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Custom vignettes with Overlay

From: Photoshop Blend Mode Magic

Video: Custom vignettes with Overlay

I want to give you a really quick technique for adding a custom vignette to an image. Now sometimes a vignette happens naturally when you have actually taken a photograph, depending on what type of lens you are using, and what kind of light you are shooting in. You may see a darkening of corners on a particular image, and that's often thought of as a vignette. Other folks may want to add a vignette after the fact and what a vignette tends to do is it draws attention to the area that you want the viewer to be looking at. Your eye naturally goes to the brightest part of an image, so the idea is that if you darken other parts of the image, your eye will ignore those and go to the brightest portion of the image first.

Custom vignettes with Overlay

I want to give you a really quick technique for adding a custom vignette to an image. Now sometimes a vignette happens naturally when you have actually taken a photograph, depending on what type of lens you are using, and what kind of light you are shooting in. You may see a darkening of corners on a particular image, and that's often thought of as a vignette. Other folks may want to add a vignette after the fact and what a vignette tends to do is it draws attention to the area that you want the viewer to be looking at. Your eye naturally goes to the brightest part of an image, so the idea is that if you darken other parts of the image, your eye will ignore those and go to the brightest portion of the image first.

So in this case the subject matter of course is Sophia here in the center. This is not an as interesting part of the image. So we want to draw more attention to this portion of the image by darkening the edges and the corners. So let's begin. What I'm going to do is again create an Overlay layer filled with gray, so that it doesn't affect the image and then the darkening will added on to the Overlay layer and will darken the underlying image. To create an overlay layer, let's hold down the Option key or the Alt key, and click on the New Layer icon. We'll go ahead and call it vignette, and we'll change the blend mode to Overlay, and fill it with its neutral color, 50% gray.

Click OK. Again, no effect because we haven't done anything to this layer. It's just 50% gray and Overlay ignores that. There is actually a filter that will help us create a vignette in very quick easy step, it's under the Filter menu, Distort > Lens Correction. And you may have never thought to use it for this purpose, but right there in Lens Correction is a Vignette slider, and you can use it to darken an image or lighten an image. And you can see the preview over here of what's happening in the corners. The Grid may be distracting in this image so I'm going to turn off the Grid.

So I'm going to put the darken all the way over to the left. You can also change the mid points if you want to bring the darkening in more to the center of the image, you could do that, if you want to spread it out a little bit, just Tab the absolute corners darken, you can do that as well. I just want to bring it in just a little bit like that. And go ahead and click OK, and now you see the vignette, the thumbnail has been updated with that Lens Distortion filter, and I can see before and after, so I get that nice darkening in the corners. Now if I decide that I want to add to this, I want there to be darkening on the edges as well, then I can just continue to paint with black on this layer. I'm going to get my Brush tool, B for brush, I have got a nice big soft brush here.

I'm going to start with pretty low Opacity, maybe 30%, looks good. Press or type 3 on your keyboard if you don't already have that and I'm just going to put the center of my brush here right in the upper left hand corner of the document window. I am going to click-and-drag across in one stroke there. I'll do the same thing for this edge, start in the corner, drag down, again to the bottom, center the brush on the edge and drag across. And then once more on the left edge there and you can see I have added the darkening around the outside edge there. I'll do fit to window, Command+0, Ctrl+0, maybe go down one, Command+Minus or Ctrl+Minus, and now I can see my before and after.

So very flexible technique for creating a custom vignette, it's just an Overlay layer filled with 50% gray, or on the Lens Distortion filter, or just paint manually with black or white if you want to go the opposite direction, just lower or increase your Opacity by typing a number when you have your Brush tool selected. It's a very, very fun technique to add a little bit of focus and direction for your viewer, where you want them to look at in an image.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Blend Mode Magic
Photoshop Blend Mode Magic

46 video lessons · 25719 viewers

Michael Ninness
Author

 
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  1. 2m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 33s
    2. Using the exercise files
      52s
  2. 13m 9s
    1. The three kinds of blending in Photoshop
      1m 49s
    2. Blend modes, blend modes, everywhere!
      1m 38s
    3. Cycling through the blending modes
      2m 1s
    4. Three blending modes you must know
      5m 8s
    5. Blending mode keyboard shortcuts
      2m 33s
  3. 3m 13s
    1. Roughening or pointilizing edges with Dissolve
      3m 13s
  4. 34m 40s
    1. Removing halos with Darken
      2m 26s
    2. Bringing down hot highlights with Multiply
      3m 50s
    3. Tonal correction with Screen and Multiply
      3m 35s
    4. Combining adjustment layers with blending modes
      3m 58s
    5. Creating a composite from a single Camera Raw file
      5m 56s
    6. Creating a cast shadow with Multiply
      4m 50s
    7. Creating artistic edges with Multiply and Screen
      3m 39s
    8. From iPhone to Photoshop: Colorizing line art with Multiply
      6m 26s
  5. 14m 47s
    1. Removing dust spots with Lighten
      1m 36s
    2. Adding lightning to a sky with Screen
      3m 20s
    3. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      2m 27s
    4. Reducing halos when sharpening with Lighten
      3m 55s
    5. Creating a faint soft-edged line drawing with Linear Dodge
      3m 29s
  6. 1h 5m
    1. Using Dodge and Burn with Overlay
      4m 34s
    2. Reducing wrinkles with Overlay
      6m 37s
    3. Using graduated neutral density filters with Overlay
      5m 32s
    4. Custom vignettes with Overlay
      3m 30s
    5. High-Pass sharpening with Overlay
      4m 16s
    6. Smoothing skin with High-Pass sharpening and Overlay
      5m 29s
    7. Textured patterns with Overlay
      6m 21s
    8. Textured type with Overlay
      2m 55s
    9. Creating a dramatic diffused glow with Overlay
      2m 49s
    10. Creating a subtle glow with Soft Light
      2m 57s
    11. Creating a medium glow with Soft Light
      4m 25s
    12. Simulating film grain with Add Noise and Soft Light
      3m 54s
    13. Recovering detail in over-saturated areas with Pin Light
      8m 30s
    14. Creating 80's pop art with Hard Mix and Multiply
      3m 15s
  7. 5m 7s
    1. Aligning layers with Difference
      5m 7s
  8. 12m 51s
    1. Reducing color noise with Color
      2m 13s
    2. Avoiding false saturation with Luminosity
      5m 33s
    3. Recovering detail in blown-out highlights with Luminosity
      5m 5s
  9. 26m 27s
    1. Getting better sepia tones
      5m 15s
    2. Using antique color effects
      5m 5s
    3. Combining multiple exposures
      4m 34s
    4. Replacing the sky in an image
      3m 44s
    5. Splitting edges when sharpening
      3m 15s
    6. Displacing type around contours
      4m 34s
  10. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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