Layer Styles and Blending
Layer styles and blending modes are extremely useful functions when combining images.
Styles are effects applied to a layer such as bevel, outer glow and drop shadow.
Blending modes change the way a layer reacts to the layer beneath it. Set to Normal, the layer is solid. Set to another mode such as Overlay or Darken, then it will look different.
Both functions are used in this image representing pollution or disease on a wheat crop.
- The three main elements of the image were the background scene of a wheat field, a single head of corn and this picture of a hand holding a magnifying glass.
The hand and the magnifier were cut out from the background.
- The hand image was dragged on to the background image of the wheat field.
- The inner circle of grass was cut out.
- With the background active, the selected circle was copied on to a new layer.
- This circular image of the wheat field was given a large amount of Gaussian Blur to make it look very out of focus.
- Bevel and Emboss under Layer Styles was applied to the out of focus circle. The angel was set to 120 degrees.
- The layer was duplicated but this time the Bevel and Emboss was set at -55 degrees.
- The top layer was set to 50% opacity to give a more realistic effect around the rim of the glass.
- Next, the head of wheat had to be photographed. Items like this are best done against an even white background which makes cutting out much simpler.
- When in position, the portion under the magnifying glass was made to look larger than the rest of the stork.
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The portion of the wheat under the magnifying glass needed to be given extreme colours to make it look damaged.
- Its layer was copied several times. One layer was inverted while the others were set to different modes such as Exclusion and Hard Light.
It's best to play around here and adjusts opacities to find the most effective result.
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