Create a mask, group the layers, rearrange the layer stack - whatever works. Your question is way too generic and without a screenshot of the actual layer stack nobody can advise specifically.
Well grouping doesn't work. I don't know much about using masks. I'll do a screenshot in a minute.
But to hopefully make it a little clearer before then...
Layer 1, layer 2 and layer 3 all need the color balance which is currently at the top of the layers. Photo has to be at the bottom under layers 1-3 but does not want the color balance to affect it.
Ok, this image shows the layers. The image on the left is the photo as it was and how I wish it to stay (just with added effects on top). The image on the right is the one that has the color balance on it. As you can see it's changing the color of the photo when all I really want it to do is change the color of the other layers.
I cannot make out what in the extra layers, but I presume there are little pieces of image. If so, here's another way that might work, without having to make a mask. 1. As a safety measure, make copies of all the Layer 1s.
2. Merge the new layers, and turn off the visibility of the original Layer 1s.
3. Rearrange the layers so that the new merged layer is under the Color Balance.
4. On Windows, right-click on the Color Balance layer to open the layer-action menu. (If you are on a Mac, you may have to Option-Click or something like that, but someone else will have to tell you exactly what.)
5. Click Create Clipping Mask. This will associate the Color Balance only with the new merged layer. If this works, the Color Balance layer will move to the right, and a lock will appear.
I hope this helps.
The extra layers are just white patches. The color balance is to give it a fire type effect, although it looks more like that on a black background (and hopefully without the photo being colored).
I can't merge the layers are they need to animate them which will mean showing one at a time.
Are you sure your photo layer is not in the group and that you have changed the group blend mode from "Pass Through" to "Normal?" This should work - I do it all the time without issue.
I did the colour balance on another document and then dragged it over to the document with the photo on so it shouldn't be grouped.
The blend mode is on normal. Not quite sure what you mean by "pass through" though so I might be missing something there lol.
Ah, thanks. Them layers were set to pass through. When I put it to normal it loses the color though from the color balance on all layers (so the fire colours aren't there, it's just white). The photo is fine now though.
I tried merging the layers just to see if it works, but obviously it ruins the animation which I need. However, as soon as I create the mask the color goes and it's just white.
Also have the same problem when I group the layers.
All layer modes are on blend mode normal. Once I change it to that it looks the color. Probably a stupid question, but how do you clip the adjustment layer to the group?
Looking at that image I managed to get something that looked like that but ti appears to be creating a mask with curves and a group below and I can't do that it won't let me. Am I missing something?
That aside, doing that with the mask to a group (whether all in a group except photo or none in a group) it is still losing the color. Again, I made sure the blend mode was on normal otherwise the whole lot is colored.
Here's your problem: Your patches are pure white. Color balance won't do anything then. You need to have some sort of gradient to take it down from pure white, so that color balance has something, anything, to work on. An adjustment layer, set up as above, will then work.
If you want a flame-like effect the patches should be slightly darker towards the (soft) edges. The easiest way to do that is to lock transparency and paint with black (soft brush, low opacity).
Perhaps you should also set the group blend mode to Lighten instead of Normal, if that gives a more realistic effect. Anything but Pass Through.
How is it that the adjustment layer appears to be creating a mask with a group? I can't do that and if it needs to be that way then it's not going to work.
Coloring them with black only makes the color show on the outside of the circles, before the whole circle was colored which is how I wanted it.
Something odd going on though. Clicked through the layers and had color, went through again and no color, did it again and had color. The animation is also messed up; on some frames the photo has color and on others it doesn't and sometimes the effect is all white and then suddenly it's colored again.
I forget in what version you can clip an adjustment layer to a group, so depending up what version of PS you have, you may or may not be able to do this. But you just put the adj layer above the group then while pressing the alt/opt key click between the adj layer and the group in the layer pallet.
I'm using CS3. Pressing alt doesn't do anything.
Coloring them with black only makes the color show on the outside of the circles
That's why you need to lock transparency (see screenshot above, the symbol right next to "lock).
Again: You can't use pure white patches and expect Color Balance to do anything. It's white and it'll remain white. You need to make it not white for Color Balance to have any effect.
I did lock the transparency. It didn't help. I changed the color of them but color balance still didn't do anything.