A Note on Merge Modes

Shon Roti is the owner of 9inthStreetDesigns, a sublimation and graphic design consulting business, and has a career in the awards and promotional products industry spanning over 20 years. He can be reached at shon@sublimationconsultant.com.

Merge Modes blend the top layer with the bottom layer with varying results, depending on the Merge Mode that is chosen. The color results for each individual pixel of an image change depending on the color values of the top and bottom layer. Some of the more common Merge Modes I use for adjusting brightness, contrast, gamma, and hue include:

  • Normal
  • Add
  • Screen
  • Multiply
  • Soft Light
  • Overlay
  • Hard Light
  • Color Dodge
  • Color Burn
  • Color

If you search “enhancing photos with Merge Modes” on YouTube, you’ll find a good tutorial. There are more tutorials regarding Blend Modes for Photoshop than for Merge Modes for Corel PHOTO-PAINT — Photoshop is a more widely-used program for adjusting photos. Not to worry. Photoshop tutorials can still be quite helpful. I have found that if I discover a good YouTube tutorial for Photoshop, I can translate and apply many of the same techniques in Corel PHOTO-PAINT. 

—Shon Roti, 9th Street Designs

Note: This tip appears in the January ’19 issue of A&E