Tech

How to Use Blending Modes in Photoshop

Get stunning images with this versatile Adobe tool.

Adobe Photoshop blending modes affect how the colors of two or more layers interact. It can be used to create interesting and dynamic effects with just a few clicks. The different types of blending modes and their functions are not necessarily clear from the name, but each has a specific function. Knowing the difference can help you achieve a variety of stunning looks in seconds.

Here’s an overview of how to use Photoshop blending modes to make your images look great and how it all works.

The instructions in this article apply to Photoshop CS5 and later.

How to use Photoshop blending modes

Photoshop has 29 options in 6 groups that you can find in the Layers panel. Depending on the tool you’re using, you may see a pull-down menu in the options bar at the top of your screen. Here’s how to apply and experiment with it to create different effects.

Import the image you want to fix into Photoshop.

Choose new shift button Layer This is the window to create a new layer.

To use color to blend with an image edit > Fill.

Screenshot of Photoshop with the Fill command highlighted.

Or click Next. Shift+F5 on your keyboard.

Choose Color.

Photoshop screenshot with the Color option highlighted in the Fill menu.

Choose a color from the color picker Confirm.

Photoshop screenshot showing the color picker window with OK button highlighted

click Confirm where Fill Click in the window to complete the color selection.

Photoshop screenshot with OK button highlighted in fill window.

Now only the top layer with the color selected should be visible.

Screenshot of Photoshop showing a solid layer

To apply a blending mode, select the top layer, then drop down menu where Layer window next to it opacity.

Screenshot of Photoshop with Blend Mode menu highlighted.

By default, the Blend Mode menu is normal.

Select various options from the menu to see how they affect the underlying image.

Screenshot of Photoshop with Blend Mode menu highlighted.

In Adobe CC 2019 and later, simply hover over the mod to preview the changes. In previous versions, you had to select a mode to see what it did.

Experiment with different colors and modes to get the effect you want. You can also affect the strength of some modes by adjusting the opacity of the layers being blended.

How to use Photoshop blending modes with tools

Photoshop’s blending modes allow you to do more than just apply color to your image. You can use the selection tool to find the effect. You can also create blends using different color blocks in a single layer.

Certain tools, such as brushes, paint buckets, and shapes, have dedicated blending mode menus that give you more control. It’s in the options bar next to Opacity. You choose the mode you want to use and then you usually use the tools to see the effect.

Photoshop screenshot with the Modes menu highlighted in the Options toolbar.

Types of Blending Modes in Photoshop

Before you start using blending modes, you may need a basic idea of ​​what blending modes do. Here are some terms that will help you understand what each blender does.

  • primary color: A color that is already in the layer.
  • mix color: applied using the brush tool, for example.
  • result color: The blending mode is the final result after base work and color blending.

As a simple example, if you add a few drops of yellow food coloring (mixed color) to a cup of water with blue food coloring (base color), the resulting color (mixed together) will be green.

But Photoshop’s blending modes do more than just blend colors. Here are all the modes and features.

Not all tools can use the same blending options. This is a complete list of all available options. Depending on the bitrate of the image, some blending modes may not be accessible. Blending modes can also behave differently depending on whether you’re applying to a layer or a tool.

normal

The blending mode of the Normal group is the Standard group. The resulting color is always a blend color, a base color, or a color with neither blended.

  • normal: The resulting color is the same as the blend color. Normal mode is the default option that doesn’t change anything. Using green with the brush tool makes the pixels green.
  • dissolve: Photoshop randomly chooses a color for each pixel based on the layer’s opacity. For example, if you paint yellow over blue with 50% opacity, half of the pixels will be yellow and the other half will be blue.
  • behind: The tool only affects transparent (i.e. “empty”) pixels.
  • obvious: Makes the pixels the tool changes transparent.

black out

The Darken group always creates a darker color than the first. In general, these blending modes have no effect on the base or blend color or the black of the layer.

