Contrast Blending Modes By Kitten

Well that was an extended break. Hey everyone it’s your favorite… ok that’s pushing it, it’s kitten!

So much has been going on with closing out 2020 that I’m sorry the blending modes explained was put on a hold. But we’re back! And we’re on to the favorites of everyone from newbies to veterans of graphic design……… Contrast Blending Modes queue studio cheering

These blending modes are a mixture between the Darken and the Lighten Blending Modes we discussed previously. They create contrast by both lightening and darkening the result colors by using complementary Blending Modes to create the blend. (You look so gooooood – see complementary).

PS checks to see if the colors are darker than 50% gray or lighter than 50% gray. If they’re darker than the 50%, a darkening Blending Mode is applied… you can guess what happens if the colors are brighter, whispers a brightening Blending Mode is applied.

Except for Hard Mix cause it’s a bitch … but all blending modes in this category turn 50% gray transparent.

Let’s get to it!

As always these are the two images we’ll be using

This is one of Photoshop’s most widely used Blending Modes. A combination of Multiply and Screen with the base layer always shining through. Overlay uses the Screen blending mode at half strength on colors lighter than 50% gray, and the multiply blending mode at half strength* on colors darker than 50% gray. If it’s 50% gray itself, it will become transparent.
*half strength doesn’t mean “Opacity at 50%”

Basically think of Overlay as shifting mid-tones. Dark blend colors will shift mid-tones to darker colors and light-tones will shift the mid-tones to brighter colors.

What differentiates Overlay from the other Contrast Blending Modes, is it makes calculations based on the brightness of the colors in the base layer(bottom). All the others make theirs based on the brightness of the blend layer(top).

Soft Light

A lot like Overlay, it applies either a darkening or lightening effect depending on the luminance values.. but more subtle. It’s like a softer version of Overlay without the harsh contrast.

Hard Light

Comibining the Mulitply and Screen blending modes using the brightness values of the blend layer to make its calculations. This differentiates from Overlay that uses the base layer.

This causes the resultes to tend to be intense, often you’ll want to lower the opacity to get better results.

Because of it’s name you’d think it would have something in common with Soft Light, but nope! It’s actually more closely related to Overlay.

Vivid Light

Think of this blend kind of like the extreme version of Overlay and Soft Light. Anything darker than 50% gray is darkened, and anything lighter than 50% gray is lightened. This is definitely one of those blending modes you’re going to want to adjust the opacity, since 100% opacity is generally too strong.

Linear Light

This uses a combination of Linear Dodge on lighter pixels and Linear Burn on darker pixels (reference past postings for information on those 2). Typically, the result is going to be extreme and you may want to use Opacity or the Fill sliders to adjust it.

Pin Light

This is an extreme blending mode that performs a Darken & Lighten blending mode simultaneously. It can result in patches or blotches, and completely removes all mid-tones.

Hard Mix

Finally our last in the Contrast blending modes. This blending mode applies the blend by adding the value of each RGB (Red, Green, Blue) channel into the blend layer to the corresponding RGB channel in the base layer. Your resulting image loses a lot of detail and the colors can only be black, white, or any of the six primary colors (Red, green, blue, cyan, magenta, or yellow).

As it’s an extreme blending more, you’ll want to use opacity and fill to reduce the effect. Fill most likely is your best option for reducing the effect cause it’ll give you better results than opacity.

As always I hope y’all enjoyed this. Remember to be safe out there and tip your delivery drivers!

Storytime with the Smurf – By Smurfy

In this segment you the reader will get a chance to mail in questions to Smurfy. She will take those questions, and respond with the most ridiculous answers imaginable. “It is my belief that laughter is everything – so, why not share a little silliness with others along the way?” – Smurf

Please send all questions to Smurfy’s pm.

(Please note: Revo does not necessarily agree with the words and opinions of Smurfy. In fact, we reserve the right to deny association with her at all.)


Question Submitted by Lexie

Why do hot flashes come at 2am?

Response by Smurf

Like most things women go through, the patriarchy has demanded from the gods that women be tortured even after they stop having aunt flow visit. It is unfortunate that the male gender has chosen to beg the gods for another form of torture towards the female gender, but here we are. Why they happen at 2am, is because it was a specific request from one such dude, we’ll call him Frank – who begged the gods that his wife  give him oral in the middle of the night, unfortunately, her refusal ended in a curse for all women everywhere. So, the moral of the story is – you should just get on your knees when a man asks you to. 


