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Color Techniques For Retouching

Lesson 6 of 30

Gradient & Layer Style


Color Techniques For Retouching

Lesson 6 of 30

Gradient & Layer Style


Lesson Info

Gradient & Layer Style

Okay, I'm gonna move to the next adjustment, and I'm gonna go to gradient. In fact, I'm gonna open a separate file for this. Let's close our Mr. Bear, he's a very nice bear. Make sure I've got this here. Alright. Now, as you will notice as we continue this conversation. One of the things about Photoshop I think you'll notice is it's not very linear. And what I mean by that is as you start discussing an issue for example, color, I've gotta talk about blend modes, crap, this is always how it's going to be, so I'm gonna do this continually. I'm gonna show you A and then I'm gonna say and then there's B, all at the same time cause that's what we get to deal with. Now while we are talking about layer modes it occurs to me I should probably discuss things like the Properties Window. Properties Window, do you see this window? I have Adjustments and I have Properties and the Properties are gonna allow me to change the code, the mathematical code, the effects, whatever you're trying to do. So I...

'm doing a Gradient Fill on this, we're talking about Gradient Fill, not Gradient Map, but Gradient Fill, and I want to be really clear about that. And you'll see this up in the Properties menu, and you can also have an Adjustment window up. I'm not sure if I want to go through all of this because I think you'll kill me. Yeah, that's stick with that for right now so that you don't kill me. It's Properties menu and how you arrange your work space is up to you, but this is what I'm looking at now So Gradient Fill, and I want to be super, super, super clear about this, this is a Gradient Fill, not a Gradient Map. Okay, do not get confused, please. Because they do completely, completely different things. So Gradient Fill, and what a Gradient Fill allows you to do is well literally fill with a gradient. You can do Linear, you can do Radial you can do Angled. Do you see that's on Color mode? So once again this is so important, like how are you looking at... This is a never to be used gradient, no one ever does this in Angle. Linear is probably the most common. Radial, Angled, Diamond, Reflected etc. Alright, I want to be really honest, I don't use this very often, I use this for one thing only and I'll explain that in just a second. Again I happen to have it on Color and you can put it on Soft Light. Soft Light's probably another common mode for this. So maybe that could be good for your notes, for Gradient Fill, it's used for grading, grading a color on something, and Soft Light and Color tend to be the most common layer modes. That one's kinda pretty, it adds a little somethin' somethin' to it. Now, you can do this another way. Can I just show you how crazy Photoshop is? You can make a Shape Layer, and you can do a Layer Style that does the exact same thing. Loads a gradient, in fact, I don't know if I showed you that. On you're gradient, every gradient you have is available to you. So you can make it any color you want. Very, very, very flexible. And I would even suggest too flexible, I think that's one of the problems. You guys ever had that in Photoshop, oh my God, there's just too many choices, ahhhh! What do you pick, I'm trying to pair it down for you. So, Gradient Fill, eh. Gradient Style, it's a Layer Style, does the exact same thing, do you see that? It does the exact same thing, only it's Gradient Style. I don't care, use what you want, it doesn't matter. I will show you one difference though, if you have a um... Let's do it this way, I'm going to make a Fill Layer. Hang on one second, I'm going to make a Fill Layer. I'm trying to show you guys how I see this done out in the world. I just filled it with color white, and I'm gonna put the fill color to zero, and I'm gonna add that Gradient Overlay. Okay, I'm gonna slow it down, what did I just do? I just made a brand new paint layer, a fill layer, I filled it with color white, "command+delete" is quick key I used. I took the fill and I said hey make that zero make the fill color zero, so what that effectively does is it says hey Photoshop delete all the fill color, but whatever effect you attached to it, let be have that. So the effect I attached to this happened to be the Gradient Overlay. Now why in heavens name would I do this? K, I need you to pay attention here, my lovelies. I'm gonna change the canvas size on this, and rather than a 9.72 by 15.46, it's a book cover, that's why it's such a weird amount. I'm gonna make it 12 by 20, 12 by 20, just for giggles cause it's fun. Alright, so what I'm gonna do on the background cause I just want you to be able to see what I've got here. I'm gonna convert the background to a gray color. I'm only doing this because I want you to see the effect I'm about to do. Do you see the dimensions of where