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Part 13. Special Effects > Task 1 How to Use Blending Modes

Task 1 How to Use Blending Modes

Blending modes are one of the fastest ways to experiment with imaging effects in your Photoshop files. Think of them as preset functions that apply a range of imaging effects that standard Photoshop commands can't touch. The basic function of a blending mode is to compare two sets of pixel data and combine them in different ways. Although I could write an entire chapter on exactly how these options work, 99% of Photoshop users simply experiment until they get an effect they like.

1. Blending Modes in Layers Palette

Open or create a file with more than one layer and select Window, Layers to open the Layers palette. The Blending Mode drop-down menu is at the top of the palette. Highlight the topmost layer tile in the list and click and hold the menu to select one of the modes. The contents of the selected layer are compared with all the layers below it to achieve the result. Keep in mind that you cannot apply a blending mode to the Background layer.


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