Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
In this movie, we'll use the Channel Mixer. Not to remove all color from an image but to remove much of the color. And specifically, we're going to go for a kind of sepia tone effect. So, again, we're looking at the original version of the photograph. I'm going to press either the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, click that Black and White icon and choose the Channel Mixer. And this time I'm going to call this layer sienna. And then click OK. And I'm currently seeing my output channel set to blue. I'm going to switch it back to Red here.
And we're not going to turn on monochrome this time. Instead, we're going to mix ingredients of all three channels into each of the three channels. So, let's go ahead and switch the Histogram channel from Colors in my case to Red so that we can keep track of that Red channel. And I'd like to go ahead and look at the channel as well. So, I'm going to switch to the Channels panel and click on Red. And now I'm going to take down the amount that the actual Red channel, the original Red channel is contributing to the new one. So, I'll take that value down to 50%.
And I'll take the green channel up to 45% and I'll take the Blue channel up to 5%, so that we have 100% contribution. Now, notice this eye icon down here at the bottom of the panel. It allows you to turn the Channel Mixer layer on and off. So, this is what the Red channel looked like a moment ago before we applied these settings. And this is what it looks like now. And you can see that the channel is darkening up and that's because after all, both the Green and the Blue channels, which are now making a contribution are darker than the Red channel.
Now, even though we have 100%, that doesn't mean our histogram is going to be happy. So, I'm going to go ahead and update it. Sure enough we're missing some shadow detail some brighter highlights as well. Sure enough we're missing some shadow detail and we could send some brighter highlights as well. So, I'm going to take that constant value down to negative 3 in this case. And that brings the shadows all the way over to black. And then I'll increase the blue contribution all the way to 11% so that our total is now 106%, but we've got a happier histogram. I'll update it and you can see It manages to fill the entire range from black to white.
Alright. Now, let's switch to the Green channel and that automatically switches this Channel option to Green as well. And I'll change the output channel here inside the Properties panel to Green. And let's take the contribution of the original Green channel down to 40%. And I'll take the Red channel up to 25% and then Ill take the Blue channel up to 35% so that we have a total of 100 once again. This time around we're not making an enormous difference. I'm going to turn the eye off and you'll that this Red, fake fur of her jacket here has become brighter than it was before.
So, that's what it looks like now. That's how it looked originally. We also have those colors in the background woman's hairs brightening up as well. But what we're really doing is we're making each one of the channels more similar to each other so that we're going to lose the natural colors. And we'll eventually arrive at a kind of range of browns. The histogram needs some work once again, we're missing some shadows, the highlights are weak as well. So, I'm going to take the constant value down to negative 2 and I'm going to take the blue value up to 41%.
And that goes ahead and fills out the black to white range once again. Alright. Now, I'll click on the Blue channel to make it active. That switches us to the Blue channel inside the Histogram panel as well. Now, I'll change the output channel to Blue and this time I'm going to dial down the Blue contribution to 80% so not that much lower and I'll take Green up to 20%. We've now got 100% in all. If I turn off the eye, you can see that we're brightening the channel, when I turn the Adjustment layer back on. And after all that's because Blue is our darkest channel and Green is brighter.
We need to once again fix the histogram. I'll go ahead and update it. And then I'll take the constant value down to negative2. And I'll take the Red value this time, which so far is 0, I'll go ahead and take it up to 7%. And that's going to further brighten that Blue channel. Alright. Now, let's see what we got. I'll go ahead and hide the Properties panel and switch back to RGB. This is the version of the image we have now. So, you can see that we have these kinds of, sort of, raw sienna colors going on throughout the woman's face as well as in that area of fur.
And if I switch back to the Layers panel, you can see that fur originally started as red. The background woman's hair, of course, is sort of pinkish, whereas if I turn the layer back on, everything's going to this kind of sienna-slash-sepia. With the exception of the background woman's jacket and the foreground woman's earring, both of which are a kind of low saturation blue. Now, at this point, I decided I wanted to boost what saturation we had. So, I press the Alt key, the Option key on the Mac.
Click the Black/White icon and chose Vibrant and I'll just go ahead and call this layer vibe and click OK. And then, I'm going to take this vibrance value way up to a total of plus 80 and then I'll take the saturation value up to 20. And I'll hide the Properties panel. And so, just to give you a sense of what we've managed to accomplish, I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click in the eye in front of the background item here inside the Layers panel. That's the original version of the image. And that's the sepia version with some areas of color, which I find to be very interesting.
Thanks to our ability to modify luminance on a channel by channel basis using a Channel Mixer Adjustment layer.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.