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Advanced Blending is the second installment in Deke McClelland's series on making photorealistic compositions in Photoshop. The course explores blending options and shows how to use them to create sophisticated effects and seamless compositions, often without masking. Beginning with the basics of blending layered images, the course sheds light on the formulas behind the Photoshop blend modes and shows how to comp scanned line art, create double-exposure effects, correct skin tones, and work with the luminance sliders.
In this exercise I'll show you how to take those black and white scanned line art elements that I showed you how to integrate in the previous chapter and we'll turn them into bright design elements using the Screen mode. Over here in the Layers panel I'll click on the signature layer which is my signature down here in the lower right corner and then I'll Shift+Click on the logo layer, so they're both selected. Now I will right-click inside the image window and choose Duplicate Layers. I'll change the document to Dramatic portrait.psd and then click OK. All right! Now let's switch over to that file.
Notice that the scanned line art integrates seamlessly into our dark composition, but wouldn't it be better if the logo and the signature were bright instead of dark. So I'm going to start things off by clicking on the signature layer to make it active and then I'll go up to the Image window, choose Adjustments and choose the Invert command or I could just press Ctrl+I or Command+I on the Mac, that will go ahead and invert this layer. Let's zoom-in on it so we can see what we're doing here. And now I'm going to reverse the Blend Mode from Multiply to it's opposite, which is the Screen mode and we end up with this effect here.
Now the Color Overlay effect is for the moment messing things up, so I'm just going to turn it off. We'll come back to it in just a moment, but you can see just like that we're able to turn black on white scanned line art into line art that appears white seamlessly integrated into a dark composition. Let's go ahead and zoom-out once again and I'm going to switch to the logo layer. Now obviously I want to invert it as well, but if I go up to the Image menu and choose Adjustments then Invert is not available to me. And the reason is because I converted this logo to a smart object, which was a good thing however that means it needs a special approach.
So we're going to invert it using an Adjustment layer. So press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, click the black-white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel and choose Invert and I'm just going to go ahead and call this layer invert, that part doesn't really matter. This part does, you need to turn on the checkbox Use Previous Layer to create Clipping Mask. So we're affecting the logo layer only. Now I'll click OK. We don't need to see the Adjustments panel. In fact, it irritates me like crazy that it appears and takes up so much room when there are no options for invert.
I'll just go ahead and double-click to the right of the word Masks to collapse the panel, go ahead and expand the Layers panel now. Next, click on the logo later to make it active and switch it for Multiply once again to its opposite Screen and we end up with this bright logo. So far so good. Let's say now we want to colorize the logo. In fact I want the logo to be roughly the color of the models eye-shadow. I think that look awesome. So I'm going to go ahead and grab the Color Overlay effect that I had applied to signature and I'm going to drag it and drop it onto the logo layer, which will move it as opposed to copying it, which because I didn't have the Alt or Option key down it goes ahead and moves that layer effect instead of copying it, but it also messes things up.
So I'm going to double-click on Color Overlay, bring up the big Layer Style dialog box, then click on the color swatch in order to bring up the color picker. Click inside the bright portion of the eye-shadow in order to lift a representative color and I'm going to modify my HSB value slightly. I'm going to change that Hue value 35, I'll also change the Saturation to 35% and they'll take the Brightness value up to 80% and click OK. Now that produces exactly the opposite of the effect I'm looking for. We're colorizing the background behind the scanned line art but we're not colorizing the letters and that's because we need to shift the blend mode from Screen, which was previously brightening the letters to Multiply, which will now darken them, and that will send the color inside those now white layers, which is exactly what we're looking for but we still need to drop out the background.
And we'll do that the same way we did back in the previous chapter by clicking on Blending Options and then turning on that top checkbox Blend Interior Effects as Group and that goes ahead and multiplies the color into the scanned logo art before applying the Screen blend mode to the overall layer. And as a result we drop out that excess color. All right! Now I'll click OK in order to accept the change. Just the couple of more things I want to do. I want to make this logo bigger and thanks to the fact that it's a smart object I can.
So I'll go up to the Edit layer and choose the Free Transform command or press Ctrl+T, Command+T on to Mac and then I'm going to Shift drag this corner handle like so. I'm looking to scale this logo by 48%, so I'll go ahead and click on the chain between the W and H values and I'll change the Width values to 48% and as you can see both values change in kind and then I'll press the Enter key a couple of times or the Return key a couple of times on the Mac to accept that change. Just so you can get a sense of how flexible these source of blended compositions are.
I'm going to turn on this magnified layer, which is in increased resolution detail from that original photograph and I might go ahead and Ctrl+Drag or Command+Drag the logo over just a little bit as well. In any case, that friends is how you turn black on white line art into a bright line art elements that integrate seamlessly into your compositions here inside Photoshop.
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