  • black out: Photoshop replaces all pixels in the base color with darker pixels in the blend color. The result is a combination of the two.
  • multiply: Multiplies the RGB values ​​of the base and blend colors, then divides by 255 to produce the resulting color. For example, pure red (RGB 255,0,0) and 50% gray (RGB 128,128,128) give a deep red with a value of 128,0,0.
  • burn color: Photoshop makes the base darker by increasing the contrast between the bases and mixing colors.
  • linear burn: In Photoshop, lower the brightness to make the base color darker.
  • darker color: Photoshop displays dark values ​​between the base color and the blend color without a clear result color.

Make something possible

The mode in the Light group is the opposite of the mode in the Dark group. They usually don’t affect the white of the base or mix colors or levels and always produce a brighter palette.

  • Make something possible: Brightening is the opposite of darkening. The resulting color is lighter than the base or blend color.
  • screen: The screen is the opposite of multiplication. Instead of finding the product of the base color and the blend color, Screen multiplies the reciprocal and divides by 255. The resulting color is the inverse of this answer. So, using the red and 50% gray example above, Screen would multiply 0.255.255 by 128,128,128 and divide by 255 to get a value of 0.128.128. The resulting color is a backlight value with values ​​of 255,128,128.
  • dodge color: Photoshop lowers the contrast between the bases and blends colors to lighten the base. Color Dodge is the opposite of Color Burn.
  • Linear Dodge (additional): Photoshop adds the values ​​of the base color and the blend color together.
  • bright colors: Photoshop displays bright values ​​between the base color and the blend color without a clear result color. Light colors are the opposite of dark colors.

Difference

The Contrast group treats the blend color as a light source, changing and enhancing the contrast value between the base color and the blend color. The process is usually a combination of dark and light blending modes. These blending modes remove areas that are 50% gray.

  • put on top: Photoshop applies a grid to the highlights of the base color and multiplies the shadows.
  • soft light: If the blend color is lighter than 50% gray, soft light brightens it. If the blend color is darker, apply it darker.
  • hard light: The result is a raster for lighter mixed color values ​​and multiplied for darker color values.
  • shining light: Photoshop adjusts the contrast of the base color (such as Color Burn or Color Dodge) based on whether the blend color is lighter or darker than 50% gray.
  • linear light: Linear Light performs a linear burn or a linear dodge (add) depending on whether the blend color is lighter or darker than 50% gray.
  • pin light: If the blend color is lighter than 50% gray, Photoshop replaces the darker pixels. A darker blend color causes Photoshop to replace the lighter pixels.
  • hard mix: Hard Mix is ​​an extreme mixing mode that adds the RGB values ​​of the base color and the blend color. If the sum is greater than or equal to 255, it is 255 for each value, and is rounded down to zero if it is less than 255. The resulting color is one of white, black, red, green, blue, yellow, magenta, or cyan.

comparative

The blend mode in the Compare group focuses on the differences between the base color and the blend color.

  • difference: The resulting color is the difference between the base color and the blend color values. Always subtract the less bright from the bright one.
  • except: Exclusion is similar to difference, but the resulting color has less contrast than the color produced by the mode.
  • subtract: Photoshop subtracts the blend color from the base color. Negative values ​​are rounded to zero.
  • split: Photoshop divides the base color into blend colors.

Color

A color group’s blending modes combine different qualities of the base color and the blend color (i.e. hue, saturation, and lightness) to create the resulting color.

  • hue: It has the hue of the mixed color with the brightness and saturation of the background color.
  • saturation: Shows the saturation of the mixed color and the brightness and hue of the base.
  • Color: The resulting color has the hue and saturation of the blend color and the brightness of the base.
  • brightness: The brightness of the mixed color and the hue and saturation of the base are displayed.

Used for Photoshop blending modes

Now that you know where blending modes are and what they do, here are some suggestions on how to use them.

