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Photoshop Creative Effects Workshop
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Adding an Invert adjustment layer


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Photoshop Creative Effects Workshop

with Tim Grey

Video: Adding an Invert adjustment layer

The concept of an inverted image isn't exactly unique and in many cases, won't produce an especially creative effect. However, in this lesson, I'm going to show you both how an inverted effect can be applied with ease, as well as a method you can use, to produce a more interesting interpretation of that image. Let's get started. First, we'll take a look at the basic process of creating an inverted image and there's actually an Adjustment layer created exactly for that purpose. So at the bottom of the layers panel, I'll click the button to add a new Adjustment layer, that's the half black, half white circle icon and I will choose the Invert option from the pop-up menu that appears. This will add an Invert Adjustment Layer.

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Photoshop Creative Effects Workshop
2h 19m Intermediate Apr 30, 2011

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Digital photographers using Adobe Photoshop sometimes get so caught up in working efficiently and mastering complex techniques that they can forget photography is at heart a creative endeavor. In this course photographer and author Tim Grey encourages you to explore how you can leverage the power of Photoshop to express your creative vision. Learn how to apply various creative effects related to tonality, color, artistic filters, creative borders, image montages, and much more. Along the way, see every detail of how these effects are achieved so you can adapt them to suit your own purposes. The course concludes with a series of projects that involve the use of multiple creative effects for a single image. Note: This course was recorded in Photoshop CS5, but was created with users of both Photoshop CS5 and Photoshop CS4 in mind.

Topics include:
  • Safely experimenting with creativity
  • Creating a black-and-white effect
  • Using Curves presets for creative effects
  • Applying a vignette
  • Using the Filter Gallery
  • Applying a Gradient Map adjustment
  • Creating a multiple exposure effect
  • Hand-painting an image
  • Creative projects
Subjects:
Photography video2brain
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Tim Grey

Adding an Invert adjustment layer

The concept of an inverted image isn't exactly unique and in many cases, won't produce an especially creative effect. However, in this lesson, I'm going to show you both how an inverted effect can be applied with ease, as well as a method you can use, to produce a more interesting interpretation of that image. Let's get started. First, we'll take a look at the basic process of creating an inverted image and there's actually an Adjustment layer created exactly for that purpose. So at the bottom of the layers panel, I'll click the button to add a new Adjustment layer, that's the half black, half white circle icon and I will choose the Invert option from the pop-up menu that appears. This will add an Invert Adjustment Layer.

And as you can see on the adjustment panel, there are actually no adjustments to apply, no settings that you can manipulate to change the behavior of the Invert Adjustment Layer. It simply inverts all of the values in the image. So that dark values appear bright, and bright values appear dark, and colors appear as their opposite color. So in this case, for example, I'll go ahead and turn off the Invert Adjustment Layer. You can see there are a variety of yellow tones within the image, and with the Invert Adjustment Layer turned on, those yellow areas have become blue, since blue is the opposite of yellow. Now, this is mildly interesting.

It does produce a certainly unique version of the image. Not exactly what you would expect in a photographic image. But it's not the most creative effect we can produce. Fortunately there are ways we can adjust the effect of this invert adjustment layer, to produce a unique interpretation of the image. And that is, through the use of blend modes. The default blend mode for any Adjustment Layer is the normal blend mode which causes the adjustment to apply to the image in a normal way. But we can choose from a variety of different blend modes in order to produce some more interesting result. In the case of the invert Adjustment Layer, most of the blend modes are really not going to produce all that interesting an effect. For example, if we took a look at linear dodge you'd see that the image becomes entirely white.

If we take a look at linear burn you'll see the image becomes completely black. There are certainly some blend modes that will produce a, at least, mildly interesting effect in the image, although as you can see here with color burn, not exactly something you're going to want to apply to most photographic images, but there are some blend modes that will be interesting when used in conjunction with the invert blend mode. Let's take a look, for example, at the color blend mode. This will cause the Invert Layer to only affect the color in the underlying image, not the tonality.

So you can see, we'll I'll go ahead and switch to the normal blend mode, here is our normal invert, and switching to the color blend mode, you see the color invert. So we're only inverting colors, not tonal values. And there are other blend modes you might want to explore. For example, the difference blend mode certainly produces a very interesting, if not, psychedelic effect in the image and others will also be of some interest. The key is to explore the various possibilities and see which blend modes might produce an interesting effect. For any given image.

And the benefits of a particular blend mode will vary from one image to the next. But in general you'll find that a relatively small subset of the availbale blend modes will produce an interesting result when you're working with an invert adjustment layer. In my experience, you will get the best results working with the difference and color blend modes. But of course, you may want to work with other blend modes. And see which sort of effect you achieve. For example, here, the luminosity blend mode maintains the inversion of tonal values. But retains the original color values. That might not seem to be the case, based on what you see here. But in fact, if you look closely, you'll notice that the original colors are preserved, only the luminance has been altered.

As you've seen in this lesson, applying an Invert Adjustment Layer is a very simple way to dramatically change the appearance of an image. When combined with a blend mode, the effect can actually be quite interesting.

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