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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.
The Swatches panel is where we store our colors and I want to in this case make a Swatch panel that uses only sampled colors from this image and then not have the distraction of seeing all these other colors. What we currently looking at are all the colors of the default swatches, and they are not relevant for what I want to do, I want to limit the colors I'm looking with, to the colors that are already in this image. So firstly, I need to add colors to my Swatches panel, adding colors is as simple as this.
We move our cursor over the color that we want to sample; I am in my eyedropper tool as I do this. Click, that makes it the foreground color, to add that foreground color to Swatches panel, move over an empty spice on the Swatches panel and click. When you do that you are asked to Name the color, I am just going to leave it called Swatch 1 by clicking OK. I'm going to do that five more times so that I get a color palette of six colors. This time though, rather than having to bypass the naming of the color, I am just going to hold down the Option or Alt key and Click, and that's going to add the color directly to the Swatches panel.
So I have added the colors to my Swatches panel, and I would now like to see only those colors. So if I wanted to delete swatches, I can move over the color that I want to delete, hold down the Option or Alt key and Click, and it's deleted. Now that would be a rather tedious thing to have to do, if I had to do that one by one for all of these colors. So to speed up this process, I am going to go to the Preset Manager, under the Edit menu I will come down to Preset Manager, which is where we can manage more efficiently our swatches.
I am going to come to Swatches and what we can do here that we can't do on the Swatches panel itself, is make a multiple selection of our Swatches. So I am going to select that first of the colors that I don't want, hold down Shift key and select the last of the colors that I don't want, and then Delete them. I can always restore those default swatches at any times, so there is no danger in permanently deleting them. Now what I am going to do is I am going to save the six remaining colors as a color palette, and I am going to select them, select the first one, hold down the Shift key, select the last one and then click on Save Set.
I am going to save these in my Chapter 02 folder, and I am going to call them dahlia. They are going to become a . aco file an Adobe Color File. So when I click Save, and then Done, we see that we have now only those swatches on my swatches panel. Now if am working on a job that requires the use of these colors I can come to the Swatches panel menu and I can choose Replace Swatches, which will replace whatever colors are there with the incoming colors or Load Swatches, which will append the swatches to the colors that are already there.
Let's see what I mean by that. I am going to imagine now that we are starting this project, so I am going to sort of backwards engineer it a bit, I'm going to Reset my Swatches and I don't want to append the new swatches to what's already there, so I am going to click OK. and that's going to replace them, we are now back where we started. But what I want to do now is bring in my saved color palette and replace the swatches that are already here. So from the Swatches panel menu I will choose Replace Swatches, navigate to where I have my Adobe color file saved, click Open, and those swatches replace what's already there.
Let's take this a step further and imagine that I want to share these swatches across the creative suite, I want to use them in Illustrator and I also want to use them in InDesign. Now if I were to try and load a .aco file into Illustrator or InDesign, it wouldn't work. What I need to do is I need to Save the Swatches for Exchange. So when I do that Save for Exchange and I am going to use the same name. It's going to have a different extension. The extension is going to be a . ase an Adobe Swatch Exchange file.
I can click Save and then here I am in Illustrator, where I can from the Swatches panel menu, come to Load Swatches. I don't see Load Swatches, but what I do see is Open Swatch library, and then I would choose Other library, and now I can navigate to the ASE file that I just saved, and then I click Open, and then that comes in as a color library.
While we are here in Illustrator, I did just want to point this out to you, Illustrators ships with some very useful color libraries, which you can use as a starting point for your designs in Photoshop. From the Swatches panel in Illustrator, if you come to the leftmost icon at the bottom of the Swatches panel, you'll see here are all the predefined Swatch libraries, and we have these Art History, Celebration etcetera. Some of these are really quite interesting. I am going to go to Russian Poster Art, which is a bit of favorite of mine.
And let's say I want to use this one, so I can click on that. That's going to add that to my Swatches panel. I am in Illustrator now, remember. It's going to add it as a color group. And now what I'd need to do here is I would need to save the group as a Swatch Exchange File. So I would come down to here, Save Swatch Library as ASE, but, where I had to do that, I would get all these other swatches, which I don't want.
So before I do that, I would need to select everything else, I can't select everything, because it won't let me delete those first few, that the None and Registration, can't get rid of those. Delete the swatches leaves me with just the ones that I use from the Russian Poster Art color library. I can now Save that Swatch library as an ASE and I am just going to call it Russian and I will come and Save that in my Chapter 02 folder as an ASE file.
I will get this warning about not being able to save gradients or patterns. That's okay, there aren't any. Now I can switch back to Photoshop where from the Swatches panel menu I can choose Replace Swatches, because I don't want to see the current swatches and I will click on the russian.ase, click Open and then those are the colors that I now have on my Swatches panel. So there we have an overview of adding to, deleting from, loading, replacing and managing colors, using the Preset Manager in Photoshop, as well as a suggestion to explore, perhaps, the color libraries that you already have in Adobe Illustrator and use those in your Photoshop Artwork.
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