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The blend modes in Photoshop offer incredible creative options for designers and photographers wanting to enhance images. In Photoshop Blend Mode Magic, Michael Ninness shows Photoshop users how to access and apply blend modes efficiently to achieve an aesthetic vision. He explains the building blocks of layer blending and demonstrates how blend modes can be used for color correction, sharpening, blending images together, adding dramatic glow, applying custom edge treatments, and many other creative effects. Michael also introduces advanced blending options for more experienced Photoshop users. Most of all, he demystifies this essential feature in plain, easy-to-understand terms and inspires photographers to use blend modes in ways they may have never considered before. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this example, we want to have some texture types. So we want this image to only appear where the letter forms are in the Type layer and we don't just want this straight image of the horizon with the sky and water. We want this watered and blue sky image to have a texture to it. So let's start by clicking on the Image layer and just see that there is really nothing going on here. It's just a straight image layer. We are going to turn on a layer that we want to use as the texture. We'll turn the eye on for the Texture layer. This is just a grayscale image. I can use anything really, anything that has a nice pattern to it. Take a picture of a wall, take a picture of a tiled floor, a piece of wood, whatever, whatever you want to use to introduce just some random textured pattern to an image.
Get into Photoshop, here it is a separate layer and you can just desaturate it. If you have not already gotten a grayscale image here, the keyboard shortcut to desaturate something is Command+Shift+ U or Ctrl+Shift+U on Windows. We are going to change the blend mode of this textured layer so that it blends into the Image layer below. We are going to use one of our Contrast blend modes for that. Overlay, Soft Light or Hard Light are your most likely candidates. We'll start with Overlay. Let's see if we like that look. That's a little bit harsh. So I'm going to choose Soft Light instead and it just takes it down a notch and it introduces a nice random textured pattern that gives us this nice feel for the blue sky and the water there.
So now we only want this image and the texture to show up where the text characters are. So to do that, we are going to select these two layers together, just holding down the Shift key and then selecting both and then we are going to drag them above the Type layer in the Layers panel here and at first that's going to cover up the text. That's okay. We want to clip these images into the Type layer. That's something called a clipping mask in Photoshop. I am going to hold down the Option key or the Alt key on Windows and if you see my mouse, when I put it in between the Image layer and the Text layer I get a special cursor, it changes from the hand to this special Clip Mask icon. So I'm going to Option-click or Alt-click between those two layers and I want the texture to be clipped with the image, so I'm going to Option-click there as well, in between those two layers.
And now I have got these two images only appearing where the letters are, where the Type layer is. Now I have independent control, if I want to reposition my Type, I can select the Type layer and get my Move tool. V for the Move tool and I can reposition that Type around and see the image has changed there. If I want to move the images inside the Type layer, well then I just select these two layers, holding down the Shift key to select both of them and now I can move the image around inside the text, if I want a different placement there. So there you have it, pretty easy to apply your textured overlay trick within text characters as well. Just apply your texture to your image, move them above your Type layer and then you use the Clipping Mask feature. Option-click between the Image layer and the Type layer to get them to clip inside the text characters.
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