Author Topic: Colorization Step-By-Step  (Read 90582 times)

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Offline Vaska_Meow

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Colorization Step-By-Step
« on: October 14, 2005, 06:08:21 PM »
Would any of our colorists be interested in showing their work in several stages?
It might be interesting for those of us who are learning about colorization to see the steps that others take to get the kind of results they do.

For example, we could post the original image in black and white...AND save a few in various stages of completion to post., possibly with descriptions of what we did.
I think it would be like a show and tell thing and we could probably all learn a LOT.



Vaska is back, and this time...it's personal.

Offline nerdycool

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2005, 06:40:51 PM »
I would be interested to do this. But, I probably wouldn't give too much detail on how I did some things because it's a secret! :-X (sorry). I'll see how far I can get on one tonight...

Offline Russian_Duchess_#5

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2005, 11:41:23 AM »
Please!!! I need help-SOS ASAP!! ::)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by Russian_Duchess_#5 »

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2005, 12:01:10 PM »
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By request, here is a work I did as a step-by-step thing. This is the original b/w I used.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v223/nerdycool/Windsor/07.jpg

Next, I did my thing to the b/w so everything stands out a little better. Can you tell the difference?
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/sweetjaimes/Progression/Alix1.jpg

Then I selected the background and colored it.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/sweetjaimes/Progression/Alix2.jpg

I then selected her dress and de-selected the polka dot area. I forgot to save between the color changes though... sorry. An easier way to de-select stuff like polka dots is to use the quick mask function. I go over this is detail on another colored photos thread, but I'm too lazy to go find it now.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/sweetjaimes/Progression/Alix3.jpg

Then I selected Alix's skin and used a yellowish-peachy-pink color. It was a little difficult on this pic because most of her skin didn't want to grab a hold of the color. That's why she looks pretty pale.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/sweetjaimes/Progression/Alix4.jpg

Then I did her hair. After, I went over her face with a manual brush and picked a peachier color. Then a darker pink/orange color for her lips and then I adjusted the lightness and opacity of above color and went over shadows on her face.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/sweetjaimes/Progression/Alix5.jpg

I then go back and color the furniture she's leaning against. I usually do that right after the background, but I forgot. And there's the finished product. I was rushed so there are some little mistakes, but I still like the outcome, though I'm not crazy about what I did to her face. Oh well.
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y6/sweetjaimes/Progression/Alix6.jpg

Offline nerdycool

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2005, 03:28:02 PM »
Since the colored sections started way back when, many people have asked how to color, what techniques to use, etc., and I'd put in my help, as well as other people, and it would get buried after a while. So I asked Laura if she'd sticky a how-to thread near the top so it'd be readilly accessable for people who would like to learn.

I went back to the first colored thread and took all the info I found there that would be of help and I'll put it here. I didn't really look too intensely at it because I need to get to work soon, but when I have the time, I'll comb it over again, as well as search the other colored photos threads for relevent information. Thanks Laura for making this a sticky!

Offline nerdycool

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2005, 03:37:47 PM »
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I work at a newspaper and one of my main jobs is to color correct the photos, so practicing coloring helps quite a bit if you can believe that. I don't know what PSP is like so you might have to adapt my suggestions. Note: every picture is different, so you'll just have to go by eye.  Anyway, for skin coloring, I find that both red/magenta and yellow should be around 20% or so, with a touch of blue/cyan...maybe around 5%. Blush is mostly red with maybe a little blue or yellow, depending on what you want their coloring to be. Hair... well, I have yet to figure that out so I just basically wing it 'till it looks good, usually with red, yellow, and black though. Jewelry would be mostly yellow with a pinch of red if you're going golden, white with a teeny touch of blue if silver. For clothing, I like navy a lot... blue with a little red (but not enough to make purple). But actually, clothing is the fun part because you really don't know most of the time what colors they wore, so you can just make it up!

Here's some keys for those who didn't learn this in school: (you'd be suprised how many don't know)

To make colors other than red, yellow, and blue:
Orange = red + yellow
Green = yellow + blue
Purple = blue + red


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For users of Photoshop, here are some things that might help.

First off, make sure the photo is in either RGB or CMYK mode. If it's in grayscale, you won't pick up any colors... just grays. You can find out which is which by going to the "Image" option on the top toolbar, and then go to "Mode". Then just select which one you want. I myself like to use CMYK (media print mode standing for Cyan Magenta Yellow Black) because that's what I'm used to, but most everyone else finds comfort with RGB (standard mode standing for Red Green Blue).

What's the difference?
Honestly, I don't really know. All I know is that I've tried to use RGB and have failed miserably. So I suggest you find whatever works best for you. If you happen to use CMYK though, just remember to change it to RGB when you save. It opens a lot more saving file options, like PNG, JPG, and BMP.

