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Darken and Lighten and their derivatives

From: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Darken and Lighten and their derivatives

In this exercise I'm going to demonstrate the first stage of the darkening and lightning modes which go by the names Darken and Lighten and we also see their composite equivalents Darker Color and Lighter Color. Now, these are, by no means, the most useful of the darkening and lighting modes, in fact, quite the contrary; they are the least useful of these modes, but I want to understand how they work so you have a better appreciation of the better modes that we'll be seeing. Also they do have occasional applications and I'll throw in a creative application of both of these modes before we're done with this exercise.

Darken and Lighten and their derivatives

In this exercise I'm going to demonstrate the first stage of the darkening and lightning modes which go by the names Darken and Lighten and we also see their composite equivalents Darker Color and Lighter Color. Now, these are, by no means, the most useful of the darkening and lighting modes, in fact, quite the contrary; they are the least useful of these modes, but I want to understand how they work so you have a better appreciation of the better modes that we'll be seeing. Also they do have occasional applications and I'll throw in a creative application of both of these modes before we're done with this exercise.

Now, I'm still working inside Paper pushers.psd, found inside the 28_blending folder. I'm going to make some changes to this composition however. I'm going to turn off the wrestlers layer here in a Layers panel and I'm going to twirl open future stuff and I'm going to turn on this darkness layer this Adjustment layer. It's a brightness contrast layer that's dimming the background and that will just give us a better sense of how these modes work. A warning here because this is not pleasant to look at necessarily, but I have this sort of clown stripe gradient pattern going on here. Now, I am not adding this layer because I consider it to be good looking.

Once again quite the contrary, but it is going to show off how these modes work because we have these colors that will show up very easily against the parchment background. All right, I'm going to click on gradient, the gradient layer there to make it active, and I'm going to bring up the Blend mode pop-up menu and I'll choose Darken, but first just so that you have an idea of how it works, this is what's going on. Basically, it turns on and off pixels. So it keeps a pixel on if it's darker than the equivalent composite pixel in the background.

It turns the pixel off if it's lighter than the equivalent pixel in the background. So it just keeps the darker pixels on the layer. Now as soon as I choose this mode, the results may surprise you a little bit because we are getting these incremental transitions right here. So if it's an on or off proposition, either the pixels stays visible or it disappears which is what happens with this mode, why don't we see harsh transitions? Why don't we see jagged edges? And the reason is because this happens on a channel by channel basis.

So if I switch over to the Red channel, you can see that the gradient remains visible over here on the left-hand side and then turns invisible over on the right-hand side. In the Green channel, we have a little bit of gradient over on the left and then we have some gradient in the middle and just a smudge over here on the right. And then in a Blue channel, just barely any gradient on the left-hand side and there is column of gradient over toward the right side of the image. So it changes from one channel to the next. And as a result we get some moderately smooth transitions here inside the color composite image.

All right, I'm going to switch back to the Layers panel. Let's say you don't want those smooth transitions. You either want to be able to see the pixel or not see the pixel that's it; completely on/off proposition inside of the composite view, then you would switch from Darken to it's composite equivalent Darker Color. And you'll get the jagged transitions you've always been hoping for. So there they are. Now, exactly the opposite of these modes, by the way, are Lighten and Lighter Color. So Lighten is going to keep a pixel if it's lighter than the composite pixel below it, and it's going to make the pixel transparent in the active layer if it's darker than the composite pixel below it.

And that's going to happen on a channel by channel basis as you'll see when I choose the mode. So once again if I were to wander through the channels, you could see that the Red channel, we're seeing basically the opposite of what we saw with Darken. We're seeing the gradient bright over here on right side of the image. Then in the Green channel, we have a little bit of gradient far-right a column of gradient there and a column of gradient farther toward left. In the Blue channel, we see lots of gradient over here on the right-hand side and a big swath of gradient near the left-hand side. So as a result you get moderately smooth transitions here inside the color composite view whereas, if you don't want that, you want jagged transitions, then you'd switch from Lighten to Lighter Color, like so.

