- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Adobe Press; 1 edition (July 10, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321823761
- ISBN-13: 978-0321823762
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #469,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Hidden Power of Blend Modes in Adobe Photoshop 1st Edition
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From the Author
*NB: There have been a few comments about the choice to use screenshots of the Photoshop layers panels, specifically that they're too small to read. While I can't do anything about this edition, this is at the top of the list for a 2nd edition, should I be lucky enough to write one. In the mean time, please feel free to visit my Facebook (fb/photoscott) page and post questions, comments, and other suggestions. Thanks for taking a look!
I had a blast writing this book. From digging up obscure Photoshop knowledge to interacting with rock stars of the digital imaging world, there is not much that could have gone better in the process.
Part of the reason I chose blend modes as a topic was because they are used all the time, but not really described well on their own. I'm a huge fan of 'basics' - not in terms of the simple, but of the deepest core understanding, the fundamental elements that let us grow our understanding. With that in mind, I tried to present blend modes in that fundamental way.
Most of the techniques you'll find are not very complex by design, but lay the foundation for your own knowledge and techniques. Almost everything can be combined in some way, which to my mind is the real power: building up of the basic pieces. The more you truly understand the behavior of a given tool, the freer you are to wield that tool without limits. I've also tried to explain why a given effect works when possible, and to describe a few variations.
Additional materials and techniques are available on my website, but I strongly encourage you to experiment and keep notes. Write down what works, what doesn't, and ask yourself why. My goal is to have you set my book aside when you are done, and simply 'know' what you want to accomplish and how to get there. I hope you will become something of a blend mode Jedi :)
Thanks for taking a look - my contact information is in the book, or you can find me online if you have questions or comments. I hope you find The Hidden Power of Blend Modes useful and enjoyable.
About the Author
Scott Valentine started with Photoshop working on optical and electron microscopy images, becoming a Subject Matter Expert at a national laboratory. With a degree in Physics and dual minors in Music and Theater, he has a unique perspective on balancing the technical with the artistic. This is reflected in Scott’s teaching and presentation style, along with an understanding of how users approach the creative process and the tools they use.
Scott has been a featured presenter for RetouchPRO and several Adobe user groups. He’s also a User Group Manager and Adobe Community Professional helping users get the most out of Photoshop for nearly ten years. When not at a keyboard, he enjoys backpacking, playing hockey, and playing guitar.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's not for people who aren't already proficient with Photoshop. If you don't know what a layer mask, clipping masks, gradient maps, and so forth mean, then it's not the book for you. BUT, if you're laughing right now because all that stuff are things you've mastered back in Photoshop 6.0, then you should read this book.
It's not a recipe book. It's not a how to book. It's book that really teaches you how blend modes work, so you can make your own recipes. I've never been one to just get a cookbook and follow other people's instructions. I want to know why they do what they do, so I can come up with my own creations. That's what this book enables you to do.
I love this book and you will too.
The essential formulation of this book is that of cook book, with self contained recipes of 1-3 paragraphs accompanied with a few graphics. Each of the recipes is a stand alone unit of consumption in it's own right. You can grab it and use it without having to refer to other sections of the book - just as you do when looking at a cake recipe in your kitchen. However they were clearly chosen (and ordered) to expand the photoshop chief's creative pallet, and to be complementary. More than that they were whittled down to their smallest essence and steps - and that may be challenging for some because it will leave you wanting more, and hopefully that wanting of more will lead you to Photoshop to experiment and answer your own question. (I much prefer that than the alternative where the authors seem to be paid by the word and buries the 3 steps across a dozen pages).
So how'd it do? Well, the writer and editor clearly took a leap of faith with this work. The leap being that there was a large enough market of creative users who simply needed to be shown some possibilities and techniques they weren't aware of and would take it from there. As a result the book starts fast, and keeps the pace thorough bite sized portions, and at times it errors on the side of brevity to respect those bounds. It's not perfect, but then few things are. There are minor issues with a few of the graphics - like the other reader, I actually got out a magnifying glass to use on the paperback version of this book for a particular CS6 menu graphic that was black print on dark grey background that appears to have bleed in printing - that only happened once, and while I hope it will be addressed in any future version they print, it should not be enough to keep anyone from buying this book. (Though I do wonder if the digital version might be the smarter way to go). All in all it's a good compromise of being respectful of the readers time, conscientious of cost, and specializing.
If you are the right kind of creative with a more than basic understanding of layers looking to expand your knowledge of what's possible and how others work, than for the price this is a cookbook you should immediately add to your collection . It's a quick read, very useful, and I hope to see more like it.
I'm glad I got this book, but, as others have pointed out, the layout is pretty awful. The Photoshop screen captures are so teeny (about twice the size of a postage stamp) that I had to keep a magnifying glass on hand to study the examples. It's not as if designing Photoshop books is a new art. If you've read any book by Scott Kelby, for example, then you know what really good layout looks like. This isn't that.
This book explains blend modes well!
Very helpful tips and recipes move you through the book enabling you to understand the process
for specific effects or looks obtained with the blend modes.
And various creative blend mode techniques are explained by various Photoshop gurus such as
Matt Kloskowski, Katrin Eismann, Julieanne Kost, RC Concepcion, Calvin Hollywood, and many more!
The Hidden Power Of Blend Modes In Adobe Photoshop finishes up with a good technical explanation of
what each blend mode does. The book breaks down how each blend mode interacts with the underlying layer to create the artistic
effect for that particular blend mode. Fun book! You will learn lots!