Blending Modes Explained – Complete Guide to Photoshop Blend Modes

Blending Modes Explained – Complete Guide to Photoshop Blend Modes

Welcome back to another very exciting tutorialhere at the PhotoshopTrainingChannel.


My name is Jesus Ramirez and you can findme on Instagram @JRfromPTC.

In this tutorial, we're going to discuss blendingmodes.

I will go through every single Blending Modein Photoshop and explain how it works.

This video is actually part of my course onworking with Color in Photoshop.

If you would like to find out more about thiscourse, there's a link to it down below in the description.

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Okay, let's get started.

In this video, we're going to explore BlendingModes and how they work.

Blend Modes or Blending Modes are a greatway to expand the power of layers in Photoshop.

A Blending Mode takes the pixels of one layerand blends them with the pixels of another layer to create a completely new effect.

Blending Modes become a powerful tool in manyareas of Photoshop, including color adjustments.

For this course, I decided to include a comprehensiveguide into Blending Modes so that you could wisely choose which to use for your projects.

Originally, I was going to do a quick overview,but instead, I decided to spend a little more time and give you a complete guide into BlendingModes, which will hopefully be the last Blending Modes guide that you will ever need.

Before we start, I would like to point out,that even if you have an older version of Photoshop, you could follow along this video.

The 19 original Blending Modes have been aroundsince Layers were first introduced in Photoshop 3.

0 back in 1994.

Five new Blending Modes were added in Photoshop7 in 2002 along with the Fill slider, then one more Blending Mode in Photoshop CS in2003.

The two newest blending modes were added toPhotoshop CS5 in 2010.

Currently, we have 27 Blending Modes or 30Blending Modes, if you include the two extra Blending Modes for the Paint Tools and theextra Blending Mode for layer groups.

In case you’re wondering, I’m using PhotoshopCC to record this video, but again, you should be able to follow along with any version thatyou have.

Blending Modes do a whole lot more than justadjust the Fill or Opacity.

The way the layers blend is determined bythe algorithm of the selected Blending Mode.

Blending Modes can be applied to any itemin the Layers panel including text layers, adjustment layers and even groups, which makesBlending Modes an excellent way to create non-destructive effects.

You can always come back and adjust the Fill,Opacity or even switch to a different Blending Mode.

The 27 blending modes that you can apply toa layer are found near the upper left corner of the Layers panel in an unlabeled drop-downmenu.

By default, all layers are set to “Normal,”but you can click on the drop-down menu and select any other Blending Mode.

All the painting tools in Photoshop, suchas the Brush tool, also have Blending Modes.

They even include two additional BlendingModes not found in the Layers panel–Behind and Clear.

In this video, we will primarily focus onhow Blending Modes work with layers, but the principles are universal, and they will workin a very similar fashion with other tools.

When working with Blending Modes, Photoshopblends the pixels by performing a blend operation on each pixel of the Blend layer against itscorresponding pixel in the Base layer.

Put simply, the blend is applied to a singlepixel at a time to get the resulting blend.

To make things easier to understand, I'llrefer to pixels as “colors” since the word color may help your mind create a moreaccurate representation of what is going on.

But we're always talking about pixels.

You should also remember these three termsto understand how Blending Modes work–Base, Blend and Result.

The Base is the original color.

It is usually found directly below the Blendcolor.

The Blend is the color that is being appliedto the Base color.

The mix of the Base and the Blend colors isthe Result.

In other words, Base + Blend = Result.

How the Base and the Blend colors mix dependson the algorithm or Blending Mode that you select.

Each of the 27 Blending Modes has a differentalgorithm, a mathematical equation, that utilizes luminance levels, brightness and darkness,to determine how the colors will blend.

And don't worry, there's not going to be anymath in this video.

Knowing the mathematics behind each BlendMode is not required for you to understand the aesthetics of the result.

You can surely master Blending Modes withoutknowing any of the equations or the math behind them.

Before we start, let’s switch the workspaceto “Essentials” so that we remove some of the panels we created earlier, so thatwe have more room to work with and we have fewer things to distract us.

Let’s start by looking at the file thatwe will use in this video to demonstrate how Blending Modes work.

This file is included in the course assetfolder.

The bottommost layer is an image of Venice,Italy.

It will be our “Base” layer.

For the Blend layer, we have a graphic called“Luminosity.

