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Blending modes

From: Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effects

Video: Blending modes

In this chapter we're going to look at the Blending Options and we're going to start offering this movie by looking at blending modes. The blending modes can be applied here at the top of the Layers panel, but they can also be applied in the Layer Style dialog box right here. As well as the blending mode that gets applied to the overall layer, as we've seen, the individual layer effects will also have their own blending mode. I'm going to just have a quick rundown of the blending modes, as applied to the whole layer and as applied from the drop-down of the top off the Layers panel.

Blending modes

In this chapter we're going to look at the Blending Options and we're going to start offering this movie by looking at blending modes. The blending modes can be applied here at the top of the Layers panel, but they can also be applied in the Layer Style dialog box right here. As well as the blending mode that gets applied to the overall layer, as we've seen, the individual layer effects will also have their own blending mode. I'm going to just have a quick rundown of the blending modes, as applied to the whole layer and as applied from the drop-down of the top off the Layers panel.

What I have here is a green rectangle on top of this textured image and I'm just going to switch through the different blending modes to give you an idea of how they work. Before I do that though, if we take a look at this list, we can see that they're broken down into groups. I'll give you a brief description of what they do, but you really have to try them to see what the effect is going to be, because it's often very unpredictable. These two, Normal and Dissolve, are referred to as the simple blending modes, then we have the Darkening modes, the Lightening modes, the Light modes, which effectively can also be referred to as Contrast modes because they can result in a more contrasty effect.

The Difference modes, which usually give very pleasing results, but can be used for in very specific contexts, none of which are really appropriate to what we're doing with layer effects. But these will give us a sort of negative type effect. And then these last four, which respectively as their names suggest, work on the color or the saturation. So I'm just going to cycle through these, and a quick way to do that is to use the shortcuts Shift+Plus and Shift+Minus.

If you're trying this with other colors, you may well find that for certain blending modes, there is no effect whatsoever, because it's really going to depend upon the value of the color that you're using and the value of the colors in the layers beneath you're blending it with. So Shift+Plus and Shift+Minus will cycle me through. When we get to Dissolve for example, we see that this is doing nothing whatsoever, and that's because Dissolve will only work on the semitransparent pixels.

So if I choose this example here, where we have pixels that are not fully opaque, we have a gradient on this layer, and I change the blend mode to Dissolve, then we see it working. However, it's rarely very useful, so I can't think of any practical use of Dissolve, but there it is, should you want to use it. So these blend modes are exactly the same as these ones here. And as I've mentioned, we have the option of applying them to the whole layer, as well as to the individual layer effects that are part of that layer.

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Image for Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effects
Photoshop for Designers: Layer Effects

60 video lessons · 18174 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      38s
  2. 13m 22s
    1. What are layer effects?
      3m 9s
    2. Using the Layer Style dialog box
      2m 25s
    3. Moving, copying and removing layer effects
      2m 20s
    4. Working with preset styles
      5m 28s
  3. 29m 46s
    1. Shadow effects 1: Drop Shadow
      7m 11s
    2. Shadow effects 2: Inner Shadow
      1m 2s
    3. Glow effects 1: Outer Glow
      3m 41s
    4. Glow effects 2: Inner Glow
      1m 35s
    5. Bevel and Emboss effect 1: Structure
      2m 9s
    6. Bevel and Emboss effect 2: Shading
      2m 46s
    7. Bevel and Emboss effect 3: Contour
      1m 44s
    8. Bevel and Emboss effect 4: Texture
      1m 29s
    9. Overlay and stroke effects 1: Satin
      1m 1s
    10. Overlay and stroke effects 2: Color Overlay
      1m 27s
    11. Overlay and stroke effects 3: Gradient Overlay
      1m 58s
    12. Overlay and stroke effects 4: Pattern Overlay
      1m 43s
    13. Overlay and stroke effects 5: Stroke
      2m 0s
  4. 25m 37s
    1. Blending modes
      2m 55s
    2. General opacity vs. fill opacity
      1m 16s
    3. Creating a knockout layer
      2m 37s
    4. Blending interior effects
      1m 35s
    5. Blending clipped layers as a group
      1m 18s
    6. Transparency Shapes Layers
      2m 34s
    7. Converting a layer style to image layers
      1m 45s
    8. Blending with the Layer Mask and Vector Mask Hide effects
      1m 56s
    9. Using the Blend If blending option
      3m 53s
    10. Working with contours
      5m 48s
  5. 29m 22s
    1. Placing multiple files as Smart Objects into the type poster
      1m 29s
    2. Creating offset outlines with Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, and Fill Opacity
      6m 19s
    3. Using Fill Opacity to create "ghost" text
      2m 19s
    4. Creating live (editable) blurred type with Drop Shadow
      1m 56s
    5. Creating an extruded shadow
      4m 42s
    6. Customizing a drop shadow
      5m 53s
    7. Reflecting a shadow and applying a displacement map
      6m 44s
  6. 28m 56s
    1. Inflating type by softening a smooth bevel
      3m 7s
    2. Creating a chiseled bevel
      6m 14s
    3. Embossing a stroke
      2m 31s
    4. Creating a soft bevel and customizing the contour of the inner shadow
      5m 20s
    5. Combining a smooth bevel with transparency effects
      2m 34s
    6. Embossing the contour of a bevel and adding an outer bevel with texture
      4m 13s
    7. Set in stone: Customizing a bevel with diffused light
      2m 22s
    8. Creating an embossed stamp
      2m 35s
  7. 19m 45s
    1. Working with texture: Pattern Overlay or Layer Mask?
      6m 25s
    2. Creating depth with Pattern Overlay and Inner Shadow
      1m 23s
    3. Creating and applying a custom pattern
      5m 57s
    4. Layer effects and Smart Objects 1
      1m 21s
    5. Layer effects and Smart Objects 2
      4m 39s
  8. 26m 7s
    1. Using Inner Glow to create interior shapes and neon
      7m 6s
    2. Choking an Inner Glow effect to create inline effects
      2m 4s
    3. Adapting an Inner Glow using the Contour, Range, and Jitter controls
      1m 30s
    4. Creating a stencil effect with Outer Glow and Shallow Knockout
      7m 41s
    5. Customizing contours to create multiple outlines
      2m 11s
    6. Combining Gradient Overlay and a gradient stroke 1
      1m 51s
    7. Combining Gradient Overlay and a gradient stroke 2
      1m 24s
    8. Using Satin with a custom contour
      2m 20s
  9. 9m 3s
    1. Building a type poster
      4m 26s
    2. Adding paper behind the letters
      4m 19s
    3. Goodbye
      18s

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