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Adjustment Layer Part 2

Lesson 25 from: Adobe Photoshop 101

Ben Willmore

Adjustment Layer Part 2

Lesson 25 from: Adobe Photoshop 101

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

25. Adjustment Layer Part 2


Class Trailer

Day 1


Adobe Bridge Basics


Sorting Images in Adobe Bridge


Processing Images in Adobe Camera Raw Part 1


Processing Images in Adobe Camera Raw Part 2


Image Processing Q&A


Contrast and Color


Adjustment Brush and Auto Mask


Lesson Info

Adjustment Layer Part 2

I'm just going to open some images in the justin and well refined a few images so we always start in camera raw optimize the picture get us much out of it as you possibly can and you can use the adjustment brush if you need to work on isolated areas like I showed you before in here there's only so much you can do with that because the masking ability is relatively crude so when I find them getting too frustrated here in camera ross to do something precisely I open it all the way to photo shop and now I'm going to start piling adjustment layers on top of it I have no plan for this image I'm just going to do whatever comes naturally to me and in the process we'll see if we can get refined now when I look at this image I see these two buildings in the front and that's really why I picked up the camera because he's too unique looking buildings whats in the distance where all the other buildings are to me is more of a distraction that's pulling your attention away from the buildings there i...

n the foreground I really want you to be looking at more so that's what I'm thinking about one way I could do this is I'm going to come in here and think about doing an adjustment layer the kind of going to use his called human saturation and in there one of the sliders we have available is saturation in saturation means how colorful is the picture if I turn this up it will become more colorful it will look ridiculous after awhile if I bring it down, it'll become less colorful and if I bring it all the way to the left it'll become black and white, so what I'm going to do is look at the area that's beyond the two buildings that I'm interested in it's the city beyond and I'm going to bring saturation all the way down I'll slowly bring it up and I'll say what is the lowest setting I could get away with without somebody saying you applied this human saturation adjustment to that instead they might not know I did it so I'm going to say about negative of thirty right around there they might not say no it's so obvious you did this then this little panel where my adjustment iss is actually attached to this icon that's over the side it's a pop out little panel right now if you click on this icon it would go away and if you click on the icon again it would pop open or if I double clicked on that icon on the left side of the adjustment that represents the adjustment layer that would cause it to pop open a swell it's not always that way you can actually drag its name the word properties like this to separate it where would always be there but if you dragged its name so it's over near one of those little icon thinks it might be that way I think that's the default but I'm just gonna close that to get it out of the way now we have our adjustment if I turn off the eyeball, you'll see what the image used to look like you say it's more colorful I turn it back on and you see it's less colorful now if I do that and I think about where would I not want that to happen? Well, I want the two buildings in the foreground don't want it to happen there also I don't like the sky when it happens, so what I'm going to do is I could paint over the sky with black to say don't apply here remove adjustment from here in pain over the buildings but I don't look forward opinion that tower that's going up there towards the top but let's try it I'm gonna grab my brush and right now it's giving me a no symbol you can see my mouth looks like a no symbol zoom up the reason for that is looking what's active in my layers panel I clicked around enough where if you see where the square brackets are, that highlight was active it's not the mask this represents the adjustment you can't paint on that it's an adjustment it's not a picture can't contain paint, but this can so if it ever shows you and no symbol when you're working on an adjustment layer, it means the thing that could be painted on is an active and so just glance in your layers pale make sure it's on that mask now I'm gonna grab my brush I'm using the square bracket keys to make it larger and I'm gonna paint across the sky and when I do, if I paint with black that isthe it's going to remove my adjustment and bring the image back to the way it used to look it's all pain all the way across the sky to bring back the color. If you look in my layers panel, you can see the black here it it means whatever's in this layer is being hidden up there, then I'll get a smaller brush and I'll come in here and paint down part of this building to say do not effect this building and as I d'oh it goes back to how colorful it used to be. I'll do the same thing to the other building and yes, I would usually be more careful, meaning I would zoom up and I would be careful, but right now we're talking about concepts I'm not making an image, I'm going to frame we're just talking concept, so be a little more crude than I usually would, but I'm varying the size of my brush so that right here it's not too wide it doesn't go beyond the edges, but since it's applying to the sky already up there I don't have to go to high now I can't tell where I've painted a while I haven't other than looking in the laters panel I can see the black paint but you remember how you get a red overlay backslash I can now tell where have I removed the adjustment from and I can see if that's where it might be appropriate if it's not I just continue painting I'll hit x to paint with white get it off for that x to paint with black to get on here get it around that side while get those people out front a limited toward the sidewalk is like that and just see if there's any other areas where I might have needed it or where it shouldn't be and then I hit backslash again. Now if I turn off the eyeball here before here's after do you see how the color is now toned down in the image in a lot of areas but not where the buildings are and not where the sky is now at any time after painting or any time during this process I can modify the adjustment if you can have this little icon you can click on to get the properties to show up, then the properties can show you one of two things it doesn't always show you the adjustment. The property's sometimes shows you settings related to your mask and if that's the case that's when you can click on the left side of that and you'll see the adjustment instead. So when you're working on a layer that contains one adjustment with a mask, that property's panel where you usually see your adjustment doesn't always just show the adjustment if the mask is active, that actually shows his stuff related to your mask just stuff we haven't talked about yet, so click over here on the side that