  • dissolve: When used with the brush tool, you can create a chalk-like effect on a solid background.
  • hard mix: Used to create a monochrome pop art style.
  • Difference: Using Contrasting Modes A group for quickly fixing overexposed or underexposed photos.
  • obvious: Used to create a transparent shape for easy stencil effect.
  • screen: This blending mode is perfect for combining images or adding texture. For example, you can project a fog image over a shot of a city to create a different atmosphere.

More information

How to Use Blending Modes in Photoshop

Get amazing images with this versatile Adobe tool

Adobe Photoshop blending modes affect how the colors of two or more layers interact. You can use them to create interesting and dynamic effects with just a few clicks. The different types of blending modes and what they do aren’t necessarily obvious from their names, but each has a specific function. Once you learn the differences, you can get a variety of cool looks in seconds.

Here’s how to use Photoshop blending modes to make your images look amazing, along with a rundown of how all of them work.

Instructions in this article apply to Photoshop CS5 and later.
How to Use Photoshop Blending Modes

Photoshop contains 29 different options in six groups, which you can find in the Layers window. Depending on which tool you’re using, you may also see a pull-down in the options toolbar near the top of the screen. Here’s how to apply and experiment with them to achieve a variety of effects.

Import an image you want to modify to Photoshop.

Select the New Layer button in the Layers window to create a new layer.

To use a color to blend with the image, select Edit > Fill.

Alternatively, press Shift+F5 on your keyboard.

Select Color.

Select a color from the Color Picker and select OK.

Click OK in the Fill window to finalize your color choice.

Now, you should only see the top layer with the color you selected.

To apply blending modes, select the top layer, then click the pulldown menu in the Layers window, next to Opacity.

By default, the blending mode menu will say Normal.

Select different options from the menu to see how they affect the underlying image.

In Adobe CC 2019 and later, you only have to mouse over the modes to get a preview of the changes it will make. In earlier versions, you must select a mode to see what it does.

Experiment with different colors and modes to create the effects you want. You can also affect the intensity of some modes by adjusting the opacity on the layers you’re blending.

How to Use Photoshop Blending Modes With Tools

You can do more with Photoshop’s blending modes than just put a color onto a picture. You can use selection tools to localize the effect. You can also use different blocks of color on a single layer to create a mixture.

Certain tools, like the Brush, Paint Bucket, and Shape, have a dedicated blending modes menu that gives you more control. It’s in the options bar next to the Opacity. Select the mode you want to employ, and then use the tool normally to see the effects.

Types of Blending Modes in Photoshop

Before you start using blending modes, you might want to have a basic idea of what they do. Here are some terms that will be useful in understanding what each blender does:

Base color: the color that is already on the layer.
Blend color: the one you’re applying, e.g., with the Brush tool.
Result color: the final result after the blending mode finishes working on the base and blend colors.

As a simple example, if you have a cup of water containing blue food dye (the base color) and add a few drops of yellow food dye (the blend color), the result color (from mixing them together) is green.

Photoshop’s blending modes, however, do more than just mix colors together. Here are all of the modes and what they do.

Not all tools can use the same blending options. This is a complete list of all of the available choices. Depending on the bitrate of your image, you may also lose access to some blend modes. Blending modes may also behave differently depending on whether you’re applying them to layers or tools.
Normal

The Normal group of blending modes are a default group. The result color will always be the blend color, the base color, or both, unmixed.

Normal: The result color is the same as the blend color. Normal mode is the default option that doesn’t change anything; if you use green with the Brush tool, the pixels will be green.
Dissolve: Photoshop randomly chooses the color of each pixel based on the opacity of the layer. For example, if you brush yellow onto blue at 50% opacity, half of the pixels will be yellow, and half will be blue.
Behind: Your tool will only affect transparent (i.e., “empty”) pixels.
Clear: Your tool will make the pixels it modifies transparent.
Darken

The Darken group always results in darker colors than you started with. Typically, none of these blending modes affect black in the base or blend colors or layers.

