Posts tagged "Adjustment Layers"

June 21, 2016

 5 Hidden Gems in Photoshop CC (15.5)

Discover new features and enhancements made to Artboards including new background color properties and easier duplication of layers and layer groups, Adjustment layer support for Looks and Fill layer support for Patterns created in Capture CC, read-only Library Collaboration, and new export options for embedding color profiles and additional Artboard improvements.

Note: because of the new background color support, Artboard backgrounds export as visualized on the canvas (i.e. if you see a background, you will get that when you export – you must set transparency to export as transparent).

The visual representation of “transparency” as a checkerboard works the same in Artboard documents as it does in regular canvases. Therefore, if you have changed your Preferences > Transparency & Gamut to None, then you will not see the checkerboard representing transparency in an Artboard. 

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March 15, 2016

Preview Adjustment Layer Changes in Photoshop

While making changes to an image using an adjustment layer, hold the “\” (backslash) key to toggle between the before state (when you started making changes) and the current state (the changes you’ve made).

5:25 AM Permalink
February 11, 2016

Gradient Map Adjustment Layer in Photoshop

One of the lesser understood features in Photoshop is the Gradient Map Adjustment Layer. This is unfortunate because it is really useful for creating richly colored, yet subtly toned image effects including mimicking traditional cross processed looks. In the following examples, I converted the original image to black and white using Lightroom’s Develop module, then opened the file into Photoshop and added a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer from the bottom of the Layers panel. Instead of using the default gradients, I clicked on the downward pointing triangle to the right of the gradient swatch in the Properties panel, and then clicked the gear icon and selected Photographic Toning. Although most of the presets appeared overly saturated when applied at 100%, that was easily solved by lowering the opacity of the Gradient Map Adjustment Layer. In the final example, I decided not to convert the image to black and white and instead use a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer to shift the colors in an RGB image.

Original black and white conversion.

Original black and white conversion.


Photographic Toning Preset - Gold Blue applied as a Gradient Adjustment Layer

Photographic Toning Preset – Gold Blue applied as a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer at 30%.


Photographic Toning Preset - Gold Copper applied as a Gradient Adjustment Layer

Photographic Toning Preset – Gold Copper applied as a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer at 50%.


Photographic Toning Preset - Gold Sepia applied as a Gradient Adjustment Layer

Photographic Toning Preset – Gold Sepia applied as a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer at 45%.


Original image in RGB with Photographic Toning sepia selinium 3 Gradient Adjustment Layer applied.

Original RGB image with Photographic Toning Preset – Sepia Selenium 3 Gradient Map Adjustment Layer applied at 75%.

Note: although you may achieve similar results for some effects using the Split Tone or Tone Curve panels in Lightroom’s Develop module or ACR, I prefer the level of control over both color and tone achieved using Photoshop’s gradients.

5:08 AM Permalink
November 10, 2015

Image Adjustments as Smart Filters in Photoshop

After converting layer(s) to Smart Objects, applying Image > Adjustments > (xxx), adds the adjustment as a Smart Filter. This can be helpful when the same mask is needed for all adjustments (although you could also achieve this by placing all adjustments within a Layer Group and adding the mask to the group).

Available adjustments are: Brightness/Contrast, Levels, Curves, Exposure, Vibrance, Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, Black and White, Photo Filter, Channel Mixer, Color Lookup, Invert, Posterize, Threshold, Gradient Map, Selective Color, and Shadows/Highlights. 

Available adjustments are: Brightness/Contrast, Levels, Curves, Exposure, Vibrance, Hue/Saturation, Color Balance, Black and White, Photo Filter, Channel Mixer, Color Lookup, Invert, Posterize, Threshold, Gradient Map, Selective Color, and Shadows/Highlights.

I would be curious to know how (if) you are using this feature…

5:08 AM Permalink
June 2, 2015

Posterizing Images with Control and Flexibility in Photoshop

In this Episode of The Complete Picture, Julieanne demonstrates how to reduce the color palette of an image to create a posterized effect with the most control and maximum flexibility possible.

4:56 AM Permalink
May 29, 2015

Color Lookup Tables in Photoshop

In this Quick Tip, Julieanne demonstrates the new Color Lookup Adjustment layer and walks you through how to download a template to quickly apply these new “looks” to your images.

Here is the linked file that I refer to in the video. LUTimage_replace.psd

5:50 AM Permalink
September 26, 2014

55/55 Exporting Color Lookup Tables in Photoshop CC 

If you’ve ever created a special style or “look” to apply to your images using multiple layer adjustment and blending options, then the ability to create and export Color Lookup Tables (LUTs) in Photoshop CC could potentially save you a significant amount of time. Although historically Color LUTs have been used primarily by the film industry, I believe that many photographers and designers will find the ability to remap any color in an image to any other color quite powerful.

