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All About Adjustment Layers

Discover how and when you should use Adjustment Layers instead of normal effects.

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Part II. - Advantages of Adjustment Layers

As I said before there are several considerable advantages of Adjustment layers.
To mention the main ones:
-- you can affect what part of the picture will be affected by the effect (using Layer Mask that is implicitly present in every AL) (check and see our All About Layer Mask tutorial)

-- you can change the area of effect and the effect settings ANYTIME

(so if you have made your picture black and white using AL, you can return back to the full color picture anytime, even after 2 hours of retouch in black an white mode :)

-- you can also affect the way in which will the effect interact with the layer it is used on, or even with other layers (by changing its Layer Mode)

Sounds good to me, lets try something with AL (adjustment layers, right?)

Part III. - Where can Adjustment Layers be found

Where? Here.
Either in Layer/New Adjustment Layer (and choose one)

or in the Layers palette like shown in the picture by that red ellipse.

I will preview some of the AL on the following picture (my photo, as usually:) (it is near one old and beautiful cathedral)


 After making an AL, a new layer will be created (with the Icon that symbolizes what kind of AL it is)

Here are all kinds of AL (in Adobe Photoshop 7):


Looks ominous if you ask me, but believe me, they are easy to understand (at least those that I know :) and very easy to use.

Just follow me. (btw, If you are intrigued what do those colors mean, they mean absolutely nothing :) and you can set the color of the layer anytime by right click on the EYE in the left part of the layer)

See Part IV. on the next page

Continue Reading On The Next Page >


Submitted by Martin on 2006-05-24 18:24:35. Since then read 84576 times.
Scored 4.21 points out of maximum 5 by 19 votes.

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Mr. B. C. Phukan bcphukan AT indiatimes DOT com said on 2006-05-27 09:23:09
Dear Martin! The Tutorials on Adjustment Layers are very useful and simply fantastic. It has helped me immensely to clearify some of my doubts on the subject. Thanks so much.

Martin mato AT t-tutorials DOT com said on 2006-05-27 09:34:18
I hope it helped. If there are any more things to clarify, let me know and I will do my best. Anyway, thx for suggestion on a tutorial.

yushatak techmaster AT myself DOT com said on 2006-06-17 17:32:17
I may well check out adjustment layers, even though most of my work is with abstracts and web design (where it's a bit less useful). BTW: Some sort of glitch in your page source on this tutorial. It's showing a if lists are supported comment of some kind. Just figured you'd like to know.

Ihaw ihaw89f AT yahoo DOT com said on 2009-04-02 18:27:42
The AL(adjustment layers) is quite easy to learn, especially the hue/saturation. But, the other more complex AL like curves and color balance as example, is harder to learn ourselves. Maybe more explanation for each will AL helps.

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