Lighten group blending modes

In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn about blending modes that belong to the group Replacing Light (Lighten Group).

Baseline materials:

  1. Dry ground texture
  2. Elephant
  3. Elephants
  4. Fire Texture
  5. Ready Background
  6. Bokeh Heart Texture

In this article we will talk about the group Light replacement (Lighten), which consists of blending modes: Light replacement (Lighten) Lightening (Screen), Bright light (Vivid Light), Linear light (Linear Light), Lighter (Lighter Color). We use 2 source images, a photo and a texture. We will change the blending modes for the texture layer to see the effects we create.

The photo:


Layer Palette:


“It checks (note of the translator: mode) the color information for each channel and selects the basic hue or makes up the color – no matter which shade is lighter – the result is a color. Pixels that are darker than the resulting color are replaced, pixels that are lighter than the color that is produced remain unchanged. ”

This blending mode is the opposite. Replacing dark (Darken). If the pixels of the merged layer are lighter than the composite pixels of the underlying layer, then these pixels are preserved, and vice versa, these pixels are replaced by lighter pixels of the underlying layer. Similar selection of pixels occurs channel by channel.

Texture overlay mode Light replacement (lighten) will look like in the screenshot below:


“It checks the color information for each channel and multiplies the inversion of the combined and basic hues. The color obtained as a result is always a lighter shade. Skipping the black tint leaves the color unchanged. Missing white tint creates white color. The effect is the same if all the photo-capsules are superimposed on one another. ”

This mode works the same as Multiplication (Multiply), but instead of darkening the image, it brightens the image, enhancing the existing bright pixels. Remember the analogy with transparent paper, about which I told you, so that you better understand how to work with the regime Multiplication (Multiply). (comment of the translator: the author in the previous article told about the modes relating to group Replacing dark (Darken), in this case about the mode Multiplication (Multiply). Well, to better understand this mode, imagine a projector that projects an image onto a white wall. Now imagine that another projector is projecting another image (maybe the same image) in the same place from which the first projector is projecting the image. The result of the combination will be a lighter image. Adding another projector (or layer with overlay mode Lightening (Screen) will further enhance the brightness of the entire image.

This is a very useful blend mode. Texture overlay mode Lightening (Screen) will look like in the screenshot below:

Notice how the image has become lighter.
Next, let’s duplicate the texture layer (Ctrl + J) – and we get all our texture layers with the blend mode Lightening (Screen):

Please note the image has become too light. Delete the duplicate texture layer (press Delete).

Let’s see what we can do with this overlay mode. First, let’s turn off the visibility of the texture layer. Next, duplicate the photo layer by pressing the keys (Ctrl + J). Now, change the blending mode to duplicate the layer to Lightening (Screen) and then apply the filter Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur), blur radius 5-10px:

Pay attention to how fabulous and bright the image has become. This technique is very often used when working with wedding photos or if you want to impart an unearthly and unmatched feeling to your photo.

Another moment when I often use blend mode Lightening (Screen) – this is in my photo manipulations, when I need to instantly get rid of the black background. Very often I come across a situation when I want to add a fire effect to an image, and I don’t want to worry when a flame is emitted to separate it from the background. See how the fire texture looks like when Normal (normal):

And how does the fire texture look like if we change the blend mode to Lightening (Screen):

Please note that the black background has disappeared, and we got a beautiful fire effect (which needs a little tweaking to properly match it with the whole image).

Another use of blend mode Lightening (Screen) – this is the brightening of the photo in a fast and simple way.
Pay attention to the photo with the elephants in the screenshot below. Notice how dark the photo is and how muted the colors are.

I could add a correction layer Curves (Curves), but let’s say that I’m in a hurry, and I want to quickly lighten the image. Nothing could be simpler. Simply duplicate the layer with the background (approx. Translator: layer with the original image), and then change the blending mode to duplicate the layer to Lightening (Screen):

Pay attention to how bright the image has become, how the photo has acquired a beautiful natural look. (without any excessive light brightness).

(Color dodge)

“It checks the color information for each channel and brightens the main color to display a mixed color by reducing the contrast. Mixing with black does not change. ”

Mode Lightening basics (Color dodge) is the opposite mode Darkening basics (Color Burn). It has the same effect with the mode. Lightening (screen), but only the effect is much richer, i.e. it also greatly enhances saturation. Texture overlay mode Lightening basics (Color Dodge) will look like in the screenshot below:

Pay attention to very strong (almost white image) light brightness, as well as rich colors. If you want to soften the effect, then you need to reduce the value Fillings (Fill) instead of decreasing Opacity (Opacity) because Fill (Fill) better maintains contrast and saturation:

One very common way to use the mode Lightening basics (Color Dodge) is an enhancement of light that is already present in order to have a pleasant effect. Now I will tell you how it works. Let’s say that I have a beautiful bokeh texture. Place this bokeh texture on top of our original image:

Now look at how beautiful the image looked when we changed the blending mode to Lightening basics (Color Dodge). The bokeh effect simply reinforced the existing colors, so the texture perfectly matched the whole scene. If you think the effect is too saturated, then you can simply reduce the value Fillings (Fill):

Another great application of the regime Lightening basics (Color Dodge) – this is a selective increase in brightness in certain areas, especially in photographs, which are mostly dark, where there are small bright areas.
Pay attention to the night scene:

Now, create a new layer (Ctrl + Shift + Alt + N), and then change the blending mode for this layer to Lightening basics (Color Dodge). Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B), then hold the (Alt) key + click with the mouse somewhere in the sky to select a shade of light blue. Reduce the opacity of the brush to 50%, and then paint over the lake in the middle of the photo, as well as trees:

Notice how already light (but with muted colors) areas became even brighter, and also note that when we were painting over dark trees, we only intensify the brightness behind the trees. This effect looks very beautiful, because keeps dark areas unchanged, enhancing the brightness of light areas behind the trees (or at least adding expression).

(Linear Dodge)

“It checks the color information for each channel and brightens the main color to display the mixed color by increasing the brightness. Mixing with a black shade does not lead to changes. ”

This mode is the opposite mode. Linear dimmer (Linear Burn). It has the same effect with the mode. Lightening basics (Color Dodge), unless the color and contrast becomes a little lighter and less saturated.
Texture overlay mode Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge) will look like in the screenshot below:

Not the most useful overlay mode (translator’s note: applies to Linear Dodge (Linear Dodge).

(Lighter Color)

This mode is the opposite mode. Darker (Darker Color). Acts as a mode Light replacement (Lighten), but it creates tougher transitions (because it acts on the basis of the consolidated channels).
Texture overlay mode Lighter (Lighter Color) will look like in the screenshot below:

Posted by: Adrian Scheff
Translator: Sadigaliyev Marat
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