Earlier this year, we released the Colour Change Action for Photoshop. As it’s been hugely popular, we’d love to share some extra colour change tips for getting the best results.
Often, when people think “colour change”, the result in their mind actually requires both colour (hue and saturation) AND density (brightness) changes, to produce the desired outcome.
This is because colour changes are commonly achieved using Photoshop’s blend modes.
The Newborn Posing Colour Change Action by Kelly Brown has been created to allow you to modify hue, saturation AND density, to produce a broad range of results. But it’s still important to note that colour changes have limitations, so here are some tips to help you get great results, quickly!
PHOTOSHOP COLOUR CHANGE TIPS
- Choose props/outfits with similar brightness level to your desired end result.
- As a general rule, an item which falls in the mid-tones (ie. closer to the middle of the tone curve than to the brightest or darkest points) is ideal to work with for maximum variety.
- Once you’ve finished your colour change, check for mismatching colour casts from the original item/s.
- Note that white is difficult to change by simple editing processes, given its lack of density. And significant changes to white often look unrealistic.
Best Choices for Seamless Changes
Choose props/outfits with similar brightness level to your desired end result.
Significant changes to brightness (eg. expecting dark blue from cream) are more likely to lead to banding and quality issues, or simply make the change appear less seamless.
For example, if you want to change a background to pale pink, choose a lighter colour item in your original capture – something on the lighter end of 50% brightness – for best results.
In the example above, as the image is darkened, the edit becomes less seamless or realistic. We could improve this by working to add more contouring and shadows to complement the colour change. However, if it was possible to start with darker items in capture, this would produce a more seamless result, and faster.
Maximise Variety – Begin with a mid-density prop/outfit
As a general rule, an item which falls in the mid-tones (ie. closer to the middle of the tone curve than to the brightest or darkest points) is ideal to work with.
It will allow you a greater latitude of changes, both lighter and darker than the original, before you see quality issues.
In the example above, starting with a mid-toned backdrop and outfit allowed for significantly lighter and darker colour changes, quickly.
Check for Colour Casts
Once you’ve finished your colour change, check for mismatching colour casts from the original item/s.
For example, a vibrant green backdrop may leave a green cast on baby’s skin, which would become more visible after the colour change.
Where possible, choose neutral grey or warm brown / beige items when you have control over the items you will colour change. Neutral/skin tone colours are less likely through throw casts onto the subject’s skin, and therefore are an ideal choice of colour for the prop or outfit you are intending to change in Photoshop.
This original image was the dark brown, allowing us to create many changes of colour and density.
ACTION INCLUDES VIDEO TUTORIAL
When you purchase the Colour Change Action, you’ll find a bonus video tutorial in your NewbornPosing library. This video demonstrates:
- installation of your action into Photoshop
- selecting colour hue and saturation, and applying the density adjustments
- getting the most out of your action
- use of brushes and masks which are essential for accurately applying your colour change
CUSTOMISE YOUR ACTION: When working with the Newborn Posing Colour Change Action, you may wish to customise the density adjustments. While we have created presets to best suit the majority of images, you may wish to make custom changes to density and contrast. To do so, simply create your own Levels or Curves adjustments inside the action group to best suit your image.
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