So I got a lot of messages after my first post asking me to explain layers, so I have put together a cheat sheet of the different layer types. The quickest way to become awesome with layers is to know exactly what each one does. Once again, I’m no expert, and these are just my personal definitions, so please try these out for yourself! LONG POST BELOWWW
THE LAYERS CHEAT SHEET PART ONE:
1. NORMAL: Aw yeah you know all about this layer its just your average layer
2 DISSOLVE: This mode “dissolves” some pixels, allowing the lower layer to show through. very pixel-y. Reducing opacity makes it dissolve more.
3. DARKEN: Now the difference between darken and multiply are a little confusing, so I will explain them together. MULTIPLY is more of a glaze, while DARKEN favors the darks on all layers. So if you have a darken layer on, it tend to reduce/remove the lighter tones on the layer if there are darker tones below it, while darkening the darks.
4. MULTIPLY: A glaze that darkens the color of the layer below. It is great for shading. Reduces whites.
5. COLOR BURN: “Burns” the lower layer favoring a more saturated look. Marks made over white are not preserved.
6. LINEAR BURN: “Burns” the lower layer, with a little less saturation than color Burn. Also will preserve colors over white.
7. DARKER COLOR: I tend to avoid this puppy cause it does not darken on the RGB channel. (feel free to try him though!)
8. LIGHTEN: Lightens the colors below. Favors lighter colors on lower layers.
9. SCREEN: Lightens the colors below, but much closer to the “glaze” analogy as above. Reduces blacks.
10. COLOR DODGE: Often used for magic-y effects, color dodge bumps up saturation and is very bright.
11. LINEAR DODGE: Much like color dodge, but less saturation.
12. LIGHTER COLOR: Once again, this is an outside RGB channel layer, so I don’t really use this.
As you probably have noticed, the second two groups are opposites, so if you have a good handle on one, you probably know exactly what the second group does! I will do the remaining groups next week as they do not follow this pattern.
EDIT: Part two here: Photoshop Layers Part Two!!