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Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"
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Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook
"Selective Coloring"

(Pages 24, 25 from the Tonal And Color Effects section of Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - courtesy of O'Reilly Media.)

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"Color has great power when it comes to conveying emotion and attracting attention. This power is multiplied exponentially when color is used as an accent in an otherwise monochrome image. By using selective coloring, we can draw the viewer's eye to the key areas of an image, with the colored areas adopting a jewel-like quality amid an expanse of gray.

The effect ranges from the subtle to the extreme. We can tint an image with just a hint of color, or apply an exciting splash of color to a specific area. Layer masks are an essential tool here, offering us the ability to restore color to the area of our choice, which can be controlled and restrained with the accuracy only a brush can provide.

STEP 1
The first step is to duplicate the background layer by dragging it to
the new layer icon in the Layers palette or hitting Ctrl/Cmd+J).

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"

STEP 2
Since we want most of the image to be monochrome, on this duplicate layer go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate (Ctrl/Cmd+Shift+U). To add to the effect, give this monochrome layer a subtle blue tint. Go to Image > Adjustment > Hue and Saturation. Check the Colorize box, and move the Hue slider to 221, and the Saturation slider to 12.

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"

STEP 3
Now we’re going to add a layer mask to the monochrome layer, which we’ll use to manually restore color to parts of the image. Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All.

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"

STEP 4
Check the Layers palette to be sure that the layer mask thumbnail is highlighted, which means that we’re working on the layer mask, not the layer itself. Set the foreground color to black and select the Brush tool. Click in the Brush Picker and select a hard round brush. Hit F5 to display the Brush Options and ensure that Shape Dynamics is unchecked.

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"

TIP: Layer Mask Or Actual Image Layer?
It’s very important when working with layer masks to make sure that you’re painting on the mask and not on the associated image layer. There are three ways to check this:

  1. Check for a bold outline around the thumbnail for the layer mask in the Layers palette.
  2. Check for the mask symbol in the margin of the Layers palette (PC only). When you’re working on the image layer, a Brush symbol will appear, but when you’re painting on a mask, it will be replaced by a small rectangle with a circle at its center.
  3. Since masks operate on a purely grayscale principle, when you’re working on a layer mask, your foreground/background color swatches will always be white, black, or gray.

STEP 5
Paint over all of the blue and red areas on the coat and hat with black. This will hide these areas of the monochrome layer, thus revealing the colors on the background layer underneath. We can adjust the size of the brush as we go with the square bracket keys on the keyboard. Zoom into the image with the Zoom tool (Z) to ensure accuracy.

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"


STEP 6
Accuracy is all-important here, so take the time to follow the edges of the colored sections very carefully. If you accidentally paint over any other part of the image, simply swap your foreground/background colors and paint over it again with white instead of black. Remember, when working on layer masks, black conceals and white reveals. Continue to paint over all of the red and blue sections.

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"


STEP 7
Only mask out the areas of this layer that cover the red and blue sections of the costume, leaving the white areas as they are.

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"

STEP 8
As we paint, the black areas will appear on the associated layer mask.
We can check the mask by holding down the Alt/Opt key and clicking the layer mask thumbnail. This enables the actual mask to be seen in isolation.

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"

STEP 9
We can control how vividly the colors show through the mask. Working on the mask itself, go to Image > Adjustments > Levels. By dragging the Black Point marker under the Output Levels bar to the right, the black tones within the layer mask are turned to gray. Where black on a layer mask is completely transparent, gray tones are only semi-transparent, which makes the revealed colors in the image layer more subtle. We can control just how subtle they are by adjusting the luminosity of the gray color on the layer mask.

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"

FINAL IMAGE

Photoshop Photo Effects Cookbook - Sample Chapter "Tonal And Color Effects — Selective Coloring"

Copyright © 2005 The llex Press Limited - All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, by photostat, microfilm, xerography, or any other means, or incorporated into any information retrieval system, either electronic or mechanical, without the written permission of the copyright owner.
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