JPG vs Transparent Overlays, Part 2

August 12, 2016

A few days ago, we talked about the differences we see when using a JPG overlay vs a Transparency.  (JPG vs. Transparent Overlays).  If you haven’t had a chance to read that post, taking a few minutes to do so before reading today’s tutorial, will be helpful.

Today let’s answer this question:  “If you have a JPG overlay and want to retain the original color of the layers beneath it, is there hope?”

YES!  Once you change your JPG to whichever Blend Mode you want to use, you can adjust the color of your final document in other ways: Levels, Curves, Color Balance, Hue/Saturation, etc.

In the example below I have used the Grungy Stained Transparency 01-1, set to Overlay.  As noted in the previous post, we have retained the solid green color on the layer below the transparency perfectly.


Below I have used the JPG.  Remember when using the JPG and a blend mode, typically we will not be able to retain the original color of the layer below. (Sample below.)

Grungy Stained Tutorial SnickerdoodleDesigns

Let’s play around with that JPG.  Instead of using the Overlay Blend Mode, I used the Soft Light Blend Mode.  I then added a Levels Adjustment and a Color Balance Adjustment.  The final result is pretty close to the look we get when using a Transparency!   It’s a little more work, but it can be done!


Color Adjustment Tutorial SnickerdoodleDesigns

There is no set “formula” for making these final adjustments.  A Levels Adjustment and/or Color Balance Adjustment might not work with whatever JPG overlay you are working with. Just experiment with various adjustment options, to find what works for your special project!

For today’s tutorial and screen shots, I used Photoshop CC2015.5.  Although Photoshop Elements does not have a “Color Balance Adjustment,” experimenting with the Hue/Saturation adjustment will yield similar results.

If you would like to download a PDF of this tutorial, you may do so here:  JPG vs. Transparency, Part 2

I hope you have found this helpful!

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  1. Joleen Sytsma

    I so appreciate you sharing your PS/PSE knowledge with us. I always download your PDF for future reference. Am I missing the PDF link on this one? Thanks!

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