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Changing the color balance

From: Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Changing the color balance

In this movie, I'll introduce you to the Color Balance command, which allows you to control the exact nature of your color correction, at the same time of course, it requires more work than choosing an Auto Command. I've saved my progress as Auto cast correction.psd and I'm now looking at the third image in, and that's the third layer down. Now Color Balance is available as an adjustment layer. So you can access it either by clicking on this black white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and there you see Color Balance about mid way down the list or I can bring up the Adjustments panel and click at that Color Balance icon which looks like a scale, and that will take me to the Properties panel and I can see my Color Balance controls.

Changing the color balance

In this movie, I'll introduce you to the Color Balance command, which allows you to control the exact nature of your color correction, at the same time of course, it requires more work than choosing an Auto Command. I've saved my progress as Auto cast correction.psd and I'm now looking at the third image in, and that's the third layer down. Now Color Balance is available as an adjustment layer. So you can access it either by clicking on this black white icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and there you see Color Balance about mid way down the list or I can bring up the Adjustments panel and click at that Color Balance icon which looks like a scale, and that will take me to the Properties panel and I can see my Color Balance controls.

Now what I'm seeing is my primary colors over here on the right-hand side; red, green, and blue, and their complimentary primary is over on the left-hand side; cyan, magenta, and yellow. So for purposes of using this command, you can think of red and cyan as being opposites, green and magenta are opposites and then blue and yellow are opposites. So you don't ever want to add a color, you don't want to think, gee whiz, I need more cyan in this image, rather you want to think in terms of the color you want to remove.

I want to remove red. So I want to send the slider towards cyan, and as opposed to dragging the sliders which you can, I think the easier way to use this command is to adjust the numbers. So if I click inside that first field and press Shift+Up arrow, you'll see that I'm adding red to the image which is exactly the opposite of what I want. Instead I want to remove cyan, so I'm pressing Shift+Down arrow, and I'll take that value, for now, down to let's say -30. And you should know it's very difficult to gauge one value by itself.

So you sort to have click around these values. Edit one, see how it works, edit another, see how it compensates. So my image is now looking too green. So I'll click in the second field and I'll press Shift+Down arrow to remove some of the green. Obviously, the image is too yellow as well. So I'll tab to the next value, and because I want to remove yellow from the image, I want to increase this value toward blue and so I'll press Shift+Up arrow a total of four times in order to increase that value to +40.

Now the image is looking too red again, so I'll click in that top field and I'll press Shift+Down arrow a couple of times in order to take the value down to -50. So, so far we've got a first value of -50, a second of -10, and a third of +40. Now, if you take a look at the Tone option right here, you'll see that we're modifying the midtones, that is the middle range of colors inside the image. Take a look at the TV in the background and you'll see that what ought to be a neutral black surface looks awfully darn blue.

So I'll switch the Tone from Midtones to Shadows, and then I'll click in that last field, because I want to remove blue. I want to send this slider toward yellow. So I'll press Shift+Down arrow once in order to reduce that value to -10, and you can see the black of the TV surface is less blue. Now all these reddish action that we're seeing in the boys' skin, that's happening in the highlight range. So let's change the tone from Shadows to Highlights and I'll remove some red by pressing Shift+Down arrow in this first field a couple of times in order to take that value down to negative 20.

Now we want to remove some more yellow from the scene. So I'll click in the third field and press Shift+Up arrow a couple of times in order to send that slider toward blue. So we have a first value of -20, a second of 0, we didn't change that one and the third of +20. Now I'm going to return to Midtones and I'm going to click in that first field and take it back up a little. So I'll press Shift+Up arrow to take the value to -40, and that looks like a pretty darn good adjustment. Let's test it out. I'll close the Properties panel and then switch to the Eyedropper tool once again and then I'll click and hold inside the pillow.

It looks like we had gray before and now we have gray again. But if you check out my values here inside the Color panel, I happen to have a Hue value of 269, you can check that out in the hue locator file, but that's violet by the way. But notice my Saturation value, it's declined to 1%, making that pillow at any rate more neutral inside this image than any of the others. The problem however vis-a-vis the previous correction, that is the correction that was applied using the Auto Color command, is that the colors over here in the color balance image are a little too saturated.

So for example, my boys end up looking a little too pinkish. On the positive side, if you take a close look at this image on the left, we've got some pretty bright highlights around my eldest Max's nose for example, and along his arm as well. So we're starting to lose some of that highlight detail whereas the highlights are looking great in the Color Balance image. One more thing that I want to note, I'm going to scoot the image over so that we can see that far right layer. Notice that it's being affected by the color balance layer. So if I turn the color balance layer off, both images go back to the bad color cast.

And if I turn it on, they're both corrected, and that's because an adjustment layer affects all layers below it. If you wanted it affect just the single layer, then you need to clip that adjustment by pressing the Alt key here in the PC or the Option key on the Mac and clicking that horizontal line between the two layers. That way the color balance photograph, that is that photograph on the left here inside my Image window, is serving as a clipping mask for the adjustment layer and the photo filter layer, which is this layer on the right, remains unaffected.

