Control Producer’s Adjustment Layers

An adjustment layer will inevitably alter every layer beneath it, including the background. True or false?

It’s false. If you place an adjustment layer inside a mask, you can control what’s affected. Just one rule: First set up the mask and the layers it controls, and set up the adjustment layer last. Here’s how:

In the Layer Settings tab…

  1. Add a solid color or gradient to a blank slide to serve as a background.
  2. Add 3 photos above the background, sizing and placing them so all are visible.
  3. Add a white color solid, making it layer 1, and turn it into a mask.
  4. Drag the masking bracket down so it includes only the 1st and 2nd photos.
  5. Select the 1st photo and then add another white color solid so it becomes layer 2.
  6. Turn layer 2 (the solid) into an adjustment layer. See how photo 3 and the background are excluded from the adjustment?

Layer Setup:

Layer setup

In the Adjustments tab…

  1. With the adjustment layer (layer 2) selected, move the Hue slider while watching the preview. The third photo and the background are untouched.
  2. For fun, play with all the sliders with the exception of Opacity, which merely reduces an adjustment layer’s effects.


Before Adjustment

Just a subtle change to spark up the color:

After Adjustment

Why bother? Well, because you can quickly make identical changes to a gang of images, doing it with one layer rather than laboriously altering each member of the gang.

If you want to, you can have more than one masked adjustment in a slide, but you must follow the rule: Set up each mask with its layers before adding the adjustment layer.

Here’s another neat use for adjustment layers: Create Photo Drawings.

Published in: on April 4, 2013 at 8:43 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. Wonderful. Thank you , Barbara.

    • Bill, you’re more than welcome.

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