Photoshop CC 2019: Layer Blend Mode "Color" isn't working correctly - Windows 10

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  • Updated 1 year ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
The layer blend mode "color" isn't working properly. Blending red or cyan creates gray. Blending other colors create the wrong color. See this video. This has been tested on several Windows systems and all have the same results. It has been tested on several mac systems and none of the Macs have the issue.
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Damon Bell

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Posted 1 year ago

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Photo of Rosa


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Yes, I have to agree Damon. I've come across the same problem!

I have both CC 2018 and CC 2019 and the 'Color' blending mode works correctly in CC 2018 but not in CC 2019.

It is as you say. Blending red or cyan does create grey and other colours create weird colours in the 'Color' blending mode.
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The blend modes Darker Color, Lighter Color, Hue, Saturation, Color and Luminosity aren't working properly when using adjustment layers .

I have both CC 2018 and CC 2019 installed on my Windows 10 System and using any adjustment layer with blend modes works correctly in CC 2018 but not in CC 2019.

For example blending a red or cyan color adjustment layer in blend mode 'Color' produces a grey monochrome effect on the image below. Blending other color adjustment layers in 'Color' blend mode produces weird colours. 

I've also noticed that using other adjustment layers in blend modes Darker Color, Lighter Color, Hue, Saturation, Color and Luminosity produces weird effects as well.

I've followed some threads here in Photoshop Family and enabled Legacy Compositing and that has rectified the problem in CC 2019. Why though?

I don't understand the first thing about Photoshop's compositing engine and why CC 2019 is different so would appreciate it if someone could explain. 

What is the difference between the legacy and non-legacy compositing and will this issue be addressed?

My Graphics driver GeForce GTX 970 is up to date.
The issue is not present in CC 2018 which I still have installed.

Adobe Photoshop Version: 20.0.0 20180920.r.24 2018/09/20: 1193433  x64
Number of Launches: 1225
Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit
Version: 10 or greater 10.0.17134.1
System architecture: Intel CPU Family:6, Model:14, Stepping:3 with MMX, SSE Integer, SSE FP, SSE2, SSE3, SSE4.1, SSE4.2, AVX, AVX2, HyperThreading
Physical processor count: 4
Logical processor count: 8
Processor speed: 3 MHz
Built-in memory: 32627 MB
Free memory: 19421 MB
Memory available to Photoshop: 29878 MB
Memory used by Photoshop: 65 %
Alias Layers: Disabled.
Modifier Palette: Enabled.
Highbeam: Enabled.
Image tile size: 1024K
Image cache levels: 4
Font Preview: Huge
TextComposer: Latin
Display: 1
Display Bounds: top=0, left=0, bottom=1200, right=1920
OpenGL Drawing: Enabled.
OpenGL Allow Old GPUs: Not Detected.
OpenGL Drawing Mode: Advanced
OpenGL Allow Normal Mode: True.

Here's my OS specs

Operating System: Windows 10 Home 64-bit
Version 1803
OS build 17134.345

(10.0, Build 17134) (17134.rs4_release.180410-1804)
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6700 CPU @ 3.40GHz (8 CPUs)
Operating System: Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
DirectX version: 12.0 
GPU processor: GeForce GTX 970
Driver version: 372.70
Direct3D API version: 12
Direct3D feature level: 12_1
CUDA Cores: 1664 
Core clock: 1215 MHz 
Memory data rate: 7010 MHz
Memory interface: 256-bit 
Memory bandwidth: 224.32 GB/s
Total available graphics memory: 20409 MB
Dedicated video memory: 4096 MB GDDR5
System video memory: 0 MB
Shared system memory: 16313 MB
Video BIOS version:
IRQ: Not used
Bus: PCI Express x16 Gen3
Device ID: 10DE 13C2 29783842
Part Number: G401 0010
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Cameron Rad

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Some people have reported improvement by checking "Legacy Compositing" in Preferences > Performance.

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David Converse

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Its not improvement, its scrapping the new compositing engine and going back to the old one. Improvement will be Adobe fixing the buggy new engine.
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Cameron Rad

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Reported improvement relative to it glitching out. The new engine works fine for me.

The only GPU glitch I'm running into is a 7 year old one.  "Preserve RGB Numbers" in Proof Setup and "Assign Profile" render different when using Normal and Advanced graphics performance.  It's something most people won't run into though. Reference: &
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Damon Bell

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Are you running Windows or Mac? Just curious if you have a windows systems that works. I have tested several systems. All of the PCs I have tested have the issues. None of the Macs I have tested have the issue. I am wondering if it is a PC only bug. 

It may be a GPU thing like you says. However, if so, then it's likely a widespread issue, at least with Nvidia. All of my PCs have Nvidia GPUs (GTX 970,  GTX 1050 Ti, and GTX 1070) with the latest driver version 416.34.  All of them have the issue.

The work around to use the Legacy Compositing works. This is of coarse a work around until the actual issue is fixed.
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I can't understand why though with the same driver that this didn't happen in CC 2018? (which I still have installed)

Why now in CC 2019?
Nothing has changed with my Windows 10 PC. . .
the only thing changed was whatever is in CC 2019 Legacy Compositing Engine thingy :)
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David Converse

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I'm seeing it on Windows 7, AMD Radeon card. I haven't even tested on my Macs but my production iMac has AMD video also. Just turned on legacy compositing immediately.
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Alberto Bua

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I've exactly the same problem:
What I tried so far:
  • uninstall video drivers with DDU;
  • reset PS preferences;
  • uninstall PS and clean everything with the Adobe Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool.
nothing worked. The application also crash without trace in the Event Viewer, I've sent 3 or 4 crash report in the past hours.

It happens with or without GPU enabled.
Using the "Legacy Compositing" solves this immediately.

I'm on Windows 10 1803 (build SO 17134.345), Intel i7 4770, ASUS Strix GTX 1080 with latest nVidia drivers (416.34).

Hope this helps to understand what the problem is.

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Mark Dahm, Product Manager

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Official Response
We have confirmed the issue and we apologize for the inconvenience; we will be addressing the color blending mode issue it in a soon-to-be-released update;

As recommended above, checking the "Legacy Compositing" option is the best workaround for the time being.

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Sahil Chawla, Community & Social Support Consultant - Digital Imaging

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Hi all,


We are happy to announce the release of Photoshop CC 20.0.1

This update includes fixes to some of the top customer reported issues among other bug fixes. 

See what’s fixed

To update Photoshop CC to 20.0.1, click "Update" in the Creative Cloud desktop app next to Photoshop CC. More detailed instructions for updating