These “looks” can be used to simply color correct an image, or they can be used to take an image to the extreme! Certainly we can use presets in Lightroom and/or Camera Raw to make creative color manipulations, but in Photoshop, we can use Color Lookup Tables to incorporate not only the entire range of Adjustment and Fill Layers (such as Curves, Selective Color, Channel Mixer, Gradient Fill, even other Color LUTs!) but even more features including blend modes, opacity, and the advanced blending sliders.

For example, the image below has three different “looks” applied using a variety of layer adjustments and blending options. (Click on the image to view it larger.)


Now, instead of having to apply each series of adjustments to another image,  these adjustments can be exported as a single Color LUT (File > Export > Color Lookup Tables). Note: I chose to save my LUTs as ICC Profiles because it isn’t dependent on a color space, but you can also export a 3D LUT file or a Device Link. Click here for more information on the types of LUTs.


To load and apply a Color Lookup Adjustment Layer to another document, choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Color Lookup and, in the Properties panel, load the custom LUT. And don’t forget, the Color Lookup Adjustment layer can then be selectively hidden/revealed using the Adjustment Layer mask as well as blended using blend modes and opacity for additional creative opportunities.


For those of you who might be asking “Why not just drag and drop the adjustment layers onto another file?” Well, color LUTs created in Photoshop can be used in Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere, SpeedGrade and other applications that use 3D LUTs to help get the same look and feel across images and other media (like video), even though these applications don’t share the same math and color correction techniques. The Color Lookup Table can also include the results of dozens of adjustments, and apply those to images in different colorspaces (which doesn’t always work when dragging adjustment layers between documents).

Note: there is one caveat, you can not use layer masks to selectively hide or reveal any of the adjustments while making the color lookup table – they need to be applied to the entire image (canvas) area.

Click here for more information (as well as a downloadable file to quickly see your own image with each default LUT applied).

Chris Cox has also posted two additional color profiles for you to download and try.

5:13 AM Permalink
April 15, 2014

Adding Adjustment Layers in Photoshop

Clicking on the adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layer’s panel quickly adds an adjustment layer while bypassing the New Adjustment Layer dialog box.  However, when adding Gradient and Solid Color Fill layers, I often want the option to change the blend mode of the layer (before choosing the colors). Fortunately, Option + (Mac) | Alt  + (Win) clicking the icon will display the Adjustment Layer’s dialog box where I can quickly make the changes I need.

5:17 AM Permalink
March 11, 2014

My Favorite Shortcuts for Working with Layers

Click here (2014 Favorite Layer Shortcuts) to download a compilation of some of the Layer shortcuts that I am going to share today in my compositing course at ADIM. Of course this isn’t a complete list, so feel free to search the blog for more in-depth tutorials, training, techniques and shortcuts for working with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.

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February 18, 2014

“The Art of Photoshop Compositing” Now Live on!

I’m really excited to announce that my new class: The Art of Photoshop Compositing is now live  on! 


“Join Julieanne Kost as she walks you through her creative thought process and explains how she transforms concepts and raw images into entirely new works of art using Adobe Photoshop. Discover how to select the images you need to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Master the tools used in compositing, including adjustment layers, masking, blending, and Smart Objects, so that the technology doesn’t get in the way of expressing your creative vision. Learn how to adjust scale and perspective and manipulate texture and focus to help viewers temporarily suspend their disbelief long enough to enter your world.”

Topics include:

  • What makes a good composite?
  • Refining your story
  • Composing using the basic principles of design
  • Customizing your Photoshop workspace
  • Preparing elements from your source images
  • Adjusting color, tone, balance, and perspective
  • Mastering the Pen tool
  • Unifying with texture, focus, leading lines, and structure

I look forward to hearing your feedback!

5:00 AM Permalink
October 23, 2012

Selective Auto Adjustments in Photoshop

If you select an area in your image (a person’s face for example), and then add an adjustment layer (such as Curves), clicking the Auto button, will make the adjustment based on the selected area. Then, you can always disable or delete the mask to apply the effect over the entire image. This produces a different result (based on the area selected) than if the Curve adjustment layer was added to the image without a selection and the Auto button clicked.

5:21 AM Permalink
July 16, 2012

Quick Tip – Color Lookup Adjustment Layer in Photoshop CS6

In this Quick Tip, Julieanne demonstrates the new Color Lookup Adjustment layer and walks you through how to download a template to quickly apply these new “looks” to your images.

You can find more detailed instructions for downloading the template file here.

