What you learned: How to work with adjustment layers and clipped adjustments in Photoshop on your iPad
All adjustments to color and tone in Photoshop on your iPad are made with adjustment layers. This guarantees your edits won’t directly or permanently change your content.
Start with a selection
Normally an adjustment layer impacts all visible parts of the layers below it in the Layers panel. You can limit which area is affected by selecting that area before creating an adjustment layer.
- In either Compact Layers or Detailed Layers view, tap the layer you want to adjust to highlight that layer.
- Use any of the selection tools to select the area to adjust.
Add an adjustment layer
- In the Task bar on the right, press and hold the Plus icon.
- Tap Adjustment layer in the flyout menu.
- Tap the type of adjustment layer you want, such as Hue/Saturation. This adds a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer above the highlighted layer in the Layers panel. It also opens the Layer Properties panel with controls for this adjustment layer.
- Notice the black and white mask on the adjustment layer. On the layer mask, the area you selected is white, and the area you did not select is black.
- In the Layer Properties panel, drag the Hue adjustment control. This changes the color of only the area you had selected—the area that is now white on the layer mask.
Brush on the layer mask
Another way to control which areas are affected is to brush on the layer mask with white or black.
- Tap the Brush tool in the Toolbar.
- In the vertical Brush Options bar, swipe up or down on the color chips to set the top color chip to white.
- With the layer mask active in the Layers panel, brush over another area to add white to another part of the layer mask. This displays the color adjustment in that area too.
Create a clipped adjustment layer
If you want an adjustment layer to affect only the layer directly below it in the Layers panel, rather than all layers below it, create a clipped adjustment layer.
- In the Layers panel, tap the layer you want to adjust.
- In the Layer Properties panel, tap Add clipped adjustment.
- Choose a type of adjustment layer, such as Levels. This creates a Levels adjustment layer and clips it to the layer directly below. The bent arrow icon on the adjustment layer tells you it is clipped.
- In the Layer Properties panel, drag the sliders directly under the Levels histogram to adjust brightness and contrast in only the layer to which the adjustment layer is clipped.
Tip: You can also clip an adjustment layer after you create it. With an existing adjustment layer selected, tap the Clipping icon in the Task bar to clip that adjustment layer to the layer below it.
Note: One use of a Levels adjustment layer is to help blend layers together in a composite. To try this, select a top layer that contains an image with a light background and that is located above a darker layer. In the Layer Properties panel, tap the Blend Mode menu and choose the Multiply blend mode to try to hide the light background on the top layer. If that background is still visible, tap Add clipped adjustment in the Layers panel and choose Levels. This creates a Levels adjustment layer that is clipped to the top layer. In the Layer Properties panel, drag the white slider under the histogram to the left. This pushes the background on the top layer to pure white and hides it from view due to the blending effect of the Multiply blend mode.
Adobe Stock contributors: kichigin19, andrii27
Illustrator: Seán Duggan
Instructor: Jan Kabili