Darken: Photoshop replaces any pixels in the base color with any in the blend color that are darker. The result is a combination of the two.
Multiply: Multiplies the RGB values of the base color and the blend color and then divides by 255 to produce the result color. For example, pure red (RGB 255,0,0) and 50% gray (RGB 128,128,128) results in a dark red color with values 128,0,0.
Color Burn: Photoshop increases the contrast between the base and blend colors to darken the base.
Linear Burn: Photoshop decreases the brightness to darken the base color.
Darker Color: Photoshop displays the darker value between the base and blend colors with no distinct result color.
Lighten

The modes in the Lighten group are the opposite of the ones in the Darken group. They usually don’t affect white in the base or blend colors or layers, and they always create a lighter palette.

Lighten: Lighten is the opposite of Darken: The result color is the lighter of the base or blend.
Screen: Screen is the opposite of Multiply. Instead of finding the product of the base and blend colors, Screen multiplies their inverses and divides by 255. The result color is the inverse of that answer. So using the red and 50% gray example from above, Screen multiplies 0,255,255 by 128,128,128 and divides by 255 to get a value of 0,128,128. The result color is the inverse, a light read with values of 255,128,128.
Color Dodge: Photoshop decreases the contrast between the base and blend colors to lighten the base. Color Dodge is the opposite of Color Burn.
Linear Dodge (Add): Photoshop adds the values of the base and blend colors together.
Lighter Color: Photoshop displays the lighter value between the base and blend colors with no distinct result color. Lighter Color is the opposite of Darker Color.
Contrast

The Contrast group changes and enhances the contrast values between the base and blend colors by treating the blend color as a light source. The processes are generally combinations of Darken and Lighten blending modes. These blending modes remove areas of 50% gray.

Overlay: Photoshop applies a Screen to light areas of the base color and Multiplies the dark parts.
Soft Light: Soft Light applies a Lighten if the blend color is lighter than 50% gray; it applies a Darken if the blend color is darker.
Hard Light: The result will be a Screen for a brighter blend color value and a Multiply for a darker one.
Vivid Light: Photoshop adjusts the contrast of the base color (i.e., a Color Burn or Color Dodge) depending on whether the blend color is lighter or darker than 50% gray.
Linear Light: Linear Light performs a Linear Burn or Linear Dodge (Add) depending on whether the blend color is lighter or darker than 50% gray.
Pin Light: If the blend color is lighter than 50% gray, Photoshop replaces darker pixels. A darker blend color causes Photoshop to replace lighter pixels.
Hard Mix: Hard Mix is an extreme blending mode that adds the RGB values of the base and blend colors. For each value, if the sum is 255 or greater, it becomes 255. Sums lower than 255 round down to 0. The result colors will be one of the following: white, black, red, green, blue, yellow, magenta, or cyan.
Comparative

The blending modes in the Comparative group focus on the differences between the base and blend colors.

Difference: The result color is the difference between the values of the base and blend colors. It always subtracts the less bright one from the more bright one.
Exclusion: Exclusion is similar to Difference, but the result colors have less contrast than the ones that mode creates.
Subtract: Photoshop subtracts the blend color from the base color, with negative values rounded up to zero.
Divide: Photoshop divides the base color by the blend color.
Color

Blending modes in the Color group combine different qualities of the base and blend colors (namely: hue, saturation, and luminosity) to create result colors.

Hue: The result color has the hue of the blend color with the base color’s luminosity and saturation.
Saturation: The result has the saturation of the blend color and the base’s luminosity and hue.
Color: The result color has the blend color’s hue and saturation and the base’s luminosity.
Luminosity: The result has the blend color’s luminosity and the base’s hue and saturation.
Uses for Photoshop Blending Modes

Now that you know where the blending modes are and what they do, here are some suggestions for how you can use them.

Dissolve: Use with the Brush tool to create a chalk-like effect on a solid background.
Hard Mix: Used to create a monochromatic, pop-art style.
Contrast: Use modes in the Contrast group to quickly fix over- or underexposed photographs.
Clear: Use this to easily make stencil effects by making transparent shapes.
Screen: This blending mode is good for combining images or adding textures. For example, you can Screen a picture of fog over a shot of a city to create a different mood.

