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8. The Eyedropper

From: Photoshop Top 40

Video: 8. The Eyedropper

(Music playing) Deke's Photoshop? Deke's Photoshop? Top 40! #8! Feature #8 is the humble but ubiquitous Eyedropper inside of Photoshop and it is a very simple tool to use. If you go over to the Eyedropper tool here inside the toolbox and click on it or you can press the I key to access tool if you like. Notice that I have my color palette open so that you can see the foreground color is currently set to black, my RGB values are all set to 0. If I click for example in the center of this woman's head then I lift the color of that pixel and I get all the color values that are associated with it as well subject to the color value that is available to me here inside the color palette and that's all there is to it.

8. The Eyedropper

(Music playing) Deke's Photoshop? Deke's Photoshop? Top 40! #8! Feature #8 is the humble but ubiquitous Eyedropper inside of Photoshop and it is a very simple tool to use. If you go over to the Eyedropper tool here inside the toolbox and click on it or you can press the I key to access tool if you like. Notice that I have my color palette open so that you can see the foreground color is currently set to black, my RGB values are all set to 0. If I click for example in the center of this woman's head then I lift the color of that pixel and I get all the color values that are associated with it as well subject to the color value that is available to me here inside the color palette and that's all there is to it.

Now you might look at that and think well, sure Deke, it's a very simple tool to use, but really feature #8 on the Top 40 list, how does it rate that? And the reason is just imagine a world in which there was no Eyedropper tool. We have as you very well know 16.8 million colors at our disposal at least inside of Photoshop. Imagine if you had to sit there and dial in every single one of those color values inside the color palette or the color picker dialog box. You would waste an enormous amount of time.

But by virtue of the fact that you can just click on a color and select it millions of times if necessary, you save a ton of time. You get those indigenous colors from the image. You can create matching colors, complimentary colors, different shades and so on. So we have seen how you can lift a foreground color just by clicking on it. If you want to change the background color, this color that's currently white here inside the color palette, then you would press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac and I am going to Alt+ Click or Option+Click inside this woman's headdress, I lift that gold as the background color. It's that simple.

Now you can change the behavior of that tool by clicking on one of the colors here inside the color palette. So now that I have clicked on the background color, if I click inside the image I'm going to change that background color Alt or Option+clicking now will change the foreground color. I don't want that so I am going to switch my focus back to the foreground color right there. I am also going to press the D key in order to reestablish the foreground and background colors of black and white, the default colors, just to eliminate little bit of confusion here. Now here is something interesting.

The Eyedropper tool is the one tool inside of Photoshop that doesn't switch focus between open images. So if I were to switch to the 2 Up View so that I can see two images at the same time. Notice this image on the left hand side is active right now, but if I click inside of the right-hand image not only do I lift the color of the pixel at that click point and you can see the foreground color is now blue, but I do not switch the focus to that window. Instead the current image is still in focus here. That means not only that you can lift colors between different open images but my friend you can lift colors between different open applications.

As long as you can see something on screen you can get that color. So if in the background you can see Illustrator running with an Illustration open, you can lift a color from that Illustration. You can lift a color from an InDesign document or a Flash design or a Microsoft Word document if you want to the desktop for crying out loud and here is how it works. I'm going to switch back to the consolidated view for a moment here and then I am going to zoom out from my image and press the F key in order to switch to the full screen mode so that I have a lot of room to work.

Now you don't want to just click with the Eyedropper inside of a different application. That will switch focus because then you are leaving Photoshop for a different application. Instead here is what you do. I want you to keep your eye on the foreground color and the color sliders here the color palette, if I click -- I have got my mouse button down by the way. Notice that my foreground color changed and as I drag it updates continuously. So I'm clicking and dragging across my image. Now I'm dragging across the pasteboard and I am tracking the color to the pasteboard.

Now I've dragged into a thumbnail in the Layers palette and I am tracking the colors inside that thumbnail. I can even track the colors in an inactive thumbnail. This layer is hidden currently. This could be a totally different application as well. Once you get the color nail that you want, you just release the mouse button and then you have changed the foreground color to that color. So that's how you lift a color from a totally different application. Now bear in mind here is the caveat. If you have got a CMYK illustration open in Illustrator for example and you are working inside the RGB mode here inside of Photoshop, why then you aren't going to lift a CMYK color.

