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Neutralizing whites with the Multiply blend mode

From: Photoshop for Designers: Color

Video: Neutralizing whites with the Multiply blend mode

Sometimes we can use our Blending Modes to "select" our colors, and I say select in inverted commas, because we are not really selecting them, but we are getting the result that we want by neutralizing them. Now in this case, I have this layer of handwriting on top of this layer of sand and I want to superimpose the script onto the sand, so we need to lose the paper color of the top layer. Now, we don't even want to go near any Selection tool because, none of them are going to be up to the job here.

Neutralizing whites with the Multiply blend mode

Sometimes we can use our Blending Modes to "select" our colors, and I say select in inverted commas, because we are not really selecting them, but we are getting the result that we want by neutralizing them. Now in this case, I have this layer of handwriting on top of this layer of sand and I want to superimpose the script onto the sand, so we need to lose the paper color of the top layer. Now, we don't even want to go near any Selection tool because, none of them are going to be up to the job here.

This handwriting is far too delicate to withstand the abuse of the Magic Wand tool for the Quick Selection tool, so we are not going to do that. Instead, what we are going to do is we are going to change the Blending Mode of that layer to Multiply and that is going to allow us to see the sand texture beneath. But, there is a problem here and that is that the background of the paper. If I switch it back to Normal, it's not pure white. It's a yellow color. So it's casting a yellow onto the sand below, which we don't want.

So we are going to have to go a little bit further. Firstly, what I am going to do is I am going to desaturate this, and I can do that from Image > Adjustments > Desaturate or keyboard shortcut Command+Shift+U or Ctrl+Shift+U.That helps a bit, but still the top layer is having a dulling effect on the background layer and that's because, if we take a look at it by itself, we see that the paper is now no longer yellow, but it's not white either and it needs to be pure white in order to be neutralized by the Multiply Blend Mode.

It's actually a light gray. And this is where our Info panel can really come in handy, because it's sometimes difficult to distinguish with our eye the difference between a very light gray and white. So I am going to go to my Info panel and then when I move over the paper, I see that RGB values reflect a level of 225, remember, pure white is 255 for all three colors. So what I am going to do is I am going to go to my levels and I don't need to do this as an adjustment layer; I am going to do this as a static adjustment directly on to layer 1.

So I am going to press Command+L or Ctrl+L and I am going to change the value from 255 to 225, effectively getting my white point slider, bringing it to the left and that's enough to make those light grays pure white. As pure white, they are going to be completely neutralized by the Multiply blend mode. So there, we've selected the handwriting and masked the background. We are not really selecting it though; we are neutralizing it with the Multiply blend mode, because very importantly, the Multiply blend mode will neutralize white.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Color
Photoshop for Designers: Color

75 video lessons · 17694 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 25m 26s
    1. Defining color terms
      2m 38s
    2. Understanding the color wheel
      4m 3s
    3. Understanding color relationships
      1m 7s
    4. Using Kuler to understand color harmony rules and create color palettes
      4m 2s
    5. Using the Kuler web site
      3m 10s
    6. Colors on screen and on paper
      1m 42s
    7. Color as a signifier
      3m 14s
    8. Color inspirations
      2m 39s
    9. Color and accessibility
      2m 51s
  3. 38m 22s
    1. Demystifying the Color Picker
      2m 57s
    2. Understanding the role of foreground and background colors
      5m 39s
    3. Choosing colors
      6m 41s
    4. Managing swatches
      7m 40s
    5. Transparency
      9m 42s
    6. Color channels
      5m 43s
  4. 41m 4s
    1. Understanding additive and subtractive color
      2m 57s
    2. RGB mode
      1m 56s
    3. CMYK mode
      2m 41s
    4. Lab mode
      3m 49s
    5. Indexed mode
      2m 16s
    6. Grayscale mode
      5m 0s
    7. Color management
      14m 15s
    8. Color depth (8-, 16-, 24-, and 32-bit)
      4m 19s
    9. Monitor calibration
      3m 51s
  5. 26m 43s
    1. Evaluating color with the Histogram panel
      3m 18s
    2. Evaluating color with the Info panel
      1m 48s
    3. Boosting color with levels
      3m 48s
    4. Auto Tone and Auto Contrast
      7m 38s
    5. Manually setting the black and white point
      3m 50s
    6. Curves
      6m 21s
  6. 18m 30s
    1. What is color correction?
      5m 45s
    2. White balancing in Camera Raw
      1m 46s
    3. Color correction with color balance
      1m 34s
    4. Color balancing using photo filters
      1m 26s
    5. Color correction with variations
      4m 27s
    6. Color correction by the numbers
      3m 32s
  7. 33m 14s
    1. Selecting color with the Magic Wand
      4m 43s
    2. Selecting color with the Quick Selection tool
      2m 26s
    3. Selecting color with Color Range
      4m 0s
    4. Neutralizing whites with the Multiply blend mode
      2m 55s
    5. Neutralizing blacks with the Screen blend mode
      57s
    6. Masking colors with the Blend If sliders
      2m 54s
    7. Masking hair with a channel mask and removing contaminant colors
      2m 58s
    8. Shifting targeted colors using Hue/Saturation
      5m 4s
    9. Matching colors using Hue/Saturation
      3m 16s
    10. Matching colors using the Match Color command
      1m 36s
    11. Matching colors using the Color blend modes
      2m 25s
  8. 21m 8s
    1. Saturating colors
      4m 9s
    2. Desaturating colors
      1m 57s
    3. Desaturating in Camera Raw
      3m 1s
    4. Creating a color accent with selective saturation
      2m 38s
    5. Enhancing a sunrise with a gradient map
      5m 49s
    6. Increasing vibrance
      1m 19s
    7. Using selective color
      2m 15s
  9. 32m 42s
    1. Designing with spot colors
      12m 15s
    2. Adding a fifth color to a CMYK image
      5m 0s
    3. Adding spot colors to a grayscale image
      5m 24s
    4. Create a metallic print effect
      3m 8s
    5. Creating duotones, tritones, and quadtones
      6m 55s
  10. 30m 45s
    1. Creating a silkscreen print look with a limited color palette
      7m 59s
    2. Combining color with black and white
      2m 22s
    3. Creating a nostalgic travel poster using the Cut Out filter
      6m 27s
    4. Mapping an image to a color look up table (CLUT)
      7m 56s
    5. Converting to black and white
      6m 1s
  11. 48m 34s
    1. Creating a hand-tinted portrait (the easy way)
      3m 29s
    2. Creating a hand-tinted portrait (the harder way)
      11m 23s
    3. Creating an Andy Warhol look
      4m 44s
    4. Applying a gradient map
      4m 4s
    5. Sepia toning an image
      8m 41s
    6. Color tinting an image
      5m 15s
    7. Split toning an image
      2m 9s
    8. Working with line art
      8m 49s
  12. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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