© Jan Esmann and Power Retouch. All rights reserved.

Photoshop plug-ins for retouching

Graduated color

Quick introduction

This Photoshop plug-in adds a colortone to the image in a graduated way. Target saturated or unsaturated colors to any degree. Apply the effect to various luminance levels. This is the Graduated Color plugin’s control panel. Click on the image for a larger view. It works with the following image modes: 8 & 16 bit/channel: RGB, CMYK.

Direction controls

Direction   will rotate the direction of the graduation within a full circle. The slider ranges from -180 to 180 degrees. 0 is top vertical. +/-180 bottom vertical. -90 is left horizontal and 90 is right horizontal.
Checking   Show Direction  will draw a line from the center of the preview in the direction of color one. This will only appear on the preview. Contrast   will determine the fade-out of the one or two colors and how hard they approach the midpoint. Photographic mode  is common to many Power Retouch plug-ins. It integrates the effect realistically in the image, but it does not suit all images retouching problems.

Color controls

You can add two colors at once, color one and color two are always opposite each other. They can have any color you want. The long rectangle shows the color. Add colorpicker  click the small rectangle to open a colorpicker. The chosen color will be added to the filtercolor, but it can still be modified with the sliders below.
The button Comp.  (short for complementary) will set the given color to the complementary color of the other filter color. Reset will reset the sliders, but not the color chosen in the colorpicker.

Retouch levels

These controls are common to most Power Retouch plug-ins. The let you control how much the retouch will be applied to various luminance levels. The buttons set the sliders to either of four preset configurations that have proven usefull.

Target saturation

This is an important pair of controls. Control the degree to which saturated or unsaturated colors will be changed by the retouch.

Adding a blue sky

Here the sky is obviously overexposed, which is a very common problem in pictures like this.
After applying a graduated blue color in the upper third of the image. Highlights only so as not to change the skintone of the faces. Also Saturated colors was set to 0 and Luminance was slightly lowered.


In order to enhance the sensuality and mystique of this photo we added a warm tone to the upper left and its complementary blue tone to the bottom. We also lowered the luminance of the bottom. To enahnce color variation we avoided filtering saturated colors.
After retouching