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How To Use “Blend If” In Photoshop Like a PRO: The Definitive 7-Minute Guide

October 20, 2019

Welcome back to another very exciting tutorial
here at The Photoshop Training My name is Jesus Ramirez, and you can find
me on Instagram @JRfromPTC. In this tutorial I’m going to show you how
to use Blend If in Photoshop, like a pro. With the techniques that you will learn in
this tutorial, you will be able to make fast and easy sky replacements, apply textures
to text, create cool special effects, and much more. Blend If is truly one of Photoshop’s unsung
heroes in an extremely powerful tool that often gets overlooked. Watch this tutorial all the way through, to
learn everything that you need to know about Blend If. And let me know in the comments what you think
about this amazing tool. Okay, let’s get started. We’re going to work with this graphic. It’s inside of this group, So, let me open
that up. We have two layers. We have this graphic, and this gray background. This graphic is going to help us illustrate
how the Blend If works. I’m going to double click to the side of the
layer to bring up the layer style window. In the bottom center of the blending options,
you will see the Blend If section. By default, it’s set to gray. But there’s other options, which we’ll discuss
later in this tutorial. But first, let’s focus on the gray. There’s really two main sections. The, this layer section, and the underlying
section. We’re going to focus on the, this layer section,
but they both basically work the same. Whatever is selected, and currently the black
and white layer is selected, is what the, this layer will control. Notice the black point here. If I click and drag this to the right, watch
that happens to that circle. It starts disappearing. That’s because I’m telling Photoshop that
anything that is this value of gray, 81, right here, or darker, should be invisible. And by the way, there’s 256 levels of gray
from zero, to 255. Zero being black, and 255 being white. And I can bring it all the way to the other
side, where the only visible pixels are the white pixels. I can do the same thing for the white point,
I can click and drag that to the left. Now I’m telling Photoshop that anything that
is 169, which is this level of gray, all the way to white, which is at 255, should be invisible. So, I’m using luminosity to blend layers. One important thing to note, is that if you
click and drag this, and you want to make a smoother transition So, that you don’t have
a sharp line, you can hold Alt Option on the Mac, and click on the point to split it in
half. If you spread it apart, you’ll create a much
smoother transition as you see there. So, now, anything that is between 55 and 120
will gradually become transparent. With this information we can go back into
our layers here, and I have an example for you, which is this text, which reads, “Clouds,”
and a background of a sky. So, we wanted to create an effect where the
clouds were covering the text, we can use Blend If for that, to make life much easier. So, I’m going to double click to the side
of the layer, to bring up the layer style window. We’re going to now work on the underlying
layer. That’s all the layers below the currently
selected layer. We want the white pixels to come through,
not the dark ones. If we select the dark ones, you’ll notice
that the blue, which is darker than the white, is going to come through, and that’s not what
I want. I want to show the brighter pixels, which
are the clouds. I can click and drag this white point to the
left, then hold Alt Option on the Mac, click to split this in half, and create a much smoother
transition. And I can fine tune those, then press okay. Now it looks as if that text is being covered
by the clouds. Really cool stuff, right? I’m sure that you’re getting a lot of ideas
of how to use this, So, if you come up with a good one, let me know in the comments. This is an easy way of creating blends, and
masking in Photoshop. I’m going to collapse this group, and then
move on to another example. We have this texture, and this text that reads,
“Rust. ” I’m going to select the texture layer, then
press Ctrl Alt G, Command Option G on the Mac, to turn that into a clipping mask. That means that the text layer controls the
visibility of the textural layer. So, I can click and drag the texture, and
place it accordingly. Then if I want to blend the texture with the
text layer, I can use the same technique. I’m going to double click to the side of the
layer to bring up the layer style window. Looking at the texture layer, we have dark
pixels, and bright pixels. If I want to hide the black pixels, I can
