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Colorizing black and white image

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  #1  
Old 10-22-2006, 09:56 AM
Gerald McClaren Gerald McClaren is offline
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Colorizing black and white image

I would like to know what is the more reasonable method in colorizing a black and white photo. First, Quick Mask vs Lasso Tools, for example when coloring the face or clothing of a person. Second, Hue Saturation Lightness vs Color Balance, which one of these would be more realistic for colorizing a photo. I know everyone have a different method when colorizing a photo, I'm just looking for the more realistic method. I would like to stick to a certain method and perfect it. Thanks.


Gerald McClaren
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Old 10-22-2006, 10:32 AM
Airdale Airdale is offline
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Re: Colorizing black and white image

Hi Gerald

I have have recently been playing around with doing just that, so here is my two cents.

<<First, Quick Mask vs Lasso Tools, for example when coloring the face or clothing of a person. >>

I use a full mask. Here is my work flow

1) decide what I want to color and the color to use (i don't sweat getting the color exactly right at this point. Just close)

2) I add either a "fill layer" with my chosen color or a "gradient map layer" with darker and lighter version of that color (I don't have a rule for when to use which... still trial and error for me - maybe someone has an idea on that). Set layer blending more to "color".

3) Add a "hide all" mask and then paint back the part I am working on

Now I have an easy way to tweak the color - just click the fill layer and adjust the color. Sometimes the "overlay" or "soft light" blending modes give a better result than "color". Again seeing what looks better is just a couple of clicks.

When most of the big parts are done I add a blank layer set to "color" and paint in some little details that I don't have patience to mask.

I'm attaching a two b/w photos that i combined and colored using the above method.

Hope this helps.
Airdale
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File Type: jpg little-grandma-WEB.jpg (96.3 KB, 125 views)
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Old 10-22-2006, 10:37 AM
Craig Walters's Avatar
Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Colorizing black and white image

hi guys,

this falls more into 'post production retouching' rather than restoration. so, i'm moving the thread to the retouching forum.

but, before i do, you might try this link on colorizing. it's one used by our own Vikki, who is an excellent colorizer: http://www.worth1000.com/tutorial.asp?sid=161015
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Old 10-22-2006, 11:53 AM
Gerald McClaren Gerald McClaren is offline
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Re: Colorizing black and white image

Hi! Airdale, great colorizing of those pictures, especially putting the little girl between with them. I had never use a gradient for colorizing a picture before, as a matter of fact, I don't know how. Can you explain how to use a gradient to color a black and white photo. I'll try and use some of your methods. Thanks for the tips. Kraellin thanks for thread on colorizing a black and white.


Gerald McClaren
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Old 10-22-2006, 04:52 PM
Airdale Airdale is offline
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Re: Colorizing black and white image

<<Can you explain how to use a gradient to color a black and white photo.>>

Sure. The gradient map is actually just an adjustment layer like a levels layer or a fill layer.

1) Set foreground and background colors to use for the gradient. For example, if you are coloring a shirt red you may set the foreground to a pink and the background to a maroon.

2) Add a Gradient Map adjustment layer (layer --> new adjustment layer --> gradient map)

3) Photoshop will ask you what gradient to use. What ever you have set as foreground and background will be the first option.

4) Now you can add the layer mask and back to your regular scheduled program :-)

Here is the difference b/w solid color layer and gradient map (to the best of my understanding)

If you are coloring a shirt red...

SOLID FILL LAYER: will mix red with black for dark areas and will mix red with white for light areas. So shadows become blackish-red and highlight whitish-red

GRADIENT MAP: will change your picture from "black and white" to "background color and foreground color" - in our example "maroon and pink". Shadows become maroon, highlights become pink.

That's what I know... What I don't know is when to use one as opposed to the other. I am still in trial-and-error on that one. let me know if you come up with an answer to that!

Airdale
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Old 10-25-2006, 07:03 PM
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plugsnpixels plugsnpixels is offline
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Post Re: Colorizing black and white image

If you're looking for a pre-packaged solution, check out BlackMagic (Windows-only). In the example on the linked page I recolored the flowers (after desaturating the original).
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