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In this Photoshop for Designers course, Nigel French focuses on the tools and features in Photoshop designed for choosing, applying, and editing color. The course looks at concepts such as the color wheel and color harmonies as well as the practicalities of using the Color Picker, leveraging the power of color channels, and the characteristics of different color modes in Photoshop. The course includes exercises on correcting color, enhancing color, shifting and replacing colors, working with spot color channels, hand coloring black and white images, and designing with a reduced color palette.
This movie is a summary of the different ways to choose your colors in Photoshop, in no particular order, let's begin with the Swatches panel. If I have my Swatches panel open I can choose my foreground color by clicking on the color that I like, and to choose the background color, I hold down the Command or the Ctrl key and click. I can also Load pre-saved Swatches or I can work from any of these predefined color matching systems. I can also use the Color panel and on the Color panel I can mix my colors by adjusting these sliders, and we have sliders that correspond to Photoshop's different color models.
I am going to switch to RGB now, and they are mixing my colors and I am seeing a scale of 255, 0-255 for each of my three primary colors. These two swatches here represent the foreground and background colors, duplicating what we have down here at the bottom of Tool panel, foreground and background colors. I can also, if I wish, just move my eyedropper along the flattened color wheel that appears at the bottom of the color panel, and you can see as I am doing that the sliders are moving.
If I wanted to set my foreground or background colors to white or black, I can come to the end of this color bar and click on those two small squares for white or black. Because most of the time we are beginning with an image, the biggest source of inspiration in terms of choosing colors is going to be the image itself. We can sample colors from an image and we do not using the eyedropper tool, or if I am in one of my painting tools, I can hold down my Alt key to temporarily toggle to the eyedropper.
So when I do this and I click, what I see is my sampling ring, my sampling ring is divided into an inner circle and an outer circle. The inner circle at the top, we have the currently chosen foreground color, and the bottom half of that is what was my previous foreground color, outside of that is a ring of neutral gray, this just makes it easier to evaluate the color that you are choosing, when we see it against a outer circle of neutral gray.
Other options that relate to the eyedropper are the sample size. And the most appropriate sample size would depend upon how many Pixels there are in your image, the bigger the number, the larger the sample size, typically, I would like to work with either a 3 x 3 or 5 x 5 average. Since this is a relatively small image, I am going to go with a 3 x 3 average. We can change what layer we are sampling, since I have only one layer in this image, I am going to leave that on current layer and there is the option to see the sampling ring.
As well as being able to sample colors from your current image, you can also sample colors from any image you have open in Photoshop or indeed from anywhere on your desktop, anywhere in your desktop interface. What I am going to do now is now is switch to this image, let's say that I want to sample some colors from this, and I think I'm going to split my screen into two, into a 2 up horizontal view, or a 2 up vertical view rather. And then I will move over to the deck chair image, and let's say I want to sample some color from there and then that's going to become my foreground color.
So that now when I move back to my big sur image, it's that color sampled from the other image that I can now paint in. Switching my view back to a Consolidated view, so we see just the one image as well as the eyedropper, we also have the heads up display, which I warn you is quite a handful, but let's take a look at how we use this. Rather than having to break the fluidity of your work by going to the color picker itself, where we have color field allowing us to change the Saturation by moving horizontally, or the Brightness by moving vertically, and the Hue by using the vertical slider.
Rather than doing that we can stay in the image itself and hold down these keyboard shortcuts, Ctrl+Alt+Command+Click. And you'll see we have an interface just like the one that we have in the color picker. Now what we do here is we move around on the color field to choose the kind of shape that we are after, shaping the combined term for the Saturation and the Brightness. So I am going to go for about there. And now and this is where it gets tricky, I am going to let go of my keyboard modifier keys, and I am going to hold down the Spacebar, which is going to allow me to move over into the vertical Hue slider.
I am now going to reengage those Modifier keys, Ctrl+Option+Command, or if you are working on a PC, it's Shift+ Alt+Righ+Click and you can now move the Hue slider up and down. When you get to the color that you want, and I am going to go with something like that purple, release, and that becomes your foreground color. As well as working with the Hue strip, we can change our Preferences. It's in our General Preferences, for PC users your Preferences will the bottom of your Edit menu, in the General Preferences we can change the HUD Heads Up Display color picker, to a color wheel.
And when we do that, keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Option+Command or Right-Click+Shift+Alt and then we can move around within the color field, we let go off the left-hand side of the keyboard, hold down the Spacebar, which is going to allow us to jump over into the outer color wheel, and then re-engage those three modifier keys, where we can move around the color wheel to get to the right hue that we want, let go and then that becomes our foreground color.
So different ways of choosing our foreground and background colors, which methods you use, depends largely upon your preference, but there's no reason why you can't mix-and-match all of these techniques.
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