idk if i already asked this, but how do you only use 5-6 adjustment layers? it's my greatest struggle in making gifs. I can NEVER do that. I use like 10 layers max to get the look I want. although the gif makers' tips I look at always say to keep it 5-6 layers :/
Hey there! I’ve received a similar ask, and I had yet to reply to it cause I’m so behind with replying to everyone due to lack of time, so if it was you, I’m so sorry!
Before I get into anything though, I’d like to say that…. you really shouldn’t let what all the other giffers say condition what you do. What works for others may not work for you, and if you’re happy with how your colouring turns out, what does it matter if it takes you a few more layers than other people? We all colour in different ways, and obviously tutorials and advices are super useful and they can teach you some stuff you had yet to discover and it’s always great to improve, but at the end of the day what’s important is the result and if you’re happy with yours, don’t pay too much attention to what other people say or do.
The thing I always stress about is making tiny adjustments, cause if you go super crazy with those, you just end up reducing the quality of the gif, by bringing out pixels.
How the hell do I only use 5/6 layers when I’m making tiny adjustments? Well, it depends on the layers you use and how you use them.
I end up using a couple more layers if I’m making a colour porn gifset, cause I abuse of selective colour, but generally I just use curves, brightness/contrast, exposure, selective colour, colour balance and photo filter.
Out of all them, curves is the one that will impact your gif the most, and will make you lose less layers after, if you use it correctly. And by using it correctly I mean if you use the eyedrop tool with the white tip:
What this tool does is it turns whatever colour you click on with it into the whitest point of your gif, brightening everything accordingly. This is very useful especially if you’re giffing a dark scene! I’ve talked a bit about this tool here.
Everything is going to make more sense once you start using it, cause the more you practice with it, the more you get the hang of it!
What you want to do once you click on it is to click on the lightest point of your scene. Keep in mind that it’s going to turn that point into white, so if you choose a dark colour your entire gif is going to look like crap. You want to choose as close to white as you can, but if you choose actually white, it’s not going to do much of anything at all.
Now, you also need to keep in mind that this tool is going to affect the tone of your gif, based on which colour you pick, so if you pick a yellowish colour, it’s going to change the tone of the gif into blue, if you pick yellow it’s gonna make everything blue-ish and so on, going in the opposite way (so it’s very useful for those movies/tv shows that have a terrible yellow filter and such).
if I were to pick that light green/blue colour behind harley (the red dot)
my gif would turn like this:
see? that colour turned into white, the gif was brightened accordingly, but since I chose a blue/green-ish colour, now the tone is reddish!
If I were to pick harley’s hair where it’s lighter instead:
I’d get this:
much better, right?
A lot of this is trial by error. You’re going to need to click on a lot of stuff and undo it until you find a combo that works for your scene, but the more you use this tool, the more you understand how it works and the easier it gets!
Now you see why I would only need a couple more layers to be happy with my gif! And that’s by only using one tool, curves! Notice also how despite the fact that it’s a dark scene with shitty lighting, it got brightened straight away without bringing out pixels/lowering the quality!
You can achieve great results with a few layers, you just have to use the right ones ;)