Archive of ‘photoshop’ category

First Post of 2012 and a Match Color Tutorial

Happy New Year everyone!  Wishing you all a wonderful new year, may your dreams and hopes come true,  and may your projects succeed.

For this first post of 2012 I’d like to share  a quick tutorial for Photoshop CS users.

This tutorial will be about a quick and fun way to edit your images by using the Match Color adjustment feature in Photoshop CS  (I haven’t found a way to make the exact same thing in Elements so far,  but I only have PSE7.  So if you have a newer version of PSE and the feature is available,  let us know!).

Match Color uses a photo as a source to change the color of the photo you are working on.  You can use any photo,  a classic painting,  one of your photos that has tones you especially like,  or whatever your creative mind decides.

I used a texture of mine, from the Renaissance set as a source for the tones and then applied it to my image.

Here’s how we do:  Open both images in Photoshop, the image you want to work on (Target)  and the image you want to borrow the tones from (Source).  Make sure your Target photo is your active selection.  I like to duplicate my background and work on that layer,  so if I don’t like the results,  I can easily discard it.  I can also lower the opacity or change the blending mode of the duplicated layer,  which I can’t do if I work on the Background layer.

So, with your Target photo active,  and your duplicated layer active as well,  go to Image > Adjustments > Match Color.  A dialog box will open and you will work from there.   You will see three sliders, that’s what you will use to fine tune the results.

So, you see in this dialog box,  my Target image name at the top,  and the three sliders.  At the bottom,  that’s where you select your Source.  Just click on the box for the Source image and you will see the image you opened for this purpose listed there.  The Layer box, is for selecting a layer if your source is a .psd file.  Just play with the sliders until you like what you see, then click ok.  If you duplicated your Background layer, changes will be made on that layer and you can now adjust the opacity or change the blending mode.

This feature takes a little getting used to though, my first attempts were made with darker images as the Source and the results weren’t as soft as I wanted them to be.  But it’s still a fun feature to play with once in a while.  Here’s my result using my texture as a Source and leaving the duplicated layer in Normal mode at 100%.


I hope you’ll try this fun feature and, as usual,  feel free to share your results on the Facebook page.




Frequently asked question about texture work

Hello everyone!  It’s been a while!  I was on vacation 🙂  And it was good!  Only problem is summer never lasts long enough, back to school is upon us, days are way shorter and the nights are cooler…

I thought I’d post a tutorial about THE question everyone asks: How do you remove the texture from faces or skin and keep the tint?

It’s not that difficult you’ll see.  I use two methods that can erase the texture details but preserve the tones, one is faster,  the other will require a bit more work.  But both will come in handy at times.

Let’s start with the first one.

1. Open both the photo and the texture you want to use in Photoshop (For Elements same steps apply for all this tutorial)

2. Drag the texture (or copy and paste) over your photo,  select it with the rectangular marquee tool, then right click and use Free transform to stretch it so it covers entirely your image.

3. With your texture layer in Normal mode at 100% opacity, use the Dropper tool and select a mid-range colour from your texture, not too light, not too dark.  (This is where it gets a bit tricky, if your texture has very strong colours and a wide range of colours, then the second method maybe better for you.)  Just like in the circle, for this particular texture.

4.  Once done, reduce the opacity of your texture to around 60%, so you can see underneath and still see some texture detail ( still in normal mode).

5. With a big soft brush, at around 40 to 50% opacity,  paint over the areas you want to remove the texture detail, when done this is how it should look (screenshot#5)

6.  Blend your texture in the desired mode now, I used Overlay, you decide what you want.  And adjust your opacity, I went with 80% for this particular texture.  That’s it!  You’re done!


For the second method, follow steps 1 to 4, the change will be in how we remove the texture detail.  So at step 5 instead of painting we will use the Magnetic lasso tool and select an area around the face.  Click on your mouse and make your lasso tool follow the edges of the face, click when you have made a full selection, to activate it.  It will look like in step 5 below.

When your selection is active, go to your top menu bar and select Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur  Run a blur at maximum value, 250.  You will loose all details but will keep the colouring.  This method is useful when your texture has a lot of mixed tones and you are not able to select a mid-range colour easily.  Now, blend your texture in your favorite mode and opacity, here Overlay at 80%.  Done!!  Not that hard wasn’t it?


So here is the before and after, texture used was “Tiziano” from the Renaissance set.



Understanding the Exclusion blending mode – Or getting a Retro or Vintage haze on your images

Many of you probably know by now that adding a solid blue color adjustment layer and blend it in exclusion mode to around 40% will give you a vintage haze layer over your image. It’s very useful, you can pick any kind of dark blue and see the difference in the resulting tint. But do you know how it works?

What the exclusion mode does is inverting the base color values.
I don’t know if you are familiar with the color spectrum and the complementary colors, so here is some basic info. The “true” primary colors are Yellow, Red and Blue (RYB). And the secondary ones a mix of those, so Orange, Green and Violet. That’s how I learned my colors when I studied arts. That is when you consider the colors for mixing purposes. BUT our cameras and software have another set of primary colors, the RGB ones, where the mixing of colors in based on how light affects our vision of color.  So for Photoshop purposes, let’s stick to the RGB ones 🙂

So if you look closely at the color spectrum in your software, you’ll see that the primary colors are Red, Green and Blue (RGB).  The secondary colors are the colors created by a mix of those primary colors, resulting in Cyan, Magenta, Yellow (CMYK) (remember, we are talking about mixing light, otherwise Red mixed with Green would not produce Yellow…).  The K stands for black. In theory if mixed perfectly Cyan, Magenta,and Yellow should produce Black. In theory, if you have pure colors.  Two colors are called complementary if, when mixed in the proper proportion, they produce a neutral color (grey, white, or black).

The complementary colors are opposite each other in the spectrum. So pure Blue has pure Yellow as opposite, so complementary. Green is complementary to Magenta, and Red to Cyan. Anywhere in between will give a derivative from these colors. I won’t go further in naming the tertiary colors and so on… I think you get the point.

We’re a long way from where we started, but this info will come in handy in your editing process.

When you select a color in your spectrum in Photoshop, and blend it on Exclusion mode, it will tint your image with it’s complementary color. So depending on where you pick your blue, the coloring will go from yellow to orange, just select the tint that pleases you most and reduce opacity. You now have a vintage haze layer.

You can do the same if you want to have a Retro tint. Pick a purple (Magenta) color, and blend it using Exclusion mode, you will get a Greenish tint. Reduce opacity and you get the retro finish.

When you’ve done it a couple of times, you will know where to pick the Blue or Magenta that suits your images. It’s a fast an easy way to get a moody haze on your photo.

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