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Advanced Blending is the second installment in Deke McClelland's series on making photorealistic compositions in Photoshop. The course explores blending options and shows how to use them to create sophisticated effects and seamless compositions, often without masking. Beginning with the basics of blending layered images, the course sheds light on the formulas behind the Photoshop blend modes and shows how to comp scanned line art, create double-exposure effects, correct skin tones, and work with the luminance sliders.
All right, now let's say I am so darn proud of this composition, that I want to go ahead and add a digital signature. And not only do I want to take that signature which itself is another piece of line art and merge it against the composition, which is of course just a matter of applying the Multiply mode, but I also want to assign it some color. So I want to colorize the signature after the fact, which presents a little bit of a problem as you will see. So have saved my progress as, Logo on group.psd found inside the 04_darken folder. I also have opened this file called Deke sig.tif found inside the same folder of course, and that this is not my legal signature by the way.
So what I would like you do with it is right-click anywhere inside the image window and once again, choose Duplicate layer, and let's go ahead and change the document to Logo on group in this case. And I will call this new layer signature and then click OK. And now I will switch back to my composition and there is the image on a new layer. I am going to Ctrl+Drag or Command+Drag it down to the lower right-hand corner and zoom in on the signature as well. Now obviously we need to drop out the white keep the black, all you need to do there is press Shif+Alt+M or Shift+ Option+M on the Mac in order to drop out those whites and merge those grays exactly in the place.
I really want to drive this point home that you never have anything, but absolute darkening where Multiply is concerned. So it really is as if you took this photograph and actually signed it, the difference being of course that you didn't harm the original photograph, and you can create one signature and place that on as many different images as you want. All right, I am going to zoom out just a little bit here. And now let's say at this point I want to give the signature a little bit of blue in order to sort of match this guy's shirt. And I will do that by dropping down to the fx icon and choosing Color Overlay, and that's going to initially change the entire layer to red as you can see here.
First thing we need to do is style in a different color. So click on the color swatch to bring up the color picker dialog box and then you can click somewhere inside the image window in order to lift the sample blue. And in my case, I am going to change this Hue value to 215 let's say, crank the Saturation value up a 100, and take the Brightness value down to 25%. So we have a nice rich blue to work with, click OK. All right, how we merge that blue into the signature, well, you can go ahead and try the Multiply mode if you want to just to get a sense of what's going on, but that's exactly the opposite of the effect that we are looking for.
We are burning the blue into the signature, so as a result the signature gets even darker and now we are seeing the paper which was initially white, turned dark blue, and we can of course see the edges of our Line Art. What we want is the opposite effect, and we are going to be discussing this Blend Mode in lots of detail in the very next chapter, however, the opposite of Multiply is green. If you're struggling to try to figure out exactly which blend mode to work with, and you're not sure if you need to darken or lighten or what you need to do, starting with Multiply is never a bad idea.
If there is a blend mode, that is the most useful blend mode in Photoshop, that's it. And then, of course, if you discover, gosh! I want the opposite effect, then just go ahead and switch to Screen; Screen is the opposite of Multiply. And notice as soon as I apply the Screen Mode, I end up brightening the letters as you can see. So instead of black as they were before, I'll turn off Color Overlay just for a moment, so you can see the difference. There are the black lines and these are the lighter blue lines, they are still very dark of course, they look as if perhaps they were drawn with a ballpoint pen.
But if you zoom in, which you can do when the Layer Style dialog box is open by Ctrl+Clicking or Command+Clicking on the Mac, you'll see that we've got a little bit of an edge going on right there around the perimeter of the layer, and what's happening here is, we're applying this Blend Mode the Screen Mode with its blue, after we've gotten done applying Multiply. So as a result, we are using the blue to lighten the guy's shirt and that is not what we want. Here is how you solve this problem; you click on Blending Options right there in order to switch to the Advanced Blend Settings here inside this dialog box, which we will be discussing in more detail in a future chapter.
And here's the guy we are looking for, the very first checkbox notice that it says Blend Interior Effects as Group. What that means is we'll take a Color Overlay effect, we will blend it first into the Line Art, which will lighten the signature and it will do nothing to the background, because Screen is a brightening mode, it cannot do anything to white. Then we'll go ahead and apply the Multiply Blend mode to the entire composite layer. And all you have to do to make that happen is turn on this checkbox, watch what happens to the perimeter, that area of bright blue right there.
As soon as I turned the checkbox on, it absolutely goes away. So that's all there is to that, then click OK in order to accept that modification. All right, I am going to press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on a Mac in order to zoom on out, and that for instance is how you introduce and colorize a piece of Line Art against the photographic background, using a combination of Multiply and Screen working together, here inside Photoshop.
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