I'm going to make one more change. To make sure that this Adjustment layer is affecting just the colors inside the photograph and not the luminance levels I'm going to go up to the Blend mode pop up menu and change it from Normal to Color, and watch happens to the image over here in the left-hand side. The luminance level settled down a little bit and we don't get quite the harsh degree of contrast we had a moment ago. That's how you use a Color Balance command here inside Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Photoshop CS6 One-on-One: Fundamentals

100 video lessons · 57545 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 19m 15s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 27s
    2. Opening from the Windows desktop
      4m 7s
    3. Opening from the Macintosh Finder
      4m 9s
    4. Opening from Photoshop or Bridge
      2m 45s
    5. Opening an image from Mini Bridge
      1m 16s
    6. Opening through Camera Raw
      2m 32s
    7. Closing one image and Closing All
      1m 59s
  2. 38m 14s
    1. Navigating your image
      40s
    2. The dark vs. the light interface
      3m 12s
    3. Navigating tabs and windows
      4m 32s
    4. Panels and workspaces
      4m 27s
    5. Zooming incrementally
      4m 29s
    6. Zooming continuously
      2m 43s
    7. Entering a custom zoom value
      2m 25s
    8. Scrolling and panning images
      2m 31s
    9. Rotating and resetting the view
      2m 11s
    10. Cycling between screen modes
      3m 10s
    11. Using the Navigator panel
      3m 38s
    12. Adjusting a few screen prefs
      4m 16s
  3. 45m 58s
    1. Digital imaging fundamentals
      1m 45s
    2. Image size and resolution
      3m 3s
    3. The Image Size command
      3m 27s
    4. Common resolution standards
      3m 20s
    5. Upsampling vs. real pixels
      4m 36s
    6. Changing the print size
      6m 16s
    7. Downsampling for print
      4m 12s
    8. Downsampling for email
      3m 11s
    9. The interpolation settings
      5m 22s
    10. Downsampling advice
      4m 36s
    11. Upsampling advice
      6m 10s
  4. 53m 17s
    1. The layered composition
      1m 40s
    2. Introducing the Layers panel
      4m 12s
    3. Adding, scaling, and aligning layers
      5m 27s
    4. Dragging and dropping layers
      4m 36s
    5. Stack, reveal, and rename
      2m 58s
    6. Opacity, history, and blend mode
      6m 5s
    7. Duplicating a selected portion of a layer
      5m 32s
    8. Applying a clipping mask
      3m 58s
    9. Blending inside a clipping mask
      4m 10s
    10. Finishing off your artwork
      3m 13s
    11. Creating a new layer and background
      4m 24s
    12. Layering tips and tricks
      7m 2s
  5. 26m 19s
    1. The art of saving
      54s
    2. Four things to know about saving
      6m 0s
    3. Saving layers to PSD
      6m 38s
    4. Saving print images to TIFF
      4m 48s
    5. Saving an interactive image to PNG
      3m 41s
    6. Saving a flat photo to JPEG
      4m 18s
  6. 19m 36s
    1. Honing in on your image
      1m 43s
    2. The new and improved Crop tool
      3m 35s
    3. Editing your last crop
      3m 1s
    4. Straightening a crooked image
      2m 29s
    5. Filling in missing details
      6m 44s
    6. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
  7. 42m 6s
    1. First, there is brightness
      2m 12s
    2. How luminance works
      4m 18s
    3. The three Auto commands
      3m 27s
    4. Automatic brightness and contrast
      3m 19s
    5. The Brightness/Contrast command
      2m 47s
    6. The dynamic adjustment layer
      4m 5s
    7. Editing adjustment layers
      3m 52s
    8. Isolating an adjustment with a layer mask
      3m 31s
    9. Introducing the histogram
      4m 58s
    10. Measuring an adjustment
      3m 34s
    11. Using the Shadows/Highlights command
      6m 3s
  8. 44m 33s
    1. And second, there is color
      1m 31s
    2. Identifying a color cast
      3m 34s
    3. Correcting a color cast automatically
      3m 57s
    4. Changing the color balance
      6m 10s
    5. Compensating with Photo Filter
      3m 11s
    6. Adjusting color intensity with Vibrance
      3m 29s
    7. Correcting color cast in Camera Raw
      5m 46s
    8. The Hue/Saturation command
      5m 26s
    9. Summoning colors where none exist
      4m 8s
    10. Making more color with Vibrance
      4m 27s
    11. Making a quick-and-dirty sepia tone
      2m 54s
  9. 55m 46s
    1. Making selective modifications
      1m 10s
    2. The geometric Marquee tools
      6m 1s
    3. Aligning one image element to another
      4m 59s
    4. The freeform Lasso tools
      3m 59s
    5. Polygonal Lasso tool and Quick Mask
      5m 19s
    6. Cropping one selection inside another
      6m 15s
    7. Creating rays of light
      4m 44s
    8. Quick Selection and Similar
      4m 11s
    9. Making it better with Refine Edge
      4m 56s
    10. Integrating image elements
      2m 39s
    11. Magic Wand and Grow
      5m 17s
    12. Refine, integrate, and complete
      6m 16s
  10. 53m 49s
    1. Your best face forward
      1m 0s
    2. Content-Aware Fill
      6m 11s
    3. Using the Spot Healing Brush
      5m 36s
    4. The more capable "standard" Healing Brush
      5m 55s
    5. Meet the Clone Source panel
      3m 53s
    6. Caps Lock and Fade
      4m 57s
    7. The Dodge and Burn tools
      5m 1s
    8. Adjusting color with the Brush tool
      6m 35s
    9. Smoothing skin textures
      5m 58s
    10. Brightening teeth
      4m 0s
    11. Intensifying eyes
      4m 43s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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