Q&A: Ad­just­ment lay­ers

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Contents -

Jan­ina Koenig, Ger­many

An­swer Tony replies

One of the main ad­van­tages of Pho­to­shop is the Lay­ers sys­tem. Be­ing able keep things sep­a­rate en­ables you to make sig­nif­i­cant changes in min­utes. With Ad­just­ment lay­ers, you can cre­ate colour, value and edge mod­i­fi­ca­tions that click on and off eas­ily. A lot of the ma­jor func­tions of Ad­just­ment lay­ers can be ap­plied to im­ages (or lay­ers) un­der the Edit panel, but do­ing it with an Ad­just­ment layer makes it pos­si­ble still see and edit the orig­i­nal art, hours af­ter you’ve run out of His­tory states.

If you look at the bot­tom of the Lay­ers win­dow, you’ll see a cir­cle that split into dark and light halves. Click it to bring up the list of Ad­just­ment layer types. There are quite a few; and for this ar­ti­cle I’m go­ing to cover the three I use most.

There’s a say­ing peo­ple use when work­ing with masks: “Black con­ceals, white re­veals.” I find this a bit con­fus­ing, mostly be­cause of how of­ten at first I’d won­der if it was the mask or the orig­i­nal that I was re­veal­ing or con­ceal­ing. Just try to re­mem­ber that it’s re­fer­ring to the mask and you’re in busi­ness.

Here’s the main im­age, with­out any ad­just­ments. Com­par­ing this to the steps should give you an idea of how each works.

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