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Colourising images!

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Old 01-25-2007, 11:45 PM
photowonderPRO photowonderPRO is offline
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Red face Colourising images!

Hi All,

I have been working on a few very old black and white images from around the 1900's which have over 15 people in the image. They have several cracks and rips evident over the main part of the image.

Does anyone have any advice on the most efficient way to colourise an image with so many people? I thought of using the brush in colour mode but cant get the exact colours i want.

Any advice or ideas are welcome.

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Old 01-26-2007, 12:33 AM
CJ Swartz's Avatar
CJ Swartz CJ Swartz is offline
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Location: Metro Phoenix area, Arizona
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Re: Colourising images!

Welcome to RetouchPro!

It usually helps to post a copy (see link below for info on size & recommended method for uploading images) of your original work and a copy of your present status to show folks the situation you are facing. It usually helps to let us know which program(s) you are using so that proper terms can be used (PSP, Photoshop, PS Elements, or whichever editing program you might be using).

Colorization/Colourization is easy to overdo for many of us, but using the layer blend mode of color is usually recommended.

For general tips on colorizing, you can do a search of the website, but since you have a specific situation in mind, uploading a sample would probably be a good first step.
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Old 01-28-2007, 05:45 AM
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sunfly sunfly is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Canada
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Re: Colourising images!

Hi there,

I colourized a black and white 1950 wedding photo. It was a formal party of 10 people, 8 standing and 2 seated.

I selected 2 or 3 people from different locations in the photo who appeared to have the same skin tone... created a new curve adjustment layer from the selections... and colourized them. I repeated the process, using new layers and different people, until all were selected and colourized.

In this way... I was able to work on the subjects both collectively and separately. It sped up the process quite a bit and working with curves on individual layers also made it very easy to adjust the skin tones in order to give an apparently 'individual skin tone' to each person.

For blushing, I used two different 'blush' colours, on 2 separate curve layers, applying colour where it was appropriate to do so.

Hope this helps,
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Old 01-28-2007, 09:09 PM
photowonderPRO photowonderPRO is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Re: Colourising images!

Hi All,

Thanks for your comments i will upload the sample image i have for reference in future. I currently use Photoshop CS for processing images and will look thorughly through tutorials and reference guides for some help,

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Old 01-28-2007, 09:43 PM
smiley guy smiley guy is offline
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Cambridge, Ontario
Posts: 112
Re: Colourising images!

Most efficient? I'm not sure but there may be a couple of things I can help with.

As far as colours go, do a google search (or search here) for color swatches for skin and hair. There was a very helpful jpeg that came up as well as a bunch of colour swatches for skin and hair. I just did a colourization and it helped me tremendously to have a variety of hair and skin colours to try out.

As far as the actual colorizing goes, I just creat various layers for each colour that I want in the picture. I choose Solid Color adjustment layers and then add a conceal mask to them. I then paint on the mask with 100% opacity and an appropriate brush to basically make the initial selection. when I am happy with the selection and the colour I will then do a variety of things to fine tune it such as lowering the overall opacity of the layer or going in with the same brush and painting back in in various shades of grey to temper the colourizing.

Like I say, I'm not sure if this is efficient but it gives me some nice results. Doing the initial masking with 100% opacity in the brush allows me to be sure of the selection that I'm making, allows me to easily see where I'm painting and allows me to make judgements on the final colour. Having each colour on a Solid Color Adjustment layer also allows me to very easily change the colour(s) after the fact.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing more in your post.
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