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Localized color exaggeration/enhancement

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  • Localized color exaggeration/enhancement

    I'm fairly new to photoshop, so this may be an easy task. Hopefully someone can help me with this:

    I have a photo of a girl in focus with yellow lines painted onto pavement behind, out-of-focus. The yellow lines are very pale yellow, almost white, but I need to enhance the yellow so that it's bright and exaggerated. How do you do localized color enhancements like these? Also, as the lines are blurry, how can I pop them without losing the blurring effect? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    try this:

    Select the background... not the girl.

    Go to menu: Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation

    Select "yellows" from the dropdown menu and drag the saturation slider to the right.

    That's where I would start.
    "It's never too late to be who you might have been." - George Eliot


    • #3
      I would use the polygon lasso tool and select the yellow lines, then add an adjustment layer (hue/saturation), and bump the saturation up. Use the selection (yellows), then click the eyedropper in the hue/sat dialog box and click on the yellow lines, then shift click all over the yellow lines to get that color. Slide up the saturation values, maybe even hue to get the right color balance. Hopefully with adding the yellow, it will help pop them as well.
      WordPress Designer and theme developer. KlongDesigns - helping bloggers and non-technical folks claim their space on the internet.


      • #4
        Thanks for your replies! I tried doing what you both suggested, but it seems that there aren't in fact any yellows in those lines. Perhaps they're actually white to begin with, but I can slide the yellow saturation completely to the right and get nothing. They're more of a grey-white color. For the project I'm working on though, they have to be yellow. I've played with colors balances in a lasso'd selection, but it always looks painted on (sharply defined border with the selection, etc.). Do you know a technique to get the effect I'm looking for?


        • #5
          Not sure if the image attached is what you were going for, but here's how I did that. I created a new layer and with the polygonal lasso tool, I selected around the lines, filled them with yellow, then I changed the blend mode to "Soft Light", then did a filter >gaussian blur with a setting of 3.7. Hope that helps!
          Attached Files
          WordPress Designer and theme developer. KlongDesigns - helping bloggers and non-technical folks claim their space on the internet.


          • #6
            How strong a yellow do you need? This was done by moving things to LAB in a copied layer and sliding the mixing controls. A mask on the top layer added (not too gracefully) to block out girl.
            Last edited by Bob; 09-13-2007, 09:47 AM.


            • #7
              Thanks for the additional help, both of you. I think your solution will work resdog, that looks like what I need.


              • #8
                sorry, but it looks like I'm still around. The yellows in resdogs solution are more what I need, but it becomes almost impossible to continue making yellow lines as they fade in the distance into one big blurry patch. I think your solution is more workable Broacher, but I'm afraid I'm very new to photoshop, and I don't really understand your response. Could you possibly elaborate on how to move things to LAB (and what is that), and which mixer controls you played with? Like I said, I have very little photoshop knowledge, but in playing with different curves and levels and things, I can't seem to replicate what you'e done there. . .


                • #9
                  ill make this simpler for you.

                  grab your polygonal lasso tool zoom way in around the girl, and start drawing your lasso around her. use the spacebar to move the image while you are working. after you have her all selected and have the "marching ants" around her, hit ctrl+I, or apple+I which is "inverse"

                  then go to edit>adjustments> brightness contrast and play around in there. If that doesn't work, with the girl still selected, go to edit>adjustments>hue saturation and bump up the saturation.

                  Also, if you really wanna dumb it down. Just do the contrast, levels, hue saturation methods over the entire image. then select your "art history brush" with a soft edged brush and "paint" the girl back into the image.

                  good luck, and may i suggest buying some books
                  ‘Our great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately controlled. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of men.’ - Woodrow Wilson


                  • #10
                    bah i just realized that my above suggestion is total crap....

                    try this. open your document. hit ctrl, alt, shift and the tilde key (right next to the number 1) all at the same time. this will select all the highlites in the image. convert your color to cmyk, go to channel mixer, and bump up your yellow.

                    this will blow out all the "highlites" in the image, now use your art history brush and paint her back in
                    ‘Our great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately controlled. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of small groups of men.’ - Woodrow Wilson


                    • #11
                      I'll throw in my 5 cents (inflation, don't you know), although you have some very good suggestions here already. One of the fun things about Photoshop is the number of different ways you can get to the same place. I'm suggesting the following because for a beginner it might be simpler to follow and easier to grasp.

