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Color correction with variations

From: Photoshop for Designers: Color

Video: Color correction with variations

There is an old faithful color correction tool called Variations which still has its uses. You'll find it under Image > Adjustments. The thing is about Variations, you may come to the menu Adjustments, and you may not find Variations, and if you don't find it, it's because you're in 64-bit mode. 64-bit mode is a more efficient way of using RAM, Random Access Memory, but for some reason, Variations which is a very old tool is incompatible with 64-bit mode.

Color correction with variations

There is an old faithful color correction tool called Variations which still has its uses. You'll find it under Image > Adjustments. The thing is about Variations, you may come to the menu Adjustments, and you may not find Variations, and if you don't find it, it's because you're in 64-bit mode. 64-bit mode is a more efficient way of using RAM, Random Access Memory, but for some reason, Variations which is a very old tool is incompatible with 64-bit mode.

So I've re-launched Photoshop in 32-bit mode so that I can take advantage of Variations. Let me show you how you can do that, should you choose to do so. On a Mac, you'll need to come to the Applications folder and go to the Photoshop application and then File > Get Info, and then right there, you'll see a checkbox, Open in 32-bit mode. If you're currently in 64-bit mode, you'll need to quit and then change this option and then re-launch Photoshop and you'll be in 32-bit mode.

Now, actually its biggest use I find is just as a visual representation of colors and how they relate to each other, and how if you have an image that, say, is too blue you can add its complement yellow diagonally opposite to reduce the blueness. If you have an image that's too green, you can magenta; if you have an image that's too red, you can add cyan. So we see a clear visual representation of colors and their complements opposite each other, surrounding this preview of the current pic.

So in this case, if I wanted to warm this image up a bit as I do, I would need to add yellow, because I think it's a little bit too blue. And I can do that in the Shadows, the Midtones, and/or the Highlights, and I can adjust the amount of the color that I'm adding with this Fine to Coarse slider. Now I'm actually going to quit out of here, cancel out of there and before I apply Variations, I'm going to do one other thing and that is I am going to convert my layer for Smart Filters so that if I need to revisit the amount of change I've made, I can do so and I'm applying the Variations nondestructively.

So with my image now as a smart filter, I have here on the white painted area of the boat, I have a color sample and if we look at the Info panel, we can see that my blue is a bit higher than my red and my green, which is numeric evidence, if you like, that this image is a little on the cool side. So using that as my sort of numeric yardstick, I'm going to go back to Variations and now working in the Midtones, working with my Fine to Coarse slider all the way of it to Fine, I'm going to add a bit of yellow, and I'm also going to add a little bit of magenta as well.

That's my current pic, that's my original. Let's see how we go on there. How have those numbers changed? Well, actually, they're now closer to being neutral; we now have the red a little bit too high. If I turn off my Smart Filter by just clicking on the eyeball, we'll see the numbers toggle back to how they were. So, the blue has been reduced, the red has been increased, and the green has been reduced.

So I'm going to now revisit Variations and we saw that we had a little bit too much red so I'm going to add a small amount of cyan. And we now have neutrality in that region 93, 94, and 93. Let's turn off the Smart Filter; there is the before, the image looking a little bit cool, and there is the after where the image looking quite a lot warmer, and I hope you'll agree a lot better.

So Variations, useful for understanding colors and their complements, but not that great really for doing numerical color correction, but if you just want to adjust your colors more subjectively and you like the visual feedback that Variations give you then it could be a viable option.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Designers: Color
Photoshop for Designers: Color

