Using Adjustment and Fill Layers

Adjustment layers are different from adjustments in one important respect: they remain editable as layers, so you can try out adjustments without having to commit to them. You can turn off Adjustment layers or throw them away later if you deem them inappropriate. You can also modify the parameters of the Adjustment layer if you change your mind later on.

NOTE Adjustment layers affect all the layers below them in the Layers palette. You control which pixels an Adjustment layer affects by using a mask.

1. Choose File > Revert to start over with the Adjustments.psd file.

2. Click the Create New Fill Or Adjustment Layer button at the bottom of the Layers palette.

3. Choose Hue/Saturation from the menu that appears. Drag the Hue slider left to -100, giving the entire image a violet cast. Click OK.

The Adjustment layer appears above the current layer in the Layers palette. You can access the Hue/Saturation dialog box by double-clicking the adjustment thumbnail shown in Figure 1.37. Notice that the mask shown is completely white, meaning it is not hiding anything.

4. Click the Channels palette. Note that our new Adjustment's layer's mask appears as an extra channel. Select the Alpha 1 channel, and click the Load Channel As Selection button at the bottom of the Channels palette.

5. Click the RGB channel to return to the color image. Return to the Layers palette.

Adjustment thumbnail

Figure 1.37

An Adjustment layer

Adjustment thumbnail

Mask thumbnail

6. Press Ctrl+H to hide the selection, and then add another Hue/Saturation Adjustment layer, as you did in steps 2 and 3.

7. Drag the Saturation slider to -100 and click OK. The bricks turn gray as they desaturate.

8. To reverse the effect of the last Adjustment layer, you will invert its mask. Press Ctrl+I to invert the mask, which is currently selected in the Layers palette. Now the desaturation applies to everything but the bricks.

The image now appears in grayscale except for the violet bricks. To show how Adjustment layers always remain editable, you will change the color of the bricks again.

9. Double-click the adjustment thumbnail of the Hue/Saturation 1 layer to access its parameters in the Hue/Saturation dialog box. Drag the Hue slider to +25 to make yellow bricks.

Fill layers are like Adjustment layers in the way they remain editable in the Layers palette. Fill layers also have mask thumbnails that allow you to control which areas of the image are affected.

You will experiment with Fill layers.

1. Select the top layer in the stack. Then click the Create New Fill Or Adjustment layer button at the bottom of the Layers palette.

2. Choose Solid Color from the menu that appears.

3. Select a medium red color from the Color Picker. This color fills the screen.

4. Apply a Gradient Fill layer. Click the Gradient drop-down list, and select the second gradient thumbnail (Foreground To Transparent) and click OK.

5. Apply a Pattern Fill layer. Click the Pattern Picker arrow, and choose any pattern. Click OK.

6. Change the blending mode of the Pattern Fill 1 layer to Overlay to see through it. Note that all the Fill layers obscure the layers below; you used the Overlay blending mode to see through one of the Fill layers.

7. Close the document without saving after you experiment with Fill layers.

NOTE Unlike Adjustment layers, Fill layers do not affect the layers below them in the Layers palette. Fill layers are straightforward in how they simply fill the image with a color, gradient, or pattern.

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