Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
Illustration by Richard Downs

Multiply and the darken modes


Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Multiply and the darken modes

In this movie, I'll demonstrate how to work with the second group of blend modes in the blend mode pop-up menu, and these include Darken through Darker Color, and they are known as the darken modes. And the reason is that they turn everything on the active layer into darkness, which is why they're also known as the shadow mode, because they effectively turn the layer into a shadow that's being cast onto the rest of the image. Even very bright colors in the active layer will create darkness, by the way, with the exception of one color: white.
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 59s
    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 51s
    12. Setting anchor points in the pasteboard
      6m 8s
    13. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 43s

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced
11h 8m Advanced Sep 12, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

The third part of the popular and comprehensive series Photoshop CS6 One-on-One follows industry pro Deke McClelland as he plunges into the inner workings of Adobe Photoshop. He shows how to adjust your color, interface, and performance settings to get the best out of your images and the most out of Photoshop, and explores the power of Smart Objects, Shadows/Highlights, and Curves for making subtle, nondestructive adjustments. The course dives into Camera Raw to experiment with the editing toolset there, and returns to Photoshop to discuss toning, blur, and blend modes. Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details and reducing noise, as well as creating quick and accurate selections with Quick Mask, Color Range, and Refine Edge commands.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting the color settings in Photoshop
  • Placing and blending Smart Objects in a scene
  • Transforming and warping vector objects
  • Correcting for lens distortion
  • Mitigating halos and enhancing contrast with Shadows/Highlights
  • Adding and editing points on a curve
  • Editing multiple images in Camera Raw
  • Creating a pro-quality sepia tone or quadtone
  • Colorizing with blend modes and opacity
  • Reducing and smoothing over noise
  • Creating depth-of-field effects with blur
  • Selecting with Color Range and Quick Mask
  • Perfecting a mask with Refine Edge
  • Drawing paths with the Pen tool
  • Converting path outlines to vector masks
Photoshop Camera Raw
Deke McClelland

Multiply and the darken modes

In this movie, I'll demonstrate how to work with the second group of blend modes in the blend mode pop-up menu, and these include Darken through Darker Color, and they are known as the darken modes. And the reason is that they turn everything on the active layer into darkness, which is why they're also known as the shadow mode, because they effectively turn the layer into a shadow that's being cast onto the rest of the image. Even very bright colors in the active layer will create darkness, by the way, with the exception of one color: white.

If the active layer contains white pixels, then those pixels become transparent. So let's see how they work. I've got this background image, which is a photograph of some parchment from the Fotolia Image Library, about which you can learn more at I'm going to turn on this gradient layer, and click on it as well to make it active. So if you're looking at this image along with me, this is a radial gradient that's positioned near the top of the artwork. Notice, by the way, that the gradient starts white in the center, and becomes black around the perimeter of the canvas.

If I want to turn everything on this layer into a darkening agent, then I can switch from Normal to any of the darken modes, starting with Darken. And what the Darken mode does is it keeps the darkest pixel -- either on the active layer, or the composite version of all the layers below -- on a channel by channel basis. So if I switch over to the Channels panel, and click on Red, you'll see that some of the parchment is showing through, because it's darker, but most of the gradient is visible, because in the Red channel, mostly the gradient is darker, whereas if we switch to the Green channel, then we get more parchment details, because those pixels are darker.

Anywhere where we're not seeing a spot of parchment, then that means the respective gradient pixel is darker. And then if I switch to Blue, we get a lot more parchment, because the parchment is pretty dark in the Blue channel. Then when you switch to Red, you get an amalgam of everything mixed together. I'll go ahead and switch back to the Layers panel here, and I'll tell you that Darken, even though it's called Darken, is one of the lesser darkening modes. You're not going to find yourself using it very often. I will show you one use, however, before this movie is out. The better mode is the next mode down the list, which is Multiply.

And by the way, in addition to selecting Multiply from the menu, I'll show you a keyboard trick here. If you want to advance from one mode to the other, first of all, if you're working on a PC, make sure to press the Escape key, so the blend mode menu is not active. And then, whether Mac or PC, as long as one of the Selection tools is active, you can press Shift+Plus in order to advance to the next mode in the list. If you want to back up, you press Shift+Minus. Anyway, I'll press Shift+Plus to advance to Multiply. This is not only a much better mode than Darken, but also the most practical of all the darken modes.

And what it does is it creates nice, organic, smooth transitions without any color enhancement. So it's strictly a luminance adjustment. And notice what happens here is the darkest colors in the gradient provide the most darkness, while the lighter colors darken less. And then finally, white doesn't darken at all; white just goes invisible. But the result is that we have an absolutely smooth transition from black to parchment. Now, if that's too much darkening, you can back off the Opacity value.

