Photoshop blend modes - does anyone use them?

Hi all,

I recently did a beauty job and the creative director was a stills retoucher by trade. He was really into a ‘dodge & burn’ technique which looks great for stills but was not so great for applying to the moving images I was working on! FYI painting the spots, A2 beauty and max/lighten the skin highlights back worked a treat for this job.

I was wondering do any of you lovely lot use the photoshop blend modes for anything else exciting or mundane as I don’t really use them at present!


Yep. A lot of them work better in log though. I used to use colour burn for pack replacements when shot with a white label.

With all the linear stuff we’ve worked on I’ve found other methods which use a lot of add, subtract, multiply; stuff that’s easy on the maths.



I use them when trying to “develop a look” for packaging generally. I even have the blend mode pop-up on a cycling hotkey so I can go through them like clicking on a tv remote.

And crok_lightwrap gives better results with other modes sometimes.

Also, when I try to create a mono-color version of an image:
Comp: Photoshop mode, Colour
Front : Target color
Back : Your image with a mono node attached


Photoshop Color FTW!

Pixel Spread / Interpolate + Photoshop Color is the best automatic edge washer ever.


great tips thanks Sinan!

nice one JT

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When you bring photoshop documents into action they revert to the original photoshop surface mode. Also, Linear Light with a HiPass filter makes a nice sharpener.


I’ll use Photoshop Color a lot when doing blood to mud on skin for broadcast. I sample some skin, set a colour source node to the sampled color, and set the colour source to Photoshop Color and mask. It can really speed up the process.

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great tip Randy!

I still prefer wash for this because it doesn’t colour highlights but it’s best used in log/rec.

To make wash split your picture and colour into YUV. Take the Y from the picture and the UV from the colour and combine.

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Personally, I’ve never used PS blend modes.

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soul food miami GIF by WE tv

I didn’t even know about blend modes until like 2002. I picked up Kyle Cooper’s setup and I was like, WHOA.

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In the dark days before action had anything other than blend and add, you could have brought all work at Imaginary Forces to a stop simply by removing Sapphire MathOps from the flames.

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Yes! This… Color is the only one I use…

Hey Sinan. Did you get reverse cycling in your hotkey?. It was great when adsk added this shorcut to blend modes in action, (cycling up and cycling down using two shorcuts) but I miss it a lot in comp nodes. I tried since long time ago but I never find out how get the shorcut to cycle down.

No. Same thing happens to me as in the linked video :rofl:

hahaha. Ok. :man_facepalming: :laughing:

I could be a good request. Add same shorcuts to comp’s blend mode than action’s blend mode.

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I use Photoshop lighter color / darker color when painting to clone detail/texture into an area w/out things feeling “cloney”

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@randy and @andymilkis a “Dark Arts of the Blending Modes. Tips & Tricks” session would make for a great Logik Live show!