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Learn how to create a grayscale gradient with the adjustment layer in Adobe Creative Suite 2.
Tags:adobe creative suite 2,cs2,grayscale gradient,indesign,layer,photoshop,total training
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I have decided at this point in time that I actually want a black and white image in here, I didn't want color. I like the fact that we made this the size that we have and we have got the alignment right and everything else. But we want to change this to black and white, but maybe not permanently. Maybe we just want to use a black and white version for preview and then at the end if we decide to go back to color, it could be quite drastic if we actually deleted all of the color from this file and couldn't get it back and we also want to avoid saving multiple versions of this file on the hard drive.
So here is a really neat way we can get around it and this is essentially the reason that we save this as a Photoshop document and nothing else. Go ahead and select the image, hold down your Option key or your Alt key on the PC and double-click it to launch it back again inside Photoshop. What you have done there is a command called Edit Original. You can do this will Illustrator files and Photoshop files at any time and we will do so throughout the course of this training.
Now once again, let's hit the F key just to locate this in the center of the screen and hide all the mess in the background and let's come down to the Layers Palette on the right-hand side here. Like I said, we don't want to convert this file to grayscale because we will lose all of its color. At the same time converting it to grayscale never really does a good grayscale. So this is one of the very quick shortcut ways that you can do it inside Photoshop, little trick for you.
If you come down to the bottom of the Layers Palette, I will just move this up so we can see it. You have this small icon which opens up the ability to create an Adjustment layer. Adjustment layers are cool because they allow you to color adjust without committing the file to being changed like that. So we can add things like Hue/Saturation, Levels all of these different color changes but nondestructively.
What we are going to do though, is come down and choose Gradient Map. Now this is quite cool because it uses a standard gradient, in this case, black to white and converts the color of the background file to follow that gradient from light to dark. Now in this case, it's going in the opposite direction. We have actually created it back to front. So if this is the case and you are seeing a negative image, simply hit Reverse and it comes the other way around.
Now you can see that it does look quite dark, the image has got little bit more detail here in the background. What we could do is maybe lightening up the face a bit and also adding a little bit more contrast.
Well, another great reason for using a Gradient Map. You wouldn't really be able to do that nondestructively if you just converted the file to grayscale. What we will do is click anywhere on this gradient here inside the window to bring up the main Gradient Editor and what you will see is a sliding bar here that shows us the color we are currently using.
Now what we will do is select any one of these items across the bottom. This gives us the white Color Stop which is at the lighter end of the scale, this gives us the black on the darker end and this is the item that we are going to effect. This is the midpoint skew. This is where the gray value is stored. Don't forget that's now directly relating to the grayscale values in our image.
So if we grab that central point and either push it slightly towards the white point, that will increase the amount of black that's in the image, and make the image darker. If we take it the other way and push it out, then it will also lighten the central gray areas by adding a bit more white into them. So a really neat little way to do this.
We can also increase the darkness by dragging in the black point on the right-hand side. You see that just gives us a little bit more contrast in the dark areas. If you now go ahead and click OK and then click OK again, remember that nothing we have done there is permanent. If we come over here, we can turn off that layer and turn it back on again at any time we want to.
Now we are going to leave it set to black and white for now. What we have to do now is press Command+S or Ctrl+S on the PC to Save that file, close it down. If we now jump back across into InDesign, you can see an immediate update using that brand new Adjustment layer in the original Photoshop file which saves a lot of time when you are jumping back and forth between color and black and white versions of the same file.