For selecting a specific area:
In the main toolbar, there's something called the "lasso" tool. It should be in the second row, next to the magic wand tool. Select the lasso. While holding down the mouse button, you draw around an area that you want to color a specific color, let's say a dress. So you just outline the dress and only the dress. If there is a section that you missed, hold down the shift key (a little + will appear next to the lasso cursor) while drawing and it will add that part to the previous selection. If you want to subract for the selection, I'm not sure what it would be for PC users, but for MAC users, hold down the 'option' key (a little minus sign will appear) and select the area you want subtracted.
Note: If you want to use this tool to select someone's face, remember to also select any other exposed skin, like arms, hands, and the neck. It's FAR EASIER to do this coloring all together than to do them separately, and risk the chance that your skin tones don't match.

What's the use of this?
Well, once you have selected all you want, you can color just that area without fear of coloring an arm the color blue. Then once you've colored to your liking, deselect the area.
It took me a while to get used to working this tool with all the keys to hold down and what they do, but honestly, this is the tool which makes my colored pictures what they are.

As I think of more tips, I'll post them.
Cheers


Offline nerdycool

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2005, 03:39:01 PM »
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For the CMYK v. RGB, I guess it would depend on what you do to your photos. There are some color adjustments under the "Image" in the toolbar up top like 'Levels', 'Selective Color', and 'Color Balance' that I do which are a bit different in the RGB mode, and it's taking me a while to adjust. Usually, I get frustrated and go back into CMYK.

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I知 sure you all are dying to know what I do to the pics in Photoshop. I値l let you guys in for some of them, but not all of them :-* (though by any means it痴 not that hard to find out). I値l kind of explain what I do, but since I知 not at work so therefore no program in front of me, I値l probably forget the locations of some of the tools and capabilities. Now this is not the Gospel it痴 just the way I do it, so if you find another way to do something, great! (Then share with me!)

Fine-tuning original picture before color... I call it prepping:
Step 1:[/i] open the picture and under 的mage on the top toolbar, select 閃ode, and make sure it痴 black & white (or grayscale).
Step 2:[/i] Go to 鏑evels 的mage> 羨djust> 銑evels. When it痴 open, there値l be a big area where there痴 a black and white graph-type detail. The image below is just an example of what the levels box looks like.

Under it is a slide bar with 3 arrows: a black one on the left side, a gray one in the middle, and a white one on the right side. They represent the shadows, midtones, and highlights, respectively. On the very bottom is a gradiated(sp) bar, with black on the left working all the way up to white on the right. There are two arrows on this. I don稚 use these very often, but their function is to take black out of black and white out of white, making the picture grayer. Try it so you understand. Also make sure the 撤review option is checked so you can see the changes as you make them.

***The first 2 instructions vary by image***
2a. starting with the white arrow, move it to where the black graph starts. Sometimes the black goes all the way to the end, like in this example. If that痴 the case, then leave the arrow at the end, or move it in just a little. If you go too far, all the whites will look 澱lown-out (you値l know what I mean once you get to that point)
2b. now go to the black arrow and bring that up to where the black graph starts. Again, sometimes it goes all the way to the end. You can move it in a little to darken your blacks up, or you can just leave it at the end.
2c. once you have your highlights and shadows to your liking, go to the middle arrow. This will lighten or darken your midtones (or grays). I usually move it towards the black. This lightens it. Going towards the white will darken it. Play around and figure out what looks best to you.

When you致e adjusted the picture to your liking, uncheck the 撤review so you can see what it looked like before, then put the check back on to see the after. Then hit OK.

Now you池e ready to start coloring!

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Here's the next installment. Along with the lasso tool, there's something cool that I use to select large areas called "quick mask".

Step 1: Select the paintbrush tool, with a brush that has hard edges, not the shaded out edges. And up on the top toolbar, the mode should be set to normal, with an opacity of 100% (anything less than 80% won't register as a selection).
Step 2: On the main toolbar that's on the side, towards the bottom, directly under the color selection area, there's 2 boxes, side by side.

Select the one that has the white box with a gray circle in it (circled in red). This is the quick mask option. The one next to it with a white box with a dotted edge circle (circled in green) exits you from quick mask mode, also known as editing in the standard mode.

What does it do?
It's a very quick way to select an area, like a face. Since you are in the paintbrush tool, you just use it as a paintbrush. When you make a pass through an area, it'll turn red, like in the first picture of the woman (is that Sandra Bullock?).

Don't worry, this is just to let you know what areas you've been to and if you missed something. It's OK too if you aren't too neat with going over lines and the such, because you can go back through later with the lasso and clean it up. When you're satisfied with your selection, click on the box with the empty circle that I talked about earlier. Now your selection has the moving dotted boundary around it like the second picture of the woman, and you can clean up the edges now with the lasso.

