35. Render Black and White using layers And pull color back in

This approach to converting a picture to black and white results in an image very similar to the results given when using the process for Blog post #34.  The only advantage to this approach, and it’s a LARGE advantage: if you “color outside the lines” it can be fixed easily, as you will see.

  • Choose an image in the organizer, double click; Select the Full Edit option; Alternatively you can go into the Full Edit workspace, then on the Menu bar: File > Open – and browse to the location of your picture in the computer, on a jump drive, or CD in the computer.
  • We will be using the layer palette, and adjustment palette.  To ensure that you have these palettes open, go to the Menu bar: Window > Layers.  This will put a palette on the right side of your screen.  Technically, it should have a check mark in front of it when selected, but it doesn’t have to have one there for the palette to be in the work space where you need to access it on the screen (evidently, technology didn’t get the memo about being consistent).
  • Repeat the process to add the Adjustment palette: Menu: Window >Adjustments
  • The palettes on the right can be adjusted for viewing size like you adjust in Word – by putting the cursor over the edge/border of the box.  When the cursor turns into a two directional arrow, click and pull to the desired size.
  • Once you have these palettes in place and you have an image in the work space, look to the layers palette and you will see a thumbnail of your image and to the right of this thumbnail is the layer entitled Background, and to its right is a lock.  This layer is a given every time you open an image.  We will be putting a layer above this background layer.
  • To render this image to black and white go the the Menu bar: Layer > New Adjustment Layer >Hue/Saturation
  • This will give you a pop up window with hue/saturation as the name of this layer.  Click OK (or push the enter key on the keyboard) or you can rename the layer anything you want, then select OK.
  • After you have selected OK, this puts a new layer above the background layer.  You can always change the name by clicking on this layer, and double clicking on the text, then type what you want to name it.
  • Below the Layers palette, in the Adjustment palette are the sliders for changing the image.  These are the same sliders used in Blog post #28, but this time we have created a layer that can be adjusted and you are going to pull the slider in the opposite direction.  Take the saturation slider and pull it all the way to the left.  You can adjust the image with the other sliders as well, but I will address these adjustments in another blog entry.  Pulling the slider to the left will render the image black and white.
  • Looking at the layers palette: background on the bottom layer, hue/saturation adjustment layer on top.  Note that on the hue/ saturation layer there is a white rectangle to the right.  This is called a mask.  Every where there is white in the rectangle, the adjustment is being used.
  • We will now pull out the color wanted by using the brush tool.  Select this tool and in the options above your image designate the type of brush you want by clicking on the drop down menu and clicking on the brush.  I use the fuzzy brush frequently, but you may prefer others depending on what is in the image that you want to now be in color.
  • To the lower left are two squares on top of each other.  By default one square is black and the other square is white.  If the black square is on top, you are ready.  If not see the numbered instructions below:
  1. If you have a black square and a white square with the white box on top, the order can be switched by clicking on the curved two sided arrow to the upper right of these squares.
  2. If any of the squares are not the color you need, double click inside the square that is on the top.  This will give you a new window with all the colors.   To the lower left of the large square in this new window is black.  Click in this area.  After you click here, look near the button OK and you’ll see this color appear under the words, New.  When you have selected the color you want, click OK.  Repeat these instructions if you need the other square to be white.
  • Again: the lower left has a black square, you have selected the brush tool and to your right the layer for hue saturation is highlighted.  At this point you are ready to use the brush over the image in the parts that you want to come through as color.  After you click and drag, then release the drag, look to the hue/ saturation level on the right to see that the black is now in this white rectangle.  The black creates a block to the adjustment done to this level.  It will take the shape of what you are “coloring” back into the image.
  • Two troubleshooters:  Look above the image where the options for the brush are located, there is a drop down menu that should be on NORMAL.  Check the opacity level to the right.  If you want all of the color, this opacity should be on 100%.  You can vary the level of opacity to get different coloring effects.
  • IF YOU COLOR OUTSIDE THE LINES – not a problem.  Go to the lower left and switch the square on top to white.  Do this with the curved toggle two sided arrow (or keyboard: Ctrl+Delete keys).  Then using the bush, you are painting with white, which allows the adjustment to come back through.  To continue, toggle back to black and continue pulling out the colors wanted.

Layers uses this concept for any adjustment: white reveals the adjustment, and black blocks the adjustment.  In later posts on adjustments this concept will be reviewed using a black rectangle on the right of the adjustment (Alt+Delete) for blocking the adjustment for the image, and using white to revel the adjustment in only a small portion of the image.

About momentsphotographybysandy

This blog is designed to enrich the world of digital photography by expanding the creative potential allowed in Photoshop programs. Shoot - that sounds like fun!
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