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Tyger
08-17-2005, 09:32 PM
Masking Technique: Black and White photos with a touch of colour.

http://www.monzoncreations.com/image002.jpg



Program used: Adobe Photoshop 7


If you are anything like me, I love black and white pictures. Depending on the picture, a black and white photo can give a picture a different characteristic. Inspired by many shots I’ve seen which had a touch of colour on a black and white image I decided to experiment with different masking techniques to get the look and feel that I wanted.

This tutorial is very easy to follow and can be done by anyone who is familiar with Photoshop.

For this tutorial I will use one of my wedding photos, and it is a good excuse to show of my beautiful wife!

At this point I won’t get into adjusting levels and curves and fixing over or under exposed images. I will presume that these things have been done already. Now let’s get to the steps involved to get this effect.


The first thing we have to do is copy the original image onto a new layer and name them respectively. I named them “original colour” and “black and white”.

Now, with the new layer created, we need to make it black and white. You can do this a number of ways but the easiest way for this tutorial is to go under Image> Adjustments> Hue and saturation. Simply grab the saturation slider and decrease the saturation all the way until your image is black and white. You results will be one coloured layer, and one black and white layer (seen below), with the black and white layer at the top (seen below).

http://www.monzoncreations.com/image004.jpg http://www.monzoncreations.com/image006.jpg
http://www.monzoncreations.com/image007.jpg

Now here’s where it gets fun and you will be surprised how easy it is.

With the b&w layer selected go under Layer> add layer mask> reveal all.
Make sure you are on the b&w layer and select the eraser tool. Select a soft brush, depending on your picture the brush size may vary. For this I used a 40px brush and later decreased the size which we will get into later. Set the opacity to 35%.

http://www.monzoncreations.com/image009.jpg


Make sure that you are on the black and white layer and click on the mask layer so that it is highlighted.

http://www.monzoncreations.com/image011.jpg



Now, using the eraser tool, simply brush over the area you want color to show. For finer edges use a smaller brush size. It would be best to zoom in at the intended target.

http://www.monzoncreations.com/image013.jpg

Some of you might be wondering, “why not just use the eraser tool instead of using the mask?” Well you can do it that way, but the one of the benefits of using a mask for this technique is that the original photo won’t be affected. So if you ever have to go back to the original, you could always discard the layer mask.


After you have gone over all the areas you wanted colored….that’s it! Your results will be a Black and white photo, with a hint of color!

http://www.monzoncreations.com/image015.jpg

D Thompson
08-18-2005, 08:08 PM
If you are anything like me, I love black and white pictures. Depending on the picture, a black and white photo can give a picture a different characteristic.
Tyger - I love b&w shots, there is just something about one that color can't touch, as you say, depending on the shot. This is a neat little technique I've used in the past on some shots. Seems to me that b&w is making a comeback lately. Thanks for sharing.

Dennis

x3ro
08-20-2005, 08:39 AM
Very nice tutorial, Tyger! Thanks. Very well written and easy to understand :)

Keep it up man!

x3ro
08-21-2005, 09:42 PM
Tyger, I hope you dont mind me posting pics in this thread, but I thought I'd help give other people some more ideas on how you can make this work for ya in photos :) Hope you enjoy!

http://www.phoenixcis.net/~x3ro/library_gallery/images/9q-df_bw.jpg

http://www.phoenixcis.net/~x3ro/library_gallery/images/3-flower.jpg

Tyger
08-21-2005, 09:46 PM
D Thompson- Thanx man, I do see B&W making a comeback as well, i've always been a big fan!

X3RO- I don't mind at all! I'd luv to see if others have tried it. I think you've used this technique in a great way! nice work.

Phill D
08-21-2005, 11:33 PM
Tyger, I've never tried anything like this & often wondered how it was done. Thanks for sharing this technique you make it sound fairly easy and the very striking results you & x3ro posted have certainly inspired me to have a go - just need to negotiate a bit of spare time! ;) Well done guys.

carbine
08-22-2005, 04:01 AM
Dam that rocks i had to try it myself.
One of my wife in the New Zealand Ironman last year.

x3ro
08-22-2005, 05:33 AM
Great job carbine! Technique was used very well :)

The only downside to this technique is that it's very time consuming and tedius, but the results are phenomonal if you use it properly :)

My first go at it this evening:

http://www.phoenixcis.net/~x3ro/library_gallery/images/2-farmhouse.jpg

Hope you guys enjoy :)

ReValveiT
08-22-2005, 09:26 AM
Another great Technique Tyger! Here's a couple of mine:

http://www.dtsabers.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/images/pics/marvin_bw_1.jpg

http://www.dtsabers.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/images/pics/flower_bw_1.jpg

rlee
08-22-2005, 12:20 PM
Awesome tutorial. I hope more & more people are sharing their Photoshop techniques. If we can make some of these tutorials as stickys, members of the forum will no need to purchase expensive photoshop tutorial books. ;)

I actually tried this technique many weeks ago after reading an article in a photography magazine (don't remember which one). So I got back home and googled a tutorial that teaches the technique.

http://www.graphic-design.com/Photoshop/paint_to_gray/

Tyger
08-22-2005, 02:06 PM
wow i'm encouraged that you guys have put this into practice, and all examples are great! Nice work everyone!

