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Changing Color

Posted on 1999-07-18
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
To keep things simple, let's just say I have a picture of a red ball in Photoshop. The ball has shadows on it. How would I change the color of the ball to yellow without losing the shadows?

Here's the catch, I want to change the color of the ball to a VERY specific yellow. In other words, I want to change the color of the ball to the yellow that I've loaded into my 'Foreground' swatch.

I've tried using Fill->Hue->Foreground with bad results. However, it does keep the shadows. I think what is giving me the trouble is the original red color of the ball. If the ball was white with shadows, I think the Fill->Hue->Foreground command would work because the yellow wouldn't mix with any other color (red in this case).
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Question by:Boingoman
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26 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:stodgywhiteguy
ID: 1116597
Try this:

Layer-->New-->Adjustment Layer

     Type: Hue/Saturation
     Opacity: 100%
     Mode: Normal

In the Hue/Saturation dialog box, check the Colorize option.

Use sliders match the yellow you want (sorry, it won't accept exact RGB or CYMK values). Pay more attention to the preview of your image than the color at the bottom of the dialog box.

This preserves shadows very well.

cheers



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Author Comment

by:Boingoman
ID: 1116598
That's an interesting way to change the color, but it basically does the same thing as using Edit-->Fill-->Hue-->Foreground.

In other words, because the beginning color was red, yellow wasn't even an option as I moved the hue slider back and forth in the Adjustment Layer dialogue window.

I also don't want to guess at the yellow color. I would like to find a way to drop in a "specific" rgb or cmyk yellow and still keep the shadows.

I'm curious, if you created a dark, red ball and used the technique that you described, could you change the color of the ball to light yellow? Maybe I'm not following your directions correctly.
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Expert Comment

by:stodgywhiteguy
ID: 1116599
I used those exact steps to change a dark red ball (with a linear black->red gradient) to a bright gold-black gradient ball.

Make sure the Colorize option is selected.
Hue needs to be toward the far left end of the slider.
Saturation needs to be almost all the way over to the right.
I didn't change Lightness.

There is no way to drop in an exact pre-defined color.

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Author Comment

by:Boingoman
ID: 1116600
I was able to get gold too, but not yellow.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 1116601
boingoman: stodgywhiteguy is quite correct with his answer. That is indeed the best way to do it tho you dont HAVE to make an adjustment. You can just go to Hue&Sat but that means you cant change it later. Yellow and gold are close..just play with them a bit.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:simonok
ID: 1116602
Another way to do this is to create a blank layer above your image and set it to colour. Fill it with yellow and bish, bosh job done.

You can change the yellow to get desired colour and mess with transparency setting.

SS
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:cevr
ID: 1116603
Have you tried the levels controls? There you can change the values of the red, green, and blue individually to get the desired effect.  Another thing you might try is making the red ball grey scale before filling.
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Author Comment

by:Boingoman
ID: 1116604
First, I want to say thanks to everyone for helping out. Unfortunately, what I really needed to do is fill in a "specific" color. Changing values in the different dialogue boxes according to the tips that were suggested aren't accurate enough.

I really do appreciate everyone's input though. It sounds like Photoshop will not let me fill with a specific color if it's lighter than the current color.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 1116605
Urm...well it will but youre gonna have to get creative with it.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:890
ID: 1116606
I think if you want to do it good, you really have to do a few more steps

if your image is on a layer, like, the ball on one layer and the shadow on another layer.  It'll save you some time. start from 1b.

If you have one layer
1. select the image and make a copy. Then paste it. It will auto add a new layer for it (if not make a new layer and paste).  
1a. on the new image use the magic tool and select the shadow (& background)and delete (layer 2)

1b. create a new empty layer (call it layer 3)

2. you are on layer 3, goto the layer plate (you see the list of selection and select overlay or one that'll let you replace color)
3. select the color you want (be sure you select the brush button first, so you can paint)
4. run the brush over the image until everything turn into the color you want.
5. now to the layer plate and select merger one level down. So now you will only have layer 2 and 1

Warning you might want to save a copy at this point.


If it looks okay you can go to merger all and that's the end.  The most critical thing is when selecting the area. If you do it good, it should look okay. If you not need some additional select and delete.

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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:x30
ID: 1116607
In main menu select option image then in the menu select option adjust and the at the sub menu choose the option selective color.

a windows will pop up:
at the colors option select the one you wish to change in your case is the red.
then all you have to do is to modify CMYK/B values at the analog switches that appear in there.
Choose relative or absolute method according to your needs.
Thak U.

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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:aarion
ID: 1116608
The success of this conversion depends very much on how complicated the original image is. On simply objects you can receive very satisfactory results - matching your colors exactly. Highly detailed image may take a bit more tweaking to get them to work properly. Anyway...

If you want to swap colors to an exact color...

1. Select the color you want to convert to as your Foreground color.

2. Open the Hue Shift dialog (Ctrl+U)

3. Select "Colorize"

4. Set Saturation = 100%

This should do it.

