Photoshop: Adjustment Layers Before and After


Photoshop for Photographers: The Essentials


Lesson Info

Photoshop: Adjustment Layers Before and After

here we never spend time doing it we always do things so quick so we can move on to some other thing I think I have some that have already worked on and I'm just going to show you how some of these images were built up you'll see simple images and you'll see complex ones sometimes the adjustments are overly subtle sometimes they're dramatic this is an image that is a stitch to panorama and I stitched it and afterwards I refined it if you look in the layers panel you'll see all the adjustments that air were applied I can see that every single one of them was a curves adjustment layer because this symbol indicates curves if you look at the masks you khun see approximately where each curve is applying wherever it's white in the mask is where it was applied so this is the upper right corner or quadrant of the image this is the lower right this is the right and left side hysteria and so on let's turn them all off by option clicking on the bottom eyeball option click so this is what the imag...

e looked like right after the panorama was stitched let's see before and after see if you see what kind of difference we ended up making so let's turn them on one at a time let's look at the adjustment layer itself and the mass to see what was the mindset what was going on when this was done so first when I look at this picture do you notice that the area near the upper right that whole quarter of the image feels lighter than the rest of the picture sure it should be lighter because there's a cloud but the darkest parts around the cloud look lighter than everything else so what if I created a curve that locked in the brightness of the cloud but darkened the dark areas like up here so that they became just about as dark as what's over here when that b two dot it's one dot that never moves for the clouds one dot for the darker areas that moved down does that make sense and then I painted in so the on ly area that it was affected was that side of the image so let's turn on this adjustment later let's hope what I did excited this years ago I don't remember but you see that let's look at the adjustment I'll just double click on the little curve symbol two dots one that didn't move or it might have moved up the tiniest bit but the upper one is always brighter things because members light so that's the clouds the lower one is darker stuff that's the areas surrounding the clouds and I just moved it down until it look more similar to its surroundings okay then let's look at the next one the next one is affecting the lower right of the image because I can see it in the mask see where the white is in the mask and if you look at the lower right of the picture do you notice that this area through out here the darkest area of that is not as dark is this stuff does it make sense that it's not as dark so what if I added a dot for like an average brightness level over here to lock it in and added another dot for the darker area over here and moved it down until it became this dark and then I painted it in let's see what that might look like you see that let's look at the adjustment I don't know for sure that that's what I'm good I'm just guessing I literally made this years and years ago there's two dots looks like they're both were moved down because after moving down the dark parts the light parts weren't dark enough so I moved it down as well but that's what the two dots are for then we got another one this one is affecting the far right and far left well heck I named my layers why don't we figure out what the heck it wass look right sky contest darkened right rox it's nice to name him right before you save your file so if you have to open it again you remember why the heck they're they're so direct ioway say I find your eyes is drawn to bright areas so if I don't want your eye somewhere I'm either going to darken it or make it less colorful because your eyes drawn to bright colorful stuff so this says direct eye away because I probably want you to be looking in this general area so look at where this affects it you see the right left sides I'm guessing it's just going to dark in the picture and I'll turn it on you see it's just darkening the kind of edge is my guess is just one dot but it might be too just one dot moved it down a little spit that just means that click moved it down the next layer this says direct eye towards I'm trying to pull your eyes somewhere so this is where I think the focal point of the picture should be that's why I picked up my camera to take the shot so what if I added a dot for the dark part and I added a dot for the bright part and I made the brighter part even brighter when that make it pop out get a bigger difference between the two and look at where the mask is it's only going to affect that little area so let's turn this on and see if that's the case I'm guessing there's going to be two dots one might not have been moved to dot's one of them having been moved the darker part hasn't been moved the lower part right then we got another one and this is just called overall contrast at this point it might have looked at the picture and said as a whole I think it could pop more and so usually it's to dot's making it steeper between the two and I'm going to do something we haven't talked about yet which is turn off a mask disable it the way you disable a mask to allow the adjustment to affect your entire picture is to hold down the shift key and click on it you see the red x through it that means