What are layer blending modes and how to use them in Photoshop: Group of components

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Photoshop has a number of tools that you can use. Whether the focus is on basic output, retouching or photo composition, it is very useful to know what they are and how to use them. In our past, we have covered the levels of customization, and with today’s guidance we close all levels fusion modes. We end with the group “components”.

HSL and Color

The layer blending modes that make up this last group are: Tone, Saturation, Color, and Brightness. As they say their name, the changes in that group are made directly with the color component of the active layer. This group is characterized by being very efficient in blending adaptation layers with these modes.

These blending modes are based on the HSL color model that we previously wrote on the portal. Therefore, it is useful to review this section to ensure the operation of these modes.

The first mode we will see is the mixed mode “Tone“. As you can see in the picture below, fusion mode takes the upper layer tone and applies it to the lower layer. The luminance and saturation of the lower layer are retained. Applying “0% Saturation (Grayscale)” color gives you a black and white image. The Plain, Selective Correction, and Channel Mixer adjustment layers are usually your best allies.

What are layer blending modes and how to use them in Photoshop: Group of components

The next type of fusion is “saturation”. In this mode, the upper layer takes the saturation value of the sound and mixes it with the luminosity of the lower layer. At the top right you will notice that only the middle of the gradient retains the color of the scene. The neutral colors (white, black and gray) always desaturate the picture. In particular, this plane behaves with a ‘Curves’ adjustment layer that allows easy and natural control of saturation levels in the image.

What are layer blending modes and how to use them in Photoshop: Group of components

We continue with the merging mode “color“. As with Ton, the color of the upper layer is applied to the lower layer. However, unlike Tone, Color takes on the upper-layer luminosity and saturation and mixes them with those of the lower layer. This usually results in a much saturated and vivid color of the image. For some color changes it works perfectly, but I prefer to use ‘tone’.

What are layer blending modes and how to use them in Photoshop: Group of components

Finally we have ‘Luminance’. This type of fusion absorbs the luminance of the upper layer and maintains the tone and saturation of the lower layer. With this kind of fusion, we can play a lot with the light structure of the image: create lights, adjust the ‘doge and burn’ or just change the overall lighting of the scene. This blend mode works perfectly with the black and white adjustment layer.

What are layer blending modes and how to use them in Photoshop: Group of components

At the laboratory

We are going to use the image below as an example to see the modifications we can make with these merge modes .

What are layer blending modes and how to use them in Photoshop: Group of components
Let’s start by changing the color of the leaves in the scene. For this purpose we create a setting layer with ‘spot color’. This will be put into merge mode “sound”. To determine what we want to change, we create a mask on the layer.

What are layer blending modes and how to use them in Photoshop: Group of components

To increase the saturation and give the picture a little more life, we create a setting layer with ‘curves’ and put them into saturation mode. As you can see, the control of the curve layer allows us to work naturally.

What are layer blending modes and how to use them in Photoshop: Group of components

Finally, to adjust the contrast of the tones in the picture. We create a black-and-white adjustment layer. We will put it into ‘Luminance’ fusion mode. This allows us to play with the value of the tones in the picture. In this case, I have a little opaque, which is in the lower third of the image, so that the bridge stands out more. And to compensate for this lighting in the scene, I’ve created more texture on the leaves by lifting the red.

What are layer blending modes and how to use them in Photoshop: Group of components

Below you can see the final result.

What are layer blending modes and how to use them in Photoshop: Group of components

With this guide we finish the layer fusion modes. What would you like to see in the next set of Photoshop tools?

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