I am using OpenCV C++ for making the blending mode like in photoshop, I want to make overlay mode in it. I search its alternate in OpenCV in which I found this blending way, but its not the overlay as I want to use the overlay method in it.

Overlay method formula from this documentation

(Target > 0.5) * (1 - (1-2*(Target-0.5)) * (1-Blend)) +
(Target <= 0.5) * ((2*Target) * Blend)

Can anyone please explain this formula for implementation in OpenCV C++ , how I can easily understand it for implementation or is there any already build in function for it or any other easy way out.


3 Answers 3


You can find many ready solution in the Internet. For example here following macro is given:

#define ChannelBlend_Overlay(A,B)    ((uint8)((B < 128) ? (2 * A * B / 255):(255 - 2 * (255 - A) * (255 - B) / 255)))

Additionally you might want to check this package: blImage for source code as you can very easilly translate it. I am sure you will find what you are looking for.

  • $\begingroup$ i don't know how to use these macro's as i seen them before . i didnt understand them well $\endgroup$
    – ARG
    Apr 26, 2014 at 8:07

Thanks all for answer and interest but as I didn't found the answer completely following my question , I update my own solution which I get from here

First, the author of the link you provided assumed that a pixel color as a value between 0 and 1.

Imagine you want to blend 2 images img1 and img2. The formula says that if a pixel in img1 as a value Target > 0.5 then the resulting value is (1 - (1-2*(Target-0.5)) * (1-Blend)) for the blended image where Blend is the value of the pixel of img2.

On the other hand, if Target <= 0.5 the resulting color value will be ((2*Target) * Blend).

You need to do this for each pixel.

This link provides an overlay blending function with OpenCV.

Here is an example with a grayscale image. For a RGB image, you need to do this for each channel. Of course img1 and img2 must have the same size. Maybe there is a quicker way to do it with OpenCV.

Mat img1;
Mat img2;
img1 = imread("img1.jpg", CV_LOAD_IMAGE_GRAYSCALE);
img2 = imread("img2.jpg", CV_LOAD_IMAGE_GRAYSCALE);
Mat result(img1.size(), CV_32F);

for(int i = 0; i < img1.size().height; ++i){
    for(int j = 0; j < img1.size().width; ++j){
        float target = float(img1.at<uchar>(i, j)) / 255;
        float blend = float(img2.at<uchar>(i, j)) / 255;
        if(target > 0.5){
            result.at<float>(i, j) = (1 - (1-2*(target-0.5)) * (1-blend));
            result.at<float>(i, j) = ((2*target) * blend);

Ok. Lets break it into pieces:

(Target > 0.5) * (1 - (1-2*(Target-0.5)) * (1-Blend)) + (Target <= 0.5) * ((2*Target) * Blend)

has two parts that are being blended:

(Target > 0.5) * (1 - (1-2*(Target-0.5))
(Target <= 0.5) * (2*Target)

Of these the first is making sure that pixels with intensity greater than 0.5 (Target > 0.5) only are chosen and the rest (Target <= 0.5) go to the other image. So, the second is limited to 0-0.5 values, which is being scaled to 0-1. For obtaining a similar range for the first set of pixels, a stretching algorithm is being used: 1-(1-2*(Target-0.5)).

As the documentation mentions, this is a combination of multiply and screen - multiply for pixels with values less than or equal to 0.5 and screen for the rest.

Coming to the point of OpenCV implementation, you will require the following methods:

  1. Blend (I1 *(1-b) + I2 *b)

  2. Addition (I1 + I2, with normalization of course)

  3. Inversion (I2 = 1 - I1)

  4. Thresholding (I2 = I1 > a/b)

I have followed the documentation's convention of using 1 as the maximum intensity, you could stick to this using float type images or scale it appropriately to use other formats.


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