The DIFFERENCE Between Vibrance and Saturation in Photoshop – COLOR ENHANCING Photoshop Tutorial







Photoshop tutorial showing you the difference between Vibrance and Saturation.

00:40 – How the Hue Saturation and Adjustment Layer works
01:20 – How Saturation Works in the Vibrance Adjustment Layer
01:50 – How Vibrance Works in the Vibrance Adjustment Layer
02:23 – How Vibrance and Saturation affect saturation values
04:55 – How To Use Vibrance to color enhance your photos.

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26 Comments

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I didn't realise that the Saturation slider in the Vibrance adjustment layer behaved differently from the Saturation slider elsewhere! Always learn something new in your tutorials – even if it's on a topic I think I already know about! Thanks Jesús!

Okay, I was still confused after this, so I made my own color strips. I made each strip from 100% saturation to 25% saturation (into the white). I made the three primaries (RGB) and the three secondaries (CMY) in this order from top to bottom M, R, Y, G, C, B. I then placed a vibrance adjustment layer over the top of them. Here's what I found:

The Saturation slider causes the colors to increase linearly into the 25% saturated (damped by white), but the colors never max out at about the 34% white mark.

The Vibrance slider never maxes out the colors either, but it does move the saturation toward the 25% saturated. It affects all the primaries and secondaries similarly. I could not discern any change at the 25% fill mark. Full saturation moves right, toward this mark, thereby increasing the deepening as you move the slider.

And get this: Using the saturation slider on a HSL adjustment layer did nothing! No changes are observed.

Now color points didn't change as you described. Red does get affected less than Green or Blue, but both green and blue are affected almost the same. These two colors don't change independently very much, and this leads me to believe that perhaps my video card (an nVidia 650ti) is responsible for this.

Then I had another idea. I turned off the vibrance layer and the HSL layer and added a Brightness/contrast layer and adjusted the contrast. The contrast increases the saturation when ramped upwards, and lowers the saturation when it is ramped to the left, making the colors less pronounced. So it seems that this vibrance layer does act differently than the contrast, but it is limited to the lower 2/3 of saturation while the contrast affects the whole line, and, like I said, the vibrance moves that saturation point into the lighter areas but never gets past the 33% spot on the colors' lines. In other words, I'm still baffled. I don't know how to use this vibrance other than move the color's saturation up to the limited 33% brightness mark.

My SPECIFIC problem is the reds. All people's skin has red in it, and very often there is just not enough. The only solution I can think of is to use the Camera Raw filter and target the reds, but you cannot do this. You can only change the tint or the temeprature, both which changes all the colors.

So, I'm stuck. I want to off the yellow and boost the red. How do I do this? All too often there is too much yellow. I want to less this, but to do this you increase the blue which changes the reds to magenta.

How does one target just the reds so that you can boost them? Also, how can you target just the yellows and neutralize them?

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