#Blending #Modes #Photoshop

How to Use Blending Modes in Photoshop

Get amazing images with this versatile Adobe tool

Adobe Photoshop blending modes affect how the colors of two or more layers interact. You can use them to create interesting and dynamic effects with just a few clicks. The different types of blending modes and what they do aren’t necessarily obvious from their names, but each has a specific function. Once you learn the differences, you can get a variety of cool looks in seconds.

Here’s how to use Photoshop blending modes to make your images look amazing, along with a rundown of how all of them work.

Instructions in this article apply to Photoshop CS5 and later.
How to Use Photoshop Blending Modes

Photoshop contains 29 different options in six groups, which you can find in the Layers window. Depending on which tool you’re using, you may also see a pull-down in the options toolbar near the top of the screen. Here’s how to apply and experiment with them to achieve a variety of effects.

Import an image you want to modify to Photoshop.

Select the New Layer button in the Layers window to create a new layer.

To use a color to blend with the image, select Edit > Fill.

Alternatively, press Shift+F5 on your keyboard.

Select Color.

Select a color from the Color Picker and select OK.

Click OK in the Fill window to finalize your color choice.

Now, you should only see the top layer with the color you selected.

To apply blending modes, select the top layer, then click the pulldown menu in the Layers window, next to Opacity.

By default, the blending mode menu will say Normal.

Select different options from the menu to see how they affect the underlying image.

In Adobe CC 2019 and later, you only have to mouse over the modes to get a preview of the changes it will make. In earlier versions, you must select a mode to see what it does.

Experiment with different colors and modes to create the effects you want. You can also affect the intensity of some modes by adjusting the opacity on the layers you’re blending.

How to Use Photoshop Blending Modes With Tools

You can do more with Photoshop’s blending modes than just put a color onto a picture. You can use selection tools to localize the effect. You can also use different blocks of color on a single layer to create a mixture.

Certain tools, like the Brush, Paint Bucket, and Shape, have a dedicated blending modes menu that gives you more control. It’s in the options bar next to the Opacity. Select the mode you want to employ, and then use the tool normally to see the effects.

Types of Blending Modes in Photoshop

Before you start using blending modes, you might want to have a basic idea of what they do. Here are some terms that will be useful in understanding what each blender does:

Base color: the color that is already on the layer.
Blend color: the one you’re applying, e.g., with the Brush tool.
Result color: the final result after the blending mode finishes working on the base and blend colors.

As a simple example, if you have a cup of water containing blue food dye (the base color) and add a few drops of yellow food dye (the blend color), the result color (from mixing them together) is green.

Photoshop’s blending modes, however, do more than just mix colors together. Here are all of the modes and what they do.

Not all tools can use the same blending options. This is a complete list of all of the available choices. Depending on the bitrate of your image, you may also lose access to some blend modes. Blending modes may also behave differently depending on whether you’re applying them to layers or tools.
Normal

The Normal group of blending modes are a default group. The result color will always be the blend color, the base color, or both, unmixed.

Normal: The result color is the same as the blend color. Normal mode is the default option that doesn’t change anything; if you use green with the Brush tool, the pixels will be green.
Dissolve: Photoshop randomly chooses the color of each pixel based on the opacity of the layer. For example, if you brush yellow onto blue at 50% opacity, half of the pixels will be yellow, and half will be blue.
Behind: Your tool will only affect transparent (i.e., “empty”) pixels.
Clear: Your tool will make the pixels it modifies transparent.
Darken

The Darken group always results in darker colors than you started with. Typically, none of these blending modes affect black in the base or blend colors or layers.

