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Chapter 11. Adjustment Layers > Potential Problems

Potential Problems

Working with Adjustment Layers is usually a trouble-free experience. Having said that, there are a few areas where Adjustment Layers can cause unexpected problems:

  • If you drag an image along with its Adjustment Layers to another document, the Adjustment Layers will affect the entire destination document. To prevent this problem, use the techniques I mentioned earlier in this chapter (like Clipping Masks) to limit which layers are affected by the Adjustment Layers before you drag them to the destination document (If the background image is the one being adjusted, you'll have to change its name before using it as part of a Clipping Mask).

  • Be careful when changing the color mode of your image (like RGB to CMYK). Certain Adjustment Layers will not make the transition and others will produce different results. For that reason, it's best to flatten your image before changing the mode.

  • If you've decided to work with 16-bit images in Photoshop, but need to end up with an 8-bit version, be sure to flatten the image before making the conversion. If you retain the layers, they will be recalculated using the 8-bit version of the image, which will cause you to lose any quality difference you would have had from working with a 16-bit image. Flattening the image will cause the adjustments to be applied to the full 16-bits of data, which will produce a higher quality 8-bit result.

  • You have to be careful when retouching an image that contains Adjustment Layers, otherwise you might cause the adjustments to apply to the image twice. For more information about how to avoid this problem, check out Chapter 17, “Workflow.”

  • It's often difficult to make radical adjustments to isolated areas without causing an obvious transition between the adjusted area and the surrounding image (Figures 11.70 and 11.71). This problem can often be remedied by placing an empty layer at the top of the layers stack and then retouching the transition area with the Healing brush. That will blend both sides of the transition to create a smooth blend (Figure 11.72)

    Figure 11.70. Original unadjusted image. (©2005 iStockPhoto.com)

    Figure 11.71. The result of applying a radical adjustment.

    Figure 11.72. The result of healing the transition area.



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