When I show someone how to do this they usually grab a piece of paper and a pen and write it all down but you don't need to do that.
Just follow along ...
You can easily replace the color of just about anything you want from red eye to your car or sweater.
Perhaps the easiest way to do a color change is to use the Replace Color command - it is found in Image > Adjustments > Replace color ... For this technique we will change the color of the sweater on the left from black and yellow to black and red.
When you open the Replace color dialogue you will see some options ...
This is the dialogue for this image ...
Before you open the Replace Color dialogue make a copy of your background layer. There is sure to be some new color where you don't want it to be and that will need to be removed and it will be done on the Background Copy Layer..
As you can see the original yellow was selected using the Eyedropper. To get all of the yellow at the edges of the neck it was necessary to zoom in and then use the eyedropper+.
When you are working on an image its possible to move around with the dialogue open.
Just press the space bar and drag the image to get to a new place to do your sample.
You can also zoom in and out when in a dialoge -
Zoom in - space/Ctrl
Zoom out - space/Alt
To choose a new color either move the HSL (Hue/Saturation/Lightness) sliders around or click on the little color swatch to bring up the color dialogue.
Now you have a nice new color and it is time to do some clean up. At this point add a Layer Mask to the Background copy layer by clicking on the little rectangle with the circle at the bottom of the layers palette (outlined in red).
The layer mask allows you to remove any unwanted color casts that have appeared as a result of using the Replace Color technique.
Set the default colors to Balck and White by pressing the D key and then make Black the foreground color. Select the Brush tool and if you are using a Wacom tablet set your brush to change size with pressure (Shape dynamics).
Now carefully paint black over any areas that have picked up the new color by mistake.
And here is the complete image ...
This technique works well but there are some problems. It was very difficult to completely change the color around the neck of the sweater but it is acceptable for a quick job.
There are more effective methods to change color in an image using Hue and Saturation Adjustment layers.
This color change method is quick, easy and targets only the color you want to change.
Lets use this method to do a color change of this old Mustang - a digital repaint if you will ...
At the bottom of the Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer are the Hue and Saturation Adjustment Sliders.
This allows you to modify the range of colors bening modified.
The Fall Off is similar to Feathering.
In my example I moved the D part of the slider to eliminate the noise from the original color change.
You can see the change in the Hue Slider vales.
This is something you will need to fool around with if you have some noise or if the color is kind of blotchy.
Removing Unwanted Color
This is a simple matter of using the Layer Mask built in to the Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer.
Select your Brush and set the default foreground/background colors by pressing the D key. Now make Black the foreground color and paint over the areas where green has incorrectly replaced red.
In this image the taillights of other cars, a sign in the distant background and the mirror on the van next to the mustang all have green that needs removing.
And - the final image ...
Easy, huh, and an easy way to do a color change.
This color change method may be the best of the three and it also uses a Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer.
This is the Layers Palette and the resulting image ...
I prefer to eliminate the color and then paint it back in. To do this press
Looks OK, right?
If you look closely at the background you can see a reflection of our sax player (and me taking this shot). A reflection is not a bad thing but - his shirt is the wrong color in the reflection!
See ... and we have to maintain the integrity of the reflection, right?
That is easily fixed by
The painting is exactly the same as well. You may find that the new shirt and cap color in the reflection is too vivid so just lower the opacity of the second adjustment layer (in this image the opacity was lowered to 38% on the second Hue and Saturation Adjustment layer).
Here is how the layers palette looks and the color change final result.
This is the third of the three color change techniques and it is probably the best one of the three.
Incidentally - this technique can also be used to add some color to a black and white image.
To do this you have to make sure that your image is RGB rather than grayscale. Check that the image is RGB by selecting Image > Mode > RGB color.
Now add your Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer, put a checkmark in the colorize box and move the sliders around to get the color you want.
Now it is a simple matter to either paint in or paint out the color on the black and white image.
Page LinksReplace Color
Hue and Saturation 1
Hue and Saturation 2
The perfect color change will maintain the original texture of the image with a new color overlayed on top.
Enjoy This Site?
Then why not use the button below, to add us to your favorite bookmarking service?
Return to top
| Homepage | Bamboo | Blog | Digital Darkroom | Intuos3 | Intuos4 | Cintiq | Links| Photoshop Brush Settings |Contact Form to ask questions, provide feedback or comments. Questions are good - so are comments - or requests!
| Photoshop Tutorials | Photoshop Elements | Paint Shop Pro | Painter Essentials
| Tablet Videos | Photoshop Videos| Elements Videos| Paint Shop Pro |
Return to Photoshop Tutorials from Color Change