Photoshop newbie question...

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by D34th, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. D34th macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2006
    I have fooled around with Photoshop for a few years on some of my friends computers, but now I think I'm a little bit more serious about it. I have a simple question that I'm sure many of you can answer. How do I add color to only some parts of a black and white picture. For example, I have a picture of a person, I convert it to black and white, and I want just the eyes to be the actual color. Is there any other/easier way to do this besides using the Lasso tool and cutting out the eye from the color picture? When I use the Lasso tool, it is never a clean cut and it doesn't fit perfectly...Thank you all.
  2. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    What you need to do is to not turn the picture to black and white.

    Just as a practice to get the concept:

    1) Take a colour image, work on a copy

    2) Go into quick-mask mode (key Q); or toggle the two rectangular buttons on the toolbox beneath the colour pickers to use Quick Mask.

    3) Grab a brush, making sure that you have black selected as your foreground colour, size and soften it to your needs to 'paint' the area you want to keep colour.

    4) Paint an area with it, it should paint in red or another colour, use the eraser to clean it up if necessary.

    5) Exit Quick-Mask mode, you should now see the area you painted as a selection with the 'marching ants' (the animated dotted line).

    6) Then key Apple-U, or menu Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation and pull the Saturation down to -100 to pull all of the colour out of the area.

    7) If it does the wrong area, then undo it and invert the selection so it chooses the opposite of what was originally selected. (Shift-Apple-I) or Menu>Select>Inverse

    Here's a page of links for further messing with Quick Mask Mode.

    (That's just one way to do it though; personally I would do it with a layer mask and an adjustment layer although I'm not sure if I could explain that so easily from scratch).
  3. seenew macrumors 68000


    Dec 1, 2005
    Take the original photo, make a duplicate layer, turn the new layer black and white (desaturate), then use a small brush to erase out just the eyes. The color from the layer below will show through.
    Good luck!
  4. D34th thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2006
    Alright wow, thanks guys. I guess I need a lot of practice and need to learn about photoshop some more. Thank you very much.
  5. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    To get a better selection with the lasso tool, zoom in as clsoe as you can...fill up the screen with the part you want to lasso...

    After you select the lasso tool, clcik in the feather box and put in a random number to start with like 2, 5 or 10 (pixals to feather the edges of your selection. The amount can vary depending on the resolution of your image.).

    Now do your selection and editing.

    There are tons of tutorials out there. Check out Adobe's web site.
  6. wilburdl macrumors member


    Jul 18, 2006
    OR, you could desaturate the image and use the history brush to restore the color where you want.
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    The only reason I suggest my apparently long-winded and complex way is that I'm a big fan of being able to revisit any file that's been archived at a later stage if I want to reuse it or modify it for other things... or pull elements from it for other uses.

    I'm not that keen on destructive edits and will almost always work with editable masks and adjustment layers where possible. Think its good practice in a commercial environment although that's just my opinion...

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