14 Photoshop adjustment tools to retouch your images

Create comic-book style effects

Comic-style effects are relatively easy to achieve in Photoshop

The adjustments aren’t there to improve what you already have in Photoshop. In some cases, they can transform your work in the same way that filters can. Three of these adjustments – the Invert, Threshold and Posterize tools – can be combined to create comic-style effects.

09. Use Threshold adjustment 

The Threshold adjustment tool is particularly interesting when used at al low Opacity

The Threshold adjustment consists of one balance slider. It turns colour or greyscale images into high contrast, black and white images, and produces interesting results when used at a low Opacity.

10. Get a low-fi effect with Posterize

Posterize can help create a low-fi effect

Posterize is similar to the Threshold tool, but offers you as many levels of colours as you wish. When used as a final flourish in an image, it provides a low-fi, comic book-style effect.

11. Invert your colours

The Invert tool does as the name suggests

The Invert tool inverts every pixel to the opposite colour and shade. It has no other options. When used on a low Opacity, it can provide you with a foggier, non-contrasted image.

Add final touches and use filters

Curves, Gradient Map or Color Lookup can change your image dramatically

At the end of almost any project, you’ll use one of three adjustments: Curves, Gradient Map or Color Lookup. You may even end up using all three, for they each give you tonal and colour editing abilities to either improve or completely change your painting.

12. Use Curves to alter tone

Curves can be used to change the colour channels in an image

Curves works by tweaking the strands in the graph, and as well as altering tone, you can use the drop-down menu to change the colour channels, such as red, green and blue in an RGB image.

13. Add filters

Everyone loves a good filter, right?

The Color Lookup filter gives you a range of preset filters that can change how your photos and artworks can look, ranging from Edgy Amber to Foggy Night, and even some specific camera model effects.

14. Use the Gradient Map to repaint your image

Achieve simple sophistication with Soft Light

By setting a colour for each shade in your image, the Gradient Map can repaint your image. It’s best used when set to Soft Light for a simple, yet sophisticated filter.

This article was originally published in issue 160 of ImagineFX, the world's leading digital art magazine. Buy issue 160 or subscribe here

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Mark is the techniques editor at Photoshop Creative magazine. He uses Photoshop almost exclusively, and has been using the software for over a decade.