And basically Lighter Color is exactly the opposite of Darker Color. So right now we're seeing gradient, notice in this region here over on the right-hand side and this blue region sort of in the middle there. If switch from Lighter Color to Darker Color, it'll exactly switch notice that. So they are fundamentally opposite. The problem is that you get these jagged transitions. So that's not always what you want, in fact it's rarely what you'll want I'll say that. And even with Darken and Lighten, you end up getting some questionable transition, some sharp edges and so forth, but here I'll go ahead and show you a quick application for these modes.

I'll turn on the wrestlers layer once again and I'm going to go ahead and jump it by pressing Ctrl+Alt+J or Command+Option+J on the Mac and I'll call this layer gblur because we're going to apply a Gaussian blur in just a moment. I'll click OK. Then I'll go out to the Filter menu, I'll choose Blur, and I'll choose Gaussian Blur. If you load a Deke keys, you've got a keyboard shortcut of Shift+F7. And I'm going to apply a Radius of 12 pixels just as you see there. All right, so I'll click OK. I'll zoom in on this woman's face over here on the right-hand side.

And then notice what happens if I switch to the mode to Darken. Then we get this pretty interesting effect I think. It does have a lot of sharp transitions in it, but we also have a bit of blur popping off the detail that we're keeping, this dark detail that remains intact. Now because we blurring image directly on top of itself, we don't have a lot of differences between the channels. So we're not going to see any difference between Darken and Darker Color where this specific effect is concerned. So you could use either in other words. An even better effect I think is switching over to Lighten or Lighter Color.

Again, they will deliver the same results where this specific effect is concerned. I'll go ahead and choose Lighten and notice how this time we're keeping the bright detail and we're blurring all of the darkness. So it's a pretty interesting effect I think. I'm going to go ahead and press the Escape key so that blend mode is not active anymore. Zoom out a little bit so we can see the bright blurred image on top of the original. In the next exercise we're going to take a detour from how Blend modes work so I can show you the Blend mode keyboard shortcuts. Stay tuned.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

