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Beware: There’s a Blend Mode Bug in Photoshop CC 2019


Beware the Photoshop CC 2019 update! It does not come without bugs. When everyday tools do not behave the way they should, we should pay very close attention!

With the latest update released earlier this week, Adobe released the latest versions of all the Creative Cloud apps, including the latest Photoshop (version 20.0.0). I was actually inclined to give it a chance right from the go. I’ve been let down in the past by Adobe’s update strategies, but this hasn’t been the case for me for any of the CC updates yet. As pretty much all the bugs in the earlier version have been ruled out by now, what could go wrong?…

The answer: A LOT!

What Doesn’t Work in Photoshop CC 2019

I think we all can agree that what makes Photoshop so valuable to us all is its layers and with it, the usage of blend modes. I do not know a single user who does not rely on these features, no matter what field you are working in — you need these functionalities!

The Photoshop CC 2019 Blend Mode Bug

Blend modes. I need them, I love them, but not in Photoshop CC 2019!

I have no technical insight into what exactly is happening, but I can tell that many blend modes do not do what they are supposed to. This is especially true of the blend modes Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity.

Here’s a demonstration of what happens. The image has one color with a blend mode active and as a reference, I have the same color included as a patch.

You can clearly see the color is not the color it is supposed to be (in the image I used the Hue blend mode). The hue of the blended color and the sample color should remain the same.

Here is an example with the correct rendition of the Hue blend mode. The blended color and the reference color are the same hues!

How To Fix Your Blending Mode Issues in Photoshop CC 2019

I have done quite a bit of research, and Adobe does not mention this issue in the list of known bugs. But there is something mentioned by Adobe that I found relevant to this issue and voila, it fixes the blending mode issues too!

To get your Blend Modes to work correctly, go to Preferences->Performance and switch to Legacy Compositing Engine. Once you’ve saved this changes, you can sit back, wipe the sweat off off your face, and continue working!

I know it’s sometimes maddening to deal with these issues, because we as users shouldn’t have to. I think we have the right to not wait another 6 months until this version is finally usable. What’s the point of releasing unfinished software anyways?

About the author: Daniel Hager is an award-winning, internationally-published retoucher and Adobe Photoshop Certified Expert based in Germany. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Hager work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram. This article was also published here.