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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.
All right, in reviewing this composition, it strikes me that the effect of the center of the light bulb, this glow here is too bright and the reason is that I went ahead and lifted a color with the eye-dropper and after Blend mode color from one of these sharpie lines and then not only apply that color to the glow layer, but then turned around and applied the Screen mode to it, so in other words I re-doubled the effect. If I want to get a color scheme that's similar to the one that I achieved using the sharpie lines, I need to work with that exact same color. So to remember what that is I'll go ahead and double-click on the Color Overlay effect, that's associated with a that sharpie lines layer, click on the color swatch and there're my values 40, 65 and a 100, fair enough.
I'll cancel out of there and then inside the color panel I'll dial in those very same HSB values, 40, 65 and a 100. I'll switch to the glow layer and I'll press Shift+Alt+Backspace or Shift+Option+Delete in order to fill that glow with that same color and now by setting the shade of orange to the screen mode, I achieve a very similar effect, in fact, I like it so much that I'm going to go ahead and update my progress file by choosing the Save command here and that progress file goes by the name Bright shining light.psd.
Here's another file in that same folders, it's called model with skies, skies plural, that is .psd and you may recall this composition from the masking chapter. This time around, I'm going to use the composition to demonstrate the contrast modes, that is those modes from overlay all the way down to hard mix, so in the name of giving credit where credits to, the model comes to us from Stas Perov, the blue sky background from Louise and this orange sky background right there comes to us from Free Photo, they're all associated with the Fotolia Image Library.
And so what I'm going to do here is I'm going to take this sunlight layer and I'm going to mask it inside of the model by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking on this horizontal line between the layers and that gives us a clipping mask effect and I think it a really great one actually, because we're seeing the yellow sky inside this silhouette, but I think we might do even better if we add a blend mode to the mix. So I'm going to switch from Normal to the Lead Contrast mode which is Overlay and that's where I suggest you to start as well as with the Overlay mode, then you can make decisions about whether you need to switch it out for a different mode after that, we end up getting this effect.
Now, overlay combines multiply along with screen and it's basically multiplying the darkest colors inside the image and screening the lightest colors and the only neutral color, the one color that ends up turning transparent is gray, so a medium gray. Now overlay, in the other contrast modes, they are all making if-then decisions, so if the colors are dark that is darker than medium gray, go ahead and multiply or apply some other variation on a darkening mode and then if they're lighter than that medium gray, apply screen or some other variation on a lightning mode.
However, overlay differs from the others, in that it makes its decision based on the brightness of the background layers, so if the background layers are dark, it's going to darken, if the background layers are light, it's going to lighten. All the other modes make their decisions based on the brightness of the active layer, so that's something to bear in mind issue work along. Now, if you discover that the Overlay mode is just too much, I'm not sure it is in this case, but if you do, then you can always reduce the opacity value, if you want to, so you can experiment with that or you can switch to the next mode in a list which is Soft Light and I'm going to switch by pressing Shift+Plus.
Now, what I want to stress here is soft light is not merely a reduced opacity version of overlay, it is in fact a totally different effect that produces much more subtle results, so you're going to see a lot of the color from the active layer but you're not going to see nearly as much of the luminance and of course you have to bear in mind, its making its decisions based on the brightness of the active layer, not the layers below as overlay does. All right so, let's say in our case, so we didn't think overlay was enough, I'll switch back to it by pressing Shift+Alt+O or Shift+Option+O on the Mac.
if you want to up the effect then you can switch to a more opaque version of overlay, which is hard light, so if I press Shift+Alt+H or Shift+Option+H on the Mac, then I get the hard light effect and what you're going to notice is that many of your primaries when set to a 100% saturation are going to end up going opaque and then you're going to float into various levels of translucency in between, when set to hard light. Another thing to note about hard light is that it's a commuted version of overlay. Now, I don't expect you to know what that means right off the bat, but here's what's up.
If two blend modes are commuted versions of each other, then applying hard light to the active layer is going to produce the same effect as applying overlay to the layer below and switching the order of the layers, so let me show you what that looks like. Memorize, what you're seeing right now, just try to make a mental image of that and now I'm going to adjust the order of the layers. So I'm going to move sunlight down to underneath what's now called Normal. Let's just call this the model layer. It was formerly named after its Blend mode. We don't need to know that right now. I'll go ahead and drag that layer mask down onto the sunlight layer, so that it's in charge of the masking and then I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click in the horizontal line between the layers like so and then I'm going to change the Blend mode associated with the model layer from Normal to Overlay and notice that we get the exact same effect. Do we? No, we don't because I forgot to change this guy from Hard Light back to Normal.
So let's change that to Normal, there we go. So now that this layer is Normal and this one right there set to Overlay, we're getting the same effect as we got a moment ago, when we had hard light applied to the sunlight layer and the reason this becomes important is because you have all of this flexibility inside of Photoshop, not only do you have the option of changing your mind about which Blend mode to assign, but you can also adjust the priority of the effects by changing the order of the layers. So quite obviously, I think here, you can see that overlay puts the background layers in charge, while hard light goes ahead and puts the active layer in charge of the effect and now that I change the model layer to Hard Light as you see right there, we're seeing that same effect that we saw closer to the beginning of the exercise, when I had overlay assigned to the sunlight layer.
So just bear in mind that you can mix and match these effects as much as you want, we can also up the ante further by switching to yet more contrast modes and I'll show you how those work, in the next exercise.
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