192 video lessons · 43682 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 40m 45s
    1. Welcome
      2m 45s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 5s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Your creative range continues to expand
      1m 46s
    2. The Avatar project so far
      2m 38s
    3. Painting on a photograph
      7m 50s
    4. Adding texture and depth
      6m 14s
    5. Simulating chalky white paint
      7m 23s
    6. Masking and placing an image
      7m 20s
    7. Upsampling and Lens Blur
      5m 9s
    8. Blending blurry elements
      3m 48s
    9. Making a Smart Object
      6m 46s
    10. Placing an image as a Smart Object
      3m 22s
    11. Blending away a background
      5m 56s
    12. Applying Smart Filters
      4m 34s
    13. Creating a glow with Lens Flare
      3m 45s
    14. Blending and masking a glow
      5m 3s
  3. 1h 26m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 53s
    2. Introducing masking
      6m 32s
    3. Making an alpha channel
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Calculations command
      6m 48s
    5. Add, Subtract, Offset, and Scale
      5m 54s
    6. Prepping an image with the Dodge tool
      6m 55s
    7. Fixing mistakes before they get too big
      6m 32s
    8. Painting in the Overlay mode
      5m 51s
    9. Exaggerating and selecting flesh tones
      7m 39s
    10. Smudge, Median, and the Blur tool
      6m 59s
    11. Masking low-contrast details
      6m 7s
    12. Creating a flesh-and-clothing mask
      5m 45s
    13. Masking and compositing the foreground
      5m 27s
    14. Finessing the final composition
      7m 39s
  4. 2h 24m
    1. Connecting the dots
      1m 40s
    2. The Pen tool and the Paths panel
      6m 32s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided outline
      6m 25s
    4. Editing a path outline
      6m 36s
    5. Adding and editing smooth points
      5m 35s
    6. Creating vector masks with the shape tools
      4m 59s
    7. Building a complex outline from shapes
      4m 26s
    8. Subtracting and transforming shapes
      6m 45s
    9. Cloning, flipping, and combining shapes
      8m 58s
    10. Roughing in non-symmetrical paths
      7m 41s
    11. Finessing a complex outline
      9m 15s
    12. Masking a layer effect
      8m 26s
    13. Isolating an image element
      6m 8s
    14. Smooth points and control handles
      9m 3s
    15. Stretching curved segments
      7m 49s
    16. Using the Rubber Band option
      9m 33s
    17. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      6m 59s
    18. Shading an isolated object
      3m 45s
    19. Drawing cusp points
      7m 14s
    20. Setting points in the pasteboard
      9m 57s
    21. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 42s
  5. 2h 57m
    1. Everything you need to know about blending
      1m 45s
    2. Photoshop CS5's blend modes
      7m 21s
    3. Cycling between blend modes
      6m 15s
    4. Darken and Lighten and their derivatives
      6m 3s
    5. The blend mode shortcuts
      8m 6s
    6. The Multiply and Burn modes
      4m 28s
    7. The Screen and Dodge modes
      6m 0s
    8. How opposite blend modes work
      8m 24s
    9. Why Multiply darkens and Divide lightens
      5m 23s
    10. Cleaning up a client's bad art
      5m 3s
    11. Dropping out a white background
      5m 56s
    12. Blending inside blend modes
      8m 3s
    13. Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light
      6m 26s
    14. Vivid, Linear, and Pin Light (and Hard Mix)
      6m 35s
    15. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      7m 34s
    16. Great uses for the Difference mode
      6m 18s
    17. Promising uses for the Divide mode
      9m 6s
    18. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      7m 0s
    19. Blending an inverted layer
      3m 32s
    20. The "Fill Opacity Eight"
      7m 25s
    21. Making bad blend modes good
      5m 16s
    22. Making a knockout layer
      6m 53s
    23. Blending in the CMYK mode
      8m 3s
    24. Overprinting black text
      8m 29s
    25. Using the Luminance slider
      5m 24s
    26. Parametric luminance masking
      6m 21s
    27. Adjusting the behavior of luminance effects
      10m 8s
  6. 2h 2m
    1. Smart Objects = protective containers
      1m 35s
    2. Placing an Illustrator graphic
      6m 30s
    3. Vector copy and paste options
      6m 56s
    4. Applying Puppet Warp to vectors
      8m 9s
    5. "Gluing" vector art for Puppet Warp
      5m 50s
    6. Warping art onto the surface of an image
      8m 7s
    7. Blending a Smart Object
      4m 30s
    8. Blurring and blending a Smart Object
      6m 8s
    9. Making changes in Illustrator
      5m 57s
    10. Creating "true clones"
      7m 18s
    11. Double-flipping text
      4m 44s
    12. Applying effects to multiple layers
      3m 24s
    13. Updating true clones in one operation
      7m 36s
    14. Editing JPEGs as Camera Raw objects
      5m 49s
    15. Creating a double-exposure effect
      7m 15s
    16. Masking and shading transitions