” It shows different luminance values.

On the top left, you have blocks that go fromBlack to White in increments of 10%.

Black is 0% brightness; then there is 10%brightness, 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%–which is 50% gray–all the way up to 100% brightness whichis, of course, white.

In the center, we have a gradient that goesfrom black to white and it shows the 256 levels of luminosity.

You’ll remember this from the previous videoin this course on how colors work in 8-bit RGB images.

At the bottom, we have three blocks–blackand white on the sides and a 50% gray block in the center.

Also, notice the Black bar on top and thewhite bar at the bottom.

We also have this Color layer which will helpus understand how blending modes work with layers that contain color.

This layer contains three color wheels, includinga dark and bright color wheel, then a gradient of colors.

And six blocks of colors that represent theprimary colors from the additive and subtractive color systems.

Red, Green and Blue for RGB.

And Cyan, Magenta and Yellow for CMYK.

And as you learned in a previous video inthe course, these colors are opposites of each other.

In the Layers panel, open the Blending Modedropdown by clicking on it.

The dropdown will reveal a list of BlendingModes that you can apply to a layer.

To make things easier for us, Photoshop hasarranged the Blending Modes into different categories.

Unfortunately, these categories are not labeled,but you can see the dividers that represent the different groups of Blending Modes.

Enable the layer called “Categories,”which contains a list of all the Blending Modes, along with the categories that theybelong to.

The 27 Blending Modes are divided into sixcategories–Normal, Darken, Lighten, Contrast, Inversion and Component.

Also, note that if you are working with 32-bitimages, only 15 Blending Modes are available.

You can change the Blending Mode of a layerby first selecting the Blend layer, then clicking on the dropdown and selecting any of the BlendingModes on the list, or by using the keyboard shortcut Shift +(plus) to go down to the nextBlending Mode, in this case, Dissolve, or by pressing Shift -(Minus) to go up the listback to Normal.

Keep in mind that if you have a painting toolactive, this shortcut will change the Blending Mode of the tool instead of the layer.

To prevent this from happening, get in thehabit of pressing V on the keyboard to select the Move tool, then press Shift plus or Shiftminus to scroll through the Blending Modes.

Another important thing to note with thiskeyboard shortcut is that if the Focus–the blue highlight–is around the dropdown menu,the shortcut will not work.

Simply hit Enter or Return on the Mac to removethe focus from the dropdown, then this keyboard shortcut should work.

As I’ve already mentioned, “Normal”is the default Belding Mode.

Opaque pixels will cover the pixels directlybelow them without any math or algorithm applied to them.

You can, of course, reduce the opacity ofthe layer to reveal the pixels below.

Opacity and Fill will give you the same resultin 19 out of the 27 blending modes.

However, there are eight Blending Modes thatgive you different results when you use Fill compared to Opacity.

I will point out these eight special BlendingModes as I go through the list.

The second Blending Mode in the Normal categoryis Dissolve.

At 100% opacity, there is no change and theresulting blend looks exactly the same as the Normal Blending Mode.

But by reducing the Opacity, you will seeyou will see a diffusion dither pattern or random specks that become more scattered asyou reduce the Opacity.

The Dissolve Blending Mode isn't blendingany pixels.

It is only selecting areas to reveal, basedon the Opacity, which is why Dissolve is in the Normal category, as it only shows thepixels below when the Opacity of the layer is reduced.

The second category in the list of BlendingModes is Darken.

As the name implies, the Blending Modes inthis group will turn the “Result” colors darker.

This is because the darker pixels on the Blendlayer remain opaque while the brighter pixels become translucent.

In other words, anything that is white willbecome invisible and anything that is darker than white is going to have some darkeningeffect to the pixels below it.

The first Blending Mode in this group is Darken.

The Darken Blending Mode looks at the luminancevalues in each of the RGB channels and selects either the base color or blend color dependingon which is darker.

Simply put, this Blending Mode does not blendpixels.

It only compares the base and blend colorsand keeps the darkest of the two.

If the blend layer and the base layer colorare the same, then there is no change.

By looking at the result of the blend, youcan see that white gets completely disregarded because everything is darker than white.

In these darker tones, around the sky, youcan see that there is some change because the colors are darker than those found inthe base layer.

Of course, black and darker grays will returnthe most drastic changes.

