What are Adjustment Layers?
Adjustment layers can be used to non-destructively edit the colours and tones of each layer. They also can be used to adjust all layers in your Photoshop file.
Why use an adjustment layer instead of the old adjustment menu?
There are several advantages to using an adjustment layer as opposed to using an adjustment from the pull down menu. The primary difference is that using an adjustment from the pull down menu is that it will be committed and effect the actual pixels. An adjustment layer however will create a separate layer as an adjustment and this layer can be:
- They can be turned on or off to remove the adjustment
- They can be double clicked to continue to customise the adjustment
- They can have its opacity lowered and it also has a layer mask attached to it to only allow the adjustment effect specific areas of that actual layer.
Sounds like there are ten times the amount of control in making adjustments via a adjustment layer so lets now use them as it really will give you far more control over your retouching.
Why does my adjustment layer effect all the layers below it?
This can either be an advantage or a problem depending upon what you want your adjustment layer to do. It is easily customisable. If you want it to only effect the layer directly below it you need to toggle it by clicking on the ‘clip to layer’ option in the properties layer pallet. If you can not see this layer pallet double click your adjustment layer and it will appear. When this is done your adjustment layer will only effect the layer directly below it and that layer will also not be underlined in the layer pallet.
Lets see it in action.