2018/10/15

Adobe Announces Updates to Photoshop CC 2019 (v20)

I’m excited to announce several new features and enhancements to Photoshop CC 2019 including a new Content-Aware Fill workspace, Frame tool,   Color Symmetry options, color picker, live Blend Modes and much, much, more!

Photoshop CC’s Content-Aware Fill feature has been updated to include new controls for selecting source information as well as adapting content based on rotation, scale, and mirroring in order to create a better match when filling in areas of a photograph. Check out the video below to learn more. 

The Radial and Mandala Paint symmetry have been fully integrated into the symmetry options for painting in Photoshop CC.  Watch the video below to see how easy it is to mirror and repeat paint strokes around your desired axis as well as access the new Color Wheel in Photoshop CC. 

The new Frame tool enables quick “clipping” of content to a shape. In the video below, see how to place images, drag and drop form the OS or other applications such as Lightroom or,  use the Libraries panel to quickly add a photo within a rectangle, ellipse, or any shape converted to a frame.

Note: the Frame tool is a fast and easy way to clip an image within a shape and will be very useful  – especially for those that are new to Photoshop. However for more advanced users looking for the ultimate in flexibility, clipping masks are still an excellent way to clip content (photos, adjustment layers, Layer Groups etc. to shapes and type because once a shape is converted to a frame, the frame is no longer editable. Click here to read more about clipping masks, or, click here to watch a video.

Here are 10 additional improvements made to make Photoshop CC easier to use:

1) The Undo command has been updated to provide consistency between Adobe applications such as Illustrator and InDesign.

Command + Z now continues to step back in time

Command + Shift + Z move forward in time

Command + Option + Z toggles the last state off/on (after the most recent command)

Note: it might take a bit to re-train your “muscle memory” so if you’re under deadline at the moment or prefer not to change your shortcuts,  can select Edit > Keyboard shortcuts > and enable Use Legacy Undo Shortcuts. 

2) Dragging any anchor point while in Transform will transform proportionally by default. To distort the transformation, add the Shift key. Note: Transforming shapes and paths are the exception – they will be left un-proportional by default). 

3) When in Transform, the reference point is hidden by default to prevent accidental repositioning. Quickly show/hide the reference point using the Options bar or use Edit > Preferences > Tools > Show reference point when using Transform.

4) It’s easier than ever to commit to (apply changes) made by Tools that have modal states (including Type, Crop, Transform, and Content-Aware Scale). Simply select another tool or layer, click outside the canvas or click inside the canvas, but away from the bounding box. Note: when using tools such as Puppet Warp, the team didn’t want to make to too easy to “accidentally” apply a warp so some of these “commit” shortcuts may not apply).

5) To edit Type layers more quickly, just double click on the text with the Move tool to automatically select the Type tool and the text on the layer. 

6) Clicking with the Type tool in the image area automatically displays placeholder text to preview font, size, color etc. The placeholder text is replaced as soon as you start to type. To disable, choose Preferences > Type > Fill New Type Layers With Placeholder Text.

7) To help make on-canvas controls easier to see, select Preference > Guides Grid & Slices. Use the Path options to change color and width of paths and shapes and the Control option to change the color of on-canvas controls such as Transform and Warp commands, Blur Gallery and Liquify filters and Gradient and Eyedropper tools.

8) To change the font size for the interface, choose Preference > Interface > UI Font size and enable Scale UI To Font. Note: changes won’t take effect until the next time you restart Photoshop.

UI Font size set to Large.

UI Font size set to Small.

9) The Crop tool now displays the handles outside of the cropped area,  no longer obscuring the edges of the document.

10) For additional control over your workspaces, choose  Panel > Workspace > Lock workspace. You can still add additional panels, but locking them prevents you from  inadvertently moving them.

Are here are my favorite 10  Hidden Gems in Photoshop CC. 

Live Blend Modes Hovering your cursor over any blend mode in the Layers panel previews the results instantly in the image area. 

New Layer Alignment Options Easily distribute objects of different sizes based on the spacing between them (not their size). Choose Layer > Distribute > Horizontally or Vertically. Or, with the Move tool selected, click the More icon (three dots) in the Options bar and click the desired Distribute Spacing icon.  Note: this menu item can be recored as part of an action.

Three shape layers.

Distributed via centers of objects.

Distributed via Spacing between objects.

Long Layer Names  When displaying layers with long names, the Layers panel now truncates the middle of the name (not the end) making it easier to identify the layer. 

Math Calculations Photoshop now supports addition (+), multiplication (*), subtraction (-) and division(/) in text entry fields. 

Custom Groups in Libraries Panel While you can still view your assets in a Library by Photoshop’s default view based on element type, you can also create your own groups of mixed assets depending on your needs. 

Flip Canvas View Selecting View > Flip Horizontal quickly flips the document view which can help provide a new perspective on the document or troubleshoot why an image isn’t working as planned. Note: to actually flip the document (not the view) choose Image > Image Rotation > Flip Canvas… 

Toggle the Visibility of the Home Screen Click the new Home icon in the Options bar in Photoshop at any time to access the Home screen (to create new or open recent files, discover Learn content and access LR Photos).

Click the PS icon on the Home screen to return to Photoshop. Note, to assign a custom keyboard shortcut to toggle the Home screen choose Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts > Help > Home.

