Colorizing black&white

Discussion in 'General Gallery' started by drlynn, May 1, 2004.

  1. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    My first attempt at colorizing a b&w photo (in Photoshop).

    Apologies to Terri and the other extremely talented people here who can do it by hand!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. aggiezach

    aggiezach Yup...

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    I think it looks wonderful. I'm actaully quite impressed with it! Great job! :thumbsup:
     
  3. photobug

    photobug TPF Noob!

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    That turned out very well. Great job man! :thumbsup:

    Now you have to tell us how ya done it. :)
     
  4. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the compliments, aggiezach and Big Bug.

    Here's how:

    1. Open a b&w image in Photoshop and convert to CMYK (Image>Mode>CMYK color)

    2. Open a Curves adjustment layer by either xlicking on the "Open new Fill or Adjustment Layer icon in the Layers/Channels/Paths palette (the circle that is bbisected diagonally, top half black, bottom half white) or through the menu Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Curves.

    3. Add a layer mask to the Curves layer by pressing the "Add Vector Mask" button on the Layers Palette (White circle inside grey box).
    When you do this, several things will happen. The foreground/background colors in the Tools patlette will change to black/white, a white rectangle appears beside the Curves thumbnail, and the paintbrush icon to the left of the thumbnail is replaced by the circle-in-a-box icon.

    4. Choose the paintbrush tool and paint everything EXCEPT the first thing you want colored (eg skin). You don't have to be exact here, and it will be hard, because your painting won't show up on the screen except in the little mask thumbnail.

    5. Double click on the curves thumbnail to bring up the curves command box. Change the Channel selector from "CMYK" to just one color, say Cyan. Play with the curve until the color starts to look the way you want. Then change to the Yellow channel and do the same. Then do the same on the Magenta channel. You may have to switch back and forth several times to get the color just right. Sometimes you will also have to play with the Black channel to get the highlights/shadows the way you want them.

    6. Now that you have the color right, double click on the Mask thumbnail and clean up your mask so that only the part of the image that is supposed to be the color you've made is colored.

    7. Repeat the process for each element you want to color on a new layer.

    I know this sounds like a lot of work, but it doesn't take that long. This pic has 7 adjustment layers, and it took me probably a couple of hours to finish. And always close the file (AFTER you save it!!) and leave it alone for at least a few hours, or a day or two would be even better. Then come back and look at it with fresh eyes to see if any of the colors or masks need tweaking. I found a whole section of Nathanael's jeans that I had left gray!!

    Hope you all enjoy trying this as much as I did.
     
  5. c0ntr0lz

    c0ntr0lz TPF Noob!

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    nice work
    i did one like this years back but i didn't get into too much detail
    you did great
     
  6. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, cOntrOlz. I've seen some of your work, so I take that as a BIG compliment.
     
  7. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    :LOL: No apologies needed here! You did a fine job for a first attempt, and you'll only get better. It really looks nice.

    I've seen some fabulous work done with PS. I just don't like calling it "hand tinting", since that term classically refers to the application of archival photo oils, photo oil pencils and other media, directly onto a B&W silver gelatin print.

    It's a different process, but it all springs from the same desire to see color in various areas of the B&W print. It enchances a print's archivalness, too.

    I doubt I'll ever learn the PS process, simply because I don't want to sit in front of the computer that long. :wink: I like working at my drafting table and using different things, being able to spread out. Different strokes. :D
     
  8. Geronimo

    Geronimo TPF Noob!

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    That is just fabulous job.
     
  9. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    Terri,
    I agree completely that the two forms should be differentiated. I have utmost respect for artists who can hand-tint with photo oils. IMO, there's much more artistic ability involved in that vs colorizing in PS. Thanks for the comments!

    Gero,
    Thanks for the kind words!
     
  10. Bruno

    Bruno TPF Noob!

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    That's pretty excellent. I hope to work on things like this in a couple of months when I have access to a dark room. I can't do anything with photography unless I do it all from scratch.
     
  11. Tammy

    Tammy TPF Noob!

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    This is actually rather inspiring. I think you did a wonderful job - and what a delightful expression you've captured. Adorable.
     
  12. drlynn

    drlynn TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the comments, Bruno and Tammy.

    And Tammy, please do let this be an inspiration. The most difficult thing about doing this is taking the time to keep tweaking the Curves on all the different colors to get the look just like you want. That, and a steady hand when doing your masking. If you have photoshop and some black&white pics, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the results you can achieve.
     

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