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Digital Simulation of Colour Infra-Red film in Photoshop

Phoenix 20 1.9k England
1 Dec 2003 5:56PM
Coming from a film based background, I'm particularly interested in reproducing traditional film and darkroom effects digitally. I've figured out how to use Photoshop to simulate the effects of Cross Processing and Mono Infra-Red. But, I'm struggling to simulate the effects of Colour Infra-Red film.

If anyone has any experience, tips or suggestions on how to do this, I'd love to hear them
tva 18 307
1 Dec 2003 9:32PM
Try this technique. Its off the top of my head. I got a tutorial off the net somewhere I will look for it.

Flatten any layers
Duplicate background layer.
With this active.
Goto filter > blur > gaussian blur.
Value between 25-35, click ok.
Set blend mode to Lighten.
Do a curves adjustment layer
click on the centre point, pull upward and to the left, to about Input:90 Output:150
(type them in if you want)
click ok. Set blend mode to screen. Set opacity to suit.(try also Overlay,soft light if thats too much)
Do a new empty layer to top of stack.
goto edit > fill > 50% gray. Mode:Normal opacity:100%. Click ok. Set blend mode to soft light.
To add noise.goto filter > noise > add noise
select 10, gaussian,monchrome
click ok.
Do a new hue/sat adjustment layer above this.
Move sat slider fully to left and then bring back to add some colour, to suit. Also adjust individual colours to suit your image if necessary.

Thats about it, try it, it could possibly do with some refinement. With the adjustment layers you have the benefit of layer masks, if you wish to do some erasing and paint back some detail. Hope this helps.
Phoenix 20 1.9k England
2 Dec 2003 11:26AM
Thanks Terry, that gives quite nice results which when it's applied to a B&W image are quite similar to those my current technique gives. Unfortunately it doesn't give the sort of Colour shifts I'm trying to simulate that you get from Kodak Ektachrome Infrared E6 Colour film . . . . something like the ones at this link

tva 18 307
3 Dec 2003 8:19PM
Had a look at the link and no you won't get results like that with my method. The problem is that IR film sees things that you cannot replicate fully in an image processing software. You can only try and simulate it.Try playing with channels switching one off, that will give similar results to the images I saw on the link. The other try is Colour Balance, trying to simulate the filter effect.
You can have fun though trying.Grin
shooter 19 105 Canada
3 Dec 2003 10:36PM
By shooting a Colour Checker using InfraRed Ektachrome, you can compare the result to normal, and find out which colours are dramatically changed and which ones stay fairly constant.

With that info, it should be no trouble to alter or even reverse the curves on the colours with huge shifts, and use "selective' or "replace" colour on the others.

Here's an idea:

If you've done it once, saving the curves and then doing it all a second time while on "Record an Action" will let you create a push button that will apply the IR effect to any image instantly.

You could even sell it.
chiche 12 1
20 Jun 2009 8:43AM
Thanks for sharing this useful information.
15 Jul 2009 1:14AM
Thanks everyone for your support, you're the best!!
paulcr Plus
16 1.5k 9 Ireland
15 Jul 2009 9:46AM
jakabout 17 1.7k 1 United Kingdom
15 Jul 2009 1:11PM
Try this:

Create an adjustment layer > Invert

Duplicate the Invert Adjustment layer (so you now have two "invert" adjustment layers with the second application thereof returning your image to what it looked like originally)

Change the blend mode of the duplicate invert layer to "luminosity".

Voila. Quick and easy.
paulcr Plus
16 1.5k 9 Ireland
15 Jul 2009 1:20PM
Thats great. Works really well. Cheers

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