New Product Tour and Learn Content  When you first launch PS, the Home screen will display the New Product Tour and additional Learn content. The contents of Home screen will evolve over time, but you can always access the product tour by choosing File > Open Recent > Clear Recent File List. 

Japanese Characters and Fonts. Show Similar Fonts now includes Japanese characters.And, when using Match Font, you can choose between Roman and Japanese characters.

Middle Eastern and South Asian Layout Paragraph Composer  Photoshop now has support for entering text using 5 new Southeast Asian languages —Thai, Burmese, Lao, Sinhala, and Khmer. Choose Edit > Preferences > Type to choose the Middle Eastern and South Asian text engine option and create a new document. Create a new Type layer and, in the Character panel, choose the desired language. Choose your font  (Adobe Thai or Noto Sans Thai for Thai, for example) and Copy & Paste the Thai text. Or, if you have a Thai keyboard set up, simply type away.

Note: On Windows, to use these languages properly, you will have to install the Language and Font packs for the particular language you want to use. Microsoft has all the information on this. Just Google something like “Windows Thai Language Pack”.

9:30 AM Comments (5) Permalink

Create High Dynamic Range (HDR) Panoramas in One Step in Adobe Camera Raw

It’s easier than ever to create raw, high dynamic range, raw panoramas using the new Merge to HDR Panorama feature in Adobe Camera Raw. Instead of having to first merge each of the bracketed exposures together and then stitching the resulting HDR files together, you can now do both at once with the new Merge to HDR Panorama command. The video below demonstrates how. 

Additional Tips for working with the Merge to HDR Panorama feature in Camera Raw

  • Lens Correction Profiles are applied if Camera Raw can auto-detect which profiles to use. If Camera Raw can’t auto-detect the correct profile, an alert appears asking you to apply a lens profile correction for best results. Camera Raw always remove chromatic aberration as part of the merge.
  • If you make adjustments to an individual exposures that can be copied over to the merged file (such as conversion to B/W or Split Toning adjustments), make sure that the exposure with the adjustment(s) is the active or “most selected” image before running Merge to HDR Panorama. 
  • If there are spots that occur in the same location in every image (dust on the sensor, for example), you can fix them in one exposure, sync the spot corrections to the others, then merge  the files and Camera Raw will apply the spot corrections to the source images before merging.
  • To use the Deghost feature, bracketed exposures must be merged independently (Merge to HDR… ) and then stitched (Merge to Panorama…).  
  • Camera Raw saves the final Panorama (with the suffix HDR-Pano ), and discards the intermediate HDR images.
9:10 AM Comments (1) Permalink

Adobe Announces Updates to Lightroom Classic CC (v8.0)

I’m excited to announce several new features and enhancements to Lightroom Classic CC including one-step, high-dynamic range Raw panorama creation, support for HEIC depth maps, faster and more reliable tethered capture for Canon cameras and more.  

HDR Panorama It’s easier than ever to create raw, high dynamic range panoramas using the new HDR Panorama command. Instead of having to first merge each of the bracketed exposures together and then stitching the resulting HDR files together, you can now do both at once by selecting Photo > Photo Merge > HDR Panorama. Watch the video below to learn more. 

Additional Tips for working with HDR Panoramas in Lightroom Classic:

  • Lens Correction Profiles are applied if Lightroom can auto-detect which profile to use. If Lightroom can’t auto-detect the correct profile an alert appears asking you to apply a lens profile correction for best results. Lightroom always remove chromatic aberration as part of the merge.
  • If you make adjustments to an individual exposures that can be copied over to the merged file (such as conversion to B/W or Split Tone adjustments), make sure that the exposure with the adjustment(s) is the active or “most selected” image before running HDR Panorama. 
  • If there are spots that occur in the same location in every image (dust on the sensor, for example), you can fix them in one exposure, sync the spot corrections to the others, then merge  the files and Lightroom will apply the spot corrections to the source images before merging.
  • To use the Deghost feature, bracketed exposures must be merged independently (PhotoMerge > HDR ) and then stitched (PhotoMerge > Panorama).  
  • HDR Panorama needs access to the original files (it will not work with Smart Previews).
  • Lightroom saves the final Panorama (with the suffix HDR-Pano), and discards the intermediate HDR images.

Support for HEIC Depth Maps Lightroom Classic now has the ability to apply selective adjustments to photographs based on embedded depth information in the image using the new Depth option for the Range Masking tool. Currently, this is limited to HEIC files captured using Lightroom mobile’s Depth Capture technology preview or, with the built-in iOS camera app in Portrait mode (iPhone 7+, 8+ and X).

To capture HEIC files with embedded depth information using Lightroom mobile:

  • In Lightroom mobile, tap the settings icon.

  • Tap Technology Previews.

  • Enable Depth Map Support (this enables a new depth capture mode within the camera, letting you capture HEIC photos with depth maps).

  • Once Depth Map Support is enabled, select Depth from the drop-down menu in the camera and take the photo.

  • Note: be sure to enable Sync in Lightroom Classic on the desktop to access the photo.