You are going to lift an RGB color of course subject to feature #10 the color settings. So as long as you have all the different Adobe apps set to the same color settings you should be in good shape. All right so now that you have a sense of what the Eyedropper can do, let's have a little bit of fun with it. I'm to go ahead and press Shift+F to switch back to the Standard Window mode right here and here is what we are going to do. We are going to take this image that you see before you on screen which comes to us from photographer Jerome Dansette and we are going to assemble it into this crazy chaotic composition right there.

And of course it is garish on purpose, don't you know, I wanted to create something of a crazy South American feel here. But I want you to see what is coming just so you are not surprised by the time we get done with the video. All right, so let's switch back, here we go. The first thing I did was I converted this layer to a Smart Object you may recall that from feature #18 and then I went ahead and applied a Smart Filter. This happens to be the Photocopy Filter right here, which you can get to from the Filter menu. You go down to Sketch and then you go to Photocopy. Now I wanted something of a quick and dirty line drawing effect that is something that Photocopy can pull off pretty quickly.

But I don't want the effect to be quite this brittle. So I want to mix it in with the underlying original, I will do that by double-clicking on the Settings icon here at the bottom of the Layers palette and then I will change the mode from Normal -- you may recall blend modes from feature #11. I will change the blend mode from Normal to Linear Light and then I will reduce the opacity value to 25% so that we get this effect right there, click OK. Now I want to infuse this image with a totally different palette of colors and I am going to do that by turning on this liquid color layer and I should say that this image comes to us from Bill Ardern once again of the Fotolia Image Library.

I am going to go ahead and change now the blend mode for this layer to Overlay, so that we create an interaction of the colors from the liquid color layer with the underlying parade image and we get this effect right there. All right, now I'm turning on the text layers and there is a whole group of text layers. Three different text layers available to us here. They are terribly easy-to-read at this point and I need some additional design elements and those elements, they are also going to help us in the readability department, are available here inside the rip layers group.

So I've got to set a top rips, right there at the top of the image, I have got middle rips that white layer right there and bottom rips. Now they are set to black, white and black for starters but those are just placeholders for the colors that I actually want use and I'm going to establish those colors using, guess what the Eyedropper. So I will go ahead and click in the middle rips in order to make it active and then I am going to grab my Eyedropper tool right here and I want to lift a shade of blue and in fact the shade of blue I want to lift is right about here at this person's temple, and by default when you click with the Eyedropper you lift the composite color that is the color of that pixel subject to the blending between all the different layers and that's the way it works all the time instead of Photoshop CS3 and earlier and that's the way it works by default inside of Photoshop CS4 and later and you can change that behavior as we'll see in just a moment . So I have lifted the shade of blue/lilac here, inside of the color palette.

Now let's put it to work. I've got the middle rips layer selected, I am going to press Shift+Alt+Backspace or Shift+Option+Delete to fill the opaque pixels in that layer with blue and you may recall this technique from feature #37, the Fill functions. And now I am going to change the blend mode associated with that layer to Linear Burn like so in order to burn it the place. All right but now let's say for top rips and bottom rips I want to lift a shade of brown from the original image. I don't want to lift a composite color, all these crazy purples and oranges and yellows.

I don't want to have anything to do with those. I want to lift a nice rich brown from this person's face. What do I do? Well, what you used to have to do and this is Photoshop CS3 and earlier, you used to have to turn off all the stuff that was in your way. So I'd have to turn off the liquid color layer and then turn off the Smart Filters, reveal that original image and then I could click inside that original image. For example I am going to click in his eye crease right there in order to lift that shade of brown and then I would click on top rips in order to make it active. And then I press Shift+Alt+Backspace or Shift+Option+Delete on a Mac in order to fill it with that brown and I'm to change the blend mode incidentally to Multiply as well where this specific layer is concerned.

But that's not the only way to work inside of Photoshop CS4. In CS4 what you can do -- I will switch over to bottom rips for a moment -- is you can have all the others layers turned on. So I will go ahead and turn on liquid layer. You don't want to have Smart Filters turned on though because Photoshop always sees those Smart Filters, but it can see through layers if you wanted to. Then you go up to the Options bar and you change Sample from All Layers to Current Layer. And then you go ahead and click. For example, I am going to click in this woman's hair let's say. Now initially when I click there will be no change, nothing happened and the reason is because I'm just sampling the current layer and the current layer is set to bottom rips and this portion of bottom rips happens to be transparent.

If I click down here, I will change the foreground color to black because that's what bottom rips has going on. That's the only color it has. I need to switch layers so I will switch to this parade layer once again which is the original image. Then I will click in the hair and notice I lift the shade of brown like so. So I am totally burrowing through everything that's going on once again with the exception of the Smart Filters. If you don't want those to be taken into account you need to turn them off. All right now I will click on bottom rips in order to make it active and I will press Shift+Alt+Backspace or Shift+ Option+Delete on the Mac, in order to fill that layer with the brown color.

