Photoshop Blend Modes give you the power to combine layers and images for a huge variety of effects. Read on to learn how these Photoshop effects (opens in new tab) work, and discover some of the wonderful things you can do with them...
Creates a pixelated blend, the effects of which only become apparent when you begin to lower layer opacity (50% here).
Lighter pixels on the top layer are replaced by the colours and tones from the layer below, while darker pixels remain unchanged.
Multiplies colours in the layer with those below. Colours on the top layer that are lighter are replaced with those on the lower layer.
04. Color Burn
Increases the contrast between each layer. Light pixels on the top layer don’t affect the colours and tones on the layer below.
05. Linear Burn
Lowers the brightness of layers below to reflect the colours of the top layer. Lighter pixels on the top layer produce no change.
06. Darker Color
Selects either the top layer’s colour or those on the layer below – whichever is darker – as the resulting colours.
The opposite of Darken. Any colours on the top layer that are lighter than the colours underneath will remain visible.
The opposite of Multiply. Works out the inverse of the layer’s colours and multiplies it with those on the layer below.
09. Color Dodge
Causes lighter tones on the layer to create more vibrant colours and increase contrast. Darker pixels make no difference.
10. Linear Dodge (Add)
Similar to Colour Dodge and Screen Blend, but the brightening is stronger. Dark colours make no changes to the colours below.
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11. Lighter Color
Compares the colour channel values with the layer below and chooses the higher values to create the resulting colour.
Provides a subtle way of adding a wash of the lower layer’s colour to the top layer while preserving the lower layer’s detail.
13. Soft Light
Darkens or lightens the colours of the top layer, depending on the colours of the layer underneath. Like Overlay, but more subtle.
14. Hard Light
Multiplies or screens the colours, depending on the colours of the layer underneath. Pixels lighter than 50% grey are lightened.
15. Vivid Light
Lightens or darkens colours with more intensity than Soft or Hard Light. If the layer is lighter than 50% grey, the image is lightened.
16. Linear Light
Like Vivid Light, but adjusts brightness rather than contrast. If the layer is lighter than 50% grey, the image is lightened.
17. Pin Light
If a pixel on the layer is lighter than 50% grey and the pixels below are darker, the top pixels are replaced by the ones below.
18. Hard Mix
Adds the layer’s red, green and blue channel values to those of the lower layer, changing the layer’s pixels to primary colours.
Lighter colours are inverted, and darker colours are replaced by the pixels below. Blending with black makes no change.
Like Difference, but with less contrast. Lighter colours are inverted, and darker colours are replaced by the pixels below.
Studies the colours in each channel, then subtracts the colours in the selected layer from the colours underneath.
Examines the colours in each channel and divides the top layer’s colours by the colours in the layer below.
Mixes the layer colours with the luminance and saturation of the layer below. So the colours remain, but saturation is reduced.
Combines the saturation values of the top layer’s colour with the luminance and hue values of the colours on the layer below.
Similar to Hue, but mixes the hue and saturation of the top layer’s colour with the luminance of the colours from the lower layer.
Mixes luminance with the hue and saturation of the layer below; you see detail from the top layer and colour from below.
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