To capture HEIC files with embedded depth information using the built-in iOS camera app:

  • On the iOS device, under Settings> Photos be sure to enable “Keep Originals” to maintain the original HEIC format with the depth map. 
  • Take a photo in Portrait mode. 
  • Plug the phone into your computer and use the usual Lightroom Classic Import workflow to import the HEIC files from your phone.
  • Note: at this time, it is not possible to import the HEIC files directly from the Camera App into Lightroom mobile and maintain the depth information.

To make edits to the photo using the embedded depth preview information in Lightroom Classic.

  • In the Develop module, use any of the selective adjustment tools to create the desired selection.

In this example, I painted over the entire photograph using the Adjustment Brush with the Saturation set to -100.

  • From the Range Mask drop down menu, choose Depth.
    • Enable  the “Show Range Mask” checkbox to view the depth map of the image (the red color represents the masked area). 

With Show Depth Mask enabled we see the red depth mask overlay.

  • Use the Range slider in combination with the Smoothness slider to isolate the portion of the range mask to use.
    • Use the eye dropper tool to sample only a single point or an area.
    • Use the Smoothness slider to define how smooth the falloff is.
    • Option -scrub (Mac) | Alt -scrub (Win) with the Smoothness slider to preview the mask.

Here I’ve refined the Depth options (Range and Smoothness) in order to limit the adjustment to the leaves in the background.

  •  Uncheck the Show Depth Mask icon to view the adjustment.

The white portion of the depth map is unaffected by the change made with the Adjustment Brush. 

Faster and More Reliable Tethered Capture for Canon Cameras When shooting tethered with a Canon camera, you should see a significant increase in stability and transfer time as well as a new option to “Disable Auto Advance” which, when enabled, stops Lightroom Classic from automatically selecting the latest tethered image. While this release improves the experience for  Canon cameras, the team is working hard to expand the functionality to Nikon tethered capture in a future release. 

New Process Version 5 With the new PV5, negative Dehaze has been significantly improved, making it much more perceptually uniform, and providing a more useful range, especially for HDR images. In addition, PV5 includes improvements to image quality (improved shadow detail and reduced purple/magenta color cast) for high ISO raw files. 

Luminance Range Mask You can now use the eye dropper tool to select a single point (or an area) to set the range of the Luminance Range Mask.

Video Support Lightroom Classic now supports HEVC for macOS 10.13 or higher.

9:05 AM Comments (1) Permalink

Adobe Announces Updates to Lightroom CC Desktop, Mobile, and Web

I’m excited to announce several updates across the Lightroom CC ecosystem including People View, improved Search, and refined Sharing controls. 

The following three features are available across Mac, Windows, iOS, Android, and ChromeOS:

  • People View Using Adobe Sensei, Lightroom CC’s new People view can help find, organize, and view the people in your photos by grouping them together — with minimal time spent manually tagging images. 

  • Improved Search Get better search results with automatic search suggestions provided to you as you type in the search box. Lightroom CC provides suggestions for metadata like cameras, lenses, aperture, ISO, locations, keywords, and more.

  • Share Tab The new Share tab gives you an easy way to browse and access shared albums and images that are created using Lightroom Web – lightroom.adobe.com (more details below).

The following feature is available on Mac and Windows:

  • Connectors As part of the new Share tab, you can share albums directly to your portfolio hosted on Adobe Portfolio from within Lightroom CC using the new Connector feature. Click + Add Collection and then connect with Adobe Portfolio.

The following feature is available on Mac:

  • Apple Photos Migrator Use the new Apple Photos Migrator to easily migrate your Apple Photos library into Lightroom CC on your desktop.

The following feature is available on iOS and Android:

  • Additional Sharing Options When sharing your albums to Lightroom Web you can now choose to only share images that are flagged or that have a certain star rating or higher, while controlling the display theme, directly from Lightroom CC.
  • While in an album, tap the More icon and then tap Share to Web.

Turn on Enable Sharing for the album and enter a Title.

Tap Sharing Options to control Downloads, Comments and Likes, Metadata and Location options.

Return to the Share to Web screen and tap Display to control  Title, Author, Theme, Appearance and Filter.

The following feature is available in Lightroom Web (lightroom.adobe.com):

  • Display View  The new Display view enables the addition of titles and text, control over the layout and background color, and dividers to segment images into groups.

Click the Share icon and select the Album to share.

Click Display to add text and change layout options.

Click Sharing to see a preview of the images that you are sharing just as your viewers will see it (click the link).

Note: Click here to see the new features for Lightroom Classic CC

9:00 AM Comments (0) Permalink
2018/10/09

Three Ways to Export in Photoshop CC

In this episode of 3, 2, 1, Photoshop! you’ll discover the best way to  export Documents, Layers, and Layer Groups in Photoshop.

5:08 AM Comments (0) Permalink
2018/10/05

Key Photoshop Tricks for Photographers at PhotoPlus Expo 2018

PhotoPlus Expo is just around the corner and I’m busy preparing my new seminar — Key Photoshop Tricks for Photographers! On Thursday, October 25, 2018 from 2:00 – 3:30, I’ll be showcasing my favorite Photoshop techniques, little-known features and hidden gems to empower you to create your best photographs faster than ever. This fast-paced, information-packed session will include new features, selecting, masking and compositing; using smart objects and smart filters; and working with Content Aware, camera RAW and adjustment layers.

