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The topic of this chapter is blend modes. In case you haven't heard of them before, a blend mode uses some basic math -- plus, times, minus, really easy stuff -- to blend the active layer with the ones below. I know; I'm already making it sound hard, but it's not. You know opacity, right? If you set a layer to, say, 75% opacity, that means you see 75% of it, and 25% of the layers below. So simple. Blend modes just use different formulas.
Let's say that you multiply a layer. That means you take the luminance levels from the active layer, and multiply them by those of the layers below, which means you put this layer on top of this one, set the arm wrestlers to Multiply, and bang! The active layer becomes a transparent overlay resting on top of, and thereby darkening, the layer below. Once you get it, you'll use it all the time. Seriously, you and multiply are going to be best friends in just a few movies.
But don't get too chummy, because you know, there are more than 25 of these things. You don't need to know all of them; maybe a dozen are of any use. But just for safety's sake, I'm going to show you every blend mode there is.
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