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is it possible to apply a colour to grayscale pixels and preserve lightness/darkness of pixels?

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nick harambee
is it possible to apply a colour to grayscale pixels and preserve lightness/darkness of pixels?
on Jun 10, 2010 at 3:09:14 pm

Hi

Say I have the following image:



And I want to convert it from grayscale to a particular color such as



Whilst preserving the relative lightness/darkness of each pixel (it may be difficult to see at this size but there are pixels of different lightness in the pencil image).

So essentially I would like a green pencil with shading using the original grayscale image rather than starting from scratch.

How would I go about this in Photoshop CS4?

Thanks

Nick


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Darby Edelen
Re: is it possible to apply a colour to grayscale pixels and preserve lightness/darkness of pixels?
on Jun 10, 2010 at 6:30:30 pm

Add a solid color layer of your desired color above the pencil layer, change it to the 'Color' blending mode. If the pencil layer has transparency, then consider setting the color layer as a clipping mask.


The 'Color' blend mode replaces underlying Hue and Saturation values with those on the blending layer, while keeping the underlying Luminance values.

Darby Edelen


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nick harambee
Re: is it possible to apply a colour to grayscale pixels and preserve lightness/darkness of pixels?
on Jun 11, 2010 at 9:26:38 am

Thanks. I have got the colour layer working well with the pencil by using color blend and altering the opacity of the pencil layer.

The pencil does have a transparency, and so I get the following:



I can work out how to make a clipping mask by drawing a shape, but am not sure how to make that shape the pencil. Essentially I need to remove all the green around the pencil to see other layers below

Nick


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Darby Edelen
Re: is it possible to apply a colour to grayscale pixels and preserve lightness/darkness of pixels?
on Jun 12, 2010 at 1:27:31 am

[nick harambee] "I can work out how to make a clipping mask by drawing a shape"

Clipping masks do not require you to draw. They use the transparency of the layer below them. Read more here:

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/photoshop/cs/using/WSfd1234e1c4b69f30ea53e41001...

You would just place your color layer directly above the pencil, then hold option (or alt on pc) and click at the boundary between the two layers. Voila! Clipping mask.

Darby Edelen


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nick harambee
Re: is it possible to apply a colour to grayscale pixels and preserve lightness/darkness of pixels?
on Jun 13, 2010 at 4:39:55 pm

Thanks. I have applied a clipping mask as per the instructions in the article you linked to, but it isn't working as it should.

I added a green color layer (set to color blend mode) above the pencil layer as follows:



and then reduced the opacity of the pencil layer to 50% which resulted in the following:



Then I added the clipping mask as follows:



But this takes away all of the green as follows:



When I want the pencil to be green,

Nick


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Darby Edelen
Re: is it possible to apply a colour to grayscale pixels and preserve lightness/darkness of pixels?
on Jun 15, 2010 at 11:49:23 pm

When you use a clipping mask the clipped layer above will take on the transparency values of the below layer. I believe what you're seeing is the dramatically reduced influence that the green layer is having due to the layer it's being clipped with not having 100% opacity.

Try increasing the opacity of the pencil layer to 100% and see if you see a difference.

Again, the reason you're seeing a difference is because before the clipping mask your green layer has 100% opacity and your pencil layer has 50% opacity. If you merged these two together at this point they would have 100% opacity (because the green layer is 100% opaque). However, once you clip the green layer to the pencil layer, the total opacity of both layers become equal to 50% (the opacity of the lower pencil layer).

Also remember that if your final pencil image is going to be less than 100% opaque, it will take on some of the color of whatever image/color you place it over. In fact, if you duplicate the color fill layer in your problematic clipped document, change the blend mode to normal and place it under the 50% opaque pencil with the clipped color fill above it, I think you'll find that it looks the same as your pencil did before clipping.

Darby Edelen


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Tristan Chaika
Re: is it possible to apply a colour to grayscale pixels and preserve lightness/darkness of pixels?
on Jun 22, 2010 at 6:29:26 pm

A slightly different way of accomplishing this, with a little more control over color...

1) have the green color selected as your foreground color
2) create a hue/saturation adjustment layer above the pencil layer (or just go to image>hue/saturation.
3) When you have the options window up, check the "colorize" box. This will colorize your b&w image using the color you have selected.
4) You can then make adjustments to saturation, lightness/darkness, etc, to get it right.

This method does not require a layer mask, or a layer of color with a blend mode.

If you need to keep drop the image on a different background, you'll need to add a mask to the adjustment layer (or just do the hue/saturation adjustment straight on the pencil layer as stated above)

-Tristan


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