Photoshop: Dissolve blending mode. Is it still used? Any way to prevent mishaps?

  • 2
  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Answered
  • (Edited)
Is the dissolve blending mode still in use?

It happens not too seldomly that I select it instead of normal when painting by accident (especially since cursor click precision is lower with a stylus than with a mouse and the dropdown list of blending modes is a little small on higher resolutions these days).

Does it sound like a totally crazy idea to move it to the bottom of the list?
In its own group? (meaning a ----- separator line between it and the next bottom item)

What do you think about the user base?

I tried googling for any article explaining what dissolve is for or was originally for or might be useful for and couldn't find much anything.

Might it be kind of obsolete even? :-x

Best wishes!
Photo of Erik Jakobsson

Erik Jakobsson

  • 15 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like

Posted 2 years ago

  • 2
Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 86 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Dissolve is still used. It helps create effects that would be pretty impossible without it. I don't know how much it's used, but I wouldn't like them to remove it solely because most people don't ever use it. Sometimes you want speckles.  '-}

I can't say I care one way or the other if it's at the top where it always has been, or at the bottom, though. Other people might have strong preferences for retaining the legacy position.
Photo of christoph pfaffenbichler

christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

  • 1208 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes
»Might it be kind of obsolete even?«
No, for certain effects (distressing graphics or simulating random dust/stars/...) it is a viable option. 

I would recommend that you use the keyboard shortcuts (alt-shift-N for Normal for example) if cursor selection of the Blend Modes is problematic for you. 
Photo of christoph pfaffenbichler

christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

  • 1208 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes
As for obsoleteness:
One might think that Image > Calculations is obsolete because Layers’ Blend Modes etc. allow for non-destructively achieving those effects in layered files. 
But in automation the feature can be considerably more efficient than using Layers. 

I think dropping Photoshop features just because they are not used by a majority of Photoshop users could prove highly disruptive to efficient working. 
Photo of Erik Jakobsson

Erik Jakobsson

  • 15 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I agree. Thanks for the input!
Photo of Erik Jakobsson

Erik Jakobsson

  • 15 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Using the shift+alt hotkeys for blending modes works great with nimble fingers or especially with both hands.

I switched to using shift+rmb to change blending modes with the list you get for the brush tool after some ergonomic changes.

I usually select the wrong mode by accident once or twice in a day and most modes produce a very noticeable result so you notice you slipped up and can undo the strokes and then select the right one.

Dissolve however looks just like Normal when you're zoomed out enough (which I usually am, since working zoomed out is needed to gauge the illusion of realism). It is usually, in those cases, only later, maybe well past my undo history bounds that I zoom in and notice that I have entirely ruined the texture of large parts of the painting. ;-)

So not sure how unique my situation is. Again, thanks for the inputs!
Photo of christoph pfaffenbichler

christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

  • 1208 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes
If you are fairly sure you »never« want to use Dissolve it might be possible to use Script Events Manager to catch when you set the Brush Tool to that and throw an alert. 
Not sure, though. 
Photo of Cristen Gillespie

Cristen Gillespie

  • 86 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
> One might think that Image > Calculations is obsolete because Layers’ Blend Modes etc. allow for non-destructively achieving those effects in layered files. >

Well, maybe, except you can create new channels from old ones using Calculations. That's also very useful. One common way of using that feature is to make a mask from channels.  Not quite obsolete, and it is a pretty direct way to work with channels. Just not something very many people do.