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The Fill Opacity Eight

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

Video: The Fill Opacity Eight

In this movie, I'll introduce you to what I call the Fill Opacity eight, which are eight blend modes that respond better to an adjustment to the Fill value than they do to an adjustment to the Opacity value. And I'm here to tell you, I have no idea why things work this way; I just know that they do work this way. So just by way of a refresher, the main purpose of Fill Opacity is to reduce the Opacity of a layer independently of its layer effects. So here I'm looking at an example from Chapter 16 of the Intermediate course, and notice that I have some effects assigned to the shire layer.

The Fill Opacity Eight

In this movie, I'll introduce you to what I call the Fill Opacity eight, which are eight blend modes that respond better to an adjustment to the Fill value than they do to an adjustment to the Opacity value. And I'm here to tell you, I have no idea why things work this way; I just know that they do work this way. So just by way of a refresher, the main purpose of Fill Opacity is to reduce the Opacity of a layer independently of its layer effects. So here I'm looking at an example from Chapter 16 of the Intermediate course, and notice that I have some effects assigned to the shire layer.

I'll go ahead and turn them on; I've got an Inner Shadow and a Drop Shadow at work. Now, if I decide I want to reduce the darkness inside the letters, then I could press, for example, the 2 key in order to reduce the Opacity value, but that ends up reducing the Opacity of the layer effects as well. I don't want that, so I'll press the zero key to reinstate 100% Opacity. Instead, what I want to do is press Shift+2 in order to reduce the Fill Opacity value to 20%, and that makes the letters themselves translucent, while leaving the layer effects intact.

All right. So that's the primary purpose of Fill. I'm going to switch over to my shortcuts file, and if you got access to the file, you'll see at the top of the Layers panel is a group called top secret. Go ahead and twirl it open, and turn on the layer inside, and you'll see bars highlighting each of the eight blend modes that respond differently to Fill Opacity. And as you'll see, it's always better. So we've got Color Burn, and Linear Burn, Color Dodge, and Linear Dodge, as well as Vivid Light, Linear Light, Hard Mix -- you won't believe what a difference Fill makes with Hard Mix -- and then finally, Difference.

Now, I'm not going to show you examples of all of the modes, but I will show you how things work with the Contrast modes, as well as Difference. So I'll switch over to this file, in which I've set the sunlight layer to Hard Light. And instead, I'm going to press Shift+Alt+V, or Shift+Option+V on a Mac, in order to advance to Vivid Light, and then I'll press the 5 key to reduce the Opacity value to 50%. Now, we want to keep that effect, so what I'm going to do is create a layer comp, and you do that by going up to the Window menu and choosing the Layer Comps command, which brings up the Layer Comps panel. Go ahead and make it a little smaller here, so that takes up less room onscreen, and I'll create a new comp by clicking on the little page icon.

I'll Name this comp Opacity blend. And if you're working along with me, you want to make sure that Visibility is turned on, and so is Appearance; that's very important. Then click OK. Now let's switch the Opacity value back to 100% by pressing the 0 key, and I'll reduce the Fill value to 50% by pressing Shift+5, and then I'll create a new comp by clicking on the little page icon, and I'll name this guy Fill blend, like so. Make sure Visibility and Appearance are turned on, and click OK. All right.

So, for the sake of comparison, here is the 50% opaque version of Vivid Light, which looks frankly awful, and here's what happens when we leave Opacity altogether alone, leave it set to 100%, and we just reduce the Fill value to 50% instead; we get a much better effect. And this is true for all of the blend modes that make up the Fill Opacity eight. All right. Let's see how things fare with Linear Light. I'll go ahead and click on the little page in front of Opacity blend in order to switch back to that layer comp, and you can see the Opacity is set to 50%; the Fill value is set to 100%.

I'll press Shift+Plus to advance to the Linear Light mode, and I'll drop down to this little update icon at the bottom of the Layer Comps panel, and I'll click on it, and then I'll click on the page in front of Fill blend. In this case, we're seeing an Opacity of 100%, and a Fill of 50%, so those values are being retained for us. That's why Layer Comps are oftentimes so great. And I'll press Shift+Plus to advance to Linear Light, and I'll update that comp by clicking on the update icon. All right. So here is Linear Light set to 50% Opacity; not quite as bad as Vivid Light, but bad enough.