it's not affecting the image right now but I'm going to just do that to see what the popping of the contrast looked like come whole image then we'll find out why did I have the mask so I'll turn on this eyeball and their boom you see that made it pop I'm guessing it's going to be probably two dots yep one's higher than the other and I don't know where I clicked in the image but I went across somewhere and made it steeper now when I did that it looks to me like I didn't like what happened in the upper right corner and I didn't like what happened lower right corner like down here it came too easy to see the detail so I painted on the mask I'm going to turn the mask back on I do that by shift clicking on it once again and I just took it out of that part so that didn't get too bright and that's how this entire image was built up after I ended up finishing my panorama and let's see the difference between just a stitch panorama in my end result huh I'm not saying it's an amazing shattering like that it's just what I did on this image so remember with masks we have a couple things we can dio first we can hit back slash to view it as an overlay poor weaken option click to view it directly usually look for gaps or other problems you can't notice during the when you've units and overlay or finally we can hold on the shift key and click on it to disable it and cause the adjustment to affect the entire picture those are our options wanna look it more just open images see how they're built up and see how the stuff we've already talked about it's just applied in real world images so let's see here's another one this one was taken in iceland I'm gonna hide all the adjustment layers remember the way you do that is you option click the eyeball that's all clicking and windows option click on the bottom one so you see the difference there and this is a smart object aiken tell the bottom layer is a smart object because it has that little extra icon in the corner that means when I was in camera and I opened this I did it where it opened it as a smart object remember how you could either hold shift and it said open object or there was a preference you could change I'll double click on that just to see if I can get to the original and I'll go to the upper right and just do the defaults and see how much was done in rock okay so there's our original picture looks kind of bland shoes undo here's what we ended up with this is the old version a camera I can tell because there's no highlights and shadows sliders right but I was able to get to there look at how many sliders I moved to do it almost all of them right that's not rare for me to move all from once you get used to him you know what they dio just move as many as it takes to get what you like then I transformed it from their further in added thes adjustments to find tune it we'll look at those wanted time but first I have a question at what point do you save I've heard horror stories of people having twenty two layers and they use it all the pens and how stable your computer is if you notice your computer bombing a lot save a lot if you notice your computer barely ever bombing save it any significance that stage of your image like I just finish retouching command us I just finished these adjustments command us it's a personal thing with the newest versions of photo shop it's automatically saving a backup in the background in the photo shop bombs the next time you open it it will reopen the picture even if it bombed so it's not as big of a deal with the newer versions of photo shop as it was with older ones but I've definitely had issues before where I've not thought about it but I got so much into the image and then something happens especially the power gets cut or something I live in an rv you know and so it's not unusual to have something weird happened with your electrical or something all right let's build this thing up it looks to me like I used curves for all of the adjustments except for one because if you look at the icons you see that this one looks different I think that's human saturation so curves cuts curves hugh saturation curves I wasn't nice enough to name my layers and it looks to me like I wasn't great at painting because I can see a lot of gaps and those paint strokes I don't know maybe maybe they're supposed to be there all right so the first one noticed the mask it's mainly white at the top that means that affects the top portion of the image I'll turn it on let's see what happens the top portion of the image all right it's making the dark parts darker that tells me that most likely there are two dots on the curve one toe lock in the brightness of the clouds the one to target the dark part and move it down does that make sense so let's go here and double click on it see if that's the case two dots one lines up with where the curve originally wass that's the one locking in the brightness of the clouds the other one is darkening the darker stuff does that make sense overall then let's see where it was affecting the image I'll this hit the back slash key okay it's affecting that that lower part down there was I overly precise with my painting no is anybody ever going to see my mask yeah how many people are on the line right now but not usually in so looking at the back slash key thing just tells me where to evaluate the image to see if there's a problem but I don't get my mask so they're absolutely perfect because most people would never ever notice it's just takes too much time to make him absolutely perfect although you when you see one of my fine art images my master all perfect because I