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Apply a Trendy Moody Color Grade in Photoshop [Also Works with Lightroom!]

September 13, 2019


Hi, welcome back to the photoshoptrainingchannel.com. I’m Jesus Ramirez. In this video, I’m going to show you how to
create a moody color grade effect in Photoshop. I’ve been seeing this effect a lot lately
on Instagram. I’m not sure who created it or what it’s called,
but it’s an effect that has been requested often on the channel. In this tutorial, you will learn how to use
the Camera Raw Filter to create a color grade. The controls in Camera Raw are the same as
the ones found in Adobe Lightroom, so you can follow along with Lightroom if you like. The effect that we’re going for is a cold
dark blue where the main subject is either brown or orange to contrast with the blue,
but once you learn the techniques in this tutorial, you can use whatever colors you
like on your color grades. Before we get started, I quickly want to mention
that I have been streaming live for Adobe. I’ve been at the Adobe San Francisco studios
doing daily Photoshop creative challenges. I recommend watching those live tutorials
and following along with your images, and then submitting them to your Behance page. I’ll place a link to all my live presentations
with Adobe down below in the description. Okay, let’s get started. This is the image that we’re going to work
with, and the first step is going to be to right click on the Layer and select Convert
to Smart Object. That is going to put this layer into a smart
object, which is sort of a container that allows you to apply nondestructive effects,
filters, and adjustments. That means that we can always come back and
make adjustments later if we need to. Then I’m going to go into Filter, Camera Raw
Filter. If you’re following along with Lightroom,
the layout is going to be different, but the controls are the same, so you can find these
same controls in Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic CC. The first step is to make the image just a
little darker, so I’m going to bring down the exposure to bring down the overall brightness
of the image. The effect that I’m going for does not have
a lot of contrast, so I’m going to reduce the contrast, so I’ll set it to negative 15,
and by the way, the values that I’m using in this tutorial are all based on this image. Your image might require different values. You can use these values as a starting point,
but fine tune them accordingly so that they work for the image that you’re using. This is a darkening effect, so I’m going to
reduce the highlights and I’ll set them down to about negative 25, and I’ll also make the
shadows darker. And I’ll do the same for the whites, which
is the brightest pixels in the image, and I’ll make the blacks, which are the darker
pixels in the image just a little bit darker. Before I continue making other adjustments,
I’m going to click over into this icon here, which is the Tone Curve. I have the Point tab selected, which means
that I can click and drag and create points on the curve to adjust the brightness of the
image. So the first thing that I’m going to do is
simply click on this bottom point, and I can use the up arrow key on the keyboard to nudge
it up and fine tune it, so this is telling Photoshop that the darkest point will no longer
be 100% black. It would just be a dark gray which will give
it the flat look that we’re going for. Then I’m going to do the same thing for the
white point. I’m going to click on that, and I don’t want
the brightest point on the image to be white, so I’m just going to tap on the down arrow
key to make the brightest point of the image an off-white. Then I’m going to create a little bit of contrast
by clicking on this point that I created and dragging it down right about here, and I’m
going to create another point, and I’m going to move it over right about here, and I’m
just giving the image just a little bit of contrast as you see here, and this is more
or less where I want it. If I click on this icon, you can see the before
and the after. I just made the image flat, but I still have
contrast in it and we have a lot of detail. I’m going to go back into the basic adjustments,
and I’m going to continue editing these settings down here. I’m going to increase the clarity, which is
the contrast in the mid tones, just to give the fur a little more pop, and I’m going to
increase the vibrance, which is a smart way of adding saturation to an image. Vibrance protects already highly saturated
pixels and skin tones. And I’ll reduce the overall saturation of
the image to create this effect that you see here. This is before and after. Now we’re going to work with the HSL adjustments,
the Hue, Saturation, and Luminance adjustments, and we’re going to use the HSL sliders to
get the background ready to apply the blue toning effect, the blue color grade. Now, it’s really important to note that the
hue really won’t make a difference in some of the colors, in the yellows, green, and
aquas. I can adjust those, but at the end, it’s not
going to matter because I’m going to desaturate those colors in the saturation tab. So let me show you what I mean by that. I’m going to click on the saturation tab,
and these sliders control the saturation of the colors that you see there, and what we
want to do is make the background, which is mostly green, gray. That way, we can apply the blue toning effect. So I’m going to bring the saturation of the
yellows, green, and aquas to negative 100. I’m also going to adjust the saturation of
the reds. I’m actually going to increase them, which
is going to affect the squirrel. It’s going to make the squirrel pop a little
bit, and that’s what we want. We want the squirrel to stand out. So there’s a lot of reds in the squirrel,
so you can see how that makes the squirrel pop just a little bit. There’s also oranges, of course, so I’m just
going to increase that as well, just so that the squirrel stands out just a little bit
more, something like that. And again, you may be working with objects
in your image that are different colors, so these settings will be dependent on the color
of the objects of your image, so adjust them accordingly. There’s hardly any blues in this image, but
I’ll reduce them anyway. Next, I’m going to adjust the luminance of
the image, and I’m going to make the oranges a bit darker, which is going to affect mainly
