A Blending Cafe – Working with Blend Modes

with 3 Comments

JenWhiteTOTW_shadowWhen I type “free Photoshop textures” into my trusty Google search bar, I get 102 million results. That, my friends, is what is I refer to as a Blending Cafe… on steroids.

Adding an image of a texture to another image can give it a feeling of being worn and weathered, which is very popular today in digital scrapbooking. And the tool for job is blending modes.

Blending modes are mysterious. To use them you must have two or more layers that react to each other. Even the experts have trouble predicting their outcome. But don't let the mystery part scare you away. Creating your own customized image is just a few clicks away.

For the following examples, I will be using an image with two layers. The blending mode will be applied to layer 1 and we'll observe the way they interact. Take a look…

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For Adobe Photoshop Version click here.

EXAMPLE #1

Background Layer: Solid Paper #7 from Boys & Toys kit by Digital Scrapper Designs. Layer 1: Crinkled lined paper from GrungeTextures.com. I changed the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

NOTE: Soft Light blending mode is almost always a safe bet for a satisfying outcome when blending a texture into an image.

EXAMPLE #2

Background Layer: Solid Paper #7 from Boys & Toys kit by Digital Scrapper Designs.
Layer 1: “Use This 52” by InTheName at DeviantArt.com. Again, the Blending Mode was changed to Soft Light.

EXAMPLE #3

Background Layer: Solid Paper #7 from Boys & Toys kit by Digital Scrapper Designs.
Layer 1: Folded paper from Patrick Hoesly at Flickr.com. Again, I changed the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

EXAMPLE #4

Background Layer: Solid Paper #7 from Boys & Toys kit by Digital Scrapper Designs.
Layer 1: Black crinkled paper from Simon's Flickr Junkyard at Flickr.com. I changed the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

EXAMPLE #5

Same as Example #4, but…

Layer 1: I changed the Blending Mode to Lighten instead of Soft Light. I included this example because I wanted you to see that simply changing the blend mode of the texture layer can give a completely different result.

EXAMPLE #6

These are photos that I took while at hockey practice with my son.

Background Layer: A photo of my hockey player taken by me.
Layer 1: A photo I took of a bench seat at the hockey arena. I changed the Blending Mode of this layer to Pin Light.

TIP: When taking photos of textures, I recommend turning your flash off. This way you will not have any blown out spots from the flash. You can always lighten the photo later.

NOTE: Although Pin Light worked well for my Example #6, it may not work well for you. All the blending modes will have a unique effect depending on the two layers that are being blended. It's just best to try all them out and then choose which result you prefer.

My layout below was created using Example #6. I also clipped a Hue/Saturation Adjustment filter to the texture layer to make it match my photo better.

I would love to see your scrapbook pages using this tip! Scrapper's Guide has a gallery set up just for Digi Scrap Tutorial creations, so get scrapping and show me what you’ve got!

Credits: Scrapbook page by Jen White. Elements were from It's a Journey – June 2010 Mega Kit at ScrapOrchard.

Download a PDF version of this “Blending Cafe” tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose “Save Target As” or a similar command. Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

EXAMPLE #1

Background Layer: Solid Paper #7 from Boys & Toys kit by Digital Scrapper Designs.
Layer 1: Crinkled lined paper from GrungeTextures.com. I changed the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

NOTE: Soft Light blending mode is almost always a safe bet for a satisfying outcome when blending a texture into an image.

EXAMPLE #2

Background Layer: Solid Paper #7 from Boys & Toys kit by Digital Scrapper Designs.
Layer 1: “Use This 52” by InTheName at DeviantArt.com. Again, the Blending Mode was changed to Soft Light.

EXAMPLE #3

Background Layer: Solid Paper #7 from Boys & Toys kit by Digital Scrapper Designs.
Layer 1: Folded paper from Patrick Hoesly at Flickr.com. Again, I changed the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

EXAMPLE #4

Background Layer: Solid Paper #7 from Boys & Toys kit by Digital Scrapper Designs.
Layer 1: Black crinkled paper from Simon's Flickr Junkyard at Flickr.com. I changed the Blending Mode to Soft Light.

EXAMPLE #5

Same as Example #4, but…

Layer 1: I changed the Blending Mode to Lighten instead of Soft Light. I included this example because I wanted you to see that simply changing the blend mode of the texture layer can give a completely different result.

EXAMPLE #6

These are photos that I took while at hockey practice with my son.

Background Layer: A photo of my hockey player taken by me.
Layer 1: A photo I took of a bench seat at the hockey arena. I changed the Blending Mode of this layer to Pin Light.

TIP: When taking photos of textures, I recommend turning your flash off. This way you will not have any blown out spots from the flash. You can always lighten the photo later.

NOTE: Although Pin Light worked well for my Example #6, it may not work well for you. All the blending modes will have a unique effect depending on the two layers that are being blended. It's just best to try all them out and then choose which result you prefer.

My layout below was created using Example #6. I also clipped a Hue/Saturation Adjustment filter to the texture layer to make it match my photo better.

I would love to see your scrapbook pages using this tip! Digital Scrapper has a gallery set up just for Digi Scrap Tutorial creations, so get scrapping and show me what you’ve got!

Credits: Scrapbook page by Jen White. Elements were from It's a Journey – June 2010 Mega Kit at ScrapOrchard.

Download a PDF version of this “Blending Cafe” tutorial.

Windows: Right click on the link and choose “Save Target As” or a similar command. Mac: Click on the link to download the file.

3 Responses

  1. Bonnie Ripp
    |

    Thought the tips were fixed, but not getting these directions. Must be tons of work to get everything moved over to the new site. I seem to be caught in a twilight zone all the time.

    • Jen White
      |

      Hi Bonnie. I think we’ve identified the problem and are working on getting it fixed on all the tuts. Thanks for your patience. 😉

    • Sharon
      |

      Bonnie… sorry about the twilight zone! *Ü* The Recent Tips were fixed first, a few hours ago, and now all the tips on the page are corrected. If you still have a problem with this tip, be sure to clear your cache. Hopefully you’ll be good to go. Let us know if it’s working for you. *Ü*