How to use gradient map adjustments in Photoshop tutorial

How to use Photoshop gradient map adjustments s in CC 2018 2017 2015 2014 CS6 CS5 CS4 etc to apply amazing color effects on images etc.

Gradient map adjustments in Photoshop

How to use gradient map adjustments in Photoshop tutorial
  1. Image menu in Photoshop

  2. Adjustments and gradient map

  3. Select a preset from the Photoshop preset picker panel and select dither etc as required. Click OK

  4. Or go to the layer menu and new adjustment layer

  5. Select the gradient map and select a preset there

Video tutorial on the subject by (youtube)


Best option is to use the adjustments via the layer menu and use them as adjustment layers and then the map is a live and non destructive effect which can be tweaked and modified at any point in the creative process.


You can also convert any layer or image or text into a smart object and use the image menu adjustments to add the mapping as a live color effect to the smart object. The smart object can also have other effects and live filter effects attached and the results of the colorful effects can be removed or disabled at any point.


You can create your own presets or you can obtain additional presets and they can be used to apply super colorful effects, black and white effects, surreal effects and many more to any number of images as well as underlying layers and text / type images


Buy $9.95 32,000 Colorful presets for use with the feature in this article, they can also be used with other tools such as GRD in PS and PS Elements. All for commercial use gallery



The tool maps the tones of the image to the presets. The darkest parts of the image will be mapped to the far end of the stops; the lightest parts of the image will be mapped to the other end of the preset stops. Of course, the preset can have more than just two stops (and many of the basic presets are often two stop presets) and you can use this to create truly surreal effects simply by going to the presets picker for the current added layer and then changing the stops and adding new ones and removing existing ones (see our other tutorials for the editing of the presets)


If you have a slightly blurry image, the effect can often create some truly weird and wonderful surreal color effects in seconds


The HDR feature as well as camera raw is pretty useful in combined with the effect especially as you can add some interesting color blurring effects which can then be combined with the GM effect. If you want to create more subtle color effects with the GM then probably sticking with a sharp image and only a few stops in the preset


Another good thing about using the GM as a layer is that the layer can be blended using different blending modes such as difference and the result of the blending can radically change the image as well as the underlying layers and text / type. The blending can be changed at any time via the blending mode dropdown in the layers panel. You can also change the layer's opacity


The generated layer can also have a mask added so the effect can be changed for one part of the image and the rest of the image will have no color effect applied at all. You can change the mask at any point via the layer menu such as disabling it. You can also use tools such as the brushes to add to the mask of the mapping so more or less of the color effect is displayed. If you have a super colorful image and you want the color effect to turn the image into a black and white image in part of the image then apply the black and white preset via the dropdown and then create a layer mask via the layer menu and add black or gray to the image to change the amount of black and white colorization added to the image.


You can apply multiple color layers to the artwork and they can then be modified at any point. You can also re-order all the layers so the color manipulation can be changed at any point. You can also remove the layers at any point as well as well as disable them (so they are still there but just not reflected in the end result)


You can use the feature with timelines and videos. Simply change the video timeline into a smart object via the layer menu and smart objects command and then apply the effect to the video and the entire video can have a totally amazing color effect added in seconds. The rendering of the video is relatively quick compared with adding an effect such as a blur which changes more than the color of the pixel.


As a layer, the GM can be modified further by layer effects such as adding bevels and satin and glow effects to the color changes and shifts.


The result of the color shifts as a layer can also be exported via the color LUT export and the result can be used in other applications.


Please check out our videos section / tutorials on youtube to find out more about this powerful feature in PS and also to see a lot of examples how they can be added to images etc


Keywords: How to use gradient map adjustments in Photoshop tutorial


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