1. Technology

Layer Blend Modes in Paint Shop Pro

An Overview of Layer Blending Modes

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Another aspect of layers is the ability to assign a blend mode. Blend modes in Paint Shop Pro and other software allow you to combine the pixels of one layer with the pixels of the layers underneath it in various ways depending on the mode selected. The layers are not permanently combined and as with a normal layer the opacity of a blend layer can be adjusted to mitigate the effect.

The Blend Modes in Paint Shop Pro are:

  • Normal - pixels on the Blend layer are combined with pixels on the underlying layer, only varying by opacity. (Thus, by moving the opacity slider.)

  • Darken - pixels in the Blend layer that are darker than underlying layer's pixels will be applied to the image. Lighter pixels will disappear.

  • Lighten - pixels in the Blend layer that are lighter than underlying layer's pixels will be applied to the image. Darker pixels will disappear.

  • Hue/Hue Legacy - applies the hue of the Blend layer to the underlying layers. (Note: Legacy refers to the fact that PSP8 handles this aspect of the program different than PSP7, the legacy options allows the user to have the program behave the same as the previous version).

  • Saturation/Saturation Legacy- applies the saturation of the Blend layer to the underlying layers.

  • Color/Color Legacy - applies both the hue and saturation of the Blend layer to the underlying layers, but the luminance is not affected.

  • Luminance/Luminance Legacy - applies the luminance values of the Blend layer to the luminance of the underlying layers, but the color is not affected.

  • Multiply - combines the colors of the Blend layer with the colors of the underlying layers to produce darker colors. Multiplying any color with black results in black, multiplying with white produces no changes.

  • Screen - Multiplies the inverse of the Blend layer colors and the underlying layer colors. This gives a color that is the same or lighter than the underlying layer colors.

  • Dissolve - randomly places some pixels from the Blend layer on the underlying layer, resulting in specks of color. The Opacity slider controls the amount of speckling.

  • Overlay - combines features of the Screen and Multiply modes. Shows patterns or colors of the Blend layer while preserving shadows and highlights of the underlying layer.

  • Hard Light - also combines features of the Screen and Multiply modes. Used to show highlights and shadows.

  • Soft Light - combines features of the Dodge and Burn modes. Produces soft shadows and highlights.

  • Difference - subtracts the Blend layer color from the underlying layer, depending on which is lighter.

  • Dodge - the lightness values of the colors in the Blend layer modify the underlying colors, by making them lighter. Black produces no effect.

  • Burn - the lightness values of the colors in the Blend layer modify the underlying layers, by making them darker.

  • Exclusion - similar to Difference but softer.

Any new layer you create or paste into the Layer palette will be a Normal layer by default. You can change the Blend mode of any layer, with the exception of a Background layer by clicking on Blend Mode field in the right hand pane of the Layers Palette to activate the Blend Mode dropdown.

Next Page > Create a Dreamy Photo Effect with Blend Modes

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