- Adjustment layer basics
- Improving color and contrast with Auto Curves and Auto Levels
- Creating custom black-and-white effects
- Using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer to recolor artwork
- Expert color grading with color lookup tables
- Using gradient maps
- Making nondestructive adjustments with Smart Objects and stack modes
Skill Level Advanced
- Hi, my name's Rich Harrington and in this course, we're gonna explore some of my favorite features in Adobe Photoshop, that's adjustment layers. These offer the ability to affect your image, but in a nondestructive way. That means you can make changes, tweak, adjust, close the file, save it, come back weeks later and pick up where you left off. Adjustment layers were a huge change in workflow when they were first introduced and I really love the power and flexibility that they offer, but in this course we're gonna go a bit deeper beyond just using adjustment layers and explore some of the options that are relatively hidden.
This includes the ability to actually work with blending modes, advanced blending options, layer masks, and use adjustment layers in very nontraditional ways. In fact, we got a lot of cool things we're gonna cover. We'll start things off by just giving you a basic primer on what are adjustment layers. Now, if you're very familiar with adjustment layers and layer masks, you can skip this section and jump right in, but this will serve as an intermediate level primer to really help you make sure that you don't have any gaps in your knowledge.
Next, we'll dig into the hidden power of auto. Now, you might be surprised that an advanced class is gonna have an entire section all about the auto button, but auto isn't auto. In fact, there are five different methods hidden within auto that unlock some very powerful options, like per channel color analysis and finding the white point and black point for you for great contrast and detail. In fact, you can roll your own recipe and set it as the new default for auto so you don't have to let the computer decide for you.
Once that's done, we'll explore one of my favorite workflows which is black and white photography. I'll share with you multiple methods of using adjustment layers to create black and white looks, getting you new styles of output and new ways of getting great detail and depth. Then, we'll talk about the hue saturation adjustment layer. When you start to target this using the on-image tool, all of a sudden you can make incredibly precise adjustments to refine the image and unlock great details in the color.
Plus that hue and saturation adjustment layer can actually be targeted for other unique adjustments, like exposure and tonality adjustments based upon color range. We'll then explore lookup tables. These are a popular piece of technology, widely used in the film and video industry, but also available to photographers. A lookup table, or LUT, allows you to assign how colors should behave. This allows for great color treatments, film stock simulations, and black and white conversions and I'll show you how to not only use lookup tables, but create your own and even attach them to something like a Lightroom preset.
Then, we'll take a look at one of the most neglected adjustment layers and that's the gradient map. This allows you to assign colors to an image based upon tonality and if you don't tweak the settings and get into advanced options like blending, gradient maps can look really kind of over-the-top, but in fact they are tremendously useful and unlock a world of creative options when you know how to properly use them. Finally, we'll talk about a smart object workflow. Smart objects are great as they allow you to work with adjustment layers and other things and combine them together.
Plus we can use smart objects for things like stacking modes and editable filters. I'll make sure you know how an adjustment layer and smart objects can work together to give you flexibility, but then lock down the layer so it can be further processed or modified by someone else. The use of adjustment layers are great, but there's times that you're gonna wanna bake those results in. I'll show you how to do it in a nonpermanent way. All right, we've got a lot of ground to cover, so let's explore a few more things you need to know before we get started.