For Cs and CS2 users i believe it's a little different, I think you use the paint brush tool instead.

D Thompson
08-22-2005, 02:51 PM
Tyger - I looked a little closer at your method and I would like to offer an alternative. Here is another way to try. Using the eraser destroys the pixels of that layer. This way lets you recover a little easier from a goof up and gives a few more options. This is PS7.

1 – Duplicate background layer.
2a – Add a Hue/Saturation layer and adjust saturation to -100. There are 2 windows on this layer. Click on the solid white box of this layer.
Or 2b - Go to Image/Adjustments/Hue Saturation and take saturation down to -100. Click on add layer mask at the bottom. Click on the white solid box.
3 – Press D (for default colors), then X to set the foreground color to black.
4 – Select a soft brush of appropriate size and flow to 10% or less. This way you can build up a little at a time. Brush where you want the color to come thru. If you mess up, press X to set the foreground to white and repaint. The desat comes back thru.

Give it a try and see how you like it. Stepping back with ctrl-Z is the only way I know to un-erase. End results are the same, but sometimes I will get out of the "line" and this lets me correct it on a finer level. Of course this IMO. Let me know.

Dennis

carbine
08-22-2005, 11:50 PM
wow i'm encouraged that you guys have put this into practice, and all examples are great! Nice work everyone!

For Cs and CS2 users i believe it's a little different, I think you use the paint brush tool instead.
I used CS2 and the eraser worked ok for me :)

Tyger
08-23-2005, 08:24 AM
Nice Carbine! I wasn't sure i've never used CS , someone told me it's different, maybe he was talking about something else.

D Thompson- Interesting, i'll have to give it a go. I'll let you know how it goes.

gabo234
08-23-2005, 09:51 AM
Revalveit - I love that shot of the cat, it looks very nice.

Here are some of mine, only I use a different technique.

gabo234
08-23-2005, 09:53 AM
Here is another picture with some nice colors.

val123
08-23-2005, 01:43 PM
Just had to try this out ...........done using Paint shop pro 9 very similar technique though.

http://mansaards.smugmug.com/photos/33239721-M.jpg

D Thompson
08-23-2005, 03:54 PM
D Thompson- Interesting, i'll have to give it a go. I'll let you know how it goes.
Tyger - I think you might like it after you get used to it. Using this method of painting on the layer mask opens up unlimited possibilities. I use the basis of this method a lot of different ways. Another hint to see if you've got it all is to Alt-click on the layer mask. This should make it easier to see if you have a hole where you want the color to come thru. Just click on a layer to restore (if you are going to do some more make sure you click on the layer mask so you are only painting on it). Here is one of mine.

Dennis

Tyger
08-24-2005, 10:03 AM
yup that way works great too, kinda the same actually. Using the black and white foreground colours acts the same way with the eraser too as well. Either way is a good method.

But what do you mean that the eraser destroys the pixels of the image, when you are erasing on the mask?

I do like using the paint brush method as well too however. Great stuff D:)

JTL
08-24-2005, 03:48 PM
I have other things to do, but who can resist? Done via Tyger's original technique, except using PSP 9. It's a little rough, but it's my first try. It probably would have been better with a flower not in the center...next time...

http://jtl.smugmug.com/photos/33377578-L.jpg

D Thompson
08-24-2005, 03:54 PM
yup that way works great too, kinda the same actually. Using the black and white foreground colours acts the same way with the eraser too as well. Either way is a good method.

But what do you mean that the eraser destroys the pixels of the image, when you are erasing on the mask?

I do like using the paint brush method as well too however. Great stuff D:)
Tyger - yeah the end result is the same. That's the thing about PS, several ways of accomplishing the same result.

The way I understand it, and I'm no expert by any means, is that the eraser tool removes the pixels of that layer. By using the mask technique, you are only altering the mask itself, not the underlying layer. If you delete the mask then the layer is still preserved as it was. For me, it's an easier way to recover from a mistake. The only way I know to "unerase" is to back up in history. Let's say you make a mistake and don't notice it till you've done a lot of other erasing. If you can't back up far enough with history, then you have to trash your work and start over. Using the mask will let you redo an area very easily. Thanks.

Dennis

reyval2k
08-25-2005, 06:21 AM
Why don't we let the Gimp have a go at it. :)

D Thompson
08-25-2005, 06:58 AM
The way I understand it, and I'm no expert by any means, is that the eraser tool removes the pixels of that layer. By using the mask technique, you are only altering the mask itself, not the underlying layer. If you delete the mask then the layer is still preserved as it was. For me, it's an easier way to recover from a mistake. The only way I know to "unerase" is to back up in history. Let's say you make a mistake and don't notice it till you've done a lot of other erasing. If you can't back up far enough with history, then you have to trash your work and start over. Using the mask will let you redo an area very easily. Thanks.