Question Submitted by Xams

Do you believe in Big foot?

Why yes, I had him over to the house just last week. He drank tea, and ate crumpets. We discussed the theory of evolution. He believes that he evolved from a human, and is the superior species. I of course believed him, because that guy knows his shit. He dazzled me with commentary on Shakespeare’s works, but got a little snotty when we had a heated debate on climate change. He also pooped behind my couch. That guy was a hoot! I doubt that stain will ever come out.

A Tour of Gor …

In this segment, Unwritten will take you on a journey through Gor. Find out the latest happenings, what it means to play in Gor, and other amazing tidbits surrounding the genre.

Gor – Is it just a fancy or odd sort of BDSM? By Unwritten

First and foremost, let’s define BDSM to be sure we’re all on the same page.  Basically BDSM is an acronym to describe a relationship or occurrence involving one or more of the following groups: Bondage and Discipline, Domination and Submission, Sadism and Masochism.  Defining that in greater detail could take up an entire post (or more!) on its own, but we’re here to talk about how BDSM and Gor might be related, so I won’t delve too deeply into the definition.  I do feel that the Gorean realm and BDSM have some aspects linking them, but they are two pathways that are different from each other, although they may run parallel at times.

The Gorean novels, which our online roleplay revolves around and stems from, are based on varying areas of society where, for the majority, what is known as the “natural order” is a key part of daily life.  The natural order basically states that men are the stronger, more dominant gender and women are not necessarily inferior, but hold a distinct role of being weaker and submissive.  Upon Gor there are two basic types – free and slave.  Men and women can be a part of either category.  So, while there is the natural order to say women are submissive (generally speaking), they can be free.  In fact, when looking at the series of Gorean novels versus the history of online Gorean roleplay, there is a discrepancy in regard to the role women hold.  In the books only a small fraction of women were actually enslaved.  Most were actually free women with the rights, abilities, and property afforded to them within their societal status.  Online, however, it seems as if the majority of the women are, or have been, enslaved.  In both aspects there is definitely a usage of Domination and Submission, or D/s.

Naturally, where any sort of D/s is concerned, there is likely to be aspects of Bondage and Discipline involved.  We see this outside of Gor and also within it.  Bondage can refer to the actual act of being tied up or otherwise secured, but also to the mere fact that one is held within a level of servitude.  Discipline, of course, is necessary to maintain order and control and this can be applied to all sorts of people and property – not just the slaves.  Of course slaves are disciplined, should they error, but so too are both free men and women.  The women perhaps more so solely for the fact that they have the ever present threat of the collar (slavery) hanging over them if they should make grievous mistakes.  Men, however, are not immune to some level of control being put upon them.  The threats they must attempt to steer clear of, however, are usually death, shunning/banishment, or financial loss.  A fine, enslavement, a beheading are all forms of discipline, just as a spanking is, though obviously some hold heavier consequences than others.

In my opinion, where Gor veers away from BDSM entirely is within the level of Sadism and Masochism, especially within the novels.  It is said that Gorean men were generally not cruel or sadistic.  Yes, they often desired control, and although pain and, at times, even torture in some form could be a part of gaining this control the goal was always control, not the sexual thrill of dispensing pain.  In turn, the women were not seen as chasing the arousal from being hurt.  Once again it is more about control, or rather, in the case of the women, being controlled.  Even the free women sought a level of being controlled, both online and in the books, by learning their boundaries and sticking within them.  As already mentioned, should the woman stray too far from what is allowed or acceptable, she is likely to find herself enslaved or, perhaps even, killed.

I feel as if the biggest difference between BDSM and Gor is centered upon the focus of each.  BDSM often (though not always!) is centralized around a sexual aspect or a singular scene depicted for a specific purpose.  Gor, although holding key components of a sexual aspect, is more than mere sex or a particular scene.  Given the fact that we have an entire series of books to draw from, in which a rich, varied planet is displayed and explored, Gor has the ability to allow for more than sex alone or limited purpose.  Online, within our roleplay, we have a whole host of options available to us in which we can portray the Gorean tendencies while our characters actually live within the Gorean world.  This roleplay can vary from scene to scene, day to day.  We are not secured in a dungeon or a bedroom where only carnal activities take place.  We have an entire world to relish and grow within.  Relationships, including the Master/slave dynamic, but also beyond that alone, can be explored.  The caste system comes into play as Goreans tend to their greatly varying jobs, tasks of which are vital to keep the planet alive, active, and under control.  Beauty, or even the lack thereof, can be taken in upon a simple stroll just as easily as it might be witnessed from a collared woman serving prettily.  Families and factions can vie for power or wealth.  Gor, as a whole, and even within each room specifically, has a lot to offer, but it is up to us to seek it out and forge our own avenues within the world created for our use. 