obsess over those okay then this thing is going to affect something near the lower right ish and then another blob I don't know what but let's find out I turn it on okay just a little extra contrast get it toe be a little more varied in there looking at it it looks to me like two dots one on an average area brightness in there and one of the darker part move the darker one down does that make sense from looking at it let's look at the adjustment see if that's the case two dots the darker ones moved down the other one sitting right on the line itself so that's what I thought it would be let's look at our mask back slash doesn't look like I was all that precise I just painting and what happens is the softer the brush you used the sloppier you khun b the harder to the edge of the brush the more absolutely precise you need to be so it doesn't mean they always use a soft edge brush it just means when you're using a soft edge brush you can be pretty general let's go to the next one it's going to affect the lower right corner of the picture I can tell from the mask I'm going to turn this on okay a little more contrast looks to me like the dark portions are getting darker that tells me two dots one locking in the brightness of the green stuff one darkening the dark stuff let's see if that's the case two dots once lined up with where the original would be which is the green stuff I'm sure you can find out move your mouse over here green stuff um I near it yet right there green stuff one in the dark area then let's look at our masked backslash who I wasn't very precise there I might have put those in and purpose to make it more varied I don't know I was probably just sloppy go to the next one I can't okay it's making the left side more colorful look right over here that area so you see it becoming more colorful let's click on it and backslash it's getting those areas and making the more colorful uh I'm not sure as faras the adjustment goes it's either going to be just the saturation slider blatantly turned up or it's going to be isolating green or yellow and having the saturation turned up I don't know if I isolated based on color or not let's double click and find out it's just the saturation turned up because this says master which means everything but I could have isolated it if these all said zero and it was still making a change then it would mean one of these choices was chosen and I need to cycle through them until I see which one does it have the sliders moved on but it's painted in there then we have one more which is a curves adjustment layer alternate on it looks like it's going to affect the upper left and a few other areas just a little more contrast in certain areas that tells me I locked in the brightness of the clouds and I darkened the darker stuff two dots the lower the two dots we moved down let's take a look to dot's lower the two dots has moved on is this rocket science it's pretty much the same thing over and over and over again and here's my mask was I overly precise heck no but could you tell by looking it depends on the subject matter of your picture something's need extremely precise masking do you remember the lens flare on the door if I did that when generic you'd see it but with other things you can be really generic about your painting it really depends on what kind of adjustment you're making and what kind of area it needs to go into softer the brush the more you're not going to notice where you painted harder the brush them or exact it's going to be in when I'm done ideally but I don't always do this I would inspect my masks option click on this mask look for gaps that I didn't know about right here I might see a few can you see little hints they're click on the next one you don't even have to option click on the next one it's already in that view so just click like there I'd say dang that I need those caps there inspect them look for little problems sometimes I'm not sure that might be dirt on my screen but it looks a little darker to me right there in here one of those might be dirt on my skin green I'm not sure but if it's the case grab your brush right when you're in this view over here and say I didn't mean to have that they're touched up when you're done your option click again to get out of that view and just build up your image always putting new adjustments on top and if you want to see before and after option clicked the eyeball there's before theirs after questions so far I got more to get into but I'm just wondering them trying to get it to this feels mohr little less overwhelming because the last two sessions were like fire hose into your head of information and here I'm trying to just be a little more over and over again to reinforce some of those things you know that we have a question from the internet from steamed who says is it possible to copy a mask from one layer pasted it paste it inverted to use it for another layer yes but there's no reason no need to copy and paste I'll show you how to do it great here's another image let me just show you what it wass and then we'll do what they were talking about so I'll turn off these there's my original here were on the rooftop of miami who are tico hotel and they have little showered near the pool that's up there to rinse off I shot straight up that I just thought it looked graphically interesting but then I just wanted to look a little different so what I did is I made a selection around the edge of this and I could just come over here and use thie elliptical marquis tool to do that one tip about using the elliptical marquis tool is if you click and drag with it