Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Combine photography and branding with blending modes, part of Photo Tools Weekly.
- Hello, and welcome to another episode of Photo Tools Weekly. My name is Chris Orwig, and hey, thanks so much for joining me in this episode. In this one we'll turn our attention towards Photoshop and to blending modes. You know, blending modes are really helpful for blending images together, or crafting unique looks; yet, they can also be helpful when you want to combine, say, a logo, or a graphic with an image. Well, how can we do that? How can we combine our logo, and put that on top of a photograph, and do so really quickly? Well let me show you how; here goes.
If ever you are interested in combining multiple documents together, it can help to arrange them so that you have the side-by-side view. To do that, go to the window pull down menu, choose Arrange and then here, I've selected two 2-up Vertical, so I have these both side by side. And here were going to look at how we can bring over this comp sheet, where we have a bunch of different logos, onto one of my photographs. And we'll talk about three different blending modes, which can help out. So first we have the images side by side, second we choose the Move tool, and just click, drag and drop, then from there I'll press F to go to full screen mode and once I'm in full screen mode, you can see that what I have here is, I have a page where I have a number of different graphics or logos, and it's sitting on top of one of my photographs that I captured under the water of the ocean.
Now, before we get to working with the logos, what I first want to do is create a demo layer in order to teach you about the various blending modes. So I'll just go ahead and call this layer, Grayscale, because what I'm going to do is use my marquis selection tool and click and drag to create a nice, big selection. Then choose the gradient tool, and I'll just go ahead and click and drag across this. This will create, on this new layer, this gradient which goes from black over here, to white on this side.
Now, why the heck am I doing this? Well, take a look. If we go to our Layer pull down menu and choose a blending mode like Multiply, what will happen is it will favor the darker tones and it will completely knock out the white all together. Do you see how the white's gone? Now, if we go to this, and then select a blending mode in another group, which is called Screen, that one does the opposite, it favors the bright tones, and it completely knocks out, or removes, the darker, or the black, tones. Just by way of comparison, let's take a look at the third which we'll use, which is Soft Light; what Soft Light does is it affects the blacks and the whites, but the mid tones right here, they aren't really affected at all.
Now, why does that matter? That matters because here we have this comp sheet where I have a bunch of these demo logos and I'm trying to figure out which one I want to put on top of my photograph, because I have this presentation. I have this vision where I want a background of an image and a nice, bright white logo on top of it. How do we do that? Well here, if we go to our various blending modes, and try Multiply, do you remember what this one does? It favors the blacks, and then it just gets rid of those bright, white tones all together.
So we can see how, I can move this around, I just have all of these tones here, and we can see kind of an idea of what that might look like. Now, we could also go down to our Screen option. What Screen does is it says, "Hey, I'm favoring the brighter, or the white, tones "and the dark tones?" "All of those are now see through, they're transparent." So I'm seeing through to the image in the background. Last but not least, we have Soft Light. Soft Light is the one where we see this contrast blending.
So we see a little bit of the background, and some of the foreground, or some of this layer, and they're blending together by way of contrast. All right, if you're still a little bit confused, stick with me because it will become more clear. What we'll do next, is we'll say, "Hey, you know what?" "I've decided I want to work with this particular logo." So I'm going to go ahead and use my marquis tool and I'm going to make a selection of this and copy this to a new layer by pressing Cmd+J on a Mac, or Ctrl+J on Windows. Can you see how I now have logo on a layer by itself? Often, you'll just bring in one logo, right? And you have this logo, and you have a vision.
And your vision is to have a logo which is white text on top of your image in the background. Well here, we can try our blending modes like Multiply. It knocks out the white, but leaves me the black; it doesn't really look good, because I can't see the logo very well. Let me zoom in on that so you have a better view. What if we try, say, Screen? Well, Screen, it shows me white, but it's not right either, it's still boxy. I want just the logo. I don't want all of this other stuff. What can we do? Soft Light, what we'll see there is it's just transparent, or semi-transparent, it's contrast, that doesn't work either.
What we can do in those situations, is use a really handy shortcut, which is a shortcut to invert. It works on layers, on masks, on channels, et cetera. What you can do is, on your layer, whatever it is, press Cmd+i, or Ctrl+i in windows. Command, or Control+i, again inverts it back. It also works on images. So here as I press Cmd+i, you can see I now have a negative of that; press it again, and it just inverts that. So when you have something like this, it can be really handy.
For example, if we go to our Multiply blending, we could press Cmd+i and see what the opposite effect would look like. We could go to our Screen blending mode and press Cmd+i on a Mac or Ctrl+i in Windows and see what that other effect would look like. In this case, it looks great; that's exactly what I want to have happen. I want this white graphic here on top of kind of this abstract background. And this would be a really cool opening slide for a presentation I'm going to give. Now, let's just look at this one more time to make sure we have it, because, let's say we also want to have, as well as this logo, we want to have the lighthouse.
And we have this lighthouse graphic over here in this underlying layer and sometimes you'll get graphics like this, or you'll have a logo like this, and you decide, "Hey, you know what?" I'll copy this to a new layer, Cmd+J on a Mac or Ctrl+J on Windows, and what I have here is I have both of these items, I have the logo, which looks good there above, but I have my lighthouse, which just looks kind of crazy, right? Because it has this box around it, so I try my blending modes. First, I'll try Multiply. Doesn't really work; it's too dark.
Then I'll go to my Screen blending mode. That kind of works, but not really. What if I press Cmd+i on a Mac, Ctrl+i on Windows? Boom, there it is. That's exactly what I want. I want to have that logo. I also want to have this other little graphic element and this is now allowing me to accomplish those results. And perhaps more importantly than working with logos or graphics is these ideas that we've learned about blending modes. In particular, what we've learned about our blending modes of Multiply and Screen.
We've seen how multiply says, "Hey, "get rid of the white." We've seen how Screen says, "Hey, get rid of the black." This can be useful for graphics; it can also be useful for photography if you do product photography on a solid color background, you can knock that out really quicky and take a look at where you want to position the object in the frame. It's useful in other situations as well. It's just that here with logos, it's really easy to see this type of an application. And on that note, this wraps up this week's episode of Photo Tools Weekly.
And I'll look forward to seeing you next week. Bye for now.
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