Eliminating Color Cast
With Paint Shop Pro



Have you ever had an image with a really annoying color cast and none of the auto methods to correct it built into Paint Shop Pro worked ...

How frustrating is that?

Fortunately there are some non-automatic adjustments in Paint Shop Pro that will do the job nicely.

The adjustments have to made manually which are generally better than auto adjustments anyway.

This method to eliminate both a color cast and to improve overall color is adapted from a Photoshop technique that is quick, easy and very effective.

The technique uses an Average Blur which may not seem  to have much to do with a color cast - but it does.


color cast original


The Technique


This is a simple four step process (one additional step may be necessary) that starts simply enough ...

Step One

Duplicate the Background Layer.

Step Two

Go to Adjust > Blur > Average.  When the dialogue comes up go to Settings: and select Blur High.  This will cause the image to become blurry.

Step Three

Change the Blend Mode of the Copy of Background to Color (Legacy) and then go to Image >color cast weird colors Negative Image.  This will make the image look really weird but have faith - it will all work out.

This is the hard stuff over.  Now for the adjusting ...

Step Four

Lower the Opacity of the Background Copy layer and watch the change in the image.  As you get down around 35% to 50% Opacity the color will start to look normal (without the color change when the image was changed to negative and without the original color cast).

Here is the layers palette at this point ...


color cast layers


When you are happy with the new color - stop - you are done!  The color cast is gone ...

Isn't that neat?


A Site Visitor's Suggestion

Richard - firstly may I thank you very much for your site, which I stumbled upon yesterday during a routine google. Wow!

I am a Paint Shop (X3) user and have a basic Wacom tablet - though that is incidental to what I was looking for. I saw your video on colour correction (amongst others) and hey, what a simple technique thank you SO MUCH.

I was experimenting with this as I don't like just being given a recipe - it can be made simpler. There is no need for the initial blurring of the copy as far as I can see. just go straight into setting the blend mode and making it negative. (BTW as well as colour legacy, you can also use colour, hue and hue legacy, though the two legacy blends do seem to provide the best result).

I did experiment with blurring, and used maximum radius Gaussian blur just to see - it appeared to make no difference to the end result. Thank you once again.

Simon - London


With my image there is a problem, however and there may be one with yours as well.  The darn thing is kind of flat and lifeless.  It needs some additional modification.


color cast end


Additional Refinements


Levels Adjustment

The best way to improve the brightness in this image is with a Levels Adjustment Layer above the Background copy layer.

color cast levels


The normal method to adjust Levels is to move the Shadows (left slider) and/or Highlights (right slider) up to the edges of the Histogram in the dialogue.

With this image moving the Shadow slider up to the Histogram made the image much too dark and moving the Highlight slider didn't make much difference at all.

Hmmm - if I can't move the left slider and I can't move the right slider then what can I do - ahh - how about moving the Mid-tones slider (the middle one)  - that did the trick.



color cast levels adjusted
A Note:  when the Levels dialogue opened the mid-pint was at level 128 and this is middle gray which is the holy grail of an image.

By moving the mid-point to 98 middle gray has been changed to a new position and all the rest of the brightness levels adjust themselves accordingly.

The image is much brighter now but still lacks the all important contrast.

Now its time to add a Curves Adjustment layer.


Curves Adjustment

color cast curves
This is the Curves dialogue box for this image.  

I placed  two control points on the curve - one in the Shadow area (bottom left) and one in the Highlight area (top right).

The Shadow slider did not need much adjustment - it is just below the line.  If it went any further then the Shadows would be way too dark.

The Highlight slider was moved up much further while watching the image to make sure the contrast is good.

Here is the image after the Curves Adjustment Layer was applied.


color cast levels and curves
This is a big improvement from the color cast in the original image, don't you think?

What this procedure shows is that one technique, no matter how good, is generally not enough to produce a really good image.

If you are having any problems understanding Curves, you can click here to review this very useful adjustment.




And that is how to remove a color cast and then tune up the image.

The Video



Correcting Color Cast




 

On Page Links

The Technique

Additional Refinements


Video









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