On 2009-10-01, yahvuu <yah...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Technically, these are diagrams where the x-axis is the bottom layer 
> brightness
> and the y-axis denotes the top layer brightness. The brightness difference 
> caused
> by the blending operation is then color-coded as described above.
> The full explanation is available at:
> http://yahvuu.wordpress.com/2009/09/27/blendmodes1/#brightness_diff

Yet another idea: for most of "puzzling" layer modes the mode is just
a function F of two variables: "level in current layer", and "level L
in composite of layers below" (here "level" is the value of a
particular channel).  So for each value of "level in current layer",
one gets a *curve* applied to the "composite of layers below"
(essentially, I consider the effect of the mode when the current level
is a solid color).

Moreover, for most of the modes, F is linear in "level in current
channel" (or piecewise-linear on [0..128] and [128..255]).  So in this
variable, knowing F for very few values allows one to "reconstruct" F
for the rest of the values.  And it is not mentally hard to consider
simultaneously 3 graphs of 3 functions: F(20, L), F(128, L), F(245,

So what about the following icon: take some background color in good
contrast with all gray20, gray128, and gray245.  On this back, plot
the graph of F(20,L) in gray20, etc.  One gets an icon with 3 graphs.

For me, it is going to be a much better visualization than "a
color-coded graph of a function of 2 variables".  But it is quite
probable that I'm not representative enough.  What do you think?


P.S.  One could also combine both icons (maybe even one layered on top
      of another)...

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