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DPChallenge Forums >> Individual Photograph Discussion >> B/W with colour highlight
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02/07/2004 03:49:33 PM · #1
I'm after a simple tutorial on how to have a black and white image with a colour highlight, in particular for my Aquariums so I can highlight individual fish or plants. I have seen one example but it didn't work for me. I'm sure there are one or two in here, I have tried to find one but to no avail.

Editing suite of choice is PhotoImpact Bundled 5 tho I do have Photoshop 7 which is more powerfull.

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Message edited by author 2004-02-07 15:51:01.
02/07/2004 05:28:22 PM · #2
If you have Photoshop, the most straightforward method is to create a soft-edged mask for your subject (either in a new channel or as a Quick-Mask), invert the selection, and use that as a mask for an adjustment layer to desaturate the background (using either Hue/Saturation/Brightness or the Channel Mixer).
02/07/2004 08:13:43 PM · #3
Thank-you Paul,

I guess this method is probably second nature to users of photoshop, one reason I normally use PhotoImpact is cos it loads faster and I do very little manipulation with my pics.

Once I fully understood what you said it took me less than 5 minutes to create the below, not the best subject but it means I (now) understand the principle.

Comments anyone?
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02/07/2004 08:33:36 PM · #4
Youre welcome! I think this a great example of how to use a specific technique to improve what is otherwise (I've found) a difficult subject to capture. Thanks for bringing it up -- most threads on this subject have concentrated on clever workarounds for when this technique was not DPC-legal.

You can use that same selection (mask) to boost/tweak the color on the fish and numerous other tricks ... for example, you might selectively apply a slight Gaussian Blur (or even a motion blur in the direction the fish is swimming!) to further de-emphasize the background and make the fish look sharper by comparison, without having to actually apply sharpening to it. Please consider performing these on a duplicate layer (or copy of the file)!
02/07/2004 08:45:07 PM · #5
I'm on a steep learning curve here, until a week ago I took snaps of my tank/fish and produced some winning pictures on the forum I live at.

Manipulation of images is something I've never done other than a slight tweek here and there and I worry about how far to go, but I guess in the digital age we live in almost anything goes, if its pleasing to the eye then it doesn't really matter if its straight out of the camera or manupulated to death (unless the rules suggest otherwise)
02/07/2004 09:31:11 PM · #6
Very quickly done as an example but I like the effect and may well take some time on a better picture...

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I'm so happy I found this site, I have no time to relax and unwind now!
02/07/2004 09:50:08 PM · #7
You're doing fine.

The only thing I'd change about this example is to tweak the mask to avoid the color "glow" effect -- otherwise I think you now have a picture of a fish instead of an aquarium.

Note that the mask is a grayscale channel -- that means you can apply effects to it to adjust its size or edit it with any paint/draw tool.
02/07/2004 10:03:10 PM · #8
While we're on this subject, does anyone know if it is possible to copy a gray image and paste it into the layer mask? Stated another way, I'd like to use the image itself (actually one of the channels) as the mask, however PS does not seem to like this...
02/07/2004 11:16:33 PM · #9
Originally posted by kirbic:

While we're on this subject, does anyone know if it is possible to copy a gray image and paste it into the layer mask? Stated another way, I'd like to use the image itself (actually one of the channels) as the mask, however PS does not seem to like this...

I'm sure there's a way to do this, but I don't know it.

However, in trying I found you can select one of the color channels (with the rest hidden) and copy/paste it into a layer as a grayscale. By varying that layer's opacity (on top of the color image) you get a lovely, control-able desaturation effect ranging from a slight lightening through a nice duotoned or pastel effect all the way to a full grayscale.
02/08/2004 06:30:30 AM · #10
Originally posted by GeneralE:


The only thing I'd change about this example is to tweak the mask to avoid the color "glow" effect -- otherwise I think you now have a picture of a fish instead of an aquarium.


Exactly, I have gb's of the 'same' shot, this is something different and i like it - thanks again.
02/08/2004 05:25:43 PM · #11
While we're on this subject, does anyone know if it is possible to copy a gray image and paste it into the layer mask? Stated another way, I'd like to use the image itself (actually one of the channels) as the mask, however PS does not seem to like this...

You can go to the Channels palette, Ctrl-Alt-click on the channel you want to use (this loads its luminosity as a selection), then switch back to the Layers palette, activate the layer you want to mask and do Layer -> Add Layer Mask -> Reveal Selection (or just do Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> etc. to create a new adjustment layer using that selection as a mask).
03/10/2004 11:35:47 AM · #12
i think that's a good shot, for your first selective color :) looks good! keeps the background clutter of the fishtank from taking away from the fish. i have fish too, i think i'm gonna have to try this with some of the colorful shots i have of my tanks.
03/10/2004 12:36:24 PM · #13
Originally posted by jxpfeer:

i think that's a good shot, for your first selective color :) looks good! keeps the background clutter of the fishtank from taking away from the fish. i have fish too, i think i'm gonna have to try this with some of the colorful shots i have of my tanks.


Thanks for the comment Jason. If thats your stonefish you must have one large tank!
03/10/2004 04:45:12 PM · #14
Originally posted by dieselbiscuit:

While we're on this subject, does anyone know if it is possible to copy a gray image and paste it into the layer mask? Stated another way, I'd like to use the image itself (actually one of the channels) as the mask, however PS does not seem to like this...

You can go to the Channels palette, Ctrl-Alt-click on the channel you want to use (this loads its luminosity as a selection), then switch back to the Layers palette, activate the layer you want to mask and do Layer -> Add Layer Mask -> Reveal Selection (or just do Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> etc. to create a new adjustment layer using that selection as a mask).

Check out Gordon's comments on this technique in this thread.
03/10/2004 05:26:09 PM · #15
I was going to repost this step by step guide that shows a quick an accurate way to selectively edit any feature within an image. It can be used to selectively desaturate, as in the example, but also for a whole lot more powerful adjustments too.
03/10/2004 05:28:09 PM · #16
Originally posted by kirbic:

While we're on this subject, does anyone know if it is possible to copy a gray image and paste it into the layer mask? Stated another way, I'd like to use the image itself (actually one of the channels) as the mask, however PS does not seem to like this...


Ctrl+click the channel, then add a new layer mask or add an adjustment layer that will use that selection as the layer mask

Any active selection gets turned into a mask when you do this.

You can also save a selection as an alpha channel, and reactivate it in a similar way (the saved selection/ alpha channel appears in the channels list, though typically isn't visible, unless you are doing a quick mask-like/ ruby lith edit on it)
03/10/2004 05:51:55 PM · #17
Originally posted by Gordon:

I was going to repost this step by step guide that shows a quick an accurate way to selectively edit any feature within an image. It can be used to selectively desaturate, as in the example, but also for a whole lot more powerful adjustments too.

Don't you want to turn that into an official tutorial?
03/10/2004 07:49:19 PM · #18
Thanks Gordon!
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03/10/2004 09:56:52 PM · #19
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by Gordon:

I was going to repost this step by step guide that shows a quick an accurate way to selectively edit any feature within an image. It can be used to selectively desaturate, as in the example, but also for a whole lot more powerful adjustments too.

Don't you want to turn that into an official tutorial?


I've had others that have been waiting for over 18 months to get turned in to a tutorial here, so I gave up a while ago.
03/10/2004 09:59:06 PM · #20
What has to be done?
03/10/2004 10:15:32 PM · #21
//www.pbase.com/gordonmcgregor/rotation is the other one. They'd need to be formated for the page and the images moved I guess.
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