We have all kinds of low saturation transitions. It just looks like a washed out effect, whereas if I click in front of Fill blend, we have these wonderfully saturated colors, and we have some hotspots, and nice transitions as well. All right, now let's see how things fair with the Difference mode. I want to save Hard Mix for last. So I'll click in front of Opacity blend in order to make it active again, and I'll press Shift+Alt+E, or Shift+Option+E on the Mac, in order to apply Difference. And then I'll update that layer comp, and then I'll click in front of Fill blend to make it active.

Press Shift+Alt+E, or Shift+Option+E on the Mac, in order to switch to the Difference mode, and I'll click on the update icon to update that comp as well. So this is a 50% opaque version of the Difference mode. Basically what we're doing is half inverting the colors, and that's it. So it really looks like nothing more than we didn't have the courage to go with a higher Opacity value, whereas if I switch to Fill blend, you can see we've got all kinds of contrast going on. We're not just half inverting the colors; we're doing something entirely different. All right.

Now you have to see Hard Mix. I'll go ahead and click in front of Opacity blend again, and I'll Shift+Alt+L, or Shift+Option+L on the Mac, to switch to the Hard Mix mode. Couldn't look worse. We've just basically taken that rotten effect, and overlaid it on top of the original model at 50% level of Opacity. I'll go ahead and update the layer comp by clicking on the update icon, and now I'll click in front of Fill blend, and I'll press Shift+Alt+L, or Shift+Option+L on the Mac, in order to switch to Hard Mix, with a Fill value of 50%, and it looks great! I'm going to go ahead and update that comp as well.

And really, honestly it looks so great that it doesn't even look like a similar effect. So just for the sake of comparison; I'm not sure you need this, but I'll click in front of Opacity blend. That's Hard Mix with an Opacity value of 50%, and this is Hard Mix with a Fill value of 50%. Now, it's interesting to note that you can take that Fill value pretty high. I'll press Shift+9 in order to crank that Fill value up to 90%, and it's very different than Shift+0 for 100%. So backing up to 90% Fill, we start smoothing off those edges; we no longer have the jagged transitions.

This is a Fill of 80%, this is a Fill of 70%, and this is a Fill of 60%. You can take it quite low as well. I'll press Shift+2 to take the Fill value down to 20%. I'll go ahead and update that guy, and for the sake of comparison, I'll click in front of Opacity blend, and press the 2 key to take the Opacity value down to 20%, and update that layer comp as well. So this is 20% opaque Hard Mix. This is 20% Fill combined with Hard Mix. All right. I'm going to go ahead and hide Layer Comps there, and I'm going to hide the sunlight layer as well, and click on this top model layer to select it.

Now, there is one last topic I want to touch on here, and that's layer effects. We've seen how every single layer effect has blend modes associated with it. So when you reduce the Opacity associated with the layer effect, are you changing the equivalent of the Opacity value here inside the Layers panel, or are you changing Fill? And the answer is you're changing Fill, and let me demonstrate that to you. I'm going to drop down to the black/white icon, and I'm going to choose Gradient, and that will create a Gradient layer. I'll click on the down-pointing arrowhead, and I'll switch it to Spectrum, which is that rainbow gradient that ships along with Photoshop, and we'll end up achieving this effect here.

Click OK, and now I'm going to change the blend mode to Hard Mix for this layer. Looks terrible, of course; press the Escape key so that blend mode pop-up menu is no longer active, and I'll press the 5 key to reduce the Opacity to 50%. All right. Let's bring back Layer Comps. I'll click on Opacity blend. Not in front of it; just on it, and I'll go ahead and update it, and then I'll press the 0 key to increase the Opacity to 100%, and I'll press Shift+5 to reduce the Fill Opacity to 50%, and I'll click on Fill blend -- don't click in front of it -- in order to make it active, and then click the update button.

