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Selective Color - how to?

Discussion in 'Retouching and Post Processing' started by BostonRott, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. I wondered if someone could point in the direction of a good tutorial on how to "do" selective color (for those without a masters in Photoshop). I searched on "selective color" in the archives and only came out with people's examples, but no instruction on how to do it.

    I use PS Elements, not the full program, but I'm sure there must be a way to do it.....I'm guessing it has to do with layers ?

    Thanks! :smile:
  2. Peano


    Jun 22, 2006
    Washington, D.C.
    Do you mean a B&W image with some parts in color? Or are you referring to the selective color adjustment in full versions of Photoshop (which is something altogether different)?
  3. Thank you Sidney! Looks like I have a bit of learning to do.....I know what layer masks are, but have never worked with them. ALways love a new challenge! :smile:
  4. Yes. :smile:

    Was hoping to try this as my "new skill" in the Collective shoot #29. :smile:
  5. Peano


    Jun 22, 2006
    Washington, D.C.
    If you use PSE3 or 4, you can get a plug-in for layer masks. I'm not sure about PSE5. For all version's of Elements, there's a work-around that turns an adjustment layer into a layer mask.
  6. I *think* 5 might have the ability, but I haven't looked for it yet. Where does one find plug ins? Just Google it?

    Thank you for your help! :smile:
  7. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    Gretchen, its quite simple.

    Your image resides on one layer, you're going to create a BW layer over that one using the Channel Mixer. On the layers pallette, you will see a row of icon sat the bottom of the pallette, the fourth from the right is a circle half filled with white and half with black, click that and the select the Channel Mixer adjustment layer.

    You can tweak your adjustment layer by sliding the red, blue and green slider to get your desired B/W image.

    Once you have that, you will have a color image covered up by a BW adjustment layer.

    Now for the fun. On the pallette menu, select the third icon...its a mask. Make sure you have your Channel Mix layer selected first though. This will add a white box next to the icon in the channel mix window.

    In order to reveal the color beneath you have to click in the white area of that window, then begin painting with a black brush over the parts you want to be revealed. You can use a wide brush set to a low opacity...if you use to much, switch to a white colored brush. White conceals, Black Reveals.

    Zoom in on your subject that you want to paint and slowly reveal it.

    Does that make sense? I'm reciting it to you from memory....
  8. Wow Josh!!! And from memory?! Thanks! :smile:

    I will be trying this tomorrow (hopefully) on some older pics, and then see if I can't find a fun subject for the CS.

    Thank you!!!!!!
  9. Peano


    Jun 22, 2006
    Washington, D.C.
    A simpler method.

    Set up your layers like this -- color image on the bottom, a levels adjustment layer above that (no adjustment, just close the levels dialog), and the BW conversion on top:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Alt-click on the border between the BW layer and the levels adjustment layer. You'll see a little icon when you're on the line. This turns the levels layer into a clipping mask. That's what the little bent arrow next to the BW layer thumbnail means:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    With the mask active (click on it so there's a white border around the mask icon), paint with black wherever you want to reveal color from the background image. That's all there is to it.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    [Any kind of adjustment layer will do -- levels, curves, hue/sat, brightness/contrast, etc. -- because you don't make any adjustments. You're just using the mask and attaching it to the layer above.]
  10. iudoc97


    Nov 13, 2006
    nice procedure Joshua

    I practiced that a little and it works very easily. The only thing missing is to select the monochrome box unless you're supposed to get your B&W image from just sliding the bars? Also any suggestions for manipulating the channel mixer to get nice looking B&Ws? Like... do you select each color in the drop down menu and manipulate the sliders for each or just use the sliders at the first dialog box that pops up? Thanks for the tips!
  11. The method that I used last time I converted was to individually slide the color channels (R, G and B). This was per Kelby's book.
  12. Paintguru


    Dec 28, 2006
    Detroit, MI
    Any good sites where it explains this for Photoshop Elements (since I know the controls aren't quite the same). Perhaps there isn't much difference, I'll have to see.
  13. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    Whoops...yes, definitley change to the Monochrome! I tend to reduce the Red to about 70 and add 30% green....then fine tune that. You can add another layer on top of that calle Selective Color (nothign to do with this technique) then select the White, Black and Neutral indpendently ,and adjust their individual black levels to achive a contrastier look.
  14. iudoc97


    Nov 13, 2006
    Thanks...I'll give it a try!
  15. Go for it Gretchen! I'll be looking for your result in CS-29.
  16. I'm having a slight difficulty here.............it's been grey/cold/nasty outside now for a week. Nothing is in bloom, grass is dead still......finding something of color to shoot ....yeesh, didn't think that would be my largest problem! :eek: 

    But not to worry, I haven't given up yet! :smile:
  17. MurphyD


    Jan 17, 2007
    South Texas
    Masks in Elements

    Hi all

    Elements 5 doesn't have a real mask layer. I found one at www.hiddenelements.com Richard Lynch's site. He has several free things for elements users. Also free was a simple channel adjustments for manipulating the RGB in B&W images. These work from the Special Effects palette.

  18. Yvette


    Jan 3, 2007
    Ha Ha!!:smile: That's funny. I was thinking of doing the same thing and was also wondering how to do it. Great minds think alike :biggrin:
  19. Hah!! Now I'm looking for contributions from both of you:biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:
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