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Does A Formula Exist To Transpose Shades of Grey To Shades of a Base Color?

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Last Modified: 2013-12-25
Hello everyone,

I am rather new to Photoshop, and I am currently running Photoshop CS3 on my machine.  I have an image of a button that is basically black and white with shades of grey.  The button image uses the shading to create a sort of three dimensional effect.  I would like to change the white background to a red background, maintaining the 3D effect of the shading.

Does anyone know if a formula exists to transpose hexidecimal rgb values for shades of grey to similar values, but for shades of a color?
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Top Expert 2009

try a hue/saturation adjustment layer set to colorize


Whoa, Philip_Spark, thank you so much for your input, but you should know that you just spoke calculus to a person still learning how to count.  OK, I see where I can set up a new adjustment layer for hue/saturation, but I do not know what to select in the dialog box that comes up.  There is nothing in the "Mode" menu that seems to indicate colorize.  How do I do what you are instructing me to do?
One method: Press ctrl+U, (or click: image-->adjustments-->hue/saturation), click the "colorize" check-box, and then adjust the hue slider. You can tweak the color with saturation and lightness.

Another method (as mentioned above by Phillip): Click layer-->new adjustment layer-->hue/saturation. Click "ok". In the dialog box, click "colorize" and then drag sliders as needed.

Both of those methods will colorize the gray tones in the image.

You mentioned wanting to colorize the red background...  You could try this: click layer-->new layer. Set the foreground color to red, then use the paintcan to fill the layer red. Now, set the layer mode to "darken" (see the attached image for help).

If you don't like the color you get from that layer, you can then use the hue/saturation dialog box (see the first method above) with the red layer selected to make adjustments.
In the above, I meant colorize the white background...

I thought more images might be useful, as you're new at this...


Wow, statler01, I really, really appreciate the basic and comprehensive instructions you gave me.  Thanks to you I was able to try out all the techniques you outlined, but now it is obvious to me that I did not state clearle exactly what I want.

See, the button I want to change the background from white to red also has white and shades of grey inside of it, and this white and grey I do not want to change.  In other words, what I am trying to acheive is a white and grey button on a red background.  I tried the first techniques both you and Phillip_Spark suggested and they colorized all of the grey, which is not exactly what I wanted.  Your second technique for filling a new layer with red and darkening shows the most promise, if I could only preserve the white and grey shading inside the button.

I went ahead and attached a copy of the image I am trying to change so you will have a better idea as to what I am trying to do.

Many thanks to all for your input.
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Oh you are good, statler01.  Real, real good!  I envy people with talent such as yours.  Thank you so much for all your help, hard work and easy to understand instructions.  I award you the maximum points.  You truly deserve them.
Top Expert 2009



Hey thanks, Philip_Spark!  That was very nice of you. ;)
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