There is a wide variety of blend modes (synthesis mode, drawing mode) for ibis Paint. This allows you to specify how to combine layers. The merit of dividing the picture into multiple layers before drawing is that if you can separate where you paint, where you draw the outlines, where you draw the hair, and the face, so you can modify parts that may overlap with each other without having to redraw them. If there is a problem, having different parts in different layers gives you the advantage of being able to change things at different layers that do not affect each other. However, the merit of the layer does not stop there. You can combine layers by designating a blend mode, which creates a versatile expression that can not be expressed with just a single layer. The blend mode is suitable for expressing light or shadows that radiate, shake, or are blurred. Light shining through the trees, light shining through the sea, the iris in the eyes, the shadow of the falling eyelid and eyelashes cast on the eyeball, the shadow of the hair on the forehead, and more; the world is filled with light and shadows. Familiarizing yourself with the blend mode technique will allow you to express these light and shadow expressions in an exquisite manner. It is a remarkably convenient tool, but you will have to keep practicing until you can master it. We will explain the blend mode in detail from now on, but most likely reading alone will not suffice. It is important to actually move your finger yourself and draw. If you can grasp the trick and master the blend mode, your artwork will look much more smooth and natural! Lets do it!
Changing the blend mode can be done by pressing the Layer button to open the Layer window and tapping on ①Normal as blend mode list. Blend mode determines how the upper layer combines with the lower layer.
The left is the lower layer, and the right is the upper layer (we are applying blend mode to these). These will be used to explain how they are blended with different blend modes.
Normal ... Normal is as shown in the above figure. This has the default values and affords the most natural-looking blending. To be exact, the translucent part will look like a sheet of cellophane, whereas the completely transparent part will become the color of the lower layer. The completely opaque part will be the color of the upper layer.
Darken ... Turns the color of either the lower or upper layer to whichever is darker. It adopts the RGB values of the darker layer. Therefore, the combination of red and blue colors will be black, because there is no part common to each other. You can use this technique to darken only specific tints. For example, if you want to darken only the red parts, you can apply light blue (which is the complementary color, or reverse color, for red) and lower the opacity as you overlap it. For example, if you paint the parts in the upper layer blue that correspond to the yellow parts in the lower layer, those parts will turn green. This is because by painting light blue = green (G) + blue (B) on top of yellow = red (R) + green (G), the yellow from the red part was removed, which turns it green. This is, of course, an extreme example. If you want to suppress a certain color, look at the RGB slider and make a complementary color (reverse color) of the color you want to reduce. The mode subtracts 255 from the RGB value, so if R is 0, it becomes 255 / if 255, it becomes 0 / if 10, it becomes 245 / if 20, it becomes 235. In other words, it flips the value left and right on the slider. It does the same in G and B. In this way, you can make complementary colors (reverse colors). After that, you can lower the opacity to 30% or so and paint it over the part you want to reduce, so you can gradually suppress that color.
Multiply ... Multiply the color of the lower layer and the color of the upper layer. This is the most common blending mode used when painting shadows. In ibis Paint, luminance is set between 0.0 and 1.0. Applying the upper layer with a luminance of 0.5 will result in half of the luminance of the lower layer when combined with it (i.e., multiplied by 0.5. This is the reason it is called Multiply). If you apply the upper layer with a luminance of 0.33, it will be left with one-third of the luminance of the lower layer, when combined with it. Since it is possible to make adjustments like these, the mode is suitable for darkening while maintaining the light / dark ratio of the lower layer that was originally painted. If either layer is black (0.0), the result will also be black. If one color is an ordinary color such as red, and the other is white (1), the result will be an ordinary color like red (the color does not change). Combining colors with luminance value below 1 will make always it dark. It is a commonly used technique to multiply the layer with the line drawing, and coloring the lower layer. Even with this Multiply, you can use the technique to darken only specific colors like Darken. If you make a complementary color (reverse color) of the color you want to darken and paint it with that color, you can make specific colors darker. For example, if you want to extract only the R channel of RGB, you can multiply and combine a layer completely painted with red (R = 255, G = 0, B = 0) to retrieve only the red. This is because the color of the light blue (R = 0, G = 255, B = 255), which is the complementary color of red, becomes dark, leaving G and B completely zero. Likewise, if you place a layer filled with green (R = 0, G = 255, B = 0) on top of it, and multiply and combine the layers, you can extract only the green color. Likewise, you can take out only the blue if you place a layer filled with blue (R = 0, G = 0, B = 255) on top and multiply and combine the layers. In this way, you can separate each R, G, B channel.
Color Burn ... Color Burn also darkens. The word burn is the original name of the technique used in making the film-based camera (analog camera) darker when printing. Use it when you want to make it darker while enhancing the contrast. It is effective if you are concerned that you might have trouble seeing the objects in the dark area, even though you want to make the image darker as a whole. If you want to darken a specific color only while enhancing the contrast, try painting the places you want to make darker with complementary colors (reverse colors).
