Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Blending Modes: Broken Down

Blending modes are the way that layers can be combined. Usually used when they are overlapping each other, blending modes change the way layers interact with each other. Each blending mode is a different mathematical equation for how colors are combined.
There are 27 blending modes organized into 7 groups:

  • Normal
    • Normal
    • Dissolve
  • Darken
    • Darken
    • Multiply
    • Color Burn
    • Linear Burn
    • Darken Color
  • Lighten
    • Lighten
    • Screen
    • Color Dodge
    • Linear Dodge (add)
    • Lighten Color
  • Contrast
    • Overlay
    • Soft Light
    • Hard Light
    • Vivid Light
    • Linear Light
    • Pin Light
    • Hard Mix
  • Inversion
    • Difference
    • Exclusion
  • Cancelation
    • Subtract
    • Divide
  • Component
    • Hue
    • Saturation
    • Color
    • Luminosity
Basically, blend modes in the same group do similar things to the way pixels are blended together. 

Interesting to note, the Lighten and Darken blend mode groups do the exact opposite option of the other:
I've found a couple of images that help demonstrate different blend modes:

Unfortunately, it's always a challenge to really know how two colors will interact, so my suggestion is to always just keep guessing till it looks right ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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