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  • Copying colors from a reference image for Gradient

    How do I take the colors from a reference image and then make a gradient map?

    For example, if I want to copy the colors from these pics and make a gradient for my pic:

    http://www.fashiongonerogue.com/wp-c...hotos-0001.jpg

    http://b-i.forbesimg.com/jasonbelzer...Ad-1-22-14.jpg

  • #2
    Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

    The short answer is that while there are proposed methods out there for this kind of thing, some of which do an okay job, but you won't be able to apply them. There aren't any easy to use tools, and if I pointed you to the research in these areas, you wouldn't be able to read it (filled with math jargon). Your best bet is to approach those by brute force, meaning use the images as reference material while working on your own. That means you should be able to glance over every couple minutes or as often as necessary.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

      Originally posted by klev View Post
      The short answer is that while there are proposed methods out there for this kind of thing, some of which do an okay job, but you won't be able to apply them. There aren't any easy to use tools, and if I pointed you to the research in these areas, you wouldn't be able to read it (filled with math jargon). Your best bet is to approach those by brute force, meaning use the images as reference material while working on your own. That means you should be able to glance over every couple minutes or as often as necessary.
      This. Gradient maps are amazing tools, and I am pretty much using them on every image.
      What you are suggesting, however is not a good solution.

      I'd suggest selectively "pushing" the colors in the right direction using curves or whatever method that deals with existing color. Then, once you've done that you can go into methods that introduce new color, such as gradient maps, solid color, painting on color layer.

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      • #4
        Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

        The main issue is the colour grading from the photos you've linked can be traced back to a lot of selective adjustments, it's not an overall mapping that does the trick.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

          I understand it's tough. How do you do it in the first place? Any good Youtube or articles on this topic?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

            First open you raw, or if it's not raw, make a global curve to set overall temperature for the image.

            Look at the local adjustments, and roughly do local color adjustments in your image.

            Then do tonal adjustments, like you always do (dnb).

            Refine those local color adjustments.

            Keep referring to the image you are trying to emulate. You will go back and forth a bit, but that is normal, like tuning an instrument, you go each way, getting closer to the final look with each adjustment.

            Different lighting doesn't mean you can't use the same color scheme, but remember that in order to get the same look, you first have to match the tones. Same exact hue and saturation don't give the same color if the luminosity doesn't match(try it).

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            • #7
              Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

              Originally posted by beefhitler View Post
              I understand it's tough. How do you do it in the first place? Any good Youtube or articles on this topic?
              There are, but I have yet to see one that doesn't suck. The people who make these videos decide on the images. They know it works well enough for that image, but it won't always generalize in that way. It also won't teach you any details needed to ensure that the overall result is a pleasing one. I'll see if I can find a video that involves some really heavy painting on photos, such as matte painting or something like that. I think you would learn more from it that could be applied at a generalized level when trying to create these things from what is readily available.

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              • #8
                Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

                Basic Photoshop tools will do it, no plugins or magic, Good old levels, HS adjustment and color balance.

                This guy will show you how to do it, It is the only way to do it, the good old fashion way, by hand https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-DE49Muc0g

                Even though it covers matching skin tones, you may apply the same technique to match overall color tones.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

                  Originally posted by Aladdin View Post
                  This guy will show you how to do it, It is the only way to do it, the good old fashion way, by hand https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-DE49Muc0g
                  This youtube tutorial isn't good. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

                  He demonstrates a 'trick' for adjusting exposure and colour at exactly the same time, which I think is not a good idea for beginners who are evidently his target audience.
                  Last edited by AKMac; 10-19-2014, 05:58 AM. Reason: Explanation of criticism

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                  • #10
                    Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

                    Originally posted by Aladdin View Post
                    Basic Photoshop tools will do it, no plugins or magic, Good old levels, HS adjustment and color balance.

                    This guy will show you how to do it, It is the only way to do it, the good old fashion way, by hand https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-DE49Muc0g

                    Even though it covers matching skin tones, you may apply the same technique to match overall color tones.
                    He is doing exactly what I just said shouldn't be done. He is comparing colors with different luminosity???

                    If you were to put a desaturation on top of his "different colors scale" you would see that it has no relation to luminosity.

                    You fix local issues with adjustments, and on top of that you have color adjustments that affect larger areas and give you "mood".

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                    • #11
                      Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

                      @AKMack & @skoobey: OK guys, show me with an example! a picture is worth a 1000 word.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

                        Look, I was wrong, I was doing things badly, because I focused on technique, rather than what image looks like in the end. You can do it the way he did it, and get a fabulous image, the problem is it's going to take forever.

                        There already is a tutorial for this by Pratik Naik, I can't find it now, but it was on youtube, comparing two settings, but the same couple, and how to make the color/tone/feel look good combined.

                        Sure, I'm planning on releasing a series of tutorials, anyway, but you'll have to wait a bit .

                        I'd say, start with looking at desaturated sample, and your image, once you get the tones right, you go for color. Global to local. It's quite simple really, just keep your goal in mind.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

                          Originally posted by Aladdin View Post
                          @AKMack & @skoobey: OK guys, show me with an example! a picture is worth a 1000 word.
                          That's actually the point where I would disagree with you when it comes to techniques such as this one. To make a video of something, it has to work on one image, whereas the things that are applied there do not generalize well. In that case he obtained an okay result where the face was not too flat. If the face was flatly lit, it would give you an effect that looks recolored rather than something that can almost pass for natural.

                          I actually consider this stuff quite a bit. One of the areas I've been looking at is what primitive operations on rgb vectors retain some stability between typical work spaces. I don't count prophoto, because it's terrible.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

                            Originally posted by insmac View Post
                            The main issue is the colour grading from the photos you've linked can be traced back to a lot of selective adjustments, it's not an overall mapping that does the trick.
                            What if thera are not selective adjustments, like in those picture with positive color film? Is it possible to do an overall mapping and copy the colors?

                            http://www.solosapere.it/images/chia...6zvo1_1280.jpg

                            http://www.streetphotographyinthewor...014/05/due.jpg

                            http://calle35.com/wp-content/upload...owitz_1974.jpg

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Copying colors from a reference image for Grad

                              Oh, there are local adjustments. Even then there were adjustments. What you see in galleries and magazines, even when analog, was retouched by printers, with DNB, multiple prints for color, contrast etc.

                              Comment

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