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Photoshop CS4: Image Adjustments in Depth
Illustration by John Hersey

Making a Gradient Map adjustment


From:

Photoshop CS4: Image Adjustments in Depth

with Jan Kabili

Video: Making a Gradient Map adjustment

The Gradient Map adjustment is a creative tool that you can use to apply a gradient by mapping it to the light and dark tones in an underlying image, and that makes for some really great looking gradients. One of the things that you can use the Gradient Map adjustment for is to remap the colors in an image to black and white. So I'm going to show you how to do that first and then I'll show you how to apply a color gradient on top of it. I am going to use an adjustment layer so, I'll go to the Adjustments panel and here is my Gradient Map adjustment icon, which I'm going to click to add a Gradient Map adjustment layer in the Layers panel. You can see that the document has been changed to black and white. That's because I have just applied this black to white gradient, this is the default gradient in the Gradient Map adjustment layer.
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  1. 5m 39s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. Using the exercise files
      59s
    3. Setting up a workspace
      3m 22s
  2. 21m 2s
    1. Creating and editing adjustment layers
      6m 38s
    2. Adjustment layers vs. direct adjustments
      6m 9s
    3. Using the new Adjustments panel
      5m 38s
    4. Reusing adjustment layers
      2m 37s
  3. 39m 57s
    1. Clipping adjustment layers
      4m 36s
    2. Including adjustment layers in a layer group
      3m 13s
    3. Including adjustment layers in a Smart Object
      7m 29s
    4. Using the adjustment layer mask
      5m 43s
    5. Using selections with adjustment layers
      4m 19s
    6. Using the Masks panel with adjustment layers
      8m 30s
    7. Using the Blend If sliders with adjustment layers
      6m 7s
  4. 49m 43s
    1. Reading the Histogram panel
      5m 23s
    2. Using the Levels adjustment for tonal corrections
      7m 42s
    3. Using the Curves adjustment for exposure
      8m 12s
    4. Using the Curves adjustment for contrast
      4m 14s
    5. Making On-Click Curves adjustments
      4m 0s
    6. Applying Shadow/Highlight nondestructively
      7m 59s
    7. Reviewing Brightness/Contrast
      3m 18s
    8. Dealing with exposure
      2m 22s
    9. Using adjustment layers with blend modes
      6m 33s
  5. 54m 36s
    1. Making Vibrance adjustments
      2m 22s
    2. Using Hue/Saturation adjustments
      7m 4s
    3. Understanding color correction
      3m 21s
    4. Using color samplers and the Info panel
      4m 25s
    5. Using Levels eyedroppers for color correction
      5m 54s
    6. Using Levels channels for color correction
      5m 7s
    7. Understanding Curves adjustments for color correction
      7m 21s
    8. Making Color Balance adjustments
      3m 49s
    9. Making Photo Filter adjustments
      3m 6s
    10. Making Variations adjustments
      6m 48s
    11. Using the auto-correction features
      5m 19s
  6. 13m 5s
    1. Using the Dodge and Burn tools
      4m 56s
    2. Dodging and burning nondestructively
      6m 38s
    3. Working with the Red-Eye tool
      1m 31s
  7. 16m 9s
    1. Applying Black & White adjustments
      7m 30s
    2. Making Channel Mixer adjustments
      6m 31s
    3. Understanding the Threshold adjustment
      2m 8s
  8. 25m 23s
    1. Colorizing with Hue/Saturation adjustments
      3m 9s
    2. Tinting with Black & White adjustments
      2m 8s
    3. Making a Gradient Map adjustment
      4m 18s
    4. Applying a Selective Color adjustment
      1m 49s
    5. Using the Replace Color adjustment
      4m 39s
    6. Making Match Color adjustments
      4m 24s
    7. Applying the Equalize adjustment
      4m 56s
  9. 42s
    1. Goodbye
      42s