and where you put it isn't quite in the right spot before you let go press the space bar and you can move it that's true of the rectangular marquis tool as well but I'm just going to get the top edge to line up in the left edge to line up and don't let go of the mouse just let go the space bar and you're still making it so it's a little easier to select things like this when you know that and let's see a space bar again to get it to line up a little better on the top of the left let go the space bar that's not quite round it's actually an old e I can cheat maur if you go to the select menu there's a choice called transform selection and I could go over here and squish it in one direction and then rotate it so that squishy jj is at an odd angle I know I like using technical terms they're squishy jj and try to get that okay hit return around here when you're done all right so I got a select it it's um so then I ended up adjusting with curves but I actually didn't I wanted to affect everything except for that so before I made my adjustment I went over here and chose inverse that gives you the opposite of a selection so I had that whole background selected like that and therefore if I made my adjustment that's what would be effected does that make sense how it kind of isolate that so I've already done that it's here I mean to turn it on and what it's doing is darkening the surroundings that might even be a single dot that's been moved let's look two dots I don't know where I click to get the two dots I could move around this wall possibly was one because you see that it's right there and maybe the scott yep sky for the other it's not rocket science it's to general brightness levels there so I clicked bottom you know um so there's that then I had another adjustment which is curves and this one I believe I applied to the actual mechanism that's here I'll turn it on and it's just frightening that up that's probably one or two dots let's look at it to dot's locking in the dark part so it didn't frighten with everything else and then bright enough for everything else but now let's look at how can I use the mass that already exist to make additional adjustments so what I'd like to do now is I would like to adjust the background again everything except for the round part of the showerhead two ways to do it the first thing is I can move my mouse on top of any mask I can hold down the command key control and windows and click and it'll loaded as a selection so on ly the areas that are white get selected the areas that are black or not that's command clicking control clicking and windows then I can come down and create a new adjustment let's say human saturation and since this selections active it will be converted into that mask and now you can see it looks like I have the same mask on two layers command click on a mask it loads that is a selection and you use that selection for anything so now that I have that it's just the saturation of that whole background you want to shift the color that kind of thing okay that's one way then there's another way and that is if I've already made the adjustment so let's say I want to come in here you do human saturation I'm going to make the entire image less colorful weigh a lot less colorful and then I decide I really wish that wouldn't affect the whole picture I wish it would on ly effect that mechanism of the shower thing you know the little pipe well I got a mask right here that has that right we'll click on the mask and drag it up here but be careful don't write it down yet let's go over your notes watch what happens to where used to be it got removed right so in order to duplicate it hold on the options now you can write out because so if you hold on option it means move a copy and so I hold on option ultima windows and I move it up there when I let go I'll just say don't show gang so I do this so often that I never want to see that uh it moved a copy so without without option it means literally move with option it means copy and so now that top layer eyes making the shower mechanism less colorful and therefore the background I thinks pops out a little more eso hopefully that answer this the question this is one of my fine art images it's not done um this hasn't gotten to print testing yet this is actually an early version but this is one of my images from route sixty six actually what was I messed up on this one where I use some tests software that I didn't have a license code for yet and sometimes when you do that it puts a watermark on the picture and I planned on buying the software re processing the image and then just replacing the bottom layer all it would be would be the exact same picture minus the watermark unfortunately I forgot the settings that I applied so couldn't get the exact same adjustment so instead ended up retouching out the watermark the watermark was ah a magenta colored grid put on top of the image so let's look at the original at the bottom but I was really disappointed because I I had saved the settings that I applied to originally process it and then I lost them somewhere and so I couldn't get the exact same looking image made me do a lot more work so anyway let's take a look at this image first let's scroll through and look at how many layers are in it okay my fine art images I work until there is nothing wrong with it not a speck and even if you print it five feet wide on campus and you walk up to it there's not going to be a speck on it that I don't like it it's just my obsession there those are my special images this is an old image so it was processed with old software before photo