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Combine color & B&W photo

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Old 10-31-2005, 07:48 AM
Trident Trident is offline
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Question Combine color & B&W photo

I have a photo that I need to "colorize" and have exhausted my limited abilities in doing so.
I have two copies of the image: one is a small color jpeg and the other a larger B&W tif. When I enlarge the color image, the resolution is unacceptable (it's going to be used in a glossy print ad).
I'm attaching a copy of the small color image so you can see what I mean. The B&W is too large to attach.

No, I don't know how the B&W image lost it's color. I just found the image and thats the way it was. It was probably used in a grayscale ad and the person who changed it didn't think to save as a copy.

I actually have three images like this and would like to be able to do the same thing with all of them.

Any help or suggestions appreciated.
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File Type: jpg frnds.jpg (42.5 KB, 50 views)
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:01 AM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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try enlarging the colour image, overlaying it on he B&W and set the blending mode to color.
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:07 AM
Trident Trident is offline
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Thanks for the quick reply. However, one thing I forgot to mention/emphasize:
I really don't know what I'm doing here.
I know how to enlarge the photo.
You lost me with overlaying and blending.
Step by step would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-31-2005, 08:35 AM
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NancyJ NancyJ is offline
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Have 2 layers (assuming you're using photoshop)
B&W underneath, colour on top.
In the layers window (window -> layers if you dont have it open) there should be a dropdown that defaults to 'normal'. Set that to Colour. Should be an improvement, if you can still see artifacting try adding a filter -> noise -> median followed by a smal gaussian blur.

If you had a link to the b&W version I could probably help you better.
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Old 10-31-2005, 12:42 PM
Trident Trident is offline
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Well, I've been trying to follow your directions (yes, I have Photoshop7), but I'm missing something.
I've attached a condensed version of the B&W image.
Any help appreciated.
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File Type: jpg TwoGuys reduced copy.jpg (79.0 KB, 27 views)
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Old 10-31-2005, 01:44 PM
Billfields Billfields is offline
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I played a bit with the two images you posted but it appears that they are not exactly the same. One has elements (the post for example ) the other does not have. The guys are in the same pose but they do not overlay precisely. I tried cropping and resizing to get them as close as I could then followed the process Nancy suggested. I set the blend to color and the opacity to 70 %. You will see that where the post was and around the edges there are shadows and mismatches which you could repair with close detail work on the color layer. Keep in mind I did this in about 10 minutes, more time will give you better results.

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File Type: jpg TwoGuys-merged.jpg (92.1 KB, 36 views)
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Old 10-31-2005, 03:10 PM
leuallen leuallen is offline
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NancyJ suggestion works very well. One problem that you will have is that the two photo do not scale to the same size making it difficult to overlay match them.

Open B/W photo. Go to Image->Image size. Note the Horz pix - 1200 and vert pix - 823. Resoultion is 300.

Open color photo. Image->Image size. It is 250x168, 72 resoultion. Check Constrain proportions and Resample image (Bicublic). Set resoultion to 300. Then set 250 to 1200. The Height will read 806 - does not match 823 but we will take care of that by cropping. Click OK. Now both images are same size and resoultion.

With color image active, go to layers pallet and click and hold down the left mouse button on the background layer and drag to B/W photo while holding down Shift key. This will place the color photo over the B/W one. Change blending mode to color on the color layer. You will see some color blobs but they are not in the right place because the two photos have been cropped differently. Now the hard part. Adjust the color of the color image so that it overlays the B/W image properly.

Zoom to Fit on Screen, then down to 66%. You should see the photo with a nice gray border area around it. We need the border area for the next step so that we can see the transform handles.

With color layer active, press Ctrl-T (Transform). You will see a bounding box with eight handles on it. The color image is too small so we have to enlarge it.
Holding down the Shift key (to keep the proportions of the enlargement relative), grab the upper right handle and move up to the right. You will see the color blobs move to the right till they sort of match the B/W photo. In the Options bar I had a reading of about 111% for H and W. The blobs still do not match correctly, they are a little high but close to the right place.

Now move the blobs down. Use the down arrow key, and keep pressing it until you get as good as match as possible. Note: if you have just resized, the arrow keys will do a resize instead of move. Just click inside the box and then use the arrow key - it will now move.

Close but still not there. I have the color in the vertical direction just about right but there is still a color glow around the B/W image because the color image is a little too large. Best bet is to go to the Options bar, click the chain icon between the W and H boxes - this keeps proportions correct. Then try different numbers in the W box. 111 is what I had, tried 110. This is pretty close. Make any final adjustments moving the color up/down - left/right till you get a good match.

If there is any color glow around the image, it can be removed but that is another topic. You should be close enough, better than colorization. Note that there is is strip at the left side and maybe bottom that is not colored. Crop this little bit out and you are done.

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File Type: jpg TwoGuys-reduced-copy.jpg (91.6 KB, 33 views)
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Old 10-31-2005, 04:36 PM
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Panpan Panpan is offline
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It's the same image, but the b&w one has been modified.
The area between the men has been cloned in parts on the right. The right man's left arm has been modified and some parts of the face have been dodged. The right arm sleeve appears twice. The color image has been cropped a little.

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Old 10-31-2005, 06:39 PM
gmitchel gmitchel is offline
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My article in this month's issue of PBase Magazine on using ChannelMixer for B&W conversion also includes a whole section on letting color "peek through" from the original image. The steps are illustrated.


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