contains the adjustment, but now I could say, well, maybe I want to find him that see if I can get away with it being a little less now, let's say if I turn this off and on look in the foreground really close to where we would be standing when taking the photograph, you see the green stuff that's becoming less colorful let's say I want that to still be less colorful, but I only want the adjustment to apply half a cz much I don't want to completely remove it from there, but I want to make it half strength there, so I make sure the mask is active and I paint with black because black is what prevents the adjustment from applying, and what I do is at the top of my screen there's an opacity setting, I bring it down to fifty percent and I didn't click on the number I just clicked on the word of passing I dragged because it's just more efficient than playing with the number of that little arrow. So now opacity means let's apply black, but let's apply it at fifty percent strength, so when I paint, I'll paint now over this area let go and I'll paint over this area. If you look now at my mask, you see what it put in there putting gray because if white means apply normally black means don't apply at all, then fifty percent gray would mean apply halfway in. So when you vary that opacity setting it's just painting with different shades of gray in there, you could just a cz well, leave this at one hundred percent capacity in change your foreground color to fifty percent grade because that's all it cares about us what ends up in that mask now I could build up other adjustments in here, maybe I want to make those two foreground buildings more colorful or I want to pull out shadow detail or something like that why just come down here in a created new adjustment in this case may be I'm going to come in and use a fancy adjustment curves is my favorite one everybody else thinks that it's like gold school or something, but it's the most powerful adjustment in all of photo shop so I'm not gonna describe hottie you six there weren't a one o one class that's just too much for you guys just making a steeper I would you do is you click on a dark area, move it down, click on a bright area and moving up in what you do is they add contrast uh then I'm going to paint to say, where do I want this to apply or not here's a trick? I want this to apply to a small area in my picture I don't feel like painting over ninety eight percent of this picture with black to say don't apply don't apply don't apply, so what I'm going to do instead is when that mask is active there's a trick you can do this you khun invert the mask the word invert means give me the opposite so if we have white in the mask right now when you invert it, watch them ask, do you get the opposite of white it's as if I painted over the entire mask with black black means don't apply, so right now that adjustment is doing nothing it doesn't have anywhere to apply, and now I gotta grab my paintbrush tool and painted and wherever I wanted, I just need to make sure I paint with white imagine I was precise, I can double click on the left side that's where the adjustment is located and see my adjustment and I'll probably find two in this one curves is not something we're going to get in too much in this class, so I'm not going to be overly descriptive with it. This could be any adjustment doesn't matter what kind. So now let's see it before you see now I'm making that pop out a little bit, but I usually be much more careful with where I painted and I double checked my mass by hitting back slash and say it's, not really the right spot and all that, and I'm not gonna do that right now. So the main thing is adjuster images. By using what's in this menu, just make sure the top most layer is active at the time you do so they're always added on top on top on top, otherwise you could get somewhat unpredictable results, and when you're done applying that adjustment, you can paint and when you paint with black, you remove the adjustment so it can no longer affect your image in that area, the alternative is you could make a selection before you apply the adjustment and if you do this election would be converted into one of those so I'm sure somewhere in here I have a few documents that have some adjustment layers and so this is what it looks like when I open up an image that may have been previously adjusted tomorrow we'll talk about the fact that you put your retouching below your adjustments but here's two players that are retouched because that's a stitch panorama and we had to fill in the missing parts so we didn't have to crop too much out you'll learn how to do that tomorrow above that are a bunch of adjustment layers if I turn off their eyeballs this is what it looked like without them and I'll just turn them on one at a time this one here you can tell by looking at the mask what part of the picture it would effect isn't it going to the upper right that's where the mask is white so I turned it on watch the upper right of the picture you see how it's darkening that to make it look more like the rest then the one above that if you look at the mask isn't it going to affect the lower right of the picture? Because that's where it's white in the mask so watch the lower right see how that's getting current darkened the next one up looks like it's going to affect everything because the mask is white so I turned on somewhere everywhere in the image something's changing the green things they're changing conserves and adjust it we could use that isolates greens the next one if you look at the mask can you see that it's on the right and left side but not in the middle so watch what happens on the right and left side but not the middle little darkening then the next one up do you see how it's white near the top left and let's see what it does to watch the top left ish area uh see it making that part pop out and then here's one called overall contrast and just look at where the mask is black it's not affecting a few parts on the right okay, so in this case if you want to see before and after I'll turn off all these eyeballs there's the before and then turn them all back on then there's after build it up then you just work on whatever you consider to be the largest problem tackle it first, then reevaluate the image and say is there any other issue it's so whatever the bigot one is, tackle it and keep doing that until you run out of either problems patients her time whenever one of those things you run out of is when you're done done with problems you're done lost your patients you can't keep going you got no more time, you can't keep going, so you're done and if you want to save those layers were going to save this and photoshopped file format or tiff most of time amusing tiff these days, but it's no probably is photoshopped and each one of those masks, you can also hit backslash to double check him when you're done, make sure you were pretty good with your painting double, because oftentimes I'm sloppy like on this one, I'm pretty sloppy and I might just want to double check see if there's any real issues with where they're applying. If you want to find two in any of these adjustments, just double