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Re-Colour an image

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Tim Browning
Re-Colour an image
on Nov 18, 2009 at 10:23:44 am

Hi All,
I purchased a vector image for use in a logo, but it is giving me headaches. I'm trying to change the entire colour (or color if you aren't in the UK!) scheme to greens rather than greys. The originator seems to have created the image in a very strange way and as an Illustrator newbie I'm totally lost. I've tried copying into Photoshop and placing as a Vector Smart Object, but this still doesnt really help - I cant recolour without PS making the whole thing into a bitmap.

Your help would be much appreciated. If it makes any difference, I'm using CS3 versions of both Illustrator and Photoshop. Thanks in advance ... Tim

Image file:

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Vincent Rosati
Re: Re-Colour an image
on Nov 18, 2009 at 7:09:57 pm

I'm using CS2 and got a 'new version' warning when opening the file..
Anyway, this illustration looks to be complex.
Select View/Outlines, to see what's going on.

There are a bunch of grouped objects, and clipping masks.

To ungroup, with the object selected, choose Object/Ungroup.

To remove a clipping path, with the object selected, choose Object/Clipping Path/Release.

This thing may turn into a can of worms when you try to dissect it.

You can use the Group Selection Tool (the White arrow with the plus sign) to select and delete the outer border.

Perhaps you could paste the object into Photoshop as a smart object, then add Color Overlay as a layer style, set to Overlay or something.
This would probably be the easiest way to change the overall color.


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Tim Browning
Re: Re-Colour an image
on Nov 19, 2009 at 9:54:03 am

Thanks for your speedy replies :)

As a total Illustrator newb, I tried to take the image out to Photoshop, add a layer overlay or effect and then copy back to Illustrator, BUT (and this is probably me missing something) the copy only copies the layer, not its overlay or effect.

In the end, I opted for Illustrator's Edit Colours>Adjust Colour Balance option and got to as near to the colour I wanted as to be just fine for my purposes.

Thankyou once again for your suggestions. Much appreciated. Tim.

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les nemeth
Re: Re-Colour an image
on Nov 19, 2009 at 12:10:24 am

This is an extremely simple illustration. It's a simple call out box shape (or whatever you want to call it) and extruded using the 3D Effect in AI.

So as a third option to what Vince has mentioned (all of those suggestions would work), you could draw this shape, or if you don't know how, just create the shape in Photoshop. It has a built in custom shape like this. Copy the vector shape from PS and paste it back to AI, fill it with a color, and use the Effect > 3D > Extrude & Bevel command. You will have much more control over what rotation/perspective/color/light you want.

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Stuart Gill
Re: Re-Colour an image
on Nov 25, 2009 at 1:15:08 pm

I see that the surfaces are made up of raster images which have been clipped instead of vector objects with gradients.

As a very simple test, I drew a green rectangle over the top of the objects. In the Transparency Palette I changed the transparency blending mode to "Colour" (100% Opacity) which gave me a nice green tint to the objects. This changes the appearance of the objects to green but doesn't work correctly because it leaves an obvious rectangle which has to be clipped to the shapes.

I suggest you follow Les' advice and recreate it as a complete vector object. You can use the clipping masks and colour them in as they are already vector objects which are in the correct position and have the correct sizes. That will save you having to redraw the whole thing.

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Thie Thomsen
Re: Re-Colour an image
on Dec 4, 2009 at 2:39:19 pm

Here's a solution I've seen applied a couple of times (once because of a big printing booboo thanks to not flattening the tranparency correctly).

Flatten and check your files well before applying this technique if you are going to send this to a printer.

Here we go:

- group the object you need to recolour
- create a white background object to lay behind it (by selecting->copy->paste behind->expand->union(pathfinder))
- draw a rectangle below the object you need to recolour (but above the white bottom object), and fill it with the colour you want.
- select the rectangle and the object (remember, the object needs to be on top)
- in your transparency window, click the pull down menu, and select "create opacity mask"

Images :

Done... Please note that the object is transparent and inverted (tonewise) now, so to complete it, check the "invert" box in the tranparency window (this will fix the inversion).

I can see your spot colours...

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