Room Spotlight

In this segment we take a closer look at one of our fantasy envisioned rooms – Dark World Chronicles.

DWC is a “hybrid” room. Modern fantasy, urban fantasy, horror, and apocalyptic stories are all welcome.


The Interview


Describe your room, ie: the concept and main theme?


The concept in Dark World Chronicles can be a little complicated. I guess the best way to state it is that it’s a room that embraces table top “troupe” play and tries to apply that concept beyond just the Old World of Darkness core books. It’s not, I repeat, it is NOT just an old World of Darkness room. Almost all modern genres are welcome! Everything from crime drama to horror can flourish in DWC. And it seeks to find the crossroads between these genres to encourage people to think outside of the box when starting a story. 


Are all players in your room involved in this storyline?


No they are not. We don’t force anything on anyone. I am even encouraging folks to start their own unique campaigns. Yet at the same time , a multitude of room sponsored storylines to choose from is the ultimate goal.


Are character sheets required?


Character sheets are only required if you plan on joining the room campaign. And I will guide you through the process personally if you have any trouble with that. Also, your first two characters in the room won’t require a character sheet. I really like to give folks a chance to get their feet wet. 


What do you do when you have a newbie come into the room? How do you help them learn about the world you’ve created? Is it easy for them to jump into storylines?


Newbies are just eggs that are waiting to hatch in my book. DWC is very newbie friendly. In fact, I take a personal, hands-on approach to helping new folks get comfortable. The room forums are set up to provide a lot of information once you’re registered. Navigating that can seem a little overwhelming, but once you realize that it’s just a matter of taking it step by step, you will quickly be fine with it all. The big storylines are not launched as of yet. (Due to my own notorious procrastination) But the one-on- one roleplay is the start of getting the creative juices flowing, so to speak. There are plenty of chances to learn and explore- allowing you to find out what you are interested in playing. In the coming months I plan on taking a step back from all the other things that I have been doing online so that I can seriously hone in on getting people to bounce around in the room with the characters that they have been mulling over. So in that respect it’s very easy to get started and jump in.  


How many various character types are in your room? 


Right now there is a heavy concentration on werewolf characters because the first room wide campaign is about a group of newly discovered “cubs” if you wil that will find themselves fighting against a common enemy. They will be thrown together by outside forces and will have to learn to work together, using everything they can, to achieve their goals. All while trying not to bite each other’s heads off. Should be fun!  But again, I have SOA characters that I play in there. And that has nothing to do with werewolves… (as of yet….)


Is there a set structure for powers, or is it free form?


It’s free-form to a certain extent. But there is a structure of powers that must be in place for the room wide stories. We need to have a way of measuring everyone’s abilities — And that is not just about say, the ability to do magic or throw a punch. In a given story, your ability to use your wits to get past a bouncer who won’t let you into a club you need to get into is just as important as if you can throw a mean hook. 


What is the main thing you want everyone to know about your room?


The main thing is that I want everyone to have FUN. We are a community of writers right? So, in my opinion  let’s just see what happens when we mesh all kinds of personalities to see what trouble we can stir up. I’m all about in-character drama. The out of character drama is for the birds. Come check us out. Or ask me questions when you see me hanging about! The FAQs section on the forum may explain things a bit more so be sure to check that out. (No forum registration is needed in order to read it.)

That’s British: with Russ

This month I wanted to talk about something I’m doing. It’s not a well-known event, it’s not world-famous. Its name is mentioned in cycling circles. It’s a challenge in the heart of Wales, it’s know as the Dragonride. It’s one of the toughest events I’ve ever done, in a beautiful and unforgiving environment, that is steeped in history, beauty and legend.

The Brecon Beacons are somewhat legendary and mythical in the UK. They hold an aura, mainly because the SAS selection takes place there. It can be a cold, wet, vast and unforgiving environment. On a bike, it’s akin to heaven for me. Unsurprisingly it’s a place of myths and wonder. There are many myths and legends in this area, but here is my favourite:

The Lady of the Lake at Llyn Cwm Llywch Lake.