Click here to receive a free expo pass OR a 15% discount on a 1-Day or 3-Day Conference Pass

I hope you’ll join me if you’re looking to gain serious insights and solid Photoshop skills that you can put to use immediately.

5:01 AM Permalink
2018/09/18

3, 2, 1, Photoshop! Explore Different Artistic Filters in Photoshop CC

In this Episode of 3, 2, 1, Photoshop! You’ll explore different artistic filter and learn how to apply them nondestructively using smart objects in Photoshop.

5:00 AM Permalink
2018/09/12

Now or Later – When to Share Photographs

For several years, my goal was to post three new photographs a day  in order to exercise my creative muscle and improve my photography. My “self-imposed” requirement was that the images were at least loosely related to one another (in theme, color, subject or some other way). Doing the same thing for several years however, had started to loose its charm so when Instagram changed the way they display images (preventing my three images to appear sequentially in the feed), I though it would be the perfect time for me to shake up my process as well. 

Today, I’ve started paying more attention to the quality of the images that I post rather than the speed at which I post them. I’m looking to share photographs that still have impact weeks, months (hopefully even years), after they were taken. Although some may feel that delayed publishing goes against the immediacy of social media, I am thrilled to have let go of the idea of posting “same-day” images for several reasons including:  

• Time is a lovely editor. I find that I’m often so excited about the process of making the photograph that while I’m still “in the moment”, I can’t be objective as to whether or not the photograph successfully communicates the emotion/story that I’m trying to tell. I don’t want to confuse the experience of making the photograph (being awed by a beautiful landscape for example), with the photo itself.  If I’m only paying attention to my part of the equation (my roll in the making of the image) while ignoring the fact that the viewer is going to complete the experience, then I might not be posting my most compelling work.  

• Publishing a body of work with a deliberate order (sequence) can help create a more cohesive story. In other words, the order of images matters, but it often takes time for me to see the relationship between images.  

• Social media has an appetite that’s never satisfied. By giving myself permission to allow time to pass between capture and sharing, I can make more thoughtful decisions about my work. And, when I don’t worry about immediately posting an image, I am able to better enjoy my roll as a participant in the world – not only as an observer.

So, all that was my way of saying, I’m so glad that I didn’t immediately post all of the images that I took in the Valley of Fire. I needed to take some time to live with my photographs for a while before I shared them – as a result, I think I made a significantly tighter edit which resulted in a better (much smaller) body of work to share. 

Below are three of the images as they were captured (left) and after editing in Lightroom Classic and Photoshop.

5:30 AM Permalink
2018/09/04

3, 2, 1, Photoshop! Five Ways to Change the Canvas Size in Photoshop CC

In this Episode of 3, 2, 1, Photoshop, you’ll learn five different ways to change the canvas size of a document based on the task at hand. 

5:02 AM Permalink
2018/08/29

New Features in Lightroom CC Mobile (August 2018)

I’m excited to announce new features and enhancements to Lightroom CC mobile on iOS and Android.

iOS

  • Lightroom for iOS now has two “smart” folders to help auto-organize your images:
    • Lr Camera Photos –  tap to see all images captures with the Lr camera
    • Recently Added – tap to see recently added photos

  • Tap the new Shared Albums icon (the globe) to see all of the albums you’ve shared on lightroom.adobe.com. Tap the more icon (the three dots) to The right of the album to access and control the share options.

  • To help organize your images more quickly, tap and hold on an image to enter “multi-select” mode. Once the desired images are selected, choose to Add To (a collection), Move To (a collection), Share, or Remove. 

  • The filter menu has been updated, enabling you to filter your photos by media type, camera, location, keywords, and whether or not the photo has been edited.

  • When sharing images, the limit of 15 images was removed. 
  • Tap the new Gear icon (added to the Home screen) to access the Lightroom Settings (Preferences, Help & Support etc.).

  • HDR and long exposure photos captured within the Lr Camera are now greatly reduced in size (up to 2/3rds smaller) without any visual quality loss, taking less time to upload. 
  • A new Technology Preview was added (Settings > Technology Previews > Depth Map) which enables a new depth capture mode within the camera (letting you capture HEIC photos with depth maps).

Once the Depth Map is enabled, select Depth from the drop-down menu in the camera.

Click the Selective Edits icon and chose the  new Depth-aware selective tool.

Use the Depth Map range sliders to isolate the area in the image that you want to turn into a selection (the selected area will appear in red).

Then, use the Adjustment Brush to add to the mask (or the eraser to subtract from it) and apply the desired changes using the  same editing tools that are available with the other selective tools. 

 

Android

  • Lightroom for Android adds in improvements to the Optics section with the ability to reduce chromatic aberrations (CA) as well as manually select from one of the more than1,200 Adobe created lens profiles available within Lightroom CC.
  • HEIC (sometimes referred to as HEIF) formatted photos are also now supported, letting you import and work with this new and increasingly popular photo format.
  • You can now pause and resume synchronization within the cloud status tab, letting you decide when you’d like to sync your photos and edits to the cloud.
  • We’ve also added in a brand new technology preview, Best Photos.  Best Photos combines Adobe Sensei smarts as well as changes and edits that you’ve made to your photos to make a recommend selection of your photos within an album with the highest potential, quickly and easily.
  • Finally, there’s a new guided tutorial (Settings > Help & Support > Guided Tutorials) to learn how to apply watermarks to your photos. 
6:15 AM Permalink
2018/08/22

Lightroom Classic Updates – Book Module, Presets & Profiles, and HEIC Support

I’m excited to announce several updates to Lightroom Classic including several enhancements to the Book module, support for importing profiles and presets as ZIP files, and HEIC support on Windows.

