Photoshop: Add Lightroom-Style Black and White Conversion as Adjustment Layer

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It makes no sense to have different methods of converting an image to black and white in Lightroom vs Photoshop. Lightroom's eight channels are really useful (especially the orange channel), but are missing from Photoshop's Black and white adjustment layer. Please unify the two applications and add the extra channels to Photoshop.
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Pedr

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Posted 3 years ago

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Cristen Gillespie

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You can use Camera Raw as a filter, a Smart Filter at that, so the function is already there, even if not in the form of an adjustment layer. Personally, although I can see putting this on their to-do list for the sake of improving their current adjustment layer functions, especially if it's a JDI, I think they really have SO much more to tackle where functionality is lacking.

But I agree the newer version with the orange slider is better.
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Pedr

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This is true, but unfortunately a smart filter works very differently to an adjustment layer. You really want to be able to add the black and white adjustment above a comp and have it effect all the layers below.
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Cristen Gillespie

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Point taken. You have to make an SO with Stamp on top, and it makes it more complicated and a bigger file size. Not as convenient.
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Lawrence Hudetz

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Well, I have to disagree.  Convert to Smart filters, now you can use Edit>Adjustments then most of the tweaks available as well as Unsharp Mask, Photoshop version of Sharpen, Surface Blur...? all now tucked away  as a smart object.  Everything under one roof, so to speak.

Try that in Lightroom?

Photoshop is has a plethora of capable tweaks, all available in combinations that boggle the mind.

Convert to Smart Filters is the Photoshop Border Collie!!
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Pedr

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Unless I'm missing something, I have to take my whole comp (20 plus layers) and convert the whole thing into a smart object and then apply filters to the smart object.  This is far less flexible than just creating an adjustment layer on top of my other layers.  Is there a way of using smart filters to effect the layers below?

BTW I happened to be out with a farmer a couple of days ago and watched him work with his border collie to round up a flock of sheep. Was a wonder to behold. 
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Cristen Gillespie

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Well, yes and no. I do this for some complex artwork, but it isn't terribly pretty.<G> And you're not really affecting the layers below. You're affecting a new Smart Object image layer. You can merge all the layers to a new layer (Cmd-Opt-Shift-E), then convert that to a Smart Object and add your Smart Filter adjustment. That way you don't have to nest them in a Smart Object layer so they're available for editing. Of course, once you do edit them, the top Smart Object image is out of date. To fix that, you have to turn off its visibility, make a new Stamp visible layer, convert it to a Smart object, and then you can drag the fx icon from the out of date Smart Object layer onto the new one.

As I said, not pretty, but it works for some workflows. Obviously not for all, since you've just put an image layer on top of everything else. Of course, you can select 20 + layers and merge them into a Smart Object if you want. As you can tell, neither of these methods is quite as flexible as adding an adjustment layer to the top of the stack of layers.

So maybe you want to keep promoting a feature request for an improvement to the B&W adjustment layer.  '-}
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Cristen Gillespie

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> Convert to Smart Filters is the Photoshop Border Collie!!>

I use them extensively, though not for adjustment layers—just my preference not to. I especially don't like disturbing a stack of filters, which often requires PS re-run all those filters in their new visible state.

But I thought from what the OP was saying, he's creating comps with multiple layers, and/or layer comps themselves—maybe I misunderstood, but for that, you usually want to easily be able to create versions from different combinations of layers. It's often easier to make that combination with separate adjustment layers that overlay various image layers. I composite a lot, and have found good workarounds for maintaining a Smart Object/Smart Filter workflow, but I certainly can't put everything into one Smart Object. The more Smart Objects I need, the more difficult the editing, and the larger the file size.

I still love them, even if they are a bit of a problem child.  '-}