Photoshop Tech Tutorials

Self Blending in Photoshop – Photo Blog Stop

The original image

Right here’s a simple method to management the tonality in your photographs utilizing a way referred to as “Self Blending.”

One method to darken or lighten a picture is to leap the layer and alter the [termlink tax=’tutorials’ term=’blend-mode’]mix mode[/termlink] of the brand new layer to “Screen” (to lighten it) or “Multiply” (to darken it). You may then add a layer masks and begin portray on the masks to cover or present the areas that you simply need to make lighter or darker. Whereas this can be a fast and straightforward option to work, there’s one other method you might use that may obtain the identical outcomes, however hold your file measurement down and improve the variety of adjustment choices obtainable to you—in different phrases, it’s a greater solution to work. The method I’m referring to known as “Self Blending.”

On this tutorial I’ll be utilizing the picture proven under. Be happy to make use of this picture, or use considered one of your personal to comply with alongside.

The original imageThe unique picture

Watch the Video:

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The steps

Brighten a few of the darker areas in the picture

Open the picture in Photoshop and set the Picture Mode to 16 bis by choosing Picture | Mode | 16 Bits / Channel. Setting your picture to 16 bits is optionally available, however I all the time work in 16 bit mode to attenuate info loss.

Within the Layers panel, click on on the “Create new fill or adjustment layer” icon, and choose “Curves…” so as to add a brand new Curves adjustment layer.

Selecting the Curves optionChoosing the Curves choice

Change the mix mode

Subsequent change the mix mode for this new layer to “Screen” through the use of the keyboard shortcut Shift+Choice+S (PC: Shift+Alt+S), or choose “Screen” from the menu in the Layers pallet.

If Shift+Choice+S isn’t altering the mix mode they means it ought to, ensure you’ve got one of many choice instruments chosen earlier than utilizing the shortcut. For instance, hit “M” key to seize the Marquee software, after which use Shift+Choice+S. For extra info on utilizing mix mode keyboard shortcuts, please see my article “Photoshop Blend Modes Explained.”

Changing the blend mode to ScreenAltering the mix mode to Display

Self Blending

By making use of a mix mode to the Curves adjustment layer, you’re principally making a “placebo” or “dummy” layer, and the mix mode acts as in case you are utilizing the picture on itself. In different phrases, the dummy layer is taking over the traits of all the picture, and the mix mode you choose will get utilized to itself (which is the whole picture composition). That is the great thing about “self blending”—you possibly can obtain this impact with out having to duplicate the complete picture (leaping the background layer), and in consequence, hold your file measurement down.

Notice that you simply don’t have to make use of a Curves adjustment layer to reap the benefits of self mixing—you should use any of the choices discovered in the “Create a new fill or adjustment layer” menu you can “leave alone” and never make any changes to, offered the choice doesn’t change the picture. For instance, the Publicity, Ranges, Brightness/Distinction and Vibrance choices would work positive as self mixing layers as a result of you possibly can add them with out having to vary any of the changes, they usually don’t change the picture. Conversely, the Sample or Gradient instruments wouldn’t work as self mixing layers as a result of they might change the picture.

As soon as you modify the mix mode to “Screen,” you’ll discover that the complete picture will get brighter. We need to selectively paint in our impact, so invert the white layer masks through the use of Cmd+i (PC: Ctrl+i).

If this keyboard shortcut doesn’t be just right for you, the layer masks in all probability isn’t chosen—click on as soon as on the layer masks to pick it and check out inverting it once more.

As soon as the layer masks is inverted, it is going to flip black, and the “Screen” mix mode impact will probably be utterly hidden.

When working with Layer masks “Blacks Conceal and Whites Reveal.”

  • If you wish to disguise the consequences of a layer, and selectively paint in the impact, fill the layer masks with Black and paint with White.
  • If you wish to reveal the consequences of a layer, and selectively paint out the impact, fill the layer masks with White and paint with Black.

To selectively paint in the brightening impact, choose the Brush device by hitting the “B” key, or choose it from the Instruments panel as proven under. Then hit “D” to load the default colour pallets—this can set the foreground to paint to white, and the background shade to black.

Selecting the Brush ToolChoosing the Brush Software

Start portray (with white) with a mushy brush over the areas you assume have to be brighter. In case you’re following together with me utilizing the provided picture, I painted over the shadows on each boys faces utilizing average “Opacity” and “Flow” brush settings (50% for every).

In the event you make a mistake when portray, you’ll be able to simply hit “D” once more to reverse the colour pallets, and paint with black as an alternative of white—this can paint the brightening impact again out once more. When you’ve corrected the error, hit “D” once more to swap your pallet colours and proceed to color the brightening impact in.

