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I have 4 layers (A, B, C, D) which I wish to blend by the following formula (A xor B) plus (C xor D). Is it possible to accomplish this in Photoshop? I am a newbie and found that layer can only control it's blending with all underlying ones.

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Maybe. Sort of.

The maths for blending modes probably doesn't fit exactly what you're after. Difference is the same as XOR, and I think Screen the closest you'll get to addition.

Screen Blending Mode

Difference Blending Mode

You should be able to set up the compositing you're after by setting a group blending mode.

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If you're after specific and precise values as a result, you may be better served by using something else (or writing your own little application in a high level language).

  • Is Difference not exactly the same as XOR? – e100 Oct 22 '12 at 13:57
  • Yeah, I think so. But I don't think screen is the same as pure addition of the values? I'll edit my response. – Marc Edwards Oct 22 '12 at 14:47
  • @e100 Difference and xor are only the same when both values are the same (eg. 100 - 100 = 0 = 100 xor 100). "Screen" is the same as multiply, but using darkness-values instead of lightness-values (so the end-result is lighter than the originals) – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Apr 27 '18 at 15:55

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