Ever wished for a visual "cheat sheet" of blending options and their effects in Photoshop?
Wanna save the time of having to click through all the effects to find the right combination? Look no further! At the end of this post, you can download a handy PDF of these images that will show you an at-a-glance reference of blending options and their effects.
For the sake of this example we'll be using to different images to clearly illustrate the blending options!
Image 1: A simple tree!
Image 2: A Hot Air Balloon.
One by one, we will go through each blending option. Without moving the images or changing the placement. Some results may be hideous, but the purpose of this exercise is to provide you with a visual example of each of the blending options located in this palette.
Darken: Darkens the areas that overlap.
Multiply: Combines the hues of the overlapping images.
Color Burn: Accentuates the brighter areas of the photos.
Linear Burn: Accentuates and darkens the lighter areas.
Darker Color: Shows the darkest common color in both images.
Lighten: Overlaying parts of the images are lightened and washed-out.
Screen: Similar to the "Lighten" mode, but creates a brighter sheen.
Color Dodge: Still brighter than the "Screen" mode.
Lindear Dodge: Washed out further.
Lighter Color: Removes the darker images within the composition.
Overlay: The top image is lightly displayed over the image.
Soft Light: Similar to the "Overlay" mode except lighter.
Hard Light: Shows the drastic difference between the top layer images.
Vivid LIght: Colors are show in their brightest hues.
Linear Light: Brighter lights colors on the top layer.
Pin Light: Removes and combines similiar colors between the layers.
Hard Mix: Colors are combined and then exagerated.
Difference: Great for creating mystifying night scenes.
Exclusion: The inverse of the difference mode.
Hue: Breaks the composition down into basic colors.
Saturation: Determines the vividness of the composition's colors.
Color: Changes color below the top image to reflect the image's hues.
Luminosity: Creates a dark, yet vibrant color layer on the bottom image.
If you want a downloadable copy of this cheat sheet, click here.
So how realistic are these blending options? Well, here's a recent project I did for an upcoming book that will be released in January. You may notice the iStockWatermarks on this copy as I haven't yet converted this to finished product with the purchased images. However, in this piece alone, I have 10 images and I have utilized a variety of blending options in the piece.