 Legend has it there is an island on the lake, accessible only on May day that is the entrance to the land of the fairies and hold the key to the kingdom. Once a year the fairy queen would allow visitors to her island. It was said the Queen would tell you lay ahead for the year to come. The proviso was that no one would take anything from the island, and for a day would partake in drink, dance and fun. The deal lasted hundreds of years, until of course, one day….

A newcomer had planned to steal a fairy apple, to create a magical orchard of his own. As the sun waned, he hid an apple. Thinking his luck was in, he set foot on the human realm once again. Where he was met by the Fairy Queen, who asked the man to empty his pockets, and on doing so, he realized the apple was rotten and filled with Maggots. As he fell to his knees, the Queen wasn’t done and shattered his mind, driving him mad. The Queen banished her visitors, the door shut and has never reopened. Without the Queen’s predictions, crops fell into ruin and the villages starved.

This is why I take my own food on the 140 Miles and 10,000 feet plus of climbing, I have enough things to drive me mad without the Fairies against me! However, the food stations have a infamous rosemary roasted potatoes, which remain the best food I’ve had at a feed station!

I cannot wait for the ride this year, I learnt a lot last time and having missed out with the pandemic last year, I hope to take in the views atop the Black Mountain, Survive the Devil’s elbow and then up the Bwlch and Rhigos. The names are magical enough to me, the roads quiet and stunning. It hurts but of course, you can’t help but be in love with the views and the legends of the area. It’s all a though that has gotten me through the lockdown, that I might make this event, and it feels closer than ever.  I just need to be patient, keep on and hope the day isn’t shut like it was to the fairy kingdom all those years ago.

Phrase of the blog:

huff snuff’ (16th century): one who shares their opinion far and wide but is quick to take offence if anyone disagrees.

Silly English Laws:

King Henry VIII imposed a beard tax that every man must pay to wear facial hair.

Hang Around: SoA
Interviews with Tatiana

This month’s interview is with Smurfy.  Enjoy!

1.)  Give us an overview on what rp is currently happening at The Reckoning:  West Virginia.

Right now, there is a lot of chaos beneath the surface. The Beckley boys (a small-time gang from the next county over) have been hired to mess with the Sons. The problem is none of them will talk and state who hired them.

People are getting shot, kidnapped, and it involves both charters in the room. We have two. SAMTWI and SAMRAC. Both are having to work together to figure out what the hell is happening.

2.)  Tell us about your two main characters in your room.  Give a brief history of both.

Oh, Gosh this is hard, because I don’t have -main- characters. I have so many! Let’s go with the two charter presidents.

Truth & Remi.

Truman “Truth” Bale is president of SAMTWI. He runs the Twilight charter. He has a daughter who is eight years old that he is raising on his own. (with the MC’s help) Because, his wife was a junkie who could no longer be around the kid. Truth is in love with the girl he grew up with, and it took them forever to finally be together (or rather him to convince her!) Truth also has cancer. It’s something that stems from the fracking of the coal mines. A lot of people in Twilight get sick, because of it. So, he struggles with being in charge of this ever-growing MC, and having to battle his illness. He’s a complicated guy. No one wants to mess with him though. The guy is scary!

Remington Legend is president of SAMRAC. He runs the Racine charter. Remi is originally from Darien, Georgia, but was asked to come straighten out Racine. He cleaned house, got rid of some problem members, and is doing his thing. Remi is a total asshole. His old lady is the owner of a porn studio. Even if he refuses to call her his old lady. He’s a dick. Remi is always arguing with one of the members who think that he should have become president. That guy is trying to push Remi out. It’s a lot of fun.

3.)  Your two main chars are heading out on a road trip, where would they travel?

Probably to Kanawha county, or to Huntington. They do a lot of business in both Charleston and Huntington.

4.)  If The Reckoning could have 3 songs to describe what happens inside the room, what 3 songs would that be?

Chuxx Morris – Dead Man Walking

Royal Deluxe – Bad

​Valley of Wolves – We Are Legends

5.)  What year was it when you were introduced to SOA rp? Who introduced you and what room/site was it at?

Oh, gosh I don’t even remember the year. It was Long Beach, but I don’t remember the site. It’s been so long ago.

6.)  Who was your very first SOA character? Do you still rp him/her today?

That would be Carter “The Reverend” Lawson. I do still play him! He’s still an alcoholic, addict, a ladies man, and a mess of a human being, but there’s no guy that can function the way Rev can while being completely hammered. He’s a laugh a minute.

