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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.
In this exercise I'll introduce you to the next three contrast modes which are Vivid Light, Linear Light and Pin Light. We're looking at that combination of Multiply and Screen that is the Hard Light mode, as you might imagine the other contrast modes are combinations of other Darken and Lighten pairings. For example, let's start with Color Burn and Color Dodge, I've gone ahead and assigned Color Burn to the left hand gradient and Color Dodge to the right-hand gradient. We end up with these vibrant colors. We have this smooth transition in the middle because white drops out in the case of Color Burn and black drops out in the case of Color Dodge, right here in the middle of the image.
However, we end up with a lot of clipping as well. Specifically, we're clipping the shadows to black over here on the left and we're clipping the highlights to white on the right. So Photoshop is seen fit to allow us to mitigate that clipping by reducing the Fill value as opposed to the Opacity value which is why both of these modes are members of the Fill Opacity Eight. The same goes for the mode that's based upon them which is Vivid Light. Vivid Light is a combination of Color Burn and Color Dodge working together. It results in clipping as well.
We're clipping the shadows to black clipping the highlights to white. We can mitigate that clipping using the Fill value and it looks like this by the way. If I were to take that Vivid Light and reduce the standard Opacity value to 50%, what we are doing is we're taking the composite effect and mixing it 50-50 with the underlying leaves layer. And we end up getting this fairly drab effect here. You may still encounter some clipping, whereas if you reduce that Fill value to 50%, you're left with a vibrant image like this one here, which is exactly what you want, out of a contrast effect inside Photoshop.
So remember these over-the-top effects specifically in the case of this exercise, Vivid Light and Linear Light can be mitigated using the Fill value. Alright! Let's take a look at Linear by way. First I'll show you the Linear Burn and Linear Dodge modes as applied to those two independent gradients, the left and right layers here inside the Layers panel. A lot of shadows clipping the black, a lot of highlights clipping the white, which is why both of these modes are members of the Fill Opacity Eight, as is the mode that's based on them which is Linear Light.
So Linear Light is a combination of Linear Burn and Linear Dodge. Its effects can also be mitigated by the Fill value. So here is a comparison. Linear Light set to a standard Opacity of 50% ends up giving us this kind of filmy effect as if we are looking through a dingy window. Whereas, Linear Light, set to a Fill value of 50%, gives us this lustrous and comparatively rich effect right here. Now the final mode that I am going to show you is actually the least of the bunch.
So imagine if you will, a combination of the Darken modes and the Lighten modes working together. So in this case, I've assigned a Darken mode that is the mode that's called Darken to the left layer here and I have assigned the Lighten mode as you can see to the right layer. What we end up getting is this sudden drop-off. Notice that we have a bunch of blackened darkness over here on the far left hand side then we sort of revealed the leaves at about this location and then the effect entirely goes away and stays away till about here where we get this kind of filmy overlay and then everything goes white.
The same happens, I'm afraid, with Pin Light which is based on Darken and Lighten together. So I'll tell you this is not a mode that I use very often, it doesn't frequently give you desirable effects. So if you find yourself not turning to it 99% of the time, don't be surprised. I will tell you one last thing about Pin Light; it is not a member of the Fill Opacity Eight. So there is nothing you can do to mitigate its ugliness. In the nice exercise, I will demonstrate that mode that may seem at first, like the worst of the contrast modes, but it's actually quite powerful indeed, Hard Mix.
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