Miraz Light At Work Photography

Overlay blending mode

Gimp has 21 different layer blending options or modes and PSE has 25 !! The blending modes in both work exactly the same. Since the writers of Gimp have already taken the pains to explain, (with mathematical equations to boot !) the various blending modes here, I will not go into the details of each one.  However,  I will cover some of the popular and more commonly used modes. Lets do this using PSE. First off, the most popular mode, after normal ofcourse, is the Overlay mode. This is a very versatile mode and is used very commonly for multiple effects. I always use it when I have to add texture to the image. For example - consider the SOOC image below.

This is untouched other than for the addition of the watermark. Now suppose I wanted to give it a vintage effect. First off I'd need a vintage texture. There are several available online which are free to use under the non commercial derivative license. Which means you can use them as long as you are not profiting from them. You could search on Flickr and find a texture to suit your taste. I like Pareeerica's textures. I downloaded a vintage texture from her site. Then gave the above image a vintage look. Finally I added the texture I had downloaded over the image above and resized the texture layer so it fit over the whole image. Then I changed the layer mode to Overlay. That applied the texture over the entire image which I didn't want. So I added a layer mask. Note that PSE by default doesn't offer a layer mask option. Gimp does. There are a couple of ways to work around. The quick and easy solution is to download the layer mask action from here. Alternately, you can borrow a layer mask from one of the Adjustment layers. ie you can add an adjustment layer (the simplest being Brightness/Contrast) and not really make any adjustments. Once you add the layer, you can use that layer's adjustment mask. I did not like Miss Muffin's face to be covered completely by the texture. So I set my brush's opacity for 50% and brushed off the texture from her face and hands (any visible skin). The final outcome is below. You can see the texture by clicking on the image so that it opens the larger resolution copy.


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