May 11, 2012

The Breakdown of Blend Modes

Using Textures With Different Blend Modes

There are many different options when it comes to adding textures to your image in the highlights and shadows. This episode will go through how each one will affect your image using a dark and a light texture, and some tricks to make them interact well with the image beneath. The best way to get used to each is to try them all out, but they are grouped according to similarites. All of the darker blend modes, lighter blend ones, and color and hue are near eachother in the dropdown menu. You can have even more control over the final look by using blend if and lowering your opacity.

What You Will Learn

  • 0:40- Bringing textures into the image
  • 1:20- My hint
  • 1:30- Grouping of similar blend modes
  • 2:15- Working with a light texture
  • 4:30- Inverting a texture
  • 5:20- Different modes for the darker texture
  • 6:15- Which I use most of the time
  • 6:35- Using blend if
  • 7:30- Pass through group
  • 8:40- Final image
  • 9:20- Updates and announcements

Question of the Day

Which blend modes do you primarily use? Do you use them for anything besides textures?

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(will not be published)

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    Ana M

    I usually use Multiply, Screen, Overlay and Soft Light. But once I used to like making underwater scenes a lot. And I just added an empty layer filled with green/blue on top of everything else and set it to Hard Light, that worked great for creating the effect that everything is underwater.

    Just a bit offtopic: I saw you had a tutorial with creating makeup and you used Multiply for the makeup. How about making an other makeup tutorial with setting the makeup to Color?

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    Renato Novaes

    I like them all… But one useful tip that I think its nice is using the Difference mode to align similar layers. What the Difference mode does is to turn black the same pixels underneath it… so when the image is perfect aligned you get a black artboard, than you flick back to whatever blend mode you want or whatever.

  • user image

    Is it just me or did you miss out talking about Blend If? 
    Or is the levels adjustment on screen another way of doing that?

    • user image
      Aaron Nace

      Totally Nicola, you can use either method for making a layer less visible in the lights and darks, good point. 

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    Dylan Strickland

    I’m seriously addicted to blending modes… the first thing I do when I import an image is to make a B&W adjustment layer, and flip it to Soft Light. It gives me a great sense of what the luminosity levels are like through the image. Lately, I’ve been using Vivid Light and Hard Mix alot to (along with Color Burn and Color Dodge).  I  found out that ‘Fill’ reacts differently with these blend modes than ‘Opacity’ does… so if you add Hard Mix, and lower the fill to 15-30% you get these amazing color changes (mostly intensifing color), then you can lower the opacity to reduce the effect as usual. I can never remember exactly which blend modes behave that way, but I know Color Burn/ Color Dodge, Hard Mix and Vivid Light got MUCH more useful when I started playing with fill.