Brush software keyboard shortcuts

  • Brush Measurement: Use the “[” or “]” keys, or for those who’re utilizing CS4 or above on a Mac, you possibly can maintain Ctrl+Choice whereas urgent the left mouse button and drag your mouse left or proper (my favourite method). In the event you’re utilizing a PC, you possibly can maintain down the Alt key and press the fitting mouse button when you drag the mouse left or proper.
  • Brush Hardness: Use “Shift+ [” or “Shift+]”, or in case your utilizing CS4 or above on a Mac, you should use the identical keyboard shortcut for the comb measurement (Ctrl+Choice), and drag your mouse up or down. Should you’re utilizing a PC, you’ll be able to maintain down the Shift+Alt keys, and press the best mouse button when you drag the mouse left of proper.
  • Brush Opacity: Press a quantity between zero and 9. For instance, for those who press the 1 key, you’ll set the comb opacity to 10%. In the event you press the 5 key, you’ll set the opacity to 50%, and for those who press the zero key, you’ll set the comb opacity to 100%.
  • Brush Stream: Press Shift+a quantity between zero and 9. For instance, in the event you press Shift+1, you’ll set the comb move to 10%. Should you press Shift+5, you’ll set the move to 50%, and in case you press Shift+zero, you’ll set the comb stream to 100%.

When you’ve painted the brightening impact in, you’ll need to apply a feather to your brush strokes to melt them. To do that, click on on the “Masks” tab up in the Curves window. Then drag the “Feather” slider to the best to use a light feather (3px to 7px) to your brush strokes.

Selecting the Mask PanelChoosing the Masks PanelAdjusting the Feather Slider in the Masks PanelAdjusting the Feather Slider in the Masks Panel

Chances are you’ll or might not see the impression of making use of the feather to the comb strokes, however you’ll be able to “show your mask” by Choice+Clicking on the layer masks thumbnail (PC: Alt+Click on). To cover the masks, Choice+Click on on it once more.

Displaying the Layer MaskDisplaying the Layer Masks

For these of you which might be the curious varieties (like me), you may as well disable the Layer masks to see what the picture would seem like with out it. To disable the Layer masks, Shift+Click on on the layer masks thumbnail (you’ll see an enormous purple “X” on prime of the Layer masks). To re-allow the masks, simply Shift+Click on on it once more.

Disabling the Layer MaskDisabling the Layer Masks

As a result of we used the self mixing method on a Curves layer, and we didn’t take the “jump the layer” route, we now have the choice of utilizing any of the instruments in the Curves dialog field, and as I discussed earlier, the ensuing file may even be smaller in measurement (particularly for those who’re working with PSD information).

Darken a few of the areas in the picture which might be too shiny

To darken a few of the vibrant areas in the picture, merely repeat the above process, however this time change the mix mode for the Curves layer to “Multiply” as an alternative of “Screen.” After inverting the layer masks you’d then be portray in a darkening impact.

Use the next steps to color in a darkening impact:

  • Create a brand new Curves layer
  • Change the mix mode to “Multiply” (Shift+Choice+M) (PC: Shift+Alt+M)
  • Invert the masks to cover the impact (Cmd+i) (PC: Ctrl+i)
  • Paint with a white brush to use the darkening impact
  • Feather your brush strokes
  • Modify layer Opacity as wanted

Different Ideas

  • For those who just like the impact of a given layer, however need a stronger impact, you possibly can “jump” the layer by choosing it and utilizing the keyboard shortcut Cmd+J (PC: Ctrl+J). Observe that this gained’t considerably improve the file measurement since you’re leaping a Curves layer, and never the background layer. You possibly can then modify the Opacity again down if the impact is just too robust.
  • Maintain in thoughts that you’ve the choice of utilizing any of the opposite instruments discovered in the Curves dialog field, in addition to instantly modifying the curve for any of the Curves adjustment layers on a composite RBG degree, or individually for any of the three RGB shade channels.
  • You may also place your whole adjustment layers into a brand new Group, after which regulate the Opacity of the Group (which can in flip change the Opacity of all the layers collectively). To put your layers in a Group, Shift+Click on on every layer you need to place in the Group, after which hit Cmd+G (PC: Ctrl+G).
  • You may also place a layer masks instantly on the Group layer, and paint the impact in or out as wanted.

When you’re achieved adjusting the tones in the picture, you might have a number of Curves adjustment layers. From the picture under, you’ll be able to see that I’ve jumped each the brightening and darkening layers (you’ll be able to inform as a result of the masks are the identical), and I added a fifth Curves layer that’s set to the Regular mix mode. On this layer I painted the perimeter of the picture to darken it a bit, so the viewers eye is drawn in the direction of the themes. I additionally manually adjusted the curve to darken the border.

5 adjustment layers—the top having a manual curve adjustment5 adjustment layers—the highest having a guide curve adjustment

The earlier than picture

The original imageThe unique picture

The after picture

The final imageThe ultimate picture

That wraps-up this tutorial on utilizing self mixing methods to right the tones in your picture!

Please be happy to go away a remark or ask a query!

For an in-depth rationalization about [termlink tax=’tutorials’ term=’blend-mode’]mix modes[/termlink] and the maths used, learn my article “Photoshop Blend Modes Explained.”