click on this point and drag to the right and notice how the darker pixels start disappearing. I can also, hold Alt Option on the Mac, click
to split those in half, and just create a smoother transition. I could also, do the opposite. I can hide the brighter pixels, which is this
top part. So, I can click on the white point and drag
it to the left, and also, hold Alt Option on the Mac and split those in half to create
a smoother transition, and press okay when I’m done. And this is a live text layer, which means
that I can press T for the type tool, then click, and change the contents. So, I can type, “PTC,” and that keeps the
same effect. Now, I have one more example here for you,
this one deals with color. So, now we’re going to talk about the channels
that you can blend in the Blend If. We have the color wheel here, and a gray background. If I double click to the side of the layer
of the color wheel, it will bring up the layer style window. I can click on this drop down to select red. So, we have black, and we have red. And this is a red channel by the way. So, what we can do here is click and drag
this white point, which is a red point, and move it to the left. That means that we’re going to hide red pixels. See how it immediately made all those red
pixels transparent? And I can keep dragging those to the left,
up until we get to the opposite end. The opposite of red is cyan, So, those are
the colors that we keep. I can do the opposite, and click and drag
the black point, which will be the opposite of red. In this case, cyan. And it will hide those pixels. And just like we did before, we can hold Alt
Option on the Mac, click, and split those in half, and create smoother transitions between
visible, and invisible pixels. And, I’ll quickly show you what green does. We can hide green, the opposite of green is
magenta, and that’s where it stops. Or we can hide magenta and stop at green. Finally, we have blue. The opposite of blue is yellow, So, that’s
where it will stop. And I can hide yellow pixels and stop at blue. And to briefly explain how all this works,
I’m going to go into the channels panel, and what the Blend If sliders are really doing
is using channels to create those blends. If you look at the red channel, notice that
on the top part where we have red, it’s completely white. And on the bottom part we have black, where
cyan is. So, when you’re dragging the black and white
points in Blend If, this is what it’s referencing. The green channel, the green area is white. The opposite, magenta is black. The blue channel, blue is white, yellow is
the opposite, and it’s in black. I know that the channels panel can be confusing
for beginners, but I wanted to show you how this relationship works. So, it’s simply a way of blending pixels using
channels. I’m going to click on RGB, go back into the
layers panel, So, now we’re going to take that information and apply it to this image. What we want to do here, is replace the sky
with that sky there. But notice that this will be a complicated
mask to create. We have a bunch of trees, and we have birds,
and what you might have seen in Some tutorials it that you can create layer masks from the
blue channel, and then use this to mask that out, which certainly will work. But in my opinion, it might take a little
too long. So, instead, we’ll use Blend If, and it will
use that same blue channel anyway. So, I’m going to go back into the layers panel,
then double click to the side of the trees layers to bring up the layer style window. And we have to think of the color that we’re
trying to make transparent. So, if we’re doing a sky replacement, we want
to make blue transparent. So, I’m going to go into the blue channel
in the Blend If dropdown and hide the blue from this layer. And notice that as I do that, the underlying
layer immediately comes through, and we’re done masking. The one thing that I will do is hold Alt Option
on the Mac, split those two in half to create smoother transitions, then press okay. So, just like that, almost as magic, we were
able to replace the sky. I can also, click and drag on the underlying
layer to reposition it, and the blend updates automatically. There’s nothing I need to do. And keep in mind that in Some cases, you will
need to adjust other channels as well. If this is a new technique for you, let me
know in the comments, and don’t forget to click on subscribe and the notification button,
if this is your first time here at The Photoshop Training Channel. And that’s it for this tutorial. I hope that you enjoyed it, and that you learned
Something new. If you found this tutorial useful, don’t forget
to share it with a friend. Thank you So, much for watching, and I will
talk to you again Soon.


