Blend-if: One of the Most Useful Features in Photoshop

The Blend-if feature is easy to miss if you're not looking for it in Photoshop, but it's one of the most useful tools you can have in your post-processing kit. This great video will show you what Blend-if is and how it works as well as some useful examples.

Coming to you from Nemanja Sekulic, this helpful video will introduce you to one of Photoshop's lesser-known but very useful features, Blend-if. The idea behind it is simple: by adjusting the sliders, you can tell Photoshop how to have two layers interact with each other based on the luminosity values each contains (or their individual channel information). By then feathering this adjustment, you can very quickly do things like blending effects solely into the highlights or shadows or revealing parts of an underlying layer to make the two constituents look as one. The beauty of it is that because it's a global adjustment, it allows you to work very efficiently and effectively without having to mask anything in; nonetheless, because it's attached to a specific layer, should you wish to be more precise, you can easily add a mask and start shaping things as you please. It's by far one of my favorite features in Photoshop. 

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5 Comments

It has become popular to talk about "Blend If" feature.
Yet I think one should stick with Masks.
Especially that masks can be generated by Luminosity (As Blend If), Color, Arbitrary Channel (Any of RGB, LAB, CMYK, etc...), Saturation, etc...

There are great tools for that out there (NBP Lumizone, Recently shown here [https://fstoppers.com/originals/fstoppers-reviews-nbp-lumizone-plugin-ne..., demonstrated using Saturation for masking).
I think this approach is more flexible (Especially since you have a mask, an image, in front of your eyes).

I have tried to use blend if and just end up getting pissed off. If you have one of the masking panels it takes almost no time to get the result you want.

Dennis Qualls's picture

Yeah, this is original. Said no one who has ever seen a Phlearn video.

Oh, the technique goes back WAY before Phlearn/Aaron's stuff. But it's still useful to have new people show the same material sometimes, because what sells is the personality and style as much as (if not more than) the material. This guy is showing some great examples that don't often get talked about, but I have a hard time listening to him. A couple of weeks before this one went up, Jesús Ramirez's video on the same topic was highlighted on FStoppers, and he showed a classic trick to capture the transparency of the Blend If results. That was a variation on using Stamp Merge Visible (Jesús uses Smart Objects instead). Still not new information, but the audience is always changing, and different voices are needed.

Bravo Nemanja!