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By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Deke's Techniques: Changing the color of a car

In this week’s Deke’s Technique, Deke McClelland shows you how to change the color of a car in Photoshop. I know what you’re thinking (if you’re a seasoned Photoshop user and/or classic car online sales guru), Targeted adjustment tool plus Hue/Saturation, and I can change anything that’s not the same color as anything else. But how often does that work? According to Deke, it often leaves something to be desired. So in this week’s technique, Deke gives you a nuanced approach for changing that car from everyday, empty-calorie candy-apple red to a rich, worth-its-weight-in-gold sheen. The key is making a quick, but essential, mask.

And the key to the mask in this case is the impeccably named but often overlooked Color Range command. If Photoshop can ‘see’ what’s red, then you can use Photoshop’s vision to create a mask that then lets you apply your hue adjustment in a more controlled way. Then you can colorize the isolated red on the car and change it to a purer gold. In the end, your custom set of wheels goes through this transformation:

Red before, Gold after

It’s Deke, giving you the keys to a customized set of wheels, free to all in this week’s complimentary technique. And for members of the Online Training Library®, the members-exclusive video this week will show you how to make that car a deep, mysterious black, while retaining all the shine and sass. Check this out:

Black car

Every week, a free technique from Deke!

• Start a 7-day free trial at today • All of Deke’s Techniques at • All courses on Photoshop at • All courses by Deke McClelland at

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