click on the icon on the left side of the adjustment layer, it'll pop open that little panel with your adjustment in it and you could find to whatever it is this one is zeroed out because he'd have to switch to a menu in here. Cole called yellows to see uh, actually, I'm here to see the adjustment, but so adjustment layers you build him up and they're nice. We have a whole bunch of adjustments take years to get used to all the adjustments, so use the ones that are obvious first brightness and contrast only has two sliders pretty easy toe get used to, um and then just slowly expand which ones you know about and if it all possible, using his adjustment layers so that when I save this image, the original image always at the bottom, untouched in that everything I do too, it is not a separate peace above it. So that at any time, if I screwed up with anything, uh, I could throw away one piece of this without throwing away the rest without having to start over that's. The idea questions on that adjustment layers anything. We have a question. And you said to make sure you have the most recent layer on top. If it's out of order, can you move him up? We've had a couple questions about how to just display, like earlier he showed how to just turn all the eyeballs off. Yeah, super quick, turn all of them on and you can just drag him around, right? Yeah. You can change the order of these by dragging around. So if I click on the top one and drag it down and let go it's going to move down to wherever it is, I dragged it to the end result of what's there might look different. Might not, uh if you if you just think about let's, say that I have an adjustment layer that removes all the color in an image, so I do one that's called black and white moves all the color from my image and then on top of that I add another adjustment let's call it human saturation in there there's a check box called colorized add color back in and I changed the hue slider to whatever color it is I want well if I reversed the order of those layers whatever's on top is considered to be applied last and so if the very last thing that was done was to be converted to black and white which would look different when that because it's thought of is the top most adjustment is looking at whatever is underneath it and the result of whatever those changes are underneath it's what it's affecting and so if you suddenly change the order of this they look completely different or if I dragged the black want way down it might look different and so just to keep it predictable you always add new adjustment layers on top unless you have a very good thought out reason not to you just don't casually say m and add an adjustment layer here you added on top unless you got good reason if you have a good reason to put it on a knee it's um some reason gulf war it may be my reason is here there's a little corner of the sky that had some retouching and there's something that is on ly wrong with that part I might add an adjustment layer directly above it and then there are some special features I could use to say only affect that one chunk over there something that there there are reasons you would put stuff underneath but it's only kind of alternative certain circumstances not the everyday you know I'm just adding another adjustment kind of thing uh anything else before he moved for good all right, can you apply an adjustment to just one layer and not all of them? Yes, facts I wish you would have kept that. Isn't that what I just mentioned? Yes, you can so let me see I don't know that I have a multi layer document convenient. Well, you ideo I fillet out somewhere in here I will I wish I had one that had okay, here's one okay, this is a complex photoshopped document that is using a lot of features we haven't talked about yet so you have to keep that in mind. But the main thing is there's more than one photo in it and those photos don't affect everything. So here's a photo if I turn off its eyeball you see it's a top picture I want that picture to be black and white but I don't want the picture up here to be black and white so if I put my adjustment layer in when the top most layer is active and I come over here and choose black and white everything below it becomes black and white because the way layers work is it's always a ziff I'm standing at the top of the layers pout looking down and whatever the first thing my eyes see keys is going to affect what is below that you know I have to look through that top most layer before I can see what's under it and in this case I'm looking through the black and white layer before I can see the stuff under it right now I'm going to drag this downward and I'm going to move it so it's below the layer that contains that picture you notice the picture went back to color because if I'm standing at the top for the layers pout looking down I would my eyes would bump into that picture before it would bump into this black and white adjustment layer right if you're looking down and so this khun on ly effect what's below it and so I might move this down so it's sitting directly above that uh other picture and it's not affecting those layers there up top the problem would be what if there's another picture of another baby over to the right side that's lower than this if so, this would affect all the layers that are underneath it so there is a way to make it only affect one layer regardless of how many layers there are everywhere else only affect one layer so to show that all move it back up so it's right above the picture that's at the bottom of this composition and I wanted to on ly effect that one layer well here's how you do it there's a couple different ways of implementing it but in general when the adjustment layer is active, fuego the layer menu and there's a choice called create clipping mask create clipping mask it's under the layer menu and it means make this layer on ly show up where there's stuff in the layer directly below don't make it show up anywhere else just where there's something in that layer below that layer blow doesn't fill the entire document it's only the picture the baby so when I choose that now it only effects one layer and I can tell it's turned on that way because there's a little down pointing arrow next to it that's what showed up when I chose that feature and it means this only shows up where that thing is what's weird is this particular document happens to have the arrow also on the layer below which it usually wouldn't be there. That means this is only showing up for something else is below that's because this picture is right now being clipped by a fancy border the fancy borders right below we'll learn about that a little bit, but the other way you can do it, I'll choose undo is if I'm in the middle of the adjustment itself, meaning wherever the sliders are for the adjustment, you're going to see this icon right here that does the exact same thing. So if I click it, the end result is exactly the same. It's, just an icon that does the exact same thing, is the menu choice. And so if that's pushed in, when you're doing your adjustment, that guy, it means this adjustment only affects one layer, the one directly below it.

