Photoshop Top 40, Feature #19: Luminance Blending

Well, well. I’m back from my week in the Golden Age City of Canals, Amsterdam. And although it was great to be there, I must say, it’s good to be back. Even if it’s a mere 5 degrees Fahrenheit (-15 Celsius) here in the malevolently icy embrace of Boulder, Colorado. By which I mean, actually, I’d rather be in Amsterdam. With kindly old Sinterklaas waving from his steam boat and blackfaced, red-lipped, clownishly festooned Zwarte Pieten tucking me in at night. Ah, those zany Dutch! Don’t they know Santa’s slaves are miniature, felt-dressed Vulcans?

Then again, if I were still in Holland, I might be too distracted by all things poetic and profane to post today’s Photoshop Top 40 video. And what a shame that would be because this week, I’ve got a doozy.

This video is all about two slider bars, This Layer and Underlying Layer, that allow you to drop out or force through pixels based on their luminance levels. You sometimes hear folks call these the Blend If sliders, after a neighboring but ultimately independent option. What they really are is the luminance-exclusion slider bars, or just plain luminance blending options for short. They rank among Photoshop’s oldest and most powerful nondestructive features, predating even layers. And when you see those slider triangles peel in half, you might just weep with joy.

The image of the fiery martini glass (ooh, it looks so warm!) comes to us, as always, from image vendor Fotolia. This one is image #147470 from photographer Alex Bramwell. Click this link for a special deal.

(For a list of all Photoshop Top 40 videos thus far, click here.)

Photoshop Top 40 is available as a downloadable podcast from iTunes. Click here to subscribe. dekePod subscribers will get the videos automatically.

Next entry:Martini Hour 043, In Which Colleen Experiences Photoshop Experts in 3D

Previous entry:Hoe gaat het, Deke?


  • Kindly Sinterklaas?

    I think you missed the “abduction to Spain” aspect of the story. Or you’re confusing Sinterklaas with our friend Wouter.

  • i love to use this feature.

    i love to use this feature.

  • podcast :)

    Why on earth the podcast in iTunes is always delayed?

  • Weathered Painted Wood

    This technique works really well on an image of a plank with evident wood grain.

    Put a layer of color above it, and play with the sliders, and you can get a surprisingly realistic ‘old barn’ effect with the paint remaining only in the low spots in the grain.

  • Felt dressed Vulcans

    As long as it isn’t red felt.

  • how did you get everything

    how did you get everything on the left side

  • cool man

    that was a very good info thanks I learned a lot form you

  • Deke/Colleen re: Comments

    I realize that this “comments” section is NOT an interactive forum… but are there any plans to someday make it a tad more coherent (or possibly even more logical).

    Although it may exist, I have found no way to easily follow a “thread” (re: see if anyone has responded to a question and/or comment) and with the flood of all the lovely, repetitive and largely redundant “nice, nice” and “happy birthday” comments (not to mention those that seemingly link and/or refer to nothing traceable… such as “nice, nice”)...making any sense out of all this becomes a highly ineffective endeavor.

    Once posted… a “comment” seems to be lost (or well hidden) for all eternity, within 12 hours or so.

    Have you ever considered a “real” forum, date driven and with real topic “areas” ???

  • Yep

    drjack my sentiments EXACTAMUNDO.


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