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It's always easy to replace color when you have big bold colors which are different from the other colors in your photographs. Yet what about those situations like with this picture here where he have colors which are similar, and let's say that you or the client really want to change the color of this red kayak? Well, this is going to be a challenge, because the orange kayaks next to it have some red in them as well. Well, let's explore how we could change the color of the kayak. Let's go ahead and copy the background layer.
We can do that by clicking and dragging it to the New layer icon or by pressing Command+J on the Mac or Ctrl+J on Windows. Now if we go back to Image > Adjustments we have an option for Replace Color, which we've worked with. Yet, this isn't going to work here, and I just want to show you how we might start off with this project. We might start by clicking on the red here in this boat making some sort of a color adjustment. Let's say we want to make the boat blue. Well, here obviously, I need to build up the selection.
We could do so by clicking on the icon which has a Plus next to it. Yet as I do this and as I try to experiment with my Fuzziness amount, if I lower my Fuzziness so these other boats aren't selected, well, it makes this selection not work very well either. Let me zoom in a little bit more and you can really see how that's falling apart. So in order to have this all the way up I'm also changing the color of the other kayaks. So this just isn't going to work. Let's click Cancel to exit out of that and let's try another strategy.
I am going to go ahead and delete this layer altogether. The strategy that I am going to try is to work with Hue/Saturation and a mask, and then I want to look at how we can customize the mask. Let me show you what I mean. Here we will click on Hue/Saturation, but we already know how this works. We can either click and drag to change the overall hue and let's just do that so we have a different color here which is really dramatic and different. By having an intense color it will help us determine how we are doing as we start to work on the mask.
Well, we obviously need to mask this in. So to do that, I'll go to the Mask Icon. Well, there is a great option down here which allows me to refine my mask based on color range. If we open up Color Range, well, this looks a lot like for Replace Color, right. You can click on an area of your image and it builds that mask or that selection. You can change the Preview down here either to None, so you are just seeing the image itself and the color adjustment or so that you're seeing this on a White or Black Matte.
Now with certain images it works well in different views. So you will want to experiment a little bit there. Well, here with this I can change my Fuzziness and I want to increase this so that I have a nice selection just on this boat. To add to that selection use the Eyedropper with the Plus icon. We have seen this eyedropper before. Now I am just going to go ahead and click around here a little bit until I have a really nice mask here on this boat. Next, I'll change my Fuzziness amount in order to try to just work on this area.
You can also try Localize Color Clusters and sometimes what that will do is it will limit some of the other selections as well. Yet here we can see it's not working very well, right. We have this boat selected, but then these other boats which were orange, well, they are modified as well. Well, how can we fix this or solve this problem? Well, a great technique that you can use is to go ahead and click OK to apply or create that mask. Then you can select just a part of the mask.
Let me show you how this works. If you hold down the Option key on the Mac or Alt key on Windows, you can click on your Mask icon. This will take you to a view so that you can just see the mask. Well, sometimes when you go to this view and when you have multiple masks, what you can then do is use a select tool, say like this Quick Select tool in order to click and drag around your image. You could also try some of your other selection tools as well. By doing this or by using this technique what it allows you to do is to take advantage of the stark nature of that mask.
In other words, the fact that it's really bright white, you can then tap into that, and here we'll go ahead and just make sure this mask is good. I'm holding down Option here or Alt on Windows in order to deselect that area and also to deselect this area. So I just want to select the white, right. Well now that you've done that you can then get rid of the other areas of your mask. To do that we just need to go to our Select pulldown menu and choose Inverse. Now everything is selected except for this area of the boat.
I know this is kind of confusing, but I think this next step it will become clear. So stick with me here. We will go to out Edit pulldown menu and here we are going to choose Fill. Once we do that we will just fill with a solid color, let's choose Black here. That will then conceal all of these other elements so that now here you can see all that I've selected is just the one boat that I want to work on. All right! Well next, let's go to Select and choose Deselect.
Well now that we've done that we can get out of this view of this mask here. You can go ahead and Option+Click or Alt +Click the icon for your mask, and you should see something which looks pretty good. I have a little bit of a problem here. It spilled over there. So I will grab my Brush tool and I will make sure I am going to paint with Black and just paint that away by painting with black over the area where the color was spilling onto the other boat. Paint with white in any of those areas where you need to bring in perhaps a little bit more of that effect or that edit into the kayak that you want to change.
So again, here I am just touching up this mask just a little bit. I want to bring a little bit more color into this part of the image too and for the most part I think that's looking really good. I am just going to modify this, just a touch more in order to sweeten it up and make this just perfect. Now that we've done that, now that we've created a good mask for our boat, the next thing to do is to look at how we can use Hue/Saturation in order to change this. So double-click the icon for Hue/Saturation and then you can go ahead and click and drag and you can see that you can try out different colors depending on the color that the client wants or needs, you can then use these controls in order to dial that in so that it fits the overall intent of the project.
And by working with an Adjustment layer and also with the Masks and Color Range, well, that gives us the ability to do something which Replace Color just can't do. It allows us to be flexible. It allows us to customize and to build up that mask, and this works well where you have those situations which are more complicated, and to tell you the truth, the majority of the time you're going to use techniques like this, because typically in your photographs you have similar or light colors and by using this technique it will help you to be more precise and ultimately it will help you to come up with even better results.
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