that rectangle gradient was, or this fill color? Do you see that it only goes where the dimension of the image is? Can you guys see that? Alright. Now, what the Gradient Fill does, this is really important if you have to do extension on an image, very important. That Gradient Fill, because it's mathematical code that is telling you, hey make this color, it just filled the entire document with that gradient. Do you see how, look all the way down to the bottom to the top. If I move that adjustment layer called Gradient Fill, nothing changes, actually it would help if I was on the right layer, excuse me. Nothing changes, cause it's mathematical code saying hey fill this whole thing. This layer here is literally a fill layer, it's pixels, and it says okay... Well that's all I've got. Why this is so important? If you work in my industry, if you make book covers, if you do magazine covers, if you do any kind of posters, well you design to a certain dimension right? Well it comes to me, I got to do a ton of bleep because I know it's gonna be a billboard, it's gonna wrap, it's got to come around the edge of the table. Designers don't care about that, that's my problem. Well if they had done the Gradient Fill, I can not open up this canvas and keep that color in the exact same spot, the color will move, and the design will be different, and I will be fired and never hired again. So this is one of the arguments for not using the mathematical Gradient Fill, but rather do a Fill Layer if you have to do extension. I know it's kinda esoteric issue, but it's a life or death issue if you're a finisher like me. You'll get in big hairy trouble. Hopefully that's clear, honestly I don't use this ever. I have to use it because people design with it and I'm faced with the problem of reproducing it, but I would never choose to use that filter. The only thing I use this Gradient filter for, doesn't mean you can't use it for everything you like, I like it for vignetting, yeah vignetting. So I have a gradient, and it is a black to white gradient in fact, let me just do it raw for you. Gradient, black to white, it's on Linear, so this is how it will default for you guys. Let's go to Radial, that's nice but I don't want a black hole in my design, so you want to click the Reverse button, okay. And then the scale, so the scale for me is far too much so I would probably make it, far too small, excuse me. I would probably make it 200, and another thing you might consider doing, again welcome to Photoshop, 500 different things you can change, Is your hair on fire yet? Alright, I'm gonna click on that Gradient Editor, that little window there, the Gradient Editor and I can change the 50% point. You know, where it's actually feathering in, I can change that, so it changes the density, so you have complete, complete flexibility here on whatever you choose to do. For giggles let's put it here, it doesn't matter for this demo, you guys can pick whatever you want, yeah, I'll put it here, that looks nice. Alright, so scale 200, maybe scale 300, and then it will expand it out, and then that's on Normal mode, then I could put it on Multiply mode, I could put it on Soft Light mode, which it's still there, it's just a little different. I find Gradient Fill on Soft Light mode often replicates that gradient you get with a lens. That kind of vignetting you get with a lens, so I happen to like it, and it takes no memory because it's mathematical code. So for me on Gradient Fill, that's about what I would use. Will the Gradient Fill scale properly if you use content aware scale in Photoshop at a later point in a layer stack? A Gradient Fill as a paint layer... Will it scale? I believe so, I don't know for sure to be honest. Okay. A Gradient Fill on a paint layer as opposed to a Gradient Fill. So, I want to be clear, generally if you're a photographer you're image is going to stay basically the same dimension this Gradient Fill is awesome. It's only when you're doing extension that it will change. K. Okay? Thank you. My pleasure. Yes, mathematical code, if you're an action writer, if you're someone who likes to write actions to do stuff in Photoshop Action writer, it's like a novel thing. Gradient fill is a good thing to use for a vignette cause it will always stay to the dimension of the photo.

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



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.

Maggie Lobl

I am really enjoying this class! Lisa makes complicated concepts easy to understand. She presents various ways of doing things so that you have options and can use the method that best works for your own situation. She moves quickly through the material, which I appreciate, and I since I own the class I know I can go back and review material when I need to. I love her style and approach to teaching, as well as her real world anecdotes and the way she shares her experience, both good and bad examples from her career. I'm so glad I purchased this class!