So this is that gradient at 50% Opacity. This is that gradient at 50% Fill. So obviously we get a much smoother transition with 50% Fill combined with Hard Mix. All right. I'm going to turn that layer off. Let's see the same thing at work with a layer effect. I'll click on the model layer, drop down to the fx icon, and choose Gradient Overlay, and I'm going to set the Gradient to that same rainbow Spectrum, like so. I'll change the blend mode to Hard Mix once again, and then I'll reduce the Opacity value to 50%.

And so you can see that the option that goes by the name Opacity when you're applying layer effects is really that Fill Opacity value, at least where the Fill Opacity eight are concerned. All right. So I'll go ahead and click OK in order to apply that effect, and that's how you work with the Fill Opacity eight; eight special blend modes that work better with the Fill value than they do with Opacity here inside Photoshop.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

124 video lessons · 19918 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 30m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 19s
    2. Loading the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      6m 5s
    3. Remapping your Macintosh OS shortcuts
      3m 4s
    4. Adjusting a few general preferences
      4m 3s
    5. Using the visual HUD color picker
      2m 2s
    6. The interface and performance settings
      5m 31s
    7. Adjusting the color settings in Photoshop
      7m 0s
  2. 47m 0s
    1. Smart Objects
      1m 36s
    2. Three ways to place a Smart Object
      3m 6s
    3. Copying and pasting from Adobe Illustrator
      4m 11s
    4. Transforming and warping a vector object
      4m 48s
    5. Blending a Smart Object into a photograph
      3m 10s
    6. Blurring with a nested Smart Filter
      4m 57s
    7. Editing a Smart Object in Illustrator
      3m 20s
    8. Creating "true clones"
      3m 50s
    9. Duplicating a group of clones
      2m 53s
    10. Breaking the Smart Object link
      2m 53s
    11. Styling and blending Smart Objects
      2m 44s
    12. Editing originals; updating clones
      3m 41s
    13. Removing people from a scene with Median
      5m 51s
  3. 29m 59s
    1. Luminance meets sharpening
      1m 2s
    2. Correcting for lens distortion
      4m 39s
    3. Introducing Shadows/Highlights
      3m 54s
    4. Mitigating halos with Radius values
      4m 19s
    5. Enhancing the effects of Midtone Contrast
      3m 18s
    6. Creating a "bounce" with Gaussian Blur
      3m 29s
    7. Sharpening on top of blur
      2m 47s
    8. Masking a group of Smart Filters
      2m 53s
    9. Reducing the density of a layer mask
      3m 38s
  4. 49m 10s
    1. Using Curves
      2m 40s
    2. Introducing the Curves adjustment
      7m 36s
    3. Adding and editing points on a curve
      6m 27s
    4. Winning Curves tips and tricks
      8m 12s
    5. Correcting a challenging image
      6m 33s
    6. Selecting and darkening highlights
      4m 39s
    7. Neutralizing colors and smoothing transitions
      6m 6s
    8. The new automatic Curves function
      6m 57s
  5. 1h 31m
    1. Camera Raw
      2m 11s
    2. Opening and editing multiple images
      8m 1s
    3. Correcting white balance
      4m 8s
    4. The revamped Exposure controls
      8m 8s
    5. Working with archival images
      7m 54s
    6. The Spot Removal and Graduated Filter tools
      6m 4s
    7. Painting edits with the Adjustment Brush
      7m 23s
    8. Tone Curves (and why you don't need them)
      5m 57s
    9. Straighten, crop, and geometric distortions
      5m 17s
    10. Applying manual lens corrections
      5m 14s
    11. Vignette, chromatic aberration, and fringe
      6m 49s
    12. Selective hue, saturation, and luminance
      6m 36s
    13. Working with JPEG and TIFF images
      6m 36s
    14. Camera Raw Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    15. Editing Camera Raw images from Bridge
      4m 24s
  6. 32m 30s
    1. Duotones
      1m 23s