      7m 47s
    17. Applying and repeating Camera Raw edits
      6m 9s
    18. Copying vs. cloning a Smart Object
      5m 18s
    19. Flipping a Smart Object and its mask
      3m 42s
    20. Adjusting multiple Camera Raw clones
      3m 53s
    21. Text that inverts everything behind it
      5m 34s
  7. 1h 59m
    1. This time, "smart" means dynamic
      1m 37s
    2. Introducing Smart Filters
      6m 28s
    3. Traditional High Pass sharpening
      5m 17s
    4. Smart High Pass in the Lab mode
      7m 57s
    5. Sharpening a high-frequency image
      7m 46s
    6. Retroactively reducing noise
      7m 31s
    7. Which filters are Smart Filters?
      6m 20s
    8. Shadows/Highlights as a Smart Filter
      4m 37s
    9. Nesting one Smart Object inside another
      7m 11s
    10. Drawing a mask from a nested Smart Object
      8m 7s
    11. Better Shadows/Highlights inside Lab
      9m 16s
    12. Tempering saturation values in Lab
      7m 0s
    13. Filtering live, editable text
      9m 2s
    14. Enhancing filters with layer effects
      4m 33s
    15. Applying a filter multiple times
      5m 0s
    16. Creating a synthetic star field
      7m 7s
    17. Making a stucco or drywall pattern
      6m 28s
    18. Land, sea, and clouds
      8m 30s
  8. 2h 50m
    1. Photoshop's advanced painting tools
      2m 3s
    2. Canvas texture and brush libraries
      6m 40s
    3. Painting with a predefined custom brush
      9m 21s
    4. Dissecting a custom brush
      11m 9s
    5. Designing and using a custom brush
      4m 54s
    6. Saving and loading brush presets
      5m 27s
    7. The ten styles of bristle brushes
      9m 47s
    8. Size, Spacing, and Angle
      7m 2s
    9. Using the Bristle Brush preview
      7m 53s
    10. Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness
      6m 53s
    11. Stylus tilt and mouse behavior
      5m 25s
    12. Stroking a path outline with a brush
      4m 0s
    13. Troubleshooting a stylus
      5m 49s
    14. Introducing the Mixer Brush
      7m 22s
    15. The Load, Mix, and Wet values
      5m 1s
    16. Cleaning and loading a brush
      6m 26s
    17. Shading a piece of graphic art
      6m 34s
    18. Shading with color
      7m 53s
    19. Mixing a photographic portrait
      6m 11s
    20. Tracing the fine details in an image
      5m 52s
    21. Crosshatching and brush size
      5m 53s
    22. Covering up and augmenting details
      7m 36s
    23. Painting in hair and fabric
      5m 54s
    24. Painting and scaling very fine hairs
      8m 7s
    25. Adding texture with the Emboss filter
      8m 31s
    26. Exploiting a "happy accident"
      2m 46s
  9. 1h 40m
    1. Artificial intelligence that works
      1m 22s
    2. The Auto-Align Layers command
      7m 25s
    3. The Auto-Blend Layers command
      3m 54s
    4. Masking auto-aligned layers
      4m 50s
    5. The Geometric Distortion setting
      6m 44s
    6. The Seamless Tones and Colors checkbox
      4m 8s
    7. Creating the best possible layer mask
      9m 18s
    8. Auto-blending depths of field
      5m 54s
    9. Finessing masks, accepting imperfections
      6m 29s
    10. Shooting and downsampling panorama images
      5m 54s
    11. Introducing the Photomerge command
      6m 40s
    12. Evaluating the Layout settings
      6m 47s
    13. Loading, aligning, and blending with Photomerge
      5m 36s
    14. Tracing and extracting seams
      7m 18s
    15. Adding a masked element into a panorama
      5m 55s
    16. Simplifying and correcting a panorama
      5m 58s
    17. Smart Filters and nondestructive cropping
      6m 43s
  10. 1h 18m
    1. The most mysterious of mysterious topics
      2m 29s
    2. Introducing HDR Toning
      6m 43s
    3. Reigning in clipped highlights
      5m 54s
    4. The Local Adaptation options
      9m 5s
    5. Nondestructive editing with HDR Toning
      8m 22s
    6. Using the HDR Toning Curve
      7m 2s
    7. HDR Toning vs. Shadows/Highlights
      6m 0s
    8. Merging multiple exposures
      7m 14s
    9. A first look at HDR Pro
      6m 24s
    10. Removing ghosts, correcting backlighting
      7m 11s
    11. Generating and editing an HDR comp
      7m 0s
    12. HDR rendered to completion
      5m 19s
  11. 1h 27m
    1. Processing hundreds of files in no time
      1m 43s
    2. Creating an action set
      6m 37s
    3. Making an action
      7m 7s
    4. Stop, Delete, and Record
      7m 12s
    5. Add, Undo, and Rerecord
      6m 40s
    6. Playing and testing an action
      6m 31s
    7. Playing and editing a specific operation
      6m 39s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      4m 58s
    9. Explaining an action with a custom stop
      5m 0s
    10. Batch-processing multiple images
      7m 22s
    11. Adding a Save As operation
      6m 34s
    12. Creating an action to save web graphics
      7m 59s
    13. Batching two actions into one
      7m 15s
    14. Saving and loading actions
      5m 30s
  12. 1m 19s
    1. See ya
      1m 19s

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