Combining Adjustment Layers

Learn how to combine multiple adjustment layers and then combine them into one effect. That way, you can then use this combination on any other image, so it has the same look and feel.

Step 1 – With your base image active, go to the bottom of the layers palette and click on the Create New Fill Or Adjustment Layer button. From the dropdown menu that appears, you can start choosing various adjustments to alter the tone and colour of the original image.

Step 2 – This example used four adjustment layers to get the final look that we liked. Now, if you wanted to transfer that same look to a separate image, it would normally mean having to replicate all the adjustment layers you’ve used for the original image and apply them to the new one.

Step 3 – However, we can actually combine all four adjustments and turn it into a single effect that can be applied to any other image without the need for multiple adjustment layers. One thing to be aware of before you start, is that your current document must have a locked background layer.

Step 4 – Go to File > Export > Colour Lookup Tables and type a filename for your combined effect. You can choose from a number of Formats and then click OK to save it to a folder of your choice. Then you’ll need to open up a new image to which you want your newly created effect applied.

Step 5 – Click on the Create New Fill Or Adjustment Layer button and select Colour Lookup to add a new adjustment layer. From the ‘Colour Lookup 1’ layer’s properties, select Load 3D LUT and navigate to where you saved your file in the previous step. If you saved multiple formats, CUBE is a popular choice.

Step 6 – The image will now have its colours remapped by the ‘Colour Lookup 1’ adjustment layer, using the CUBE file you selected as its guide. The image will take on a completely new look that will match the style of your original, without the need for many adjustment layers.

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Russ Ware

Russ has been testing, reviewing and writing guides for tech since the heady days of Windows 95 and the Sega Saturn. A self-confessed (and proud) geek about all things tech, if it has LED's, a screen, beeps or has source code, Russ will want to master it (and very likely take it apart to see how it works...)

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