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Photoshop CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Cycling through the blending modes


From:

Photoshop CS6 Essential Training

with Julieanne Kost

Video: Cycling through the blending modes

As we've seen in some of the previous tutorials, the use of blend modes on the Layers panel is really, really powerful. It's an excellent way to get one layer to blend with the layer underneath it. Let's take a look for a moment at the two layers that we have in this document. I have the leaves and I have the mountain. I am going to turn off the mountain layer for a moment. Now, it looks like that the leaves are against a white background, but in fact they're not; it's transparency. And if I choose the Photoshop > Preferences, and we go to Transparency & Gamut, if I turn back on the Grid Size, you can see that in fact the area between the leaves here is all transparent.
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  1. 1m 42s
    1. What is Photoshop?
      1m 42s
  2. 1m 11s
    1. Welcome
      1m 11s
  3. 32m 15s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      2m 49s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      4m 27s
    3. A tour of workspaces in Bridge
      5m 32s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      3m 44s
    5. Changing file names and batch renaming
      2m 58s
    6. Adding basic metadata with metadata templates
      5m 10s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      4m 58s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      2m 37s
  4. 27m 1s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejected images
      4m 18s
    2. Saving images in collections
      4m 23s
    3. Rating and labeling images
      3m 46s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      4m 16s
    5. Using smart collections
      4m 18s
    6. Viewing final selects in a slideshow
      2m 21s
    7. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      3m 39s
  5. 32m 8s
    1. Comparing RAW and JPEG files
      6m 10s
    2. Starting in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      3m 12s
    3. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      9m 13s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      3m 58s
    5. Toggling onscreen shadow and highlight clipping warnings
      3m 11s
    6. Choosing output settings
      3m 36s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      2m 48s
  6. 38m 37s
    1. Using the nondestructive Crop tool
      4m 42s
    2. Correcting a horizon line with the Straighten tool
      2m 41s
    3. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      3m 50s
    4. Fixing blown-out highlights
      2m 56s
    5. Revealing hidden shadow details
      3m 7s
    6. Correcting lens distortion
      3m 25s
    7. Making perspective corrections to images
      2m 40s
    8. Removing color fringing and chromatic aberrations
      2m 28s
    9. Sharpening the details
      7m 45s
    10. Making an average photo great
      5m 3s
  7. 51m 2s
    1. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      6m 57s
    2. Making local adjustments with the Adjustments Brush
      10m 19s
    3. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      3m 41s
    4. Exploring a quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      4m 31s
    5. Converting to black and white
      2m 36s
    6. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustment tool
      3m 21s
    7. Creating selective color effects with the Adjustment Brush
      6m 5s
    8. Using sepia and split-tone effects
      3m 33s
    9. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 20s
    10. Adding vignettes and border effects
      3m 59s
    11. Saving variations within a single file with the Snapshot command
      3m 40s
  8. 15m 13s
    1. Copying and pasting settings across files
      2m 4s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      3m 22s
    3. Saving and using the library of Camera Raw presets
      6m 48s
    4. Using Image Processor to batch process files
      2m 59s
  9. 30m 24s
    1. Opening files from Bridge
      2m 7s
    2. Opening files from Mini Bridge
      2m 51s
    3. Customizing the Mini Bridge panel
      3m 59s
    4. Using the Application frame
      3m 34s
    5. Managing panels
      5m 14s
    6. Switching and saving workspaces
      4m 39s
    7. Switching tools using the keyboard
      2m 47s
    8. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      5m 13s
  10. 10m 25s
    1. Working with tabbed documents
      1m 34s
    2. Arranging documents
      1m 52s
    3. Stopping Photoshop from tabbing documents
      1m 32s
    4. Panning and zooming
      3m 14s
    5. Cycling through different screen modes
      2m 13s
  11. 15m 44s
    1. Understanding file formats
      4m 36s
    2. Choosing the resolution you need
      4m 39s
    3. Understanding Resize vs. Resample
      4m 11s
    4. Working with print sizes and resolution
      2m 18s
  12. 32m 53s
    1. Using Undo and the History panel
      3m 7s
    2. Using crop options
      3m 54s
    3. Understanding Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      1m 46s
    4. Bringing back hidden pixels with Reveal All
      40s
    5. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      3m 31s
    6. Making the canvas bigger using the Relative option in the Canvas Size command
      2m 18s
    7. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      1m 27s
    8. Straightening a crooked image
      2m 29s
    9. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      5m 46s
    10. Making nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      2m 34s
    11. Warping images
      2m 48s
    12. Preserving important elements with Content-Aware Scale
      2m 33s
  13. 30m 41s
    1. Exploring layer basics
      11m 16s
    2. Loading, selecting, and transforming layers
      8m 4s
    3. Organizing layers using layer groups
      5m 3s
    4. Merging, rasterizing, and flattening layers
      6m 18s
  14. 43m 11s
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      5m 43s
    2. Combining selections
      4m 4s
    3. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      5m 29s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      4m 35s
    5. Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge
      9m 42s
    6. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      7m 22s
    7. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      3m 17s
    8. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      2m 59s
  15. 34m 36s
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      3m 47s
    2. Starting with a preset
      2m 18s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      5m 31s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      6m 44s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      2m 30s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      2m 29s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      4m 41s
    8. Making washed-out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 48s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      1m 47s
    10. Controlling which layers are affected by an adjustment layer
      2m 1s
  16. 19m 33s
    1. Adjusting shadows and highlights
      5m 44s
    2. Replacing color using Selective Color
      3m 49s
    3. Using fill layers to create a hand-painted look
      6m 5s
    4. Using a gradient fill layer to add a color wash
      3m 55s
  17. 52m 9s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush and the Patch tool
      12m 42s
    2. De-emphasizing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      4m 52s
    3. Smoothing skin and pores with the High Pass filter
      6m 19s
    4. Making teeth bright and white with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer
      3m 21s
    5. Brightening eyes with Curves
      7m 0s
    6. Taming flyaway hair with the Patch tool
      3m 44s
    7. Removing unwanted details with Content-Aware Fill
      5m 49s
    8. Body sculpting with Liquify
      8m 22s
  18. 24m 12s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      4m 48s
    2. Combining multiple frames in an action sequence
      8m 44s
    3. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      10m 40s
  19. 38m 26s
    1. Overview of filters
      2m 52s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively using Smart Filters
      5m 18s
    3. Creating a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      3m 35s
    4. Creating an infrared look with Diffuse Glow
      2m 14s
    5. Adding noise with the Add Noise filter
      6m 27s
    6. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask
      5m 11s
    7. Giving an image texture with the Texturizer filter
      1m 49s
    8. Using the Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift Blurs
      6m 1s
    9. Creating a painting with the Oil Paint filter
      1m 34s
    10. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      3m 25s
  20. 22m 16s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      6m 42s
    2. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      2m 40s
    3. Scanning or photographing paper to add a deckled edge
      3m 1s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      5m 21s
    5. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      2m 26s
    6. Adding a realistic off-center vignette
      2m 6s
  21. 20m 9s
    1. Exploring character (point) type
      7m 6s
    2. Adding paragraph (area) type
      3m 38s
    3. Adding type on a path
      4m 44s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      3m 3s
    5. Warping type
      1m 38s
  22. 15m 57s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      6m 15s
    2. Adding edges, textures, and color overlays using layer styles
      4m 27s
    3. Creating a transparent logo or watermark
      2m 42s
    4. Knowing how and when to scale layer effects
      2m 33s
  23. 15m 45s
    1. Creating contact sheets
      2m 49s
    2. Using the Output workspace in Bridge
      5m 32s
    3. Exporting web photo galleries
      4m 20s
    4. Saving for the web
      3m 4s
  24. 23m 38s
    1. Working with video clips
      9m 29s
    2. Adding special effects to video
      5m 45s
    3. Adding pans and zooms to still images
      8m 24s
  25. 1m 10s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 10s