                      1. Copy your original layer (Control/Command-J).

                      2. On the new layer use Hue/Saturation (Ctrl/Cmd-U) to get the yellow you want on these lines. Just play with the sliders. Ignore what happens to the rest of the image, which will look really strange.

                      3. With this weird layer still active, Alt/Option-click on the Layer Mask icon (the little square with the tiny circle in it) at the bottom of the layers palette. Remain calm. Your new layer was supposed to disappear.

                      4. The new black layer mask is now active (in CS2 it has a border, in CS and earlier the icon in the layers palette changes from a brush to a mask icon).

                      5. Select a soft-edge brush (40% or so, from the look of the photo), make sure the foreground color is white, and set the opacity (of the brush) to, say, 30%.

                      6. Paint in the areas where you want the yellow. (If you click with the brush at one end of a line, then Shift-click at the other, the brush will fill in everything in between.)

                      To avoid painting the young lady, make a quick selection using the Magnetic Lasso tool just in the danger area, then use Ctrl/Cmd-Shift-I to invert the selection (Select>Invert Selection works too, it's just I'm a keyboard sort of guy). That way you won't paint over her. On the other hand, since you're working on a layer mask, you can always just switch from white to black (press X to switch foreground and background colors at any time) and brush out any errors.

                      At this point you can play with the opacity and blend modes of your new layer to get it how you want it.

                      The advantage of this approach is that if you mess up, you can easily use a black brush to remove, or partially remove, your "paint-through", without having to rely on the History Palette. By using different settings for your brush opacity you can really fine-tune the appearance at different points of your background.

                      Hope this helps, and gives you some ideas! (As a book suggestion: get "Photoshop CS2 for Digital Photographers" and "Photoshop Classic Effects" by Scott Kelby. These are the best get-up-to-speed-quickly books I know of, and between the two you have the photography angle and the design angle well covered. Once you have those under your belt you can get in deeper, but these give you the "How To" without bogging you down in any theory.)


                      • #12
                        Thanks for the help Alan! Your solution works great down on the big fat lines at the bottom. Unfortunately, when you get to the white lines up near the top, it's impossible to manually fill them, as they're more of a blurry area. If I leave them out, it looks odd with just the first few lines yellow and the rest still white. If I color the whole area, it also looks odd. I think a more powerful automated solution is necessary maybe . . Or perhaps it isn't possible. . .


                        • #13
                          It's possible, you're just going to have to make friends with your selection tools and your eyeballs. There's not going to be any one easy way for this.
                          "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!" - Ricky Ricardo


                          • #14
                            Like I said, there are a lot of ways to get there. Your far background is very tricky because the contrast gets very low as the lines get softer. But so would the color if those lines were really yellow.

                            There is a technique you could try, no guarantees. Go to the Channels palette and find the one that shows the best contrast in your "problem" area. I'm guessing it will be about the same in all three, but maybe you'll luck out. Then copy that channel by dragging it down to the "New Channel" icon at the bottom of the palette -- the one that looks like a blank sheet with a corner folded over.

                            Use Levels (Ctrl/Cmd-L) on this new channel to increase the contrast a bit. Dragging the white input marker to the left will increase your highlights. Dragging the black input marker to the right will deepen your shadows. The grey midtone marker will affect the midtones (duh!) depending which way you drag it. When you can see the lines a bit better, stop.

                            Make a rough selection around the problem area with the Lasso tool. This is just to limit what happens in the next step.

                            Now use Select>Color Range and click the eyedropper on a line (as best you can, it's a difficult scenario). Color Range is useful because unlike other selection tools it can do partial selections: a pixel can be 100% selected, not selected, or anywhere in between. The "Fuzziness" slider lets you adjust how much difference the tool will allow from the selected color (100%) to out of range (0%).

                            Click on the RGB thumbnail to bring back your image, switch to the layers palette, and press Q to bring up Quickmask. The red overlay will show you how much is selected and how much isn't. Use a black brush to cover up any parts of your image that you don't want to change. When you're done, press Q again to get back your marching ants.

                            Click on the layer mask for your fix-it layer. (The one that's yellow, yellow, yellow.) Make sure white is your foreground color and press Alt-Backspace (Option-Delete on the Mac) to fill your selection with white. Deselect.

                            Where pixels were fully selected the mask will be transparent. Where they were partially selected you'll have degrees of transparency.

                            If you don't get what you want, Undo, go back to your Channels palette, click on the channel you created, and try again.

                            Repeat until satisfied or bored beyond all reason.


                            • #15
                              Thanks alan, I'll give that a try!






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