In my recent work on Sphericle, there were a few instances where I wanted to use the same image over and over, but colored differently each time. For example, I want to show spheres of different colors on a map; there are 360,000 spheres, each having its own color. I didn't want to draw the sphere algorithmically; I wanted the picture of a sphere to be based on an image, but then colored appropriately. The solution: use a grayscale image of a sphere, then draw a color over it using a color burn blend mode. That's what I want to show you today.
While working on the next release of Sphericle (which is going to be awesome), I've had to create new map icons for the Search screen in the app. I want these icons to have the same style of shadow as the Google Map pins do on the iPhone. So, after some experimentation, I found a pretty easy and accurate way to do that. Here's what we're starting with: