Colors, Adjustments & Type

Colors & Blending Modes

  • Choosing colors
    • At the bottom of the Tool menu resides the Color controls including:
      • Foreground color square – color applied with any Brush tool, fills and other tools.
      • Background color square – primarily effects the Background layer, but can be used with the Fill command on any layer.
    • To change these colors do any of the following:
      • Enter values or select a color in the Color Picker.
      • Sample a color area from an image using the Eyedropper tool.
      • Move slider or enter values in the Color panel.
      • Select a color from the Swatches panel.
  • Using the color picker
    • Do any of the following:
      • Click the Foreground/Background color square on the Tools panel.
      • Select the Foreground/Background color square on the Color panel and Click.
    • Option: In the Color Picker select Only Web Colors to use the Hexadecimal color gamut.
    • The Color Pickerdialog will appear.
      • For on screen output, enter R, G,and B values.
      • Enter web color value in # field at bottom of Color Picker.
      • Click OK. Color will appear in color square on Color panel and Tools.
    • To set Color Pickerprofile:
      • Preferences>General.
        • Select system (Window/Apple) or Adobe.
  • Choosing colors from a color library
    This should only be used to match a Pantone color with its Hexadecimal equivalent.

    • Click the Foreground/Background color square on the Tools panel.
    • Select the Foreground/Background color square on the Color panel and Click.
    • Click Color Library to get Color Library dialog.
    • From the Bookmenu, choose matching system.
      • Do either of the following:
        • Without clicking on panel type number of color, that swatch will appear.
        • Select a color on the vertical color slider.
    • Click OK
  • Using the Color panel
    • To choose from the Hexadecimal Color Gamut:
      • Select the Foreground/Background color square on the Color panel.
      • From the Color menu panel choose Web Color Sliders.
      • Do any of the following:
        • Move any of the sliders
        • Sample the Color ramp
    • To set Color ramp Right-click/Ctrl-click in color field:
      • Select RGB
      • Select Make Ramp Web Safe
      • Enter values in each field.
    • Alt-click/Option-click the color ramp to switch between Foreground/Background color square.
    • In the RGBcolor ramp:
      • Slide bars to the far right for white.
      • Slide bars to the far left for black.
      • Align bars vertically to attain variations of gray.
  • Using the Swatches panel
    • Click a color swatch to set currently selected color square (Foreground/Background)
    • Ctrl-click/Cmd-click a color swatch to set the non-selected color square.
    • To add a color to the Swatches panel:
      • Mix or choose a Foreground color by using the Color panel or Picker.
      • On the Swatchespanel, do either of the following:
        • Click the blank area below the swatches (Paint Bucket pointer).
        • Name the swatch, then click OK.
        • Select the New Swatch of Foreground Color button at bottom of panel.
    • Right-click/Ctrl-click on swatch for context menu for New Swatch…, Rename Swatch…, or Delete Swatch.
  • Using the Eyedropper tool
    Sampling colors from an image for matching or retouching.

    • Choose the Eyedropper tool (or hold down I for temporary tool switch).
    • On Options bar, choose Sample Size and Sample: Current Layer or All Layers.
    • If you do one for the following the color will appear in the current color square of the Tool and Colorpanels.
      • Click directly on a specific location.
      • Click and drag through a document window with Eyedropper and the selected color square will change as you sweep along the image. Release over desired color.
    • Optional: You can monitor the RGB mix by viewing the Info panel.
  • Copying colors as hexadecimals
    For Web output, you can copy a color’s hexadecimal value in a document and paste it into a HTML file.

    • Choose the Eyedropper tool (I or Shift-I) and set Option bar values.
    • Right-click/Ctrl-click a color and choose Copy Color as HTML.
    • Color hexadecimal value will be copied to Clipboard.
    • Paste into HTML file as a text edit. (Ctrl-V/Cmd-V).
      • Example code: color=”#fff000″
  • Choosing a blending mode
    • The Blending Mode you choose will effect a tool or layer’s interaction with the underlying pixels/layers.
    • The Blending Mode list can be found in the Options bar for most editing and painting tools. And in both the Layers panel and Layer Style dialog.

Color Adjustments

Adjusting the color within a document can be done in various ways depending on the end goal. A portrait photograph, for example, may need to have different sections of color adjusted uniquely. Where as a montage may need a mood adjustment using cool or warm color that are holistic to the entire document.

Listed are the main methods used to create adjustment layers for editing:

  • Fill layers:Easily edited and removed, with content changed at any time.
    • Pattern fill: Layer Panel > New Fill/Adjustment Layer > Pattern
      • Select Pattern from Pre-set Pattern Picker
      • Select Pattern Library to load other options
    • Color fill: Layer Panel > New Fill/Adjustment Layer > Solid Color
      • This will open the Color Picker from which you can select a color
  • Black & White:Create a grayscale image while still maintaining the color values.
    • Adjustments Panels > Black & White
      • Use channel selector to adjust color ranges to enhance gray ranges.
  • Vibrance:Adjust the color intensity or strip all the color completely or make a slight desaturation.
    • Adjustments Panel > Vibrance
      • Vibrance: intensify color richness
      • Saturation: reduce/desaturate color values
  • Color Balance:The color ranges and levels can be adjusted individually .
    • Adjustment Panel > Color Balance
      • Ranges
        • Shadows
        • Midtones
        • Highlights
      • Select a range and adjust each color level accordingly to create desired effect.
  • Hue/Saturation:Allows specific color(s) to be adjusted or swapped.
    • Adjustment Panel > Hue/Saturation
      • Hue: color shift
      • Saturation: gray value shift
      • Lightness: lighten or darken colors
    • Master: Change all color levels simultaneously
    • Color Ranges: Reds/Yellows/Greens/Cyans/Blues/Magentas
  • Auto Color Correction:
    • Adjustments Panel >Levels > Auto
      • Select Find Dark & Light Colors
      • Snap Neutral Midtones
    • Color temperature can also be adjusted
      • Adjusting only the Midtones is necessary as the other two ranges will adjust automatically.
  • Levels:Allows for a more comprehensive corrections within individual color channels
    • Adjustments panel > Levels
      • RGB: adjust any exposure problems
      • Color cast issues
        • Red/Green/Blue
  • Curves:To adjust narrow tonal ranges. Can also be used with the composite channel (all color channels at once).
    • Adjustments Panel > Curves
    • Curves histogram grid dialog will appear
      • Shadows are affected when manipulating the bottom left of the grid.
      • Midtones will be affected by adjustments to the center of the grid
      • Highlights can be affected by changes to the upper right of the grid.
    • Use Curves Panel Eyedropper tools to select specific tonal ranges in the document to set Histogram grid.

Type

The Type tool allows you to add editable text to your images. You can create a headline or a styled paragraph or two. Elaborate text can be created using transform, warp, fades, fills and other settings.

With each selection of the Horizontal or Vertical Type tool a new fully editable text layer appears in the document window and Layer panel.

  • Typographic attributes
    • Character panel
      • Font & Style
      • Scale
      • Kerning & Tracking
      • Leading
        • Between two characters
        • Throughout entire text selection
      • Orientation
      • Styles
      • Color
    • Paragraph panel
      • Alignment
      • Justification
      • Line Spacing
    • Options bar
      • Font & Style
      • Size
      • Alignment
      • Color
      • Warp
  • Creating Editable type
    • Choose the Horizontal Type or Vertical Type from the Toolpanel (T or Shift-T)
      • Point text: click to establish an insertion point
      • Paragraph text: define a bounding box by dragging Type tool across and down through document wondow.
    • Make text settings using Character, Paragraph or Options bar.
  • Selecting type
    • Using Type tool of choice click with in type to create an insertion point and drag to highlight desired type.
    • To select all type on layer double-click on Type tool used to create the text originally.
    • To deselect type:
      • Click on check mark in Options bar.
      • Press Enter/Return on keypad.
      • Click any other tool.
      • Click on a different layer.
    • Select type to edit typographic attributes.
  • Transforming type via its bounding box
    • Select type layer T icon on Layer panel.
    • Click and drag on handle points on bounding box to adjust as needed.
  • Warping type
    • Select type layer T icon on Layer panel and select Warp Text button on Options bar.
    • Right-click/Control-click an editable text layer and choose Warp Text.
    • Choose a pre-set style from the Stylemenu.
      • Click Horizontal or Vertical orientation as desired.
      • Adjust Distortions as you like using the sliders.
  • Rasterizing type
    • Right-click/Control-click type layer and choose Rasterize Type.
      • It is highly suggested to make a copy of the type layer prior to rasterizing.
    • After Rasterizing you can further add imagery fills.
  • Masking type fade
    • Use masking layers to lend more dramatic relations with the layers below
  • Screening back type
    • Lay text over an image and with an adjustment layer allow image to read through type.

Gradients

Making large areas of gradients or select areas is done either with the Gradient Fill Layer or Gradient tool (G or Shift-G).

  • Creating a gradient fill layer
    • On the Layers panel in the New Fill/Adjustment Layer select Gradient.
      • Use pre-sets in picker
      • Foreground and Background color swatches will create the first option.
      • Foreground color and transparency create the second option.
  • Using the Gradient tool
    • On the Tools panel select Gradienttool (G or Shift-G)
      • On Options bar choose Gradient Style:
        • Linear
        • Radial
        • Angle
        • Reflected
        • Diamond
    • Drag across selected area or entire layer to create the gradient.
      • Vary the length of the drag to affect a subtle or abrupt transition.