Dissolve ModeBy Nikolai Sklobovsky This mode follows the Normal mode in the list of layer blending modes. However, while being close to Normal mode in the list, its pretty far from it functionality-wise. The biggest difference, at least how I understand it, is that, unlike Normal mode, which is used ubiquitously to blend photographs, Dissolve mode is mostly used to blend non-photo objects (i.e. shapes, text, etc.), as well as to create special effects that require some randomness. Lets see how it works.
Dissolve Edits or paints each pixel to make it the result color. However, the result color is a random replacement of the pixels with the base color or the blend color, depending on the opacity at any pixel location.
A-ha! Opacity! We need to change the opacity to see the effect. Lets set its value to 50% - and notice the change!
Dissolving TextLets start with some random picture that can play a role of a smooth background. I have chosen this nothing-out-of-the ordinary sunset shot of mine with some funny wavy clouds. I also put two layers of text above it. As you can see, even though I set the blending mode for text layers to Dissolve, at 100% opacity we only got a bit of fuzziness, nothing more. Lets change it.
Brushed MetalAs it was mentioned before, Dissolve mode can serve as a source of some random data. Lets see how we can use it to create a classic brushed metal effect. Lets start with an edged white rectangle, create a new empty layer, but instead of creating black circle with a rectangular marquee, lets simply pick a large soft black brush and click it once. The set the mode to Dissolve and the Opacity to 50%. Well get something like this.
That Sin City LookIts always dark in Sin City, and its always raining. How can we get this effect? Dissolve Mode to the rescue! Lets again start with any random picture and using whatever PS tools necessary give it a Sin City-adequate look. For the record, I must assure you that the person shown in this picture is, in fact, a vegetarian, and the food on the plate is made of flour and not even red in color its yellow, however :-)) Having the base ready, we want to add night and, most of all, rain.