As you begin to work with more and more layers in Photoshop and you're adding adjustment layers, you're going to want to be able to control which layers are affected by which adjustment layers. So let's go ahead and add a hue saturation adjustment layer to this image. I'm going to click the Colorize button to make it really obvious and then we'll move the hue slider over to bright yellow and maybe increase some saturation. Now when we look at the layers panel we can see that the hue saturation adjustment layer is effecting all of the layers below it.
If I wanted the hue saturation adjustment layer to only effect the background, well that's easy, I can just change the stacking order of he layers by clicking on hue saturation and dragging it down. But what if I wanted the hue saturation adjustment layer to only effect the layer on the left here. Well, then I could click and drag up to the top again, but I would need some way to clip this hue saturation adjustment layer with only the left side. Now, I can choose Layer and then create clipping mask in order to do this, or there's actually a shortcut right here on the properties panel.
If I click on this icon, what happens is this hue saturation layer is indented. I get a little arrow pointing downward, The layer underneath that it's been clipped to becomes underlined and the Hue Saturation Adjustment layer is now restricted to only affecting the values on the layer below it. And so this is referred to sometimes as a clipping group or a clipping mask but, basically, whatever is on the lower layer will be affected by the upper adjustment layer.
Now, what if I wanted to affect both the left side and the right side photos? Well, let's use the keyboard shortcut, Cmd+Z on Mac or Ctrl+Z on Windows in order to release that clipping group and now what I'm going to do is I'm going to take the left side layer Then the right-side layer. I'm going to select them both by holding the Cmd key on Mac or Ctrl key on Windows, then I'm going to use the keyboard shortcut Cmd + G or Ctrl + G on Windows, and what it does is, it places these two layers into a group.
If you don't remember the keyboard shortcut, you can also just drag the two layers down to the folder icon right here in order to create a group. We'll go ahead and rename this Small Images. And then in order to see whats in the group, we'll click on the disclosure triangle. Now I want the hue saturation adjustment layer to be flipped not to a single layer this time but to the group. So I'll select the hue saturation adjustment layer and we can either click the icon right here. Or, theres a shortcut if I hold down the Option key on the Mac or the Alt key on the Windows. You can see there as I position my cursor right there between the top of the group and the hue saturation adjustment layer, and I hold down the Option or the Alt key, the icon changes and I get this downward pointing arrow. That will allow me to click the hue saturation adjustment layer to the group. So what's really nice about this is that it's not a permanent change at all. And I could add additional photos, to that small images folder, and they would all have the hue saturation adjustment applied to them. Or I could take one of the images, outside of the group, and it would then automatically loose the effect from the hue saturation adjustment layer. And if I needed to make a change to the hue saturation well then all I need to do is change it once.
I don't have to have multiple copies of it. One that isolated on the left side and one that's isolated on the right side. So its really easy to make a change and have that change ripple through to all of the photographs that are inside of that group. So there you have it. A quick way to isolate the effects of an adjustment layer so that it only affects either a specific layer in your document, or a group of layers.
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