Darken: Photoshop replaces any pixels in the base color with any in the blend color that are darker. The result is a combination of the two.
Multiply: Multiplies the RGB values of the base color and the blend color and then divides by 255 to produce the result color. For example, pure red (RGB 255,0,0) and 50% gray (RGB 128,128,128) results in a dark red color with values 128,0,0.
Color Burn: Photoshop increases the contrast between the base and blend colors to darken the base.
Linear Burn: Photoshop decreases the brightness to darken the base color.
Darker Color: Photoshop displays the darker value between the base and blend colors with no distinct result color.
Lighten

The modes in the Lighten group are the opposite of the ones in the Darken group. They usually don’t affect white in the base or blend colors or layers, and they always create a lighter palette.

Lighten: Lighten is the opposite of Darken: The result color is the lighter of the base or blend.
Screen: Screen is the opposite of Multiply. Instead of finding the product of the base and blend colors, Screen multiplies their inverses and divides by 255. The result color is the inverse of that answer. So using the red and 50% gray example from above, Screen multiplies 0,255,255 by 128,128,128 and divides by 255 to get a value of 0,128,128. The result color is the inverse, a light read with values of 255,128,128.
Color Dodge: Photoshop decreases the contrast between the base and blend colors to lighten the base. Color Dodge is the opposite of Color Burn.
Linear Dodge (Add): Photoshop adds the values of the base and blend colors together.
Lighter Color: Photoshop displays the lighter value between the base and blend colors with no distinct result color. Lighter Color is the opposite of Darker Color.
Contrast

The Contrast group changes and enhances the contrast values between the base and blend colors by treating the blend color as a light source. The processes are generally combinations of Darken and Lighten blending modes. These blending modes remove areas of 50% gray.

Overlay: Photoshop applies a Screen to light areas of the base color and Multiplies the dark parts.
Soft Light: Soft Light applies a Lighten if the blend color is lighter than 50% gray; it applies a Darken if the blend color is darker.
Hard Light: The result will be a Screen for a brighter blend color value and a Multiply for a darker one.
Vivid Light: Photoshop adjusts the contrast of the base color (i.e., a Color Burn or Color Dodge) depending on whether the blend color is lighter or darker than 50% gray.
Linear Light: Linear Light performs a Linear Burn or Linear Dodge (Add) depending on whether the blend color is lighter or darker than 50% gray.
Pin Light: If the blend color is lighter than 50% gray, Photoshop replaces darker pixels. A darker blend color causes Photoshop to replace lighter pixels.
Hard Mix: Hard Mix is an extreme blending mode that adds the RGB values of the base and blend colors. For each value, if the sum is 255 or greater, it becomes 255. Sums lower than 255 round down to 0. The result colors will be one of the following: white, black, red, green, blue, yellow, magenta, or cyan.
Comparative

The blending modes in the Comparative group focus on the differences between the base and blend colors.

Difference: The result color is the difference between the values of the base and blend colors. It always subtracts the less bright one from the more bright one.
Exclusion: Exclusion is similar to Difference, but the result colors have less contrast than the ones that mode creates.
Subtract: Photoshop subtracts the blend color from the base color, with negative values rounded up to zero.
Divide: Photoshop divides the base color by the blend color.
Color

Blending modes in the Color group combine different qualities of the base and blend colors (namely: hue, saturation, and luminosity) to create result colors.

Hue: The result color has the hue of the blend color with the base color’s luminosity and saturation.
Saturation: The result has the saturation of the blend color and the base’s luminosity and hue.
Color: The result color has the blend color’s hue and saturation and the base’s luminosity.
Luminosity: The result has the blend color’s luminosity and the base’s hue and saturation.
Uses for Photoshop Blending Modes

Now that you know where the blending modes are and what they do, here are some suggestions for how you can use them.

Dissolve: Use with the Brush tool to create a chalk-like effect on a solid background.
Hard Mix: Used to create a monochromatic, pop-art style.
Contrast: Use modes in the Contrast group to quickly fix over- or underexposed photographs.
Clear: Use this to easily make stencil effects by making transparent shapes.
Screen: This blending mode is good for combining images or adding textures. For example, you can Screen a picture of fog over a shot of a city to create a different mood.

#Blending #Modes #Photoshop


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