enter image description here

It blends with lower layers in difference mode, I know, but how can I achieve this "distorted color" effect it produces on highlight areas? (the orange and magenta areas)


2 Answers 2


(Sorry for my badly colored screenshots)

You can get something resembling by applying curves to a selection. Or you can have a masked curves adjustment layer. Inverting levels with a straight line makes the same as blend mode difference. Bumps make the weird effect.

enter image description here

This is made by dragging the ends at first to make inversion. Then a bump is made by adding points.

Seemingly some orange has been left intact in your example. That can be possibly achieved by having different curve for each RGB channel, but that's a guess.

You can also select a color range (see NOTE1) after applying the curves and then invert it back or apply a hue & saturation shift.

Here Image > Adjustment's > Hue & Saturation is applied 3 times to different color ranges. Before them the rectangular slice was only inverted:

enter image description here

I guess that someone who understads Lab color mode intuitively could decide a straightforward solution to the problem. Unfortunately I'm not one of them.

ADD due comments

NOTE1: Color range selection is possible in a multilayer image, but making adjustments to the selected area is possible only in the active layer. In addition selecting color range in an area which already is a selection is possible, but the work area selection (=rectangular marquee in my trials) easily vanishes. Finally: You need destructive edits. For these 3 reasons I recommend the following work order:

  • make a flattened single layer version of the image, move it onto the top in the layer stack. Let's call that new layer "FlatOne"
  • make a rectangular selection which covers the wanted highlight effect area
  • copy the selected area in layer FlatOne to the clipboard and paste it in place. You get a new top layer which contains only the effect area, everything else is transparent. Lets call that new top layer WorkOne.
  • make a spare duplicate of layer WorkOne because the following phases are destructive edits
  • goto layer WorkOne , apply curves or plain inversion to it. No selection is needed because the layer has only the wanted effect area.
  • for recoloring smaller areas do Select > Color range , pick the wanted color in the image, adjust fuzzines and, if needed, add more color pickings to the selection (refer Photoshop's manual how to add and remove colors)
  • click OK => you have a selection
  • apply Image > Adjustments > Invert or Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation or other color modification; you can even paint to the selection
  • make a new color range selection for more colorings

Texts get easily destroyed (unwanted color changes due the fuzziness in color range selections) if they are not full black or full white. You may need to add new inverted versions of texts over WorkOne layer as a new layer. Fortunately you can remake the effect area selection easily with the magic wand. Set tolerance=255 and click the image in layer WorkOne.

Do not delete layer FlatOne and the spare copy of WorkOne before you are sure you are ready.

  • The actual thing can not be exactly replicated. Byt the actual curves looks like graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/questions/74530/…
    – joojaa
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 9:25
  • 1
    wow, you nailed it. I just don't get what do you mean by "selecting a color range"
    – Leo Zerino
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 5:17
  • how do I apply hue and saturation to 3 different color ranges? in which layer should I do it?
    – Leo Zerino
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 5:18
  • @LeoZerino you have got new explanations
    – user82991
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 6:27

Try playing up with the sliders on a level adjustment layer.

  • 2
    Hi deLiz, Welcome to Graphic Design StackExchange. We hope you enjoy your stay. Please visit the Help Center (?) logo in the upper-right corner of the menu bar. There are guidelines for how to better answer a question. graphicdesign.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer
    – Stan
    Commented Aug 1, 2018 at 4:38
  • 1
    Hey @Stan, just a heads up, you can link straight to the help center by typing the word help in square brackets, like this: help center. And there are a ton more shortcodes!
    – PieBie
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 8:06
  • No worries @Stan, I'm glad I can help you to contribute even more to our site!
    – PieBie
    Commented Aug 2, 2018 at 14:22
  • Hello deLiz - as Stan already said: welcome to Graphic Design Stack Exchange! help center has an area for learning about providing high value answers: I highly recommend a visit. It's worth pointing out that part of the idea of the site as a whole is for questions and answers both to be applicable to a range of users and circumstances - to provide both a momentary answer to a specific issue and some understanding which would be of benefit to many later upon search, hence our preference for in-depth answers, and our avoidance of one-liners or bare links without further explanation. Commented Oct 29, 2018 at 17:14

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