Dennis
Tyger - My bad, you are erasing on a mask, not the layer itself. I went back and took another look and realized this and to "unerase" you can do the same by switching foreground color to white. :o :o :o
Dennis

Tyger
08-25-2005, 07:35 AM
D- no prob bro, either way the techniques works, and as you said that's the beauty of photoshop, there are numerous ways to acheive this.

Actually aftyer playing around, there is another way of doing a similar techniques using channels and masks...but that's another tutorial:p

It's always a good thing sharing photshop techniques, that's how we learn!

Tyger
08-25-2005, 07:59 AM
Val & Rey,

It's cool to see this techniques can be done in those programs as well:)

barnesquared
09-08-2005, 03:39 PM
fun :)

http://focusedblur.com/photos/random/dregray.jpg

phatkid77
01-03-2006, 06:58 AM
first of all thanks alot for the well written instructions....i tried to self teach myself last yr for an eternity and just could not do it!!

anyway, i notice when i go B & W then erase the object i want colored...it doesnt have the original brightness...

2. i find when i magnetic lasso around the deges i want, much easier to erase and not worry about spilling over into image

3. is there a way to just create a cutout of the original, and make everything else B & W??

i did something last night at 3am with the lasso and the dodge tool, which seemed to work better (likely forget what i did thou)

thanks

cory

VetteD50
01-04-2006, 05:34 PM
Great tutorial...thanks! I once knew how to do this, but the refresher was definately needed. I remember having to use a selection tool though...it was alot more difficult than this way.
See the image I created using your method.

I can offer a tip as well...rather than "desaturate" which can easily rob image quality, create a new file and convert it using image/mode/grayscale.

Put that into your original image as a new layer, and then use your eraser tool. This will keep original image quality.


http://photobucket.com/albums/a384/Wizardvette/?action=view&current=UnknownBW.jpg

KEN9322
01-27-2006, 09:45 PM
HEY JTL,

I STARTED READING THIS THREAD AND AFTER ONLY READING THE FIRST PAGE STOPPED AND WENT AND TRIED IT WITH A PICTURE I TOOK LAST SUMMER JUST AFTER I BOUGHT MY FZ5. I CAME BACK IN HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE THREADS AND LMAO WHEN I NOTICED I DID THE SAME PIC AS YOU. CHECK IT OUT

http://us.a1.yahoofs.com/users/4299c240zed661ba8/9998/__sr_/f72bre2.jpg?phoyv2DBMz7ETcMP

P_Schneider
02-05-2006, 01:44 AM
Cool tutorial, thanks.
Here is my first effort.
http://www.grandmaschneiders.com/public_misc/pics/memorial%20bw1%20sm.jpg

P_Schneider
02-05-2006, 02:55 PM
Here is another one using a Thai Dragon Chile Pepper plant I grew.

http://www.grandmaschneiders.com/public_misc/pics/thai_dragon_bw_sm.jpg

uncle_b
02-18-2006, 11:58 AM
Thanks for the tutorial, it's really well documented and easy to follow! So inspired, I gave it a shot with a picture I snapped at a basketball game - not the best, but I had a good time playing with it :) .

http://i12.photobucket.com/albums/a249/bryanlwitt/Photoshop/tamu_bb.jpg

Shiloh
02-19-2006, 05:32 PM
3. is there a way to just create a cutout of the original, and make everything else B & W??


I always just create a duplicate layer, turn off the original layer and delete (using lasso or whatever) the part I want to be color, then desaturate the duplicate layer and then turn the original layer back on. This works with PS7 and CS.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v667/shiloh123/bwpurp.jpg

Prospero
02-20-2006, 02:14 AM
I always just create a duplicate layer, turn off the original layer and delete (using lasso or whatever) the part I want to be color, then desaturate the duplicate layer and then turn the original layer back on. This works with PS7 and CS.


Yes, that's another strategy you can use. That's the great thing about photoshop, there are many ways to reach the same goal.
There's another fast way to do it if you want to turn only one relatively simple object (having a pretty regular shape, for instance some flowers) black and white. You just select the object using the lasso tool, then you invert your selection so that everything except for the object is selected. After that you just desaturate the part which is selected now.

penz
02-20-2006, 02:03 PM
Here is my first test of this. This is one of my wedding photos. I use PS Elements 4.0. This was from a film camera. I had to despeckle abit first. I'm just learning this Photoshop stuff and this still only took about 10 minutes.

http://penz-world.com/Wedding-b-w-with-color%20(Medium).jpg

penz
02-20-2006, 02:10 PM
Here is another one I did of my Sister-in-law. I took this picture with my Finepix S3800 and edited it with PSE 4.0

http://penz-world.com/BethsWeddingBW%20(Medium).jpg