Photoshop’s Color Mapping Feature Creates Incredible Graphics

color mapping

Photoshop’s Color Mapping Feature Creates Incredible Graphics

How great an image looks and how well it communicates ideas largely depends on its color combinations. Photoshop contains features that allow you to alter the colors of an image to produce stunning effects. Knowing how to use these color mapping features well results in improved, or even entirely changed images. Here is a quick overview of the Photoshop color mapping features and how to use them.

Using the Adjustments Panel

It’s from this panel that you do almost all of the image’s color alterations. The panel consists of icons that, when clicked, take you to the specific adjustment tool. It’s highly recommended that you do not work from the adjustment menu. Instead, create a separate layer on which to carry out your color mapping; it will help you avoid making changes directly to the original image, which can affect its pixels. Clicking on an adjustment icon on this panel creates an adjustment layer automatically.

The Color Range Feature

This feature consists of a list of specific colors to be adjusted on a dialogue box, and a master option which allows for change of the entire color spectrum. The color hues range from 0 to 90 degrees, and you can select the colors by their names. A slider shows what color or colors are being altered, and a color ramp allows you to change color hues when dragged to the right or left. Dragging the ramp to the right increases the hue, while moving it to the left has the opposite effect.

The Hue and Saturation Feature

The Hue and Saturation panel contains various color changing tools and is the most used of all the color mapping features. By moving the sliders to the right, you can make the color wheel rotate in a clockwise direction to increase the hue or saturation on the colors of an image. Moving the slider to the left has an opposite effect.

The color alteration starts from 0 degrees to 180 degrees clockwise and -180 degrees in the counterclockwise direction. There are bars to indicate the color ranges and changes as you move the sliders. With this hue and saturation feature, you can essentially change the look of an image to be completely different from the original.

Using Gradient Maps

Gradient maps cover an image with colors of varying brightness from right to left. The value of brightness depends on the chosen gradient. Gradient maps produce images that are stunningly gorgeous and out-of-this-world. You can create and save the maps on the Gradient Editor.

To use a gradient map, click on its icon from the Adjustments Panel. A properties panel will come up. From it, select the gradient ramp icon. This will take you to the Gradient Map editor. From there, choose your preferred color from the Swatches panel. You will notice that your image changes every time you apply the gradient color map.

Limiting The Number of Colors On an Image

Having fewer colors in an image makes it look more attractive. You can limit image colors using the Posterize command or with the Posterize adjustment layer. If your image is an RGB, you would need to convert it to grayscale first before posterizing it. Using this color-limiting feature on an RGB image produces undesirable and unpredictable effects.

These color mapping operations can help you to produce exciting and communicative images. Use them alongside your creativity to give your images a touch of artistry and uniqueness. Real images can be boring, and a few modifications can help bring life back to them. Photoshop color mapping features allow you to do just that. Try out the various features and techniques until you get the image that fits your taste. Incredible graphics are just a touch of a button away when you have the perfect blend of software and expertise!

With over 50 years of combined experience in graphics and marketing, the Full Sail Graphics team is confident that we will deliver quality graphics on time and on budget. If you’re looking to invest in a versatile form of advertising, please feel free to give us a call at (714) 274-6706.