For example, I could press the 7 key to reduce the Opacity to 70%. I'll go ahead and press 0 to reset the Opacity to 100. If that's not enough darkening, then you can advance to one of the two next modes; either Color Burn, or Linear Burn. I'll go ahead and press Shift+Plus in order to advance to Color Burn, and you can see, not only do we get a higher contrast effect, but we also get enhanced saturation. So Color Burn tends to increase the saturation dramatically. It also results in a lot of noise inside of your image, just so you know.

If you want less saturation, as well as less noise, but you still want all of the contrast, then you advance to the next blend mode, which is Linear Burn. And that is, in my opinion, the second to best darken mode inside Photoshop. Let me go ahead and compare Multiply to Linear Burn by doing the following. As I was telling you in a previous movie, you can get to a blend mode by pressing the Shift+Alt key, or Shift+Option on the Mac, along with a letter. In the case of Multiply, you press Shift+Alt+M, or Shift+Option+M on the Mac. That's Multiply.

Then to switch back to Linear Burn, I will just go ahead and press Control+Z or Command+Z on the Mac. So you can see, higher contrast effect, a little bit of saturation enhancement as well, and a very powerful effect indeed. Now if I press Shift+Plus, we'll advance to the final darken mode, which is Darker Color, which just goes ahead and keeps the darkest pixel on a composite basis. So we're seeing these very jagged transitions between the darker colors in the parchment layer, and the darker colors on the gradient layer. I will go so far as to say I have never found a use for this blend mode, and it is really, honestly the least of the darken modes.

All right, I'm going to press Shift+Alt+N, or Shift+Option+N on the Mac, to reset the gradient layer to Normal mode, and I'll go ahead and turn it off here. I want you to also see what happens with the brushstroke. So I'll go ahead and select the brushstroke layer, as well as turn it on. I'm going to go ahead and skip Darken, and Darker Colo,r and I'll press Shift+Alt+M, or Shift+Option+M on the Mac, to switch to the Multiply mode. And you can see, just like that, we've turned this blue brushstroke into a magic marker effect. If you want a more colorful effect, you can press Shift+Plus to advance to Color Burn, but in this specific case, we're dropping out a lot of the darkness, and we're creating some jagged transitions, as well as some noise.

If you want a genuinely darker effect than Multiply, you press Shift+Plus again to advance to Linear Burn. Again, for the sake of demonstration, I'll press Shift+Alt+M, or Shift+Option+M on the Mac. That's the Multiply mode. If I press Control+Z, that's the Linear Burn mode. All right; I'm going to go ahead and turn that layer off. I was telling you, I never use a Darker Color mode, and I only occasionally use Darken. I'll go ahead and click on the wrestlers layer, and turn it on. Just by way of example, here is an interesting use for Darken.

I'll take that wrestlers layer, and I'll go up to Layers panel flyout menu, and I'll choose Convert to Smart Object, or if you loaded dekeKeys, you can press Control+Comma, or Command+Comma on the Mac. And then I'll go up to the Filter menu, choose Blur, and choose Gaussian Blur. And I'll go ahead and set the Radius value to 4 pixels, and then click OK. Now, that ends up uniformly blurring the image. If you want to turn this blur into a kind of edge effect, what you can do is go down here to the Smart Filters. I'm going to right-click on that filter mask, and delete it, just so I have a little more room in my Layers panel And then I'll double-click on the slider icon to the right of the words Gaussian Blur, and I could go ahead and change the blend mode to Multiply -- which, I'm telling you, is your when in doubt darken mode inside Photoshop -- but that's going to uniformly darken the image.

So it's going to use the blurry version of the image to darken the sharp version, and we're going to end up losing a lot of detail. However, if I set the blend mode to Darken instead, you can see that we're getting a kind of dark edge effect. That's most obvious here inside of the hands. So we get some abrupt transitions here and there, but it can be interesting at times. All right, I'll go ahead and click OK to accept the effect. I don't want the blur; I just wanted to show you that. So I'm going to turn the Gaussian Blur effect off. And what I want to do, when everything is said and done, is I want to blend the wrestlers into the background parchment.

So there is the parchment in the background. There is the wrestler layer. It's selected and waiting for me, so I'll go ahead and choose the Multiply mode in order to darken one layer into the other. If you want an analogy for how this works, imagine that we have the wrestlers printed on one transparency, and we have the parchment printed on another transparency. We lay them on top of each other on a light table, and this is the effect we'd get. If that's not enough -- which it isn't in my case, I want a more powerful effect -- then in most cases you're going to want to skip Color Burn, and in this case, it's certainly nothing I want.

Instead, you'll go all the way to Linear Burn in order to create this very dramatic effect here. And that's how you work with the five darken modes; in particular, Multiply, and if that doesn't work, try Linear Burn, here inside Photoshop.

There are currently no FAQs about Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Advanced.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.