  • Reply Movie Beans September 27, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    This is great, I think I can use this to create my thumbnails faster. I had been using a combination of the magnetic lasso, brush, and pen tools to make selections and masks, but this technique could be a time saver!

  • Reply Amy Bates October 1, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    What a timesaver! Great tutorial!

  • Reply Max Anton October 1, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    I have a problem: I made a photo with a greenscreen and I tought I could easily fade the green out with this tool. But if I start blending the green pixles out, first the shirt, which is white by the way, starts disappearing and then the green disappears. What am I doing wrong? By the way: Sorry for my bad spelling, english is not my native language…

  • Reply Moshood Salaudeen October 2, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    I love you bro!

  • Reply vijay Shankar October 8, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    Yes I realy enjoy your video it were usefull to edit give more video about video editing in photoshop sorry I forgot to say thanks..,,,😄 thank you so much for you editing tips

  • Reply Setaj Ladd October 8, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    Awesome!! Thanks for your great tutorials.

  • Reply J.R. October 12, 2018 at 2:23 am

    Wow wow wow… That was awesome! You just saved me hours of work THANK YOU!!!

  • Reply captainsky_usa October 13, 2018 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks. Very helpful tutorial to better understand how to use the enigmatic Blend-If sliders!
    I have just subscribed to your channel and will look forward to watching both old and new videos.

  • Reply Kazi Mahmud October 16, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    This was by far the best tutorial on blend if tool on youtube!. thank you for sharing this. I like your channel. 🙂

  • Reply 1Mrsweetness October 22, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    Thank you so much, I've started with photoshop 2 months ago and I learnd quite alot from this channel.

  • Reply Alex Boel October 26, 2018 at 10:53 am

    Can you publish the Color wheel and B&W wheel in .psd or .jpeg so we can use them for own tests on Blend-if?

  • Reply P. F. October 28, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Thank you!! THANK YOU!!! Before that, it took me hours and hours to do this, of course with the wrong technique 😀

  • Reply Gustav Klint October 29, 2018 at 11:51 am

    Excellent pedagogic. I've been using Photoshop on and off for many years but only now starts understanding its full potential. Thanks to you!

  • Reply Mohamed Mostafa October 31, 2018 at 8:59 am

    Thanks a lot, very useful

  • Reply K-LER November 2, 2018 at 8:22 am

    Cool!!! Thank you so much. Love it. Subscribed.

  • Reply Acinc8020 November 3, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Cool tool. What version was “Blend If” added to Photoshop? Also, can you animate the Blend If in After Affects.

  • Reply rahul joshi November 4, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Simply Awesome, you have bring out Hidden Feature in from of us, Thank you so much for Sharing 🙂

  • Reply barni freak November 14, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Wow tolles VIEDO besonders.Das mit den Schriften hat es mir angetan.Danke dafür.

  • Reply Rajendra Gaur November 22, 2018 at 3:26 pm

    very good

  • Reply Paul Anderson November 28, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Kudos. To present in less than 10 minutes such a thorough and clear explanation of Blend If is truly an amazing feat. Stunningly well prepared, presented and described… faultless!

  • Reply Timothy Omatule December 8, 2018 at 10:07 am

    Realy helped me, thanks alot

  • Reply Witold Miszkiewicz December 12, 2018 at 7:18 am

    Where can I find working/training files to learn this technique?

  • Reply amy aiello January 5, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    LOVE the way you teach. Bravo!!!

  • Reply thekevinwright January 5, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    I can't even double click to the side of the layer.

  • Reply Claude Denys January 7, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    Great !

  • Reply Real Riyad January 8, 2019 at 7:56 am

    you are great Sir.

  • Reply Gina White January 26, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    This was amazing. Simple, straightforward explanation of the tool that can seem complicated. User-friendly info. Thank you.

  • Reply RR26 January 28, 2019 at 8:05 am

    please demo more ways to use it.

  • Reply Joe D February 2, 2019 at 1:54 am

    maaan, this is awesome.

  • Reply Tracy Johnson February 2, 2019 at 9:11 pm

    Question: When I tried this with a replacement sky image, the white tent and white shirts on people were removed along with the blue sky of the image and replaced with my intended sky image…What did I do wrong??

  • Reply Buzz C February 6, 2019 at 2:19 am

    So awesome !!!!

  • Reply Av Murugesh February 8, 2019 at 10:02 pm

    Give him d best teacher award in Photoshop….thank you …

  • Reply Flavio Abujamra February 12, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    A question!!! Is there any way to select the "mask" created by using blend if?

