Skip to main content

Hidden Photoshop Tips & Tricks

Lesson 6 of 21

Eight Special Blending Modes: Opacity vs Fill

Jesús Ramirez

Hidden Photoshop Tips & Tricks

Jesús Ramirez

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

6. Eight Special Blending Modes: Opacity vs Fill

Lesson Info

Eight Special Blending Modes: Opacity vs Fill

photo shop has 27 layer blending modes and total. They're actually 30 but in terms of a later, you can apply 27 different blending modes and this little divider here, Each of these blending modes has a little divider, and that little divider tells you that they're in groups and those different groups with different things, that the first group is normal. There's no actual blending being applied. There's La Guerry them. The only way for the layers to blend is by adjusting the opacity. The next group, You can always look at the first name. That sort of gives you a clue. The next group is a dark and blue dark in group that means that any pixel in the layer that is black will stay. If it's white, it will go away, and different shades of gray will have different levels. So luminosity or transparency Excuse me. The next group lightened does the opposite. We keep the brighter pixels and hide the darker ones over the um, The next group doesn't make sure of both the darker pixels dark in the im...

age and the brighter pixels brightened the image. And then these. This group here creates special effects, sort of like inversion and things like that. And the next group component controls saturation, color, luminosity and heels are very easy to explain. Now, all of those blending most except for eight. The eight highlighted on this graphic react the same. If you control capacity infill, they look exactly the same. However, with these with these eight blending modes fail reacts differently. So let me show you how that works. I have this metal texture here that actually shot not too far from here in the ah, at the museum down the street And I'm gonna create a new blank layer And I'm simply gonna paint with white There it is, white and I can change the blending mode to something like Color dodge. And if I adjust capacity, you'll see that it sort of makes it seem like the white is just fading away. But if I I just feel now we get a different blend and it looks more like a highlight. So the same thing is true for all the blending modes that are highlighted in yellow. And in my opinion, at least, the blending most are highlighting and yellow look better when you had just fill compared to opacity. But you have more options. So again, just so you can compare Let me let me show you another one. Let me show you. Um I guess we could do color burn, so I'll create a new layer paint with black, and I'm gonna go into color burn. And again if I bring down the capacity, it's just sort of fading it away. But, Phil, I think what? Give us this the better blend, and that's not it. I feel like I'm in a like, in an information that's not a little um yeah, there's more here by now. Um, with these eight blending modes, you actually have this weird little check box. And I've asked the duo engineers and nobody could tell me why this this happens. But it works. So I'm showing it to you guys. So this is a good example here. So maybe you're working in a composite. You select the color dodge as your Aziz, your blending mode and painted with white, and you want to create a speculator Highlight on that metal. A good way of doing that is by double clicking on the side of the layer bring up the layer style window, and then you have this weird check box here. Transparency shapes, layers. You can click on that check box and watch how the blend changes. You see how that changed? I'll do it again. That's before and after. And then with the Phil trick that looks even mawr like a speculum highlights. So now you can imagine sort of like a flashlight or maybe the sun or something hitting the metal. So this is a really good trick for again compositing and making riel hot highlights without this check box, it doesn't look nearly as hot. You could see how that works. And again, the same thing is true for any of the blending modes in this group. So let me bring this back up to 100%. And if I uncheck transparency shapes, layers, you can see how that blends. So those are the little things that you have to think about when you're compositing or doing any type of work that a lot of these options have their from our souls, depending on what check box to check our what Sliders. Just light. I know it's a lot to remember, but I think this is one that's worth remembering. Just because it adds more to your tool belt of creative effects, you can apply with blending modes.

Class Description

Everyone knows Adobe Photoshop® is full of amazing features — but where are they hidden?! Jesus Ramirez will show which ones are worth using when you really need to be efficient and productive. This session concentrates on Adobe Photoshop tips, features and techniques that most people never think to use and some tricks even the expert may not be aware of!

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2017


Amy Vaughn

Yeah yeah, Jesus Ramirez is a great instructor and this class is packed with useful tips and even some fun ones that might not be so useful. But it was that one about using two windows from the same document that changed my Photoshop life.


Overall Photoshop Week 2017 has some amazing instructors for workflow & compositing. Jesus Ramirez has the unique ability to combine simplicity with really useful depth: blend modes, different approaches to selection or combining different tools. This course covers a lot of tools and there are a number of ‘wow! didn't know that!’ moments a more advanced user will love.


Jesus is excellent! full of knowledge and provides a lot of helpful tips in a clear and easy to understand way. Only thing missing are captions for this class, for some reason. Otherwise, I wish there were more classes like this one.