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Before we get too far in this course, I want to take this opportunity to just kind of step back and remind you that there are three different kinds of blending in Photoshop. Yes, we are going to talk a lot about blend modes, but there are two others that we want to cover as well. The first one is Opacity, pretty straight forward easiest to understand. If you have one layer on top of another and you lower the top layer's Opacity, you're going to get a blend of the top pixels and everything underneath it. You can also change the Opacity of your brush as you are painting, you don't have to paint with 100%. That one most people already know and easily understand.
The second type of blending, the primary focus of this course, is the blending modes themselves. In the Layers panel there is a pop-up menu that begins with the word Normal and there's all these different names of things that we are going to cover later on. But the high level is that changes the math of how one pixel blends with the pixels underneath it. Bunch of different algorithms that we'll talk about later on. The third type of blending is the one that's least discovered and we are going to cover it in this course as well. This is the Blend If sliders. Some people call it the Advanced Blending Options as well.
It's a buried feature in Photoshop. It's in a very large dialog that you can get to if you Option+Double-Click or Alt+Double-Click on a particular layer thumbnail that will take you to the Layer Style dialog box and bring you to the Blending options, specifically the Advanced Blending Options and Blend If sliders. The high level cut here is that this separates your tonal values into sliders, dark and light, that you can actually tell Photoshop to ignore. If I drag this slider over to the left, you'll see that at some point the pixel values will actually disappear based on the tonality of the slider.
We'll cover those more in detail later on in the course. The point is that there's three different kinds of blending and we are going to mix and match these throughout each movie to dial in and get the visual effect that we are looking for.
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