10:03 AM Permalink
July 9, 2012

Video Tutorial – Photographic Toning Presets in Photoshop CS6

The Gradient Map Adjustment layer has over 35 new presets to emulate traditional darkroom techniques for toning and split-toning photographs. In this video, you will learn how to load and apply gradient maps to a single image as well as how to download and use Julieanne’s template to quickly see what each preset would look like on your own photograph through the magic of Smart Objects.

9:36 AM Permalink
June 6, 2012

Photographic Toning Presets in Photoshop CS6

The Gradient Map Adjustment layer has new presets for toning and split­‐toning photographs,  however they are not loaded by default. To load this set, add a Gradient Map Adjustment layer and, on the Properties panel, click on the downward facing triangle to the right of the gradient. Click the gear icon and choose Photographic Toning from the list. To add these gradients to the default gradient set, choose Append. To replace the default set, choose OK. Note: you can always reset the Default gradients by clicking the gear icon and selecting Reset Gradients.

Click here to download the ColorToninGMAL.psd template to quickly preview your image with each of the Color Toning presets applied. To replace the lighthouse image with your own photograph, double click on the layer thumbnail for the Lighthouse layer so that it displays in it’s own window (Layer 1.psb). Then, copy and paste your own photograph into that document. You will most likely need to resize your image by choosing Edit > Transform >  Scale so that it fits (centered) within the canvas area. Then, hide the lighthouse layer (Layer 1) or delete it. Save and Close the Layer 1.psb file. and the multiple instances of the original “lighthouse” smart object will be automatically updated.

After selecting the gradient that you prefer for your image, you will want to apply that gradient map to your original. You can do this in a variety of ways including:

• Opening your original, adding a new Gradient Map adjustment layer selecting the gradient that you prefer.

• Selecting the adjustment layer in the template and dragging and dropping that layer to your original file.

Note: the last 3 gradients, I added just for fun. Click here to download these gradients. Double click on the file to unzip it and then double click again on the jkost_3ToningGradients.grd to install them.

5:40 AM Permalink
May 11, 2012

Color Lookup Adjustment Layers in Photoshop CS6

The new Color Lookup Adjustment Layer in Photoshop CS 6 has several options (3DLUT File, Abstract, and Device Link) that are used to load different “looks”. These looks are achieved by remapping every color in the image to a different one using a lookup table (LUT). I think that many photographers and designers will find their resulting color shifts quite interesting.

Note: historically, LUTs have been used primarily by the film industry as they’re an excellent way to apply  color adjustments from one application in another application that may not share the same math. For instance, a film workflow may involve 6 different compositing and rendering applications — some with good color adjustments and some without. If they create one 3DLUT that contains all of their adjustments, then they can use that LUT in all the applications to get their desired look. In the film and video industry, they may have LUTs for source normalization, scene color correction, creative color appearance and output simulation.

Here are some examples of the LUTs that Chris Cox included in Photoshop CS6. You can think of these tables as a sort of meta-adjustment, a way to apply pre-packaged adjustments (sometimes lots of adjustments together) in one step.

Of course Chris provided more “looks” than appear in the illustration above, so I created a downoadable file (LUTimage_replace.psd) that you can use to quickly see your own image with each look applied:LUTimage_replace.psd

To replace the Venice image with your own:

• Open YOUR image and crop it to 1500 x 1000 pixels at 150 ppi (it can be either horizontal or vertical).

• Choose File > Save As to save your cropped version of the file with a new name (please don’t save over your original).

• Open the “LUTimage_replace.psd” file and in the Layers panel, select the “JKOST_original” layer.

• Choose Layer > Smart Objects > Replace Contents, navigate to your cropped image, and choose Place.

• Voila! All copies of the original image are updated and are displayed with the appropriate LUT (through the magic of Smart Objects).

Note: The Mac operating system includes 6 Abstract profiles  (Black & White, Blue Tone, Gray Tone, Lightness Decrease, Lightness Increase, and Sepia).  The last row of images in the “LUTimage_replace.psd” image (Abstract Mac) show these  profiles. Windows users will be able to see the LUT in this file, and the profiles will display in the Abstract list for this file, but the 6 profiles will not be available in the Abstract list to apply to other images.

If you have your own LUTs, you can copy them here to have them appear in Photoshop’s Color Lookup adjustment layer’s options:

• Abstract and Device Link profiles are stored in Library > Application Support > Adobe > Color Profiles.

• The 3DLUTs are stored in Applications > Photoshop CS6 > Presets > 3DLUTs.

Because this feature was designed for the film and video industry that have their own LUT files, there currently is no way to create LUT files in Photoshop. You can currently, create LUTs in products such as Adobe SpeedGrade CS6. If you would be interested in such a feature within Photoshop, then we could consider it in a future release. I would suggest posting your comments/requests to one of these locations:

5:08 AM Permalink