Enhancements to the Book Module

For customers who have requested additional Blurb book options, you’ll be happy to know that the Book module now supports Blurb Magazine, Blurb Trade Books, and Layflat paper:

  • Magazines provide a high-end look with semigloss cover and velvet finish paper.  
  • Blurb Trade Books are affordable books ideal for distribution. 
  • Layflat paper for Blurb Photo Books make unique layouts possible, thanks to its seamless spreads.  

In addition, you can now customize the layout  – create any number of photos, at any size and place them anywhere on the page!

  • Reposition any cell (Text or Photo) anywhere on the page by dragging the center anchor point.

  • Change the size of a cell by dragging any of the eight resize buttons (anchor points) surrounding the cell. Note: as in earlier releases, dragging within the cell will change the cell padding.

  • Right -click on a page and choose Add Cell > Photo or Photo Description to add new cells to a page.
  • Right -click on a page and choose Remove Selected Cell to delete an unwanted cell. 

Use the new Page Grid and Guide Lines in the Guides panel for easier alignment of photos and descriptions.

Page Grid lines.

 

Page Guide Lines (visible when a cell (or multiple cells) is selected).

  • Nudge cells into position using Option + left/right/up/down arrow keys (Mac) | Alt + left/right/up/down) arrow keys (Win).

If cells overlap, change the stacking order (z-plane) by right -clicking in the cell and choosing one of the following:

  • Send To Back – sends the cell to the lowest level in the stacking order.
  • Send Backward – sends the cell one level down in the stacking order.
  • Bring To Front – sends the cell to the highest level in the stacking order.
  • Bring Forward – sends the cell one level up in the stacking order.

Save Custom Layouts as Template.  

  • Right click on a page and choose Save as Custom Page to save the Layout. Then, select it at any time using the Page panel’s page picker.

New Page Numbering Options:

  • In the Page Panel, choose to display page numbers on only the left or right page (instead of on both pages). 

Change Cell Border Size and Color

  • In the Cell panel, add a border of any size and color to a cell.

Pause (and Resume) during Upload:

  • Use the Activities Center to pause/resume the upload of cover and pages with in a session while uploading to Blurb.

Import and automatically install presets and profiles   

This release also adds in the ability to import a zip archive full of presets and profiles. Select Import from either the Preset panel or Profile browser, select the zip file, and Lightroom will automatically install the presets and profiles in the correct location.

  • From the Presets panel, click the ‘+’ icon and select Import Presets. Select the desired ZIP file and click OK.

From the Profile Browser, click the ‘+’ icon and select Import Profiles. Select the desired ZIP file and click OK.

Note: both Presets and Profiles will be imported with either of the above methods (XMP presets, XMP profiles, DCP profiles, and LCP profiles). Legacy “lrtemplate” files will not be imported (even if contained inside the ZIP).

  • In addition, legacy Presets and Profiles are now hidden by default. To reveal them, right -click on any profile group, choose Manage Profiles, and enable Legacy profiles.

HEIC Support on Windows

HEIC files are now supported on Windows and macOS High Sierra and later.  

6:16 AM Permalink

Lightroom CC – Select Albums for Off-line Use

Lightroom CC now includes the ability to store images in Albums locally which is great news for those of us who find ourselves in a location that has slow/low/no bandwidth internet connection and want to work on our images. Just right-click on any Album and choose “Store Album Locally”.  Lightroom CC will download and store the images on your local drive (just make sure that you do it before you get on that plane or travel to that far-off land!).

In addition, you can click the Info panel  to quickly see which which Album(s) your images are in.

 

6:15 AM Permalink
2018/08/21

3, 2, 1, Photoshop! Tips for Working with Guides in Photoshop CC

In this Episode of 3, 2, 1, Photoshop, you’ll learn several tips for working with Guides in Photoshop.

5:42 AM Permalink
2018/08/14

Five Additional Tips for Accessing and Applying Blend Modes in Photoshop CC

1) Blend Modes can be applied to multiple layers at one time. Select the layers, then select the Blend Mode to apply. 

Applying the Multiply Blend Mode to all three selected layers at once.

2) Second, instead of changing the Blend Mode for each individual layer within a Layer Group, you can change the Blend Mode for the Layer Group. When assigning a Blend Mode to a group, Photoshop treats the contents of the group as if they are flattened before adding the Blend Mode. As long as none of the layers have content that is overlapping, they layers will appear no differently than if the Blend Modes was applied to each layer, but if the content does overlap, then the results will blend differently. 

In this first example, each individual leaf layer’s Blend Mode is set to Multiply. Therefore the top leaf is blended with the two beneath it. The middle leaf is blended with the leaf below it, and all three  leaves are blended with the Background.

 

In the second example, the individual leaf layer’s Blend Mode is set to Normal and the Layer Group is set to Multiply. Because Photoshop treats the content of the group as if they’re flattened before applying the Blend Mode, the leaf layers are only being Multiplied (blended) with the layer below the group (in this case the Background).