Then you can color it!

Offline nerdycool

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2005, 03:40:20 PM »
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Here's some miscellaneous tips I thought of that don't really fit in any specific area:

* When coloring, I used to color the people's faces/skin first, followed by the hair, then clothes, then backgrounds. I've found that if I did it in this order, the backgrounds and clothes tended to be brighter and the skin looked washed out. So I recently reversed the order. Now I do the background first, clothes second, and skin/hair last, and the results are a lot better. The skin doesn't look so pasty when compared to the brightness of their surroundings because I can better control the brightness of the skin when it's next to already colored clothing.

* When painting using the paintbrush tool, there's a box up near the top that's labelled "wet edges". It's preferable from my standpoint to uncheck this box. Why? Well, if you make a pass over an area with color, then come back to the side of it, and happen to overlap the previous pass, there'll be some areas with a darker color. If the wet edges is unchecked, this won't happen. This way, you won't have to constantly change your brush size or zoom in a lot.

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I could give you pointers for both PsP as well as adobe. Make sure to raise your opacity when coloring skin and hair;it will help brighten and make it look more realistic. And i did the same when i started..I thought what looked like skin tone color was the good choice for skin, but lean more toward slight pink-peach etc. because the skin tone color comes out different on the b/w "canvas". For opacity, about 75 or so shuld be good for hair+skin.
Hope this helps!
 :)Annie

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I use Paint Shop Pro 7,and use layers of different qualities--multiply, burn, overlay, soft light, etc depending on what I'm coloring.

Before I do anything I make sure the picture's okay to color.  Usually I'll play around with brightness/contrast a bit to get parts darker.  I tend to go with brightness 10, contrast 10.  Or 5 and 5.

I use the airbrush tool on the first layer which I set to multiply.  This I use for the skin; I use a peachy-red color and color over the entire area I want to color.  Then I use the lasso tool set to freehand and select and delete the areas that I colored over into, ie a dress, shirt, whatever.  I color the hair this color too.  Once that's all done I set the opacity to anywhere from 20-50%, then I duplicate the layer and set that to color and play around with contrast and colorize til I get the right color.  If it's too bright which it often is I just make the opacity something like 40-70% depending.  For a natural looking flush in the cheeks and on the lips I use the multiply function on a new layer and airbrush around the cheek area just once, and play around with the opacity until it's faded enough to look natural.  I make a new layer, multiply, and airbrush once over the lips (the airbrush size is pretty large for this) and I zoom in and get rid of the excess color outside the lips, then I play around with the opacity there on that layer too.  For lighter areas I make a new layer with the soft light property and airbrush over the same pinky-peach color I used for the skin. I use the lasso tool again but this time with feather of 8 to 10, and delete the darker areas where I don't need things to be paler/lighter.  The opacity should be from 50-70% depending on the photograph.

For hair I go over the hair with a new layer of the color and make the opacity like 70% so it doesn't look too bright, looks natural.  Then I do soft light again over the parts of the hair that are brighter from the light of the photograph.

For other things, say foliage, I usually pick a mid-to-light green color and make a new layer set to burn and airbrush and do the lasso tool stuff, feather 1 or 2 to get rid of excess stuff.  I play around with opacity, then do a new soft light layer for the lighter areas and here the opacity will be like, 30%.

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2005, 04:10:14 PM »
Awesome work Nerdycool!
Thanks so much for doing this!  :-*

Offline Russian_Duchess_#5

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2005, 02:23:47 PM »
Thank you so much!! ;D

Offline Russian_Duchess_#5

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2005, 01:27:14 PM »
One problem:Where can I find Photo Shoppe??
The program??

Sofi ???

Offline Laura Mabee

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2005, 04:24:34 PM »
Trials for:
Photoshop
and
Paintshop Pro

It looks like they want you to sign up for account now before getting the trial... Hmm..

Offline Russian_Duchess_#5

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2005, 05:57:34 PM »
Thank you!!

Sofi :-*

Offline clockworkgirl21

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2005, 10:12:04 PM »
I have a question. I probably can't explain it very well, but I'll try. I use color, and I let my friend use Photoshop, and she messed it up because I had everything set the way I always colored. Before, I somehow had it set so the color wouldn't overlap when I colored over it and make it darker. My friend changed it, and I don't know how to get it back to the way it was. Can someone explain how to fix it? Thanks.

Offline nerdycool

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Re: Colorization Step-By-Step
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2005, 01:52:33 AM »
Ahhh...... I do know how to fix it, but I don't have the program in front of me at the moment so I forgot what it's called. Without looking, I can tell you where it is though. When you have the paintbrush selected, there'll be an information bar at the top with brush size, opacity, and the such. And the thing you want has a check box next to it, and it's up on this top tool bar. If I remember correctly, you don't want it checked.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM by nerdycool »