Fan Art: Adding color to photo's question

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by dkr7, Oct 2, 2011.

  1. dkr7

    dkr7 Well-Known Member

    Oct 13, 2010
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    Hope this is the correct forum, if not my bad and please move accordingly

    I'm looking for help on how to add color to pictures like the iGear PP05 prototypes and fantoys soundwave etc. but dont know how to do it, i tried some tutorials for photoshop but the colors always went wrong and looked transparent. Anyone who knows how to do them? or any better programs to use? thanks
  2. process

    process Hanlon's razor Veteran TFW2005 Supporter

    Dec 1, 2008
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    In Photoshop CS3, my technique is:

    1. Import your image. Keep it as the lowest layer; all color modification will be done to copied areas of this image, and put on higher layers.

    2. Use the Polygonal Lasso tool to trace around the parts you wish to tone with the same color. Use Additive and Subtractive toolbar modifiers to edit your selection.

    3. Once you have your areas selected, click the "Refine Edge" button in the toolbar. Feather and Smooth a little to help make the selection look less rough and more natural. It may take some trial and error to get it to look good. Generally, you're working at such a low resolution it doesn't matter that much.

    4. Hit OK and exit the Refine Edge dialogue. Now, copy+paste your selection to a new layer.

    5. Right click on the layer, and select Blending Options. Check the Color Overlay box and navigate to that tab. Simply select a color you want to use, and scroll through the Blend Mode drop down menu to see which setting works the best. This is very subjective.

    6. Repeat these steps to color in the rest of the base image.


    This works well for coloring grey scale images, like prototypes. If you're trying to recolor an already colored image, the steps above may work, but often the base color will interfere with the Color Overlay blending option. Alternative strategies include:

    1. In the Photoshop toolbar, Image -> Adjustments -> Hue/Saturation.
    2. Image -> Adjustments -> Selective Color
    3. Image -> Adjustments -> Replace Color

    You can also attempt to completely desaturate (Image -> Adjustments -> Desaturate) your base image before applying an overlaid color. You may have to lighten the image and adjust contrast before applying an overlay; oveylays take better to whiter surfaces than darker surfaces.

    A lot of this is trial and error, but I think I've mentioned all the tools I use. Sorry for the lack of visual aid; I have a bad habit of deleting all the Photoshop'd renders I've done in the past.