3) Layer Groups have a unique blend mode called Pass Through which is only visible when a Layer Group is targeted in the Layers panel. It is the default Blend Mode for Layer Groups and allows any Blend Modes, adjustment layers,  advanced blending options, opacity and fill values applied to layers within a Layer Group, to affect the layers below the Group.  To restrict the blending of layers within a Group, change the Layer Group’s Blend Mode to Normal. Note: Option + Shift + P (Mac) | Alt + Shift + P (Win) sets the Blend Mode of the currently selected group to Pass Through. 

With the Layer Group’s blend mode is set to Pass Through, Blend Mode applied to layers with in the Group “pass through” the bottom of the group and affect the layers below the Layer Group.

When a Layer Groups blend mode is set to Normal, Blend Mode assigned to layers with in a group are restricted to only affect  layers with in the group  (they leaves set to the Multiply Blend Modec an’t blend with layers beneath the group). 

4) For more advanced blending of channels within Groups, choose Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options  (or Control -click (Mac) | Right -click (Win)  the Layer Group icon in the Layers panel and select Blending Options) to specify which channels to use for special effect blending of layers.

5) Select Edit > Fade (or use the shortcut Command + Shift + F (Mac) | Control + Shift + F (Win) ) to access Opacity and Blend Mode setting for several different commands. For example:

• Immediately after creating a brush stroke, select Edit > Fade to change the Blend Mode or opacity for the most recently created stroke.

• Directly after applying a filter, select Edit > Fade  to change the Blend Mode or opacity of the filter using the Fade dialog. 

The Blend Mode of the Diffuse Glow filter is changed using the Fade command.

Note: filters applied to a Smart Object are automatically “Smart Filters”. To change the Opacity and Blend Mode of the Smart Filter, double click the Filter Blending Option to the right of the filter name in the Layers panel. 

5:01 AM Permalink
2018/08/08

Working with Blend Modes in Photoshop CC

A blend mode allows you to control how the pixels on one layer work with or affect (or blend with) other pixels in Photoshop. They can be found throughout the program in such areas as the Layers panel, Layer Styles, Painting tools, Smart Filters, the Fill, Stroke, and Fade commands, and the Apply Image and Calculations commands. Within each of these different areas of Photoshop, the available blend modes vary based on which modes are useful and appropriate for each command. Except where noted, these modes work on a per channel basis (i.e., they treat an RGB image like three grayscale images).

When using blend modes, it’s helpful to think of the effects in terms of the following three colors: 

• The base color is the original color in the image (which can be the color on a layer or a cumulative combination of layers).

• The blend color is the color being blended (the painting or editing color).

• The result color is the color resulting from the blend.

In addition, some of the blend modes have what are called Neutral colors, or colors that have no effect when they are blended. For example, the Multiply blend mode has a Neutral color of white (white has no effect), the Screen blend mode has a Neutral color is black (black has no effect), and the Overlay blend mode has a Neutral color of 50% gray (gray has no effect).

In this example there are two layers in the Photoshop document – the Background layer is a photo of a mountain and the top layer is a photo of leaves with three circles (black, white, and gray) added to demonstrate the effect of the Neutral color of the Blend Mode.

In the first illustration, the Background layer (the photo of the mountains) is visible. In the second illustration, the photo of the leaves is visible. In the third illustration, both layers are visible but with the Blend Mode for the leaves layer set to Normal, there is no blending between layers.

The first group of Blend Modes (the ones at the top above the first dividing line) contains from one to four blend modes depending on the feature: Normal, Dissolve, Behind and Clear. Note: the Fill command and the painting tools are the only ones that list the Behind and Clear Blend modes and are only available when working on layers that can have transparency. In this grouping, there is no Neutral color – all blend colors will effect the base colors. When used at 100% opacity, the blend color will replace the base color. (I point out that I’m using 100% because lowering the opacity of the layer (or paint or fill etc.) will change the way that the blend color is combined with the layer below.)  

• Normal – This is the default mode. Pixels don’t blend. Results are as expected – the contents of a layer are displayed without any blending. A photo will appear as the original or, if you paint with a color, the result color is the color that you chose.  Note: the Normal Blend mode changes to the Threshold Blend Mode when working with indexed-color and/or bitmapped images.

• Dissolve  – Edits or paints each pixel to make it the result color; however, the result color is a random replacement of the pixels with the base color or the blend color, depending on the opacity at any pixel location. Lowering the opacity (in this example the opacity of the Layer) reveals a speckled effect which is either the blend color or the base color – never a combination of the two. In this case, the result looks a bit like a mezzotint.

• Behind – Edits or paints only in the transparent areas of a layer. This mode is available for the painting tools and the Fill command.  It’s like painting on the back side of acetate, underneath the image. This mode works only in layers with Lock Transparency deselected. Note: it could be more flexible to paint on a separate layer but I’m sure that people have reasons to do it this way!

• Clear – Makes all affected pixels transparent – essentially the same result as using the Eraser tool. This mode is available for the painting tools, the Fill command, and the Stroke command. Note: you must be in a layer with Lock Transparency deselected to use this mode.

In the first illustration, the Blend Mode is set to Normal – layers don’t blend. In the second illustration, the Blend Mode is set to Normal – the layers – blend because the Opacity of the leaves was was lowered  to 50%. In the third illustration, the opacity is lowered and the Blend Mode is set to Dissolve.