  • Reply schmutly February 14, 2019 at 12:22 am

    One of the best Blend If explanations i have seen…wonderful.
    And it so SO refreshing to find great Photoshop tutorials WITHOUT the persons face in a square area blocking the Photoshop 🙂 Thank you. Subscribed.

  • Reply Trần Minh Trí February 20, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    You are my Jesus.

  • Reply PD February 23, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Most lucid presentation of blend if. So lucid that you can separate it after it is blended 🙏🏽

  • Reply Benjamin Kaleblevi February 25, 2019 at 12:36 am

    Blend-if was not new to me. However, your application made it so much simpler and direct. I did not know I could change a sky so easy! Cool!

  • Reply Amr Soliman March 2, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Really thank you for these kind of videos

  • Reply Real Islam March 4, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    so helpfull

  • Reply Cường Nguyễn Văn March 6, 2019 at 2:35 am

    Amazing. Thank for your video!

  • Reply JoAnn Banks March 9, 2019 at 5:04 pm

    Awesome! Thank you! I have always struggled getting the sky masked with trees. This is slick.

  • Reply Hunain Khan March 16, 2019 at 9:10 am

    I almost understand blend if…. Still learning blend if techniques.. Thanks JR

  • Reply Marc Roman Bravo March 18, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    This is a great way to explain blend if. I didn't fully understand it before. I'd just slide the sliders hoping for what I was imagining. Now it's quite clear. Thank you so much!

  • Reply Stacy Holbert March 18, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    You are amazing! I love your videos. Great information in a concise and clear presentation. You frequently blow my mind with a technique I didn't know about. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply MyXooma March 19, 2019 at 12:40 am

    Great Lesson………… very useful!

  • Reply Shazzadul Islam March 19, 2019 at 6:46 am

    It's awesome

  • Reply Lon Kirschner March 21, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Great tutorial. I really never understood this function until now. After watching this, I used the technique on a recent book cover design. It made all of the difference. Thank you for this.

  • Reply Thesims Factory March 24, 2019 at 12:05 am

    I'm So Going To Use Blend If To Make Thumbnails For My Chanel !

  • Reply Carol Varveris March 25, 2019 at 9:36 pm

    Excellent! Please do one of these "Blend If" tutorial using hair !!!

  • Reply Khurram Ali March 27, 2019 at 5:54 am

    just wow!

  • Reply Natalia Rodriguez March 28, 2019 at 2:46 pm

    A quick and easy way to understand blend if! Thank you!

  • Reply Persuasive Video Works March 30, 2019 at 2:42 pm

    #Jesus'Ramirez… sweet great tut… Thanks

  • Reply elder cavalcantti March 30, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Amazing for my architectural renderings… Thks a lot mafriend ! 😀

  • Reply finding magic April 1, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    This wa sa big help I ran across the cut out techniques first and it was a great help as was this video. So glad it works on my old version of PS.

  • Reply Umair Khan April 2, 2019 at 8:48 pm


  • Reply AAM TV April 4, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Awesome stuff, thanks!

  • Reply David Macias April 7, 2019 at 6:04 am

    I just love this and you've explained it perfectly, thank you.

  • Reply Adelaide Prentice April 8, 2019 at 3:15 am

    Wow, powerful.

  • Reply Neil April 9, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you – good to see these types of things explained so well and clearly. Brilliant channel.

  • Reply Zel Nat April 11, 2019 at 3:02 am

    This is just so neat! You will make me look like a star a work! Thank you!

  • Reply Debbie Gilman April 11, 2019 at 5:50 am

    Thank you thank you thank you!

  • Reply Sayyid Muhammad April 15, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    if the color u want to transparant is yellow. What blend if channel u use?

  • Reply Bre Eeeze April 18, 2019 at 8:07 pm

    i am so happy i found this channel

  • Reply James Pilz April 19, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    Holy sh*t. This is mind blowing. Thanks PTC!!

  • Reply John Fisk April 23, 2019 at 3:06 am

    Great tutorial. Thank you for making blend if so much more clear.

