How to Change All Layers of Color in Photoshop

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In Photoshop, a layer is a distinct “image” that can be edited and manipulated on its own without having any effect on other layers. Image layers are all part of the same image, meaning they overlap or “layer” on top of each other to form the overall image. In order to change all of the layers at the same time, a “top” layer must be created, such as a fill layer. To change color, channel, hue and the levels of all layers at the same time, you will need to merge them before performing the action.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Photoshop CS2, CS3 or CS4

Change Each Individual Layer

  • Access each layer. To view the layers in a document, there should be a “Layers” tab on the tool pallet to the right of the screen. If you do not have tool bars set to the screen, select the “Window” tab on the top menu bar and select “Layers” from the drop down menu, or simple press F7 to open the layers window.

  • Adjust the Hue/Saturation of each color layer. To change the Hue/Saturation of color, select a layer to work with, then access the “Image” tab on the top menu bar. Choose "Adjustments > Hue/Saturation." When the Hue/Saturation window appears on the screen, adjust each color level by using the hue slider to achieve your desired tone. When finished press “OK.” Repeat with each level.

  • Change the channels of each color layer. As with Hue/Saturation, the Channel Mixer adjusts each level of color (red, blue and green channels). To adjust the channels, access "Image > Adjustments > Channel Mixer" and simply drag the slider under each channel until you have reached your desired color. Repeat with each level.

  • Create a top fill layer. In order for a fill layer to effect all layers in the image, it must be above all of the other layers. That is, in the layers window, it must be the first layer on the list. To create a new layer, click the “New Layer” button on the bottom of the layers window (a circle that is half black and half white). From the drop-down list, choose solid color and adjust the fill and opacity (whether you want solid, transparent or semi-transparent) until you reach the desired color. Repeat with each layer.

Change Layers Simultaneously

  • Select the “Layers” tab on the top menu bar. Scroll down and click either “Merge Layers” or “Flatten Image.” This will discard individual layer properties and create one single image in which all the layers act as one. Remember that when merging or flattening, the ability to edit and manipulate individual layers disappears as they become virtually locked.

  • Adjust the Hue/Saturation or Channel Mixer to change the color. Now when you adjust the color using the hue/saturation or channel mixer, it will apply the effects to the entire document (all the previous layers included). To do so, follow the steps outlined in Section 1, Steps 2-3 above.

  • Add a fill layer. As with adding a top fill layer in the previous section, a fill layer will add a color screen above the newly-merged single image, thus altering the color. To perform the action, follow the steps outlined in Section 1, Step 3 above.

References

  • Photo Credit Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images
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