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Photoshop CS6 Essential Training
10h 30m Beginner Apr 26, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.

The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.

Topics include:
  • Organizing images in Bridge
  • Adding metadata such as copyrights and keywords
  • Editing in Camera Raw versus in Photoshop
  • Retouching in Camera Raw
  • Batch processing files
  • Customizing the Photoshop workspaces
  • Choosing a file format and resolution
  • Cropping, scaling, and rotating images
  • Working with layers, including merging and flattening layers
  • Creating selections and layer masks
  • Toning and changing the color of images
  • Adjusting shadows and highlights
  • Retouching and cloning
  • Creating panoramas from multiple images
  • Adding filters and sharpening
  • Working with blend modes
  • Adding type
  • Working with video in Photoshop CS6
Subjects:
Photography Raw Processing
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Julieanne Kost

Cycling through the blending modes

As we've seen in some of the previous tutorials, the use of blend modes on the Layers panel is really, really powerful. It's an excellent way to get one layer to blend with the layer underneath it. Let's take a look for a moment at the two layers that we have in this document. I have the leaves and I have the mountain. I am going to turn off the mountain layer for a moment. Now, it looks like that the leaves are against a white background, but in fact they're not; it's transparency. And if I choose the Photoshop > Preferences, and we go to Transparency & Gamut, if I turn back on the Grid Size, you can see that in fact the area between the leaves here is all transparent.