I will turn the Smart Filters back on so I can see what I'm doing, click on bottom rips once again to make it active and this time I am going to change the blend mode to Hard Light like so. Now if that's not quite dark enough, let's say you are looking at that brown color and you think well that's the right color of brown, but I want a different shade. Well I then, what I recommend you do as opposed to clicking somewhere with the Eyedropper, if you go to your color palette and you go to the menu icon right there and you switch from RGB sliders to HSB sliders. That way as long as you avoid changing the Hue value you value, the H value right there, you'll retain the same core color.

You can drive down to the brightest value to change the shade. So you can either darken the shade or lighten it. I am going to darken it up. I am also to make the color a little more intense by increasing the Saturation value the S value right there. And then I will change the color of that layer by pressing Shift+Alt+Backspace or Shift+Option+Delete on the Mac. All right I am going to twirl close the rip layers group and I am going to twirl open my text layer once again. Notice that my text layers have Drop Shadows associated with them but the Drop Shadows are black. I can change the color of those Drop Shadows and I can do so, using the Eyedropper. The Eyedropper as I was saying at the outset is ubiquitous.

It shows up all over the place when you are using Photoshop. But if you wanted to function properly when you are inside of one of the other dialog boxes, you need to make sure to set Sample from Current Layer back to All Layers. That's a good idea just to reset the behavior of that tool before you move on. All right, now I am going to change the Drop Shadow and I am going to double-click on this Drop Shadow that's associated with this top-text right there. I will click of the color swatch in order to load the color picker dialog box and now when I move my cursor out of that dialog box, notice that it changes to an Eyedropper and I can click anywhere inside the image.

For example, some place up here I would think would work pretty nicely. In order to lift that color and make it my Drop Shadow color and I'm done. That's all there is to it, click OK, click OK to accept that modification. Again it's only going to work if Sample is set to All Layers, otherwise you are going to be quite disappointed there. I am going to double-click on this Drop Shadow as well and do the same thing, click on its color swatch, click outside the image like so to lift that color inside of the color picker dialog box click OK, click OK to escape out. I have now changed the colors of those Drop Shadows.

Now I have got this carnival layer right there. I am going to click on it to make it active. I am going to turn on its Drop Shadow. It's already in color. I have also got an inner shadow, which is actually an inner glow that I have setup. You may recall that you could do that kind of thing from feature #17, layer effects. I will go ahead and turn on Stroke as well. Now if I want to change the color of my text, my gosh, I can just click on a color, for example green here inside of the image and it will go ahead and switch out the color of the text just like that.

Now if it doesn't happen automatically, the second you click on the color then you will need to press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete on a Mac to assign that foreground to the text. There is just one more thing that I want to do here. Really want to offset this text a little more and I am going to do that using this pretty cool technique here. Let's see how it works. I will go ahead and twirl close all of my text layers and then I am going to load the selection outlines that are associated with each one of these text layers by Ctrl+clicking or Command+clicking on the first one and Ctrl+Shift+clicking or Command+ Shift+clicking on the other too.

So that's a Ctrl+click on one, then Ctrl+Shift+click on the other two. That's a Command+click on one and then Command+Shift+click on other two. And you have to click on the thumbnails, not at here in the larger layers. Now what that does is it loads all the selection outlines. Now then I am going to go up to the Select menu, I am going to choose Modify and I am going to choose Expand and I am going to expand those selection outlines by 16 pixels and the idea is I am trying to create some borders around my text at this point in time. I will go ahead and click on the Liquid Color layer in order to make it active, create a new layer by pressing Ctrl+ Shift+N, Command+Shift+N on the Mac, and I will call this text outlines like so.

Click OK, now I have a new layer and I am going to go ahead and fill it with a shade of brown let's say or kind of a deep orange, click in this location here inside the image window. That might actually be a little too dark. So let's click there. That should look okay, I have got kind of a red going now and I will press Alt+Backspace or Option+Delete to fill that selection outline with that red. Now I am going to change the blend mode associated with that layer to Linear Burn to achieve this effect here. And now I will press Ctrl+D, Command+D on the Mac in order to deselect the image and that is our final effect folks.

Thanks to the power of such a simple little tool, the Eyedropper here inside Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

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Photoshop Top 40

41 video lessons · 37752 viewers

Deke McClelland
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