Retouchers beware! Photoshop 2019 breaks color blending mode

Oct 18, 2018

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Retouchers beware! Photoshop 2019 breaks color blending mode

Oct 18, 2018

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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If you are a retoucher and have not already upgraded to Photoshop 2019, just don’t! at least until the following bug is fixed.

It seems like the latest Photoshop update to Photoshop CC 2019 broke some layer blending modes or at least the Color blending mode.

Color layer blending mode should replace the hue and saturation of the layers below it to the one on top.  In the photo above, provided by Stefan Kohler, that means that the color inside the circle should be cyan. In the 2018 version, you can see the way it should look like when everything is working right (left image). In Photoshop 2019, however (the image on the right) it is definitely not cyan.

Color blending mode is often used for color correction in retouching, so that bug renders Photoshop 2019 useless for retouchers.

A quick search in the Adobe forums shows that Stefan is not alone and that other users are complaining about similar effects. Looks like so far this has only affected PC users.

As users on the Adobe support forum noted, if you don’t need the new Photoshop 2019 compositing engine, you can revert to the “old” “working” engine by checking “Legacy Compositing” in Preferences > Performance.

Users also commented that this solution is “not an improvement, it’s scrapping the new compositing engine and going back to the old one. Improvement will be Adobe fixing the buggy new engine“.

Have you updated yet? if not are you planning to? Do you have a good workaround, let us know in the comments.

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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4 responses to “Retouchers beware! Photoshop 2019 breaks color blending mode”

  1. ReneK Avatar
    ReneK

    Can’t replicate the problem, works just fine on my system

    1. Luis Velez Avatar
      Luis Velez

      I found that if you create a new layer with 50% gray, the color blending mode works fine without doing anything else (without touching the “Legacy Compositing” option, that is). However, if you create a new ‘uniform color’ layer (0° hue, 0% saturation, 50% brightness) and set the layer mode to color, you’re going to see strange artifacts on the image.

      1. ReneK Avatar
        ReneK

        I double checked and indeed, if you create a normal layer, fill that with a solid color and change the mode to color there is no issue.

        Adding a solid color layer and change the mode of that shows the problem.

        I could replicate the bug on Mac and Windows.

  2. Luis Velez Avatar
    Luis Velez

    I experienced the same on a MacBook Pro early 2015, High Sierra… and disabled the graphic procesor without success. Since it appears on both Mac and Windows platforms, doesn’t seem to be graphic processor issue. Only after “Legacy Compositing” was enabled, it worked properly.