So that's just something to keep in mind as we take a look at the different blend modes in Photoshop. Let's go ahead and toggle on the visibility of the mountain layer. Since it's the leaves that I want to blend with the mountain, I will make sure that I have the leaves layer selected. Photoshop has over 25 different blend modes that you can choose from, but there are three key blend modes that we're going to focus on right now. The first one is going to be the Multiply blend mode, the next one is going to be the Screen blend mode, and then we'll talk about the Overlay or Soft Light blend mode.

So these are going to be the most common ones that you work with every day. When we look at the different groupings of the blend modes, they're grouped in categories. So this first category at the top, you notice it starts with Darken. All of these blend modes up here, these first five in this category, they will all take the darker pixel of the two layers. So for example, when I select Darken, all of the darker values are taken. If we look here in the mountains, the mountains were darker than the leaves, so I see the darker mountains when I use this blend mode.

If we change to Multiply, Photoshop is actually taking the leaves and multiplying them with the layer underneath. It almost looks like you're putting one negative on top of another and then projecting them. One of the things that you should know about the Multiply blend mode, as well as all of the other blend modes that are nested with it, is that they have a neutral color. Their neutral color is white, and what I mean by that is that white just disappears. Let's go back to the Normal blend mode, and you can see that there's a white border going around the leaves image.

As soon as I set the blend mode to Multiply, that white border disappears, and we can see the sky and the mountain and the grass behind it. All right! Let's move down to the Screen blend mode. This whole group of blend modes will always take the lighter value of the two layers. So when I select Screen, we get a much lighter image. Screen and all of the blend modes that are grouped with it also have a neutral color, and that is black. So you'll notice that the black border around the image has disappeared. We can no longer see that black border; instead, we see the mountains beneath it.

One way that you can think about the Screen blend mode is that it's like projecting two images on the same screen. When you project two images from two different projectors, the resulting image will always get lighter. All right! Let's move down to this third grouping here. And Overlay is a really good example, but you'll probably use Soft Light more, because it's a little bit less intense. But all of the blend modes in this grouping, they always make your image more contrasty. So they will take the Histogram and from 0-128--those are the darker values-- they will always take the darker values of the two if they're less than 128, but from value 128-255--those are our lighter values--they're going to take the lighter of the two values.

So basically, everything is going to appear with more contrast because the darker values will get darker, and the lighter values will get lighter. This grouping also has a neutral value, and that would be 50% gray. So in certain situations, it's important to know what the neutral color of the blend modes is. Other times, you might just want to see how two layers blend together. So instead of moving from each one of these blend modes to the next, there's a keyboard shortcut. Let's go back to the Normal blend mode for a moment, and then because I have the Move tool selected, I will use the Shift key, plus the Plus, and we can move down through the blend modes.

So just tapping the Plus key will take me down through each one of these in turn. If I tap the Minus key, it would take me back up through the different blend modes. But this is a quick way to cycle through all of the different blend modes, just to see how the two images would blend together. Two other blend modes that I will just point out here. When we get towards the bottom, there's a blend mode that will allow you to simply use the color of the top layer and blend that with the bottom layer. So here it looks a little odd in this instance, but you'll remember, when we did the project on hand coloring, using a fill layer set to the Color blend mode gave us the ability to hand-color on top of a black-and-white image.

If I move down to the Luminosity blend mode, now I get a grayscale version of the top layer blending with the layer underneath. And we saw this example when I added the filter, the Grain filter, and there was no way to get rid of the color noise, so I set the filter's blend mode to Luminosity. Now I did mention that I had the Move tool selected, as I use that keyboard shortcut, the Shift+Plus and Minus to move down through the blend modes. I wanted to just show you what would happen if I had, for example, the paintbrush selected.

So I just tap the B key to get the brush. Now, if I use Shift+Plus or Shift+Minus, you will notice that the blend mode on the Layers panel does not change, but instead, the blend mode for the Brush. So let's create a new layer-- I will click the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel--and see what happens when we paint with the brush set to Multiply. I will go ahead and select a color other than black and white, and then I will click and drag. Now this paint stroke is not being multiplied with the layers underneath it, but if I paint again on top of this, you can see where I've painted over the same area, each individual brushstroke is being multiplied with the brushstrokes underneath it.

So it's just good to know that you can apply your blend modes on the Layers panel, but you can also apply them to your tools. And if you ever use the keyboard shortcut Shift+Plus or Shift+Minus, and your blend modes aren't changing on the Layers panel, it's probably because you have a painting tool selected. So remember to put back the Painting tool into the Normal mode if that's not what you intended, select your Move tool, and now you can quickly move through the blend modes using the Shift+Plus or Shift+Minus.

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