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Make a quick and easy color swap with a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer

Added on Friday 2nd of March 2012 05:09 am EST

by Amy Palermo
Adobe Photoshop CS2/CS3/CS4/CS5
Operating Systems:
Macintosh, Microsoft Windows

I recall reading a tutorial in one of your issues a few years ago that explained how to brush on an image to change colors. That tutorial was interesting, but do you have any other suggestions? I’d prefer something that I can edit easily if I don’t like the color change.

I know exactly the tutorial you’re thinking of: “Make quick color changes using brushes in Photoshop” from the February 2009 issue. Well, there is actually another very easy, nondestructive way to make a color swap in your image, and that’s by using a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.
To follow along with our example, download the file from the URL given at the beginning of this article. Then extract the file hue_saturation.psd, launch Photoshop, and open the file shown in Figure A.

Before you begin, note that normally you would need to make a selection around the area you wish to change if you don’t want your edits to affect the whole layer. However, to speed up the process we’ve provided an alpha channel that you can load a selection from quickly.

To swap a color with a Hue/Saturation adjustment laye...