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TRY-IT: Selective Color Retore to BW
A frequent question I see is something like, "How do I take a color image, convert it to black and white and selectively restore color to it?"
There are a couple ways to achieve this. This is one. While I'm at it I'll throw in a bonus "how to."
For those who prefer to cut to the chase and let an action do the layer setup dirtywork, scroll down a couple posts.
1. Starting out with a color image, duplicate the Background. For the purposes of this discussion name the new layer "A. BW"
2. Convert layer A to grayscale. There are many ways to do this, two of which follow. Choose the one you prefer:
. - Image > Adjustments > Desaturate
. - Image > Adjustments > Channel Mixer (click the Monochrome checkbox "on" and adjust the sliders to suit. Rule of thumb: The sum of the "numbers" corresponding to the R, G and B channels should add up to around 100 or so. Try 50 Red, 50 Green for starters.
Alternative: Sketch > Waterpaper
3. Layer A: Duplicate (Name it "B. Photocopy")
4. Click the D key. This will restore the default colors (foreground, black; background, white).
5. B: Apply Sketch > Photocopy. Your call on the settings. Shoot for a reasonable amount of detail with not too many areas of blackness.
6. Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels. Chose "Group with Previous" and name the layer, "B1 - Contrast for Photocopy." Take the default settings for now. (Note: If you prefer to use Curves instead, that's perfectly okay.)
7. Layer > New Layer. Name it "C. Restore color from History."
8. Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation. Chose "Group with Previous" and name the layer, "C1 - Color adjustments." Take the default settings for now.
9. Click on layer A.
10. Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Levels (r, again, Curves). Chose "Group with Previous" and name the layer, "A1 - Contrast for BW." Take the default settings for now.
10. Select the History Brush tool from the Tools Palette.
11. Select a Scatter or Chalk-type brush frim the Brushes Palette. Start with Opacity and Flow at about 50%. Airbrush = on.
12. Click on layer C.
13. Start painting to restore color to desired areas of the image.
Note: This is NOT a layer mask situation where switching back and forth between black and white is the way to hide/reveal color. You'll need to switch between the History Brush to apply color and the Eraser tool to zap it.
14. Once you get the colors applied in the places desired, you can fine tune (or radically change) the colors via the C1 adjustment layer.
15. Adjust layer B1 if necessary.
"But wait," you say. "I didn't want this colored sketch thing. I wanted the color on a real BW image."
15. Click off layer B. B1 will turn off too since it was grouped with B.
16. Make contrast adjustments as needed with layer A1.
17. Layers C, C1: Fine tune the selective color applied and the color characteristics via C1.
- - - - - -
Attached: The "color sketch" version.
- - - - - -
Now, it's your turn.
Last edited by DannyRaphael; 07-09-2003 at 01:41 PM.
Danny--I learned a couple of new things from this--thanks. I really like the sketch effect. But if I didn't want the sketchy look, paint on masking seems easier to me (then again, it was the first thing I learned using masks and layer--thank you CricketB/Casmaran)
PM--this could be cool on one of your schools of fish with just 1 or 2 fish in color.
I did make one minor tweak to the directions just for this image. I set layer B to overlay--due to color problems with the original, I'd lost too much detail when I ran photocopy and needed to get something back in the empty corner.
Something odd I just noticed. When saving for web, it seems to have faded out some of the color. I've never noticed that happening before.
Last edited by Cheryl H; 07-09-2003 at 04:35 PM.
So this has been here forever (I haven't), but I found it tonight! I am soooo happy - I was jumping up and down when I found this (even if it is 3:19am here) and would probably be vocalising my delight if it weren't such an ungodly hour and my husband wasn't asleep 2 metres away!
This is one of the very first techniques that got me interested in photo art, and I hadn't come across such a great, easy to follow how-to with results that are exactly what I was after, until now.
I'm soo excited!
And fwiw, if you're still here - happy birthday, it was mine that day too! (not stalking you, just checked profile to see if it listed last activity)
A tip to do this in reverse is pick your paintbrush change the mode to colour and paint away.
not sure if this will work in psp so if anybody out there does know please post
photo from Janet Petty's gimme spring thread
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