Using standard color blending functions in SASS.
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SCSS Blend Modes

CSS doesn't natively support color blending the way that Photoshop does. This library attempts to fake that by allowing you to blend a foreground color with a background color in order to approximate color blending. This was originally intended for use with the Compass Photoshop Drop Shadow Plugin but it proved impractical to integrate.

Blending Functions

The included functions are based on the blend.js in the Pixastic Image Processing Library. I chose this library because JavaScript is easy enough to read and the blend modes seemed to match closely with what Photoshop offered. Additionally, a detailed explaination of Photoshop blend modes was used as a reference as well as the Wikipedia article on blend modes.


These blend mode functions are not magic. In Photoshop, the blend mode functions are applied dynamically between two layers in order to create various effects. In CSS they can only be used to combine two solid colors together. Blend modes can be useful in times when a Photoshop design implements a blend mode on an element, like a drop shadow, that is over a mostly solid background. Choosing a dominant background color and a solid foreground color will allow for the apearance of a dynamically blended color.

.multiply {
	background-color: blend-multiply(#7FFFD4, #DEB887);

Blending Functions

All functions expect a color as the $foreground and $background colors. Blending functions work by combining the colors from the top-most layer, the $foreground with the lower layer, the $background.

  • blend-normal( $foreground, $background ) - Normal is used primarily to preserve the opacity after the blending has been applied to the RGB values.
  • blend-multiply( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-lighten( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-darken( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-darkercolor( $foreground, $background ) - Not found in Photoshop.
  • blend-lightercolor( $foreground, $background ) - Not found in Photoshop.
  • blend-lineardodge( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-linearburn( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-difference( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-screen( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-exclusion( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-overlay( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-softlight( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-hardlight( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-colordodge( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-colorburn( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-linearlight( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-vividlight( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-pinlight( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-hardmix( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-colorblend( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-dissolve( $foreground, $background ) - Not implemented. Dissolve treats transparency as a pixel pattern and applies a diffusion dither pattern.
  • blend-divide( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-hue( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-luminosity( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-saturation( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-subtract( $foreground, $background )

HSV Functions

These functions are used to convert between RGB, HSL and HSV color formats. The HSV color format is not natively supported by CSS or Sass. These functions were taken directly from this Gist. HSV values are used to calculate the results for the blend-colorblend, blend-hue, blend-luminosity and blend-saturation functions.

  • hsv-to-hsl( $h, [$s: 0, $v: 0] ) - Converts a HSV color values into HSL color values. $h can be a list of three values representing $h, $s and $v.
  • hsl-to-hsv( $h, [$ss: 0, $ll: 0] ) - Converts a HSL color values into HSV color values.$hcan be a list of three values representing$h,$ssand$ll`.
  • color-to-hsv( $color)** - Converts a Sass Color into a list HSV color values.
  • hsv-to-color( $h, [$s: 0, $v: 0] ) - Converts a list of HSV color values into a Sass Color. $hcan be a list of three values representing$h,$sand$v`

Internal Functions

These functions are used to save redundant code and are not meant to be used directly. These functions perform the blending operation on a single r, g or b value.

NOTE: These functions are not intended to be used directly.

  • blend-lighten-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-darken-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-lineardodge-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-linearburn-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-screen-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-exclusion-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-overlay-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-softlight-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-hardlight-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-colordodge-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-colorburn-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-linearlight-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-vividlight-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-pinlight-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-hardmix-color( $foreground, $background )
  • blend-divide-color( $foreground, $background )