Hello everyone! This is a tutorial on how to use Correction Layers in Clip Studio Paint to create interesting finishing effects to your illustrations.
Here's a video of how to use correction layers where I provide a step-by-step guide:
Basics of Correction Layers
A Correction Layer is used to adjust the colors and values of the layers below. You can create a new Correction Layer from the [Layer] menu → [New Correction Layer] and select the type of correction layer that you want to apply.
The main advantage of using a Correction Layer is that it preserves the original image by creating a separate layer on top of the image. The correction layer can be adjusted, hidden, or deleted anytime, by clicking on the layer in the Layer Window. There are nine types of Correction Layers available, which I will explain in further detail.
The Correction Layer can also be clipped to a layer or folder by using the [Clip to Layer Below] button. If you want the Correction Layer to only affect some layers, you can store the selected layers in a folder and then clip the Correction Layer on top of the folder.
[Brightness/Contrast] adjusts the brightness and contrast of below layers.
Adjusting the Brightness slider to the left will darken the image, while adjusting it to the right will brighten the image.
Contrast is the difference between the light and dark colors of the image. Adjusting the contrast slider to the right will increase the difference in the light and dark colors, creating a striking contrast effect, while adjusting it to the left will reduce the difference between the light and dark colors, producing more grey colors.
[Hue/Saturation/Luminosity] changes the color and values of below layers.
Hue will change the tone of the affected layers.
Saturation will change the vividness of the colors. Increasing Saturation will result in more vivid colors, while decreasing it will result in more muted colors (when Saturation is at the lowest value, the image becomes grayscale).
Luminosity will change the brightness. Increasing Luminosity brightens the image, while decreasing it darkens the image.
Use this correction layer to quickly adjust the tone of the image, add vividness, or change the overall brightness of the image.
[Posterization] converts below layers into fewer tones by using a set number of levels.
You can specify this number between 2 and 20 levels. More levels will create a smoother effect and less levels will create a rougher effect.
Use this correction layer to create greater contrast to your illustrations or use it to obtain the color palette of the image.
[Reverse Gradient] inverts the colors of below layers.
Use this Correction Layer to create interesting effects in the image. For example, I apply this directly above the background layer to create a striking color effect.
[Level Correction] adjusts the brightness of below layers by using a histogram.
The histogram shows the volume of the dark and bright areas, as shown as mountain-like peaks.
Under Input, the left slider controls the darkest parts of the image, the middle slider controls the mid-tones of the image, and the right slider controls the lightest parts of the image. Dragging any of these sliders to the left will brighten the image, while dragging them to the right will darken the image.
Under Output, the Left Slider adjusts the darkest parts of the image and dragging the slider to the right will lighten the image. The Right Slider adjust the lightest parts of the image and dragging the slider to the left will darken the image.
You can individually adjust a color by selecting the channel from [RGB], [Red], [Green], or [Blue].
[Tone Curve] adjusts the brightness of below layers by using the tone curve.
On the horizontal axis of the graph is the "Input" value (the original brightness of the image) and on the vertical axis is the "Output" value (the brightness of the image after adjustment).
To adjust the brightness, drag the control points on the graph.
You can individually adjust the brightness by selecting the channel from [RGB], [Red], [Green] or [Blue].
[Color balance] adjusts the colors of below layers by changing the balance of RGB colors.
Select from [Shadow], [Half tone], or [Highlight] to separately adjust the color balance.
Use this Correction Layer to change the balance of colors in the image. For example, to add warm colors to the illustration, I select [Highlight] and drag the sliders towards Red and Yellow. This creates an interesting color effect to the illustration.
[Binarization] converts the layers below into blacks and whites.
The Threshold slider determines the amount of blacks and whites in image. Colors darker than the threshold will be converted to black, while colors brighter than the threshold will be converted to white.
I use this correction layer to create more light or dark areas in the image. For example, I select a high threshold, then I change the correction layer's Blending Mode to [Lighten Color] to add more highlights to the lightest areas of my image.
[Gradient map] converts the colors of below layers to a gradient.
From the Gradient Set, select a gradient to apply on the correction layer.
I use the Gradient map to create interesting finishing effects to my illustrations. For example, I select a warm-toned gradient, then I change the correction layer’s Blending Mode to [Soft Light] and lower the Opacity to create a warm color-wash over my image.
You can try out different Blending Modes such as [Lighten], [Overlay], [Darken], and [Hue] to create custom layer filters, and you can even experiment to create other interesting effects!
You can use the Correction Layer to create multiple versions of the same image for comparison. This allows you to have different options for your illustration while preserving the original image.
I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and learned more about Correction Layers. They are useful in balancing colors, creating interesting filter effects, and adding finishing touches to your illustration. Feel free to experiment and try out different options to create your own custom finishing effects!