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Color Techniques For Retouching

Lesson 20 of 30

Review of Adjustment Layers

Lisa Carney

Color Techniques For Retouching

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

20. Review of Adjustment Layers


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:02:35
2 Describing Color Duration:04:21
3 Color Settings Duration:05:53
5 Blend Modes Duration:06:46
6 Gradient & Layer Style Duration:10:34
8 Levels Adjustment Layers Duration:29:58
9 Auto Color Correction Duration:04:13
10 Curves Adjustment Layers Duration:10:56
11 When to Use Solar Curves Duration:13:45
15 Photo Filter Adjustment Layers Duration:08:43
17 Color Look Up Duration:07:30
18 Gradient Map Duration:09:07
19 Selective Color Duration:07:09
20 Review of Adjustment Layers Duration:06:28
21 Using Smart Objects Duration:10:52
22 Color Techniques Workflow Duration:20:11
23 Match Color Image Adjustments Duration:06:36
24 Change Hair Color Duration:19:04
25 Color Gradient: Libraries Duration:04:45
26 Adobe Capture: Color Duration:09:04
27 Even Skin Tone: Hue Duration:06:10
28 Color Adjustment: Curves Duration:05:27
29 Image Adjust Color Match Duration:11:31
30 Color Match: Curves Duration:15:04

Lesson Info

Review of Adjustment Layers

We are going to talk about adjustment layers for color. I'm just going to show it for specific jobs. I just want to take a moment right now to kind of, how do I want to say this, to review which ones and why. Can we do that for a second? Let's just start from the bottom 'cause this is where we are. If you had to pick a start point and what you might want to consider is I have four in your bag. So let's say you've got an assignment and you want to color correct her skin. You want to have four different things you can try and what I would encourage all of you to do is try four things. When I get a job, I will grab that masky thing and I'll start and I'll go, crap, do I wanna do this with a curve, yeah maybe I do wanna do this with a curve. Hmm, I don't know. Do I want to do this with a level? Yeah, maybe, maybe, I don't know. Do I want to do this with hue saturation? I'm doing this incredibly fast. This is just showing you how my poor brain works. Someone should feel sorry for me at some...

point. Let's see. So here I've got three attempts that I did in two seconds. What I would love, love, love, love to impart upon y'all is to not be too precious with your files, not be too precious with the adjustment layers and throw something on the wall and see. Just try, four things, three things, and then take a look at them and go, oo, which of these things or combination of these things, see how these masks overlap, might I want to try. So please don't be precious about it. It takes two seconds to make an adjustment layer, two seconds to throw it away. You don't have to worry about that, alright? While we're talking about that, I'm going to give you what I would suggest are maybe my suggestions for how to use these. I'm going to show you some real jobs in a minute, but I'd just like you to make a list for a second. Solid color, again, I generally only use that with product, when I have a Pantone call out. Otherwise, if I'm colorizing something, it's the photo filter or hue saturation. Gradient fill, the only thing I use it for is a vignette. Again, folks will have many, many reasons why they want to use it. For me, just vignette. Pattern I use all the time, but not for this class. Brightness/Contrast, I only use it for mask. That is me personally because I find it not flexible enough. Again, some folks love brightness/contrast. For me, it's just a little too consumer. It's not malleable enough for me. Again, perfectly valid, it's whatever floats your boat. Levels, I use for values. I tend to not use them for color, but you can. I just don't. Some people like that histogram for the color. I only like that histogram for the black and white values. Curves I use all the time, every time, love them, love them, love them. Absolute pain in the butt to start with, a little painful. Exposure, I'm not talking about because it's kind of not the scope of the class. It's a value thing. Vibrance, I don't use vibrance at all. Many people do, I don't touch it. Hue/Saturation, I use hue/saturation rather than vibrance. I'm going to tell you that probably might be for no other reason than vibrance didn't exist before. It just didn't, so I'm used to what I'm used it. Color Balance, I use all the time. I tend to use color balance for slightly tricky skin retouching. It's a little bit of a cheat to just be like, ah, I'll warm it up a little bit using color/balance. And I use it for entertainment industry style designing to get different flavors of color, almost like a cheap color grading. Black and white filter, well I just love it. I love it. I don't often get to do black and white imagery in my business, but when I do, chances are I'll probably do the gradient map, if I don't have time to mess with it. If I do have time to mess with it, I will use the black and white filter and when I say mess, I mean adjust. However, I use it a lot, like a new favorite toy, I use it a lot for the skin tone thing. Now can I do this with curves? Absolutely, it's just my new toy. That's the only reason I do it. I'm finding it fun. Might I suggest that some of you incorporate some of these tools when you wouldn't normally. So what I mean by that, you know, I know how it is when you're on a deadline, you're just trying to get the job done and you don't have time to learn something new, but if you are on a job that's pretty standard, instead of reaching for that usual thing you do, why not just grab a different one. Just try it, 'cause you'll learn how to use it. I only suggest you do that if you have time. If you're on a deadline, don't do it 'cause your head will pop. Photo filter, ah, don't really get a chance to use it in my line of work. It's not too common. Channel Mixer, I never use it, but if I did use it, it would be for black and white only for me. Again, I want to stress, people who work in print shops often use channel mixer. Color Lookup Table, well, it's just fun, again, a way to make consistent colors across the spectrum of a job and it's a way of shaking up your pallette, doing different looks that you wouldn't normally do. Invert, Posterize, we're not going to talk about that. Gradient Map, well, it's fun. I love gradient map. I use it a lot, again for colorizing and for black and white toning. Selective Color, a lot of selective color for skin and clothing. Selective color for skin and clothing, so when I have to color adjust skin, I like selective color because I can kind of zero in on the reds and yellows, which is the primary color issue you're dealing with with skin. And I like clothing, yeah, 'cause often times, especially for catalog work, when you have a red shirt and they want it more magenta, it's so fast to just add different colors, take out cyan out of the reds and either add yellow or take out yellow, depending on what the color is. For clothing, especially for catalog, selective color is fantastic.

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.