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

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:

So that you can get your bearings, here’s the box we’re talking about:

First, there’s the general blending options that duplicate the choices you have at the top of the Layers style dialog box: Blend Mode and Opacity. Of course you may recall that we covered Blend Modes in-depth way back in Martini Hour 005 (gosh, we were young then!) And they also made an appearance on Deeeeeeke’s Photoshoooooop Top 40! as Feature #11.

The next area of the dialog box are the Advanced blending settings. Listen as Deke explains how Fill Opacity differs from Layer Opacity and when that distinction comes in handy. Then he generally suggests ignoring the channel checkboxes. Then he kinda goes back to trying to explain them. Then he sticks with his original answer and goes back to suggesting ignoring them. Then, there are the Knockout settings (which probably deserve their own show), but Deke gives you an initial overview.

Then Deke gives an uncharacteristically vague but funny description of those five checkboxes. It’s not because he’s had one too many. It’s because some of them are “click and see what happens” kinda controls.

Finally, there are the problematically named “Blend if” commands at the bottom. Listen as Deke explains how to use these Luminance Blending sliders

Trust me. Listen to this show, then next time you’re faced with this bad boy dialog box, you’ll click through it with Here’s the regular-quality (128kbps) audio file. For best results, right-click and choose Download or Save. For you audiophiles out there, here’s the high-quality (320kbps) file. Definitely download this one (as opposed to streaming it).

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Cheers to you all until next week!

Next entry:It’s Time to CS5

Previous entry:Photoshop Top 40, Feature #2: The Layers Palette

  • Great episode

    Hi Colleen, hi Deke!

    This was a nice episode.

    Thanks a lot for the fill-is-not-opacity-at-blendmodes-tip. Do you have some kind of oversight about them (links, posts, tutorials,...)?

    Rock on



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