Linear Burn ... Linear Burn also darkens. Unlike color burn, this mode darkens dark parts and bright parts alike. Objects in dark areas will further obscured. It is effective when you want to make things dark like that. If you would like to darken only specific colors, try coloring the parts you want to darken with a complementary color (reverse color). Just like in Muliply, this mode can also be used to take out red, green, and blue.
Lighten ... Turns the color into whichever is brighter (upper or lower layer). It adopts the brighter value for each RGB. If you want to brighten only a specific color, paint it as it is with the color that you want to brighten. When it isn’t brightened, the lower layer is most likely already in a bright state. Increase the value of B with the HSB slider and paint with that color. In this way you can change only the brightness without changing the hue.
Screen ... Brightens screen. It is a blending mode that is the reverse of Muliply. There is no effect with black color, whereas the white color becomes pure white. It is effective when you want to brighten the image while maintaining the original contrast ratio. If you want to brighten only a certain color while maintaining the lightness and darkness of the image, you can apply it to the color as it is to make it so.
Color Dodge ... Color Dodge also brightens. The word dodge is the original technique to brighten only the dark parts when printing film for film cameras (analog cameras). Use it when you want to brighten while increasing the contrast. If you brighten the whole canvas, the bright part will turn too white (it will become pure white). To avoid that, this mode is a way to make it brighter while enhancing the contrast. If you want to brighten a specific color while enhancing the contrast, simply paint it with the color you want to brighten. When the lower layer and the upper layer are identical, this mode increases the contrast, adding a metallic look with increased luminance, which is one of its uses.
Linear Dodge ... Linear Dodge also brightens. Unlike the Color Dodge, the darker part and the bright part are evenly brightened. Objects in the bright parts will become whitish and obscured. It is effective when that is what you want. If you want to brighten only a specific color, paint as it is with the color that you want to brighten. We have previously explained how to separate red, blue and green channels for the Multiply mode, but if you combine the separated red, blue and green with Linear Dodge, you will return them to the original state. Moreover, it will still return the original state even if you combined the image with Add, which will be explained next.
Add ... Add is the brightest effect. It is often used for expressions like highlights and light sources. When opacity is 100%, there is no difference between Linear Dodge and Add. However, in parts where opacity has been reduced, Add is much brighter. For this reason, it is effective for drawing brilliant, shining parts, or direct light sources. If you want to greatly brighten only a specific color, paint as it is with the color that you want to brighten.
Overlay ... Used when Multiply and Screen effects are desired at once. It works like a Screen in bright places, and like Multiply in dark places in the lower layer. Therefore, the black part of the lower layer and the white white part will not change no matter what color you overlap, because those parts cannot become dark or bright any more. Overlay is where the mid-brightness changes. If you overlay the same picture several times, it will have increased vividness. You can keep the lightness and darkness of the lower layer, so if you overlay a gradation of color on top of a black and white layer, you can change the color of the gradation while keeping the lightness and darkness. The mode is often used to change hue like this. Even if the lower layer is colored, you can change the hue by overlaying it on top. This makes it possible to change the colors and shades to let you make a picture of a sunny afternoon into a sunset.
Soft Light ... It is an effect similar to Overlay, but it has a softer effect. Use Overlay for weakening when the effect is too strong. Similar to the Overlay, the black and white parts of the lower layer do not change even if you overlap colors over them, which is because they can not become dark or bright any more. In other words, Soft Light changes mid-brightness. Since the effect is weaker than Overlay, the content of the upper layer will looks as though it has blended into the lower layer.
Hard Light ... It is an effect similar to Overlay, but it has a more intense effect. Use Overlay to strengthen when the effect is too weak. Unlike Overlay, the black parts and white parts in the lower layer vary depending on the colors on top. Use it when you want a strong effect. You can create effects like shining bright light directly onto the canvas.
Vivid Light ... Used when you want the effects of both Color Burn and Color Dodge at once. It works like Color Burn in areas where the color of the upper layer is dark, whereas it works like Color Dodge in areas where it’s bright. It increases or decreases the contrast of the lower layer depending on the color brightness of the upper layer.
Linear Light ... Use when you want effects like Linear Burn and Linear Dodge at once. It works like Linear Burn in areas where the color of the upper layer is dark, whereas it works like Linear Dodge in bright areas. It increases or decreases the brightness of the lower layer, depending on the brightness of the color of the upper layer.
Pin Light ... Use when you want the effects of both Darken and Lighten at the same time. When the color of the upper layer is dark, it works like Darken; if bright, it works like Lighten. More precisely, for each RGB, parts that are darker than 50% are stretched from 0% ~ 50% to 0% ~ 100% and are applied Darken. Parts that are brighter than 50% are stretched from 50% ~ 100% to 0% ~ 100% and are applied Lighten. This is the function of Pin Light.
