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Help converting black/white image to color

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  • Help converting black/white image to color

    I've learned a lot at RP including about 7 ways to convert color images to black and white. The challenge I have now is to find ONE way to convert a 256-grayscale image into a 256-color image. Could be RGB or Indexed (or anything else for that matter). I use Photoshop CS on a Windows platform. Any help and/or direction would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: Help converting black/white image to color

    Not really sure what you're trying to do.

    You can change the image mode from grayscale to rgb by using IMAGE>MODE>RGB. This does not apply any color to the image, but it will allow you to add color.

    If you want to magically change a grayscale image into a color image you'll have to manually apply colors. There is no "button" that does it for you. There are numerous tutorials however, that will show you how to do it yourself.


    • #3
      Re: Help converting black/white image to color

      Hi, Duwayne and Vikki:
      I just went and checked out Vikki's gallery and it is outstanding. Thanks for the link, V, you do fantastic work. I did a colorization of a black and white picture a couple of weeks ago and I posted it in the Retouching thread. Look down the page and it's the Drag Racing Buddy topic. I converted the grayscale image to RGB and went from there with layer masks, brushes and the blur tool for the background as needed; also I adjusted the opacity of the colors according to the up-front presence of various imagery within the picture. Save an extra copy or two of your original and experiment with it until you find a level that works best. The one I did featured a car rather than a person that time so these methods would change according to the subject. I think the key to "good" colorizing is for the viewer of the image to just look at it and see the featured subject and not "notice" the colorizing...when Turner colorized the old classic movies a few years back, I thought the process was fascinating but when I watched the movie, I found myself looking at the colors instead of following the plot. The same principle would probably apply to a colorized still shot. Try to keep it looking as "real" as possible without overpowering the picture with "too much" color. Hope this helps from a distance if nothing else...Cheers, John


      • #4
        Re: Help converting black/white image to color

        Vikki your colorization is just stunning!

        I would love to get into coloring old photo's as well but what I have been looking for is - How do you decided what colors to use? - .

        Is it the hues in the clothing? Highlights in the hair? Or do you have book and books of colored photos of old clothing?


        • #5
          Re: Help converting black/white image to color

          Vikki - I have always admired your "coloring book" skills. You must have been awesome in your early school years .

          I should have given more explanation of what I 'm trying to do. I use a method to convert color images to black & white that involves 2 Hue/Saturation layers. The top layer is set to monochrome and does the actual conversion to black & white. The sliders in the lower Hue/Saturation layer (set to color blending mode) can be used to change mapping of the color image into the grayscale. I really a lot of fun to play with and can produce some neat effects.

          This works if you have a color image to start with. I would like to achieve the same results starting with a black & white. So to do this I need to "manufacture" a color image. The most I hope for is 256 colors. I know if I have the 256 color set it maps directly to the 256 grayscale. I want to go the other way. 256 grayscale to 256 RGB color. It's just and experiment. Don't know if this will really work!


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