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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
In this exercise, we are going to run through the final four blend modes, which are the component modes, that include Hue/Saturation color and Luminosity, and we are actually going to discuss them in the opposite order, because they make the most sense that way. I am working inside that model with skies.psd file and I have got the sunlight layer just ready and waiting, it's turned Off currently, and then I have Normal and Multiply versions of the model, and that Background blue sky layer. I am going to get rid of the Multiply layer, just by clicking on it and pressing the Backspace key.
And then I am going to rename the Normal layer model, because we'll be changing its mode. So all we have now is the model layer masked against the blue sky background. I am going to change her mode by going up to the Blend mode menu and choosing the final option, Luminosity. Now what the Luminosity mode does is it keeps the luminance of the active layer and blends it in with the color, that is the hue and saturation of the composite view of the layers in back of it. So when I choose Luminosity, we are going to lose all the color that's inherent in this model skin and hair and dress and so on, and we are going to lift all the color information from that background blue sky.
Meanwhile, we keep all of the luminance information, so all that detail info that's associated with the woman. Now we could then turn around and override all the color inside of the image with this sunlight layer. So if I select it and turn it On by clicking on its eyeball, then I can now change its Blend mode and I will change it from Normal to Color, and we end up getting this effect here. So now we are blending the hue and saturation because that's what color is. It's a combo of hue, the rainbow hues along with saturation, the color intensity, and we are lifting the luminance information from the two layers in back of it.
And so we end up with this orange mix here. Now another thing we could do, I am going to turn Off that sunlight layer, what I'd really like to see happen is that we keep the saturation levels that were inherent in this model, and we go ahead and mix the hues from the background into her. Well, you don't really have the option of changing the mode to Luminosity plus Saturation, which is what I'd want to do, but you can reverse the order of these layers, and remember how I was telling you that Overlay and Hard Light are commuted versions of each other, that is having one layer set to Overlay on the layer below it, is the same as switching the layer order and changing what was formerly the background layer to Hard Light.
The same is true for Color and Luminosity, they are commuted versions of each other as well. So rather than setting the model layer to Luminosity, I could convert this background to a floating layer by double-clicking on it, and renaming it sky, and then I could drag it in front and I could change its Blend mode to be commuted version of Luminosity which is color. And I'll achieve the exact same effect we were seeing before. Now this frees me up to divide color into its component pieces, which are Hue and Saturation, so I could say, you know what, I don't want to see all these vivid blues inside of her skin, I would prefer instead that the blues wavered depending on the inherent color intensity of this model layer.
So I will go ahead and switch this mode from Color to Hue. And what that means is I will keep the Saturation and Luminosity of the layer below, and just mix in the Hue of the active layer, and I end up getting this more naturalistic effect right here. Bear in mind that there is no layer down here in this lower region, by which I mean there is nothing underneath model and she's got a lot of transparency. If I turn that sky Off for a moment, you can see that this entire area out here is transparent.
What does the Blend mode do? What it encounters transparency? Well, it does nothing. So it basically turns Off in this region out here and becomes normal. So we have normal sky in the background, and then we have a huge variation of the sky inside of the mask model. Now Saturation is a little more difficult to defend, that's not a mode that I use very often, but here is one potential use for it. Let's say that I put the model back on top and I change her Blend mode back to Normal by pressing Shift+Alt+N or Shift+Option+N on the Mac, and then what I want to do to this sky layer here is I want to create an area of low saturation toward the middle of the sky, and then high saturation out here at the corners.
So it's kind of a saturation vignetting effect. What I would do is create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N or Command+Shift+N on the Mac and I'll call this layer saturation and then click OK, and now I'll draw a gradient inside of that layer. Now this is going to be a fairly specific kind of gradient. So I will click on the Gradient tool and then I will go up to this Gradient Bar here inside the Options Bar and I'll click on it and that will bring up to Gradient Editor. Now currently my foreground color is white for some reason, but it might be black for you, it doesn't really matter.
I am going to click on this first color stop, because either black or white would work, but I am just going to change it to gray, so we can more easily see what we are doing. So a Hue value of 0, actually the Hue doesn't matter. Saturation value of 0, that does matter, and then a Brightness value of 50% also doesn't matter but it's useful for seeing what's going on. All right so I'll click OK and then I will change that final color to some high saturation color. So I will double-click on it to bring up the Color Picker and I'll change the Saturation value to a 100. Now the Hue value doesn't matter, currently it's 0 for me, it's a red, and the Brightness value doesn't really matter either, however I would like to see what I am doing, so I'll go ahead and raise that Brightness value to a 100%, so we have full on red, click OK.
This is an ugly looking gradient, don't worry about that, it's going to serve our purposes. I am going to drag this Midpoint Skew right there, all the way to a location value of 85%, so that we are emphasizing the low saturation colors, and then I'll click OK, and now I am going to select radial gradient, make sure that the other options are set to their defaults as they are for me. So Reverse should be Off, for example, and then drag from the approximate center of the image right there in her throat I guess, out beyond the corner, like so in order to create a gradient that looks something like this, and that might not be big enough still, we will see.
Now I'll go ahead and change the mode for that Saturation layer to Saturation and we end up getting this effect where we have a low saturation sky toward the interior and we have a high saturation sky toward the outside. And if that's not enough let's say I want to emphasize the effect further, I'll go ahead and click in that Gradient Bar once again, click on one of the Color Stop so I can see that Midpoint Skew and I am going to take it even higher. I'll take it up to let's say 95%, something really high, and then I will click OK, and then I will drag from her throat down beyond the corner once again, and we get a little bit more low saturation sky there in the background.
So without the model you can see it even better. We've got a low saturation interior, high saturation corner effects. So that's a way to work. Again, I don't use the Saturation mode very often, but you can't use it to paint away saturation side of an image so that you are combining grayscale and color elements inside of one composition. So there is your basic rundown of the component Blend modes inside of Photoshop. In the next exercise, I am going to show you a couple more specific uses for Color and Luminosity.
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