  • Reply Diegoscomeback April 29, 2019 at 7:31 am

    Does the layer style adjustment (specifically blend of function) consume more resources? Memory wise or ram wise? Say compared with a mask.

  • Reply dilpreet singh May 7, 2019 at 1:01 am

    lovely tutorial. Please keep them coming up!

  • Reply Ken Haines May 7, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Excellent tutorial, as always

  • Reply Leo Mulder May 15, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Great tutorial and well presented.

  • Reply Design at Home May 21, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    It's really very fantastic technique

  • Reply Jean Hwang May 23, 2019 at 1:46 am


  • Reply kabirbroadcasting May 27, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    Best BlendIf Tutorial!

  • Reply Mike Kilkeary June 3, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    What a brilliant and easy tutorial, so easy to follow and demystified the whole process.

  • Reply Noel Arroyo June 7, 2019 at 8:46 pm


  • Reply Grazz Priesthood June 10, 2019 at 5:50 am

    Amazing thank you very much Jesus. God Bless always.

  • Reply Renata Cesar Pereira June 10, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Awesome! Tks a lot

  • Reply Kaslbain Williams June 13, 2019 at 12:44 am

    definitely a new technique for me ,and found it very useful and easy; still at some of the tutorial i cant seem to locate the tools or action , maybe my photo shop and illustrator is out dated or need to be upgraded; but you are cool though i really do enjoy your tutorials and thank you;

  • Reply Gert Hendriks June 14, 2019 at 11:06 am

    Very clear explanation! Very usefull. Thank you.

  • Reply Khuram Shahzad June 16, 2019 at 11:38 am

    kindly always attach the pics and folder you use in an attachment link with each video so we find it easier to work on the same stuff as you train us. Kindly see how GFX mentor always gives us the same picture link in the description so it's much easier to work on the same picture or graphic.

  • Reply Pruthvi Batta June 19, 2019 at 7:57 am

    Awesome and easier way👍👍👍

  • Reply bmizzle010 June 21, 2019 at 10:06 pm

    Whoa! This just changed everything for me doing "green screen" composite work! Just subscribed!

  • Reply Salin Kumar June 27, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    Super….. 👍👍👍👍👍

  • Reply Marcelo A. Rodriguez Cancelo June 30, 2019 at 8:15 pm

    10 puntos Jesús!! A+ Jesús!! Well done!!

  • Reply Tej Pratap Singh July 3, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Well explanation

  • Reply psy乡AMAN乡 Gaming July 4, 2019 at 1:34 am

    Nice technique sir

  • Reply Amrutha KV July 5, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Woww…. Really helpful… I'm a beginner

  • Reply Hassan Khan July 15, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    By so far now I found a best tutorial to use the blend if…
    The last example made me to subscribe.. brilliant explanation

  • Reply Wally Ortiz July 20, 2019 at 5:39 am

    Does photoshop element 15 have this?

  • Reply Scott Readman July 30, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Mind blown

  • Reply Shah hussain July 30, 2019 at 5:47 pm


  • Reply Richard Jones July 30, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Excellent, so well thought out.

  • Reply Jay Hsiao August 2, 2019 at 4:13 am

    Awesome channel! Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Charles Winters August 9, 2019 at 2:38 am

    The best one on "blend if" I've seen so far. Thank you so much.

  • Reply X. Oredake August 19, 2019 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks you so much for this tutoria. Genius it is ! 🙂

  • Reply Dave Vowles August 20, 2019 at 6:34 pm

    What an amazing technique so quick and simple. Your channel makes it all look very easy. Outstanding!

  • Reply Susan Stepanchuk August 25, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Incredibly grateful to learn this technique!

  • Reply hamza noam September 6, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    that's great thank youu

  • Reply Dawn Moss October 1, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    Awesome video , you really know your photoshop !!

  • Reply Zuzanna Rudas October 19, 2019 at 10:48 am

    Amazing! The sky replacement blew my mind :O

  • Reply Mahafizur Rahman October 19, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Excellent work for all photoshop users. Thanks for your tutorial. 😀

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