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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.
We previously saw a very easy example of hand-tinting a historic photograph. This is a much more involved example, and this example is going to involve the use of various different masks, where we can color in the different areas of the image. It's also going to involve some of what we saw in the previous movie as well, some hand-painting. And what areas you choose to hand-paint, and what areas you choose to color, based upon the mask, that may vary from image to image, and in reality, from one day to the next, even if you were working on the same image.
This is how it was done. This is a starting state, and I start off by actually removing the sepia tone by setting it to a Black & White. And then I'm using another adjustment layer, another Black & White adjustment layer in combination with a mask that makes the background this steely blue. And then I have another Black & White adjustment layer with a hand-tint on it. I'll just open the Adjustments panel, you can see that I'm using Black & White adjustment layer, but applying a color tint to the layers based upon the mask.
In fact, what I'm going to do here so that we can see this a little bit better is I'm going to tear off my Layers panel and we'll stick that right in the middle, and then expand it and we can look at the adjustments at the same time. And then I have a whole separate folder for the hair, two small masks, and we're looking at the version on the right here, so we can see I am applying to the hair. Now as you build this up, it's difficult to gauge how much color you need, and you need to see the whole image colorized to really evaluate the context of each of the colors, and he is wearing a yellow tie, which he probably wasn't on the day, but bit of artistic license there.
Separate layer group for the bouquet and the flowers, the lips, the suit has more contrast, this is done with a Hue/ Saturation adjustment layer reducing the lightness, the eyes, and we'll need to zoom in, so we can see those. He has got green eyes and she has got brown eyes. Again, artistic license there, and as is common with portraits in this style, they have ruddy cheeks and he has got some sort of flower in his lapel and she has around her collar.
And then just one final thing that I've added is a vignette to darken the corners and just really draw attention to the two figures. Having deconstructed that, let's now switch over to the starting state and I'm going to see just that image, so I'm going to go to my Arrange Documents and choose Consolidate All. So here we are at the starting point. Now bear in mind, we're not going to get exactly the same results here. I'm going to end up using different colors inevitably, but the overall effect will be much the same.
So to begin with, a Black & White adjustment layer and then we're going to have another Black & White adjustment layer. But before I activate that one, I'm going to go to my Channels panel, which I'm going to tear off as well and put that underneath the Layers panel, because we're going to need to see what we have in the way of channels. So I've saved the larger masks, so they're already pre-prepared, of course you would need to prepare your own selections and save them, if you're working on your own image.
But what I'm going to do now is I'm going to activate the Background channel by Command+Clicking or Ctrl+Clicking on it and then back to the Layers panel, and I'll choose Black & White and then click on my Tint checkbox. Now I want to cool down the background, so I'm going to change that to a shade of blue. Next let's do the skin. I'll activate the skin channel by Command+Clicking on it. If you're making your own selections, make sure that when you do the skin channel, you do not include the eyes.
It's important that whites of the eyes remain white. So, once again, another Black & White adjustment layer. I could also do this with Hue/Saturation. That would work as well. The slight advantage of using Black & White is that in addition to changing the tint, I can also adjust the contrast by moving these sliders, which in this case I'm going to forego that option, but it's nice to know that I have it. And I'm just going to stay with the tint that it has given me, which is a fairly good skin tone to begin with.
And next, we'll do the suit. So I'm going to Command+Click on the channel for that and this time, I'm using not a Black & White adjustment layer, I could do this with several of these tools, but I'm going to opt for Hue/ Saturation, and then get the Lightness slider and bring that to the left so just to darken up his suit. That leaves us with one more selection that's already built and that's the bouquet. Command+Click or Ctrl+Click on that, create another adjustment layer, Black & White, choose the Tint, click on the color, and we'll go for a green.
Okay, I'm now going to zoom in and at this juncture, I'm going to hide the Channels panel, since we don't need that any longer, since that's the end of our Save Channels. From now on, we're going to be painting in this more details, although, arguably, it might be a good idea to make a selection for the hair, but I'm just going to paint in the hair in this case. So to do that, I'm going to create a new layer, and then choose my Brush tool. I want to make sure that my Brush Opacity is not completely soft, probably about a Hardness of 25%.
