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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.
Alright, now that we have managed to clean up our Line Art, how do we go about introducing it seamlessly into a photographic composition? Well, that's a question I'll answer by demonstration in this exercise. If you're working along with me, make sure that you have two files open, one is called Cleaned-up logo.tif and the other is Company candid.jpg. We will switch back to the former; let's introduce it into the photograph by right-clicking anywhere inside the image window and choosing Duplicate layer, and then change the document from Cleanedup-logo to Company candid.jpeg. And I am going to call this new layer logo and click OK.
All right, now let's switch over to the Image file. We have this whopping big graphic, obviously we need to rotate and scale it. And we are going to do so using a smart object, because that way we will apply a nondestructive transformation, and we will always have access to the original version of the scanned logo, just in case we need to transform it further. So with the logo layer selected, go up to the Layer's panel fly-out menu and choose Convert to Smart Object or if you loaded DekeKeys, press Ctrl+Comma, Command+Comma on the Mac, and now we've got our smart object, so we can transform this layer as much as we want, without any worries about harming it.
I am going to zoom on in to 100%, so that I can see this image up close, and I will press Ctrl+R or Command+R on the Mac to bring up my rulers, and I am going to drag down a horizontal guide, and that will help me decide exactly where the mean horizontal is, so that I can properly rotate this graphic. And then, I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose Free Transform or press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac. And I actually need to scroll this image up a little bit, so that I can move my cursor outside the transformation boundary and drag in order to rotate this logo in to place.
And I will scoot it down as well; I am pressing the down arrow key a few times in order to nudge that logo downward. And it looks like I have M more or less in place; that is the base of the M is aligned to the guideline, however the letters drift down a little bit over here on the right-hand side. Now just so that I can really gauge what's going on, I am going to drag down another horizontal guide that aligns to the top of the M like so, and then I am going to grab that target right there, which represents the transformation origin, and I am going to drag it down to the bottom left corner of the M, so that will become my axis of rotation.
All right, now I am going to scroll over little bit, move my cursor outside the transformation boundary and drag up just a little bit like so, and right at an angle of about -7.35?, we get the proper alignment. All right, now I am going to press the Enter key or Return key on a Mac in order to apply that modification. Now I still need to scale the logo as well. Were this not a smart object, turning around and then scaling after I'd rotated the image, would amount to a destructive modification, but thanks to the fact that I am working with a smart object, all I have to do to scale the logo, is go back to the Edit menu, choose Free Transform, and then I am going to press the Shift key while dragging the corner handle in order to reduce the size of the image proportionally.
All right, I am going to go ahead and zoom out so I can better see what I'm doing. And I am going to drag this logo up, and I ultimately decide to scale the logo to 32%. So I will click on the Chain icon to link the width and height values, and then I will change either one to 32% like so, and press the Enter key a couple times in order accept that change. All right, we no longer need the ruler, so I will press Ctrl+R or Command+R on the Mac to get rid of them. We don't need the guides anymore either; they were just there to help us rotate the logo. So you can go up to the View menu and choose Clear Guides to get rid of them. And finally, somehow we have to composite this logo against the photograph, obviously, we still have that white paper in the background and that's a problem.
Now you might reasonably think that what you have to do is somehow mask this logo, which would be kind of a pain in the neck, because not only do you have the blacks and whites, but you got a lot of grays that are left over from the half toning and this thing looks ratty enough up close, we don't need to make it any worse, but turns out, you don't. The great thing about Blend Modes is that there is always a blend mode to knock out one of three luminance levels, you can always knock out white, you can always knock out black, and you can always knockout medium gray.
The Darken modes always knockout white, the Lighten modes always knockout black, and the Contrast modes, always knockout gray. So what we are going to do, because we want a knock out white, we are going to apply a Darken mode and the best of the darkening modes, the when in doubt mode is Multiply, and notice it does the trick, just like that, we completely get rid of those whites, we keep every single one of the blacks, we also merge all the gray values into the background. It's a miracle where this kind of work is concerned. Okay, I will press Ctrl+0, Command+0 on a Mac to zoom on out.
Now I will go ahead and position this guy where I want it to be by Ctrl+Dragging or Command+Dragging the layer, and that looks pretty good to me. Now it's not perfect, if you zoom on in, you will see that we do have a few ratty edges, but given that we started with this in the first place, I think that the result looks pretty fantastic, and you might imagine, if you started with better Line Art in the first place, you are going to get even more impeccable results. And that's how you burn Line Art into a photographic background using the Multiply Mode.
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