How to Create a Cinematic Effect Using Photoshop

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How to Create a Cinematic Effect Using Photoshop

Here you will learn on how to achieve a cinematic effect on your image in Photoshop. It can be done using color curve layers with some shortcuts using color adjustment layers and color lookup adjustment layers.

Color grading is an adjustment that is often used in film to give a particular cinematic effect. This method is for creating an effect rather than correcting an image that has a color cast. Before you start color grading an image, make your corrections and make sure your grays are neutral. Color grading with color curve layers gives you the most control and will give you the best final result but it can be a bit daunting for those who are new to Photoshop. If this method is overwhelming, start by mastering the use of selective color adjustment layers or the presets in a color lookup adjustment layer. Create a curve layer for luminosity and set your blend mode to luminosity. Similarly, create a curve layer for color adjustments and set your blend mode to color. Begin with your luminosity layer and drag the point in the shadows down to increase your shadows and drag your highlights point up to increase your highlights. This creates a higher contrast. Make some adjustments on the luminosity and the contrast. Now move on to your color curve layer and select the red channel. Since you are adding red’s opposite (cyan) channel to your shadows, drag the point in the graph in the lower left hand corner to the right. You can also adjust the red in your highlights by dragging the point in the upper right hand corner to the left to increase the amount of red in your highlights.

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Afterwards, adjust your midtones in the center of your line back to the middle. This protects your midtones from having a color cast. Next, you can do similar adjustments on the green channel and the blue channel. Drag the shadows up to add the color or to the right to add its opposite in the shadows and drag the point left to add the color or down to add its opposite. Remember to fix your midtones after each adjustment. If something like a skin tone has a color cast on it, like red, this can be adjusted individually by going back to the red channel and selecting the tone with the dropper and then dragging the red channel down to decrease red in that color. Lastly, open your channel mixer and choose a preset that balances the contrast as you like it. If you drag the opacity all the way off, you can then start to bring it back until you reach your desired amount of contrast and de-saturation. You can continue to play with the color channels until you reach your desired effect. If you select black and then add cyan, you can add this color to the shadows. Similarly, you can add green and blue until you reach the desired shade in your shadows. Again you can also add a channel mixer mask and adjust the opacity until you reach your desired contrast and saturation levels. 

That sums up the whole process. In this way, you can photo edit and create this cinematic effect. Hope that helps!


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