shop was capable of doing great hdr and things this is an hd our picture it was processed with something called I think fdr that one's called I don't know but here is the original so we transformed it from this can you see a little grid on it the slight hint of one really thin lines of the grid if I'd zoom up that dumb grid that's where I plan out is going to do all this work on top of it as long as they're adjustment layers I could always replace the bottom layer with one that was processed with exact same settings with license code in it and then I could replace it and I would look the same but then I lost the settings so this is what I ended up building up I'm not saying it's the best image or anything but it's what I happened to do you see some of my retouching I call it pulling weeds which is getting rid of all the stuff I don't like and I very rarely move anything in my photos this one I moved one thing there is a railroad sign that's almost being cut off on the right edge of the photo and I just conveniently moved it over and that's very rare all right ah here's where I retouched out the grid just a little part of it and then I retouched out what I call pulling weeds I actually retouched out that tower x if you look at how dark the top of the tower is it's darn near black eso what I did is I processed a different version of the picture just to make the tower look good at the top so there's that in this image I did not prepare for presentation I'm just showing you what some of my pictures could look like here's a curves adjustment you see the mask is almost solid black so let's hit backslash and see what its effectiveness edge of the bush look over here there must have been something I didn't like over there well let's find out what it wass let's turn this adjustment on okay it was dark ing up that edge there's lens flare do you see over here that lens flare and stuff well here's some lens flare removal see that we talked about some of that where you could darken things painted in and if I was working with curves and I knew about color and the lens flare was greenish hmm I wonder if there's anything I could work on that could make it look less green green channel will be down that kind of thing uh let's look at what else we did here's contrast the massless whites is probably for the whole image you know just making a little bit more contrast e the next one looks like it's working out a tiny area near the right side I can see a white speck it's over there what it is is I didn't like that light coming through underneath here so I darken it up a little bit just so yu mei I wouldn't be drawn there got another one working on tiny little area let's find out where that's up there with sinus so turned on it makes a sign pop out you know that's two dots one of them's on the dark part just sitting there once on the bright parts been moved up right all right let's go to the next one I've named this one it was nice enough fixed fix blown out building means somewhere in the building it was way too bright so over here it looks like also on the uh on the bush there was an area didn't like and so let's turn this on and see what it does see that look at that that's just darken darkened darken and if the color looks a little weird after darkening then work on the individual red green and blues to tweak it a little bit but doesn't that make those areas look better okay let's go to the next one here's another one where I'm working on tiny little areas so let's zoom up on just those areas I'm not sure that I named it so I don't know what the heck it's doing let's just turn on and find out okay those were just looking a little on the bright side you can see where the sun was hitting just this area and got it then I'll go over here uh and it looks like on the right side there was something I didn't like it's over this way where that thing is let's see what it wass I'll turn on uh it made it pop out I bet you that's two dots one that locked in an area one that made it brighter right think painted and where you want it here I've no idea what's on that layer it looks empty to me if I option clipped the eyeball doesn't hide all the other layers there's a tiny retouch do you see the tiny little speck usually I wouldn't do retouching in the middle of my layers panel you'll learn that poirot but okay it's shifting the color over there to see it's going from brown to green we haven't talked about how to do that particular thing we got more another little areas there that I didn't like well let's see what the heck was I doing to him ok darken it up probably two dots lock in the bright part it's dark in the dark part painted in but you get the idea that this is not rocket science it's just me picking at images little bitty parts in it some people don't have the time to do this because you're working for a client or you got a thousand images to do find you don't have the time to do it but if you do have the time if it's going to be in your portfolio show up on your web site for the next five years maybe you should spend a little bit time on that one here you see the front of this you notice with my fine art images I'm much more careful with my masks I make them like precise let's see what it's doing there it's a human saturation cause the icon looks different and so let's turn on it's just making it more colorful that's just moving saturation up another human saturation this one is affecting the rest of it and it's probably making that a little bit more comfortable colorful it might also be shifting the green a little but underneath the thieves let's see what the heck