    2. Creating a professional-quality sepia tone
      4m 18s
    3. Introducing the Gradient Map adjustment
      5m 42s
    4. Loading a library of custom gradients
      3m 48s
    5. Creating a custom quadtone
      5m 48s
    6. Colorizing with blend modes and Opacity
      4m 6s
    7. Creating a faux-color, high-key effect
      7m 25s
  7. 1h 6m
    1. Noise vs. Details
      1m 28s
    2. Introducing the Reduce Noise filter
      7m 29s
    3. Correcting a noisy photo
      5m 33s
    4. Smoothing over high-contrast noise
      5m 50s
    5. Protecting details with an edge mask
      4m 52s
    6. Adjusting overly saturated shadows
      3m 35s
    7. Correcting with High Pass and Lens Blur
      3m 45s
    8. Brushing away blur and sharpening
      6m 42s
    9. Creating texture by adding noise
      5m 28s
    10. The Camera Raw Detail panel
      7m 8s
    11. Correcting noise and detail in Camera Raw
      8m 10s
    12. Adding noise grain and vignetting effects
      6m 47s
  8. 44m 30s
    1. Blur Gallery
      1m 36s
    2. Creating depth-of-field effects in post
      5m 29s
    3. Modifying your Field Blur settings
      4m 57s
    4. Editing and exporting a Field Blur mask
      6m 15s
    5. Adding a synthetic light bokeh
      3m 52s
    6. Using the Selection Bleed option
      7m 29s
    7. Creating a radial blur with Iris Blur
      6m 59s
    8. Creating "fake miniatures" with Tilt-Shift
      4m 35s
    9. Combining multiple Blur Gallery effects
      3m 18s
  9. 1h 34m
    1. Blend Modes
      1m 16s
    2. Using the Dissolve mode
      9m 47s
    3. Multiply and the darken modes
      8m 30s
    4. Screen and the lighten modes
      8m 10s
    5. Cleaning up and integrating a bad photo
      6m 38s
    6. Blending inside blend modes
      6m 55s
    7. Overlay and the contrast modes
      6m 53s
    8. A few great uses for the contrast modes
      9m 7s
    9. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      5m 5s
    10. Capturing the differences between images
      4m 18s
    11. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      4m 45s
    12. Blend mode shortcuts
      6m 21s
    13. The Fill Opacity Eight
      8m 57s
    14. Using the luminance-exclusion slider bars
      8m 8s
  10. 44m 20s
    1. Color Range
      1m 14s
    2. Introducing the Color Range command
      7m 24s
    3. Selecting a complex image with Color Range
      5m 49s
    4. Refining a selection in the Quick Mask mode
      7m 4s
    5. Viewing a mask with or without its image
      4m 24s
    6. Painting directly inside an alpha channel
      5m 39s
    7. Correcting fringes around a masked layer
      8m 5s
    8. Turning a layer into a knockout
      4m 41s
  11. 59m 43s
    1. Refine Edges
      1m 28s
    2. Laying down a base layer mask
      6m 49s
    3. Introducing the Refine Edge/Mask command
      7m 57s
    4. Edge detection and Smart Radius
      4m 42s
    5. Using the Refine Radius tool
      7m 31s
    6. The transformative power of Refine Edge
      3m 37s
    7. Perfecting a mask with overlay painting
      10m 58s
    8. Combining Quick Selection with Refine Mask
      10m 37s
    9. Bolstering and integrating hair
      6m 4s
  12. 1h 18m
    1. The Pen tool
      1m 50s
    2. Pixel-based masking versus the Pen tool
      6m 45s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path outline
      6m 57s
    4. Moving, deleting, and adding anchor points
      6m 10s
    5. Dragging control handles to modify curves
      5m 27s
    6. Converting a path outline to a vector mask
      5m 36s
    7. Customizing a geometric shape
      5m 53s
    8. How to position points and control handles
      7m 7s
    9. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      8m 7s
    10. Duplicating and scaling a vector mask
      5m 21s
    11. Cusp points and the Rubber Band option
      6m 21s
    12. Setting anchor points in the pasteboard
      6m 8s
    13. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 43s

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