Class Materials

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Course Guide

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Ben, thanks again for this course. I have taken and purchased quite a few of your courses to date. I keep thinking I will only watch to make sure I am on the right track and you always bring more to the table than the last course. Your teaching methods are the best, sorry to all the other instructors from Creative Live, but you are very easy to understand and you speak in layman's terms so we all can understand. I am following your instructions and working along with your files and it is the best! It is hard to keep up with you even when I watch you on one computer and work with the same files on another computer, to do what you are doing...impossible but I gain so much by trying. You provide so much info on each topic, it is amazing. Thanks to Karen for the PDFs, she does a fantastic job and also, for her templates/layout documents. Thanks again and to anyone who thinks this is too much money for all the videos, the exercise files and the instruction PDF, I am sorry to say but you are mistaken.

John Taylor

Like all of the Creative Live courses, excellent training. Ben does a great job of explaining the entry part of Photoshop. A lot of things cleared up in my head and i like his easy pace into this complex program. Thanks Ben.


I had several "lightbulb" moments with this class, after many years of photography and when you think you know it all, you don't :) Ben Willmore is an excellent tutor, with his many years of experience teaching PS, he obviously knows the types of things a lot of us struggle to understand. I learnt a lot about Bridge, and have since implemented these things into my everyday workflow, so much easier to sort out what I want to keep etc.. Thanks so much Ben and Creative Live. Thanks also to Ben's wife for her amazing work creating the Guide etc. Even though being in Australia, I pay more for the courses (the conversion rate, the aussie dollar is low at the moment) it's very worth it to me. I have paid more for courses here, and learnt next to nothing. Thanks again.

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