Come over to my Swatches, he is going to have a sort of yellow to begin with. So we'll paint this in and then at some point, the Blending Mode needs to get changed to Color. As I go around his hairline, I'm adjusting the size of my brush as necessary. And then if that just looks a little bit too weird, we can reduce the Opacity of that, take that a long way down. Okay, I'm going to name that layer, I'm now going to create a new layer for her hair color and she is going to have darker hair, a fairly arbitrary decision.
Once again, I'll just start painting and then as soon as I've started, I need to change that to the Color blend mode and then I'm going to end up changing this hair color just as soon as I finish painting in the area. I think she looks kind of good as a red head though. Maybe we'll go a little bit darker. Now let's say I want to replace my current hair color with my currently chosen foreground color. To do that, I need to make sure that I lock the transparency of my active layer, currently Layer 1.
And I can do that either by clicking on that locking checkbox or I can use this keyboard combination, Alt and the Backspace/Delete key, or Option, Backspace/Delete key, and also add the Shift key. And then when I do so, that will only fill the pixels where there's already paint on that layer, and that wasn't much of a change. Let's just do something a little bit more dramatic there and let's say that we'll go for just temporarily, we'll give her some green hair, but of course, she is going to end up with brown hair.
Now I'm going to name that layer as well, and then I'm going to put the pair of these two layers into a layer group. When you're doing something like this, it's not uncommon to end up with rather a lot of layers. So, a good idea to name them, keep things organized. That way it's going to be easier for you to work on things and especially if you have to open this document up at any point in the future or pass this document onto anybody else for editing. So with those two selected, I'm going to press Command+G or Ctrl+G. That will make them into a layer group and then I'll name the group, hair, and I'm just going to come and reduce the Opacity of her hair color. Okay.
I'm going to be using the same approach for the eyes. Create a new layer and he is going to have green eyes. Zoom into a comfortable view size, I'll just stop painting in the eye; let's switch to Color as the blend mode. Yeah, of course, that looks a little bit shockingly green, so then we can just reduce the opacity to something a bit more plausible. And I will name that layer, create a new layer for her eye color, and she is going to have blue eyes, change the blend mode to Color, adjust the Opacity as necessary, name the layer, select the two layers that make up the eye color for him and for her, Command+G or Ctrl+G to make it into a layer group, and then we'll name the layer.
Now I don't think you need to see me do any more in this ongoing version, because the rest is just repetition for the different elements. Just painting in the color of the tie, the color of the flowers, any other elements that you want to add color to. But the one thing that I haven't yet done is add the vignette and there are numerous ways to add a vignette to an image. I'm going to use this approach. On a new layer, I will use my Elliptical Marquee tool, draw an ellipse around the figures, inverse that selection, Command+Shift+I or Ctrl+Shift+I, make black my foreground color.
I press D to do that, you may need to press D and X depending on where you were with your colors. And then fill that selection with black, Option+Delete or Alt+Delete. It will look like that. Then come to the Filter menu, Blur, and apply a heavy blur to that. I'm going to go up to 100 pixels or thereabouts. Then change the blending mode to Multiply, and reduce the Opacity to whatever works for you. Let's go with 33%.
So if I now turn that off, there's the before the vignette, and there's after the vignette, and I'll just now pop back to the finished version where we've got various other elements colorized. There's the start, there's the finish. It's all done with adjustment layers, mainly Black & White adjustment layers for the larger areas using masks to control where the color tinting goes for the smaller areas, like in this case, the flower. Literally just painting on an empty layer and then changing the blend mode of that layer to Color and reducing the Opacity as necessary.
If we were to see that layer by itself, Option+Click or Alt+Click on the flower layer and change its blend mode to Normal and its Opacity to 100, it looks as crude as that. But seen in the context of the whole image, it looks like that.
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