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colorizing questions

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  • colorizing questions

    I'm a fairly new photoshop user and I would love some feedback or help for this image I've posted. I've got a few images like this one that I have questions about.

    1) Black hair--what is the best way to do black or dark hair on a subject? On this one, I used a level adjustment layer, but I'm not real pleased with the result.

    2) Plaid shirts--again used a levels adjustment layer. When using a fill color layer, couldn't ever get it to look natural. I've got several pics like this so I'd like a good way to accomplish it without individually doing the squares of the shirt.

    I guess those are the two main things I was wondering about, but I would appreciate any other tips for the image or colorization in general.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Hey Ross, welcome to the club. I believe the thing that you may not like is the hair looking "black and white." At least that's what I see in your image.

    When I'm colorizing, I'm not skilled enough to be able to pick my own colors from the Photoshop palette. I like to find a pic on the web that has the color I like. I do a google search on "brown hair" or "blonde", then click the "image" tab at the top of the google search page.

    Copy it into PS, and use the color picker to pick that color that you are looking for. Then on a new color layer, brush that picked color onto my image. That's how I do skin tones and how I did the hair on your picture. I felt that the highlights should be a dark brown...

    I also took the liberty of changing his skin tones and shirt color for grins. On the skin, pay attention to the different colors in anyone's face. Remember the different tones on the cheeks, lips, around the eyes, etc. Pick another shade, and add that color with a light opacity color brush. Pay attention to a blend of color using a soft brush around the hairline. The use of hard brushes don't look very natural there...

    I did the shirt in the same way you may have, with a Hue/Saturation layer, masked so only the shirt shows through. Then adjust the Hue and pay close attention to the saturation. I find that low is sometimes better than full-blown color.

    I might also suggest to reduce the saturation of the background...

    Attached Files


    • #3
      Hi Ross,

      For a "fairly new photoshop user" I think you did quite well .... (colorizing is a very difficult task .... at least for me ....)

      Still practicing this colorozing Tutorial, I took the liberty to colorize your picture... Hope you don't mind...

      (the technique explained in the tutorial isn't the easiest one....but I'm always more satisfied with the results I'm getting!!!)

      I couldn't agree more with what Scott already pointed out:

      ...I believe the thing that you may not like is the hair looking "black and white."......

      ....Remember the different tones on the cheeks, lips, around the eyes, etc. Pick another shade, and add that color with a light opacity color brush. Pay attention to a blend of color using a soft brush around the hairline. The use of hard brushes don't look very natural there...
      You should also be careful with the selection transition .... meaning there shouldn't be harsh lines or halos between subject and the new background ....
      To minimize that, you could:
      • Paste your selection (subject) on its own Layer. (Ctrl+J)
      • Decrease the selection by 1 px.
      • Slightly feather your selection (0.5).
      • Invert your selection (Ctrl+I).
      • Edit>"Clear" the selection.

      I usually never go for 'one colour only' background as, in my opinion, it tends to look 'flat'... I rather go for Gradients .... and, as Scott pointed out, a very strong background colour tends to 'steal the show' ..... I think a background should help to emphasize the subject .... not the other way around ....

      Attached Files
      Last edited by Flora; 03-22-2004, 02:57 PM.


      • #4
        great stuff

        Flora and Scott,
        That's awesome feedback! I should have posted sooner. I will take those tips and work on that image and some others i've got. The shirt was giving me fits, but I will do as you suggested.

        Flora, after seeing your background, I am somewhat embarrassed of mine...Not really sure what i was thinking with that blue. Could you elaborate on how you made the background?

        As I was saying, I am a new user. I started about 3 months ago, and am trying to self-teach myself through tutorials on the net, this forum, and Eismann's book. Any more suggestions on learning materials?

        Again, thanks for the info.


        • #5
          Hi Ross,

          For an easier way to make and refine a selection you could read my Tutorial...

          After having made the selection, here are the steps I took to create the new background on your picture:
          • Duplicated the Background Layer (BG Copy).
          • Created a New empty Layer just under the BG Copy.
          • Clicked on the 'Eye'at the left of your background Layer to make it invisible.
          • Activated the New empty Layer by clicking on it. (Image 1)
          • Chose the colours I liked for Fore and Background.
          • Opened the 'Gradient Tool' dialog box. (Image 2)
          • Created the Gradient as shown in Image 3 .... (Pull the line just outside your image).
          • Added a bit of Noise (Filter>Noise>Add Noise) to the background to blend it in with the rest of the picture. (Image 4)

          The new Background (Image 5)....and the finished picture (Image 6).

          Originally posted by WRM
          ...The shirt was giving me fits..
          Here is a way for quickly and easily colorizing the shirt (or any other part of your picture)in a natural way:
          • Created a New empty Layer on top of all the others (Blending set to 'Color').
          • Pick the colour you like.
          • With a soft (fuzzy) Brush (Opacity=40-60%), paint over the New empty Layer .... (you can always 'play' with Layer Opacity and/or Blending to get the result you like...) (Image 7)

          Katrin Eismann's Books, RP and the Internet are all the learning materials I ever use for Photoshop...

          Hope this could help...

          Attached Files
          Last edited by Flora; 03-23-2004, 03:27 AM.


          • #6
   are the last two images I couldn't add to my previous post ....
            Attached Files


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