Notice that the black bar on top and the blackblock on the bottom left remained unchanged.

They are solid black, and of course, thereis nothing that could be darker than black in the layer below it.

Even though, this Blending Mode deals withdark and bright tones, you can still apply it to layers that contain color.

By enabling the Color layer, you will seethat the colors that are darker than the ones found in the base layer are kept.

The bright color wheel on the right side ismostly transparent because most of the pixels found inside of it are brighter than the pixelsin the base layer.

The next Blending Mode in this group is Multiply.

This is one of Photoshop's most popular BlendingModes.

I’m sure that you have used it many timesbefore.

If not, you will start very soon.

This Blending Mode multiplies the luminosityof the base color by the blend color.

The resulting color is always a darker color.

White produces no change, making it a greatBlending Mode for darkening images or creating shadows.

As you can see, the black pixels remain andthere are different levels of darkening depending on the luminosity values of the Blend layer.

A good representation of how the MultiplyBlending Mode works is by looking at the gradient.

Notice how it slightly increases the darknessof the image below it as the colors in the gradient get darker.

By enabling the “Color” layer and changingthe Blending Mode to Multiply, you will see a similar darkening effect, but with color.

Notice that the bright color wheel only producesa slight darkening effect and that is because those colors are very bright.

You can compare the Multiply Blending Modeto a projector with two slides put on top of each other and projected simultaneously.

The image on the screen will look dark becausethe light is forced to pass through two slides, weakening the intensity of the light.

If I duplicate the Venice layer by pressingCtrl J, Command J on the Mac, and set the duplicate layer to Multiply, you’ll seea darker version of the original.

This is an excellent technique to darken imagesthat are overexposed or too bright.

But, here’s a pro tip, if you would liketo do this, don’t duplicate the layer.

Instead, create an adjustment layer such asCurves or Levels and change the Blending Mode to Multiply.

This will give you the same result, but witha much smaller file size and the ability to make adjustments to the image, in this case,using curves.

The next Blending Mode in the Darken groupis Color Burn.

This is also the first of the eight specialBlending Modes in Photoshop that react differently when Opacity is adjusted compared to Fill.

This Blending Mode gives you a darker resultthan Multiply by increasing the contrast between the base and the blend colors, resulting inmore highly saturated midtones and reduced highlights.

The result is very similar to the effect youwould get when you use the Burn Tool to darken an image.

The next Blending Mode in the list is LinearBurn.

It is the second of the eight special BlendingModes.

It is also one of the five new Blending Modesintroduced in Photoshop 7 in 2002.

Linear Burn decreases the brightness of thebase color based on the value of the blend color.

The result is darker than Multiply, but lesssaturated than Color Burn.

Linear Burn also produces the most contrastin darker colors than any of the other Blending Modes in the Darken group.

The last Blending Mode in this group is Darker,which is very similar to Darken.

This Blending Mode does not blend pixels.

It simply compares the base and the blendcolors, and it keeps the darkest of the two.

The difference is that Darker Color looksat the composite of all the RGB channels, whereas Darken looks at each individual RGBchannel to come up with a final blend.

The next group of Blending Modes is Lighten.

You can think of the Lighten Blending Modesas the opposites of Darken.

The opposite of Darken would be Lighten.

The opposite of Multiply will be Screen.

The opposite of Color Burn is Color Dodge.

The opposite of Linear Burn is Linear Dodge.

The opposite of Darker Color is Lighter Color.

If I change the Blending Mode of the Luminositylayer to Lighten, you will see that the opposite happens as when we applied the Darken BlendingMode.

With Darken, we kept the black bar and thedarker colors.

With Lighten, we keep the white bar and thelighter colors.

The Lighten Blending Mode takes a look atthe base color and blend color, and it keeps whichever one of the two is the lightest.

If the blend colors and the base colors arethe same, then no change is applied.

As with the Darken blending mode, Lightenuses the three RGB channels separately when blending the pixels.

The second Blending Mode in the Lighten categoryis Screen, which is the opposite of Multiply.

Like Multiply, Screen is a very popular BlendingMode to use in Photoshop.

Screen multiplies the inverse of the blendand base colors.

The result color is always a brighter color.

Black produces no change, making Screen agreat Blending Mode for brightening images or creating highlights.

As you can see in the Luminosity layer, whitestays and there are different levels of lightening depending on the luminosity values of theblend layer.