it's doing ok darker it up a little bit and so on this is my vignette which means it's gonna darken edges of the photo and all I'm doing is building up the image but I get ridiculous look at what I'm asks that's the difference between my fine art images in my everyday images the fine art ones I work until there is nothing wrong um I don't expect you to spend that time I'm obsessive but anyway if I just turn these on slowly there's a black and white adjustment layer in here that's what that one is with fancy mask on it so I do in the siri's of images I do black and white adjustment layer son of the tinting turn on and then I paint with black wherever I want your id ago to say don't allow the black and white to let this here this area color go away and I'll do it in different capacities and then here I put a new tower and from a different version optimized that and then a few little retouch is at the end so I don't expect you guys to do that kind of you know level stuff just because most of time you're doing some for a client or some and they're not paying for that you know they just don't have the budget for it but I actually enjoy doing it and so before after and I do remember now what I process this image with originally I used to use a program called fdr tools that's the hdr program that I used and I just wish I could reprocess that image I do have a license for it now so that I could slide in the one without the grid underneath because that was the original plan sell and that's all the rest of these images are there just images I worked and some of murli simple here during these off this is a waterfall in iceland what's cool about this waterfall is if you will if you were able to climb up over here I never got over there there's no river up there it's like coming out of the ground just like in a weird way and it's ah pretty cool waterfall so lets you see there when you have a document that's very horizontal the icon that would usually show up over here for curves and human saturation might turn into a generic one that looks like the same as thie icon you go two at the bottom of your layers panel to get to it and if that's the case it's still it represents an adjustment is just not tell you what kind and if you make these thumbnails larger you might get the normal icons let me see if I can control click no they're already large but watch what happens if I cropped this picture I'll just make it so it's not a panorama on and see if it'll do it without okay now you see the normal icon show up it's just when it doesn't have enough space you get generic ones so let's turn on the generic ones I can tell it's curves curves curves and then human saturation just from the names reminds me of monty python find out is that that's the better cook whatever they said girls girls girls human saturation so here's one you know what that is two dots one moved up the bottom you know what that is two dots when moved up here's another one for the sky to dot's one moved down could darkened and then a human saturation which it's kind of hard to tell but it's making it most more colorful most likely by masks they're not overly precise it's not a fine art image uh it's just you know you can see that this isn't precise is my landscape stuff oftentimes the master pretty basic and what did that do in the end beginning to end before just looks a little dull after uh build your image curves two dots one of moved up or down whatever it's happening but there's a mask here that's limiting where it shows up it's not affecting the log not affecting the top of the image I used the quick selection tool to select the log then this one's only affecting logs you see the white in there so two dots one one higher then this one's affecting only the top half of the image it cuts off right where the horizon line is and that's two dots one of moved down then this is my vignette and it's gonna darken the edges of the picture that's a very old picture but before after we go on for days you have been what's here what's your favorite way of doing a vignette I darken the image using curves sometimes by just grabbing the upper right dot and moving it straight down other times by targeting something specific depends on the picture and just click on it move it down and then I get a huge soft edge brush and I paint where you want your id to go because that's the part that's going to come back to full color gotta use a huge brush because what happens is the larger your brushes the softer the edges if you want to see what I'm talking about just try painting with black with the softest edge brush you can get but use a small one how much can that fade out on the edge I don't know if that's the softest it can't fade out that much you have half the width of the brush because it has to be soft on both sides get a larger brush and now it's got a half of that with to fade out get an even larger brush and it's going to fade out much more right so that's why I say huge soft edge brush and I paint when I want your eye to go on those air has come back to the original brightness and therefore whatever I didn't paint on it goes black that's how I'm usually thinking about it other people just generically put up yet on that's fine to it all depends on the picture I find the simpler the background the more obvious it is you've been yet like in the image of the log it was obvious I've been yet exit was so simple the more complex it iss the more you convenient like crazy and people would hardly notice he did it

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Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2