I remember I opened a PSD file which did this.

It had like 4 hidden "adjustment" layers, each for a specific color, and all the elements that used a certain color were being changed depending on which adjustment layer was visible.

Something like this:

enter image description here

Notice the visible "pink" layer. That layer should make a part of the graphic on the left pink.

And when you make the blue layer visible, that part of the graphic graphic should turn blue:

enter image description here

Does anyone know how can I achieve this?

  • ps: can somebody edit my question and insert the links as images? I don't have enough rep to do this :s
    – Alex
    May 4, 2011 at 14:50
  • 1
    If you already have a source file with layers that exhibit the behavior you want, there may not be much additional information that others can contribute. You may be better off just playing around with the file until you understand what the different layers are doing.
    – Farray
    May 4, 2011 at 15:23
  • that's the problem, I don't :( I had that PSD like 2 years ago, and can't find it now... I remember it had something to do with adjustment layers and channels
    – Alex
    May 4, 2011 at 15:30
  • Bummer. Check out northlite.net/ps/blend.htm for some good info about different blending modes in PS. Best of all, make some layers like Horatio mentions and just play around with them. You'll develop a feel for how the different blending modes will affect images.
    – Farray
    May 4, 2011 at 16:09

2 Answers 2


ONE (of many possibilities) way to do this is as follows:

  • make the layer which you want to alternate the color of: rounded rectangle tool (U); pick 'shape layer' in tool settings, pick a solid color; draw shape.
  • set layer blending option: pick gradient, and set the shape to a grayscale gradient.
  • make a new adjustment layer, and pick 'color fill', pick color; set layer blending to 'Color'
  • repeat the previous step using a different color.

To control this more carefully, you can apply a layer mask, such as the shape of the base item so that the colorization only applies to the item itself...


Maybe your pink or blue layer should be a Layer Style→Color Overlay? Then you put that layer on top of everything else. You may have to muck around with selecting only the bits you want colored, but it should work.

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