In this Adobe Photoshop CS3 tutorial, learn how blend modes can be added to any layer to create anything from a subtle to ...
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One of the most underused items that you can use in Photoshop is the blend modes. I think it’s because there are 25 of them and it’s a little overwhelming. But it really is a quick way to change the total look of a photo or a document in Photoshop. So I have a very pretty picture open of a flower and I want to go through the blend modes and show you the effect that each one is going to have. Now first of all, you need to have a background that you can put this flower on top of and I’m just going to go ahead and create a whole new document, create a new canvas. I’m going to go to 1000 x 1000. You could do whatever size you want. And you can even put another photo in here. You can do a gradient. It’s all going to have an effect on what you see when you blend. I like personally to choose a color from my actual photo and just use a solid color. You get a really pure result that way.
So I’m going to go ahead and use the eyedropper tool and I’m going to select this darker color. And then, I’m going to use the paint bucket tool and then I’m going to fill this canvas with that color. I’m going to use my move tool and I’m going to go ahead and move this photo of the flower into my canvas. So now, we have this to work with. I’m going to go through each blend modes so you can get an idea of what it looks like. So it’ll help you decide which one you’d like to use in your next Photoshop document.
So normal of course is going to give you no result; that’s just going to be normal. And dissolve is going to slightly dissolve it. Darken, it’s going to darken it and you could just use your down arrow on your mouse to go through these. Multiply is a really neat look. And then color burn, which also gives you a really great outline of your object. Linear burn, a little bit darker. We have darker color. Lighten, which is also a very unique look. Screen, color dodge, linear dodge, lighter color, overlay, soft light, and of course, if you were to set a different background like if you were to set the color blue or maybe a complimentary color, then you’re going to go to a whole new look. Hard light, another nice look. Vivid light, linear light, pen light, hard mix, difference, exclusion, hue, saturation, color, luminosity, and that’s the 25 blend modes. So now, you know how to apply them and the different looks you’re going to get for each one.