Normal and Dissolve Blend Modes in Photoshop Elements 10 - dummies

Normal and Dissolve Blend Modes in Photoshop Elements 10

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Photoshop Elements 10 sports a whopping 25 blend modes. The Normal blend mode is the one you probably use the most. Dissolve is the next one on the list and, ironically, is probably the one you use the least. Blend modes affect how colors interact between layers and also how colors interact when you apply paint to a layer.

Not only do blend modes create interesting effects, but you can also easily apply, edit, or remove blend modes without touching your image pixels. The various blend modes are located on a drop-down menu at the top of your Layers panel in Full Photo Edit mode.

The best way to get a feel for the effect of blend modes is to grab an image with some layers and apply each of the blend modes to one or more of the layers to see what happens. The exact result varies, depending on the colors in your image layers.


  • Normal: The default mode displays each pixel unadjusted.

  • Dissolve: This mode can be seen only on a layer with an opacity setting of less than 100 percent. It allows some pixels from lower layers, which are randomized, to show through the target (selected) layer.