Photoshop for Designers: Color
Illustration by John Hersey

Sepia toning an image


Photoshop for Designers: Color

with Nigel French

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Video: Sepia toning an image

In this movie, I'm going to discuss five different ways to make a sepia toned image. Sepia toning is very associated with the late 19th Century, so by applying sepia tone to your image, you give it an instant nostalgic feel. There's one sepia toning technique that I will not be discussing in this movie, and that is using the Duotone Mode. I do discuss Duotones in another movie, but all of these techniques allow us to retain our image as an RGB image, so we actually can keep the original color values.
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 0s
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 25m 26s
    1. Defining color terms
      2m 38s
    2. Understanding the color wheel
      4m 3s
    3. Understanding color relationships
      1m 7s
    4. Using Kuler to understand color harmony rules and create color palettes
      4m 2s
    5. Using the Kuler web site
      3m 10s
    6. Colors on screen and on paper
      1m 42s
    7. Color as a signifier
      3m 14s
    8. Color inspirations
      2m 39s
    9. Color and accessibility
      2m 51s
  3. 38m 22s
    1. Demystifying the Color Picker
      2m 57s
    2. Understanding the role of foreground and background colors
      5m 39s
    3. Choosing colors
      6m 41s
    4. Managing swatches
      7m 40s
    5. Transparency
      9m 42s
    6. Color channels
      5m 43s
  4. 40m 42s
    1. Understanding additive and subtractive color
      2m 57s
    2. RGB mode
      1m 56s
    3. CMYK mode
      2m 41s
    4. Lab mode
      3m 49s
    5. Indexed mode
      2m 16s
    6. Grayscale mode
      5m 0s
    7. Color management
      13m 53s
    8. Color depth (8-, 16-, 24-, and 32-bit)
      4m 19s
    9. Monitor calibration
      3m 51s
  5. 26m 43s
    1. Evaluating color with the Histogram panel
      3m 18s
    2. Evaluating color with the Info panel
      1m 48s
    3. Boosting color with levels
      3m 48s
    4. Auto Tone and Auto Contrast
      7m 38s
    5. Manually setting the black and white point
      3m 50s
    6. Curves
      6m 21s
  6. 18m 31s
    1. What is color correction?
      5m 45s
    2. White balancing in Camera Raw
      1m 47s
    3. Color correction with color balance
      1m 34s
    4. Color balancing using photo filters
      1m 26s
    5. Color correction with variations
      4m 27s
    6. Color correction by the numbers
      3m 32s
  7. 33m 16s
    1. Selecting color with the Magic Wand
      4m 43s
    2. Selecting color with the Quick Selection tool
      2m 26s
    3. Selecting color with Color Range
      4m 1s
    4. Neutralizing whites with the Multiply blend mode
      2m 55s
    5. Neutralizing blacks with the Screen blend mode
    6. Masking colors with the Blend If sliders
      2m 54s
    7. Masking hair with a channel mask and removing contaminant colors
      2m 58s
    8. Shifting targeted colors using Hue/Saturation
      5m 5s
    9. Matching colors using Hue/Saturation
      3m 16s
    10. Matching colors using the Match Color command
      1m 36s
    11. Matching colors using the Color blend modes
      2m 25s
  8. 21m 10s
    1. Saturating colors
      4m 10s
    2. Desaturating colors
      1m 57s
    3. Desaturating in Camera Raw
      3m 1s
    4. Creating a color accent with selective saturation
      2m 38s
    5. Enhancing a sunrise with a gradient map
      5m 49s
    6. Increasing vibrance
      1m 20s
    7. Using selective color
      2m 15s
  9. 32m 44s
    1. Designing with spot colors
      12m 16s
    2. Adding a fifth color to a CMYK image
      5m 0s
    3. Adding spot colors to a grayscale image
      5m 25s
    4. Create a metallic print effect
      3m 8s
    5. Creating duotones, tritones, and quadtones
      6m 55s
  10. 30m 45s
    1. Creating a silkscreen print look with a limited color palette
      7m 59s
    2. Combining color with black and white
      2m 22s
    3. Creating a nostalgic travel poster using the Cut Out filter
      6m 27s
    4. Mapping an image to a color look up table (CLUT)
      7m 56s
    5. Converting to black and white
      6m 1s
  11. 48m 33s
    1. Creating a hand-tinted portrait (the easy way)
      3m 29s
    2. Creating a hand-tinted portrait (the harder way)
      11m 23s
    3. Creating an Andy Warhol look
      4m 44s
    4. Applying a gradient map
      4m 4s
    5. Sepia toning an image
      8m 41s
    6. Color tinting an image
      5m 15s
    7. Split toning an image
      2m 9s
    8. Working with line art
      8m 48s
  12. 23s
    1. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop for Designers: Color
5h 18m Intermediate Jan 04, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Defining color terms
  • Using Kuler to create color palettes
  • Understanding additive and subtractive color
  • Understanding color management
  • Using the Levels, Curves, Auto Tone, and Auto Contrast adjustments
  • Color correction
  • Selecting color—from the Magic Wand to Color Range
  • Neutralizing blacks and whites with blend modes
  • Matching colors
  • Saturating and de-saturating colors
  • Increasing saturation with Vibrance
  • Designing with spot color
  • Colorizing images
Nigel French

Sepia toning an image

In this movie, I'm going to discuss five different ways to make a sepia toned image. Sepia toning is very associated with the late 19th Century, so by applying sepia tone to your image, you give it an instant nostalgic feel. There's one sepia toning technique that I will not be discussing in this movie, and that is using the Duotone Mode. I do discuss Duotones in another movie, but all of these techniques allow us to retain our image as an RGB image, so we actually can keep the original color values.

