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Changing colours in Photoshop is about to get a whole lot easier after you learn these 2 SECRET TRICKS…
If you would like to get a bit of extra practice in changing colour, download this tutorial image and follow along!
People learn best by doing, download the image below:
If you’re more into reading rather than watching, then continue on below!
Changing Colours In Photoshop
Now of course the go to tool to change colours and hues in Photoshop is the Hue Saturation Adjustment Tool. This tool takes your image and breaks it down into individual colour channels, each that are fully customizable… if you do it right.
At the bottom of each colour channel you will notice there is slider between two rainbow bars. That is what I like to call, the colour slider. This seemingly useless little slider actually does a whole heck of a lot if you know what to use it for. This leads us into trick numero uno.
TRICK #1: Manually Adjusting Colour Channels
So like I was saying about before, our colour bar sits at the bottom of our hue saturation adjustment window. As we move our slider up or down the colour bar we begin to allow more or less of certain colours to be including within our specific colour channel. In this case, our colour channel is set to “yellows”, as shown at the top of our window.
Now it’s all fine and dandy to know that we can move around that slider, but now how can we physically see what’s being effected without making any prior adjustments?
If you boost your saturation slider up to +100, your image will begin to look grotesque and obviously over saturated, but, there is a reason to do that! With a highly over saturated colour channel, you can now see EXACTLY what is being effected.
Another thing you may notice is how certain parts of the image are different colours of saturated. For example, in the image above you can see how there are some over saturated reds, yellows and greens. These colours precisely correlate back to our colour bar!
I am wanting to only have my yellow flowers selected in this channel. Now that I can see everything that is being effected within our colour channel, I can make an educated move of my colour bar slider. In this case I am going to move away from my reds, and pull the outside of my slider away from my greens. This narrows down my selection to ONLY YELLOW and very similar hues!
Now as you can see above, with our saturation still set to +100 we have adjusted our slider to completely eliminate the effects on her face and dress. We have just told Photoshop exactly what we want to be effecting in our Yellows colour channel and have now successfully customized our colour channel.
Now bring your saturation back down to 0 and make your desired adjustments to the hue slider to change the colour range you have just selected!
To get rid of any undesired colours that are still selected, such as her eyes, just paint black onto your Hue Saturation Adjustment layer, layer mask. Paint over the areas you do not want to change the colours of, to mask out those certain areas, making any adjustments completely invisible.
Trick #2: Applying A Colour Range To A Mask
Now moving into trick #2, we are still going to be using our hue saturation adjustment layer, but rather than fooling around with our colour bar, we are going to directly select a colour range and apply that range onto a layer mask.
The first step is to go to the top of your screen and go to Select > Colour Range. A window will pop up, make sure your select is set to sampled colours and your selection bubble is ticked. See below:
You’ll notice this bizarre looking back and white box in the centre of this window, that might not make any sense to you… yet. That box is showing you what is being selected, much like a layer mask. Everything that is white is visible/selected, while everything that is black is invisible/not selected.
Grab your eye dropper tool(circled on the right in the image above) and click on the colour that you are wanting to select in your image. In this case I am wanting to select the green of her dress. I will click on her dress,in a general area to make my first selection. See below to see how my selection has now changed:
Now obviously it didn’t select her entire dress because there are several shades of the green, some in the light, some in the shadow. To add onto our selection, click the eye dropper tool with the little + beside it and continue to click in different areas of the dress. Note how my selection has changed below:
By doing this you are telling Photoshop that you are also wanting to add these sampled areas to your selection.
The final way to dial in your colour range selection is with the fuzziness slider. By adjusting this slider you can tell Photoshop how much wiggle room you are willing to give to your colour selection. The higher the fuzziness, the more similar colours will begin to fall into selection. Of course the opposite is true as well, with a lower fuzziness, the more specific your selection will be to the colours you sampled.
In this case I am content with where my fuzziness slider is set and I will go ahead and click OK to finalize my selection. The window should disappear and your image will have marching ants around the colour range that you have just selected like this: Now with your marching ants doing their thing, simply click on your Hue Saturation Adjustment layer tool, and your selection will be automatically added onto the layer mask as shown below:
Now go over to your Hue Saturation Adjustment window. Instead of having to go into your individual colour channels to adjust the specific colour like before, you can just stick on the master tab and adjust the colour hue from there. Since we have already selected the exact colour and area we are wanting to effect, and applied it to a layer mask; the only work left is to begin changing the colour via the Hue slider! I’ll leave all that creative work up to you.
That concludes trick #2! This trick allows you to be extremely specific with your colour range selection and guarantees that nothing will change colour that you don’t know about!
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