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Author Comment

by:Boingoman
ID: 1116609
This answer still does not allow me to drop a specific color into the area with the shadows. So far, all the tips, as good as they are, haven't answered the hardest part of the question, which is "How do I change the color of an object to another SPECIFIC color and retain shadows?"

So far, most answers recommend experimenting with the settings until I find the color I want. I'm looking for a more accurate approach (if there is one).
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Author Comment

by:Boingoman
ID: 1116610
Attention stodywhiteguy:

I pretty much knew of all the steps that have been recommended so far. And, even though your answer didn't address the "specific color" aspect of my question, your tip about using an Adjustment Layer was very helpful and something that I have not tried before.

Please post your answer again so I can award 1/2 of the points that were offered (100 of the 200).
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Expert Comment

by:mstafford
ID: 1116611
Have you tried airbrushing with overlay?  That usually works pretty well for me because it uses the existing shadows.
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Expert Comment

by:mdcooper
ID: 1116612
Why not simply select the red ball's color range, then alter the color of the selection with hue and brightness modifications?  This should be very easy.  Am I missing something?

-- Milo --

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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 1116613
The real answer is that there are about 15 different ways to do this. Most of them have been put forward. These are the options that are the best and easiest way. If theyre "not good enough" i would suggest you get very creative with photoshop but i promise you it wont be as easy as the suggestions weve already put forth.
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Expert Comment

by:mdcooper
ID: 1116614
Boingoman, here's what you do:

(1) Select the color range of the ball.  Go to Select -> Color Range..., activate the "+" eyedropper icon, and hold down your mouse button while waving the mouse cursor over the image of the red ball.  You'll select the colors on the ball, this way; if you get parts of the image that aren't on the ball, simply deselect them with ALT + click-'n'-drag.

(2) Go to Hue/Saturation and check the "Colorize" box.  Then mess with the sliders until you get the color you prefer.  Your shadows will remain.

-- Milo --

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Author Comment

by:Boingoman
ID: 1116615
I want to be able to change the color of the ball to a specific yellow. Moving sliders until it "looks" like the right color yellow isn't accurate enough.

In other words, I want the ball to be R=218 G=218 B=0 yellow.

Try opening some image in Photoshop that is mostly red (like a red car). Then try changing the color of the car to the specific yellow color I mentioned above and you'll see what I mean.
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LVL 30

Accepted Solution

by:
weed earned 800 total points
ID: 1116616
Ok ive got it. In your color pallet choose the yellow you want. 218,218,0 in this case. Now switch your color pallet to the HSB mode via the little triangle in the upper right of the pallet. Pay attention to the new numbers that appear next to the colorbars!! Now go to hue/saturation (command-u) anc check the colorize box. Now...the important part. Enter the values from your color pallet into the hue and saturation fields BUT NOT THE LIGHTNESS # YET!! The lightness number SHOULD be 85 but its NOT. Its actually the negative number of the difference between %85 and %100. In this case the lightness will be %-15. SO in closing to make things easy. In your Hue/Saturation dialog you want to enter the numbers 60, 100, and -15 into their respective fields.
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Expert Comment

by:mdcooper
ID: 1116617
> I want to be able to change the color of the ball to a specific yellow. Moving sliders until it "looks" like the right color yellow isn't accurate enough.

> In other words, I want the ball to be R=218 G=218 B=0 yellow.

How *much* of the image is supposed to be 218 218 0?  Is every pixel of the
selection the exact same color already (excepting the shadows, of course)?
Or are you aiming for an average color of 218 218 0?  Try this easy solution:

(1) Select the ball, including any shadows on it (with Color Range or whatever).

(2) Set the selection to grayscale by adjusting the saturation to 0 with the Colorize
box checked.

(3) Select 218 218 0 as your foreground color.

(4) Go to Edit -> Fill.., and set the Mode to "Overlay."

-- Milo --

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Expert Comment

by:MoonlightMedia
ID: 1116618
I don't want points but here's your answer. I haven't seen
the image but isolate the ball and set it to grayscale. Cut
& Paste it if you have to onto another document. Get it onto
its own layer by itself. Make selection of the ball and
create another layer behind it. Using the selection of the ball layer, fill the layer behind with the exact color you
wanted. Set the mode of the Ball layer to multiply. We use
this technique to add color to B&W images all the time.
Works just like magic!

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Expert Comment

by:MoonlightMedia
ID: 1116619
One follow up - This works best if the image comes up really Blabk and White. If the image is muddy which will happen if the resultant greyscale was on the dark side - try using Hard Light as a mode for the top layer
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:weed
ID: 1116620
This question really points out (to those who werent already aware of it) that there about 15 different ways to do the same thing in photoshop. There is no ONE answer. It usually takes a little creativity, ingenuity, and trial and error.
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Expert Comment

by:mdcooper
ID: 1116621
Too right, weed.
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Author Comment

by:Boingoman
ID: 1116622
Thanks everyone.  :-)
0

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