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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.
I've saved my progress as Self- inverting type.psd found inside the 07_inversion folder. In this exercise I'm going to show you how to create inverting type that's either black or white, so that we have a high contrast effect with a little bit of gray action in between and it's ultimately a function of adding on some adjustment layers, but it also involves a special advance blending trick as well. So the first thing that we're going to do with the text layer active is press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, click on the black/white icon and go ahead and choose the Vibrance command and I'm going to call this layer desat and very importantly turn on Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask and click OK.
Next I'm going reduce that saturation value to its absolute minimum which is -100. Now I'm losing the minus sign here on the PC, but I have reduces the saturation to its absolute minimum, you can see the slider triangle is all the way to left and yet inexplicably I'm not seeing any difference where the text is concerned, it's still blue. So how is that I remove all the saturation and I don't get gray, let me show you. I'm going to go ahead and collapse the Adjustments layer for a moment and I'm going to Alt click or Option click on that horizontal line between the adjustment layer and the text and you can see as soon as I unclip the layer the entire image turns gray.
So obviously the adjustment layer is working it's just not working properly. I'm going to press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on a Mac to re-clip that layer, here is what we have to do, you got to go down to the text layer which is the layer that's doing the clipping and then double-click on an empty portion of that layer, to bring up the Layer Style dialog box and here is our problem. Notice this checkbox that says Blend Clipped Layers as Group. So what's happening here is the adjustment layer is de-saturating the layer and then Photoshop is turning around and applying the difference mode, do you see how that's a problem the layer was already de-saturated it was white, so it had those saturation associated with it in the first place, so we're still getting the same effect.
However as soon as you turn that checkbox off you reverse the order of the operations. Now Photoshop is applying the difference mode to that white text first and then it's turning around and de -saturating the results. So remember if these kinds of things don't go well for you, you've got these two checkboxes right here that you can turn on and off in order to achieve different effects. Alright now I'll click OK in order to accept that modification, I'm going to click on the desat layer now to select it and then I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac click the black/ white icon and choose the Levels Command, because we still need to make those gray areas of the text white, and I'll go ahead and call this layer B&W and I'll turn on that checkbox once again very important to our role end up affecting the entire composite image.
And now inside the Adjustments panel I'm going to drag that white slider triangle over to the left and you can see how we are making what were formerly gray portions of letters white. Now I've got a little too far with this Y point value, so I'm going to take it up to 110 that's all there is to it. Now I'll go ahead and hide the Adjustments panel, so we have a little more room to work. Switch back to the text layer and once again if I Ctrl+Drag or Command+Drag that text, it inverts every thing behind it successfully and we even get these nice transitions here between the black and the white areas of the letters.
If I go ahead and press Ctrl+Z or Command +Z on the Mac to Undo that movement, we have our text back where it belongs and I just want to zoom in here, so you can see what I'm talking about, we do have some transitional grays left over. So it's a high contrast effect with a little bit of softness automatically built into it. Now let's go ahead and switch to the full screen mode and zoom in on our final composition and there you have it a couple of different ways to take advantage of one of the best blend modes in Photoshop Difference.
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