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First attempt at complete colorization

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  #1  
Old 05-12-2004, 05:41 PM
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keepemcomin keepemcomin is offline
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First attempt at complete colorization

I've added little bits of color to B&W photos before but this is the first time I've tried to do the whole thing...and I'm stuck.

I'm not all that experienced with PS 7.0; I use the "trial & error" method of learning. So, the solution may be obvious to everyone BUT me. The things I see that are wrong with it, but can't figure out how to fix:
- Their hairlines are too sharp...the blur tool makes it look a little better, but I'm still not happy with it.
- Obviously, the trim on the woman's dress isn't finished. The design looks so intricate, and some of the detail didn't pick up well in the photo. So, I'm having a hard time coloring what I can't see...if that makes any sense!
- I'm not 100% happy with their skin colors. (Plus I forgot to colorize her arm...oops). Her face looks a little flat.
- I also just realized I forgot to colorize the background.

Any further suggestions or criticism is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Amanda
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2004, 05:44 PM
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keepemcomin keepemcomin is offline
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Don't know why these things won't attach...??

http://www.luckeyfamily.com/original1.jpg
http://www.luckeyfamily.com/colorizedpic1.jpg
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2004, 07:29 AM
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Gary Richardson Gary Richardson is offline
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Hi Amanda, I colour everything on seperate layers, this gives you more control as you can use all the image tools, and layer blending and opacity to fine tune your colouring. I attach a quick colour job on your original image, I've only coloured, not adjusted the original in any way.
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File Type: jpg original1 coloured.jpg (83.8 KB, 104 views)
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2004, 06:21 PM
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Leah Leah is offline
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Hi Amanda,

You might want to check out this thread about attacing images to posts -- it may give you some pointers on what's going wrong.

One initial point - it is a very good idea when colorizing to get the best possible image to work on in the first place. That means doing the restoration first, and preferably reducing the grain if it's pronounced (as in this example).

You seem to have spotted the problems with this image already. I'm not sure what colorizing method you were using, though, so it's hard to give specific advice on how to improve it (apart from "remember to colorize the arm next time" ). So what I'll do instead, if you don't mind, is to talk through how I approached this -- there are many different ways to colorize and you may want to play around until you find one that suits you, so it's often a good thing to see the techniques other people use. I got rid of some of the stains and specks, adjusted the contrast with Levels and ran the image through NeatImage (available free from http://www.neatimage.com) to reduce the grain.

Then I colorized following the excellent Primary Colorizing tutorial from Worth1000.com. This technique isn't the most intuitive, but it's easy to do and I find it easier to get fairly natural-looking results that way. You might want to check out the results that RP member ajcutler has achieved using this method -- Elizabeth Taylor, a young Marilyn Monroe, and another shot of Marilyn -- to see what can be achieved with practice (I aspire to do work like that someday...)

Personally, I always have trouble getting good greens that way, so I cheated a little and at the end took another color layer (like the red, blue, and gold layers from the tutorial) and put that over the top -- although with that layer I masked it out completely and painted back in at low opacity just on the green areas to give the green I'd already got a bit of a boost.
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File Type: jpg original1-copy.jpg (97.4 KB, 111 views)
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2004, 06:27 PM
charlotte charlotte is offline
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Wow Leah
That came out REALLY nice !
Charlotte
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  #6  
Old 05-14-2004, 05:14 PM
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keepemcomin keepemcomin is offline
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That did come out beautifully, and thank you for the advice!
I did realize that messing around with the blending options helped soften the hairlines. I took your advice and found a picture that is black and white, but beautifully preserved with no grain or waterspots. So far it's looking pretty good.

Thanks again, everyone
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  #7  
Old 06-13-2004, 09:43 AM
rondon rondon is offline
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YUP! real nice.

looks good Leah !
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  #8  
Old 06-14-2004, 02:46 PM
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ajcutler ajcutler is offline
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Leah:

Excellent job at colorization!

For anyone trying the Primary Colorization method, you'll probably find that the skintones never quite come out like you want. If that is the case you can create a new top layer with a color blending mode, and with a low opacity soft brush, paint in a flesh color (for example a fleshtone sample you have taken from another color portrait).

Alan
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  #9  
Old 06-23-2004, 12:25 PM
Punch Punch is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leah
Hi Amanda,

You might want to check out this thread about attacing images to posts -- it may give you some pointers on what's going wrong.

One initial point - it is a very good idea when colorizing to get the best possible image to work on in the first place. That means doing the restoration first, and preferably reducing the grain if it's pronounced (as in this example).

You seem to have spotted the problems with this image already. I'm not sure what colorizing method you were using, though, so it's hard to give specific advice on how to improve it (apart from "remember to colorize the arm next time" ). So what I'll do instead, if you don't mind, is to talk through how I approached this -- there are many different ways to colorize and you may want to play around until you find one that suits you, so it's often a good thing to see the techniques other people use. I got rid of some of the stains and specks, adjusted the contrast with Levels and ran the image through NeatImage (available free from http://www.neatimage.com) to reduce the grain.

Then I colorized following the excellent Primary Colorizing tutorial from Worth1000.com. This technique isn't the most intuitive, but it's easy to do and I find it easier to get fairly natural-looking results that way. You might want to check out the results that RP member ajcutler has achieved using this method -- Elizabeth Taylor, a young Marilyn Monroe, and another shot of Marilyn -- to see what can be achieved with practice (I aspire to do work like that someday...)

Personally, I always have trouble getting good greens that way, so I cheated a little and at the end took another color layer (like the red, blue, and gold layers from the tutorial) and put that over the top -- although with that layer I masked it out completely and painted back in at low opacity just on the green areas to give the green I'd already got a bit of a boost.
Hi... I'm a new member and have been intrigued by colorization as I recently purchased rights to a bunch of old photos. I plan to use them as is but am likely to try colorizing them also.

I found the primary colorizing tutorial on Worth1000 quite good but went through the CMYK tutorial http://www.worth1000.com/tutorial.asp?sid=161018 and was quite pleased with the results. Still in the experimental stage but am getting a lot of mentoring on RetouchPro and get a strong feeling of community here.

I even contributed to one of the mini challenges... a first for me as an inveterate lurker.

Thanks to all... Kent
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  #10  
Old 06-23-2004, 01:14 PM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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I'm new at this too but I find that the CYMK method is great for getting the basic flat colours down but especially on old photographs it lacks 'life'.
It works fine on professionally taken studio images, particularly on old movie stars where their complexions were flawless and the photographs were crisp and perfectly lit but on 'real' people I tend to find that more tonal variation is needed which I add in in a similar way to the primaries method.

I think you'll find that when you start to colourise those old photographs that the colours can look very flat if you just use CYMK but its a great place to start for getting the basic colour down - which can be kinda tricky with masking primaries (wish I paid more attention in physics lol)

BTW where did you buy the rights to old photographs? I'm looking for some more practice material myself.
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