Get the cross-processed look in Photoshop

    Get the cross-processed look in Photoshop

    Cross-processing (or ‘Xpro’) is an effect often used in fashion photography to give the kind of stylised look you can see here.

    Cross-processing: a simple but effective way to get this classic effect in Photoshop

    In the traditional chemical lab, cross processing was achieved by developing a roll of positive film through chemicals intended for negatives, or vice-versa.

    Different films and chemicals would produce varying results, but typically you’d see increased contrast and shifts in colour, often with strong yellow highlights and blue shadows.

    The cross-processing effect is easy to replicate in the digital darkroom, and as there are no specific rules for cross-processed colouring, you’re free to experiment with different colour shifts. Key to this technique is the Curves command, which gives you control over the Red, Green and Blue colour channels.

    You can access Curves in Photoshop CS, but you can also use Curves in Lightroom 4 and Adobe Camera Raw 7 (which we’ve used here).

    With Curves you can get the cross-processed look in seconds. And because Adobe Camera Raw (and Lightroom) lets you edit raw files, you’ll ensure the maximum possible quality.

    Step by step how to get the look of cross-processing


    How to create a cross-processing effect in Photoshop: step 1

    01 Boost contrast
    Navigate to xpro_before.dng in Adobe Bridge then double-click to open it into ACR. In the Basic Panel, set Temperature 5650, Tint +21, Contrast +70, Vibrance +14. These settings aren’t set in stone, we’re aiming to add warmth, boost colours and increase saturation.


    How to create a cross-processing effect in Photoshop: step 2

    02 Add blue shadows
    Click the Tone Curve Panel and choose ‘Point’. Select Blue from the Channel drop-down, then drag the bottom-left point of the Curve line upwards and the top-right corner down to make the line slightly more horizontal.


    How to create a cross-processing effect in Photoshop: step 3

    03 Tweak channels
    Select the Green channel, then drag the top-right corner point down slightly. Add two new points along the Curve line and make a steep ‘S’ shape.

    How to create a cross-processing effect in Photoshop: step 3

    Next, select the Red channel and make a shallow ‘S’, then do the same on the RGB channel.

    This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 at 12:21 pm and is filed under Tutorials. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a comment. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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    | Tutorials | 23/10/2012 12:21pm
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