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B & W techniques
Lets say a photo of a bride holding a punch of flowershow do you make the photo black and white leaving the flowers in colour.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/walidhassan/Nikon D8018-135m50 mm f1.870-300mm VRslingshot 200 AW..

Comments (9)

Unfortunately the tutorial I did on this is still lost in the dpreview archives. (Or just plain lost.).

In a nutshell, what I would do is use a the channel mixer adjustment layer to create the B&W then paint the color of the flowers back in by working on the adjustment layer's mask. Alternately, you could produce the B&W however you wish and add that as a layer over the color image and use a layer mask to do the same thing as above..

If you haven't gotten your brain around layer masks yet, take the time to do so. They are really where the rubber meets the road in Photoshop and most other decent image editors..

For more detailed answers you might try posting this in the Retouching forum. Or just do a search there for "selective color"..

Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream..

Comment #1

ChefZiggy wrote:.

Unfortunately the tutorial I did on this is still lost in thedpreview archives. (Or just plain lost.).

In a nutshell, what I would do is use a the channel mixer adjustmentlayer to create the B&W then paint the color of the flowers back inby working on the adjustment layer's mask. Alternately, you couldproduce the B&W however you wish and add that as a layer over thecolor image and use a layer mask to do the same thing as above..

If you haven't gotten your brain around layer masks yet, take thetime to do so. They are really where the rubber meets the road inPhotoshop and most other decent image editors..

For more detailed answers you might try posting this in theRetouching forum. Or just do a search there for "selective color"..

Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream.

Thank youhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/walidhassan/Nikon D8018-135m50 mm f1.870-300mm VRslingshot 200 AW..

Comment #2

Luckily I had save a copy of the posting text. Let's see how this works. (Three part message.).

Learn Layer Masks...Part 1 - Gradual introduction.

Layer masks are where the rubber meets the road in PhotoShop. They are the tools used every day by professionals to selectively alter colors, sharpness, saturation...to combine parts of different images into a striking compositions and many other things. They are powerful and complex, but yet simple to grasp if explained right. I hope I can do that here..

For the first lesson, let's do a simple image blending. Using the links below, grab a copy of these two images (Right Click-Copy in Widows) and paste them into a new PS document. They are the same size pixelwise so they should stack nicely..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Change the opacity of the top layer to 50%. You'll have something similar to the image below. Rather confusing, isn't it?.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Next click on the layer mask button in the layers palette. I've included a link to that button below in case you don't know where it is.http://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/image/47104363/original.jpg.

This will add an empty layer mask to your top layer and will select the layer mask. You can tell if you have the layer mask selected (as opposed to the layer itself) by looking at the thumbnails. The selected layer mask will have a faint line around it. A highlight, sort of..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Notice that the color palette is now black and white. (May be white and black.) When working on the layer mask you can only use black and white or shades of grey. For our demonstration make black the foreground color. Using the gradient tool (simple linear gradient) draw a short horizontal line just across the center of the image. If all worked out well, you should see something like this..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Hey! The one monkey is looking better, but what's up with the right side? We changed the opacity in the beginning, remember? So select the layer by clicking on it's thumbnail. Notice also that the layer mask's thumbnail has changed. It looks like it is now half black and half white.... Hmmm. More on that in a moment. First change the opacity back to 100%.



Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Viola! Now play around with the mask by selecting it again and drawing various gradients on it. This should help you begin to understand masks. When you are done, move on to the next message...

Comment #3

ChefZiggy wrote:.

Luckily I had save a copy of the posting text. Let's see how thisworks. (Three part message.).

Learn Layer Masks...Part 1 - Gradual introduction.

Layer masks are where the rubber meets the road in PhotoShop. Theyare the tools used every day by professionals to selectively altercolors, sharpness, saturation...to combine parts of different imagesinto a striking compositions and many other things. They arepowerful and complex, but yet simple to grasp if explained right. Ihope I can do that here..

For the first lesson, let's do a simple image blending. Using thelinks below, grab a copy of these two images (Right Click-Copy inWidows) and paste them into a new PS document. They are the samesize pixelwise so they should stack nicely..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Change the opacity of the top layer to 50%. You'll have somethingsimilar to the image below. Rather confusing, isn't it?.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Next click on the layer mask button in the layers palette. I'veincluded a link to that button below in case you don't know where itis.http://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/image/47104363/original.jpg.

This will add an empty layer mask to your top layer and will selectthe layer mask. You can tell if you have the layer mask selected (asopposed to the layer itself) by looking at the thumbnails. Theselected layer mask will have a faint line around it. A highlight,sort of..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Notice that the color palette is now black and white. (May be whiteand black.) When working on the layer mask you can only use black andwhite or shades of grey. For our demonstration make black theforeground color. Using the gradient tool (simple linear gradient)draw a short horizontal line just across the center of the image.If all worked out well, you should see something like this..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Hey! The one monkey is looking better, but what's up with the rightside? We changed the opacity in the beginning, remember? So selectthe layer by clicking on it's thumbnail. Notice also that the layermask's thumbnail has changed. It looks like it is now half black andhalf white.... Hmmm. More on that in a moment. First change theopacity back to 100%.



Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Viola! Now play around with the mask by selecting it again anddrawing various gradients on it. This should help you begin tounderstand masks. When you are done, move on to the next message..

Fantastic,I should try this later on after work and let you know how I get onThank you very muchhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/walidhassan/Nikon D8018-135m50 mm f1.870-300mm VRslingshot 200 AW..

Comment #4

Ok. So by now you should have a basic idea of how masks work. They affect transparency basically. The really nice thing is that no image information is lost in this process. Whereas erasing part of one image to see the one beneath it would. Which brings to mind the question, how often am I going to use a gradient mask? Honestly, probably not that often..

Let's tackle a different problem then. Selective color. (Yeah, I know, what you've been waiting for.) Grab the image below and lets go to work..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Paste this into a new document in PS. Click on the "Create new fill or adjustment layer" button. It is two to the right of the layer mask button. Select "Channel Mixer..." from the menu offered up. For this exercise, just click the "Monochrome" button in the channel mixer dialog box. (How to best make a B&W image is for another time.



You should have an image similar to the one below. Note the layers palette. The adjustment layer comes with a mask already created and selected. Must mean we are meant to do something with it, huh?.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Ok. So grab a brush and let's do some painting. Set the brush to about 20 pixels and 100% opacity and flow. That's not the settings you will always use, but again, for illustration... With black as the foreground color (again, on the mask, only B&W and grey works) start painting the flower petals. Wow! The color is coming back! So freakin' cool!.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

(Cont'd in Part 2A).

Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream..

Comment #5

(Sorry. Had to break this one up to get it to post. May happen with Part 3 as well.).

Oh shoot! I got some of the foliage! I didn't want any green... No problem. Change the foreground color to white. (The X key toggles the fore and background colors.) Paint white on the mask where you messed up. Using a smaller brush and zooming in will help. Also, if you were working on a larger image, it would be easier to get it just right..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Sweet! But, I can hear you say, that could get tedious. Yes, it can. But I wanted to show you that so you can appreciate this. Selections and masks are closely related. Go back to the original image and use the magic wand or other selection tools to completely select what you want left in color. Then do a Ctrl-Shift-I to invert the selection.



Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Now add the channel mixer adjustment layer like before. Wooowee! A lot easier, huh? You may need to do some tweaking with the brushes, but depending on your selection skills (yet another article in that) you should be very close..

This will work with any of the adjustment layers. Also, the original image data is not altered in any way. Only "adjusted" by the layers above it. You can stack adjustment layers too. For example, you can select just the sky in an image to tweak the blues with a Selective Color adjustment layer and then do a similar, but a different adjustment on the grass..

Great! But sharpening isn't in the adjustment layers menu...How can I do that? Move on to part 3 for an idea or two on that..

Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream..

Comment #6

Truthfully, by now you have what you need to do selective sharpening. You may not realize it, but you do. Once again, grab the starter image below..

This is a crop from an unsharpened portrait image. Normally you don't want to sharpen portraits except for the eyes. Sharpening the skin makes pores stand out more and sharpening hair can lead to jaggies..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Now paste it into two new documents. Run your usual sharpening routine on one. (again, not the time or place to explain that.) Then copy the results and paste it on top of the original in the other document. Hold down the Alt key and click on the layer mask button. The sharpened layer will disappear and the mask thumbnail will be all black. Now use a soft white brush (20% flow and opacity) and brush back in as much sharpness as you'd like in the eyes.

That's it in a nutshell..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Your sharpening routine might can be carried out in an additional layer. Mine actually creates a new document for the sharpening. But the basics are the same, the sharpened layer is masked to show only what you want sharpened..

Another tip to help you work with the mask. You can toggle the mask on and off by holding the Shift key and clicking on the mask thumbnail. This way you can see the results better as well as see where you may need to tweak it. Also, if you hold down the Alt key and click on the mask, you can see just the mask. It is sometimes helpful to work directly on the mask. (Filling in an area, for example.).

This has by no means been an exhaustive tutorial on masks, but I hope it's enough to help some folks along. I know I have learned a lot just in the past few months and I've had access to PhotoShop for years..

One other thing I'd like to mention is combining images. The way most people first do this is to make a selection in one image, copy to the clipboard and then paste into the combined image. This works. Sometimes. But what if you realize you missed part of what you meant to copy? You have to do it all over again. By inserting the whole image into a Photoshop document and masking out what you don't want, you can easily mask back in the part you missed.



An example of this is a collage I did recently. I learned a lot about masks doing this. I used most of the methods described here in making this. It was tedious, I have to admit, but there is no collage software out there to do something like this.....

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Http://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/image/42654092/original.

Thanks for your time and attention. If anyone wants to add to this, please do. I'm certainly still learning and willing to find new tricks..

Chefziggyhttp://www.pbase.com/chefziggy/lecream..

Comment #7

Hi,.

I have to say it again; I love that montage..

Thanks, David..

Comment #8

Thanks Chefziggy for your help I will have time this weekend to try it outhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/walidhassan/Nikon D8018-135m50 mm f1.870-300mm VRslingshot 200 AW..

Comment #9

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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