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Color Techniques For Retouching

Lesson 17 of 30

Color Look Up


Color Techniques For Retouching

Lesson 17 of 30

Color Look Up


Lesson Info

Color Look Up

Alright, we are now going to go to my next super favorite love, the color lookup tables. Alright, color lookup tables are video friends who have come over to Photoshop. Those things that move, you know videos, color grading, that kinda thing, and they have come and entered our world and I'm gonna show you a file here, and I'm just showing this on the screen because I'd like you to see that I've different settings on one from the other. On your worksheet you'll see that there's side A and side B and they correspond to the codes that are there. So, what this fabulous, and not very malleable, adjustment layer does is it allows you to go in and get preset, these preset, already chosen files. There's a ton of them, they do various things. I'm gonna turn the mask off by the way, when you have a mask, do you remember when we did the hue saturation I drew a little box and put the mask on, it's 'cause I like to see the effect next to each other. I'm gonna disable that mask by holding the shift ...

key and clicking on the icon for the mask. That way we can see the whole effect for a second, and we can take a look at what these presets are doing. So, there's a strip look, a variety of colors, BleachBypass, there are filters, there was a very popular filter out there for a while called Nik Efex, and they were by Google, they are discontinued, you can no longer get them, but the look is still desirable for some folks, and they are engineered into some of these looks. So, you can get them by other ways here. Candlelight.CUBE, I really like that one for this particular piece. This is another area where, as I just said, let's say you know you want to do something with a file but you're not quite sure, color lookup tables is a great way to go through and get some ideas and take a look and see what's working. It doesn't mean you have to use this color lookup for the whole file, you can stick something underneath like for the background, kind of like we did for the levels move earlier, but you can go through and take a look and see what you like. I happened to have liked this FuturisticBleak.3DL. Now, I'm gonna share some ignorance with you, and I think you should feel free to be as ignorant as I am. I don't know what the heck that means, FuturisticBleak.3DL, and I'm absolutely certain someone from After Effects, or Premier, or in the video world, will know exactly what this means. I will tell you I find all of these looks a little confusing and it doesn't matter, as long as I like that I've gotten to Rome, I like the pasta I'm sitting here in Rome having, and I took A20 to get there, the other highway, this is a highway to get to Rome. Now, there are a bunch of different setting in here, you can go down below and pick these. They're absolutely lovely, however, do you see a lot of controls in here for changing, there ain't nonthin'. I cannot adjust these. I can adjust them in the standard way, like I can adjust the layer mode, which might absolutely get you your result. And I can also adjust it via opacity, and I can also adjust it via the mask, I can mask it in or out. So, it is malleable in that sense, but the code is not malleable. So there are a ways, and it's on the worksheet, I'm absolutely not gonna go into it during the course of this class, there's ways to actually create your own color lookup tables, but as a general rule you got what you got, and that's what you're gonna use, and you're not gonna change it. If you change it, and you can change it, like I happened to have liked this smokey look as well, you are gonna add an adjustment layer onto another adjustment layer. So, let's say I like this smoky look but then I just wanna change it to be a little, perhaps less yellow, and more blue. And what can occasionally happen is you can get too many adjustment layers and your files start banding and getting crunchy. So, it's not necessarily optimum to have too many adjustment layers canceling out or changing each other. A minimal amount of adjustment layers is always preferable. However, if this is where you're starting from, that's fine. The other thing that color lookup tables are fantastic is you can share them with other files. So, you can open up another image and use the same adjustment layer, the adjustment layer of color lookup, and transfer it, and you know your work will have a similar vibe to it. There still might be minor corrections you have to do. I don't like that it just says color lookup table, and it doesn't say what it is. I would suggest you label it, so not just color lookup table, but LUT, I would call them LUT files, and then maybe call it smoky, just some way to communicate easily without having to have to go into the code, mathematical code for it. Yeah, I'm actually a big fan of these. I'm a big fan of using color lookup tables when I am doing a design job, as opposed to a finishing job. And let me take a moment to talk about the difference between a design job and a finishing job. So, depending on where you are in the design and art world, you may be called upon to photograph this job, and you have to deliver photos and a designer will then take them and arrange them in whatever compilation they want, and deliver that to the client. Often times what happens, especially in entertainment, is someone will just, there'll be a photographer who shoots it and delivers it, there'll be a designer who designs, or many designers, who design a hundred comps, and then they do them fast, they do them low res, they're down and dirty. We're talking quite a volume, I mean an average designer has to come up with a minimum three comps a day, and sometimes, in my industry, and for film, and often they're on four or five projects at the same time. Woo, it's a lot of work. So, this is a great way to get work down down and dirty, then it comes to someone like me, who's a print finisher, and I start the file from scratch, and I rebuild it to match the look, hopefully perfect, and huge. Perfect and huge, that would be my job. So, I use this particular adjustment layer, a color lookup table, for design work, okay. It doesn't mean you can't use it for finishing, you can, it's just not very flexible. I love them, I think they're beautiful, they're absolutely beautiful. And I will say they do a nice, they do a nice kind of combination of colors that I would say I don't readily think of, like that smoky look, that's not kinda my palette, so I don't think of it. So, when I put it on I went oh, that's kinda nice, and I found the FuturisticBleak was really nice, again not part of my normal repertoire that I would pick. And I find it makes me go out of my comfort zone and pick out something different, which makes my presentation look more well-rounded, which clients really like.

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.