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Chapter 13. Gradients > To apply a gradient map to a layer:

To apply a gradient map to a layer:

1.
Choose a layer.

2.
Choose Gradient Map from the “Create new fill or adjustment layer” pop-up menu at the bottom of the Layers palette.

You can also apply the gradient map directly to a layer by choosing Image > Adjustments > Gradient Map, but we prefer the adjustment layer approach because it offers more flexibility. A gradient map that is applied directly to an image layer can’t be reedited or removed.

3.
Click the Gradient arrowhead to open the gradient picker, then click a preset gradient.

4.
Click the gradient thumbnail to open the Gradient Editor.



5.
Do any of the following optional steps:

Change the starting and/or ending stop colors.

Add more color stops to the middle of the gradient ramp to add color to the midtone areas of the image. For example, if your gradient contains four color stops, the layer will contain four major color transition areas.

Move any of the color stops to change the distribution of colors within the layer’s tonal range

6.
Click OK.

7.
Optional: Check Dither to have random noise be added to color transitions in the layer to help prevent color banding.

8.
Optional: Check Reverse to reverse the direction of the gradient colors. This will reverse the color distribution in the layer.

9.
Click OK .


Gradient map effect



Gradient map effect



Gradient map effect


To reedit a gradient map at any time, double-click the gradient map layer thumbnail on the Layers palette.

Tip

To heighten the contrast in the colors produced from a gradient map adjustment layer, create an adjustment layer > Posterize command using four, five, or six levels, then restack the posterize layer between the image layer and the gradient map layer.



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