7.)  Did you watch the tv series ‘Sons of Anarchy’ before rping SOA?

Oh yeah. It’s still to this day one of my favorite shows of all time.

8.)  Someone is interested in rping in the Rebels and Reapers section, what advice do you have?

Oh Gosh, my advice is have fun! Don’t take it too seriously. Just go with the flow. A lot of people take it too serious, and it becomes pressured to stay on track of storylines. Let it zig and zag, and just enjoy the ride!

Revealing Roleplayers By Smurfy

In this segment, we will be interviewing roleplayers at random. This is a way to get to know the roleplay community, find out what makes them tick, and delve a little into the raw meat of what makes roleplay special to them

For this interview, we will be delving into the mind of none other than the mysterious woman herself – Kaliko




How long have you been roleplaying?


I’ve only really been role playing outside gor since 2013, before that the only role play I ever did was all gor.


What’s your favorite Genre?




What’s your favorite storyline you’ve ever done?


I have enjoyed many good story lines, but I don’t have an absolute favorite yet! I have a lot of new stories in progress so maybe one of them will fill that spot!


What makes a good roleplay partner?


I think it’s someone that gives as well as takes in the story, helping it build and grow and isn’t one-sided with the story line. 


If you could bring any character back from the dead, who would it be and why?


None, I think I have maybe two dead characters and I don’t care enough about them to bring them back lol


The most important question to a roleplayer of course… Who is your all-time favorite character you’ve ever played, or watched someone else play?


I have a lot of characters that I love, but I don’t have an all-time favorite at least not yet!

Digital Playground March Edition by Russ

Gaming; God I love gaming. My first console was an Atari 2600. I had an Amstrad CPC 464. And they opened a world to me. The magic of watching a tape load or a disc. (if you get frustrated by loading times now, you’ve no idea) I got lost in games, that felt magical. Dizzy, Harrier jump jet, Ghostbusters; it was a world I could partake it, shape, impact.  After that I was lucky. I would have Nintendo consoles, my brother Sega, so I got the best of both worlds.  Eventually my loyalties landed with Playstations. I remember getting Final Fantasy Vii, I brought it from the local video store, having no idea of the previous games, no knowledge of the hype. 48 Hours later, with my brother watching the whole time, I finally gave in to sleep. I love gaming and RP games will be my first love.

But what really got me to nerd levels and falling truly in love with gaming was the PC….My first PC sucked it was slow and ran games very badly. It was brought for school work and my stupid parents never considered that I might have a chance to game. 8mb of ram, 800mbs of memory. No chance to play some demanding  So I got creative with the games I played. Half-life etc would come when I got to uni and had a console that could run fancy graphics, more easily. (for the time people, at the time) Lan play then with Red alert 2 and half-life was a game changer for me.  (depressingly as I still pay off, my student loan it occurs to me, that I’m yet to ever actually technically own  that PC.)

But back in the day, what pulled me in was the point and click game. Firstly, the Lucas arts games, Monkey Island, Indiana Jones, Day of the tentacle, Full Throttle. These games felt like they got me, the nods to history, the humour. The feeling like I had a role in the story unfolding by solving puzzles, that ranged from the absurd, to the impossible. Then came Discworld and the human In that, just got to me. It remains the hardest game I’ve ever played. It took so long to complete, it was before you could just fire up a guide online (game FAQs saved me)

But the game that had the most impact Broken Sword. I loved those games. I became hooked on the mythos of the Templar’s, the mystery in the games, again the humour, the solving puzzles. It just hooked me. I maintain it played a big part in developing my love of history. It was the first game I played set in part in the UK and Europe to and that pulled me in. I loved the later games and when Five came out, It was a return to a genre of games I thought had passed us by. I missed it, I felt like I was using my brain, the dialogue, the cartoony graphics.

The pandemic and lockdown has made me nostalgic, and currently I’m playing the remastered Broken Sword on Steam and I still love it. The music, the memories, the fun and satisfaction of solving the puzzles. (The goat puzzle; if you know – you know) Alongside, playing FFVII remake (which makes me want to fire up the original) It feels safe, familiar and yet still fun. As I await the chance to get a PS5, I’m now conflicted and pulled towards a gaming pc and a return to my roots. Maybe I’ll report back in a few months with where that journey takes me. But for now, it’s a return to the familiar of George Stobbart and his adventures, and being grateful of a reminder of what fun I used to have with PC gaming.