How to use color channels and gradients in Photoshop tutorial

How to use color channels such as red, green etc independently etc and Photoshop gradients in CC 2018 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc to create wonderful color designs

Color channels and Photoshop gradients

how to use color channels and Photoshop gradients tutorial
  1. Go to the Photoshop channels panel (window menu)

  2. Select one of the channels and select the Photoshop gradients tool in toolbar

  3. Apply the gradient to the color channel

  4. Go to another (such as green channel in the channels panel)

  5. Apply the same gradient or perhaps a different color effect to the another Photoshop channel

  6. Go back to RGB

Video tutorial on the subject by (youtube)


You can use gradients in RGB (CMYK etc) as well as separate color channels such as red and green etc.


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Mention RGB throughout this document but you can do much the same with CMYK LAB etc


The key panel is the channels. Select the red entry to work just in the red with the presets. Select the green to work with the presets in the green. You can use the presets in RGB and you can just use them in the red etc and ignore the rest. You can use the presets more than once in the red a or the green or the blue and then combine the results with different blending modes in the red and green and blue. If you are using CMYK, then it will be cyan / magenta etc


circular design

You can manipulate the results of the presets by using adjustments. You can use many different adjustments to manipulate the blending such as invert, levels and curves etc but you will notice that as soon as you click the red entry many of the adjustments will no longer be available such as vibrance, mixer etc


Also, many effects can be added to the individual entries and the presets such as applying a blur to the red but not to the blue entry or green. Or a poster edge effect to the green and not to the red or blue. Not all effects can be used in this way and the following are plugins that cannot be used

1) Adaptive wide angle

2) Lens correction

3) Vanishing Point

4) Blur gallery

5) Oil paint

6) Flame

7) Picture frame

8) Tree etc


blue light

You can also split the RGB file into individual files for the red and green etc


Why do this ??? well if you have add the effects and you want to add an effect or two and suddenly find that effect is not available in the red or green etc then the quickest way around that is just to use the split command with the RGB file.


Go to the panel and right side menu and use the split command


Once you split the RGB file, you get a new file with the red and a new one with the green and a new one with the blue and then you can merge them all back together again or if you wish, merge them all back but with red using the green file and the green using the blue and the blue using the red, it is all up to you - though that is not totally true as the merge is quite fussy in that it allows you to only use them once only. When you split them into files, you get the artwork in grayscale so if you want to add an effect such as stylize oil paint tool then you will have to convert the artwork into RGB and then add the effect.


One trouble with the split is that it is very much trial and error as the artwork is now spread over three or four different images and where the middle point etc is purely by eye though to make it easier you could could use a grid of guide lines via the new guide layout and use the same guide layout in each.


If you are using the red file, you can also convert that to an RGB file (via the image menu and mode and RGB) and then you can then split that as well and repeat the same approach multiple times before merging the whole lot together.


To merge them back into a single file, go to the red file (or green etc) and then go to the panel and right side menu and merge command. Select the mode etc and select the files and click OK


Sadly, you cannot bring another image into the mix though, of course, you could simply bring in another image into one of the channels and then merge them. Often there is a work around for some odd limitations (I guess it may be a size issue but if the image is the same size as the original, surely it would not matter). If you have converted a grayscale image to an RGB, you will have to also convert it back to grayscale before you can use it in the merge as well. You can also modify the end result even more with tools such as adjustments so as color lookup


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