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Photoshop CS4: Image Adjustments in Depth
3h 46m Intermediate Jun 10, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Using adjustment layers in a non-destructive image-editing workflow
  • Correcting color with curves
  • Adjusting brightness and contrast with levels
  • Dodging and burning photographs
  • Reading histograms accurately
  • Converting color images to grayscale with a Black & White adjustment layer
  • Customizing auto-corrections for more accurate quick adjustments
Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Jan Kabili

Making a Gradient Map adjustment

The Gradient Map adjustment is a creative tool that you can use to apply a gradient by mapping it to the light and dark tones in an underlying image, and that makes for some really great looking gradients. One of the things that you can use the Gradient Map adjustment for is to remap the colors in an image to black and white. So I'm going to show you how to do that first and then I'll show you how to apply a color gradient on top of it. I am going to use an adjustment layer so, I'll go to the Adjustments panel and here is my Gradient Map adjustment icon, which I'm going to click to add a Gradient Map adjustment layer in the Layers panel. You can see that the document has been changed to black and white. That's because I have just applied this black to white gradient, this is the default gradient in the Gradient Map adjustment layer.

The default gradient is okay, but I can customize it to make an even better black to white conversion. To do that I'll click inside the gradient in the Adjustments panel and that opens the Gradient Editor. In the Gradient Editor there are some Presets and the first of those is black to white. That's the one that's currently being used. You can see that's gradient down here, in the bar in the Gradient Editor. I am going to edit this gradient just a bit, by clicking on the white color stop down here that represents the white in the gradient. That lets me see this mid point of the gradient. So I'm going to take that midpoint and I'm going to drag it over to the left, to add more white to the gradient and less black and that will lighten things up just a bit.

The next thing I'm going to do is take that white stop and move it over to the left just a bit, so that the widest parts of the gradient are a little bit wider. And then I'll click OK. So that's the first part of the lesson and I could stop here, but what's really fun is adding a color gradient that maps itself to the tones in the image. You could do that right on top of a color image, but it tends to work a little better when you have a good black and white conversion first. So, I'm going to go back to the Adjustments panel and click this green arrow to go back to Icon view, and then I'm going to go to the Gradient Map icon again and click there to add a second Gradient Map adjustment layer and this one also is set to black and white, but I'm going to change that by clicking in the middle of the Gradient bar in the Adjustments panel to open the Gradient Editor again for this second Gradient Map adjustment layer.

I could choose another one of the Presets and I'll just show you some of those, most of these are kind of bright, but they can all be tweaked. However, I'm going to stick with the first one, the black to white. And I'm going to make one change and that is that I'm going to move down to the bottom of the Gradient bar here and I'm going to add another color stop by clicking. By default that color stop is black, but I'm going to change a color to a light brown. So, to do that I'm going to click inside of that color stop twice and that opens the Color Picker. My Color Picker is set to only web colors and that's okay. I'm sure I'll find a color among those that I like. I'll move the bar in the middle up into the orange brown tones. Right away I see there is a kind of a coffee color here that I think will do. So I'm going to click that and then I'll click OK.

Now let's see what's happened, the Gradient that used to go from just black to white, now moves from black through light brown over to white. If I don't like that brown, I can Double-click that stop and change the color or I can click the stop and move it to redistribute the black, brown and white in the gradient and I can just play with it with an interactive preview in the image until I get things just the way I want them. I think that looks pretty good. Before I close this dialog box, I want to tell you that I think that this is one of the best ways that you can add a sepia tone or any other monochromatic tone to an image. And the reason is this; some of the other methods like colorizing in the Hue/Saturation dialog box or adding a tint in the Black & White dialog box apply one color across the entire image to the highlights, shadows and midtones.

But as you can see here, when you use a Gradient Map adjustment through using a whole range of tones in the gradient and those tones are mapped differently to the highlights, shadows and midtones in the image. So I'm going to click OK and that's my resulting image. So those are a couple of ways that you can put a Gradient Map adjustment layer to work for you, when you are looking for some creative effects in your images.

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