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Turning RGB channels into layers

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  #1  
Old 03-21-2011, 08:56 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Turning RGB channels into layers

I needed to do this while experimenting on a file for another thread and found the technique was slipping from my memory and I had to look it up again. I thought I'd write it down here so I wouldn't forget.

This technique was invented by Richard Lynch for Elements users to be able to use channels, but it works just as well for Photoshop users who want to be able to make non-destructive channel changes.
  1. Duplicate your image and make sure it's flattened
  2. Fill duplicate's background channel with black
  3. Copy each RGB channel from the original channels panel and paste as a layer into the duplicate. Make sure you name each layer as you make it.
  4. Order the layers in the duplicate with R at the top, G in the middle, and B at bottom (above the black background layer).
  5. Add a Solid Color Adjustment layer to each of the RGB layers, clip it, and assign each with 255 in the color it's named after and zero for the other two (ie: the adj. layer for the Blue Channel layer will be 255,0,0)
  6. Set the blend mode for all 3 adj. layers to Multiply
  7. Set the blend mode for all 3 channel layers to Screen

See the attached screenshot to clarify.
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File Type: gif channels2layers.gif (25.1 KB, 172 views)
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:11 PM
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Re: Turning RGB channels into layers

Thanks for this one.
I use similar method for my color correction work (restorations), as a preliminary color adjustment before going to curves. I even have put together a flash panel with buttons to individually turn on/off channels or turn them on all (of course with a Retouchpro member’s help).
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File Type: jpg ChannelsBC.jpg (169.8 KB, 94 views)
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:35 PM
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Re: Turning RGB channels into layers

Excellent, thanks for sharing that. I wonder what other methods people have come up with to do this?
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Old 03-23-2011, 03:08 PM
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Tony W Tony W is offline
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Re: Turning RGB channels into layers

Thanks Doug for this. I occasionally use a similar method for B&W conversions. I find that it gives so much more flexibility than just the Channel mixer alone - it could be called Channel mixer on steroids. You can of course vary opacity of layers and blending mode, mask as required etc etc. Sometimes I also add channels from CMYK. And sometimes I get completely lost due to the flexibility of this method . Not needed IMO for all or even most conversions - but useful at times.

chillin, very impressed with your 'posh' buttoned flash panel. Scripting is something I have never tried in PS, but I now feel the urge to play . Any advice or could you point me in the right direction with links etc.

Regards
Tony
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:49 AM
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Re: Turning RGB channels into layers

I used "Configurator" with recorded actions that run every time a button is pushed. I had zero experience with it at that time.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:48 AM
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Re: Turning RGB channels into layers

I have another puzzle with me.
I've edited one photo and converted itto CMYK for the print.
I've disabled the two channels 1. yellow 2. cyan and black-magenta are enabled only, I like the colors, highlights/shdows and overall look of the image.


now I want to save this look in an JPG format how can I ?

see the screenshots for idea how i want it.

1st image is original, and second is what i want to convert into jpg after disable the two channels.
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File Type: jpg Original---1.jpg (99.2 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg Look-I-need.jpg (93.3 KB, 53 views)
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:27 AM
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Re: Turning RGB channels into layers

Create a new layer, fill it with white, go to the advanced blending options and disable the Magenta and Black channel (or just fill the C & Y channels of the background layer with white).
Now flatten, convert to RGB and save it :-).
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:55 AM
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Re: Turning RGB channels into layers

Chillin, Thank you. Configurator now downloaded, now for a new learning curve! - I am sure that I will be back to ask some questions and pick some brains
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:40 PM
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Re: Turning RGB channels into layers

Lobster is a Photoshop droplet that does this quickly.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:01 PM
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Re: Turning RGB channels into layers

Anything against "Split Channels" ?
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