Brightness/contrast on a single layer

Dec 21, 2017

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I've been messing with adobe Photoshop CS6 using brightness/contrast, vibrancy, color, etc. and I've noticed that whenever I apply one, it applies to the layer I'm wanting as well as any layer below it. This is ok if I were to have two or three layers, but I'm getting to eightish, so it's causing any new layer to look very odd. I then must use extreme changes on these layers to get them how I want them, but then when I add another layer under it they apply again and change the new layer by those same extremes. I can't add any on top of previous layers because I would then need to adjust everything underneath it if I were to adjust a new layer on top. Is there a way to make changes to a single layer without having it affect any layer above or below it?

If you want an adjustment layer to apply to a single layer or a series of layers, but not have the effect cascade down and effect all layers, all you need to do is put the adjustment layer and the layers to be effected in a 'group' (select the layers and press ctrl-G or cmd-G on the keyboard).

Below is a layer panel with a contrast /brightness adjustment layer, an image, a shape layer and some layer effects all contained in a group called 'Contrast on a single layer' Note the blend mode says 'Pass through' Like this the contrast /brightness adjustment will effect everything whether in a group or not.

2.png

Change the blend mode of the group to 'normal' and then only the contents of the group are effected and not the layer marked Layer 0 here. It's as easy as that.

1.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 21, 2017

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That's how the layer system works. From the Top down. If you want to view a layer below the one you applying those setting to you have to hide that layer by click the Eye Icon to turn it off.

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Dec 21, 2017

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Well that's not very helpful... I mean thank you for telling me that, but it's not very useful for it to be that way. It would have been better to have created it so that one could apply a setting to a particular layer alone. I can see how it would be useful the way it is, but Adobe should've made it so it could do both.

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Dec 21, 2017

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Wait, just to be clear, are you saying I cannot apply a brightness/contrast to one particular layer on its own?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 21, 2017

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Yes it is applied to that layer only but show in all the layers below it.

A screen shot would help as mentioned above.

That is how the layer system works. Like if you were to use tracing pager, or clear film paper, on top of some type of drawing. You trace over the drawing on the tracing, clear film, paper to make what is below it look different. If you want what is below it you remove the tracing, clear film, paper, IE Turn Off the layer above it.

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Dec 21, 2017

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What are you talking about exactly?

Could you please post a screenshot taken at View > 100% and with the pertinent Panels (Layers, Channels, Options Bar, …) visible?

Adjustment Layers can be Clipping Masked to a Layer so they only affect that and not the other lower ones.

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Dec 21, 2017

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My work is private as it is of my family and friends. I'd prefer not to post it on the internet. How do you do Clipping Masked?

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Dec 21, 2017

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Ok... Google saved the day. Problem solved. Just used Clipping Mask.

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Dec 21, 2017

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If you want an adjustment layer to apply to a single layer or a series of layers, but not have the effect cascade down and effect all layers, all you need to do is put the adjustment layer and the layers to be effected in a 'group' (select the layers and press ctrl-G or cmd-G on the keyboard).

Below is a layer panel with a contrast /brightness adjustment layer, an image, a shape layer and some layer effects all contained in a group called 'Contrast on a single layer' Note the blend mode says 'Pass through' Like this the contrast /brightness adjustment will effect everything whether in a group or not.

2.png

Change the blend mode of the group to 'normal' and then only the contents of the group are effected and not the layer marked Layer 0 here. It's as easy as that.

1.png

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Jan 05, 2019

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Thank you for this detailed and easy to follow answer!  This is just what I was looking for.

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Jan 05, 2019

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My pleasure, very glad it helped.

Terri S

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 21, 2017

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You could also just use Image > Adjustments, although you would lose the ability to update the settings without starting over. You'd want to make a duplicate of the layer first, and do the adjustments on that.

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