In the first illustration, the “Z” is painted with the Brush set to Normal. In the second illustration, the Brush was set to the Behind Blend Mode. Note: it would be more flexible to paint on a separate layer but I’m sure that people have reasons to do it this way! In the third Illustration  the Brush was set to the Clear Blend Mode – creating essentially the same result as using the Eraser tool.

The second group of Blend Modes (Darken, Multiply, Color Burn, Linear Burn and Darker Color) have a Neutral color of white. This means that white as a blend color will have no effect on the result color (white simply disappears). These blend modes all have stronger effects as the blend color becomes darker. Using the Fill slider on Layers palette using blend modes from this group  may  modulate this effect rather than performing a simple opacity blend the way normal mode does. By definition:

• Darken – Looks at the color information in each channel and selects the darker of the base or blend color as the result color. Pixels lighter than the blend color are replaced, and pixels darker than the blend color do not change.

• Multiply – Looks at the color information in each channel and multiplies the base color by the blend color. The result color is always a darker color. Multiplying any color with black produces black.  When you’re painting with a color other than black or white, successive strokes with a painting tool produce progressively darker colors, producing an effect similar to drawing on the image with multiple magic markers. Multiply is similar to sandwiching two pieces of slide film (positive images) and projecting them together. 

• Color Burn – Looks at the color information in each channel and darkens the base color to reflect the blend color by increasing the contrast. The result will always be darker and have more contrast.

• Linear Burn – Looks at the color information in each channel and darkens the base color to reflect the blend color by decreasing the brightness and – unlike multiply – it will clip values while doing so. It has a stronger darkening effect than either multiply or color burn. Linear Burn is a combination of color burn and multiply.

• Darker Color – Compares the total of all channel values for the blend and base color and displays the lower value color. Darker Color does not produce a third color, which can result from the Darken blend, because it chooses the lowest channel values from both the base and the blend color to create the result color.

Blend Modes set to Darken, Multiply, Color Burn, Linear Burn and Darker Color.

The third group of Blend Modes have a neutral color of black. This means that black as a blend color will have no effect on the result color. These blend modes all have stronger effects as the blend color becomes lighter. Using the Fill slider on Layers palette and using blend modes from this group may modulate this effect rather than performing a simple opacity blend the way normal mode does. The lightening modes are essentially the inverses of the darkening modes.

• Lighten – Looks at the color information in each channel and selects the lighter of the base or blend color as the result color. Pixels darker than the blend color are replaced, and pixels lighter than the blend color do not change.

• Screen – Looks at each channel’s color information and multiplies the inverse of the blend and base colors. The result color is always a lighter color. The effect is similar to projecting multiple photographic slides onto the same screen. Screen reduces contrast and can produce and effect similar to painting an area with bleach. 

• Color Dodge – Looks at the color information in each channel and brightens the base color to reflect the blend color by decreasing the contrast. Color Dodge is an exception to the neutral color rule in this group – it is the only lightening mode that preserves blacks. Color Dodge is similar to moving the input white triangle in Levels. As such, color dodge increases contrast but may clip the brighter portions of the lower colors to white. 

• Linear Dodge – Looks at the color information in each channel and brightens the base color to reflect the blend color by increasing the brightness.  Linear dodge is the combination of color dodge and screen. As such, it has a stronger lightening effect than either of them. Linear Dodge will clip bright values, unlike Screen.

• Lighter Color Compares the total of all channel values for the blend and base color and displays the higher value color. Lighter Color does not produce a third color, which can result from the Lighten blend, because it chooses the highest channel values from both the base and blend color to create the result color.

Blend Modes set to Lighten, Screen, Color Dodge, Linear Dodge, and Lighter Color.

The fourth group of Blend Modes have a neutral color of 50% gray. This means that 50% gray as a blend color will have no effect on the result color.  All of the light modes (except for Overlay) lighten when using colors brighter than 50% gray and darken when using colors darker than 50% gray. This happens on a channel-by-channel basis so they can actually both lighten and darken at once.

• Overlay – Multiplies or screens a scaled version of the blend color into the base color based on whether the lower color is darker or lighter than 50% gray. Colors darker than 50% are multiplied, colors lighter are screened. Patterns or colors overlay the existing pixels while preserving the highlights and shadows of the base color. The base color is not replaced but is mixed with the blend color to reflect the lightness or darkness of the original color.

• Soft Light mode – Darkens or lightens the colors, depending on the blend color.  If the blend color (light source) is lighter than 50% gray, the image is lightened as if it were dodged. If the blend color is darker than 50% gray, the image is darkened as if it were burned in. Painting with pure black or white produces a distinctly darker or lighter area but does not result in pure black or white. It uses gamma adjustment s to darken or lighten. The effect is similar to shining a diffused spotlight on the image. 

• Hard Light – Multiplies or screens the colors, depending on the blend color. If the blend color (light source) is lighter than 50% gray, the image is lightened, as if it were screened. This is useful for adding highlights to an image. If the blend color is darker than 50% gray, the image is darkened, as if it were multiplied. This is useful for adding shadows to an image. Painting with pure black or white results in pure black or white. The effect is similar to shining a harsh spotlight on the image. 

