adding layer effects with masks
      2m 21s
    16. Reviewing layer masks
      3m 47s
  6. 28m 58s
    1. Painting in an adjustment
      3m 20s
    2. Shades of gray
      3m 14s
    3. Using the Gradient tool
      4m 4s
    4. Adjusting a selected area
      1m 42s
    5. Creating a vignette effect with masking
      2m 13s
    6. Using a layer group
      3m 34s
    7. Working with multiple masks
      4m 5s
    8. Refining an adjustment mask
      6m 46s

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