75 video lessons · 18361 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
      41s
  2. 25m 26s
    1. Defining color terms
      2m 38s
    2. Understanding the color wheel
      4m 3s
    3. Understanding color relationships
      1m 7s
    4. Using Kuler to understand color harmony rules and create color palettes
      4m 2s
    5. Using the Kuler web site
      3m 10s
    6. Colors on screen and on paper
      1m 42s
    7. Color as a signifier
      3m 14s
    8. Color inspirations
      2m 39s
    9. Color and accessibility
      2m 51s
  3. 38m 22s
    1. Demystifying the Color Picker
      2m 57s
    2. Understanding the role of foreground and background colors
      5m 39s
    3. Choosing colors
      6m 41s
    4. Managing swatches
      7m 40s
    5. Transparency
      9m 42s
    6. Color channels
      5m 43s
  4. 41m 4s
    1. Understanding additive and subtractive color
      2m 57s
    2. RGB mode
      1m 56s
    3. CMYK mode
      2m 41s
    4. Lab mode
      3m 49s
    5. Indexed mode
      2m 16s
    6. Grayscale mode
      5m 0s
    7. Color management
      14m 15s
    8. Color depth (8-, 16-, 24-, and 32-bit)
      4m 19s
    9. Monitor calibration
      3m 51s
  5. 26m 43s
    1. Evaluating color with the Histogram panel
      3m 18s
    2. Evaluating color with the Info panel
      1m 48s
    3. Boosting color with levels
      3m 48s
    4. Auto Tone and Auto Contrast
      7m 38s
    5. Manually setting the black and white point
      3m 50s
    6. Curves
      6m 21s
  6. 18m 30s
    1. What is color correction?
      5m 45s
    2. White balancing in Camera Raw
      1m 46s
    3. Color correction with color balance
      1m 34s
    4. Color balancing using photo filters
      1m 26s
    5. Color correction with variations
      4m 27s
    6. Color correction by the numbers
      3m 32s
  7. 33m 14s
    1. Selecting color with the Magic Wand
      4m 43s
    2. Selecting color with the Quick Selection tool
      2m 26s
    3. Selecting color with Color Range
      4m 0s
    4. Neutralizing whites with the Multiply blend mode
      2m 55s
    5. Neutralizing blacks with the Screen blend mode
      57s
    6. Masking colors with the Blend If sliders
      2m 54s
    7. Masking hair with a channel mask and removing contaminant colors
      2m 58s
    8. Shifting targeted colors using Hue/Saturation
      5m 4s
    9. Matching colors using Hue/Saturation
      3m 16s
    10. Matching colors using the Match Color command
      1m 36s
    11. Matching colors using the Color blend modes
      2m 25s
  8. 21m 8s
    1. Saturating colors
      4m 9s
    2. Desaturating colors
      1m 57s
    3. Desaturating in Camera Raw
      3m 1s
    4. Creating a color accent with selective saturation
      2m 38s
    5. Enhancing a sunrise with a gradient map
      5m 49s
    6. Increasing vibrance
      1m 19s
    7. Using selective color
      2m 15s
  9. 32m 42s
    1. Designing with spot colors
      12m 15s
    2. Adding a fifth color to a CMYK image
      5m 0s
    3. Adding spot colors to a grayscale image
      5m 24s
    4. Create a metallic print effect
      3m 8s
    5. Creating duotones, tritones, and quadtones
      6m 55s
  10. 30m 45s
    1. Creating a silkscreen print look with a limited color palette
      7m 59s
    2. Combining color with black and white
      2m 22s
    3. Creating a nostalgic travel poster using the Cut Out filter
      6m 27s
    4. Mapping an image to a color look up table (CLUT)
      7m 56s
    5. Converting to black and white
      6m 1s
  11. 48m 34s
    1. Creating a hand-tinted portrait (the easy way)
      3m 29s
    2. Creating a hand-tinted portrait (the harder way)
      11m 23s
    3. Creating an Andy Warhol look
      4m 44s
    4. Applying a gradient map
      4m 4s
    5. Sepia toning an image
      8m 41s
    6. Color tinting an image
      5m 15s
    7. Split toning an image
      2m 9s
    8. Working with line art
      8m 49s
  12. 23s
    1. Goodbye
      23s

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