Hard Mix …It is the most extreme blend mode. It turns the RGB value either 0 or 255, so only colors black, red, green, yellow, blue, magenta, and cyan will be left. Hard mix turns the turns the RGB value for colors to 0 if they are darker than 50% depending on the Vivid Light results, or 255 if they are brighter than 50%. It is an effect used if you want extreme-looking, psychedelic illustrations.
Difference ... For each RGB, it is the value subtracted from the larger. When the color of the upper layer is black, it is unchanged; if white, the color is reversed. If the upper layer is red, only the red channel will be reversed. If it is the same color, it becomes black, so it can be used to compare two images. The part with the same color in the lower layer and the upper layer becomes black, whereas it becomes brighter the more discrepancy there is. Use this to find which parts are different.
Exclusion … Exclusion is a blend mode that is very similar to difference, but it reduces the contrast when colors other than white and black overlap, and produces milder colors than the absolute value of the difference. If the white part of the upper layer is inverted, while the black part stays the same, it is the same value as the absolute value of the difference.
Subtract ... Subtract is used to subtract the upper layer from the lower layer for each RGB. Subtrac is a type of blending mode. With Subtract, the color gets darker. It can be said that it is the strongest in terms of darkening strength. Use it when you want to produce a bold dark impression instead of a mild shade.
Divide ... Divide is used to divide the upper layer from the lower layer with RGB. Divide is a type of blend mode that is as the name suggests. Since it is division, there are features that become white if they are of the same color, whereas it becomes pure white if the images are identical. You can use this fact to make a specific color pure white. For example, you can extract line drawings from paper by taking a photograph. When doing so, Layer 3 (Divide): entirely painted with the colored part of the paper using the Color Picker tool. Layer 2 (Multiply): A line drawing on paper that was imported by taking a photo. Layer 1 (Normal): make this your work layer and fill it in with colors. By coloring on layer 1, you can paint the colors without erasing the lines.
Hue ...Hue is used to change the hue of the image. Use it to change the hue of the lower layer according to the hue of the upper layer. In other words, it is used to set the hue of the upper layer, the saturation of the lower layer, and the brightness of the lower layer. Use it when you want to change only the hue (such as red to blue, blue to yellow, yellow to purple, and so on) without changing the brightness or the color vividness. When the upper layer has 100% opacity, the hue of the upper layer is applied. But if the opacity is lowered, the state of the lower layer will also be applied. If you want to fine tune the hue, change the hue by lowering the opacity of the target color to the part that you want to change, and paint it on the upper layer, so that you can gradually approach the color of the painted part to the target color.
Saturation ... Saturation is used to change the saturation (color vividness). You can change the saturation of the lower layer according to the saturation of the upper layer. In other words, it sets the hue of the lower layer, the saturation of the upper layer, and the brightness of the lower layer. When the upper layer has 100% opacity, the saturation of the upper layer is applied, but if you lower the opacity of the upper layer, the state of the lower layer will also be applied. As such, if you want to make fine adjustments in saturation, you can try lowering the opacity in the part where you want to increase the saturation (saturation is higher if the color is closer to its original color), and then apply new layers with higher saturation. Add a new layer over the image, and fill the layer with white (or black), and change the saturation in blend mode to change the image black and white, since white (or black) has zero saturation.
Color ... Color is used to change the color in a natural way. You can change the hue / saturation of the lower layer according to the hue / saturation of the upper layer. In other words, it sets the hue of the upper layer, the saturation of the upper layer, and the brightness of the lower layer. When the upper layer is colored with 100% opacity, only the brightness will apply of the lower layer, so you can add your favorite color while keeping the same brightness. If you lower the opacity of the upper layer, the color of the lower layer will also take effect, so if you want to make fine adjustments in color, you can paint the upper layer with a color with a lower opacity. Turning the image black and white can be done in Color, too, in the same way it can be done in Saturation.
Luminosity ... Luminosity is used to adjust the brightness. You can change the brightness of the lower layer according to the brightness of the upper layer. It sets the hue of the lower layer, the saturation of the lower layer, the luminance of the upper layer. When the upper layer has a color with 100% opacity, the brightness of the upper layer is applied. But if the opacity is lowered, the state of the lower layer will also be applied, which makes this an effective tool to make fine adjustments in brightness. To make fine adjustments, pick a the part you want to brighten, and add new layers over it with bright colors (brighter colors are closer to white) and lower their opaqueness.
There are many blend modes, but the most commonly used are Multiply, Add, Overlay, and Screen. You can try many things out, before deciding which one you like the most. Since there are blending modes that are not used by users at all, so you do not have to remember everything. Below, we will introduce the applications of commonly used blend modes.
Example of Add blend mode
It is common to draw hair on the lower layer, and add highlights and light reflection to it by rendering them on the upper layer. The figure on the left is Normal blending and the figure on the right is Add.
To add highlights or shadows in blend mode, adjust the intensity of highlights and shadows using ①the Layer opacity slider .
Example of Overlay blend mode
Overlays can be used to change color tones. It is also used for changing the sky color from that of day to that of night, as well as for changing the color of a persons hair, for example, from brown to blue.