View Full Version : Photoshop 7 hard mix layer mode?

06-08-2009, 09:10 PM
Hey all,

I'm currently attempting an antique style map using Ascension's tutorial and one of the first steps involves setting the layer mode to 'hard mix'. Now I know this is very basic photoshop stuff but I'm a complete noob at this program. I noticed that he was using a newer version of PS and I only have PS7 available. When I click on the layers palette to set the layer mode I do not have hard mix as an option. Is it available in PS7 or is there a way I could duplicate it?

If there is could someone please post instructions on how I go about it? I've searched the forums and used google but haven't been able to come up with anything that my non-programmer mind can figure out.


06-08-2009, 11:24 PM
Unfortunately there isn't an easy work-around for this. I had no idea that Hard Mix was not present in PS7. There are two "kind-of" work-arounds; one is to use Image-Adjustments-Threshold and the other is to use Brightness/Contrast. When I first started doing this sort of stuff I didn't know about hard mix so here is what I used to do: On a new layer I use a low opacity airbrush (black for ocean and white for land) mainly to connect land chunks (the lighter areas) and make a black frame around the land chunks. Once you have something you're happy with then merge the layers and apply either threshold or contrast and continue from there. If you'd like I could throw up some screenshots tomorrow evening.

06-09-2009, 07:10 AM
Thanks Ascension....it'd be great if you could do some screenshots. In the meantime I'm harranging my friends for a copy of CS3 to alleviate the issue but I don't know how fruitful my search will be. :)

06-09-2009, 07:42 AM
I don't know about PS Elements 7, but in GIMP you can adjust your Color Levels on a layer, if you drag all the sliders on top of each other, it will produce an image with only pure black and pure white shades. Doing this correctly in a layer with Solid Noise will replicate the effect of the "Hard Mix" layer mode in CS4. Like I said, I don't know how much PS7 is like GIMP in that regard, but hopefully that helps some.

Before and After in GIMP:

06-09-2009, 10:49 AM
One reference I found says:

Hard Mix
This blend mode is a combination of the Vivid Light mode and a posterization effect (i.e., where the image appears more pixelated). It will posterize the bottom layer pixels through the blend layer and recolor the image using the specifications of the Vivid Light mode. A higher Fill Opacity on the top layer will increase the posterization effect on the image. In the example, the Fill Opacity is set at 100%.

and Vivid Light is described so:

Vivid Light
This blend mode specifically dodges or burns the colors on the bottom layer. If the top color is darker or lighter than midgray, contrast in the bottom layer will increase or decrease.

-Rob A>

06-09-2009, 04:58 PM
Ok here are some screenshots of the process that I used to use about 5 years ago (before I had PS CS).

Pic 1 is my starting clouds, 500 x 500 pixels.

Pic 2 is what it looks like with the contrast maxed at +100. It's interesting but I want to guide what my coastline looks like instead of it being random.

Pic 3 is contrast at +100 and brightness at -50. Way too much ocean.

Pic 4 is some airbrushing of black and white (on a new layer) in order to create a bay with an island in it. I used the 100 pixel airbrush tip at 10% flow. When I get something that I'm happy with I merge the layers and hit the brightness/contrast again. If the result is crap then I undo the contrast and the merge steps and go back to some more airbrushing then when happy again I merge and try the contrast again.

Pic 5 is what I end up with, very smooth coastline but it has the general shape that I want.

06-09-2009, 05:01 PM
Because the coast is too smooth I do one last set of steps.

1. Filter-Pixellate-Crystallize=12
2. Filter-Pixellate-Crystallize=6
3. Filter-Pixellate-Crystallize=3
4. Image-Adjustments-Brightness/Contrast=Contrast up to +100.

Pic 6 shows the new ragged coastline.

06-09-2009, 08:36 PM
AWESOME Ascension! I'll give that a shot and see what I can come up with.

Thanks so much for the help everyone.

11-13-2009, 09:54 PM
So there I am working on the Making Continents tut
and I did a Google search for PS7 Hard Mix mode and was brought right back to this forum :D

Anyway, if I might offer...
After rendering your cloud layer
Create new fill adjustment layer (1/2 white and black icon on the layer palet)
Select Threshold
Move the slider to adjust the 'water' level
Select the clouds layer
Use the doge/burn tool on the layer to add/remove land