blend modes

Deke's Techniques 300: Blending an Object's Shadow into Any Background

Blend Cast Shadows into Any Background

In this week's free Deke's Techniques video, Deke shows you how to blend the cast shadow of an object---particularly a standard stock photo-type object against a white background---into any new background. The trick is to use the Multiply blend mode to capture all the goodness of the shadow and mix it with its new environment, then put white pixels behind the actual object so that the opaque object itself doesn't blend. 

The technique works great for the volleyball that Deke uses in the movie, but I found myself wondering how it would work with say...a giant hunk of swiss cheese. Swiss cheese on a stock white backgroundYes, I'm going to attempt to move my own cheese. Read more » 

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Deke’s Techniques 008: Reflecting a Face in Shattered Glass

Deke’s Techniques 008: Reflecting a Face in Shattered Glass

This week I take a photo of an everyday average woman screaming her brains out and double-map her onto a photograph of shattered glass (both from the Fotolia image library). Is she singing so loudly she breaks a mirror? Or is she a photo stuck behind the glass, shouting to get out? I ask those questions twice more inside the video, so please enjoy my repetition. Read more » 

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Deke’s Techniques 007: Blending Textures onto a Face

Deke’s Techniques 007: Blending Textures onto a Face

Today's technique is all about mapping a couple of textures onto a portrait photograph. The textures in question happen to be a bit of alabaster and a travertine tile (the images hail from the Fotolia image library), but they could be anything. And it's all accomplished using Photoshop's advanced blending options. Read more » 

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Blend it Like McClelland

Two of the more obvious ways to combine elements from different layers in Photoshop are: A) to erase or use a layer mask to reveal content from the layers beneath and B) to reduce a layer's opacity and make it translucent. These are powerful and ultimately straightforward techniques. But there's a third option. Photoshop's blend modes let you go far beyond what alpha-based transparency alone can do. Blend modes permit layers to transform each other's appearance.

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(All photographs hail from the Fotolia image library.)

In Chapter 28, "Blend Modes Revealed," from the Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery video course on lynda.com, Deke clearly explains what blend modes do, how they work, which are the go-to modes to try first, and which ones are essentially useless. The chapter is so packed with examples and details that this article can serve only as a condensed introduction. But a rich introduction it is, packed with lots of insights and advice. Read more » 

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Martini Hour 060, In Which Colleen's Head Comes Precariously Close to Exploding over Blending Options

How many people do you know who can spend a whole non-hour "hour" explaining the intricacies of one panel of one Photoshop dialog box, while sipping cocktails, and remaining as suave, charming, and entertaining as ever? I only know one---my good buddy Deke. And this week he gives us an expert tour of the Blending options inside the Layer Styles dialog box settings that appear when you double-click on any floating layer. There's a great deal of power there, and Deke is just the guy to gently and comprehensively guide you through it.

Come along and see where this expert exploration takes us: Read more » 

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