the squirrel. Then I’m going to make the greens way, way
darker, so it’s going to make the background darker. See that? See how I’m adjusting the greens and the background
gets darker? I just want the background to be dark so that
the squirrel stands out. Then I’m going to reduce the aquas as well,
and that is just mainly affecting the highlight on these leaves that you see here. Next, I’m going to start applying the actual
color grade to this image. For that, I’m going to click on the Split
Toning icon. Split toning allows us to apply a color to
the highlights and a different color to the shadows. In this case, we don’t have to worry about
the highlights, but we do have a lot of shadows that we want to apply that blue toning effect. This is really what’s going to create the
color grade effect for this tutorial. Everything we’ve done thus far is simply getting
the image ready so that we can apply this effect, and I’m going to start with the hue. It simply means what color are we going to
make the shadows, so I’m going to click and drag it over to this blue area to get a blue
color. Then I can increase the saturation. How intense will this blue be? I think this looks good. Notice how we applied the color grade effect
to the shadows of the image, which is mainly the background. The problem we have now is that it looks a
little too dark, so what I need to do is adjust the balance so that the right areas of the
image have the blue shadow tone applied to it, so this is really telling Photoshop what
areas are considered shadows. So I’m going to increase the balance pretty
high. I’m going to push that up to right about 80
just so that we get some of those browns back on the squirrel, and then I can continue adjusting
the image. I’m going to click on the Adjustment Brush
icon, which allows me to paint adjustments, so I’m going to paint adjustments on the squirrel. Before I do anything, I’m going to click on
this icon to reset the local correction settings. That puts all the settings to zero, and what
I’ll do is I’ll click on the Mask icon, just so that I can see where I’m painting on. So I’m just going to start painting over the
squirrel. It’s okay to go over the line. We can always come back and edit any adjustment
that we make. So I’m just going to paint over the squirrel
like so. Then I can click on Erase and paint over the
areas that are touching the background, like the area in between his ears and his back. If I want to add to the selection, I can just
click on Add, and then make the brush smaller and paint over these areas. Again, you don’t need a perfect selection,
and you can always fine tune it. That’s the great thing about working in Photoshop
and smart filters so that we can work nondestructively, and we can always come back and make adjustments. Now I’m going to uncheck the mask, and we’re
going to start making adjustments. I’m going to start by increasing the temperature
so that we get more brown on the squirrel. Then I’m going to increase the exposure so
that we brighten him up a little bit. So I’m going to click and drag the exposure
to the right, and I’m going to reduce the highlights. I think the highlights are a bit strong, so
I’ll reduce those. Then I’m going to increase clarity, which
again is contrast in the mid tones and is going to make him pop just a little more. I’m going to add some saturation and I’m going
to add sharpness. Whenever you add sharpness to an image, make
sure that you’re in the 100% view so you can accurately see what is going on. Any other view can be misleading, and I’m
going to add quite a bit of sharpness. I just want that squirrel to really stand
out. Then I’m going to change this into the Fit
in View mode so that I can see the entire image, and now I’m just going to add some
highlights. I’m going to click on the New button, and
I’m just going to paint over his face. I’m going to tap on the right bracket key
on the keyboard to make a larger brush, so I’m just painting over his face, painting
over his leg, and maybe a little bit on the tail like so, and what I’m going to do is
simply reset those adjustments because I’m reapplying the same adjustments that
I applied before. These are sticky settings, so I need to reset
those so that I can apply new settings. Notice that as soon as I reset those settings,
everything goes back to default, and I can now simply adjust the exposure just to make
those areas just a little bit brighter, like so. When you’re done, you can simply press Okay,
and you’ll see the adjustments that you applied. If you want to go back and make adjustments,
you can click on the Camera Raw Filter label, and that will bring up the Camera Raw Filter
again, and you can make adjustments. One of the adjustments that I can make now
is click on the FX icon and add a vignette. I’m just going to click and drag the vignette
slider to the left just to add a vignette to the image. And I’m also going to add a little bit of
grain. I’m going to zoom in just so you can see why. If I zoom in, you’ll notice that there’s not
much grain in the image. It just looks too smooth, too flat, and that’s
not aesthetically pleasing to me, so I’m just going to add a little bit of grain just to
break up that smoothness, and I think that looks better, before and after. I’ll press Okay, and those effects are applied
to my image. And by the way, let me know if you like this
effect by clicking on that Like button now. At this point, all you need to do is fine
tune the image, and just get it looking the way that you want it to. There is no right or wrong settings. All of these settings are subjective, so you
can go darker, you can go lighter, you can use a different color, anything that looks
good to your eye. If you want to learn more about color grading,
then check out my video on cinematic color grading. I’ll place a link right below in the description. If you decide to create something using the
techniques that you learn in this tutorial, then don’t forget to share your results on
Instagram with the #ptcvids. I would love to see what you came up with. And if this is your first time at the Photoshop
Training Channel, don’t forget to click on that subscribe and notification buttons so
that you’re notified whenever I release a new tutorial. Thank you so much for watching. I’ll talk to you again in the next video.

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