Paint Shop Greyscale

Paint Shop greyscale conversions can produce really great black and white images.  The conversion methods range from the very basic and quick conversion to much more sophisticated conversions.

I'm not sure what it is about black and white images because they have retained their popularity through the years.  It probably has something to do with the fact that the viewer has to become much more involved with the subtle tones and shades of black and white than with color images.

Whatever the reason it is very rewarding to create a fabulous greyscale image from a color image with Paint Shop Pro.

Let's get going ...

Paint Shop Greyscale Conversions

Simple Conversion

This is the easiest and most basic method of Paint Shop Greyscale conversion.  

It's simple - do this ...

Image > Greyscale

The colour information is removed making it very simple and the results are acceptable.

In some cases this may be all you need!

Hue and Saturation

This method of creating a Paint Shop Greyscale provides more adjustments and that means you get a nicer black and white image.

Here's how this one works ...

  1. Open your image and create a new Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer.
  2. Move the Saturation slider (on the left of the palette) to -100 and watch the image convert to black and white.  

This is a comparison of Greyscale (on the left) and Desaturating the image with the Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer (on the right).

There isn't much difference, is there?

But wait - there is more you can do with the Hue and Saturation dialogue.

Leave the Hue slider alone and make some small test adjustments to the Lightness slider - wow - that does make a difference, doesn't it?

The Lightness slider was moved to -9 which darkened the image.  If the Lightness slider was moved up the image will get lighter and with the truck the contrast was lost making the image very flat.

Black and White Film

This is the Paint Shop Pro automatic adjustment found in the Effects menu - Effects > Photo Effects > Black and White Film ...

This may be as far as you really want to go with Paint Shop Greyscale conversions because it does a great job and there are and infinite number of adjustments that can be made and both the Brightness and Clarify can be changed.

This is a dialogue that benefits from experimentation - move the little black dot around, click Suggest Color, drop down the pre-set dialogue and mess about with the Brightness and Clarify adjustments.

The predominant colour on the Tornado Hunters truck is orange so the little selector was moved to orange - and that produced this result. 

If you compare this version of Tornado Hunters with the simple conversions then I think you will like this one better - I know that I do.

This PaintShop Black and White Film conversion offers an infinite number of permutations - all you need to do is drag the little black circle around the different colors and wait for the preview.  When you get something you really, really, really like why not save it as a preset so you can use it again and again?

You can even find a conversion you really like and then, just for the heck of it - run the conversion again for a new and interesting look.  

So much for the Black and White Film conversion - now onto the Channel Mixer ...

The next Paint Shop greyscale conversion will use the RGB channels.

So what are channels?  Well, from the Paint Shop Pro Help files this is the answer  - "Image files store color information in channels, or planes, of colors. You can separate an image into RGB, HSL, or CMYK color channels. An RGB image has three channels: red, green, and blue."

Does that make sense?

The Channel Mixer used here is an Adjustment Layer and here is the Channel Mixer Dialogue ...

Some housekeeping stuff ...

  1. The default setting is Red 100%, Green 0% and Blue 0% with the Monochrome box checked.
  2. Typically the three numbers for Red, Blue and Green should total 100% but when you look at the Red Channel you can see it can go beyond 100%.
  3. Similarly, the three channels can also have negative numbers.

The problem with the Channel Mixer is this - how does one determine which percentage of Red, Green and blue to be used when creating a black and white image?

One method is to just mess about with the three sliders and find something you like.

Another more precise method is to find a starting point for the three sliders using the individual channels that make up the color image and this is how you inspect the individual channels ...

Image > Split Channel > Split to RGB ...

And up will pop three new images with one being the Red Channel, one the Green Channel and one being the Blue Channel.  With the original color image open with the three channels do this ...

Window > Tile Horizontally ...

This is what will happen.

Now you can inspect the three channels in leisure and comfort.

The channels are:

  • Top Left - Red
  • Top Right - Original
  • Bottom Left - Blue
  • Bottom Right - Green

Blue Channel - very dark and closer inspection than available here shows that it is noisy.  That is not unusual in the Blue Channel.

Green Channel - not as dark but kind of flat and lacking contrast.

Red Channel - lots of contrast between the geese and the background.  

In the Channel with this image I would be tempted to start with Red at 50% and Green at 50% and then work from there.  When you have your starting point close the three channels and work with the color image only.

Now make your adjustments, click OK and check out the result.  If it is not acceptable then double click on the Channel Mixer Adjustment Layer and re-do the adjustments until you like the result.

At the bottom of the palette is something called Constant.  This will darken or lighten the overall image and not much change in the value is needed to produce a big change on the image.

Here is the Channel Mixer Dialogue ...

And the resulting image (after some cropping) ...

Using the Channel Mixer can go on and on with a lot of different adjustments available.  Give it a try ...

So there are a few different methods to convert a colour image to black and white using different Paint Shop Greyscale conversion methods.  Select the one you like and have a go at it.  It really is very rewarding and kits if of fun!

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