Words & Pictures Paul Charlton
Id like to thank Hatch for giving me the info on this technique. Please
note that this is more of a guide than an all out tutorial, and is intended
to show you the techniques required. Im going to be working on an image
converted to greyscale as opposed to an actual original black & white image.
To start with, duplicate the Background Layer and perform the normal image corrections
to start with the best possible black & white image. Here is the starting
image that Im using for this example and is one taken on my old Fuji 2600z
at Caldicot Castle.
The whole reason behind this method of colour tinting is flexibility and ability
to continually edit your image. So, the use of djustment Layers offers you the
ability to return to your colour tints and continually tweak your settings without
making any permanent alterations to the underlying original photograph. If youre
not familiar with Adjustment Layers then I would recommend looking over my tutorial
on my site at www.wz2k.co.uk
under the tutorials section. This will take you step by step through using Adjustment
Layers and their benefits. The most important aspect of this tutorial is to
make good selections before you even start to work on toning the image.
2. Firstly, ensure youre working with your image in the CMYK mode
Image>Mode>CMYK. This allows us to have four channels to work with as
opposed to the three we would have in the RGB mode. Once you have set up your
image ready to start working on we can make our first selection.
3. There are any number of techniques involved in making a good selection,
and it is beyond this tutorial to teach you. So again, if you are unfamiliar
with Photoshops various selection tools I would suggest you work through
the Selections Primer available on my site www.wz2k.co.uk.
Because the image Im working with has some complex selections needed Im
going to be utilising Quick Masks wherever necessary. The beauty of this method
is that we can easily touch up any mistakes without the need to try and recreate
the Curve. Ok,
lets start by using the Pen Tool to create my basic selection prior to
converting it into a working mask ready for editing.
This close up shows a partial view of the initial Path that I made.
4. The beauty of using this method is that we can reap the benefits
of not only having a re-editable path, but also the flexibility of the editable
Quick Mask. Once you have you path created, select the Load Path as a Selection
button on the Paths palette. This will convert your original Path into a usable
selection ready to make a Quick Mask.
simply press the Q key on the keyboard to create a Quick Mask
ready for us to tidy things up. Note: You may find it useful to apply
a small amount of feathering to your selection after you have edited the
Quick Mask to make sure you have slightly softer edges in the final selection.
This photo shows the Quick Mask prior to editing
5. With the Quick Mask enabled we can start editing the mask by
using any of the painting tools (paintbrush, airbrush, etc). Just remember
that to ADD to your mask you use black as your foreground colour, and
to SUBRACT from your selection you need to use white. Using various shades
of grey will allow for partial masking (semi-protected). Tidy up your
mask ready for the next steps.
Once you have a Quick Mask that youre happy with you can press the
Q key again to switch back to Normal Mode and this will convert
your Mask back into a standard selection. Before we move on, and to make
sure that we can re-edit the selection later we are going to save it. Go
to the Select menu and choose Save Selection. Use the same settings as I
have in this Save Selection dialogue box. This will create a new Channel
with the same name as we use in the Name dialogue.
Now were ready to start applying the colour tints to the first
part of our image. Create a new Curves Adjustment Layer (Layer>New Adjustment
Layer>Curves). Now comes the fun part, and the step that requires the
most experimentation on your part to get the result you require.
What were attempting to do is use the four curves channels to mix
the required colour. This is something that is beyond the scope of any tutorial
and something that I am not going to try and explain in too much depth,
but I am going to give you an example and then suggest you start experimenting
|8. Here are the five options available
from the Curves panel and the graphs below show you the settings I used
to colour tint the castle walls.
|This shows the adjustments I made
to the Magenta, Yellow & Black curves.
9. The thinking behind the curves adjustment is to start with the basic
elements of the colour you are trying to create and to adjust the starting curve
(in my case, the yellow was the base for the sandstone colour). So, after adjusting
the yellow curve, I edited the magenta curve to tone down the yellowness and
finally altered the black curve to darken (or lighten) the colour until satisfied.
As I mentioned earlier, you will need to experiment with the curves to achieve
the desired results.
This example shows you the result of altering the above curves. The major benefit
is if you need to alter or tweak your colours all you need to do is double-click
the Curves Adjustment layer and re-edit the individual curves channels.
11. All that is now left for me to do is to repeat the above steps to
colour tint all the remaining colours in the image.
About the Author
Paul Charlton is Publisher of the web site WZ2K: Digital illusions Explained.
He also supplies articles to the UK's Digital Camera Magazine and Computer Arts.If
you have any questions about this method for colour tinting your images or feedback
you can contact Paul here firstname.lastname@example.org.