How to properly apply/merge adjustment layer to multiple layers that have blended modes and preserve appearance

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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I try to keep this simple.

Say I have a file set up like this :

adjustment layer
Layer set to multiply

I need to get rid of the adjustment layer and thus I need to apply/merge it to each of those layers. The adjustment layer will apply/merge just fine to all the layers by manually duplicating the adjustment layer and merging it one layer at a time HOWEVER doing this will not preserve the same appearing because the layer set to multiply affects the other layers and so the appearance will be different wherever the the image is affected by the multiply layer.

take a look at this file and let me know if there are work arounds? I need to get rid of the adjustment layers because we cant use them in production. BUt I need the shadow / multiply layer to be separate while preserving the appearing once i apply the adjustment layers.

thoughts? ways around this without merging the mutilpy layer to the other layers first.. ?

Its extremely frustrating that there's a GREAT colour adjustment Layer tool But theres no way to apply the look to multiply layers that need to remain separate but are set to Multiply ( or some other blend mode) .. I need my layers all separate and the best way to adjust the colours is to use adjustment layers however there doesn't seem to be Anyway that i can preserve my separate layers while keeping the appearing the same....

Is this just impossible to do? its something i've been struggling with for years with photoshop. REally wish they would come out with a script or magic button that would jsut apply the adjustment layers and preserve the look . Prolly impossible But I can only hope.
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Benjamin Plouffe

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Posted 6 years ago

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Chris Cox

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Really, you can't preserve the appearance and merge the adjustment layer. The math is simply not commutative.
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In general, layers set to blend modes can be problematic in a production workflow, unless final output is flattened art, but even then I've seen files that won't flatten and preserve appearance.

Ask yourself why you need that shadow layer set to Multiply. Change it to Normal and you'll notice a very minimal visual change. The Multiply isn't doing anything that you couldn't achieve using other methods.

There are a number of ways you could simplify this file. Break the shadow layer into separate elements. Make the shadow the color/density that you want initially, or duplicate the Selective Color and clip it to the shadow layer, and one copy to the ball.

Hope this helps.