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Photoshop CS4's adjustment features offer unparalleled opportunities to correct and manipulate images. In Photoshop CS4: Image Adjustments in Depth, Jan Kabili explains how to use all the major Photoshop adjustment features. She shares the best techniques for adjusting image quality, and shows how to use the new Adjustments panel to streamline a photo correction workflow. Jan also demonstrates multiple ways to eliminate color casts, and explains how to use the new On-Image Curves control to adjust brightness and color. This course offers a detailed look at the techniques photographers and designers use to master image adjustments in Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
In the last movie, I showed you how to change the default behavior of an adjustment layer, which is to affect the content of all layers beneath it in the layer stack by clipping in adjustment layer to just the layer beneath it. And that limits the effect of the adjustment layer to that single layer to which it's clipped. So here, for example, I have an Invert adjustment layer, and what this layer is doing is inverting the color of the layer beneath it, the content of the love graphic layer, which contains just the word love in the shape of a heart.
I accomplished this in the preceding movie by selecting the Invert adjustment layer and then clicking this clipping icon, which clipped the adjustment to the love graphic layer right below it. Well, now I'd like to go a step further. I'd like that Invert adjustment layer to affect not only the love graphic layer but also the dot graphic layer, which contains this dotted flower. I showed you in the last movie that adding more layers to this clipping group won't accomplish that. So here's the workaround that you can use when you want an adjustment layer to affect multiple layers in a file, but not every single layer beneath it in the Layers panel. I'm going to start by unclipping the Invert 1 adjustment layer from the love graphic layer.
The way to do that in Photoshop CS4 is to select the adjustment layer and then go up to the Adjustments panel and click the Clipping icon again. Now that adjustment layer is affecting the content of all the layers beneath it, including the image, which I don't want it to affect. So what I'm going to do is to select that adjustment layer as well as the love graphic and dot graphic layers. The quick way to do that with the adjustment layer selected is to go down to the dot graphic layer, hold down the Shift key and click on that layer, and that selects the layer in between as well.
With those three layers selected, now I'm going to go to the panel menu on the Layers panel group, click there and I'm going to choose New Group from Layers, and then I'll click OK. That causes Photoshop to make a layer group that contains those three layers. I can see then if I click the arrow to the left of Group 1, there's my adjustment layer and the two layers that I would like it to affect. To get that adjustment layer to affect just these two layers in the group, I need to change the default blend mode of this group.
Notice that with Group 1 selected, the layer blend mode is set to Pass Through, by default, which means that any adjustment layers inside of that group, like this Invert adjustment layer, will continue to affect all of the layers beneath in the Layers panel including the image layer which is not in this group. To change that, I simply have to change this blend mode from Pass Through to Normal. And as soon as I do that, my Invert adjustment layer affects only the love graphic layer and the dot graphic layer that are in the same layer group and you can see that in the image, I have the result that I want.
The Invert adjustment layer has inverted the colors of the content of the love graphic layer and the dot graphic layer, but has left the image layer alone. So that's one technique to try when you want to confine the effect of an adjustment layer to more than one, but not all the layers in an image. In the next movie, I'll show you another way to do the same thing using a Smart Object.
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