Creating a Saturation Gradient

Still skeptical and want to try this for yourself? Just follow these steps:

1. Fill a rectangular image or selection with a color of your choice.

2. Choose Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation to create a spanking new adjustment layer that will let you modify the saturation of your color with great precision.

3. Click on OK in the New Layer box that pops up, and then click on OK in the Hue/Saturation dialog box that appears. We're not going to use the sliders to adjust the saturation just yet.

4. You'll see two thumbnails in the Hue/Saturation adjustment layer in the Layers Palette, as shown in Figure 7.11. Click the box on the right, the Layer Mask thumbnail.

Figure 7.11. Create a layer mask to a Saturation adjustment layer to create your own blend.

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Figure 7.11. Create a layer mask to a Saturation adjustment layer to create your own blend.

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5. Choose the Gradient tool from the Tool Palette, and choose the foreground/background linear gradient from the Options bar.

6. Place the cursor at the left side of the image and, with the Shift key held down (to produce a is documentis createdwithtrial versionof CHM2PDFPilot2.16.100.:he Layer mask, so that any changes to the saturation that you make will be least at the left side (where the gradient is darkest in the Layer mask) and most significant on the right side (where the Layer mask is lightest).

7. Double-click the Layer thumbnail (to the left of the Layer mask thumbnail) to produce the Hue/Saturation dialog box. Drag the Saturation slider all the way to the left. Photoshop applies the saturation gradient, as shown in Figure 7.12.

Figure 7.12. You'll end up with a blend like this one, which you can convert to a uniform gray.

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Figure 7.12. You'll end up with a blend like this one, which you can convert to a uniform gray.

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Saturation Gradient

8. Convert the image to gray and watch it turn into a single strip of exactly the same shade.

In a real-world image, some colors may indeed have exactly the same brightness and color, and vary only in their degree of saturation. In such cases, we still have no difficulty differentiating the objects in the image, as you can see in the worst-case example shown in Figure 7.13. This image contains only white and "red" in various degrees of saturation, using the colors in the strip at the bottom of the figure. It's possible to make out the shapes of the objects (in this case leaves) when the only difference between them is the amount of saturation. Figure 7.14 shows the same image with all the "reds" converted to gray. It's just a big blob of gray, isn't it, just like the bottom row of Figure 7.10?

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