A good representation of how the Screen BlendingMode works is by looking at the gradient.

Notice how it increases the brightness ofthe image below it as the colors in the gradient get brighter.

Of course, the changes also happen with layersthat have color.

Notice, in this case, the dark color wheelonly produced a slight brightening effect because the colors in it are very dark.

The third Blending Mode in the Lighten groupis Color Dodge and it is the third of the eight special blending modes, so, Opacityand Fill with give you different results.

The Color Dodge Blending Mode gives you abrighter result than Screen by decreasing the contrast between the base and blend colors,resulting in saturated midtones and blown out highlights.

The effect is very similar to the result thatyou would get when using the Dodge Tool to brighten up an image.

Linear Dodge (Add), another of the BlendingModes introduced in Photoshop 7 in 2002 looks at the color information in each channel andbrightens the base color to reflect the blend color by increasing the brightness.

Blending with black produces no change.

Linear Dodge (Add) produces similar, but strongerresults than Screen or Color Dodge.

Next on the list is Lighter Color, which isvery similar to Lighten.

This Blending Mode does not blend pixels.

It simply compares the base and blend colors,and it keeps the brightest of the two.

The difference is that Lighter Color looksat the composite of all the RGB channels, whereas Lighten looks at each individual RGBchannel to come up with a final blend.

The next category of Blending Modes is Contrast.

The Blending Modes in this category use complimentaryBlending Modes to create the blend.

In other words, Photoshop checks to see ifthe colors are darker than 50% gray or lighter than 50% gray.

If the colors are darker than 50% gray, adarkening Blending Mode is applied.

If the colors are brighter than 50% gray,a brightening Blend Mode is applied.

With the exception of Hard Mix, all the BlendingModes in this category turn 50% gray transparent.

The first Blending Mode in the Contrast groupis Overlay–another one of Photoshop’s most widely used Blending Modes.

Overlay is a combination of Multiply and Screenwith the base layer always shining through.

Overlay uses the Screen Blending Mode at halfstrength on colors lighter than 50% gray and the Multiply Blending Mode at half strengthon colors darker than 50% gray; 50% gray itself becomes transparent.

Also, note that “half-strength” does notmean, Opacity at 50%.

Another way to think about Overlay is by thinkingof shifting midtones.

Dark blend colors shift the midtones to darkercolors.

Light tones shift the midtones to brightercolors.

One difference between the Overlay BlendingMode and the other Contrast Blending Modes is that it makes its calculations based onthe brightness of the color in the base layer.

All of the other Contrast Blending Modes maketheir calculations based on the brightness of the blend layer.

Another thing to note is that Overlay, alongsideHard Light, is part of the first set of Commuted Blending Modes.

A set of commuted Blending Modes will giveyou the same result when you apply one Blending Mode to the blend layer, as when you applythe corresponding Commuted Blending Mode to the base layer, and then reversing the orderof the layers.

In other words, if you apply the Overlay BlendingMode to the blend layer, you will get the same result, as when you apply the Hard LightBlending Mode to the base layer, then reverse the order of the layers.

The second pair of Commuted Blending Modesis Luminosity and Color.

We will discuss them in a few moments.

The next Blending Mode is Soft Light, whichis very much like Overlay.

It applies either a darkening or lighteningeffect depending on the luminance values, but in a much more subtle way.

You can think of Soft Light as a softer versionof Overlay without the harsh contrast.

The third Blending Mode in the Contrast groupis Hard Light, which, as we just discussed, is part of the first set of Commuted BlendingModes alongside Overlay.

Hard Light combines the Multiply and ScreenBlending Modes using brightness values of the blend layer to make its calculations,while Overlay uses the base layer.

The results with Hard Light tend to be intense.

In many cases, you will have to reduce theOpacity to get better results.

Also, even though Hard Light sounds like itwould have something in common with Soft Light, it does not.

It is, of course, much more closely relatedto Overlay.

And to show you this relationship, I’m goingto set the Luminosity layer to Overlay, then open the History panel by going into Windowand selecting History.

In the history panel, I can create a snapshotof this History State, by clicking on this icon.

I'll call it "Overlay.

" I can now always come back to this point byclicking on this snapshot.

I can now change the Luminosity layer backto Normal, then swap the base layer and Luminosity layer, so I will click and drag the base layerabove the luminosity layer and change the base layer’s Blending Mode to Hard Light.

