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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 IV. - What lies under gets affected

 How do we use Adjustment Layer? Well, the basic principle is really very simple.

Lets say you want to change color of the picture, lets say to sepia color (if you wish to know the other way of doing it, check also Making Sepia Hue tutorial).

So, we will make a new Adjustment Layer with Hue Saturation.

When you see the window of normal Hue Saturation set the following settings.

 So what we get is this, oldish looking photo:


Till this point, everything would be the same if you used just traditional Image/Adjustments. But now there is a change.

The big thing about Adjustment Layers is that they affect ALL layers that lay UNDER them. It means that if you decide to draw to the layer that is under the AL, all changes will be affected by AL.
e.g. Lets take the picture I have shown before. It is in the sepia color, right? Now, what I want to do is to add some lights into the lamps using the Lens Flare and add a moon on the sky.
Now, if we were in normal Image/Adjustments picture (i.e. without using Adjustment Layers), we would have to use the same color effect on the elements that were added later (moon an lens flares).

However, when using AL, everything that we add to the layer lying under the AL will be affected.

I know that it sounds a bit complicated but it really is easy.

To conclude this point, if you know that you will make more changes later on, it might be a good idea to use adjustment layer instead of normal function.

Anyway, here is the pic I spoke about (apart from what I have said, I have also added Curves AL so the pic is a bit darker and more night-like – now off the topic a little, I have seen one brilliant tutorial of conversion of day photo into the night one that was really pro but I dont remember the site, da**)
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 82058 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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