Layer mix modes in Photoshop and Elements can alter how layers interact with one another. You’ll utilize some of these on a daily basis at work.
For instance, duplicating the photo layer in the layers panel and switching the duplicate layer mode to Screen is frequently a quick fix for photos that are too dark. It is occasionally possible to fix an overexposed photo by duplicating the image layer and switching the layer mode to multiply.
How well-versed are you in layer blend modes? To dispel some of the mystery, let’s examine them and see how they operate. (Some. Not every.)
Some Color Theory
What Do Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Colors Mean?
You must have a basic understanding of color theory to comprehend blend modes. Light is made up of numerous colors, just as color is made up of light. The light waves are absorbed or reflected by objects. These wavelengths are interpreted as color by our eyes. First, let’s look at the color wheel.
Primary, secondary, and tertiary hues or colors make up the 12 segments of the COLOR WHEEL.
Red, yellow, and blue are considered to be the three primary hues. On the wheel, a triangle is formed by them. These hues cannot be blended with any other hues. They are represented by a P on the color wheel.
The three SECONDARY colors of ORANGE, VIOLET, and GREEN (designated by a S on the color wheel) are made by combining equal portions of the fundamental colors that fall between them; for example, VIOLET is made by combining equal quantities of RED and BLUE.
The colors that arise from combining the primary and secondary colors on either side of them, for example, blending the secondary color ORANGE with the primary color
Exactly what do color hue, saturation, etc. mean?
Red, blue, and other colors are examples of hues.
There is no white, gray, or black added, making the primary, secondary, and tertiary colors, or hues, these colors at their full saturation or brightness.
Value is the degree of brightness or darkness in a color or the proportion of white or black in a hue.
Luminosity, sometimes known as lightness, is a measurement of how much light a hue reflects. The brightness, or value, of colors with a high white component is higher.
Tints: white when added in increments to any color results in a lighter value of that color, called a tint. Blue and white make light blue, which is a tint of Blue.
Shades: Black or gray, when added to any color in little amounts, creates a darker version of that color. Dark blue is a hue of blue created from blue and black.
Saturation: A color’s degree of purity.
The brightness or dullness of a colour is its intensity. By including white or black, the intensity may be reduced.
The Blending Modes
Layer blend modes in Photoshop and Elements can be modified in the layers palette. Even if you have a selection in these apps, changing the layer blend mode impacts the entire layer. Although several blend modes may be applied to separate objects on the same layer in Illustrator, the blend mode popup may be found in the transparency palette.
The blending options, which we’ll go over in detail in a moment, are available in the dropdown menu on the left.
The items interact with one another in the default mode, Normal, as though they were both objects of solid color with 100% opacity. What is covered cannot be seen when one is placed over the other.
The remaining modes communicate with one another in various ways.
You need at least two layers in order to use layer blending modes. The layer beneath it will respond to the blend mode. The blend mode popup will be grayed out if all you have is a backdrop because backgrounds cannot use these modes.
I’ll be utilizing an image with two layers for these demonstrations. We’ll apply the blending mode to Layer 1 and observe how they interact.
The Background Layer
The amount that the colors of the top layer are transferred to the lower layer via dissolve depends on how opaque the top layer is. Here, the opacity of Layer 1 is set to 50%.
Disolve only affects pixels that have some transparency, thus in this case, I reduced the opacity to 50%.