Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Using blending modes and adjustment layers, part of Advanced Photoshop: Adjustment Layer and Blend Modes (2015).
- In that previous example, we used a Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer to make changes. This is effective to change the color but in some of the more blended areas or the out-of-focus areas as well as areas where there was collisions, it got a little artificial. For example, let's zoom in here a bit on this Vespa logo. You'll note that while the adjustment layer is quite effective, it's starting to bleed into the logo itself and some of the chrome edges here are problematic.
Now remember, at this magnification level it's easy to go through and touch-up. Painting here affects the overall mask. If you need to paint on the layer, just select it. For example, you'll note that this scratch here, I could take the spot healing brush and just paint over that and when I release, that scratch is greatly minimized. You still have the flexibility to make adjustments at any point in time. All right, that's looking better but I'm not happy with the hue adjustment there.
You'll note that it's really affecting the chrome but by changing the blending mode here and setting it to a mode like Hue, you'll note that it's just affecting the colors now. And some of the areas like chrome have less impact. Now, it's still a good idea to select that mask and you can clean things up. For example, just painting here with black along the edge of that chrome makes it better but little bleed through or subtle problems are not so pronounced. Remember, you can always touch-up that mask.
If you need to quickly switch between black and white, "d" will load the default colors of white and black and "x" will toggle. A simple mnemonic for that is double xylophone. The "d" key helps you load the default colors and the "x" key will switch between the two values. These are useful shortcuts when masking. There we go. Set that to 100% Opacity so it removes completely. It looks pretty good but you don't have to be perfect.
Remember, that Hue mode minimizes things. In normal mode, the color changes really stand out on the overlap but with Hue mode it does a nicer job of blending in and areas that don't have much color like the chrome really are minimally impacted. This makes it a lot easier to just quickly touch things up. Paint with a paint brush, flip over to white to add and you can just go through and pick up any remaining color spill or little flecks of paint that were missed.
In any case, this gives you the type of control that you want. Using that blending mode is absolutely essential to getting natural results. Normal versus Hue or Color which is a little stronger. I generally go with Hue when making a tint. Remember, you can be as accurate or as inaccurate as your budget and time allows for. I prefer just to go through and touch things up a bit.
Remember, you still have the layer here so if you want to take advantage of tools like the magic wand or the quick selection tool, you can just grab that chrome with a loose selection, Feather that just a little bit, let's say 5 pixels, and then over here, select the mask and just choose Edit, Fill. I'll fill that with Black to subtract and it cleans up that chrome. But note, it's a little tricky. This particular area of chrome here had some red reflected in it.
While I wanted to remove most of that spill, I'll just click back on that mask for a second, grab the paint brush and paint at 30% and perhaps shift that just a little. We'll paint a little white back in there and you'll note now that that's introducing the slight color or hue shift to that area gradually. By using reduced Opacity, you can really blend those effects in and clean that up quite nicely. Remember, space bar makes it simple to move around and if there's any areas that aren't strong enough, just grab the paint brush and paint over them.
That allows you to touch-up. White adds and black subtracts. Once you feel like you've really nailed it, just zoom out and take a look at the whole image. There's a little more touch-up to do on this particular image but all in all it's looking pretty good. If you take a look at the original, compared with the new, you'll see that that was an effective color change. It preserved the shadows and some of the highlights below. And it has simply rolled the color rather than painting a new color on top in a way that would really be too gross of an adjustment.
By using the subtle hue shift, we have a fine adjustment and allows for something that's much more photographically realistic.
- 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