Skip to main content

Color Techniques For Retouching

Lesson 5 of 30

Blend Modes


Color Techniques For Retouching

Lesson 5 of 30

Blend Modes


Lesson Info

Blend Modes

I don't want to spend a ton of time on blend mode but lets open this up so we have some common communication here. There are a lot of blend modes. On the bonus material I do wanna stress that there's a whole bit on RGB, CNY, Lab Color, Doit tones, index color, you wanna have some more information. In addition to that, there is a ton of information about these darn blend modes. Normal, dissolve, do you see here we have blend mode groups. There's normal, darkening, lightening, contrast, inversion, cancellation, one of my favorites. Look at all these, tons. Tons, tons, tons. So when you are picking color modes and as we are talking about adjustment layers, you got a two fold problem here. So we need to colorize something. Well we could do a solid color as our adjustment layer. But then we have to pick which mode. Do we want to use color mode? Or do we wanna use hue? And they're completely different. So I've got a challenge for you here. As we're talking about adjustment layers, at the sam...

e time, we've gotta talk about blend modes for each. A little complicated, I know. But hopefully we'll get through it. I'm not gonna run through all of these blend modes. It is in the bonus material. I will tell you that I think a lot of the verbiage, this is all Adobe verbiage here, can be a little thick. So because I think it's a little thick and it's a little hard to understand. I would make a recommendation. And that recommendation is, make yourself a file. Fill it with solid color. And I definitely recommend start with solid color cause it can get complication after that. And put your piece underneath and change every single mode. So here I've got, I made all these squares. I got groupage. These are my squares. Alright. Lets just run through a few, we don't have to run through all of these cause you'll die of boredom. There's a color picker, you've got a current color of this lovely red. It's on normal mode and it's at 50% opacity. Heres the same color on dissolve mode. Why put these at 50% opacity? Is I just want you to be able to see 'em. If they're on 100% opacity, you're not gonna be able to see 'em. Darken. Multiply. Color burn. I'm gonna, just for giggles turn it on the whole thing. Do you see how different these effects ares. So I'm gonna recommend as you investigate color, and it is absolutely worth its weight in gold, take a minute and make one file. And do this to every single piece. Every single adjustment layer. Because I think you can look at the verbiage all you want but exclusion, or divide. The verbiage on divide is really confusing. But if you look at divide. Then you go oh, okay, it inverts it. Why didn't they just say invert? They didn't. Again, I'm not ruling the universe, so I don't get to make these decisions. So, on color, it's a really simple mode. I use color, solid color, for pantone call outs. For client based color call outs. That's the primary reason I use it. Also, it's mathematical. This is a mathematical number, so the layer. Let me see if I can do a demonstration for you. Do you remember I told you I work on file sizes that are enormous? Like crazy, crazy, crazy enormous? Well, this file size, if we look at this right now, and it's 36 mega bites. If I make a solid fill layer, and I fill it with a color. It doesn't matter what color. Lets say black. Then this file is gonna get bigger. And then, make another one, and make another one, and make another one. Because of course you gotta cast of 17 people and they each have a different color shirt and they have a pantone call out for each shirt. Versus, doing a solid color layer. And doing it this way. Cause that's mathematics, so that is not actually pixel and the only addition, I don't wanna get too brainy here, but the only addition to the file is the alpha channel. So you're adding way less file size. Way less file size. I know if you're working on a 15 mega bite file, 30 mega bite file, this is not gonna matter. But when your base file is 282 mega bites, which I think is a current size for a current house blood, think it's right, 285 mega bites, can you imagine how quickly your files are gonna go out of control. Especially if they're a composite. Okay, so hopefully that will help you on that. I'm gonna move on to the next section here. Yes ma'am? Before we move on, for people who maybe are not in the industry that you are, can you tell us exactly what you mean by the call outs. When you mentioned the client based call outs? Oh that's a really great idea. Okay, excellent, yeah. So, for example, if this was an advert for a clothing line for example. Cause you actually get these, what will happen is, the brown of the fur. They'll want that to be a specific color that matches their product. And product people spend a lot of time and a lot of money figuring out what color something should be. So this is a way of them, calling out, hello, saying out, what color they want. So let me see if I can get to this. I can't get to this window here, sorry. My screens a little different because of the display so I will go from here. So how they will call out a color is a variety of different ways. They will give you an RGB number that you type in. They'll give you hex number they'll type in or they'll give you a CMYK number to type in. And occasionally, and very often, they will give you a color call out like this. Do you see that triangle there in the color picker? That means this is nor reproducible in the same way. Yikes. But again, another battle for another day. So why use color fill to colorize? You could use hue saturation. Well, one of the reasons is you can do a call out. In hue saturation, you're guessing at the number. You can still type it in, but it's a little easier here. File size, that might be another reason you wanna do this. Why else? That's all, that's all I have for you on that. Mostly color call out. So if you got a product job and they've got a very specific number to put in, this would be the way to do it.

Class Description

There are countless options for manipulating, changing and correcting color your photographs. Clear up the confusion by joining professional finisher, Lisa Carney in her exclusive class focusing just on color. In this course, Lisa will identify and clarify different adjustment layers, walk through a professional’s workflow for color correction, and dive into working with curves.

You’ll learn:

  • How to work with gradient fills and gradient maps
  • Working with Hue and Saturation
  • Setting up a Color workflow system
  • Using Gradient Maps for Color Correction
  • How to use curves for matching color and tone

Handle color like a pro by learning from one of the best retouchers in Hollywood. Join Lisa for this extensive and in-depth look on working with color in Photoshop®.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2017



Another awesome course by Lisa Carney, packed full of information This course is really a comprehensive look at colors ... I learned so much, and even stuff I thought I knew pretty well, I found some pretty eye opening new information. I find Lisa Carney to be a wonderful teacher. When she has an important point to make she'll say her point, pause and then repeat what she just said, just to lock it into your memory. Fantastic. Side note: I signed up for the CreativeLive creative pass as soon as I realized how great all of Lisa Carney's classes are. I'd started to buy them one by one and quickly realized they are all wonderful. You can watch this class from beginning to end and get great information ... but to get the most bang for the buck you'll want to pause, hit rewind, get a cup of coffee, open Photoshop and try out her tips while you watch. There are sections I rewound and watched about 5 times, to be sure I understood all the subtle points. Lisa Carney is pretty amazing - she works really hard to thoroughly explain the process she uses to solve problems, and she never glosses over anything important. To cover a particular point, she'll start with a finished file with all the layers - and instead of simply explaining each layer like a mortal would do, she'll literally delete all the adjustment layers and start from scratch to show the process. This is incredibly empowering since it gives you an understanding of just how easy the process can be once you get the hang of it


This is an EXCELLENT class for Photoshop users! Lisa is very professional, knowledgeable and, also, a delight to watch and listen to! Not only that she explains the concepts but she also shares her own experience and her practical ways of using those concepts! Great, great class! Thank you, Lisa and CreativeLive!

a Creativelive Student

This course has an abundance of useful information along with professional tips based on actual field experience. This course is definitely one I will come back to from time to time to reiterate the information. For this reason the way it is organised is perfect to find information about a specific technique or adjustment layer. It is well composed with some humour and advanced information. Loved it and highly recommend it for people who want to deal with the little details and get things exactly the way they want. Not suitable for lazy or sloppy people who just want to get the job good enough for sharing but don't care about getting it perfect for print.