How to use channels with Photoshop shapes tutorial

How to use Photoshop custom shapes with the powerful channels (red and green and blue) to create amazing color effects in CC 2018 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc.

Custom shapes and Photoshop color channels

how to use color channels and Photoshop custom shapes
  1. Select the custom shape / CSH tool

  2. Select color "channels" panel (from the Photoshop window menu if not visible)

  3. Select fill pixels (for shape) - top bar

  4. Select one of the channels only (say red)

  5. Apply current selected artwork

  6. Select green

  7. Apply current selected artwork (you don't have to use the same artwork), perhaps offset from red design (or smaller or apply effect as well)

  8. Click RGB on channel panel to return to standard RGB view in Photoshop


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Tutorial on the subject by (youtube)


You can apply custom shapes to the red or the green or the blue. You can apply to only a single red or green etc, you don't have to fill the blue etc. You can apply the artwork in different colors and to different positions as well as combine with different effects if available via the filter menu. You can apply the design once or multiple times. You can also add brush strokes to the artwork.


To change channels (no remote needed) select the required red or green etc and then apply the artwork in the current color


The vector CSH artworks can be added just as easily to the Lightness and A and B of LAB Image mode as well as the cyan and magenta etc of the CMYK image mode.


You can use the Lightness only and ignore the AB ones if you wish. This is not a tutorial about the LAB mode so the benefits of each mode is best left to another tutorial. You can use the LAB mode for all kind of vibrant color effects to your graphics.


There are sometimes situations when you wish to apply an effect to a design but that effect is not available in just the red or green or blue and in that situation, the easiest approach is to use the split command. You can split them into individual files via the right side menu of the panel.


The split command does not add the files as RGB etc but adds them as grayscale which is of little use if you wish to use the artworks with various effects that can only be used in RGB.


You can resolve that problem of the grayscale by going to each of the red and green files etc (or cyan and magenta) and changing the image mode to RGB via the image menu. You can then add effects such as oil paint or lens correction or adaptive wide angle etc as before. You can also additional vector paths to the artwork when using RGB so you can also add layer effects as well as adjustments and much more and again, all just for the red or green or blue (albeit as RGB until you re-merge all the files)


Note - If you have worked in RGB mode during the split, you will have to return the modes back to grayscale for all the images otherwise the merge command will be unavailable.


You can combine the red and green etc back in a different order, i.e red becomes blue and green becomes red and blue becomes green (you cannot use the same image twice though)


You can do much the same with type.


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