These are all nondestructive methods. The Duotone technique involves you converting your image to the Grayscale Color Mode, which is going to discard your Red, your Green, and your Blue channels in favor of one Grayscale channel. There are numerous ways we can do this in Photoshop; I am sure there are way more than five techniques. These just happen to be five that come to mind, in no particular order. Perhaps the easiest, apply a Black & White adjustment layer, and I have chosen a desert landscape here, because they seem to lend themselves, as well as would historic portraits, or any sort of portrait of people dressed in period clothing.

That would certainly lend itself to a sepia toning. A Black & White adjustment layer, and I'm just applying a Tint to it, method number one. Method number two is a Photo Filter. This is also an adjustment layer. It's right there. You can see I've got very different sort of sepia tone here. I could amp this up a bit if I wanted to, but I'm actually using the Photo Filter called Sepia.

Now, in addition to that adjustment layer, in order to get the result that I desire here, I need to add a Black & White adjustment layer that is a desaturating the image. I could desaturate the image in other ways, but this is as good a way as any. So I am desaturating in one step and then applying a Photo Filter adjustment layer in a second step. A third approach, also a very automated approach, is to apply an Action.

So let's see how this is going to work. An Action is a recorded sequence of steps, and there is a Sepia Toning Action that comes with Photoshop. So I am going to turn off that Action layer group, and then I am going to come to what's currently Layer 0. I am going to duplicate this layer, Command or Ctrl+J, and I will then Rasterize it. Because it's currently a Smart Object and the Action may not work with that. So I am going to come to the Layer menu > Smart Objects, and choose Rasterize.

So now it's just a regular Image layer. And from my Window menu I can choose my Actions, let's just move those over there. There it is, right there, Sepia Toning (Layer). So you need to be on the right layer, and then it's just a question of playing this selection. And that will make for you a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer. It will desaturate and adjust the Hue, and of course you can come in and tweak that Hue Slider and the Saturation to your liking.

So if you did have a batch of images that you wanted to apply this technique to, the Action would be an automated way of doing this, because you could from using this option, File > Automate > Batch, you could specify that you want this Action applied to a specific folder. You would need to Choose the folder where you had your images stored. So that's another approach. I am now going to turn off those. And a fourth approach is to just mess around with the Color Curves.

So if I turn on that folder group, we can see another type of sepia toning effect. This, again, requires two adjustment layers. The first, Hue/Saturation, is just taking the color out, desaturating the image. I could have done that with Black & White, in this case I am doing it with Hue/Saturation. So you pull the Saturation Slider all the way over to the left. And then the second, the Curve. This involves working on the Red and the Blue curve independently.

On the Red curve, bring it up to increase the amount of Red, and on the Blue curve, bring it down to decrease the amount of Blue. Put another way, to increase the amount of Yellow, and that's our overall effect. There are four approaches to sepia toning; a Black & White adjustment layer with the Tint, changing the Curves, applying an Action, applying a Photo Filter. A fifth approach involves using the Camera Raw plug-in.

So I am going to now pop over to Bridge, where I have the same image in my Bridge Content Window. I am just going to increase the size of those Thumbnails. Now, this is a JPEG, so it's not a Camera Raw image. But I can still edit it in the Camera Raw plug-in by clicking on this icon right here, or File > Open in Camera Raw. So if you have a JPEG or a TIFF and you want to take advantage of the benefits of working in the Camera Raw interface, you can do so.

Now, what I want to do here is two steps. Firstly, I need to convert this to a grayscale image. I can do that right there, Convert to Grayscale. And then secondly, I will see this technique used for a different purpose in another movie, Split Toning. This is going to allow us to apply one Tint to the Highlights, another Tint to the Shadows, and then adjust whether we fade more of the Highlight color or more of the Shadow color. So to start out with I am going to change the Hue to a warm orange, I am going to increase the Saturation, this is for the Highlights.

And then for the Shadows, I am going to move more to the yellows, almost to the greens, and then increase the Saturation on that. And let's say I want that to go more towards the Highlight color, I will move the Balance Slider to the right. So there is the fifth approach to sepia toning. Just one other thing to point out in my finished version, just to further accentuate the nostalgic feel that sepia toning is going to give us, in addition to the tinting I also applied a Vignette.

And I did this in a different way to how I did it in a previous movie. In this case, I converted my layer to a Smart Object by coming to the Layers panel menu, Convert to Smart Object. I can now come to the Filter menu and use my Lens Correction, and in this case I want to do a Custom Correction. And what I am after is right here, Vignette, the Amount and the Midpoint, and these need to both move to the left, the further to the left the stronger the effect.

So whichever of those techniques you favor, entirely up to you, the results ultimately will depend upon how you adjust the sliders that are appropriate to the individual techniques. One other point I would make with the Black & White adjustment layer, which was the first one we looked at, and which I think I would probably favor if I had to choose one, and that is of course with the benefit of Black & White you get to mix the Contrast to determine how the colors of the original image go to make up Black & White.

And in this case, what I did with this version that differs from the others is I made the sky more dramatic by moving the Blue Slider to the left. So that's an additional option that you have if you use the Black & White adjustment layer. But five different approaches to creating a sepia toned image.

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