All About Opacity and Blend Modes

When creating your designs in BeFunky, you have the option to change the opacity and/or Blend Mode of individual layers (text, graphic, image) or to get the desired aesthetic for your project. We will cover the basics of each of these settings as well as provide instruction and examples on how this will affect your creation! 

Opacity

The term opacity refers to how transparent a layer is over another. Here's how it works with layers:

Step 1: Add a layer to your canvas. An Image Properties window will display once it is added.

Step 2: Click on Options for a sub-menu, and you'll see the Opacity slider along with a few other layer options.

Step 3: Adjusting the slider will change the transparency of the layer. Lower it to make the layer more transparent, and increase the slider to make it more opaque. 

Pro Tip: Opacity can also be adjusted on most Effects, Frames, Overlays, and Textures. The slider that appears when you add one of these adjusts the opacity of the feature. In the Settings menu for the feature, this slider is referred to as Amount or Intensity.  You can adjust your opacity to give a more extreme or more muted, based on the intended effect. 

Blend Modes

There are several different options for blending you can use for each layer. You can follow the steps above to find the Options tab, then select Blend Mode. Some effects also have a blend mode in the Settings menu

To understand blend modes you'll want to recognize the different layers of colors that are being used to create the blending effect:

Base color is the color in the base or background layer.
Blend color is the color of the layer being added.
Result color is the color resulting from the blend.

This article on blend modes does an excellent job of explaining what each mode does, with examples. It's from the perspective of Photoshop but the results are the same. Here are the modes available on BeFunky:

  • Normal - No effect is on the image. This is the layer in its original form.
  • Overlay - Creates a blended overlay of the image while also keeping intact the highlights and shadows. Depending on the layer it also screens / multiplies the colors.
  • Soft LightCreates a darkened or lightened version of the image's colors with a diffused light effect.
  • Multiply - Using the color channel information for each image, the values are multiplied to create higher contrast and darker colors.
  • ScreenUsing the color channel information for each image, the values are multiplied to their inverse to create lighter colors with lower values.
  • Add - Uses color information in each channel and brightens the base color by increasing the brightness.

 

  • Lighten - Uses the lighter pixels from each image and replaces them with darker colored pixels. This can create a nice blending effect to quickly blend two images together.
  • Darken - Same as Lighten in reverse. Uses darker pixels from each image and replaces them with lighter colored pixels.
  • Color Dodge - Creates a dodge effect by brightening the color of the base image to reflect the colors in the blend image.
  • Color Burn - Creates a burn effect by darkening the color of the base image to reflect the colors in the blend image.
  • Linear BurnDecreases the brightness in order to reflect the blended image's colors in the base image

 

  • Hard LightDarkens or lightens the image's colors with a harsh light.
  • Vivid LightIncreases or decreases the image's contrast, depending on the colors found in the blend image, to create a burn or dodge effect.
  • Linear LightIncreases or decreases the image's brightness, depending on the colors found in the blend image, to create a burn or dodge effect.
  • Pin Light - Replaces the image's colors, depending on the colors of the blended image.

 

  • DifferenceSelects the color from the base image and the blend image, and subtracts one color from the other, depending on which has the greater brightness value.
  • ExclusionCreates a lower-contrast version of Difference.
  • Subtract - Uses the color information in each channel to subtract the blend color from the base color.

This Wikipedia entry goes a bit deeper into how they work. Be sure to also check out the Learn article below for some examples on BeFunky. 

Looking for more inspiration? Check out another tutorial:

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