By Dani Beaumont
Aug 13, 2019 ·
4 min video
In the latest release of Adobe XD, we've built blend modes right into the application. We've also updated the import feature so that blend modes defined in Photoshop, illustrator or sketch not only convert over but remain fully editable.
To use a blend mode, you'll want to select the objects on the design canvas. This can be one object that's blending in with the background color of the artboard or multiple objects layered on top of one another. I'll come on in here to these tiles that I have, this happens to be a component it that is repeated using the repeat grid feature. Blend modes will work fine in this example.
With the tile selected, I'm going to come to the right menu and select edit master component. With the components selected, I'll go ahead and click in so that I can select the text inside the overall component. From here, when I look to the properties inspector on the right hand side under appearance, I can see I now have a drop down menu that lists out all of the blend modes available to me.
Now if you're familiar with blend modes in Photoshop or illustrator, the behavior here is pretty much the same with one caveat. Blend modes in XD can be applied to the appearance of any image or object including shapes. text layers, groups, mask or components with more granular support of blend modes at an object stroke, fill or Shadow level coming later in the product roadmap.
If you're a fan of shortcuts, there's a nice keyboard shortcut you can use to cycle through the list of blend modes. So if I click off here with that text still selected, I can hold down the shift in option key, then the plus or minus key to just cycle through that list until I see something that I like. If I'm working on Windows, I'm going to hold the ALT key and the shift key and then plus or minus to cycle through the list. I like overlay because it allows me to see the color of the tile come through the letters.
From here, I can change the opacity of the blend mode, by coming to the opacity slider just above the blend mode drop-down. I can also use keyboard commands for that by typing the numbers 1 all the way up to zero to change the percentage value. So I'll type 9 on the keyboard to lighten it up just a bit. Let's see what seven or 70% looks like. That's a little bit too late. I'm going to go back to nine or 90 percent opacity.
Let's take a look at the tiles that I have here below the squares above it. Because I didn't have blend modes available to me, I went ahead and just applied a gradient or a blend from a darker shade of black to a lighter shade of black. I'm going to go ahead and delete those and then come in and select that first tile and once again, I'll come in and select a good-looking blend mode. I kind of like the look of that hard light blend mode on this particular design.
It's a little aggressive but what I can do now is easily apply that particular blend mode to totally different objects. To do that, I can come here in the right menu and select copy. So I'm copying that initial object onto the clipboard. When I come to the second object, what I want to do is in the right menu not select paste but instead select paste appearance. That's also very dramatic for a blend mode, but it does illustrate the point.
Now as you would expect these blend modes remain non-destructive. So if I do something a little too harsh like this, I can come in and easily change it later on in my work process. When I hand the design off to my developer as a design spec. I also know that they'll be able to review the blend mode attributes as they develop out the finished product.
I encourage you to give this new capability a try.
Blend modes in Adobe XD allow you to use preset algorithms, like Lighten or Multiply, to blend a layer with a background image or another layer on the design canvas. Blend modes in Adobe XD are great for creating dual tone color images, or creating a color overlay on images that align to brand or product colors. Choose a blend mode from the Appearance section of the Property inspector.
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