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Converting Color Image To Grayscale

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  • Converting Color Image To Grayscale

    Here's a technique I just found out about. It's a little time consuming, but there is a *LOT* of control.

    1. Open a color image, and make a duplicate copy. Image/Duplicate -- O.K.

    2. On the duplicate image, choose Image/Mode/Grayscale

    3. Target the original image, choose Image/Adjust/Channel Mixer. Choose 100% red, 0% green and blue -- monochrome -- O.K.

    4. Holding down the shift key, drag the resulting grayscale image onto the grayscale image you made earlier. This will line up your newly dragged layer with the layer below.

    5. Target your original image, Window/Show History. Click on the top history state (the opening of the image). Repeat step 3, except choose 100% green, 0% red and blue -- again monochrome -- O.K.

    6. Repeat step 4.

    7. If you think there is sufficient data in the blue channel, repeat step 5, but choose 100% blue, 0% red and green -- again monochrome -- O.K.

    8. Repeat step 4.

    This will give you a grayscale image with 2 or 3 layers from the images you dragged over from the original image. You can name these layers "red layer", "green layer", and "blue layer". Now that you have the information from the original channels, you can use layer masks, opacity settings, and blending modes to spend your day making your grayscale image exactly the way you want it . You also have the option to change layer positions, resulting in a different look. Have fun.


  • #2
    A Fantastic tip from the guy who claims to know very little

    Hey Ed,
    I thought Katrin had some good techniques for creating a good greyscale but this one looks very interesting and easier to follow. I can't wait to try this one out Ed. Thanks for the very excellent tip. I think I am going to copy this to my tips file.
    Last edited by DJ Dubovsky; 09-25-2001, 10:10 PM.


    • #3
      Your welcome Debbie. I haven't put a lot of time into trying it yet, but I did a little. I have a feeling that once I learn how to use it, I'll also learn a lot about how to do other things as well.



      • #4
        Thanks for the tutorial.I tried out the procedure on a picture that I took of a flower in a bowl and it works very well .I particularly liked what it did to the glass. There is alot of potential in being able to adjust the characteristics of the new layers. As soon as I find a suitable landscape in my files I want to try to do an Ansel Adams type picture.I really don't know why I've become so drawn to the b&w and sepia. Have to think about it. PC


        • #5
          You're welcome Paulette. Ah, B&W -- it has a characteristic all it's own. Let us know how it turns out. In fact, you might want to post it.



          • #6
            Ed my hero!!

            I finally got a chance to try out this technique. You are right, it has an infinate number of possiblities in control. I have to say I like this method best of all for what you can do with it.

            I put the red (best) layer on the bottom at full opacity then did the green as overlay and about 35% opacity and the blue on luminosity at about 35% opacity. And tried all kinds of combinations vs the original which I turned to grayscale as a comparison. Vast difference. It's also very easy to remember once you've done it and the possible settings are unbelievable. Great Technique!!! Thank you again. Got this one tucked away in remembered skills.

            Note to anyone trying this: Don't forget to check the little monochrome box in the channel mixer dialog box to turn your picture gray each time. First time I did it I didn't do that.


            • #7
              Glad to see that it's working out for the two of you. I can see myself playing all day long with that on one image. With all the possibilities, it could take a month or two. But I can't take the credit for it. I just tried it out after reading about some other guy doing it. It just seemed like it had a lot of potential, some of which I hope to harness.

              Did someone call me a hero? (blush) I simply passed on what I found.



              • #8
                OK don't let it go to your head now. I was in a weakened state of great enthusiasm over a new technique when I said that.

                You know I was thinking the same thing. I could play around with all the possibilities all day and probably still not know when I had the best possible black and white. Have to study up on just what to look for in a good black and white. Contrast vs details etc. Well I am still glad you found it and posted it.


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