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Activating color overlays with Photoshop Elements 12

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Activating color overlays with Photoshop Elements 12

Postby Maghdalena » Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:26 pm

I"m working on a project that was set up by a professional artist. It has several layers for sample backgrounds(It's a template) and 3 vector designs in layers. (done in Adobe Illustrator) with a transparent background. What I want to do is change the colors of the designs. I do *not* want to simplify it, but he told us about "Activating the color overlay feature"

How do you do that in Photoshop Elements? Can anyone walk me through the steps so I that I can go on to change the color of the objects, keeping them vector smart objects? How is this accomplished?

Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you for your time.
Sincerely yours,
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Re: Activating color overlays with Photoshop Elements 12

Postby Steve Grisetti » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:19 am

You can certainly use blending modes to shift the colors of things in your photos -- but is that really what you want to do?

You say you want to change the colors of the designs, but which I assume you mean the illustrator vectors your artist has provided you. And, if you want to change the colors of, say, a shape on a layer without affecting the color of any layer below it -- well, it gets a bit complicated. Especially because, when you paste the Illustrator shapes into Photoshop Elements, they'll no longer be vectors (I believe).

The easiest way to change the colors is in the Illustrator files. If the artist won't do that for you, you should subscribe to the Creative Cloud so you'll have access to Illustrator.

There are hybrid ways to sort of make changes to the files in Photoshop Elements, but it's nowhere near as neat nor as easy as simply making the changes to the original files.
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Re: Activating color overlays with Photoshop Elements 12

Postby Bob » Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:37 pm

Color Overlays are layer styles. I don't believe Photoshop Elements provides the capability to add that particular layer style. That's a feature of the professional Photoshop application. However, it's not difficult to achieve the effect by a different method.

In the layers panel, click on the layer you want to change. In the main menu, select Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color... In the New Layer dialog that appears, check the box that says “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” and click "OK". You will now get a color picker dialog. Select the color you want and click "OK".
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Re: Activating color overlays with Photoshop Elements 12

Postby Maghdalena » Thu Sep 29, 2016 1:54 am

Steve Grisetti wrote:You can certainly use blending modes to shift the colors of things in your photos -- but is that really what you want to do?

You say you want to change the colors of the designs, but which I assume you mean the illustrator vectors your artist has provided you. And, if you want to change the colors of, say, a shape on a layer without affecting the color of any layer below it -- well, it gets a bit complicated. Especially because, when you paste the Illustrator shapes into Photoshop Elements, they'll no longer be vectors (I believe).

The easiest way to change the colors is in the Illustrator files. If the artist won't do that for you, you should subscribe to the Creative Cloud so you'll have access to Illustrator.

There are hybrid ways to sort of make changes to the files in Photoshop Elements, but it's nowhere near as neat nor as easy as simply making the changes to the original files.


Steve, Yes, that's what I want to do; change the colors of the shapes, (It's a crescent, a star and a sickle). They'd all be the same color, but I want to vary the colors, like say a deep yellow or gold. And yes, I don't want to affect the color of any layer below it.

When you say pasting the Illustrator shapes(and it is an ai file, according to a really, really old Photoshop version-CS2. If by no longer being vectors, I assume you mean simplifying? I definetly don't want to do that .

It's not that the artist won't do that for us, but it's a matter of not having the cash for him to do it, finances being an issue.

As far as subscribing to the Creative Cloud, it's still a matter of finances right now, and the newer versions are not compatible with Vista which is what we have right now. We're working to get a new or refurbished computer with Windows 7 Professional, so that's really not on the table right now.

Thanks for the help, though and I'm starting to realize how complicated it is. I'm starting to think as a Photoshop newbie, I'm a little over my head, lol!

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Re: Activating color overlays with Photoshop Elements 12

Postby Maghdalena » Thu Sep 29, 2016 2:00 am

Bob wrote:Color Overlays are layer styles. I don't believe Photoshop Elements provides the capability to add that particular layer style. That's a feature of the professional Photoshop application. However, it's not difficult to achieve the effect by a different method.

In the layers panel, click on the layer you want to change. In the main menu, select Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color... In the New Layer dialog that appears, check the box that says “Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask” and click "OK". You will now get a color picker dialog. Select the color you want and click "OK".



Bob,

As far as Photoshop Elements not having the capability to add that particular layer style, I think I figured that out, lol!

As far as the work-around, the vector images have the fx style applied to them. I heard tonight in another forum, given a link, anyway, that you have to put the fx in the trash before you can do anything. As far as the clipping mask, what exactly is that, and does the clipping mean it won't be applied to the layers below? And can I work with a duplicate layer in case I "botch it up"?
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Re: Activating color overlays with Photoshop Elements 12

Postby Bob » Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:40 am

As far as the clipping mask, what exactly is that, and does the clipping mean it won't be applied to the layers below?


A clipping mask is a way for one layer to act as a mask to control what portions of a higher adjacent layer contribute to the image. When you clip two adjacent layers together, the upper layer of the two layers is clipped to the lower layer. Where the lower layer is transparent, the upper layer is too. When you add the new solid color fill layer checking the box to create a clipping mask, only the portion of the solid fill corresponding to the shape it's clipped to will show. It won't affect other layers below.

Also, you don't need to duplicate the layer before adding the solid color fill layer. That layer is not altered in any way. Instead, the process adds a new layer just above the selected layer. If you botch it, simply delete the added color fill layer and try again.

As for the fx style, you don't necessarily need to trash it. It depends on the exact layer styles that have been applied. Some layer styles work perfectly well with clipping masks, but some don't. Since it won't affect the original layer, I'd recommend trying the clipping mask and see how it looks. Trashing the Fx styles can change the appearance of the object. I wouldn't trash it unless it is absolutely necessary. Be sure to duplicate the layer to save it if you are going to trash the styles.

If you want upload a Photoshop file to Dropbox or similar service and post the address where I can download it in a Private Message to me, I'll take a look at it and let you know what layer styles are applied and whether there are any issues.
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