Gradient Maps

Gradient Maps aren't just for amorphous backgrounds; in fact they also work quite well on photographic backgrounds.

Step 1. Open the file Ch11_Flower_Market.psd from the DVD-ROM.

Step 2. Strip the color from the source using one of two techniques. The first Image>Adjustments>Desaturate is good if you are in a hurry. The second, a Black&White adjustment layer (available in CS3), does a much nicer job of making the grayscale file.

Step 3. We'll now soften the image with a gentle blur. Press (X+Q (®+Q) to select All then choose Edit> Copy Merged to copy al layers to your clipboard. Paste this layer into the Layers Palette by pressing HX+Q (^B+Q). Blur the layer with a 15-pixel Gaussian Blur and set its Blending Mode to Screen.

Step 4. Add the Gradient Map by choosing it from the Adjustment Layer pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette.

Gradient Used for Grayscale Mapping

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Step 5. Experiment with different Gradient Maps and Blending Modes to see the full range of design options.

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These utterly useless patterns are built in Photoshop. Don't let them scare you away. The Artist Surfaces, Rock Patterns, and Texture Fills collection are very useful.

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