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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.
In this exercise we're going to review the Blend mode specific keyboard shortcuts and I've even given you a file called mode-specific shortcuts.psd, found inside the 28_blending folder to help you along your way. Now I was telling you a couple of exercises ago that you can advance or retreat between blend modes by pressing Shift+ or Shift-. But there are a couple of problems with working that way. One is, it clutters up the History panel. The other is it's a little bit like channel surfing. You're just hammering your way at Shift+ or Shift- hoping that something will magically appear inside of your Layers panel that's going to entertain you and that's rarely a key to success.
You're much better off just as you are with TV I suppose, knowing what it is you want in the first place. So for a example if you know you want to Multiply mode as you we'll by time you're done with this chapter, then you press Shift+Alt+M or Shift+Option+M on the Mac and you would get a predictable result. Now everyone of the shortcuts involve Shift+Alt on the PC or Shift+Option on the Mac along with the letter key. These keyboard shortcuts only work where layers are concerned. If one of the tools inside the toolbox except for this midsection of tools, the painting and editing tools, one of the other tools has to be selected.
Usually, you select a selection tool like the Rectangle Marquee tool for example. Now the reason these shortcuts don't effect layers when you have a Paint or Edit tool selected is, because Paint and Edit tools have their own blend modes and you end up cycling between them instead. Now there's only 26 letters in the alphabet and there's 27 blend modes in the Layers panel and there's even more blend modes associated with the various Paint and Edit tools. The Brush tool alone supplies 29 blend modes. So there are four blend modes that don't have shortcuts and these include the four blend modes most recently added to the software.
So that's a Darker Color, Lighter Colors, Subtract, and Divide. With that in mind notice that I've circled some of these keyboard shortcut letters and those are the ones that I recommend you memorize, because they're extremely useful blend modes. For example, I really want to get in the habit of pressing Shift+Alt+N or Shift+Option+N for the Normal mode, because it's a great way to reset a layer. If you want to see its original colors or if you just want to figure out a different approach. I don't suggest you memorize I which is the second letter in word Dissolve, because you're not going to using the Dissolved load very much.
Darken is K for one of the letters in the middle of Darken. It doesn't matter. Multiply is a great blend mode with a logical keyboard shortcut of Shift+Alt+M or Shift+Option+M on the Mac and I'll stop here for just a moment to say that the best of the blend modes have logical keyboard shortcuts. But about half of them get keyboard shortcuts that don't make any sense whatsoever. But I will try to provide you with some advice for remembering them. Now Color Burn, not a super great blend mode, but it has a logical keyboard for B for Burn. Linear Burn a much more useful blend mode has an altogether illogical shortcut of A, which you can't think of being the second to last letter in word linear, but I have a better way to think of it as I'll explain in just a moment.
Darker Color has no shortcut. It doesn't deserve one. Lighten gets the third letter in the word Lighten. So whatever. Screen is an awesome blend mode with a great keyboard shortcut of Shift+Alt+S or Shift+Option+S on the Mac. Let me just scroll down here a little bit so that we can see that Color Dodge gets D for dodge. That's a great shortcut, problem is I don't use Color Dodge very often. Linear Dodge (Add) gets W. What is with those monkeys? And here's the problem. It should have got an A, it's not like A is better assigned else where.
It's badly assigned elsewhere and it's the first letter of the core blend mode Add, which is the technology that's used for Linear Dodge. Instead it got assigned to Linear Dodge's nemesis which is Linear Burn and that's how I remember it. I just remember that A was miss assigned, and you actually get the opposite effect of what you think A for Add instead you get Linear Burn, which is a darkening. What Linear Dodge gets is two upside-down A's, which if you smack them together would be a W with a bar through it. Forget the bar, remember the W.
Lighter Color doesn't have a shortcut; doesn't deserve one. Overlay, great mode, great shortcut, Shift+Alt+O, Shift+Option+O on the Mac. Soft Light gets F for soft. Who cares? Hard Light, super useful mode. It gets Shift+Alt+H or Shift+Option+H which makes perfect sense. Vivid Light is about as useful as Color Burn and Color Dodge. It's essentially those two modes mixed together and just as Color Burn gets B for burn and Color Dodge gets D for Dodge, Vivid Light gets V for Vivid. Problem is I just don't use it very often. Linear Light, I use much more often, totally got robbed.
It should have got an L, but L instead of being assigned to the other great L, blend mode which is Luminosity, it got assigned to Hard Mix. Instead what we get is J. We get Shift+Alt+J or Shift+Option+J on the Mac and J, I suppose can be thought of as a backward L. So we've got a mirror image of the shortcut it should have gotten. Pin Light, I don't use it very often. But you can think of it as Z, because it zeros out the midtones. Hard Mix, that mode that robbed the shortcut from two other great modes here gets L, because it's the least of them all, I suppose.
It really is the last blend mode you think you would ever want to apply. It does have its interesting uses and some extraordinary behavior actually as I'll show you later. Difference is very useful and it gets E for the last letter in the word. Exclusion gets X for exclusion; not all that useful of the mode though. Subtract and Divide too new to have any shortcuts. So they have nothing. Hue gets the U in Hue. Saturation gets the T in Saturation. I'd be surprised however if you use the Saturation mode once a decade.
So I wouldn't worry about it. Color gets C, definitely worth remembering. That's a great mode and Luminosity gets the last letter in the word which is Y, also a blend mode worth memorizing. Now we're still missing some letters. If you have a mind for these things. If you're the kind of person who could drop a bunch of matchsticks and know exactly how many you dropped, then you might have noticed that we skipped three letters in all and they were P, Q, and R. What goes there, and especially why are they right in a row? Well, let's scroll down the list. They're the Brush-Only modes and this would be for the Brush tool so all those other shortcuts work for the Brush tool, because the Brush tool offers those 27 blend modes.
But it also offers the Airbrush mode; this is not a blend mode. It's one of the options in the option bar and you can select it. You can turn it off by pressing P which I suppose stands for push, because you're pushing out the ink as you are painting with your brush. But let me show you what I mean. I'll go ahead and select the Brush tool right there and I've got a pretty big brush going. Let's switch to a different color here. I'll bring up the color panel and maximize the Saturation, Brightness so that I have some red to paint with. Notice right there is the Airbrush icon and so I press Shift+Alt+P or Shift+Option+P on the Mac, that goes ahead and selects it and then I can paint and notice when I hold that I'm getting a glob of paint as I move my cursor and hold it in different positions and so on.
So it's analogous to Airbrush behavior anyway. I'm going to go ahead and undo that brush stroke, because it's covering up Behind which is Q, the letter after P. I'm now forced to give do-re-mi mnemonics at this point, but that's the best I got for you. I will show you that what the Behind mode does. If I press Shift+Alt+Q or Shift+Option+Q on a Mac, then I switch the mode to Behind and now notice if I have the bars layer active, which I do then I will paint in back of those bars. I'm still painting on the bars layer, but I'm painting in back of the original contents which means I'm just affecting the transparent pixels and I'm leaving the opaque pixels alone.
I'll go ahead and leave that here for a moment. Now I'll show you that Clear gets Shift+Alt+R, Shift+Option+R on the Mac which is the last letter in the word Clear. I'll go and press that keyword shortcut and you can see that sure enough Clear is selected in the mode and when you select clear you turn your brush into an eraser and that's how it works. So those are your blend mode keyboard shortcuts that are available to you inside of Photoshop. They're a nutty bunch, but many of them are definitely worth remembering.
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