I can then create a snapshot for this historystate.

I will call it "Hard Light," of course.

Then, if I click between the Overlay and HardLight snapshots, you will see that they look exactly the same.

The only difference besides the Blending Modeis the order of the layers.

So, now, you can see the relationship of thoseCommuted Blending Modes.

And I'm just going to click on Overlay andchange the Blending Mode to Vivid Light, which is the next Blending Mode in the list.

Vivid Light is also one of those five BlendingModes introduced in 2002 with Photoshop 7.

You can think of Vivid Light as an extremeversion of Overlay and Soft Light.

Anything darker than 50% gray is darkenedand anything lighter than 50% gray is lightened.

Vivid Light is one of those other BlendingModes where you want to adjust the Opacity since 100% Opacity is generally too strong.

Also, this is the fifth blending mode of eightthat gives you different results when you reduce the fill compared to the opacity.

Linear Light, the sixth of the 8 special BlendingModes, also introduce in Photoshop 7, uses a combination of Linear Dodge Blending onlighter pixels and Linear Burn on darker pixels.

Typically, the result colors are extreme andyou may want to use the Fill or Opacity sliders to adjust them.

I prefer using the Fill slider for this BlendingMode.

The next Blending Mode in the list is PinLight, which is the fifth and last Blending Mode released in 2002 with Photoshop 7.

Pin Light performs a Darken and Lighten BlendingMode simultaneously.

This is an extreme Blending Mode that canresult in patches or blotches and it completely removes all midtones.

The center of the image is, of course, unaffectedbecause this is where we have the 50% grays, but you can see that the midtones in the edgesof the image are completely gone.

Hard Mix is both the seventh blending modein the Contrast group and the seventh of the eight special Blending Modes.

Hard Mix was introduced in Photoshop CS backin 2003.

Hard Mix applies the blend by adding the valueof each RGB channel into the blend layer to the corresponding RGB channel in the baselayer, resulting in a loss of a lot of detail.

The result color can only be black, whiteor any of the six primary colors–red, green, blue, cyan, magenta or yellow.

By looking at the result, you can see thatmost of the detail has been lost and we only see those primary colors.

The same thing happens with the Color layer.

This is one of those extreme Blending Modes,but you can use Opacity and Fill to reduce the effect and get results that you can workwith.

Fill will probably give you the better optionfor reducing the effect of this Blending Mode.

The next group of Blending Modes in the listis Inversion.

The Inversion Blending Modes blend the layersbased on the difference between the two layers.

In other words, the Blending Mode looks forvariations in the layers to create the blend.

The first Blending Mode in this category isDifference.

This is also the eighth and final BlendingMode that reacts differently when Fill is reduced compared to Opacity.

The Difference Blending Mode applies the blendby setting the resulting pixel to the value of the difference between the blend pixeland the base pixel.

Blending white inverts the color value andblending black result in no change.

The resulting image clearly represents thiseffect.

The black and dark areas of the luminositylayer remained virtually unchanged, while the lighter tones inverted the colors.

If you duplicate the base layer by pressingCtrl J, that’s Command J on the Mac, and change the Blending Mode of the duplicateto Difference, the image will turn black.

Identical areas turn black because there isno difference between them.

Small differences darken the result, whilelarge differences lighten the result.

If I select the Move tool by pressing theV key on the keyboard and use the arrow keys to nudge the layer, you will see the varianceof the tonal values in each pixel.

This technique is great for comparing thealignment of layers with similar content.

The Second Blending Mode in this categoryis Exclusion.

Exclusion gives you similar results as Difference.

Blending with white inverts the base colorvalues.

Blending with black produces no change.

Blending with 50% gray produces 50% gray.

The next Blending Mode is Subtract, whichis one of the two newest Blending Modes, first introduced in Photoshop CS5 in 2010.

Subtract simply subtracts pixel values fromthe base layer.

This Blending Mode drastically darkens pixelsby subtracting brightness.

White has no effect, but the darker colorslighten the image.

Only as the blend values get brighter doesthe result get darker.

Notice how the light areas of the gradientare almost pure black, while the dark areas of the gradient produced no change.

The next Blending Mode is Divide, also, introducedin 2010 in Photoshop CS5.

Divide produces the opposite effect as Subtract.

