I was working on a demo this week, and found a much better way of applying a standard set of Photoshop Adjustment layers to an image. I’ve been working for a while on a certain look to my images that I always apply at the end of a Lightroom edit, in Photoshop CC. Historically to apply the effect, i’ve opened up a previous .PSD file with the same adjustments and dragged the adjustments across manually. Doing this takes a little bit of additional time, as the file is over 600mb. Also, the files exist on my Photo computer, but sometimes need to use another computer as well (this means i need to copy the file across, which also takes time).
You can see below that there are multiple Layer Adjustments with defined groups in the layers panel (two groups). These are the effects that I use for my images to give a platinum and palladium effect. Most of my images come into Photoshop from Lightroom, once the basic image balance has been achieved. Once in Photoshop CC and the effects have been added, i then use the Lightroom Smart Object and re-adjust the Lightroom settings using the Camera RAW engine inside Photoshop CC.
Ideally I would like to store the layer adjustments centrally, in their defined groups. CC Libraries now allows me to do this.
(CC Libraries can store a multitude of things, from Layers, to shapes, 3D objects, Fuse animations etc etc)
In the example above, each group can be dragged to the Library and Photoshop will automatically store this data for me (as a Smart Object, see below). These groups are clearly labeled in the Libraries panel, using the name of the group that was added.
Of course, with a system of more than one group, it can lead to confusion (especially if i shared this technique with another Creative Cloud member). So a better way would be to store a single group with these groups inside of it.
I can place these two groups inside another group, by selecting them using the CTRL (PC) or CMD (mac) keys and select “New Group from Layers” (Pink), (from the fly out menu, marked in yellow), then give the new Group a meaning full name (red).
A new single Group layer, containing the adjustments in the correct order will be shown, called in my case “Platinum Palladium Tone”. Once this has been created, it can be dragged to the Libraries panel. Once it’s been dragged, Photoshop will automatically place it into a Smart Object (for safe keeping) and will be available where ever this library is (either private, or shared with collaboration, or shared by a link to another person).
To use this effect on another image, the object can be just dragged whilst holding down the ATL key into the canvas, Photoshop will automatically extract the contents and place the groups and adjustments into this document (ALT must be used to apply the layer adjustments, because by default a Smart Object will be used to apply the adjustment, however, layer adjustments can’t be applied outside of a Smart Object).
This is a another great feature that is available as part of the Creative Cloud subscription (Photography plan and Creative Cloud Complete).