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Photoshop is the tool of choice for most creative professionals and has quickly become household name synonymous with computer art and image manipulation. In Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics, internationally renowned Photoshop guru Deke McClelland teaches such digital-age wonders as masking, filters, layers, blend modes, Liquify, Vanishing Point, and vector-based type. Along the way, Deke also teaches tried-and-true methods for sharpening details, smoothing over wrinkles and imperfections, trimming away jowls and fat, and wrapping one image around the surface of another. Plus, the training teaches how to construct and organize the elements in a composition so you can edit them easily in the future. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.
Ready for more Photoshop CS3 training with Deke? Check out Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Advanced Techniques.
Note: Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials is a recommended prerequisite to Photoshop CS3 One-on-One: Beyond the Basics.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
Now let's take a look at the composite blend modes, also known as the HSL modes. I'm going to go ahead and switch back to my Sky & statue.psd image in progress here. And you know what, let's go ahead and save out a layer comp at this point, because I've done a lot of work. So I think I'll go ahead and click on my Layer Comps icon. I'll create a new layer comp by clicking on the page icon. Make sure that the Appearance checkbox is turned on, Visibility should be turned on as well, and I will call this Difference mode, because I'm probably going to switch away from that mode before we're done here, and I'll click OK.
And just to make sure that things are in order, I will move that to the third position here by dragging it up the stack. So I now have Opaque layers, the original Opaque layers, Face to LBurn looks pretty good, and Difference mode. Quite a few changes made. Ultimately we're going to get to something along these lines right here, the Blend mode madness layer comp. Anyway, let's return to Difference mode, if you're following along with me. I want you to click on the Slight blue item, the Slight blue layer here inside the Layers palette, and also turn it on so it's visible.
And you can see what it is, it's a very low-grade blue to transparent gradient sitting on its own layer, and I'd like to use it to experiment with this set of modes down here. As I say, they're sometimes called the composite modes, which is why, by the way, the engineers have elected to include the Lighter Color and Darker Color items inside of this area, because they are composite lightening and composite darkening effects. I totally agree with that rationale. But anyway, that's why they're there. What really binds the other modes together, however, is not so much their composite behavior, but rather the HSL mode that they subscribe to, Hue, Saturation and Luminosity.
And you may recall that Hue plus Saturation equals Color. So you can divide colors up into those properties. So in other words, if I were to apply the Color mode to the Slight blue layer, I would go ahead and keep the color of the Slight blue layer and let the Luminosity values, that is the Brightness values, from the underlying layer show through. If I were to switch to Luminosity instead, which is the opposite of Color, then I would keep the Luminosity values that are associated with the Slight blue layer, and I would let the color values from the underlying layer show through.
That doesn't turn out to be that great-looking of an effect. Color certainly looked a lot better. So I'm going to go ahead and press the Escape key to make sure that the Luminosity value is no longer active, then I'll press Ctrl+Minus to back up to the Color mode, then I'll press Shift+Minus to back up to the Color mode, then just to get a sense of what the other two modes do. As I mentioned just a moment ago, Color is made up of Hue and Saturation so we can peel it apart. Here's what things look like if we just keep the saturation values from the Slight blue layer and mix them with the Luminosity and Hue values from the layers below. And here's what the image looks like [00:03:04.0 7] if we mix the Hue values from the Slight blue layer with the Luminosity and Saturation values from the layers below. And of all the modes that we've seen so far here, I think this looks the best. In other words, Hue does the best job of mixing the Slight blue layer along with the other layers in the stack.
So I'm going to settle on Hue, and by the way all of these guys have keyboard shortcuts, it's Shift+Alt+Y or Shift+Option+Y for Luminosity, Shift+Alt+C or Shift+Option+C for Color, Shift+Alt+U or Shift+Option+U for Hue. While I almost never use the Saturation mode, it is Shift+Alt+T or Shift+Option+T, for Sat, the last letter in Sat there. Anyway, let's stick with Hue for now. And to go ahead and finish off all of the layers except for the text layers, I'm going to switch back yet again to the Statue layer, and I'm going to change its mode setting from Difference- I'll go ahead and press the Escape key so that mode option is no longer active- I'm going to switch it from Difference to Luminosity by pressing Shift+Alt+Y or Shift+Option+Y on the Mac, and we end up getting this effect right here.
Which I find to be highly pleasing. It does a great job of mixing this background with the image, with the marble texturing, which I think looks really really great at this point, with that color. So we get an nice transition from the blue inside of the statue face here and the warm colors of the sky region in the background. So this is our more or less final version of the composition. So why don't we go ahead and save that out as yet another layer comp, go ahead and click on the Layer Comp icon if you're working the way I'm working, or you might choose the Layer Comps command from the Window menu.
Then click on the page icon and name this guy Almost done, or something along those lines. Make sure that the Appearance checkbox is turned on, Visibility should be turned on as well, and click the OK button. And now we have several different Layer Comps to work on. I'll move the layer Almost done above Blend mode madness, and you can see that I've made a few different decisions here between these two items. If you want to click in front of Blend mode madness, you'll see something of a change. Not only will you see the text appear onscreen, that's the biggest difference of course, but you'll also see a difference in the marbling texture. Notice that we have more of a hot marbling texture going on inside of our composition thus far than I assigned when I was building this composition in the first place. I like what we're doing now better, as it turns out.
Anyway there is our composition as it stands. We've seen every single one of the blend modes. Whew! What an exhaustive if brief overview, if I do say so myself. In the next exercise we'll check out a couple of blend modes that are not available to the Layers palette because they're applicable to the Brush tool.
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