White has no effect, but the darker colorslighten the image.

Only as the blend values get darker, doesthe result gets brighter.

Notice how the dark areas of the gradientare almost pure white, while the light areas of the gradient produced no change.

The final category in the list of BlendingModes is Component.

The Blending Modes in this category use acombination of hue, saturation and luminosity to perform the blend.

Let’s take a look a Hue first.

We will apply the Hue Blending Mode to theLuminosity layer first, which turns the image into grayscale, that's because none of thepixels in the luminosity layer have color.

The Hue Blending Mode preserves the luminosityand saturation of the base pixels while adopting the hue of the blend pixels.

The Hue Blending Mode can be used to changehues in an image while maintaining the tonal and saturation values of the original image.

By turning on the “Color” layer and settingthe Blending Mode to Hue, you will see that the blend layer did not affect the saturation,lightness or darkness of the image.

The only thing that changed was the Hue.

The second Blending Mode in this categoryis Saturation.

The Saturation Blending Mode preserves theluminosity and hue of the base layer while adopting the saturation of the blend layer.

A black and white blend layer also turns theimage into grayscale because none of the pixels in the luminosity layer have saturation.

The third Blending Mode in this category isColor.

The Color Blending Mode preserves the luminosityof the base layer while adopting the hue and saturation of the blend layer, making thisblending mode ideal for coloring monochromatic images.

Also, Color, along with the Luminosity BlendingMode, is the second pair of Commuted Blending Modes.

Once again, a set of Commuted Blending Modeswill give you the same result when you apply one Blending Mode to the blend layer, as whenyou apply the corresponding Commuted Blend Mode to the base layer, and then reversingthe order of the layers.

In other words, if you apply the Color BlendingMode to the blend layer, you will get the same result as when you apply the LuminosityBlending Mode to the Base layer and then reversing the order of the layers.

As you might have guessed, Luminosity, thelast Blending Mode on the list, preserves the hue and saturation of the base layer,while adopting the luminosity of the blend layer.

This blending mode is one that I use a lotin color correction and color toning, particularly, because it works great with the Black andWhite adjustment layer.

Let me show you what I mean by that.

Create a new Black and White adjustment layer.

This adjustment layer turns the image blackand white.

In the Properties panel, you can adjust theluminosity of the original colors by dragging the sliders.

Notice that by dragging the blue slider, Iadjust the sky because there is blue in the sky.

But, if we change the adjustment layer’sBlending Mode to Luminosity, we will get the color back, and we can adjust the luminancevalues of those colors with the sliders.

So, now, I'm adjusting the luminosity butI get to keep the colors.

Before we finish this video, I would liketo take you through three more Blending Modes not found in the list that we’ve been lookingat.

First, let’s learn about the extra blendingmode in groups.

We will work with this group titled “GroupBlending Modes.

” When you select a group, you will notice thatthe default blending mode is not Normal.

Instead, it is “Pass Through.

” The Pass Through Blending Mode tells Photoshopto treat all the layers within a group to behave as if they were part of the regularlayer stack and not part of the group, and blend with the layers below.

However, if you changed the Pass Through BlendingMode to any of the other Blending Modes, Photoshop will first blend the layers in the group,then it will blend the resulting composite with the layers below it using the BlendingMode that you selected.

Another way of thinking about it is that thisis the same result as merging the contents of the group and then applying the BlendingMode.

For this reason, you can use it to createsome great effects especially when compositing.

In this group, I have two layers–a photoof the sky and a group that contains an image of a jet.

If I create a new Curves Adjustment Layerinside of the Jet group and apply a dramatic change, you will notice that it will affectall the layers below it.

But, if I change the Jet group’s BlendingMode to Normal, you will see that the adjustment layer is now only affecting the contents ofthe group.

I can duplicate the Jet layer, by pressingCtrl J, that's Command J on the Mac, and then move the plane to the side by using the Movetool.

And you will notice that the duplicate willalso be affected because it is in the same group.

Any adjustment layer in the Jet group willonly affect the contents of the group.

Once again, it is the same result as mergingall the layers in the group, Ctrl E, Command E on the Mac, and changing it to the selectedBlending Mode.

In this case, we chose Normal, which is alsothe current Blending Mode, so we don’t need to change it, and, of course, it looks thesame.

You always want to work non-destructivelyso I will undo that change, Ctrl Alt Z, that’s Command Option Z on the Mac, to Undo.

