Uses for the (New??) Subtract and Divide Blend Modes

There's been a fair amount of interest around the Subtract and Divide blend modes that Adobe recently added to the Photoshop CS5 Layers panel. Subtract is not actually new; it's been around forever in the Calculations and Apply Image dialog boxes. And even in the Layers panel, where Subtract is a freshman, you could achieve the same effect by inverting a Linear Burn layer. The Divide mode, meanwhile, is slightly-more authentically new. (Inverting a Color Dodge layer produces an identical effect, but previously there was no mode named Divide.) Even so, they have their uses. Which is why Blend Mode Man so enthusiastically contemplates their formulas below:

Photoshop CS5's Subtract and Divide modes

It's okay if you're afraid. You'd have to be as wicked-cool as Blend Mode Man to smile in the face of such bewildering information. Thankfully, it only gets easier from here. (But you'll have to be member to read more.) Read more » 

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Photoshop Top 40, Feature #25: Selection Calculations

Feature #25: Selection Calculations

Most of Photoshop’s top features are expressed as tools or commands. But some are more conceptual, meaning that they have almost no interface associated with them. Seriously, it goes from your mind to your hands to the mouse to the keyboard to Photoshop.

Selection calculations are a fantastic example. Want to make a new selection? Just drag. Add to an existing selection? Press the Shift key and drag. And that, my friends, is only the beginning. Read more » 

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Channels & Masks Lesson 10: Using Calculations in Photoshop

It's Friday, but seriously, deeple, get your entertainment and education at the same time as you enjoy this video which I pilfered for your enjoyment from the companion DVD of Deke's Photoshop CS4 Channels & Masks One-on-One book.

In this lesson, Deke introduces you to the Calculations command which can be a little tricky, but oh-so-very useful and important to understand. As Deke notes:

Now I won’t sugarcoat it, Calculations is not easy—in fact, it might be Photoshop’s single most difficult feature to master. But it is the command that’s going to increase the quality of your masks.

When you're done, you can return to your less edifying Friday festivities. Happy Weekending, Deeps. Read more » 

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The Scent of Stamina

First, my abject apologies for being so absent as of late. I, Colleen, David, Tim -- as well as names you don't know, like Toby, Carol, Ron, Julie, and the splendidly monikered Spink (I monikered her, which is why it's so splendid) -- have been so thoroughly buried by this Channels & Masks book (see below) that there is literally no time for anyone on the team to scratch his or her respective butt. We keep asking each other, "When you get a spare sec, will you please scratch my butt?" But the response is always, "Are you kidding? If I had that kind of time, I'd scratch my own butt. It's so itchy!"

Seriously, for the first time in I don't know how long, I went for 4 entire days without a shower. My beard had grown so far up my face, it was threatening to become one with my eyebrows.

But as disgusting as I was (I'm slightly cleaner now), the book is beautiful. A work of tortured but honest art. Here's a tiny view of a sample page spread. This is the actual InDesign view, with my editors comments (those from Carol and Spink) out in the margins. To see it in legible dimensions, just click on it.

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