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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

Color grading with orange & teal effect in Adobe Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, this video we're going to look at Color Grading. Specifically, this kind of like orange teal, and washing out the blacks a bit. Color grading is just a generic term used to describe changing the colors of an image. On purpose, for an effect. It might be to change the mood to imply a time or a place. Like a look-up table, we'll do a couple of versions. This one here, starts like this, ends like this. We'll do a third one that's just a little harder. Let's do it now in Photoshop. 

From your 'Exercise Files', '06 Color', open up 'Color Grading 1'. Now in a previous tutorial I showed you the quick and dirty cheap trick to get the kind of blue yellow look, kind of a fashion look, and all it was is, in your 'Adjustments Panel', click on 'Curves'. Then just go to your 'Blue Channel', drag the light colors down, and the blacks up. You end up with this kind of, close, but not 100% there, to that kind of fashion look we're going for. We're looking for that orange and teal look. 

So I'm going to bend my curve, so I'm going to show you-- It's a longer process to get set up, but once you do have it set up, you can use it over and over again forever. Shout out to Web Flippy, who I learned this technique from, totally just dealing it. So most of the work is done in your Adjustments Panel. You can see I close Swatches just for this one. Double click the tab and it closes. Now what I want is the Channel Mixer. We're going to use a few of these ones in your Adjustment Panel, but I bet you, you've never used before. 

So 'Adjustments', 'Channel Mixer'. Hold up, Dan, hold up right there. So I've come back from the future. Because I get to the end of this tutorial, and there's a lot of clicking, dragging this, and lots of settings. And I said to you in the tutorial later on, you'll hear in a bit, that I should have written this down for you. So I've come back to stick it on screen for the entire tutorial. So you don't have to like pause, go and type, pause. So here it is here, I'm just going to kind of get the editor to add it to down here for the entire tutorial, somewhere. So it's not so hard. All right, get back to it, Dan. 

Whatever it says for Output Channel, switch it to green. Basically we want to flip green and blue over. So we want green to be 0, and blue to be 100. I just clicked on this first one, and tap down. So we flip those over, go to blue, do the same thing. I want to flip green and blue over, so green's now 100, and blue is 0. It looks weird until you click on the word down here, so you get the whole thing selected, and then play with the Blending Modes. Just kind of work your way through to find one. You can kind of start to see, when we darken, it's got that kind of orange and teal glow to it already, only a bit extreme so I'm going to go through, and just find one that works for you. 

We like that light, it's kind of washed out. I need to fill in some of the other colors. So you might be happy just with that, let's go a bit further. We're going to add another adjustment, and it's this one here, it's called Selective Color. Switch it from here to Reds, it's probably Reds by default. Lift the cyan up about midway, and crank the yellows up. Pretty much all the way up, and to fill up those mid-tones let's go to 'Neutrals', and we're going to mess with just cyan and black. It's a cyan, if we lower it down, it's going to bring a bit more reds into the mid tones, less cyan. This will depend on your image as well. So don't be afraid to kind of go more or less, depending on what you're working with. I just kind of practice with this image. Play around with the blacks as well. That looks good for me. 

What I like about the orange and teal effect is that kind of old, remember my scanned photos from earlier on? They're kind of washed out black, that Instagram effect look. Because at the moment the blacks are too rich, I want this to feel old. Like it might have been shot in the 80s, that's the effect anyway. So we're going to go to "Adjustments', go to 'Levels', the easiest way is, this little slider down here that we don't use very much, that's just going to clip off and say, I don't want any really strong blacks. So turn the preview on and off, it depends, if you want kind of loose-- strong blacks. It's up to you, some of the whites, you can draw out those down a little bit as well. It's kind of like counter intuitive for photo retouching. 

We're trying to make the strong whites and strong blacks, but not for this effect, I feel. There is a bit of work getting it to here, like I've practiced this, it's only taken us a couple of minutes, you're going to have to pause the video, and type it all down, watch it a couple of times, but once you've done that, the cool thing about it is that you can just kind of open up another image. I'm going to open up Color Grading 2 and 3. Instead of having to type all that lot out I can go back to my original image, just have it open, select all three of these. Holding 'Shift', grabbing them all. Using my 'Move Tool', and just dragging them to this tab. Cool, huh? Easy. So, off, on. Same thing, dragging to this last one, and then let go. 

Now the settings that I did for this first photograph worked fine for it, the second one works pretty good too, this last one, not so much. It's kind of cool, so if you're looking to adjust it, the main culprit is this middle one here. This one gives you all of your adjustments. It's called Selective Color, and at the top here, you're going to mess with greens and neutrals, remember. So what worked for that first image needs to be changed here. You can see, it can kind of lowers the cyans here instead of raising them, because there's not much going on, yellows probably want to be still straight up, and the neutrals is going to give me a bit of adjustment here. So cyans left, cyans right, decide what you want it to be, blacks up, blacks down. And I like that better. 

Now the main trouble with this one is that there's not a lot of color information to get started with. So just know that more colorful images are going to end up with this, like really strong kind of orange and teal, you're going to have to probably lower it down. Lower the opacity of it, and this one here, because there's no color information, is going to be a little tough, but I think we kind of got the look there, maybe not the levels. 
All right, that is going to be it. Let's jump into the next tutorial.