Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tuesday Tutorial: Blending Modes

Do you use blending modes? They can have amazing effects on your scrapbook page and once you get the hang of them, they're easy to use.

You'll find the blending modes at the top of the Layers Palette, in a drop down box, most likely showing "Normal."  

Click on the blending modes button to open the list.

There is some organization to this list. The modes are separated into sections, with each section having similar effects.  The first large section are darkening modes and lightening modes follow.  The largest section contains more complicated lighting effects, and the last sections affect the colors in your image.  If you want more details on how blending modes work, you can find in depth explanations by googling.

To use blending modes, you have to have at least two layers.  You apply a blending mode to the top layer and it blends with the layer directly below it. The program will perform a calculation based on the mode you choose, changing the brightness or hue or which pixels in either layer get preference.  In my layout today I have decided to blend this old, low resolution photo with a background paper. You can also blend two photos together, two papers together, text on top of paper, and so on.

The best way to learn about blend modes and figure out which one works best is to try them.  Because I've been using blend modes for a long time, I have a general idea which ones will work better for what I have in mind, but I still go through a trial and error process each time, trying out several of the modes before settling on one.

For those of you new to blend modes, I would like to share several of them with you, so you can see the variety of effects.

I was surprised to find I like Luminosity best for this photo and paper combination because I think I've never used that blend mode before. Here is my finished layout, using Jeanine's new kit Hearts and Flowers. Can you see where I used another blend mode?  On the tag, I applied hard light. Sometimes blend modes make writing look more realistic. 

Also, if you are wondering how I blended the edges of the photo into the paper, the tool for that is the Rectangular Marquee, set to feather 40 pixels. After I drew the rectangle around the photo, I hit Command(Control)-Shift-I (the capital letter i) to inverse the selection, followed by the Delete key to remove the edges of the photo with a feathering.

Let's see some blending on your next layout.  Happy scrapping!