• Vivid Light – Burns or dodges the colors by increasing or decreasing the contrast, depending on the blend color. If the blend color (light source) is lighter than 50% gray, the image is lightened by decreasing the contrast. If the blend color is darker than 50% gray, the image is darkened by increasing the contrast. Vivid Light uses color burn and color dodge to darken or lighten. 

• Linear Light – Burns or dodges the colors by decreasing or increasing the brightness, depending on the blend color. If the blend color (light source) is lighter than 50% gray, the image is lightened by increasing the brightness. If the blend color is darker than 50% gray, the image is darkened by decreasing the brightness. Linear Light uses linear burn and linear dodge to darken or lighten.

• Pin Light – Replaces the colors, depending on the blend color. If the blend color (light source) is lighter than 50% gray, pixels darker than the blend color are replaced, and pixels lighter than the blend color do not change. If the blend color is darker than 50% gray, pixels lighter than the blend color are replaced, and pixels darker than the blend color do not change. Pin Light uses darken or lighten modes to darken or lighten. This is useful for adding special effects to an image. 

• Hard Mix – Lighter colors lighten the result. Darker colors darken the result.  Lowering the fill opacity creates less posterization/thresholding.

Blend Modes set to Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light, Vivid Light, Linear Light, Pin Light, and Hard Mix.

The fifth group of Blend Modes have a neutral color of black. This means that black as a blend color will have no effect on the result color. The Divide blend mode has a Neutral color of white.

• Difference – Looks at the color information in each channel and subtracts either the blend color from the base color or the base color from the blend color, depending on which has the greater brightness value. Blending with white inverts the base color values.

• Exclusion – Creates an effect similar to but lower in contrast than the Difference mode. Blending with white inverts the base color values. Blending with black produces no change.  The effect is a bit like using one image to solarize the other.

• Divide and Subtract – Both are intended for us with calibrated imaging however interesting creative effects are also possible. For astronomy and microscopy:  you want to subtract background values (dark frames, factoring out hot pixels, etc.), and divide by a flat field image (removing vignetting and other lens defects, bringing insensitive pixels back up to normal range, etc.). You can remove lens falloff even if you have something that Lens Correction can’t handle (like mirror lenses, dust on the lens, etc.). Of course you can also use them for HDR toning tricks (or experimentation).

Blend Modes set to Difference, Exclusion, Divide, and Subtract.

The sixth group of Blend Modes have no neutral colors. They work in a hue, saturation, luminance space that is similar to but different from both HSB and HSL. In particular, while hue is the same in all three spaces, all of the spaces define saturation and brightness/lightness/luminance somewhat differently. All of the combinations described below are subject to clipping to keep the values in the valid RGB range.

• Hue – Creates a result color with the luminance and saturation of the base color and the hue of the blend color. 

• Saturation – Creates a result color with the luminance and hue of the base color and the saturation of the blend color. Painting with this mode in an area that has no (0) saturation (gray) causes no change.

• Color – Creates a result color with the luminance of the base color and the hue and saturation of the blend color. This preserves the gray levels in the image and is useful for coloring monochrome images and for tinting color images. Color yields a result with the same hue and saturation as the upper color and the luminance of the lower color.

• Luminosity – Creates a result color with the hue and saturation of the base color and the luminance of the blend color. This mode is the inverse of Color mode.

Blend Mode set to Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity.

This video quickly demonstrates some of the most commonly used Blend Modes for compositing images using the Layers panel (Multiply, Screen, Overlay and Soft Light):

This video gives a quick overview of the most common uses of the blend modes used with Adjustment layers (Hue, Saturation, Color and Luminosity):

While each Blend Mode has it’s own custom keyboard shortcut (see below), holding the shift key and tapping “+” (plus) or “-” (minus) will quickly cycle through the list of blend modes ( + moves forward and – moves backwards). If a tool painting tool selected, then these shortcuts change the blend modes for the painting tool. If a tool is selected that doesn’t have a Blend Mode option in the options bar, then this shortcut will change the blend modes on the Layers panel.

All Blend Modes begin with the same keyboard modifiers: Option + Shift (Mac) | Alt + Shift (Win) and then add a single letter. For example, Option + Shift + N (Mac) | Alt + Shift + N (Win) is the shortcut for the Normal blend mode. 

• Dissolve –  I 

• Darken – K

• Multiply – M

• Color Burn – B

• Linear Burn – A

• Lighten – G

• Screen – S

• Color Dodge – D

• Linear Dodge – W

• Overlay – O

• Soft Light – F

• Hard Light – H

• Vivid Light – V

• Linear Light – J

• Pin Light – Z

• Hard Mix – L

• Difference – E

• Exclusion – X

Subtract (does not have a shortcut)

Divide (does not have a shortcut)

• Hue – U

• Saturation – T

• Color – C

• Luminosity – Y

Note: The next two shortcuts are only associated with brushes, not layers.

• Behind – Q

• Clear – R 

For additional information on Blend Modes, check out these free videos:

Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics — Getting to know the blend modes 

Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics — Adding a texture to a photo 

Photoshop CC 2017 Essential Training: The Basics Using Blend modes to emulate image transfer effects 

Photoshop CC 2013 Essential Training  — Scanning or photographing paper to add a deckled edge

 

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