Color Replacement in Photoshop CS
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And now it's time for the tricky part. This horse, being a fur-bearing critter, gives us some scraggly edges to deal with, specifically in the tail and mane areas. So now we'll go in and add pressure sensitivity to our brush Size as well as our Tolerance.
Going over the tail lightly and trying to follow its general contours, I wind up with something like this after six strokes. If I study it later, I'm sure I'll find a few areas that I'll need to clean up a bit, but, on the whole, I'm pretty satisfied.
So that leaves just the mane. This is another trouble spot because it's slightly blurry around the fringes and also blends pretty well with the dry brush background of the image. I gave it a once over with the same settings I used for the tail but was unhappy with the results. The effect was a bit too subtle. So, instead, I'm changing the Mode back to "Color" and hitting it again. Otherwise, I'm using all the same settings as in the previous step. And the result is much better, even if it does look a bit painted.
So all that's left now is a slight amount of touchup. This whole exercise has been fairly sloppy. In other words, there hasn't been much of a need to take care around the more complex areas because the tool itself handles most of the problems for us. Nevertheless, I will go back and fill in some details that I think were missing. For example, some of the edges on the animal were a bit sloppy. Some of the detail was lost in the tail area. Etc. So for my final few strokes, I'll leave the tool in "Color" mode and add in a little extra color where I think it's needed. Nothing major, but just paying a little more attention to the individual strands, but also careful not to overdo things. Even with a purple horse, there are limits to what a viewer will accept. And what I mean by that is that you want to be careful not to add in too much saturation where it's not called for or too much luminance where there wouldn't be any, such as in the shaded areas of the horse. If you don't have the kind of vibrancy you were expecting, it's not that big a deal. The effect is still there. But, if you want more, you should adjust the image overall when you're finished, or just make a few touches here and there to bring out details where you want them. And hopefully, when you're done, you'll wind up with something like this, something that carries out the effect but that nevertheless maintains the qualities of the composition as a whole, particularly contrast and lighting conditions.
So that's it for the Replace Color tool. We'll move on to other new features in Photoshop CS in the coming weeks. If you have any questions, be sure to visit me in the Adobe Photoshop forum here.
Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the editor and producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Apple DVD Studio Pro, Mac OS, Adobe InDesign, Corel Painter, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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