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Photoshop is the world’s most powerful image editor, and it’s arguably the most complex, as well. Fortunately, nobody knows the program like award-winning book and video author Deke McClelland. Join Deke as he explores such indispensable Photoshop features as resolution, cropping, color correction, retouching, and layers. Gain expertise with real-world projects that make sense. Exercise files accompany the course.
Download Deke's free dekeKeys and color settings from the Exercise Files tab.
So far I've showed you how you can change all of the colors inside of an image using Hue/Saturation. In this exercise I'm going to demonstrate how to change a single range of colors. Specifically the blues in this umbrella, without affecting any of the other colors none of the other portions of the umbrella not the background not her face, not her sweater, without the use of a selection or a layer mask, just Hue/Saturation by itself. I'm working inside this image called Rainbow umbrella.jpg. It comes to us from T.Tulic of the Fotolia Image Library about which you can learn more at Fotolia.com/deke, and I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift+U or Command+Shift+U on the Mac, that keyboard shortcut that I gave you with dekeKeys, and I am going to enter a name for this layer of sweater which may seem strange when we're going to change the blue portion of the umbrella.
But we're ultimately going to use it to change this sweater in the next exercise. And I'm actually doing it this way for demonstrational purposes so I just can squeeze in another tip or two. Anyway, click OK for now, and that brings up the Adjustments panel. Now notice this word Master. That tells you that Photoshop is going to change all the colors inside the image by the same amount, the same Hue rotation, the same Saturation increase or decrease and so on. What we want to do is bring up the pop-up menu and choose from one of the predefined color ranges and notice they fall into some familiar camps.
We have the reds, the yellows, the greens, cyans, blues, and magentas. Each of which is a primary color set off from its neighbor by 60 degrees on the big Color Wheel. Now what Photoshop does is it creates an incremental drop-off between these color ranges so that you're more or less assured, not 100%, but you're more or less assured of smooth transitions between a block of modified colors and the colors that are not modified. Anyway, let's go ahead and choose blues for now, and because the Adjustments panel is covering up the blues inside this image I want to move it, and in fact, I'm going to move it over here onto the stack of panels on the right-hand side of the screen.
But I want to keep the panel floating, so I'm going to drag this dark-gray area here and I'm going to move my cursor until I don't see a blue line. Notice right now I've got a blue line above Histogram and below the Color panel. I'm going to drag my cursor up until that blue line goes away and now notice we don't have any blue lines either vertical or horizontal inside of the panels. Now if I drop, I've got a Floating Adjustments Pedal which works out beautifully for me. Now notice, if I change the Hue value I am rotating the blues independently of all the other colors, so the greens up here are staying the same, the reds, the oranges, the yellows, her sweater, her face, the background, everything else is staying the same just these colors are changing.
All right, I'm going to go ahead and rotate these to something that's initially going to look pretty awful. Let's go ahead and take these up into the bright purple range there, so I'll take that value to +100, then let's drop down the Saturation and raise that value a little bit. I'm going to take that to +40, let's say, and it looks terrible at this point as you can see, so this is the difference. I'll click this eyeball so we can hide the layer. Another way to toggle the visibility of the layer here inside Photoshop is to click this eyeball, goes away.
That's what the original blues look like. This is what they look like now with this layer turned on. So in other words we're really hitting this slat, we're not doing much other than messing up this one, and bringing out a bunch of color noise and artifacts and so on, and then this guy is pretty much unscaled. Well, we have control over the color range, this is just the default color range for blues, we can modify it using these little values down here and what they tell us, these little sliders -- what they tell us is where the color modifications starts which is at 195 degrees and then it tapers up to 225 degrees, so in other words the actual start of the effect is 225 degrees then it drops off down to 195, then it continues on to 255 degrees and drops off at 285.
Now what that tells you is not so much, oh yeah. That's right 240 degrees is exactly blue if you remember the Color Wheel. I don't expect you to remember exactly what the numbers are for the various colors however. What I do want to understand is that this indicates a gradual drop off, so everything between 225 and 255 is going to get absolutely modified. Then it's going to drop off one direction at 285, the other to 195, and then everything between 285 cycling back around the Color Wheel to 195 is not going to be touched.
So I'll go ahead and show you what happens if we increase this range. Notice as I drag it over, so that we're including more colors in our modification. I just incorporated the reds and the yellows and her face and her sweater and her hair and so on, parts of the background as well. Don't want to do that so I'm going to drag that guy back here, put it more or less back where it was actually, and then I'm going to expand at the other direction, going to drag this guy over, like so, until we change all three of these slats inside the umbrella.
And then if we want it to we could modify the Lightness value. Now I was telling you Lightness is not an option I use when I'm making global modifications that is when I have this guy set to Master, but it can be useful on a color range by color range basis, and that's how you affect one color range independently of another. Now I'm not saying I've done a great job that far. I just wanted to demonstrate how this works. In the next exercise we're going to take this very bad effect, and we're going to turn it into a really great effect where we change her sweater and nothing else.
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