|Photoshop Versions:||At least 4.0, possibly 2.0|
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The Sponge tool is a retouching tool used to alter the saturation of a portion of an image. It is reminiscent of the sponges used by watercolor artists to soften (or even remove) a color that has already been lain on the canvas.
The Sponge tool works in two modes:
- Color values are brought towards a neutral gray of similar lightness.
- Color values are made more vibrant.
Newer versions of Photoshop have the "Vibrance" option, which reduces clipping to primary colors (red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta) or grays. The effect of the tool is lessened for color values already close to these colors.
- Decreases contrast, bringing values closer to middle gray.
- Increases contrast, bringing values closer to black and white.
In many cases, other tools can be used to greater effect, often non-destructively. This is especially the case when the whole image needs adjustment: