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Thread: Can I apply Overlay blend mode to only 1 layer?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    601

    Can I apply Overlay blend mode to only 1 layer?

    Hey, I want to apply more than one Overlay blend mode to a painting, but I want each Overlay Layer to only affect 1 layer each (the layer right below it, or only the other layers in its same group). Right now, if I use 2 different Overlay layers in the same painting and then want to apply each one to only a specific layer (or a specific set of layers), it doesn't work.

    Right now, if I use two different layers with the Overlay blend mode, Artrage combines the two Overlays on _all_ the Layers below both of them. I want to clip the Overlay effects only to certain layers. I assumed if I used Groups then the layer with the Overlay blend mode would only affect those layers in the same Group as it, but that's not working. The lower Group works fine (using just the Overlay that I've got at the top of its Group), but once I add a second layer with the Overlay blend mode to the painting, even in a new Group, the two Overlays bleed into each other.

    Is there a way to do what I want in Artrage? I don't mind using a different blend mode, or what not, but essentially I want to clip the effects of one layer to _only one layer or a selected group of layers below it_, and I want to do so non-destructively. This is a very useful function, and would be exceptionally useful to duplicate in Artrage some way.

    Edit-
    What's also frustrating is that if I take a layer and use the Overlay blend mode, paint under it on a new layer, and then merge the two, Artrage won't keep the visual combo that I see with the blend mode on. Instead, it actually removes the blend mode I've applied when I merge the layers, which defeats the whole point!! I was hoping to paint with this method, merge the two layers (so there would be no active Overlay blend mode there anymore) and then move them to the top of the painting, so I can then paint with a new set of layers and a new layer to set to Overlay underneath them (and thus not affecting them).

    Essentially, I want to paint with textures non-destructively. I'm emulating an alpha channel by using the Overlay blend mode. Im fine with that, but I can only seem to do it once per painting if I want different textures to not "build on top of the other". I'd be happy with just being able to clip layers as well, as that would do what I'd want as well, or have layer blend modes affect only those layers within a group, but none of those options seem available.

    Any ideas?
    Last edited by Steve B; 04-04-2012 at 07:53 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    NC, USA
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    2,874
    There's no way to do it. The layers work like a pane of glass, or a cartoon cell. What's under them changes with what's done on top of them.

    The issue with the merging, is because you're mixing modes. One has to take priority. If you were to merge the lower, blended, layer into the layer beneath it, then merge the higher blended layer, there should be no change.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    That's a shame about the Layer textures-- clipping a layer to another layer is no big deal in Paint Tool Sai, for instance. It's very functional, particularly for textures and coloring. Layer masks would give the same ability. Hopefully, something that gives that capability will come in the next Artrage version.

    As for merging Layers that have blend modes, I'm having a hard time doing this right now. For example, even if I just work on two layers for the entire painting, it doesn't work. I start with the imported image for Texture. I change the blend mode to Overlay, and open a new layer under it. I do the painting. Then I "Merge Layer Down" and the complete Overlay layer automatically shows back up as the original imported image-- the Overlay blend mode is no longer in effect. I don't think there are any competing blend modes. I should just be able to merge the layers and have it look like it does before I merged it, right? Just with the benefit of few layers.

    If that's what's supposed to be happening, it's definitely not happening for me. Maybe I'm using the wrong command? It'd be great to figure this out, as its a method I'd like to be repeating.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    So, is there a way to just flatten the image in Artrage? As in, I have an painting, I've finished working on it, but it's too big, so I want to just flatten it to 1 layer. Can I do this without screwing the whole painting up? Right now, it sounds like you can't do this in Artrage if you've been using blend modes.

  5. #5
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    I don't it all the time, and have never had an issue.
    Nothing is easy to the unwilling.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    Merging Layers in Artrage is very undependable for me, if I'm using blend modes.

    I want to use Overlay on a texture layer (layer 1, on top), paint on a layer one level down (layer 2), and merge down onto that layer, without merging all my layers. As before, if I just merge them it doesn't work-- the Overlay effect disappears, and I'm left looking at the imported textural image. HOWEVER, if I place an additional layer (layer 3) beneath the layer I've been painting on (layer 2) before I merge, and I fill it with white, and I THEN go back and merge the two upper layers, it works-- the Overlay effect stays, and the painting looks as it did when I had all my layers. But it must be visible-- I can't hide the bottom layer, Layer 3 and merge the upper layers, and have the Overlay work. It has to be visible while I'm merging.

    What's strange though is that when I merge just Layers 1 and 2, sometimes the newly merged together layer will "pick up" the background color of the new bottom-most (3rd) layer, and add it's white opacity background to itself. So, even if I move the new layer up the Layers list (like, perhaps I have additional layers I want to paint on, and I want to put them below this "finished" layer), the background is now completely opaque. I can get around it by setting the blend mode to this new layer to Multiply, but it's just a pain. If I want to go back and, say, change something on that layer, I can't simply erase things, but instead have to "erase" by painting with the white background color, because the new background color never seems a perfect match to the base layer (Layer 3) that I bucket filled with color.

    Even stranger though is that sometimes, however, I merge the Overlay layer (Layer 1) and the painting layer (Layer 2), keeping the background layer at the bottom with white in it (Layer 3), and all is fine-- I'm left with a layer that has the painting on it, with the Overlay textural effects still in place on it, and yet, the rest of the background of the layer is transparent. And below that will still be the bottom most layer with the color fill. I can then, if I want, delete the bottom layer and I have a painting with a transparent background (which is what I really want all the time). This doesn't happen reliably though.

    I wish I could make that final process repeat itself regularly, but I can't seem to get it to work. Frustrating! It feels very buggy, frankly, and that's something I almost never say about Artrage.
    Last edited by Steve B; 04-05-2012 at 05:20 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Very Small town in Illinois
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    5,170
    Try this. After you have the overlay layer as you want it, export that layer. Then, make your layer invisible, and import the layer back in right above the layer you just made invisible.

    I've used that in situations where I had used tolls like glitter and the tube underneath, and it stops them from showing thru.
    Good luck.
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    1

    Yes you can!

    Ok, so you can do all that, it took me some time, but its just a matter of learning the keys. just hold the alt key between the overlay layer and the effected layer and it changes to a two circles with an arrow pointing between them, and just click. this should do the trick

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    I'm not sure I get what you're suggesting, unfortunately. I just tried this and nothing happened. I click one layer, then click the Overlay layer while holding down Alt, at the same time?
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    937
    I think that poster is maybe confusing AR with some other paint program Steve.
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