Adjustment Layers

A free video tutorial from Chad Neuman, Ph.D.
Professor / Graphic Designer / Photographer 20+ yrs exp.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5Instructor rating
15 courses
545,912 students
Adjustment Layers

Lecture description

Students learn how to create adjustment layers to add various effects.

Learn more from the full course

Photoshop Beginners Mastery: Zero to Hero in Photoshop

Learn Photoshop quickly and easily with essentials of Adobe Photoshop to produce beautiful images in Adobe Photoshop.

02:58:08 of on-demand video • Updated May 2020

Customize workspaces and work with panels.
Create new documents with various settings and modes.
Navigate and zoom in and out of documents using a variety of methods.
Switch between screen modes.
Work with multiple documents and arrange them using various methods.
Describe various file types and modes.
Crop and resize images using various settings.
Use Bridge with Photoshop.
Rearrange, group, and adjust settings of layers.
Adjust layer blending modes.
Create and apply a variety of adjustment layers.
Create and apply various layer styles.
Describe the various selection tools and apply them in various ways.
Use the selection tools in conjunction with each other.
Add to and subtract from selections.
Modify and save selections.
Describe how masking is better than erasing.
Mask parts of layers using the brush tool.
Add layer masks using selection tools.
Apply a clipping mask to text.
Create an high dynamic range effect using masking in a landscape photo.
Use layer masking to create selective sharpening in a portrait photo.
Oftentimes when designers or photographers want to make an adjustment to a photo, they can go to Image>Adjustments, and there’s a lot of options here for adjusting curves, levels, brightness and contrast, exposure, as well as adjusting hue, saturation, vibrance, color balance, photo filters, and so on. If we used one of these adjustments right now, it would affect the layer that we’re currently on in the Layers panel. However, another way to apply these adjustments is to create an adjustment layer. The benefit in using an adjustment layer is that we can change the settings of the effect even after we apply it, and we can also remove the effect or adjust how strong the effect is by changing its opacity, after the fact. I’ll show you what I mean. Open “layered.psd” again, and click-and-drag the beach layer to the top. If I go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation, and adjust the saturation and hue of the layer, the effect is set after I apply it, unless I go to Edit>Undo or step backward in the History panel. However, if I go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer> and Hue/Saturation, or, if I click on the New Adjustment Layer on the bottom of the Layers panel, and select hue/saturation, now we can add the same effect but as an adjustment layer. I can make it more of a subtle effect by lowering the opacity. I can also double-click the hue/saturation adjustment layer, and edit it, because it stays live. I can also paint some black on this mask right here, the layer mask, so that the effect does not apply to certain areas of the image. There’s more on masking later in this course. You can also delete the entire effect by deleting the adjustment layer. Adjustment layers are a better way to add a lot of these effects, and you’ll notice, if you go to Image>Adjustments, a lot of these effects here, are also under Layer>New Adjustment Layer. It allows us to create more subtle effects, and it also, we can adjust the settings even after we’ve added the effect. Next, we’ll go over layer styles, which are a helpful and fun way to add some style to a layer.