Today’s Question: I used Color Themes in Photoshop to get exact complementary colors in my images. Now that Adobe has removed the Color Themes panel is there a work around?
Tim’s Quick Answer: You can use the online Adobe Color tool (https://color.adobe.com) to create, locate, and save combinations of colors, including complementary colors that are opposites of each other.
More Detail: I don’t have any insights into why Adobe has discontinued support for the Color Themes panel in Photoshop, but fortunately the same basic feature set is still available in the online Adobe Color tool (https://color.adobe.com). Of course, this online tool requires an internet connection, which can create a slight challenge in some cases.
To create your own color sets, navigate to the Create tab in the Adobe Color tool. You can also use the Explore tab (and the Trends tab) to find color combinations that have been defined by others. In the case of exact opposite colors, you can select the Complementary option on the left side of the Create tab.
Other color relationships can be explored as well, such as the Triad option that involve three colors in a complementary arrangement. Once you’ve selected the color harmony you want to focus on, you can use the color wheel control or the sliders below to define color relationships. When you have found a color combination you like, the Save option enables you to save the color definitions in your library as part of your Creative Cloud subscription.
If you save color combinations using the Adobe Color tool, those saved colors will appear on the Libraries panel in Photoshop, which you can access by choosing Window > Libraries from the menu.
The Adobe Color tool can be helpful for a variety of scenarios. For example, if you’re adding text or graphic elements to a photo you may want to use a specific color relationship in the context of those colors. In addition, getting more familiar with the relationships between colors in general can help you recognize color combinations that can be more compelling in your photography.