I'm going to disable this group.

The final Blending Modes that we are goingto talk about are Behind and Clear, which can be found in any of the painting tools,such as the Brush tool.

You can select the Brush tool by pressingB on the keyboard.

From the Options bar, you can select the BlendingMode.

Notice that the 27 layer Blending Modes arehere, along with Behind and Clear.

Let's talk about Behind first because thatis the most interesting of the two.

Select Behind from the Blending Mode dropdown,then select blue as your foreground color.

You can do so by double clicking on the foregroundcolor and selecting blue and pressing OK.

The exact color is not important.

Then, create a new layer and paint on it.

Then, open the Foreground Color Picker onceagain and select red, then I'm going to continue painting on the layer.

Notice that the Brush tool works as expected,but notice that I cannot paint over the Blue areas.

The Behind Blending makes it so that you canonly paint on transparent pixels.

In other words, you can only paint behindopaque pixels.

The Behind blending mode is actually the oppositeof clicking on the “Lock Transparent Pixels” icon in the Layers panel.

Using this lock will make it so that you canonly paint on opaque pixels and not transparent pixels.

If click on the “Lock Transparent Pixels”icon you will see that Photoshop will automatically change the brush's Blending Mode to Normal.

If click on the dropdown to reveal all theBlending Modes, you will see that both Behind and Clear are grayed out.

I’m going to unlock the layer by clickingon the “Lock Transparent Pixels” icon, then I will change the Blending Mode to Clear.

The Clear Blending mode clears pixels.

In other words, it deletes them.

It works very much the same as the EraserTool.

I haven’t found much use for it.

But it is there available for you, in caseyou can come up with a creative way to use it.

We’ve already discussed the eight specialBlending Modes that give you different results when you adjust Opacity compared to Fill.

The one thing that I didn’t mention is thatthese blending modes also have another thing in common.

To show you what that is, I’m going to openthe Layer Style window by double clicking on the side of the “Black – 50% Gray – White”layer, which will be our blend layer in this example.

From the Layer Style window, you can changethe Blending Mode of the layer, as well as the Opacity and Fill.

This is no different than making the adjustmentsfrom the Layers panel.

They both give you the same results.

The reason we’re in the Layer Style windowis that it gives us access to the Transparency Shapes Layers checkbox under Advanced Blending.

Before I uncheck it, I’m going to selectthe first of the eight Special Blending Modes–Color Burn–so that you can see what it looks likewhen the checkbox is checked, which is default, and how it looks when we uncheck TransparencyShapes Layers.

Notice that the edges blend differently andin my opinion, it is a better blend in the case of all of the eight special BlendingModes.

This is Linear Burn, checked and unchecked.

Color Dodge gives us a great result with thebrighter pixels.

Notice how bright and how hot the image looksin those areas.

It looks like a bright light shining on it.

You can, then, reduce the Fill, to decreasethe intensity of the highlight.

This is a great technique for creating specularhighlights in your image.

If I go down the list of the eight specialBlending Modes, you will see that they will blend differently when the Transparency ShapesLayer checkbox is unchecked.

Then by using Fill, instead of Opacity, youget an extra level of blends.

If we press OK to commit the changes, youwill see that the layer has an icon to the side of it indicating that the checkbox wasunchecked, creating an advanced blend.

I’m going to end this video by letting youknow that each Blending Mode has a keyboard shortcut, except for Subtract and Divide,the two Blending Modes added in Photoshop CS5 in 2010, but that's okay.

I don’t recommend learning all the keyboardshortcuts.

Only learn the ones that you use the most.

Most of the time I only use Screen, Multiply,Overlay, Soft Light, Color and Luminosity.

So those are the only keyboard shortcuts thatI have memorized.

You can use Alt Shift on Windows and OptionShift on the Mac, and the corresponding letter to get you the Blending Mode that you wouldlike to apply to a layer.

Once again, keep in mind that if you havea painting tool active, this keyboard shortcut will change the Blending Mode for the toolinstead of the layer.

To prevent this from happening, get in thehabit of pressing V on the keyboard to select the Move tool, then apply the keyboard shortcutcombination for the Blending Mode that you would like to use.

And that’s it for my free preview of mycolor in Photoshop course.

If you would like to find out more about thecourse, check the link in the description.

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