Step 10: Using Adjustment Layers

As we took the time to create a layer specifically to paint on, you can now begin your experimentation with different blend modes and any other filters and commands you want to try. My final bit of editing on this image was to use an adjustment layer and Levels. Like many of the other go back and do it again features we have used, Adjustment layers figure prominently in the list of these important features. While there are many advantages to using Adjustment Layers, suffice it to say for now that one of the biggest is that you can go back at any time and change the settings without causing any picture information data loss.

■ Choose Layer ^ New Adjustment Layer ^ Levels to get the Levels dialog box. Try setting Input Levels to 40,1.00, and 255; click OK to apply the settings. You should now have an

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adjustment level layer in the top of the Layers dialog box, as shown in Figure 4.19. ■ If you're not happy with the results, you can go back anytime and make changes to Levels by clicking the thumbnail in the adjustment layer — make your changes and click OK to apply them.

The main advantage to using adjustment layers is that you can go back and change settings that you made earlier rather than apply another Levels command, which would cause more loss of picture information.

After your painting is complete and you adjusted Levels as you want, you should have an image that looks similar to Figure 4.20.

■ Choose File ^ Revert to reload the most recently saved version of a file, clearing any edits made since then.

The good news: Revert shows up as a History state, meaning that if you Revert and realize that you should not have written over the file, you can use the History tool to back up and un-Revert!

Admittedly, this was not an easy technique and it was a bit contrived so that you could learn as many ways as possible to jump around in your editing process to get the results you want. While we covered quite a bit in this technique, there is much more you can learn about the topics we just covered.

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